The Problem of Free Will
There are two pairs of fundamental questions in the traditional free will debate:
1a: Is free will compatible with determinism?
1b: Do we have free will?
2a: Is moral responsibility compatible with determinism?
2b: Are we ever morally responsible for what we do?
We’re going to focus primarily on 1a and 2a.
X has free will at a time, t =def. can perform some action A at t and X can also
refrain from performing at t.
(In other words: X has free will at a time just in case X has a choice about what to
do at that time.)
(In yet other words: X had free will at a time just in case X could have done
otherwise than X actually did at that time.)
The world is deterministic = def.he complete initial state of the world and the laws
of nature determine the exact state of the world at every subsequent point in time.
Free Will Incompatibilism (FWI) is the thesis that if determinism is true, then no one
can do otherwise than she in fact does.
Free Will Compatibilism (FWC) is the thesis that it is not the case that if determinism is
true, then no one can do otherwise than she in fact does.
Here is a line of reasoning that many people who uphold FWI think shows that FWI is