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date: 29 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article argues, in defense of compatibilism, that objections to compatibilist accounts of free agency are based on a flawed understanding of the relationship of such notions as possibility and causation to freedom and agency. It undertakes an analysis of the relevant notions of possibility and causation to show this. The article develops a compatibilist view, with special attention to technical issues about the nature of causation and possibility. In the process, it discusses recent technical views about the nature of causality, particularly that of Judea Pearl. It also develops some interesting analogies concerning the functioning of computers to argue that the flexibility, reflexivity, and creativity that free will requires are consistent with the hypothesis that human behavior, like that of intelligent machines, is determined.

Keywords: compatibilism, free agency, causation, Judea Pearl, possibility, intelligent machines

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