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The Ontology of Freedom




I begin by clarifying Tallis’s revisionary terminology, showing how he redraws the lines of the traditional debate about free will by classifying himself as a compatibilist, when in standard terms he is an incompatibilist. I then examine what I take to be the two main lines of argument in Freedom, which I call the Mysterian Argument and the Intentionality Argument. I argue that neither can do the required work on its own, so I ask how they are supposed to combine. I then argue that a commitment to the ontological priority of everydayness, of the kind suggested in chapters 5 and 6 of Freedom, might combine the arguments in such a way as to secure Tallis’s conclusion. I conclude that the argument of Freedom requires positive metaphysical commitment of a kind Tallis has yet to provide.

Acceptance Date Jul 27, 2022
Publication Date Oct 26, 2022
Journal Human Affairs
Publisher De Gruyter
Pages 461-473
Keywords free will; determinism; compatibilism; libertarianism; metaphysics; F.H. Bradley
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