The Rational Human Condition 3, Deep Freedom and Real Persons: A Study in Metaphysics, Section 4.5–Three Arguments for Local Incompatibilism with Respect to Natural Mechanism.

“The Human Condition,” by Thomas Whitaker/Prison Arts Coalition

THE RATIONAL HUMAN CONDITION is a five-part, four-book series, including:

PART 1: Preface and General Introduction

PART 2: Cognition, Content, and the A Priori: A Study in the Philosophy of Mind and Knowledge

PART 3:  Deep Freedom and Real Persons: A Study in Metaphysics

PART 4: Kantian Ethics and Human Existence: A Study in Moral Philosophy

PART 5:  Kant, Agnosticism, and Anarchism: A Theological-Political Treatise

Its author is ROBERT HANNA:


THE RATIONAL HUMAN CONDITION, PART 1

PREFACE AND GENERAL INTRODUCTION

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Section 1.0  What It Is

Section 1.1  Bounded in a Nutshell

Section 1.2  Rational Anthropology vs. Analytic Metaphysics, the Standard Picture, and Scientific Naturalism

Section 1.3  Philosophy and Its History: No Deep Difference

Section 1.4  Works of Philosophy vs. Philosophical Theories: Presentational Hylomorphism and Polymorphism

Section 1.5  Analytic Philosophy, Continental Philosophy, and Rational Anthropology

Section 1.6  What is a Rational Human Animal?

Section 1.7  An Important Worry and a Preliminary Reply

Section 1.8  The Biggest Windmills


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THE RATIONAL HUMAN CONDITION, PART 2 

COGNITION, CONTENT, AND THE A PRIORI: A STUDY IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF MIND AND KNOWLEDGE

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THE RATIONAL HUMAN CONDITION, PART 3

DEEP FREEDOM AND REAL PERSONS: A STUDY IN METAPHYSICS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A Note on References

1.  Introduction: Freedom, Life, and Persons’ Lives  

1.0 Natural Libertarianism and Minded Animalism

1.1 Incompatibilistic Compatibilism

1.2 Deep Freedom and Principled Authenticity

1.3 The Central Claim of this Book, and Previews                                      

2.  Beyond Mechanism: The Dynamics of Life

2.0 Introduction

2.1 Immanent Structuralism

2.2 Natural Mechanism, Computability, and Anti-Mechanism

2.3 Kant’s Anti-Mechanism, Kantian Anti-Mechanism, Vitalism, and Emergentism

2.4 On the Representation of Life

2.5 Kantian Non-Conceptualism and the Dynamicist Model of Life

2.6 Inverted Life, Suspended Life, and Non-Local Life: How Life Does Not Strongly Supervene on the Physical, and Why

2.7 Conclusion                                                                                                                  

3.  From Biology to Agency          

3.0 Introduction

3.1 Two-Dimensional Rational Normativity

3.2 Kant’s Biological Theory of Freedom

3.3 Practical-Freedom-in-Life: Kantian Non-Intellectualism

3.4 The Rationality of the Heart: Principled Authenticity

3.5 Conclusion                                                                                                       

4.  Neither/Nor: The Negative Case for Natural Libertarianism

4.0 Introduction                                                                                                                 

4.1 The Intuitive Definition of Free Will

4.2 The Four Metaphysical Horsemen of the Apocalypse

4.3 The Three Standard Options, Natural Mechanism, and The Fourfold Knot of Free Agency

4.4 Three Arguments for Classical Incompatibilism, and In-the-Zone Compatibilism

4.5 Three Arguments for Local Incompatibilism with Respect to Natural Mechanism

4.6 Sympathy for the Devil: Compatibilism Reconsidered

4.7 Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death?

4.8 Too Hard to Live With: Strawson’s Basic Argument, Hard Determinism, and Hard Incompatibilism

4.9 Conclusion                                                                                                        

5.  Either/Or: Deep Freedom and Principled Authenticity          

5.0 Introduction

5.1 The Internal Structure of Deep Freedom

5.2 From Frankfurt Back to Kierkegaard: How to Have a Live Option, or Kierkegaardian Either/Or, Without Alternative Possibilities

5.3 Psychological Freedom, Deep Freedom, and Principled Authenticity

5.4 Conclusion                                                                                                       

6.  Minded Animalism I: What Real Persons Really Are

6.0 Introduction

6.1 From Deep Freedom to Real Persons

6.2 Real Persons

6.3 Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Real Personhood

6.4 Conclusion                                                                                                       

7.  Minded Animalism II: From Parfit to Real Personal Identity          

7.0 Introduction

7.1 Parfit’s Theory: Six Basic Claims

7.2 Against and Beyond Parfit 1: Two Reasons, and The Minded Animalist Criterion of Personal Identity

7.3 Against and Beyond Parfit 2: Four More Reasons

7.4 Conclusion      


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A NOTE ON REFERENCES

For convenience, throughout the five-part four book series, The Rational Human Condition—comprising 1. the Preface and General Introduction, 2. Cognition, Content, and the A Priori, 3. Deep Freedom and Real Persons, 4. Kantian Ethics and Human Existence, and 5. Kant, Agnosticism, and Anarchism—I refer to Kant’s works infratextually in parentheses. The citations include both an abbreviation of the English title and the corresponding volume and page numbers in the standard “Akademie” edition of Kant’s works: Kants gesammelte Schriften, edited by the Königlich Preussischen (now Deutschen) Akademie der Wissenschaften (Berlin: G. Reimer [now de Gruyter], 1902-). I generally follow the standard English translations, but have occasionally modified them where appropriate. For references to the first Critique, I follow the common practice of giving page numbers from the A (1781) and B (1787) German editions only. Here is a list of the relevant abbreviations and English translations:

BL       “The Blomberg Logic.” In Immanuel Kant: Lectures on Logic. Trans. J.M. Young. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1992. Pp. 5-246.

C         Immanuel Kant: Correspondence, 1759-99. Trans. A. Zweig. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1999.

CPJ      Critique of the Power of Judgment. Trans. P. Guyer and E. Matthews. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2000.

CPR    Critique of Pure Reason. Trans. P. Guyer and A. Wood. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1997.

CPrR   Critique of Practical Reason. Trans. M. Gregor. In Immanuel Kant: Practical Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1996. Pp. 139-271.

DiS      “Concerning the Ultimate Ground of the Differentiation of Directions in Space.” Trans. D. Walford and R. Meerbote. In Immanuel Kant: Theoretical Philosophy: 1755-1770. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1992.  Pp. 365-372.

DSS     “Dreams of a Spirit-Seer Elucidated by Dreams of Metaphysics.” Trans. D. Walford and R. Meerbote. In Immanuel Kant: Theoretical Philosophy: 1755-1770. Pp. 301-359.

EAT    “The End of All Things.” Trans. A. Wood and G. Di Giovanni. In Immanuel Kant: Religion and Rational Theology. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1996. Pp. 221-231.

GMM  Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. Trans. M. Gregor. In Immanuel Kant: Practical Philosophy. Pp. 43-108.

ID        “On the Form and Principles of the Sensible and Intelligible World (Inaugural Dissertation).” Trans. D. Walford and R. Meerbote. In Immanuel Kant: Theoretical Philosophy: 1755-1770. Pp. 373-416.

IUH     “Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Aim.” Trans. A. Wood. In Immanuel Kant: Anthropology, History, and Eduction. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2007. Pp. 107-120.

JL         “The Jäsche Logic.” Trans. J.M. Young. In Immanuel Kant: Lectures on Logic. Pp. 519-640.

LE       Immanuel Kant: Lectures on Ethics. Trans. P. Heath. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1997.

MFNS Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science. Trans. M. Friedman. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2004.

MM     Metaphysics of Morals. Trans. M. Gregor. In Immanuel Kant: Practical Philosophy. Pp. 365-603.

OP       Immanuel Kant: Opus postumum. Trans.  E. Förster and M. Rosen. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1993.

OT       “What Does It Mean to Orient Oneself in Thinking?” Trans. A. Wood. In Immanuel Kant: Religion and Rational Theology. Pp. 7-18.

Prol     Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics. Trans. G. Hatfield. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2004.

PP       “Toward Perpetual Peace.” Trans. M. Gregor. In Immanuel Kant: Practical Philosophy. Pp. 317-351.

Rel       Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason. Trans. A. Wood and G. Di Giovanni. In Immanuel Kant: Religion and Rational Theology. Pp. 57-215.

RTL     “On a Supposed Right to Lie from Philanthropy.” Trans. M. Gregor. In Immanuel Kant: Practical Philosophy. Pp. 611-615.

VL       “The Vienna Logic,” Trans. J.M. Young. In Immanuel Kant: Lectures on Logic. Pp. 251-377.

WE      “An Answer to the Question: ‘What is Enlightenment?’” Trans. M. Gregor. In Immanuel Kant: Practical Philosophy. Pp. 17-22.


THE RATIONAL HUMAN CONDITION, PART 3

DEEP FREEDOM AND REAL PERSONS: A STUDY IN METAPHYSICS

CHAPTER 4  Neither Nor: The Negative Case for Natural Libertarianism

Section 4.5  Three Arguments for Local Incompatibilism with Respect to Natural Mechanism

Now for Step 2 of the negative case for Natural Libertarianism. In general there is much to say, and in particular there is also much that has already been written by recent and contemporary philosophers, about the opposition between classical Compatibilism and classical Incompatibilism. And, to be sure, many extremely interesting and philosophically rich arguments have been offered on either side of the debate. Two things about this entire debate strike me as quite frustrating and also significantly misleading, however. The first is that it is almost always assumed that free will entails alternative possibilities, i.e., the ability to choose or do X or Y, given all the same facts about the past and the same set of general causal laws of nature. And the second is that it is almost always assumed that the central fact about free will is how it relates to shallow moral responsibility. But both of these common assumptions are false.

Free will does not entail alternative possibilities. On the contrary, free will entails only what I call my capacity for self-commitment to a live option, or the Kierkegaardian Either/Or, i.e., my ability to choose or do something X, as opposed to my not choosing or doing X, such that X would never actually happen (or: have happened) if I were not to choose (or: had I not chosen) X, even when, in context, there are no alternative possibilities in the classical sense of branching futures, and the future is temporarily not open.

Moreover, the central or core fact about free will is not how it relates to shallow moral responsibility, or even to deep moral responsibility. On the contrary, the core fact about free will is deep freedom, ultimate sourcehood, or up-to-me-ness, which in turn is a metaphysically necessary and sufficient condition of deep (non-)moral responsibility, and yields deep (non-)moral responsibility as a direct and almost trivial consequence, in the context of our inherent capacities for Kantian autonomy and principled authenticity. So in other words, the core fact about free will is free agency. I do not mean that deep and specifically moral responsibility is not deeply important. It is deeply important—for morality, and morality is of course deeply important for us.[i] And shallow moral responsibility is pretty important too, especially when the police come banging at your door.[ii] I mean only that metaphysically speaking, even deep and specifically moral responsibility is a derivative feature of free will that flows from all the primary co-essential features of free agency, including deep freedom, ultimate sourcehood, or up-to-me-ness, together with real personhood (including real personal identity), and the innate capacities for autonomy in the Kantian sense and for principled authenticity. And since shallow moral responsibility is just an epistemic fact that is parasitic on the robust metaphysical fact of deep moral responsibility, then shallow moral responsibility is, at the very least, two degrees of separation away from the core fact about free will, namely free agency.

This point is also clearly indicated by the equally robust metaphysical fact of a kind of responsibility that is also necessarily and sufficiently yielded by free agency, yet is itself non-moral: deep non-moral responsibility,[iii] e.g., the responsibility of a creative artist for her artwork. Beyond that, the non-moral deep responsibility of the creative artist also provides an analogue or structural metaphor for free agency that is inherently more illuminating than deep moral responsibility, the concept of which ties free will, per se, too closely to guidance and evaluation by moral principles. In turn, the concept of the deep non-moral responsibility of the creative artist is infinitely more illuminating than the concept of shallow moral responsibility, which, as attribution-theoretic, misleadingly deflects philosophical attention away from source-incompatibilist egocentrically-centered standpoint of the freely willing first-person agent herself, to the displaced-and-eccentric or distanced-and-allocentric epistemic viewpoints of second-persons or third-persons. Correspondingly, my favored meta-philosophical position, which others have aptly called “the primacy of the practical,” and which I have also called “the primacy of the normative,”[iv] for me means essentially the primacy of deeply free agency, not the primacy of morality or moral responsibility, whether deep or shallow.

Deeply free agency, obviously, necessarily includes deep freedom; but somewhat less obviously, the irreducible fact of deep freedom (aka ultimate sourcehood, up-to-me-ness) is jointly constituted by these three elements:

(i) spontaneous real causality

(ii) the capacity for self-commitment to a live option, or the Kierkegaardian Either/Or, which is my capacity to choose or do something X, as opposed to my not choosing or doing X, such that X would never actually happen (or: have happened) if I were not to choose (or: had I not chosen) X, even if, in context, there are no alternative possibilities in the classical sense of branching futures, and the future is temporarily not open, and

(iii) ownership, which is the fact that my choices and doings belong to me and my life, as a self-identical real person, and do not belong to some other agent or agency.

I will spell out the nitty-gritty details about spontaneous real causality, the live option of self-commitment, and ownership in chapter 5. Nevertheless, for the time being I would like to use this working definition of deep freedom in order to provide three simple arguments for something I call local incompatibilism with respect to Natural Mechanism—i.e., for the local incompatibility of deep freedom on the one hand, and Natural Mechanism on the other hand.

By the notion of “local incompatibilism with respect to Natural Mechanism,” I mean the mutual inconsistency of deep freedom (aka ultimate sourcehood, up-to-me-ness) and either inherent determinism or inherent indeterminism with respect to the existence and specific character of any of the particular events or processes constituting intentional agency, in the actual event-sequences in which intentional agency occurs. This mutual inconsistency arises as follows. On the one hand, if an agent’s particular choices or acts are in fact causally necessitated, with a closed future, by all the causal laws of nature, especially including the Conservation Laws, together with the set of settled quantity-of-matter-and/or-energy facts about the past, especially including The Big Bang, in any actual event-sequence in which intentional agency actually or putatively occurs, then she is really a deterministic natural automaton in that context, and deterministically caused by The Big Bang. Yet if, on the other hand, an agent’s particular choices and acts are still causally necessitated by all the general causal laws of nature, especially including the Conservation Laws, together with the set of settled quantity-of-matter-and/or-energy facts about the past, especially The Big Bang, in the actual context in which intentional agency occurs, but instead yield an open future, and are inherently the result of chance or random processes under general probabilistic or statistical causal laws, in any actual event-sequence in which intentional agency actually or putatively occurs, then she is really an indeterministic natural automaton in that context, and indeterministically caused by The Big Bang.

In these ways, natural determinism is the naturally-mechanistic rock that binds you hopelessly to the fixed past you can never escape, whereas natural indeterminism is the naturally-mechanistic hard place that sacrifices you hopelessly to the random future you can never control. So it’s a metaphysical Hobson’s Choice: you’re damned either way. Either way, even if some creature spatiotemporally coinciding with an actual-sequence real agent is a causal source of what might epiphenomenally seem to be real agentially-sourced choosings and doings, but in fact this creature is really a deterministic or indeterministic natural automaton, then that creature is categorically not a real agential source in that actual event-sequence, and the creature is not deeply free with respect to those particular natural events, because something or someone other than a real free agent is ultimately causing these natural events, i.e., The Big Bang is doing it.

Otherwise put, local incompatibilism with respect to Natural Mechanism is a specially restricted, actual sequence version of classical Incompatibilism. And as we saw in section 1.1, and again in section 4.4, Local Incompatibilism is also perfectly coherent with a specially restricted version of classical Compatibilism, i.e., Non-Local Compatibilism.

Local incompatibilist arguments, as a species, have their historical origins in an extremely interesting argument that was presented by Kant in the second Critique:

The concept of causality as natural necessity, as distinguished from the concept of causality as freedom, concerns only the existence of things insofar as it is determinable in time and hence as appearances, as opposed to their causality as thing in themselves. Now if one takes the determinations of the existence of things in time for determinations of things in themselves (which is the most usual way of representing them), then the necessity in the causal relation can in no way be united with freedom;  instead they are opposed to each other as contradictory. For, from the first it follows that every event, and consequently every action that takes place at a moment in time, is necessary under the condition of what was in the preceding time. Now since time past is no longer up-to-me [in meiner Gewalt: literally “in my control” or “in my power”], every action that I perform must be necessary by determining grounds that are not up to me, that is, I am never free at the point of time in which I act. Indeed, even if I assume that my whole existence is independent form any alien cause (such as God), so that the determining grounds of my causality and even of my whole existence are not outside of me, this would not in the least transform that natural necessity into freedom. For, at every point of time I still stand under the necessity of being determined to an action by that which is not up to me, and the series of events infinite a parte priori which I can only continue in accordance with a predetermined order would never begin from itself (von selbst): it would never be a continuous natural chain, and therefore my causality would never be freedom. (CPrR 5: 94-95, underlining added)

In contemporary philosophy, local incompatibilist arguments have been (at least implicitly, and not under that name) resuscitated by Pereboom and others, and nowadays go under the rubric of “Source Incompatibilism,” as I have described it above. Both Kant’s and Pereboom’s versions of Source Incompatibilism, however, overlook the possibility that Natural Determinism at some places and at some times and indeed even at a great many or even most places and times, is not only perfectly consistent with the truth of local incompatibilism, but in fact is also a necessary enabling condition of deep freedom, as it is conceived by Natural Libertarianism. This, again, is Non-Local Compatibilism.

The other problem with at least Pereboom’s version of Source Incompatibilism is that it fails to draw the crucial distinction between:

on the one hand, (i) a really possible physical duplicate of a human being like you or like me, materially occupying the same spacetime region, that is operating as a causal source as such, but which can be naturally mechanized, and thus is really a deterministic or indeterministic natural automaton, and

on the other hand, (ii) a real living, conscious, intentional, caring, rational human minded animal, i.e., you or I, who is not naturally mechanized, and is therefore neither a deterministic nor an indeterministic natural automaton, precisely because she is really and truly a far-from-equilibrium, spatiotemporally asymmetric, complex, self-organizing, organismic, finegrainedly normatively attuned thermodynamic system, and a more or less principled, more or less wholehearted, rational human minded animal or real human person, the ultimate agential source of her choices and actions.

Kant, by sharp contrast to Pereboom, seems to have come very close to recognizing this crucial distinction between a really possible counterpart naturally mechanized causal source merely made of human flesh on the one hand, and an inherently agentive living human causal source on the other, in this equally interesting text, also from the second Critique, which we have seen already, in part, twice:

[A]ll necessity of events in time according to natural law can be called the “mechanism of nature,” even though it is not to be supposed that things which are subject to it must really be material machines. Here reference is made only to the necessity of the connection of events in a temporal series as they develop according to natural law, whether the subject in which this development occurs be called automaton materiale when the machinery is impelled by matter, or, with Leibniz, automaton spirituale when it is impelled by representations. And if the freedom of our will were nothing else than the latter, i.e., psychological and comparative and not at the same time transcendental or absolute, it would in essence be no better than the freedom of a turnspit, which when once wound up also carries its motions from itself. (CPrR 5: 97, underlining added)

Whether a natural mechanism is a “material automaton” (hence a causal-nomological mechanism) or a “spiritual automaton” (hence a formal mechanism), and even if it either spatiotemporally coincides with me or coincides with me only “spiritually,” its putative sourcehood is “no better than the freedom of a turnspit,” i.e., no better than the pseudo-freedom of a fleshy deterministic or indeterministic real-world Turing machine counterpart version of me, that merely epiphenomenally dreams that it is deeply free and a real person. So Kant clearly sees that all such deflationary conceptions of free will end up by selling selling free agency and real personhood down the river, i.e., into natural-mechanistic slavery.

Even more importantly for Natural Libertarianism, the crucial difference between Kant and Pereboom here turns on Pereboom’s acceptance of a material-constitution version of non-reductive physicalism in the philosophy of mind, or what he calls “robust nonreductive materialism.”[v] The basic idea behind robust nonreductive materialism is that mental property tokens (events) naturally supervene on physical property tokens (events), and are multiply realizable across distinct physical property tokens. But in sharp contrast to Pereboom’s nonreductive materialism, the mind-body relation postulated by Natural Libertarianism is what I call joint hylomorphic constitution, which entails the property fusion of fundamental biological properties and irreducible, dynamically emergent, immanent structural fundamental mental properties like consciousness, caring, intentionality, rationality, and free will.[vi]

An equivalent way of putting the thesis of property-fusion is that conscious, caring, intentional, rational, free minds are nothing more and nothing less than physically irreducible but also non-dualistic, causally efficacious, dynamically emergent, immanent matter-and/or-energy-structures of far-from-equilibrium, spatiotemporally asymmetric, complex, self-organizing, organismic, finegrainedly normatively attuned thermodynamic processes. Then, just as the real and complex numbers constructively emerge within and between the rational and natural numbers, so too the choices and acts of essentially embodied mindedness and free agency dynamically emerge within and between bits of matter and flows of energy inside animals like us, insofar as they are in conformity with all deterministic or indeterministic general causal laws of nature, especially including the Conservation Laws, together with all the settled quantity-of-matter-and/or-energy facts about the past, especially including The Big Bang, and the Turing-computable algorithms grounded on these. Hence the simpler Conservation-constrained, Big-Bang-primed, Turing-computable structures of matter and/or energy in non-living thermodynamic systems ontologically give way in context and over time and unfold into the inherently richer dominating non-equilibrium thermodynamic structures of organismic life, consciousness, intentionality, caring, rationality, and free agency, just as the simpler structures of the rational and natural number systems ontologically give way under the mathematical pressures of the power-set operation or the Dedekind-cut method and unfold into the inherently richer mathematical structures of the real numbers. As I mentioned before, “giving way and unfolding into” is of course only an illustrative metaphor for the actualization of a pre-existing potential immanent structure, whether in dynamic emergence or in constructive mathematical emergence, yielding the hylomorphic joint constitution of the resultant novel thermodynamic system or novel number system.

Therefore the background mind-body metaphysics of Natural Libertarianism entails the non-supervenience of fundamental mental properties on fundamental physical properties, as well as the non-supervience of mental property tokens on fundamental physical property tokens, and also the failure of the multiple realizability of mental property types and tokens over distinct physical property types and tokens. What all this contemporary-metaphysics jargon means in the present setting is simply that for Natural Libertarianism, rational human animals or real human persons will be essentially different from any possible natural automaton counterparts that merely materially occupy the same spacetime regions. Correspondingly, the background contemporary Kantian immanent structuralist, neo-Aristotelian hylomorphic, non-equilibrium thermodynamic mind-body metaphysics that drives Natural Libertarianism’s local incompatibilism with respect to Natural Mechanism is radically more robust than the so-called “robust nonreductive materialist” mind-body metaphysics that drives Pereboom’s version of Source Incompatibilism. “Robust” nonreductive materialism is like “robust” decaffeinated coffee.

In any case, I will now explicitly formulate the three arguments for local incompatibilism with respect to Natural Mechanism.[vii] Given my third definition of Natural Mechanism, since it includes both Universal Natural Determinism and Universal Natural Indeterminism as weak disjuncts, it immediately follows that if local incompatibilism with respect to Natural Mechanism is true, then it also entails local incompatibilism with respect to Universal Natural Determinism, and with respect to Universal Natural Indeterminism, alike.

Argument 1: The Consequence Argument for Local Incompatibilism with Respect to Natural Mechanism

(1) Suppose that Natural Mechanism is true. If all the settled quantity-of-energy facts about the past, especially including The Big Bang, aren’t up to me, and if all the deterministic or indeterministic general causal laws of nature aren’t up to me, especially including the Conservation Laws, and if causal entailment isn’t up to me, then the existence and specific character of whatever is deterministically or indeterministically causally entailed by all the settled quantity-of-matter-and/or-energy facts about the past, together with the general causal laws of nature, are never up to me. (Premise, Suppositional Consequences of Natural Mechanism.)

(2) Now the settled quantity-of-matter-and/or-energy facts about the past aren’t up to me, and the general causal laws of nature aren’t up to me, and causal entailment isn’t up to me. (Premise, Human finitude.)

(3) So the existence and the specific character of whatever I’m apparently choosing or doing at any time, which are causally entailed by the settled quantity of matter-and/or-energy facts about the past, together with the general causal laws of nature, are never up to me. (From (1) and (2), MP.)

(4) So I’m not a free agent. (From (3), and the working definitions of deep freedom and practical agency, hence of free agency.)

(5) Therefore, if Natural Mechanism is true, then I’m not a free agent. (From (1)-(4).)

Argument 2: The Source Incompatibilist Argument for Local Incompatibilism with Respect to Natural Mechanism

(1) Suppose that Natural Mechanism is true. If the ultimate causal source of the existence and the specific character of whatever I’m apparently choosing or doing at any time is The Big Bang, together with all the other settled quantity-of-matter-and/or-energy facts about the past, under either inherently deterministic or inherently indeterministic general causal laws, especially including the Conservation Laws, then neither the existence nor the specific character of whatever I’m apparently choosing or doing at that time is up to me. (Premise, Suppositional Consequences of Natural Mechanism.)

(2) The ultimate causal source of the existence and specific character of whatever I’m apparently choosing or doing at any time is time is The Big Bang, together with all the other settled quantity-of-matter-and/or-energy facts about the past, under all the deterministic or indeterministic general causal laws. (Premise, Natural Mechanism.)

(3) So the existence and the specific character of whatever I’m apparently choosing or doing at any time aren’t up to me. (From (1) and (2), MP.)

(4) So I’m not a free agent. (From (3), and the working definitions of deep freedom and practical agency, hence of free agency.)

(5) Therefore, if Natural Mechanism is true, then I’m not a free agent. (From (1) to (4).)

Argument 3: The Deep (Non-)Moral Responsibility Argument for Local Incompatibilism with Respect to Natural Mechanism

(1) If Natural Mechanism is true, then the existence and the specific character of whatever I’m apparently choosing or doing at any time aren’t up to me. (From argument 1 above, step (3), and argument 2 above, step (3).)

(2) If the existence and the specific character of whatever I’m apparently choosing or doing at any time aren’t up to me, then I’m never deeply (non-)morally responsible for anything. (From the working definitions of deep freedom and practical agency, hence of free agency, and of deep (non-)moral responsibility.)

(3) So if Natural Mechanism is true, then I’m never deeply (non-)morally responsible for anything. (From (1) and (2), CP.)

(4) Therefore, if Natural Mechanism is true, then I’m not a free agent. (From (3), and the working definitions of deep freedom and practical agency, hence of free agency, and of deep (non-)moral responsibility.)

I conclude that classical Compatibilism, Semi-Compatibilism, and Revisionism are all false. In fact, as I will argue in chapter 7 below, there is also a fourth argument for local incompatibilism with respect to Natural Mechanism, from the working definitions of deep freedom and practical agency, hence of free agency, and also of deep (non-)moral responsibility, taken together with the concept of real personal identity according to the doctrine of what I call “Minded Animalism.” But I will wait until I have explicitly unpacked the notions of real personhood,  real personal identity, and Minded Animalism before wheeling out that fourth and final local incompatibilist argument.

NOTES

[i] See, e.g., Hanna, Kantian Ethics and Human Existence.

[ii] See, e.g., Hanna and Chapman, Kant, Agnosticism, and Anarchism, esp. part 2.

 [iii] See also Wolf, “Responsibility, Moral and Otherwise.”

 [iv] See Hanna, “Kant, Natural Piety, and the Limits of Science.”

 [v] See D. Pereboom, “Robust Nonreductive Materialism,” Journal of Philosophy 99 (2002): 499-531; and also D. Pereboom, Consciousness and the Prospects of Physicalism (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2011).

 [vi] See Hanna and Maiese, Embodied Minds in Action, esp. chs. 6-8.

 [vii] See also Steward, A Metaphysics for Freedom, chs. 1-2, where she presents similar arguments for what she calls Agency Incompatibilism.


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