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30 votes

Why do people still believe in free will?

Most academic philosophers (around 60%, according to the PhilPapers survey) lean toward compatibilism: the view that determinism (which is what you are getting at, more or less) is compatible with ...
Schiphol's user avatar
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30 votes

Who Bears the Burden of Proof Regarding Free Will: Advocates or Skeptics

The Burden of Proof isn't an absolute property. There's no experiment you can perform on a person, a brain, or a position to show that that thing has the burden of proof. The Burden of Proof is a ...
TKoL's user avatar
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28 votes

Testing Free Will

is it possible for such agents to determine whether or not they possess free will? A precondition for answering this question is that the term "free will" is sufficiently well defined. IMHO,...
Math Keeps Me Busy's user avatar
25 votes

Who Bears the Burden of Proof Regarding Free Will: Advocates or Skeptics

Human beings work on a presumption of free will; few people (outside of certain psychological disorders) believe they have absolutely no control over their actions moment to moment. Therefore the ...
Ted Wrigley's user avatar
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20 votes

Why do people still believe in free will?

Schiphol's answer is correct, in that you need to first say what kind of free will you're talking about. I'm going to answer your question assuming that you're talking about libertarian free will. It'...
Adam Sharpe's user avatar
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20 votes
Accepted

Why is the question "Is there free will?", and not, “What is free will?"

I agree with you and the others that it's all a matter of definition. It seems possible here the most trivial reason may be the correct one: marketing. “Does free will exist?” sounds like a weighty ...
adam.baker's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Can I predict my future by observing all humans/events

Can I predict my future by observing all humans/events According to Wolpert's theorem, no you can't. What you are describing here: I believe everything happened/happening in the universe is not ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Why is the statement about "Freewill is an illusion" considered profound?

The idea that free will is an illusion does not originate with Sam Harris, but is around since, at least, Spinoza (Ethics book 2 proposition 35: men are mistaken in thinking themselves free ; their ...
armand's user avatar
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15 votes
Accepted

How do adherents to Plantinga's "free-will defense" against the problem of evil explain that God is free and immune to moral evil at the same time?

The Free Will Defense against the Problem of Evil is relatively unique compared to the more common responses. Most responses fall into the general category of "God does not have omnibenevolence&...
Dcleve's user avatar
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14 votes

Does quantum superposition enable the possibility of free will?

The question assumes an incompatibilist view of free will, and then rests their notion of free will on the possibility of true quantum randomness. Two notes on that: Quantum mechanics may or may not ...
TKoL's user avatar
  • 3,449
13 votes

Nietzsche doesn't believe in free will nor in "non-free will". How come?

From a purely metaphysical perspective, Nietzsche is almost a hard determinist — there is causal order and free will is incompatible with it. The reason for "almost" is that he rejects as a ...
Conifold's user avatar
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11 votes
Accepted

How does Quantum Mechanics affect the modern account of free will and determinism?

The OP quote draws a distinction between determinism ("hard determinism"), and causal completeness ("less absolute determinism"). The former means that the current physical state ...
Conifold's user avatar
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11 votes

Aren't Determinism and Free Will indiscernible from the mortal perspective?

Your point, "Determinism and free will are not discernible from the mortal perspective" is indeed the third antinomy (paradox) of Kant. According to Kant, human capacity for knowledge is innately ...
Nanhee Byrnes PhD's user avatar
11 votes

Why do people still believe in free will?

We believe in free will because — aside from a few people with particular psychological conditions — we experience ourselves as beings capable of making choices and exercising free will. When someone ...
Ted Wrigley's user avatar
  • 20.1k
11 votes

Does quantum superposition enable the possibility of free will?

No, quantum superposition isn't really a plausible explanation, since processes in the brain seem to be macroscopic (ie they involve combinations of neurons which collectively contain oodles of ...
Marco Ocram's user avatar
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11 votes
Accepted

Who Bears the Burden of Proof Regarding Free Will: Advocates or Skeptics

Honestly most of the answers here are absolute waffle. Here's the actual answer. Both of them. Burden of proof applies if you are making a claim. That's it. Sometimes people will emphasise the point ...
Blue_Crow's user avatar
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10 votes
Accepted

If hard determinism is true, why should we try to better ourselves?

Contrary to the other answer and the assumptions in your question: Hard determinism does not, in any way, mean that trying to better yourself does not work. Rather, under hard determinism, whether you ...
Eff's user avatar
  • 3,089
10 votes

'Free will' as a 'confused concept': Is Ned Block correct?

Determinism means that every event is completely determined by the previous event. The negation, indeterminism, therefore means that every event is incompletely determined (=there is probabilistic ...
Pertti Ruismäki's user avatar
10 votes

Is the existence of free will even important?

Personally I agree with you and have found the debate about free will to be pretty pointless. Yes I think we have free will, but in the end it seems to be just a debate about semantics. I would say ...
Lichtbringer's user avatar
10 votes

Why is the question "Is there free will?", and not, “What is free will?"

The concept of free will started on the subjective level: Most time, all of us feel to be humans with free will. Pressed to give a definition of free will most persons would say: I am sure that I made ...
Jo Wehler's user avatar
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9 votes

What does Schopenhauer mean by 'A man can do what he wants, but not want what he wants'?

It's hard to translate from German where the sentence is very clear: Der Mensch kann zwar tun, was er will, aber er kann nicht wollen, was er will. I think a more understandable way to translate it ...
309963d8521805330a44bdcb3d87f3's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Experiment to test for the existence of free will and randomness

Firstly, we don't need randomness in order to be unable to predict future events. The universe only need one chaotic process to compromise certainty. A better test would be to take two snapshots and ...
christo183's user avatar
  • 2,467
9 votes

Proof for the absence of free will?

Seems like no one brought up Frankfurt and hierarchical compatabilism. First-order desires: desires that are directed to objects or states of affairs. We desire things like being healthy, being well-...
J Kusin's user avatar
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9 votes
Accepted

Strawson on Free Will: What are the most persuasive challenges to his position?

Strawson's argument is about ultimate moral responsibility not stritly about free will (although related). The tricky phrase here is "ultimate". One can argue that free will is not about ...
Nikos M.'s user avatar
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9 votes
Accepted

The Mediocrity Principle, The Laws of Nature and Free Will

This is a coherent argument, but most of its premises are false. First, laws of science are regularities, not "laws" and all of them are broken. See 'The role of symmetry in fundamental ...
Dcleve's user avatar
  • 14.4k
9 votes

Is the existence of free will even important?

There are positive and negative consequences to coming to a belief that there is no free will, and to continuing to believe we have free will. Inasmuch as we might ever be able to decide the truth of ...
Futilitarian's user avatar
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8 votes

How does Quantum Mechanics affect the modern account of free will and determinism?

First a point of clarification, from what you are describing, you are talking about libertarian freewill, not compatibilist freewill. More on that later. At the heart of your question is a confusion ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
8 votes

Does omniscience negate free will?

As worded, I'm not sure if this is a great question, but there's a good deal of very recent literature on the precise question you seem to be raising. Worded at it's simplest, the question is 1. ...
virmaior's user avatar
  • 24.7k
8 votes

Nietzsche doesn't believe in free will nor in "non-free will". How come?

There is a Wikipedia article collecting different material of Nietzsche on the subject: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Nietzsche_and_free_will#:~:text=Nietzsche's%20analysis-,Power%20of%...
tkruse's user avatar
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