Argument For Incompatibilism By Peter Van Inwagen

Decent Essays
In his essay, “An Argument for Incompatibilism,” Peter van Inwagen concludes that free will and determinism cannot be compatible. The type of argument that van Inwagen uses, the Consequence Argument, has become the maxime popularis way for incompatibilists to assert that, determinism, and free will, are in conflict. The Consequence Argument attempts to display that, if there is an assumption that determinism is true, and then there is a further assumption that for any action that has taken place, up to a specific point, the agent never had a choice about the action taken. Then the consequence is there can be no free action of the agent. Therefore, no free will. It is my contention that van Inwagen 's argument depends upon his definition of determinism, and its reliance on this description. Subsequently, van Inwagen 's argument delivers no useful way to deduce that free will and determinism are incompatible. Arguing against van Inwagen 's thesis, I will attempt to analyze the claims he makes, and then present my arguments against these claims. Further, I will attempt to offer potential counter-arguments against my claims and then offer a conclusion that clarifies the entirety of my argument. “The main contested question,” as van Inwagen words it, is not, as is assumed, whether or not we have free will, but rather, if it is compatible with determinism. From this position, van Inwagen continues to argue that determinism and free will are
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