James W. Felt, S.J.
“. . . a highly accessible introduction to the central issues and arguments associated with the determinist-compatibilist-libertarian debate. Although addressed to the general reader, the book is richly and densely argued and accomplishes a great deal within its brief span of pages.” —American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly
“This book is clearly the product of a subtle mind, one that has managed to say something striking about many aspects of this difficult and important problem.” —Faith and Philosophy
Written for general readers and students, this book provides an accessible and brief metaphysical defense of freedom. James W. Felt, S.J., invites his audience to consider that we are responsible for what we do precisely because we do it freely. His perspective runs counter to the philosophers who argue that the freedom humans feel in their actions is merely an illusion. Felt argues in detail that there are no compelling reasons for thinking we are not free, and very strong ones for thinking that we are. The view that Felt develops parallels that of the French philosopher Henri Bergson (1859–1941). In the course of his analysis, Felt considers determinism, compatibilism, agency, and the problem of evil. Featuring an updated suggested reading list, this clearly and engagingly written introductory work is ideal for the undergraduate classroom.
“The issue of free will and determinism is one of the few perennial philosophical controversies that captures the interest of the general reader and is directly relevant to how one perceives one’s everyday experience.. . . . [T]his is overall a readable and insightful attempt to solve a problem that is at the center of human experience.” — Catholic Library World, vol. 76 no. 1, September 2005