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# Problem of Free Will

• As follows
• Generated by the following three claims:
1. Principle of Causal Determinism
• Every event $E$ that occurs is causally determined by prior conditions, such that, given those conditions $E$ had to occur
• General to every event, including all human actions
2. Principle of Alternative Possibilities
• In order for an action to be freely chosen, one must have been able to do otherwise
3. At least some actions are freely chosen
• Not all of the above claims can be true at the same time
• Have to reject at least one
• Which of the three claims are you most willing to give up?

### Possible Responses

#### Hard determinism

• Denial of free will
• Accepts PCD and PAP but rejects free will
• Either an action is causally determined or not
• If an action is causally determined...
• You could not have done otherwise
• In order for it to have been freely chosen, you must've been able to do otherwise
• You couldn't do otherwise so the action was not freely chosen
• If an action is not causally determined...
• Then it was random (not up to you)
• For an action to be freely chosen, the decision to perform it must be up to you
• You didn't choose the action
• Whether an action is causally determined or not, no action is ever freely chosen
• Argues against agent causation
• Introspection can't give you all the details of what lead you to your choice
• We could still punish criminals even if their actions were causally determined
• Punishment will causally determine less crime is committed

#### Soft determinism (compatibilism)

• Redefine what free will is
• Our will is determined by prior events in the causal chain but it also causes and determines actions
• We can take moral responsibility for our actions
• Accepts PCD and free will but rejects PAP
• All human actions could be causally determined but some could count as free actions
• There is a confusion at the root of free will
• Free act vs unfree act
• As defined by Walter Stace
• A free act is one whose immediate causes are psychological states of the agent
• An unfree act is one whose immediate causes are states of affairs external to the agent
• As defined by David Hume
• A person is free if and only if both of the following are met:
• The person is acting in pursuit of what she desires and her actions are a result of her decisions
• There are no obstacles in the person's way which prevent her from acting as she chooses
• Refined definition
• An agent acts freely if and only if both of the following are met:
• The agent is moved to perform act $A$ by a desire to do $A$
• The agent wants this desire to be the one that moves them to act

#### Libertarianism

• Free will is when a choice can be made that is not determined or necessitated by prior events
• Accept PAP and free will but rejects PCD
• Not related to the political term
• Free agents are capable of causing their own actions in a special way
• The Descent Problem
• Indeterminism does not imply the existence of free will
• Does uncaused randomness really help?
• The determining factor of choosing an action is the agent
• Agent --> uncaused cause of the action
• Argues against soft deterministic view with the hypnotism case
• Hypnotism --> hypnotist can get you into a state to control your beliefs and desires
• If the soft deterministic view allows for internal states to be influenced by external factors, then it seems invalid
• If human actions do not have causes and are chosen consciously, what are they based on?