Free will and mystery: looking past the Mind Argument

Philosophical Studies 162 (2):291-307 (2013)
Abstract
Among challenges to libertarians, the _Mind_ Argument has loomed large. Believing that this challenge cannot be met, Peter van Inwagen, a libertarian, concludes that free will is a mystery. Recently, the _Mind_ Argument has drawn a number of criticisms. Here I seek to add to its woes. Quite apart from its other problems, I argue, the _Mind_ Argument does a poor job of isolating the important concern for libertarians that it raises. Once this concern has been clarified, however, another argument serves to renew the challenge. The Assimilation Argument challenges libertarians to explain how ostensible exercises of free will are relevantly different from other causally undetermined outcomes, outcomes that nobody would count as exercises of free will. In particular, libertarians must explain how agents can have the power to settle which of two causally possible futures becomes the actual future. This will require them to distinguish cases where this power is supposedly present from similar cases where it’s clearly absent.
Keywords Libertarianism  Free will  van Inwagen   Mind Argument  Rollback Argument  Assimilation Argument
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    View all 22 references

    Citations of this work BETA
    Similar books and articles
    Seth Shabo (2011). Why Free Will Remains a Mystery. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (1):105-125.
    Peter van Inwagen (2000). Free Will Remains a Mystery. Philosophical Perspectives 14:1-20.
    Peter van Inwagen (2008). The Consequence Argument. In Peter Van Inwagen & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Metaphysics: The Big Questions. Blackwell Pub..
    Alfred Mele (2004). Can Libertarians Make Promises? In John Hyman & Helen Steward (eds.), Agency and Action. Cambridge University Press. 217-241.
    Jason Turner (2009). The Incompatibility of Free Will and Naturalism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):565-587.
    Dana K. Nelkin (2004). Deliberative Alternatives. Philosophical Topics 32 (1/2):215-240.
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2011-06-20

    Total downloads

    65 ( #18,794 of 1,089,153 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    2 ( #42,781 of 1,089,153 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.