Consequence Argument The consequence argument (CA) is Peter Van Inwagen’s argumentative contribution (not just pure intuition) supporting the incompatibilist’s claim that free will and determinism are not compatible (i.e. it’s impossible for them both to obtain (i.e. be the case) / be true (i.e. qua theses, describe reality without conflicting, making at least one false)). The gist of the argument is this: if our actions are consequences of events that came before us (i.e. caused by events that can be traced back before we were born), then our actions are not “up to us”. [and, of course, if our actions are not “up to us”, they are not free]. Robert Kane summarizes CA this way: “If determinism is true, then our acts are the consequences of the laws of nature and events in the remote past. But it is not up to us what went on before we were born; and neither is it up to us what the laws of nature are. Therefore the consequences of these things (including our own acts) are not up to us.” (23)
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