Against libertarianism

Philosophical Studies 166 (3):475-493 (2013)
Abstract
The so-called Mind argument aims at the conclusion that agents act freely only if determinism is true. The soundness of this argument entails the falsity of libertarianism, the two-part thesis that agents act freely, and free action and determinism are incompatible. In this paper, I offer a new formulation of the Mind argument. I argue that it is true by definition that if an agent acts freely, either (i) nothing nomologically grounds an agent’s acting freely, or (ii) the consequence argument for incompatibilism is unsound. I define the notion of nomological grounding, and argue that unless an agent’s acting freely is nomologically grounded, unacceptable consequences follow. I then argue that if agents act freely and the consequence argument is sound, a vicious regress ensues. I conclude by considering the libertarian’s dialectical options
Keywords Free will  Libertarianism  Incompatibilism   Mind argument  Consequence argument  Grounding
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    Paul Audi (2012). A Clarification and Defense of the Notion of Grounding (Preprint). In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Grounding and Explanation. Cambridge University Press. 101.
    Alicia Finch & Michael Rea (2008). Presentism and Ockham's Way Out. Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion 1:1-17.

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