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Can we say that hard determinism and free will are mutually exclusive by definition?

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    Yes, 'hard determinism' is the term associated with incompatibilism (the view that the world is either deterministic or we have free will but not both). The term 'soft determinism' is used in the context of compatibilism (the view that both determinism and free will can/do exist).
    – Not_Here
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 9:07
  • Assuming "free will" means something beyond "the illusion of free will," then yes, we can and we should precisely for the reason you specify. so what's the question we can answer for you about philosophy?
    – virmaior
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 10:28
  • In order to say they're exclusive, you first have to precisely define free will. Good luck with that. Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 16:37
  • @kbelder You don't need a definition of B if X is defined as "either A or B, exclusively", and you have asserted A.
    – user9166
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 21:27
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    @Snochacz I think the straightforward materialistic interpretation of quantum mechanics may reject both. It is non-deterministic... there's randomness in every interaction. However, many people wouldn't consider simple randomness as actual free will, either. Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 23:57

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Yes. However, I respectfully disagree with Not_Here's characterization of Hard Determinism; "Hard Determinism" is used to refer to the view that endorses the following conjunction: 1) Incompatibilism about Free Will and Determinism is true and 2) Determinism is true. It follows from (1) and (2) that no one has free will. So, Hard Determinism is mutually exclusive with any view that claims people have free will (e.g. typical versions of Compatibilism/Soft Determinism and Libertarianism).

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    When I said "'hard determinism' is the term associated with incompatibilism (the view that the world is either deterministic or we have free will but not both)," the parenthetical clause was meant to explain what "incompatibilism" means, not what "hard determinism" means. Incompatibilism says that one of those disjuncts is true and the other is not, hard determinism says the first is true and libertarianism says the second is true. That I what I wrote, which I believe you have misunderstood.
    – Not_Here
    Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 22:33

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