Can Compatibilism be Defended? - Essay Example

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Can Compatibilism be Defended?

However, the reality may not necessarily lie in line with the compatibilist’s line of argument. Most philosophers before this point have attempted to deal with compatibilism using their own customised definitions of free will and determinism. For example, Peter van Inwagen uses his own definitions (Van Inwagen & Zimmerman, 1998) while Narverson accepts them and bends them during his subsequent reply. (Naverson, 1977) Similarly the definitions of Robert Kane, Strawson, and Campbell will differ largely with those of older philosophers such as Humes. (Kane, 1996) (Campbell, 1957) (Bok, 1998) Most of these definitions have only intensified the problem rather than solving it in any form. If the classical definitions of free will and determinism are used, the issue of compatibilism can be solved with much greater ease. I will attempt to define compatibilism using simple definitions of free will and determinism and will then proceed to exposing weaknesses in the compatibilist line of argument. The compatibilist is simply a proponent of the idea that free will and determinism are compatible ideas. This implies that both lines of argument can be conceded to without being logically inconsistent. (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2009) In order to create an association between free will and determinism, certain very “hard to digest” definitions have been provided. ...Show more


Can Compatibilism be defended? Many a philosopher has been trying to negotiate the bends and turns between determinism, free will and compatibilism. This struggle to impose certain lines of argument on compatibilism has eclipsed the actual need for argument…
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