The problem with complete states: Freedom, chance and the luck argument
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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The Luck Argument seems to show that libertarianism is false, since indeterministic free will is impossible. We should be wary of this argument, however, since a very similar argument shows that indeterministic causation1 is impossible. Further, since chancy events require causes, but are not determined, it would also follow that chancy events do not exist. If we are to conclude that free actions are all deterministic (or nonexistent), then the same reasoning should also persuade us that events with physical chances do not exist. The Luck Argument, in its various formulations, assumes that a human being, like any physical system, has a set of complete (or exact, or precise) possible states. The same assumption drives the similar argument against indeterministic causation. This spells disaster for both free actions and chancy events, as these require causes. The assumption that physical systems have precise states should therefore be subjected to the closest scrutiny, which is not usually the case. On the contrary, it enjoys a wide and uncritical acceptance.
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