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Durham University

Department of Philosophy


Publication details for Professor Stephen Mumford

Mumford, Stephen & Anjum, Rani Lill (2014). A new argument against compatibilism. Analysis 74(1): 20-25.

Author(s) from Durham


If one’s solution to the free will problem is in terms of real causal powers of agents then one ought to be an incompatibilist. Some premises are contentious but the following new argument for incompatibilism is advanced:
1. If causal determinism is true, all events are necessitated
2. If all events are necessitated, then there are no powers
3. Free will consists in the exercise of an agent’s powers
Therefore, if causal determinism is true, there is no free will; which is to say that free will is incompatible with determinism, so compatibilism is false.