Freedom, Rationality, and Autonomy Project (FRAP)

FRAP is a two-year research project funded by the University of Luxembourg that aims to understand how human freedom fits into the natural world. Free agency plausibly requires both autonomy and rationality. It requires autonomy in the sense that an agent's capacity to choose needs to be uninhibited by external interference and compulsion. And it requires rationality in that free agents need to be able to recognize and respond to reasons. The goal of the project is to develop an integrated account of these capacities. The project is carried out in cooperation with the "Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine" (LCSB) and will be informed by how the biomedical sciences assess properly working mental capacities.

Research Staff:

Frank Hofmann
Christian Loew (Post-doc)



Free Will and the Ability to Do Otherwise, June 16-17, 2017

Maria Alvarez (King's College London)
Christopher Evan Franklin (Grove City College)
Christian List (London School of Economics)
Peter Schulte (Universität Bielefeld)
David Shoemaker (Tulane University)
Kadri Vihvelin (University of Southern California)
Aims and Scope
A natural idea is that freedom presupposes the ability to do otherwise. The aim of this workshop is to clarify this idea and examine its viability. Does freedom sometimes or always presuppose the ability to do otherwise? How should we understand this ability? Should it be characterized, for example, in terms of two-way powers, clusters of dispositions, or agential possibilities? And are the ability to do otherwise and the opportunity to exercise it compatible with likely candidates for the causal and nomic structure of the actual world?
Registration is free. Please send a short email to by June 1st.

Talks (Christian Loew):

“Defaults and the Direction of Causation,” The American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division, Baltimore, January 4–7.

“Making Best Systems Best for Us,” Metaphysics of Entangelement Research Group, Oxford University, February 23.

“Time’s Arrow and Fundamentality,” Tense and Tensibility Workshop, Bonn University, April 7.

“Defending Dispositional Abilities,” Reassessing Responsibility Workshop, Cambridge University, April 21–22.

“Time’s Arrow and Fundamentality,” IAPT Conference, Gargnano del Garda, Italy, June 12–14.

“Doing otherwise in a Deterministic World,” ECAP 9, Munich, August 21–26.