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Why There Are No Good Arguments for Any Interesting Version of Determinism

Mark Balaguer
Synthese
Vol. 168, No. 1 (May, 2009), pp. 1-21
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40271240
Page Count: 21
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Why There Are No Good Arguments for Any Interesting Version of Determinism
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Abstract

This paper considers the empirical evidence that we currently have for various kinds of determinism that might be relevant to the thesis that human beings possess libertarian free will. Libertarianism requires a very strong version of indeterminism, so it can be refuted not just by universal determinism, but by some much weaker theses as well. However, it is argued that at present, we have no good reason to believe even these weak deterministic views and, hence, no good reason—at least from this quarter—to doubt that we are libertarian free. In particular, the paper responds to various arguments for neural and psychological determinism, arguments based on the work of people like Honderich, Tegmark, Libet, Velmans, Wegner, and Festinger.

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