Cognitive Flexibility Evolutionists insist that genes constrain and direct human behavior.
We should also note the Moral Luck criticism of actions that have a random component in their source. Alfred Mele would perhaps object that the alternative possibilities depend on luckand that this compromises moral responsibility. On the Cogito Model view, Mele is right with respect to moral responsibility.
But Mele is wrong that luck compromises free will.
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Free will and creativity may very well depend on fortuitous circumstances, having the new idea "coming to mind" at the right time, as Mele says. How to Think about the Problem of Free Will Van Inwagen recently produced a very clear proposal for thinking about free will.
It starts with a very concise wording of the Standard Argument against Free Will that includes the Determinism, Randomness, and Responsibility Objections. There are seemingly unanswerable arguments that if they are indeed unanswerable demonstrate that free will is incompatible with determinism.
And there are seemingly unanswerable arguments that if indeed. There are, moreover, seemingly unanswerable arguments that, if they are correct, demonstrate that the existence of moral responsibility entails the existence of free will, and, therefore, if free will does not exist, moral responsibility does not exist either.
It is, however, evident that moral responsibility does exist. It must, therefore, be that at least one of the following three things is true: The seemingly unanswerable arguments for the incompatibility of free will and determinism are in fact answerable; these arguments are fallacious The seemingly unanswerable arguments for the incompatibility of free will and indeterminism are in fact answerable; these arguments are fallacious.
Van Inwagen recognizes that the philosophical discussions of free will are clouded by the use of vague terminology. Here is a major example not entirely unconnected with my minor example. Although van Inwagen says he has presented the free-will problem "in a form in which it is possible to think about it without being constantly led astray by bad terminology and confused ideas," he himself is apparently confused by the ambiguous term incompatibilism.
Incompatibilists are of two opposing types; libertarians who take incompatibilism plus the free will thesis to mean that determinism is not true, and determinists who deny the free will thesis because determinism is true. So "libertarian free will" and "compatibilist free will" nicely distinguish between an indeterminist view of free will and the view that free will is compatible with determinism.
Van Inwagen makes his confusion clear: I find it difficult to see what sort of thing such phrases are supposed to denote. If this thing is a property, they are four names for the property is on some occasions able to do otherwise.
If this thing is a power or ability, they are four names for the power or ability to do otherwise than what one in fact does.
All compatibilists I know of believe in free will. Many incompatibilists just exactly the libertarians: This seems to be word jugglery.
Libertarians and compatibilists are using the same noun phrase, but they are denoting two different models for free will, two different ways that free will might operate.
Free will is not just the words in a set of propositions to be adjudicated true or false by analytic language philosophers. John Locke explicitly warned us of the potential confusion in such noun phrases, and carefully distinguished the freedom in "free" from the determined "will.
In Latin and all the romance languages, as well as the Germanic languages - in short, all the major philosophical languages excepting the Greek of Aristotle, before the Stoics created the problem we have today and Chrysippus invented compatibilism - the concept of free will is presented as a complex of two simple ideas - free and will.
Even some non-Indo-European languages combine two elementary concepts - vapaasta tahdosta Finnish. Polish - woli - is an exception to the rule.
Coming back to van Inwagen, he then asks what it is that libertarians, including himself, really want. For one thing, he wishes that free will could be compatible with determinism.
But reason has convinced him it is incompatible. Will van Inwagen be satisfied to learn that free will is compatible with the adequate determinism that we really have in the world?
And that the microscopic indeterminism that we have need not be the direct cause of our actions? Let us turn from what libertarians want to have to what they want to be true.
Do libertarians want libertarianism to be true? Well, libertarianism is the conjunction of the free-will thesis and incompatibilism.
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