31 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 ...
  • 2,607
27 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,...
26 votes
Accepted

Does the lack of randomness imply the lack of free will?

Well, there is an ancient and unsettled debate between libertarians who believe free will is incompatible with a deterministic (or random) universe, and compatibilists who believe the libertarian ...
  • 4,461
21 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'...
  • 3,766
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 ...
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 ...
  • 3,819
14 votes

Can someone be an atheist and subscribe to substance dualism at the same time?

From what I have read so, atheism and materialism/physicalism are considered to be the same thing. This is incorrect. Atheism is a view about the existence of God. Materialism is a metaphysical view ...
12 votes
Accepted

How do defenders of libertarian freewill reconcile it with constraints imposed by the laws of physics?

There are ways to reconcile libertarian free will even with classical physics. One could say (as was common position in 19-th century) that the laws of nature are only approximations and do not ...
  • 41.4k
12 votes
Accepted

Why do modern materialists tend to favor determinism?

I tend to share your puzzlement. A lot of contemporary metaphysicians seem to have an outdated view of physics, not only about determinism but also about locality or mereology. (This was criticized by ...
12 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 ...
  • 41.4k
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 ...
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 ...
  • 15.5k
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 ...
  • 3,029
9 votes

Can someone be an atheist and subscribe to substance dualism at the same time?

Being an atheist does not imply a materialistic worldview, it simply means one does not believe in (a) God. Having said that, I think an atheist would likely have a materialist worldview simply ...
  • 1,790
9 votes

How can a stream of thoughts and perceptions have freewill?

James was not the first one to realize that central "I" or "consciousness" as an entity is not in any way helpful in explaining the will, or any other mental faculties. It is just a homunculus in the ...
  • 41.4k
9 votes

Is the theory of evolution a good basis for an argument against freewill?

The problem of free will reads: How to explain the subjective experience of free will (first person’s stance) by a scientific theory, dealing with objective concepts (third person’s stance). Due ...
  • 20.6k
9 votes

Is the theory of evolution a good basis for an argument against freewill?

If according to some compatibilist free will is something that makes sense in a social context (where the notions of personhood, of responsibility or of agentivity take their appropriate meaning) then ...
9 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 ...
  • 41.4k
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 ...
  • 2,373
9 votes

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 ...
  • 1,590
8 votes

Contradiction between the selfish gene and lack of free will demonstrated by Libet experiment

Benjamin Libet in his book "Mind time. The temporal factor in consciousness (2004)" carefully describes the experimental setting of his investigations. His result: First, our brain starts the process ...
  • 20.6k
8 votes
Accepted

Is there evidence for existence of destiny as opposed to free will?

The colloquial meaning of "destiny", "an attitude of resignation in the face of some future event or events which are thought to be inevitable" as SEP's Fatalism puts it, is in fact compatible with "...
  • 41.4k
8 votes
Accepted

Is the B-theory of time compatible with libertarian free will?

First, B theory is a semantic theory about the proper way to refer to events in time, not a metaphysical theory about past and future events. The view that past and future events are real is called ...
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 ...
8 votes

Why should I care about the person who will wake up in my bed tomorrow?

This question raises a lot of interesting problems about the continuity of self and consciousness, but I think it can be cut down with a very pragmatic, down to earth approach. Quite simply, the idea ...
  • 3,819
8 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-...
  • 1,765
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%...
  • 2,347
8 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 ...
  • 6,813
7 votes

Kant and free will

First off, I want to say this is a really good question that reflects real thought on an interpretative issue in Kant studies. Second, I think you're grasping some major things but also thinking ...
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