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Being, Freedom, and MethodThemes from the Philosophy of Peter van Inwagen$
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John A. Keller

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198715702

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198715702.001.0001

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Revisiting the Mind Argument

Revisiting the Mind Argument

Chapter:
(p.118) 6 Revisiting the Mind Argument
Source:
Being, Freedom, and Method
Author(s):

Alicia Finch

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198715702.003.0007

In An Essay on Free Will, van Inwagen argued that the consequence argument is valid if and only if the Mind argument is. After McKay and Johnson (1996) demonstrated the invalidity of the consequence argument as formulated in The Essay, Finch and Warfield argued that this demonstration strengthened the libertarian’s position: while it was possible to reformulate the consequence argument so as to avoid McKay and Johnson’s objection, it was not possible to reformulate the Mind argument in a similar way. This paper argues that Finch and Warfield were wrong: there is a formulation of the Mind argument that is valid if and only if the consequence argument is. The conclusion is reached that libertarians must jettison the consequence argument, find a flaw in the premises of the Mind argument, or join van Inwagen in holding that although each of those premises seems true, at least one is false.

Keywords:   free will, incompatibilism, compatibilism, Mind argument, consequence argument

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