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9. Do we have free will?

 

Suppose that you go to a restaurant, and look at the menu. Apparently, there are several different dishes that you could order, and you are in control of which dish you choose. You are free to order whichever dish you like. It’s up to you.

 

In this chapter, we try to understand what this “freedom” or “control” amounts to, and we ask whether our sense that we are free is an illusion.

 

9.1 We explain what determinism is, and suggest that determinism conflicts with the claim that we have free will.

9.2 Hard determinists believe that determinism is true, and they infer that we lack free will. In this section, we explain this point of view.

9.3 Soft determinists believe that determinism is true, but they nevertheless insist that we have free will. In this section, we explain this position.

9.4 Libertarians think that if determinism is true, we lack free will. But they also think that we have free will. They conclude that determinism is false. In this section we consider this position.