Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Neil Van Leeuwen
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.
Peck, Zachary, "A Critique of Compatibilist-Libertarianism." Thesis, Georgia State University, 2018.