A Timid Response to the Consequence Argument... Plus a Little Sumpin' Sumpin'Michael McKenna (University of Arizona), Michael McKenna (University of Arizona)
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Some compatibilists do not try to show what is wrong with the Consequence Argument for the incompatibility of determinism and the ability to do otherwise. They are willing to grant the soundness of the argument, but then argue that the compatibility of free will and determinism does not turn on the ability to do otherwise. Of those compatibilists who do resist the Consequence Argument, most follow David Lewis by resisting a premise about the laws of nature. Others try to provide counterexamples to the closure principle deployed in the argument. In this paper, I offer an alternative to all three of these compatibilist strategies, one that is quite limited in its ambitions, and so in this respect is timid. Nevertheless, I will argue that a timid response to the Consequence Argument is sufficient as a compatibilist response to it.