On Flew’s Compatibilism and His Objections to Theistic Libertarianism

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Flew strongly defends a compatibilist thesis in the free will debate before going on to totally object to theistic libertarianism. His objections basically rely on his compatibilism embracing the notion of agent causation, which is not very common in compatibilist theses. Since he is a strong proponent of ordinary language philosophy, he also holds that linguistic analyses can certainly solve the free will problem as well as many other problems of philosophy. In doing so, he first uses the paradigm cases based on our common sense experience and then assumes the verity of principle of alternative possibilities. This study attempts to show, on the one hand, that there are some serious difficulties in both his justification of compatibilism and his objections to theistic libertarianism, and on the other hand, that he cannot easily defend both at the same time.
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Archival date: 2017-12-29
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