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Moral Psychology with Nietzsche$
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Brian Leiter

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199696505

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199696505.001.0001

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Nietzsche’s Theory of Agency

Nietzsche’s Theory of Agency

The Will and Freedom of the Will

Chapter:
(p.115) 5 Nietzsche’s Theory of Agency
Source:
Moral Psychology with Nietzsche
Author(s):

Brian Leiter

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199696505.003.0005

Nietzsche’s repudiation of free will and moral responsibility is documented throughout his corpus, and his arguments for this conclusion—arguments from his distinctive kind of fatalism, his skepticism about the causal efficacy of the will, and his particular brand of epiphenomenalism about the conscious mental states crucial to deliberation—are shown to undermine both compatibilist and incompatibilist views about free will and moral responsibility by engaging the views of many contemporary philosophers working on these topics, including Harry Frankfurt, Galen Strawson, Robert Kane, Derk Pereboom, Gary Watson, and others. In particular, the chapter argues that both “alternate possibilities” and “control” views of free will are vulnerable to Nietzsche’s critique. Some empirical evidence is adduced in support of Nietzsche’s view.

Keywords:   Compatibilism, incompatibilism, free will, fatalism, consciousness, epiphenomenalism, Mattia Riccardi, Paul Katsafanas, Daniel Wegner

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