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Determinist= given the state of the universe, there is one physically possible view
Determinism takes away our ability to do otherwise
Determinism – Since things were thus and so ten million years ago, you have to
come to lecture today, but following determinist theory, according to NCP, if things were
thus and so … and you accept the NCP, then you have to say that I didn’t freely come to
lecture today.
compatibilist – even if determinist s true, I come to lecture freely
Peter Van Inwagen’s theory of free will

a person freely performs an action x if and only if that person has the
ability to do x and the ability not to do x.

in other words: a person is free if and only if more than one path is open
to him or her.
Libertarianism – has to reject determinist
Compatibilist – believes that determinism is compatible with free will.
Van Inwagen is
aware compatibilist will reject
(a person is free if and only if more than one path is open
to him or her. )
Van Inwagen says that you do have a choice about whether or not if things were thus and
so ten million years ago, since I do have a choice in coming to lecture today
Van Inwagen has an argument against Compatibilism. It is based on the No Choice
Principle
The No Choice Principle
Supposing that p is true and that no one has ever had any choice about whether p is true,
and supposing that if p then q is true and that no one has ever had any choice about
whether if p then q, it follows that q is true and that no one has ever had any choice about
whether q.
NC(p) = p is true and no one has ever had any choice about whether p is true
Supposing that NC(p) and NC(if p then q), it follows that NC(q).
If NC(p) is true and
if NC(if p then q) is also true
then NP(Q) is TRUE
Van Inwagen’s argument against compatibilism
1.
NC(things were “thusandso” ten million years ago)
2.
If determinism is true then NC(things were “thusandso” ten million years ago
then I came to lecture today) is true
3.
the NCP is true
4.
Thus, if determinism is true then NC(I came to lecture today)
5.
If Compatibilism is true, then 4 has to be false
6.
Thus, compatibilism is not true
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View Full DocumentIf NC(things were thus and so ten million years ago) is true and if NC(If things were thus
and so ten million years ago then I came to lecture today) is also true
then NP(I came to lecture today) is TRUE, no one has ever choice if I came to lecture
today. even I don’t have a choice that I came to lecture today
A compatibilist Response
What does it mean to have a choice about whether p is true?
Plausibly, I had a choice about whether p is true if and only if the truth of p was caused in
part by my choices.
I had a choice about whether I came to lecture today is true
The truth of I came to lecture today was caused in part by my choices
The truth of I came to lecture today was caused in part by my intentions, which were
caused by my desires and beliefs.
What’s a choice?
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 Fall '08
 LEWIS
 Philosophy

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