David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Res Publica 14 (3):219-235 (2008)
The perennial fear associated with the free will problem is the prospect of hard determinism being true. Unlike prevalent attempts to reject hard determinism by defending compatibilist analyses of freedom and responsibility, this article outlines a pragmatic argument to the effect that we are justified in betting that determinism is false even though we may retain the idea that free will and determinism are incompatible. The basic argument is that as long as we accept that libertarian free will is worth wanting, there is a defensible rationale, given the uncertainty which remains as to whether determinism is true or false, to refrain from acting on hard determinism, and thus to bet that libertarian free will exists. The article closes by discussing two potentially decisive objections to this pragmatic argument.
|Keywords||Determinism Free will Moral responsibility Practical reason Uncertainty|
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References found in this work BETA
John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza (1998). Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility. Cambridge University Press.
Robert H. Kane (1996). The Significance of Free Will. Oxford University Press.
Derk Pereboom (2001). Living Without Free Will. Cambridge University Press.
Harry G. Frankfurt (1988). The Importance of What We Care About: Philosophical Essays. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Göran Duus-Otterström (2010). Betting Against Compatibilism. Res Publica 16 (4):383-396.
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