This category needs an editor. We encourage you to help if you are qualified.
Volunteer, or read more about what this involves.
About this topic
Summary Incompatibilism is the thesis that free will is incompatible with the truth of determinism. Incompatibilists divide into libertarianians, who deny that determinism is true and hard determinists who deny that we have free will. The compatibility question is for many philosophers the heart of the free will debate: the question concerning the existence of free will arises from contemplation of the fact that if the laws of nature are deterministic, then our actions and choices were inevitable even prior to our birth.
Key works Incompatibilist intuitions seem to have deep roots: the claim that indeterminsim is necessary for freedom is already well developed in Stoic times Lucretius 2001. The mechanism of 17th century science seemed to make the threat especially powerful, though, prompting both early compatibilist responses and the development of hard determinism by D'Holbach unknown and Spinoza 1677. Recent debate has focused on a number of powerful arguments for incompatibilism, such as the consequence argument (Inwagen 1986) and the manipulation argument Pereboom 2005
Introductions Vihvelin 2008
Related categories

440 found
1 — 50 / 440
  1. Causal Decision Theory: A Counterexample.A. Ahmed - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (2):289-306.
    The essay presents a novel counterexample to Causal Decision Theory (CDT). Its interest is that it generates a case in which CDT violates the very principles that motivated it in the first place. The essay argues that the objection applies to all extant formulations of CDT and that the only way out for that theory is a modification of it that entails incompatibilism. The essay invites the reader to find this consequence of CDT a reason to reject it.
  2. More About the Paradigm-Case Argument.H. G. Alexander - 1957 - Analysis 18 (5):117 - 120.
  3. Incompatibilism and the Past.Andrew M. Bailey - 2012 - 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.
  4. The Irrelevance of the Consequence Argument.Lynne Rudder Baker - 2008 - Analysis 68 (297):13–22.
  5. The Social Manipulation of Morality: Moralizing Actors, Adiaphorizing Action.Z. Bauman - 1991 - Theory, Culture and Society 8 (1):137-151.
  6. Reply to Huemer on the Consequence Argument.Helen Beebee - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (2):235-241.
  7. Free Will and Mental Quausation.Sara Bernstein & Jessica M. Wilson - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2:310-331.
    Free will, if such there be, involves free choosing: the ability to mentally choose an outcome, where the outcome is 'free' in being, in some substantive sense, up to the agent of the choice. As such, it is clear that the questions of how to understand free will and mental causation are connected, for events of seemingly free choosing are mental events that appear to be efficacious vis-a-vis other mental events as well as physical events. Nonetheless, the free will and (...)
  8. The Myth of Source.Bernard Berofsky - 2006 - Acta Analytica 21 (4):3 - 18.
    If determinism is a threat to freedom, that threat derives solely from its alleged eradication of power. The source incompatibilist mistakenly supposes that special views about the self are required to insure that we are the ultimate source of and in control of our decisions and actions. Source incompatibilism fails whether it takes the form of Robert Kane’s event-causal libertarianism or the various agent-causal varieties defended by Derk Pereboom and Randolph Clarke. It is argued that the sort of control free (...)
  9. Van Inwagen's New Clothes.John Bigelow - 1994 - Dialogue 33 (2):297.
  10. The Uses of Argument.Otto Bird - 1959 - Philosophical Studies 9:185-189.
  11. Incompatibilism and "Bypassed" Agency.Gunnar Björnsson - 2014 - In Alfred R. Mele (ed.), Surrounding Free Will. Oxford University Press. pp. 95–112.
    Eddy Nahmias and Dylan Murray have recently argued that when people take agents to lack responsibility in deterministic scenarios, they do so because they take agents’ beliefs, desires and decisions to be bypassed, having no effect on their actions. This might seem like an improbable mistake, but the Bypass Hypothesis is bolstered by intriguing experimental data. Moreover, if the hypothesis is correct, it provides a straightforward error theory for incompatibilist intuitions. This chapter argues that the Bypass Hypothesis, although promising and (...)
  12. N.A. Blum - 2000 - Analysis 60 (3):284-286.
  13. The Core of the Consequence Argument.Alex Blum - 2003 - Dialectica 57 (4):423-429.
    We suggest that the classical version of the consequence argument contending that freedom and determinism are incompatible subtly misstates the core intuition, which is that if a true conditional and a true antecedent are jointly beyond our control, then so is the consequent. We show however that the improved version no less than the classical implies fatalism.Interestingly, the reasoning, that yields fatalism, undermines a direct argument for the soundness of the improved version. But if fatalism is sound, then trivially, so (...)
  14. Discussion of Peter Van Inwagen's "the Incompatibility of Free Will and Determinism".William Boardman - unknown
    I think that van Inwagen's argument is invalid because it equivocates on the modal auxiliaries. To give a quick idea of what I think has gone wrong, consider for comparison two arguments which are transparently invalid, though they superficially resemble Modus Tollens arguments: (a) If Lincoln was honest, he couldn't have pocketed the penny (such taking being dishonest). (b) But it is false that Lincoln could not have pocketed the penny: after all, he was not paralyzed and did not fail (...)
  15. The Inadvertent Conception and Late Birth of the Free-Will Problem.Susanne Bobzien - 1998 - Phronesis 43 (2):133-175.
    ABSTRACT: In this paper I argue that the ‘discovery’ of the problem of causal determinism and freedom of decision in Greek philosophy is the result of a combination and mix-up of Aristotelian and Stoic thought in later antiquity; more precisely, a (mis-)interpretation of Aristotle’s philosophy of deliberate choice and action in the light of Stoic theory of determinism and moral responsibility. The (con-)fusion originates with the beginnings of Aristotle scholarship, at the latest in the early 2nd century AD. It undergoes (...)
  16. Moral Responsibility Beyond Classical Compatibilist and Incompatibilist Accounts.Sofia Bonicalzi - 2013 - Prolegomena 12 (1):21-41.
    The concept of “moral responsibility” has almost always been defined in relation to a certain idea of metaphysical freedom and to a conception of the physical world. So, classically, for indeterminist thinkers, human beings are free and therefore responsible, if their choices are not defined by a previous state of the world but derive from an autonomous selection among a set of alternatives. Differently, for the majority of determinist philosophers , the only form of freedom we need has to be (...)
  17. A Thorough Investigation of Direct Manipulation.E. Bos - 1992 - Communication and Cognition-Artificial Intelligence 9:2-3.
  18. Rethinking Responsibility.K. E. Boxer - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
    K. E. Boxer explores moral responsibility, and whether it is compatible with causal determinism. She suggests that to answer this question we must focus on responsibility in the sense of liability, and that an incompatibilist view may only be preserved on an understanding of the moral desert of punishment that many find morally problematic.
  19. Kenny on Hard Determinism.M. C. Bradley - 1974 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 52 (December):202-211.
  20. The Meaning of Life Reflections on God, Immortality, and Free Will.Raymond Bradley - manuscript
    Philosophers, and other thinking people, have long pondered three grand questions about the nature of reality and our status and significance within it.
  21. Determinism, Indeterminism, and Libertarianism: An Inaugural Lecture.C. D. Broad - 2016 - Cambridge University Press.
    Originally published in 1934, this book presents the content of an inaugural lecture delivered by the British philosopher Charles Dunbar Broad, upon taking up the position of Knightbridge Professor of Moral Philosophy at Cambridge University. The text presents a discussion of the relationship between determinism, indeterminism and libertarianism. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in the writings of Broad and the history of philosophy.
  22. Bailey on Incompatibilism and the “No Past Objection”.Anthony Brueckner & Christopher T. Buford - 2011 - Logos and Episteme 2 (4):613-617.
    In ”Incompatibilism and the Past,” Andrew Bailey engages in a thorough investigation of what he calls the "No Past Objection" to arguments for incompatibilism.This is an objection that stems from the work of Joseph Keim Campbell and that has generated an Interesting literature. Bailey ends by offering his own answer to the No Past Objection by giving his own argument for incompatibilism, an argument that he claims to be immune to the objection. We have some observations to make regarding what (...)
  23. A Definitive Non-Solution of the Free-Will Problem.Alan Brunton - 1993 - Philosophical Investigations 16 (3):231-242.
  24. Der metaphysische Begriff der Willensfreiheit und das Transferprinzip des Keine-Wahl-Habens.Godehard Brüntrup - 2000 - In Dirk Greiman & Constanze Peres (eds.), Wahrheit - Sein - Struktur. Auseinandersetzungen mit Metaphysik. Georg Olms. pp. 102-120.
    Article on the problem of free will and determinism. A defense of the so-called "consequence argument" arguing that free will and determinism are incompatible.
  25. Free Acts and Chance: Why The Rollback Argument Fails.Lara Buchak - 2013 - 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 (...)
  26. Determinism, Blameworthiness, and Deprivation.Sarah Buss & Martha Klein - 1993 - Philosophical Review 102 (1):136.
  27. The Dialectical Advantage of the Direct Argument.Jeremy Byrd - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (2):431-444.
    Traditionally, incompatibilists about moral responsibility and determinism claim that we cannot be morally responsible unless we could have done otherwise and that we cannot do otherwise if we are determined. The Direct Argument for incompatibilism supposedly offers its defenders a dialectical advantage over this traditional approach insofar as it does not appear to rely on either of these controversial claims. Recently, though, David Widerker has argued against this supposition and urged that it is time to say farewell to the Direct (...)
  28. Agnosticism About Moral Responsibility.Jeremy Byrd - 2010 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (3):411-432.
    Traditionally, incompatibilism has rested on two theses. First, the familiar Principle of Alternative Possibilities says that we cannot be morally responsible for what we do unless we could have done otherwise. Accepting this principle, incompatibilists have then argued that there is no room for such alternative possibilities in a deterministic world. Recently, however, a number of philosophers have argued that incompatibilism about moral responsibility can be defended independently of these traditional theses (Ginet 2005: 604-8; McKenna 2001; Stump 1999: 322-4, 2000 (...)
  29. The Kane-Widerker Objection to Frankfurt Examples.James Cain - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (4):949-957.
    I will argue that the Kane-Widerker objection to Frankfurt examples is much weaker than is generally recognized. The Kane-Widerker objection holds that proponents of Frankfurt examples beg the question against incompatibilist accounts of free and responsible action by constructing examples that tacitly assume a compatibilist account of moral responsibility; that is, they assume that one can have non-derivative responsibility for choices that were not undetermined prior to their occurrence. The notion of an event, E, being ‘undetermined prior to its occurrence’ (...)
  30. Free Will and the Necessity of the Past.Campbell Joseph Keim - 2007 - Analysis 67 (294):105-111.
  31. Professor Smart on Free-Will, Praise and Blame; a Reply.C. A. Campbell - 1963 - Mind 72 (287):400-405.
  32. Incompatibilism and Fatalism: Reply to Loss.Joseph K. Campbell - 2010 - Analysis 70 (1):71-76.
  33. Free Will.Joseph Keim Campbell - 2011 - Polity.
    What is free will? Why is it important? Can the same act be both free and determined? Is free will necessary for moral responsibility? Does anyone have free will, and if not, how is creativity possible and how can anyone be praised or blamed for anything? These are just some of the questions considered by Joseph Keim Campbell in this lively and accessible introduction to the concept of free will. Using a range of engaging examples the book introduces the problems, (...)
  34. Farewell to Direct Source Incompatibilism.Joseph Keim Campbell - 2006 - Acta Analytica 21 (4):36 - 49.
    Traditional theorists about free will and moral responsibility endorse the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP): an agent is morally responsible for an action that she performs only if she can do or could have done otherwise. According to source theorists, PAP is false and an agent is morally responsible for her action only if she is the source of that action. Source incompatibilists accept the source theory but also endorse INC: if determinism is true, then no one is morally responsible (...)
  35. Free Will and Determinism: A Reply.John V. Canfield - 1963 - Philosophical Review 72 (October):502-504.
  36. Determinism, Free Will and the Ace Predictor.John V. Canfield - 1961 - Mind 70 (July):412-416.
  37. Incompatibilism and the Transfer of Non-Responsibility.Justin A. Capes - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (6):1477-1495.
    Arguments for the incompatibility of determinism and moral responsibility sometimes make use of various transfer of non-responsibility principles. These principles purport to specify conditions in which lack of moral responsibility is transmitted to the consequences of things for which people are not morally responsible. In this paper, after developing what I take to be the most serious objections to extant principles of this sort, I identify and defend a new transfer of non-responsibility principle that is immune to these and other (...)
  38. Causal Determinism and Human Freedom Are Incompatible: A New Argument for Incompatibilism (Vol 14, Pg 167, 2000).E. Carlson - 2005 - Philosophia 32 (1-4):443-448.
  39. On a New Argument for Incompatibilism.Erik Carlson - 2003 - Philosophia 31 (1-2):159-164.
  40. Counterexamples to Principle Beta: A Response to Crisp and Warfield.Erik Carlson - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):730-737.
    The well-known "Consequence Argument" for the incompatibility of freedom and determinism relies on a certain rule of inference; "Principle Beta". Thomas Crisp and Ted Warfield have recently argued that all hitherto suggested counterexamples to Beta can be easily circumvented by proponents of the Consequence Argument. I present a new counterexample which, I argue, is free from the flaws Crisp and Warfield detect in earlier examples.
  41. Incompatibilism and the Transfer of Power Necessity.Erik Carlson - 2000 - Noûs 34 (2):277-290.
  42. (Un)Just Deserts: The Dark Side of Moral Responsibility.Gregg Caruso - 2014 - Southwest Philosophy Review 30 (1):27-38.
    What would be the consequence of embracing skepticism about free will and/or desert-based moral responsibility? What if we came to disbelieve in moral responsibility? What would this mean for our interpersonal relationships, society, morality, meaning, and the law? What would it do to our standing as human beings? Would it cause nihilism and despair as some maintain? Or perhaps increase anti-social behavior as some recent studies have suggested (Vohs and Schooler 2008; Baumeister, Masicampo, and DeWall 2009)? Or would it rather (...)
  43. John Duns Scotus's Incompatibilist Theory of Will.Mark Anthony Case - 2001 - Dissertation, Cornell University
    In this dissertation I argue that John Duns Scotus's theory of will commits him to a radical, yet plausible and attractive, incompatibilist account of free will. I call the incompatibilism he endorses "deliberative indeterminism." What makes a view like Scotus's "radical" is the fact that he posits indeterminism at the moment of choice, after an agent has deliberated about what to do. In doing this, he categorically denies that deliberation determines an agent's choice. In denying this he also denies the (...)
  44. Taylor's Incompatibility Argument.Hugh S. Chandler - 1968 - Dialogue 7 (2):273-277.
  45. Kant on Free Will and Arbitrariness: A View From Dostoevsky's Underground.Evgenia V. Cherkasova - 2004 - Philosophy and Literature 28 (2):367-378.
    Are freedom, rationality, and morality intrinsically connected? Or perhaps freedom's very nature is transgression, going beyond rationality and ethics? These questions are the center of my discussion of free will and arbitrariness in Kant's late writings. Kant's interlocutor here is Dostoevsky's underground man, a passionate proponent of the Russian _volia--("freedom," "unfettered, arbitrary will"). The underground man questions freedom's relationship to rationality and moral law and insists that free will, arbitrariness and even tyranny are inseparable. Finally, in its attack on rational (...)
  46. Intuition, Orthodoxy, and Moral Responsibility.John Ross Churchill - 2016 - Faith and Philosophy 33 (2):179-199.
    Many Christian philosophers hold that moral responsibility is incompatible with causal determinism, a thesis known as incompatibilism. But there are good reasons for resisting this trend. To illustrate this, I first examine an innovative recent case for incompatibilism by a Christian philosopher, one that depends crucially on the claim that intuitions favor incompatibilism. I argue that the case is flawed in ways that should keep us from accepting its conclusions. I then argue for a shift in the way that this (...)
  47. Contrastive Rational Explanation of Free Choice.Randolph Clarke - 1996 - Philosophical Quarterly 46 (183):185-201.
  48. Incompatibilist (Nondeterministic) Theories of Free Will.Randolph Clarke & Justin Capes - unknown - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    To have free will is to have what it takes to act freely. When an agent acts freely—when she exercises her free will—what she does is up to her. A plurality of alternatives is open to her, and she determines which she pursues. When she does, she is an ultimate source or origin of her action. So runs a familiar conception of free will.
  49. Responsibility and Necessity.David Cockburn - 1995 - Philosophy 70 (273):409 - 427.
    It is widely assumed that there is some form of logical tension between the idea that everything that happens happens of necessity and the idea that people are sometimes responsible for what they do. If there is such a tension it ought to be possible to characterize the notions of necessity and responsibility in a way such that the incompatibility is transparent.
  50. Deliberation and Metaphysical Freedom.E. J. Coffman & Ted A. Warfield - 2005 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):25-44.
1 — 50 / 440