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Volume 47 • Number 4

October 2010



Are We Free
to Obey the Laws ?

by Randolph Clarke

Let us take incompatibilism to hold that, in order for any choice or other action to be free, it must be undetermined by prior events. Suppose that this thesis is correct. And suppose, further, that it is possible for there to be a free action, or, as we might put it, for free will to be exercised; there is some possible world in which all that is required for its exercise exists.

Could everything that happens in such a world be covered by laws of nature? Plainly, not everything could be covered by deterministic laws; but laws need not be deterministic. Could free actions be covered by indeterministic laws, for example, laws according to which there are determinate probabilities, albeit less than one, that those actions will follow prior events?

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ISSN: 2152-1123