Against compatibilism: Compulsion, free agency and moral responsibility

Sorites 15 (December):67-72 (2004)

Abstract

Free agency and moral responsibility are incompatible with causal determinism because causal determinism, properly understood, entails that originating conditions beyond the agent's control ultimately compel all human choices and actions. If causal determinism is true, then causal antecedents and laws of nature nomologically necessitate all deliberation, choice and action. If conditions beyond the agent's control ultimately compel the agent's behaviors, then the agent is not free and is not morally responsible. Compatibilists claim that externally compelled acts are not free, but fail to recognize that causally determined acts are, ultimately, externally compelled

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William Ferraiolo
San Joaquin Delta College

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