Free Will and the Self




Brown, Danielle Linda

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



In this thesis, I attempt to map a relationship between theories of selfhood and theories of free will. In doing so, I hope to establish that the metaphysical commitments that characterize major branches of libertarian theory entail a commitment to an ‘executive’ model of selfhood as opposed to a ‘psychological’ model. In essence, I argue that there exist two major lines of disagreement between libertarian and compatibilist thinkers. The first disagreement is over the truth of the determinism thesis, and a second disagreement is over the nature of the self or agent. I then argue that while much attention has been given to the first of these disagreements, the most significant problem facing free will has to do with the nature of the self, and that if stronger efforts were devoted to uncovering the nature of selfhood, there would be much to be learned about the possibility of free will.



philosophy, personal identity, free will, metaphysics