Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Christian List argues that three requirements are “jointly necessary and sufficient” for free will: intentional agency, alternative possibilities, and causal control. In contrast, I argue that List’s accounts of intentional agency and alternative possibilities do not adequately explain how an agent has free will. Specifically, I argue that if an agent has free will, then it must also have phenomenality; because phenomenality determines the propositional contents of an agent’s intentional states. I demonstrate that List’s analysis of free will brackets phenomenality and, as such, an agent on his account may find itself in a permanent state of “choice paralysis,” a state in which it lacks the ability to choose due to the indeterminate content of its intentional states. I conclude by suggesting that philosophers must adopt methodologies derived from both the third- and first-person perspectives in order to adequately explain how an agent with free will interacts with the environment.
MacBride, Ryne Smith, "Choice Paralysis: A Challenge from the Indeterminacy of Intentional Content." Thesis, Georgia State University, 2023.
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