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Nature's Challenge to Free Will$
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Bernard Berofsky

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199640010

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199640010.001.0001

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Free Will in a Deterministic World

Free Will in a Deterministic World

(p.239) 12 Free Will in a Deterministic World
Nature's Challenge to Free Will

Bernard Berofsky

Oxford University Press

The defense of the regularity theory enables a conception of free will that incorporates counterfactual power. For the nomic impossibility of deciding otherwise does not preclude its metaphysical possibility. There are metaphysically possible worlds in which human agents violate the laws of the actual world. Moreover, through their capacity as decision makers, human agents in a deterministic world sometimes actually possess the power to violate the laws concerning their own decisions. Were one to violate the laws, the world would no longer be deterministic. This power to violate the laws of the actual world is a consequence of our nature as decision makers. Unlike the incompatibilist, who has to hope that the world has an indeterministic structure, the compatibilist believes that freedom is inherent in human agency. When added to DR-autonomy, counterfactual power becomes self-control or full free will.

Keywords:   regularity theory, counterfactual power, nomic possibility, metaphysical possibility, decision, deterministic world, DR-autonomy, self-control, free will

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