On 16 Nov 2010, at 04:51, Rex Allen wrote:

On Sun, Nov 14, 2010 at 6:04 PM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

? Are you saying that it is obvious that compatibilism is false?

Compatibilism is false.  Unless you do something sneaky like change
the meaning of the term "free will" to make it true.

Which is like changing the definition of "unicorn" to mean "a horse
with a horn glued to it's forehead".

I agree with the critics of compatilism in this passage:

"Critics of compatibilism often focus on the definition of free will:
Incompatibilists may agree that the compatibilists are showing
something to be compatible with determinism, but they think that
something ought not to be called 'free will'.

Compatibilists are sometimes accused (by Incompatibilists) of actually
being Hard Determinists who are motivated by a lack of a coherent,
consonant moral belief system.

Compatibilists are sometimes called 'soft determinists' pejoratively
(William James's term). James accused them of creating a 'quagmire of
evasion' by stealing the name of freedom to mask their underlying
determinism.  Immanuel Kant called it a 'wretched subterfuge' and
'word jugglery.'"

What is your position? And what is your definition of free-will?

Personally I am OK with the following paragraph (from 

“Free Will” is a philosophical term of art for a particular sort of capacity of rational agents to choose a course of action from among various alternatives. Which sort is the free will sort is what all the fuss is about. (And what a fuss it has been: philosophers have debated this question for over two millenia, and just about every major philosopher has had something to say about it.) Most philosophers suppose that the concept of free will is very closely connected to the concept of moral responsibility. Acting with free will, on such views, is just to satisfy the metaphysical requirement on being responsible for one's action. (Clearly, there will also be epistemic conditions on responsibility as well, such as being aware—or failing that, being culpably unaware—of relevant alternatives to one's action and of the alternatives' moral significance.) But the significance of free will is not exhausted by its connection to moral responsibility. Free will also appears to be a condition on desert for one's accomplishments (why sustained effort and creative work are praiseworthy); on the autonomy and dignity of persons; and on the value we accord to love and friendship. (See Kane 1996, 81ff. and Clarke 2003, Ch.1; but see also Pereboom 2001, Ch.7.)

I am kind of OK too with your quotes. I don't believe in any version of free-will which would ask for third person indeterminacy. And if I do believe in notions of first person and first person plural indeterminacies, I think that they have no *direct* role in the very 'existence' or 'meaningfulness' of free-will or things like personal choice and moral responsibility.



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