“Local determination”, even if we could find it, does not challenge free will: Commentary on Marcelo Fischborn

Philosophical Psychology 30 (1-2):185-197 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Marcelo Fischborn discusses the significance of neuroscience for debates about free will. Although he concedes that, to date, Libet-style experiments have failed to threaten “libertarian free will”, he argues that, in principle, neuroscience and psychology could do so by supporting local determinism. We argue that, in principle, Libet-style experiments cannot succeed in disproving or even establishing serious doubt about libertarian free will. First, we contend that “local determination”, as Fischborn outlines it, is not a coherent concept. Moreover, determinism is unlikely to be established by neuroscience in any form that should trouble compatibilists or libertarians—that is, anyone who thinks we might have free will. We conclude that, in principle, neuroscience will not be able undermine libertarian free will and explain why these conclusions support a coherent compatibilist notion of causal sourcehood.

Author Profiles

Eddy Nahmias
Georgia State University
Adina Roskies
Dartmouth College


Added to PP

829 (#12,584)

6 months
98 (#21,509)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?