Free will, determinism, and the right levels of description

Philosophical Explorations 25 (1):1-18 (2021)
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ABSTRACT Recently, many authors have argued that claims about determinism and free will are situated on different levels of description and that determinism on one level does not rule out free will on another. This paper focuses on Christian List’s version of this basic idea. It will be argued for the negative thesis that List’s account does not rule out the most plausible version of incompatibilism about free will and determinism and, more constructively, that a level-based approach to free will has better chances to meet skeptical challenges if it is guided by reasoning at the moral level – a level that has not been seriously considered so far by proponents of this approach.

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Leonhard Menges
University of Salzburg


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