Hans Pedersen, Department of Philosophy, published a book titled Agency, Freedom, and Responsibility in the Early Heidegger (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020).
Pedersen employs Heidegger’s work of the 1920s and early 1930s to develop
distinctively Heideggerian accounts of agency, freedom, and
responsibility, making the case that Heidegger’s thought provides a
compelling alternative to the mainstream philosophical accounts of these
Pedersen demonstrates that Heidegger’s thought can be
fruitfully used to develop a plausible alternative understanding of
agency that avoids the metaphysical commitments that give rise to the
standard free-will debate.
The first several chapters are devoted to
working out an account of the ontological structure of human agency,
specifically focusing on the Heideggerian understanding of the role of
mental states, causal explanations, and deliberation in human agency,
arguing that action need not be understood in terms of the causal
efficacy of mental states.
In the following chapters, building on the
prior account of agency, Pedersen develops Heideggerian accounts of
freedom and responsibility. Having shown that action need not be
understood causally, the Heideggerian view thereby avoids the conflict
between free will and determinism that gives rise to the problem of free
will and the correlative problem of responsibility.
Department of Philosophy