, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 1313–1330 | Cite as

On a Neglected Aspect of Agentive Experience

  • Andrew SimsEmail author


There is an argument for incompatibilism that is based on the experience of agency. Authors who endorse this argument place pro tanto evidential weight on one or more of two putative aspects of the experience of being an agent: i) the experience of being the causal source of our actions; ii) the experience of having robust alternative possibilities available to one. With some exceptions, these authors and their critics alike neglect a third significant aspect of the experience of agency: iii) the experience of the future as being modally open. This aspect is either neglected or conflated with (i) or (ii). In this paper I rehabilitate (iii) as a notable aspect in its own right, and demonstrate that it is a good candidate for having the same pro tanto evidential weight in the experiential argument for incompatibilism. Then, I go on to assess the prospects of this revised argument in the face of central compatibilist objections that are central to the literature. I find that it fares just as well, if not better, than the original argument.


Free will Agentive experience Possibility Ability Consciousness 


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut supérieur de philosophieUniversité catholique de LouvainOttignies-Louvain-la-NeuveBelgium

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