Quantum Indeterminism, Free Will, and Self-Causation

Journal of Consciousness Studies 30 (5-6):32–56 (2023)
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Abstract

A view that emancipates free will by means of quantum indeterminism is frequently rejected based on arguments pointing out its incompatibility with what we know about quantum physics. However, if one carefully examines what classical physical causal determinism and quantum indeterminism are according to physics, it becomes clear what they really imply–and, especially, what they do not imply–for agent-causation theories. Here, we will make necessary conceptual clarifications on some aspects of physical determinism and indeterminism, review some of the major objections against libertarian conjectures, and show that there is no conceptual incompatibility preventing us from taking a ‘quantum-libertarian’ approach to the problem of free will. In particular, we will illustrate the possible role of self-causation (causa sui) as a potential solution to otherwise apparently incompatible or even paradoxical statements concerning free will and quantum indeterminism.

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