Free Will in a Quantum World?

In J. De Barros & Carlos Montemayor (eds.), Quanta and Mind: Essays on the Connection between Quantum Mechanics and the Consciousness. Synthese Library (2019)
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In this paper, I argue that Conway and Kochen’s Free Will Theorem (1,2) to the conclusion that quantum mechanics and relativity entail freedom for the particles, does not change the situation in favor of a libertarian position as they would like. In fact, the theorem more or less implicitly assumes that people are free, and thus it begs the question. Moreover, it does not prove neither that if people are free, so are particles, nor that the property people possess when they are said to be free is the same as the one particles possess when they are claimed to be free. I then analyze the Free State Theorem (2), which generalizes the Free Will Theorem without the assumption that people are free, and I show that it does not prove anything about free will, since the notion of freedom for particles is either inconsistent, or it does not concern our common understanding of freedom. In both cases, the Free Will Theorem and the Free State Theorem do not provide any enlightenment on the constraints physics can pose on free will.
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Archival date: 2019-01-23
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