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Summary Determinism is a claim about the laws of nature. Events are determined if the laws of nature, together with the total set of facts prevailing at a moment in time, are sufficient to settle precisely what happens at the next and each subsequent moment of time. Determinism thus rules out chanciness in a central sense of that word. The free will debate has been centrally concerned with whether determinism is incompatible with freedom: many philosophers worry that if how agents act is always settled prior to their action (settled even prior to their birth) than we lack free will.
Key works The key works on the compatibility question are more or less coextensive with the key works on free will, since the first issue has been so central to the second. I shall not list those works here. Important papers that explore the nature of determinism itself as it pertains to free will includeBerofsky 1971; the two volumes of Honderich 1988 and Earman 2004.
Introductions Honderich 1973;Kane 2002
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  1. Arif Ahmed (forthcoming). Causal Decision Theory and the Fixity of the Past. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axt021.
    Causal decision theory (CDT) cares only about the effects of a contemplated act, not its causes. The article constructs a case in which CDT consequently recommends a bet that the agent is certain to lose, rather than a bet that she is certain to win. CDT is plainly giving wrong advice in this case. It therefore stands refuted. 1 The Argument2 The Argument in More Detail2.1 The betting mechanism2.2 Soft determinism2.3 The content of P 2.4 The argument again3 The Descriptive (...)
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  2. Patrick Proctor Alexander (1866/1975). Mill and Carlyle: An Examination of Mr. John Stuart Mill's Doctrine of Causation in Relation to Moral Freedom with an Occasional Discourse on Sauerteig by Smelfungus [I.E. P. P. Alexander]. [REVIEW] Norwood Editions.
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  3. Garland E. Allen (1984). Review: The Roots of Biological Determinism. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Biology 17 (1):141 - 145.
  4. Miloš Arsenijević (2002). Determinism, Indeterminism and the Flow of Time. Erkenntnis 56 (2):123 - 150.
    A set of axioms implicitly defining the standard, though not instant-based but interval-based, time topology is used as a basis to build a temporal modal logic of events. The whole apparatus contains neither past, present, and future operators nor indexicals, but only B-series relations and modal operators interpreted in the standard way. Determinism and indeterminism are then introduced into the logic of events via corresponding axioms. It is shown that, if determinism and indeterminism are understood in accordance with their core (...)
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  5. Marcus Arvan (2013). A New Theory of Free Will. Philosophical Forum 44 (1):1-48.
    This paper shows that several live philosophical and scientific hypotheses – including the holographic principle and multiverse theory in quantum physics, and eternalism and mind-body dualism in philosophy – jointly imply an audacious new theory of free will. This new theory, "Libertarian Compatibilism", holds that the physical world is an eternally existing array of two-dimensional information – a vast number of possible pasts, presents, and futures – and the mind a nonphysical entity or set of properties that "read" that physical (...)
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  6. Harald Atmanspacher, Preface.
    The machine sculpture “Klamauk” (English: hubbub) by the Swiss artist Jean Tinguely (1925–1991), featured on the cover, looks like a perfect example of a deterministic process, but it also looks as if thrown together “by chance”. This tension between determinism and chance has been of longstanding concern in the sciences and the humanities. And nowhere is this tension stronger than in debates about free will and our place in the world, where determinism seems bound to crowd freedom out of the (...)
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  7. Harald Atmanspacher & Robert C. Bishop (eds.) (2002). Between Chance and Choice: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Determinism. Thorverton UK: Imprint Academic.
    These and other questions emphasize the fact that chance and choice are two leading actors on stage whenever issues of determinism are under discussion. ...
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  8. Harald Atmanspacher & Stefan Rotter (2011). On Determinacy or its Absence in the Brain. In Richard Swinburne (ed.), Free Will and Modern Science. Oup/British Academy.
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  9. Michael R. Ayers (1968). The Refutation of Determinism. Methuen.
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  10. Andrew M. Bailey (2012). Incompatibilism and the Past. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (2):351-376.
    There is a new objection to the Consequence Argument for incompatibilism. I argue that the objection is more wide-ranging than originally thought. In particular: if it tells against the Consequence Argument, it tells against other arguments for incompatibilism too. I survey a few ways of dealing with this objection and show the costs of each. I then present an argument for incompatibilism that is immune to the objection and that enjoys other advantages.
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  11. Elizabeth Barnes & Ross Cameron (2009). The Open Future: Bivalence, Determinism and Ontology. Philosophical Studies 146 (2):291 - 309.
    In this paper we aim to disentangle the thesis that the future is open from theses that often get associated or even conflated with it. In particular, we argue that the open future thesis is compatible with both the unrestricted principle of bivalence and determinism with respect to the laws of nature. We also argue that whether or not the future (and indeed the past) is open has no consequences as to the existence of (past and) future ontology.
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  12. Joe Barnhart (1995). Tolstoy on Free Will. The Personalist Forum 11 (1):33-54.
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  13. Donald L. M. Baxter (1989). Free Choice. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 67 (March):12-24.
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  14. Endre Begby (2005). Leibniz on Determinism and Divine Foreknowledge. Studia Leibnitiana 37 (1):83-98.
    Nach Michael J. Murrays Aufsatz „Leibniz on Divine Foreknowledge of Future Contingents and Human Freedom" ist Leibniz nicht als Kompatibilist zu verstehen. Die göttliche Vorhersehung beruhe nicht darauf, dass menschliche Handlungen mechanischen Gesetzen von Ursache und Wirkung (causa efficiens) gehorchen, sondern auf den für diese Handlungen spezifischen geistigen Gesetzen (causa finalis, moralische Gesetze, etc.). In diesem Aufsatz argumentiere ich, dass Murray die Tragweite des Grundsatzes vom hinreichenden Grund in Leibniz' Philosophie nicht richtig versteht. Des Weiteren zeige ich, dass die Unterscheidung (...)
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  15. Steve Bein (2008). Doxastic Determinism. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 33:5-12.
    Hard determinism is hardly a new position, but the most common arguments are not widely convincing. Theological arguments rest on the oversight or control of a supernatural entity, and so are not convincing to any who do not share the metaphysical assumptions latent in the argument. Psychological arguments reston putatively scientific claims that, if examined more closely, seem not to be scientific at all. A doxastic argument avoids these pitfalls. According to this doxastic argument, beliefs are not freely chosen, for (...)
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  16. Nuel Belnap, From Newtonian Determinism to Branching-Space-Time Indeterminism.
    Logik, Begriffe, Prinzipien des Handelns (Logic, Concepts, Principles of Action). Thomas Müller/ Albert Newen (eds.), mentis Verlag GmbII, 2007, pp. 13–31.
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  17. Nuel Belnap, Two Moves Take Newtonian Determinism to Branching Space-Times.
    “Branching space-times” (BST) is intended as a representation of objective, event-based indeterminism. As such, BST exhibits both a spatio-temporal aspect and an indeterministic “modal” aspect of alternative possible historical courses of events. An essential feature of BST is that it can also represent spatial or space-like relationships as part of its (more or less) relativistic theory of spatio-temporal relations; this ability is essential for the representation of local (in contrast with “global”) indeterminism. This essay indicates how BST might be seen (...)
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  18. Nuel Belnap, Branching Histories Approach to Indeterminism and Free Will.
    An informal sketch is offered of some chief ideas of the (formal) ``branching histories'' theory of objective possibility, free will and indeterminism. Reference is made to ``branching time'' and to ``branching space-times,'' with emphasis on a theme that they share: Objective possibilities are in Our World, organized by the relation of causal order.
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  19. Jiri Benovsky (2013). Branching and (in)Determinism. Philosophical Papers 42 (2):151-173.
    At a first glance, and even at a second one, it seems that if time is linear the threat of determinism is more severe than if time is branching, since in the latter case the future is open in a way it is not in the former one where, so to speak, there exists only one branch – one future. In this paper, I want to give a 'third glance' at this claim. I acknowledge that such a claim is intuitive (...)
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  20. Bernard Berofsky (1971). Determinism. Princeton University Press.
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  21. Bernard Berofsky (ed.) (1966). Free Will and Determinism. Harper and Row.
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  22. Susanne Bobzien (1998). Determinism and Freedom in Stoic Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
    Bobzien presents the definitive study of one of the most interesting intellectual legacies of the ancient Greeks: the Stoic theory of causal determinism. She explains what it was, how the Stoics justified it, and how it relates to their views on possibility, action, freedom, moral responsibility, moral character, fatalism, logical determinism and many other topics. She demonstrates the considerable philosophical richness and power that these ideas retain today.
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  23. Andrea Borghini & Giuliano Torrengo, The Metaphysics of the Thin Red Line.
    There seems to be a minimal core that every theory wishing to accommodate the intuition that the future is open must contain: a denial of physical determinism (i.e. the thesis that what future states the universe will be in is implied by what states it has been in), and a denial of strong fatalism (i.e. the thesis that, at every time, what will subsequently be the case is metaphysically necessary).1 Those two requirements are often associated with the idea of an (...)
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  24. Mikhail Ivanovich[from old catalog] Borovskiĭ (1974). Determinizm I Nravstvennoe Povedenie Lichnosti.
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  25. Raymond Bradley, The Meaning of Life Reflections on God, Immortality, and Free Will.
    Philosophers, and other thinking people, have long pondered three grand questions about the nature of reality and our status and significance within it.
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  26. Jason Brennan (2007). Free Will in the Block Universe. Philosophia 35 (2):207-217.
    Carl Hoefer has argued that determinism in block universes does not privilege any particular time slice as the fundamental determiner of other time slices. He concludes from this that our actions are free, insofar as they are pieces of time slices we may legitimately regard as fundamental determiners. However, I argue that Hoefer does not adequately deal with certain remaining problems. For one, there remain pervasive asymmetries in causation and the macroscopic efficacy of our actions. I suggest that what Hoefer (...)
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  27. Daniel Breyer (2013). Freedom with a Buddhist Face. Sophia 52 (2):359-379.
    This article clarifies the Buddhist position on freedom and responsibility, while arguing for three central claims. The first is that it is an open question whether Buddhists endorse causal determinism or causal indeterminism. The second claim is that the most promising contemporary interpretations of the Buddhist view fail in important respects. The final claim is that the best interpretation of the Buddhist position on freedom and responsibility is Buddhist Perspectivalism, the view that we should view ourselves as genuinely free and (...)
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  28. C. D. Broad (1934). Determinism, Indeterminism, and Libertarianism. Cambridge [Eng.]The University Press.
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  29. S. S. S. Browne (1942). Paralogisms of the Free-Will Problem. Journal of Philosophy 39 (19):513-520.
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  30. Lara Buchak (2013). Free Acts and Chance: Why The Rollback Argument Fails. Philosophical Quarterly 63 (250):20-28.
    The ‘rollback argument,’ pioneered by Peter van Inwagen, purports to show that indeterminism in any form is incompatible with free will. The argument has two major premises: the first claims that certain facts about chances obtain in a certain kind of hypothetical situation, and the second that these facts entail that some actual act is not free. Since the publication of the rollback argument, the second claim has been vehemently debated, but everyone seems to have taken the first claim for (...)
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  31. Justin A. CApes (2013). Mitigating Soft Compatibilism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (3):640-663.
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  32. Patricia S. Churchland (1981). Is Determinism Self-Refuting? Mind 90 (January):99-101.
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  33. Michael Clark (1970). Discourse About the Future. In G. Vesey (ed.), Knowledge and Necessity. Macmillan. 169-190.
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  34. Randolph Clarke (2010). Determinism and Our Self-Conception. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (1):242-250.
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  35. Anthony Collins (1976). Determinism and Freewill: Anthony Collins' a Philosophical Inquiry Concerning Human Liberty: With a Discussion of the Opinions of Hobbes, Locke, Pierre Bayle, William King and Leibniz. Nijhoff.
  36. J. Cover & John Hawthorne (1996). Free Agency and Materialism. In Daniel Howard-Snyder & J. Scott Jordan (eds.), Faith, Freedom, and Rationality. Rowman and Littlefield.
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  37. Joseph L. Cowan (1969). Deliberation and Determinism. American Philosophical Quarterly 6 (January):53-61.
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  38. Paul Crissman (1942). Freedom in Determinism. Journal of Philosophy 39 (September):520-526.
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  39. Edward D'angelo (1968). The Problem Of Freedom And Determinism. Columbia: University Of Missouri Press.
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  40. Martin Davidson (1937). Free Will or Determinism. London, Watts & Co..
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  41. William Hatcher Davis (1971). The Freewill Question. The Hague,Nijhoff.
  42. Larry W. Dewitt (1973). The Hidden Assumption in MacKay's Logical Paradox Concerning Free Will. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 24 (4):402-405.
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  43. Ezio Di Nucci (forthcoming). Avoiding and Alternate Possibilities. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-7.
    Greg Janzen has recently criticised my defence of Frankfurt’s counterexample to the Principle of Alternate Possibilities by arguing that Jones avoids killing Smith in the counterfactual scenario. Janzen’s argument consists in introducing a new thought-experiment which is supposed to be analogous to Frankfurt’s and where the agent is supposed to avoid A-ing. Here I argue that Janzen’s argument fails on two counts, because his new scenario is not analogous to Frankfurt’s and because the agent in his new scenario does not (...)
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  44. Frank B. Dilley (1969). Predictability and Free Will. International Philosophical Quarterly 9 (June):205-213.
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  45. Jasper Doomen (2011). Cornering 'Free Will'. Journal of Mind and Behavior 32 (3):165-179.
  46. Cian Dorr, Against Counterfactual Miracles.
    This paper considers how counterfactuals should be evaluated on the assumption that determinism is true. I argue against Lewis's influential view that then the actual laws of nature would have been false if something had happened that never actually happened, and in favour of the competing view that history would have been different all the way back. I argue that we can do adequate justice to our ordinary practice of relying on a wide range of historical truths in evaluating counterfactuals (...)
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  47. Richard Double (1999). In Defense of the Smart Aleck: A Reply to Ted Honderich. Journal of Philosophical Research 24 (January):305-9.
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  48. Richard Double (1991). Determinism and the Experience of Freedom. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 72 (March):1-8.
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  49. Steven M. Duncan, Determinism and Luck.
    In the course of writing a book on Free Will, I took the opportunity to read a good deal of contemporary literature on the Free Will problem. This paper is a survey and reflection on that reading, responding to the current trends and state of play concerning the existence of free will.
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  50. John Dupré (1995). The Solution to the Problem of the Freedom of the Will. Noûs 30:385 - 402.
    It has notoriously been supposed that the doctrine of determinism conflicts with the belief in human freedom. Yet it is not readily apparent how indeterminism, the denial of determinism, makes human freedom any less problematic. It has sometimes been suggested that the arrival of quantum mechanics should immediately have solved the problem of free will and determinism. It was proposed, perhaps more often by scientists than by philosophers, that the brain would need only to be fitted with a device for (...)
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