Article

Res Publica

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 383-396

First online:

Betting Against Compatibilism

  • Göran Duus-OtterströmAffiliated withDepartment of Political Science, University of Gothenburg Email author 

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Abstract

Some argue that libertarianism represents the riskier incompatibilist view when it comes to the free will problem. An ethically cautious incompatibilist should bet that we are not free in the sense required for moral responsibility, these theorists claim, as doing so means that we no longer run the risk of holding the morally innocent responsible. In this paper, I show that the same reasoning also advises us to bet against compatibilism. Supposing that we are unsure about whether or not the causal order of the world is compatible with the kind of freedom that is required for moral responsibility, an ethically cautious approach would once again bet that hard incompatibilism is true.

Keywords

Compatibilism Determinism Free will Incompatibilism Libertarianism Responsibility