Date of Award

8-7-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Eddy Nahmias

Second Advisor

Neil Van Leeuwen

Third Advisor

Ed Cox

Abstract

Christian List has recently defended what he refers to as a compatibilist-libertarian theory of free will. He attempts to satisfy the libertarian requirement for alternative possibilities without assuming the falsity of physical determinism. To do so, List relies on a multi-level modal theory that he developed with Marcus Pivato. In this theory, List and Pivato demonstrate the compatibility of physical determinism and agential indeterminism. The success of compatibilist-libertarianism essentially hinges upon whether or not List and Pivato’s theory is truly consistent with a non-hypothetical conception of possibility. In this paper, I argue that, despite his attempt to distance himself from a standard compatibilist (i.e. hypothetical) conception of possibility, List remains committed to such a hypothetical conception. I also argue that List’s theory of agential causation is implausible given his modal interpretation of agency. Therefore, I conclude that compatibilist-libertarianism is an implausible theory of free will.

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