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Title: Vrije wil en causaal hedenisme
Author(s): GIJSBERS, Victor
Journal: Tijdschrift voor Filosofie
Volume: 84    Issue: 1   Date: 2022   
Pages: 11-39
DOI: 10.2143/TVF.84.1.3290700

Abstract :
The debate on free will is dominated by the discussion between compatibilists and incompatibilists. The central intuition of the incompatibilist is that the future must be open; on the other hand, for the compatibilist it makes no difference to free will whether or not the laws of nature are deterministic. This paper argues that we can hold the incompatiblist and compatibilist intuitions together with the doctrine of free will, on the condition that we deny the seemingly evident claim that determinism implies a closed future. In order to deny this claim, I develop a new version of presentism that I call causal presentism. The causal presentist holds that only the present exists, and that statements about the past and the future are statements about what the present causally implies. Within this framework, the open future and determinism are compatible so long as we are willing to accept that our present choices determine not just the future, but also the past. I discuss several counterarguments that can be brought against this idea, showing that they lack force. In doing so, I demonstrate that causal presentism is worthy of further development.

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