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I was thinking about free will, and I kind of got confused. What would it look like for someone to not have free will?

For example, if someone was paralyzed, they could still control their thoughts. This seems like the only time someone does not have free will is if they are unconscious and are not dreaming.

Am I missing something? Under what conditions does someone not have free will?

  • I think a healthy, intelligent human being has free will unless they choose or allow their freedom to be stolen from them. In other words if they relinquish it voluntarily. – Bread Nov 12 '18 at 21:06
  • The question is not whether one is conscious but whether one has it when conscious, when it appears, on folk view, that one is exercising it. If the free will is understood as the libertarian one, and according to determinists, no one ever has it. According to compatibilists, one can still have it in the absence of external physical compulsion. – Conifold Nov 12 '18 at 21:25
  • To answer the question, I'd have to know what "free will" means here. Do you consider that I am using free will to type this comment? – David Thornley Nov 12 '18 at 21:58
  • @DavidThornley I'm interested in answers for both the libertarian and compatibilist definitions of free will. And I would assume so, assuming you aren't being forced to. – PyRulez Nov 12 '18 at 22:41
  • We are taking questions with one "right" answer, more or less objective and based on existing literature, so "I'm interested in answers for both" makes it off-topic here. General overviews are already well-covered by encyclopedias. Please read SEP's Free Will and make your question (much) more focused. Does having free will presuppose consciousness? may be related to what you are asking, but it is hard to tell. – Conifold Nov 13 '18 at 1:20

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