A New Role for Rollbacks: Showing How Objective Probabilities Undermine the Ability to Act Otherwise

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Abstract
Rollback arguments focus on long sequences of actions with identical initial conditions in order to explicate the luck problem that indeterminism poses for libertarian free will theories (i.e. the problem that indeterministic actions appear arbitrary in a free-will undermining way). In this paper, I propose a rollback argument for probability incompatibilism, i.e. for the thesis that free will is incompatible with all world-states being governed by objective probabilities. Other than the most prominently discussed rollback arguments, this argument explicitly focusses on the ability to act otherwise. It argues that the negligible probability of the relative frequencies in overall rollback patterns being relevantly different indicates that even the ability to act otherwise with regard to individual actions is not free-will enabling. My proposed argument provides probability incompatibilists with a tool to argue against a classical event-causal response to the luck problem, while it can still motivate an agent-causal response to it.
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Archival date: 2021-11-19
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2021-11-19

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