On behalf of the consequence argument: time, modality, and the nature of free action

Philosophical Studies 163 (1):151-170 (2013)
The consequence argument for the incompatibility of free action and determinism has long been under attack, but two important objections have only recently emerged: Warfield’s modal fallacy objection and Campbell’s no past objection. In this paper, I explain the significance of these objections and defend the consequence argument against them. First, I present a novel formulation of the argument that withstands their force. Next, I argue for the one controversial claim on which this formulation relies: the trans-temporality thesis. This thesis implies that an agent acts freely only if there is one time at which she is able to perform an action and a distinct time at which she actually performs it. I then point out that determinism, too, is a thesis about trans-temporal relations. I conclude that it is precisely because my formulation of the consequence argument emphasizes trans-temporality that it prevails against the modal fallacy and no past objections
Keywords Free will  Free action  Consequence argument  Incompatibilism  No past objection  Accidental possibility
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9791-5
 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: 24,422
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Peter van Inwagen (2000). Free Will Remains a Mystery. Philosophical Perspectives 14:1-20.

View all 20 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Peter van Inwagen (2008). The Consequence Argument. In Peter Van Inwagen & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Metaphysics: The Big Questions. Blackwell.
Andrew M. Bailey (2012). Incompatibilism and the Past. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (2):351-376.
Alicia Finch (2013). Against Libertarianism. Philosophical Studies 166 (3):475-493.
Jason Turner (2009). The Incompatibility of Free Will and Naturalism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):565-587.
Tomis Kapitan (2002). A Master Argument for Incompatibilism? In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will. Oxford University Press. pp. 127--157.
Leigh C. Vicens (2012). Divine Determinism, Human Freedom, and the Consequence Argument. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 71 (2):145-155.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

110 ( #41,282 of 1,924,768 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

8 ( #107,577 of 1,924,768 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

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