- Introduction: The Contours of Contemporary Free-Will Debates (Part 2)
- Divine Knowledge and Human Freedom
- Quantum Physics, Consciousness, and Free Will
- Chaos, Indeterminism, and Free Will
- The Causal Closure of Physics and Free Will
- The Consequence Argument Revisited
- A Compatibilist Reply to the Consequence Argument
- Compatibilism Without Frankfurt: Dispositional Analyses of free Will
- Contemporary Compatibilism: Mesh Theories and Reasons-Responsive Theories
- Moral Sense and the Foundations of Responsibility
- Who's <i>Still</i> Afraid of Determinism? Rethinking Causes and Possibilities
- Frankfurt-Type Examples and SemiCompatibilism: New Work
- Frankfurt-Friendly Libertarianism
- Obligation, Reason, and Frankfurt Examples
- Agent-Causal Theories of Freedom
- Alternatives for Libertarians
- Freedom and action without causation: Noncausal theories of freedom and purposive agency
- Free Will is not a Mystery
- Rethinking Free Will: New Perspectives on an Ancient Problem
- Free-Will Skepticism and Meaning in Life
- Free Will, Fundamental Dualism, and the Centrality Of Illusion
- Effects, Determinism, Neither Compatibilism Nor Incompatibilism, Consciousness
- Revisionist Accounts of Free Will: Origins, Varieties, and Challenges
- A Promising Argument
- Rollbacks, Endorsements, and Indeterminism
- Free Will and Science
- Contributions of Neuroscience to the Free Will Debate: From random movement to intelligible action
- Free Will and the Bounds of the Self
- Intuitions about Free Will, Determinism, and Bypassing
Abstract and Keywords
This article considers another well-known argument purporting to show that a libertarian free will is incoherent and impossible. The “Rollback Argument” rests on a thought experiment in which the universe is repeatedly rolled back to the precise point where a person is faced with a libertarian choice, say to lie or not lie. If the choice is undetermined, then in some percentage of these possible universes (e.g., 42%), the agent lies, and in the others (58%), she tells the truth. The argument attempts to show that if this is the case, then on each replay the outcome that occurs will be a matter of chance, and if the occurrence of one choice rather than the other is a matter of chance on each replay, then this would be the case as well for the choice that occurred in the actual world.
Mike Almeida is professor of philosophy and chair of the department of philosophy and classics at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He works primarily in metaphysics and philosophy of religion. He is the author of The Metaphysics of Perfect Beings (2008) and many articles in philosophy of religion, ethics, and metaphysics.
Mark Bernstein is the Joyce and Edward E Brewer Chair in Applied Ethics at Purdue University, and a founding fellow of the Oxford Centre of Animal Ethics. He has written Fatalism (1992) and numerous articles on facets of the free will problem in Mind, Philosophical Studies, The Monist, and other journals. Most of his current research focuses on animal ethics. In addition to On Moral Considerability (1998), Without a Tear (2004), and several articles, he has a forthcoming book provisionally entitled Human-Animal Relations (Palgrave Macmillan) that argues for a robust moral status of animals grounded on the fact that humans and animals share a loving relationship.
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