Philosophy, Department of


Date of this Version



Ethics, Vol. 125, No. 4, pp. 1230-1236


Copyright 2015 The University of Chicago Press. Used by permission.


Kadri Vihvelin’s Causes, Laws,and Free Will is a thorough and rigorous discussion of free will as a metaphysical issue. While she counts moral responsibility among the reasons to value free will, her focus is elsewhere—defending the idea that determinism is compatible the ability to do otherwise than what one actually does. Vihvelin distinguishes and clarifies several perceived threats to the idea that we have free will, zeroing in on the challenge to free will posed by a certain conception of determinism. She meets this challenge by showing that commonsense views about ourselves as agents do not commit us to a libertarian Agent Causation theory and arguing that known arguments for incompatibilism fail. While she claims that refuting incompatibilist arguments is sufficient support for compatibilism, she does go on to offer a compatibilist dispositional account of free will as a bundle of abilities.