October 20, 2012
By S. Matthew Liao
UMB (Norwegian University of Life Sciences), 21-22 February 2013
Does our freedom consist in us being causes of our own action? Would such freedom be threatened if we were bound by laws of nature? And do such laws constrain only our bodies but not our thoughts? The ancient problem of free will rests on a number of metaphysical assumptions concerning what are causes, laws, powers, properties and actions. This symposium will focus on the metaphysical issues around the problem of free will and explore the prospects for its metaphysical solution. The aim of the event is to (i) critically examine the ontological orthodoxies of this debate and (ii) explore the potential of the dispositions ontology as a better foundation for free will and agency. How should we see agents as properly empowered and would them being so require that they violate the laws of nature? Both determinism and indeterminism seem to threaten our freedom. A world in which everything must be either necessary or purely contingent seems to offer little prospect of free will. This international symposium will aim to explore whether a metaphysics of powers is able to offer an adequate account of our freedom that is neither deterministic nor indeterministic. Any papers that are willing to explore this terrain, taking a metaphysics of powers seriously, would be welcome.
This event is organised by the project Causation in Science (CauSci), funded by the Research Council of Norway. For more information about the project, see http://www.umb.no/causci
Organiser: Rani Lill Anjum (rani.anjum (at) umb.no)
Deadline for abstracts: 1 December
Meals and accommodation are funded. Some travel expenses can be covered.