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Are We Free to Make the Laws?

Loew, Christian and Hüttemann, Andreas (2021) Are We Free to Make the Laws? [Preprint]

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Humeans about laws maintain that laws of nature are nothing over and above the complete distribution of non-modal, categorical properties in spacetime. ‘Humean compatibilists’ argue that if Humeanism about laws is true, then agents in a deterministic world can do otherwise than they are lawfully determined to do because of the distinctive nature of Humean laws. More specifically, they reject a central premise of the Consequence argument by maintaining that deterministic laws of nature are ‘up to us’. In this paper, we present a new argument for Humean compatibilism. We argue that Humeans about laws indeed have resources for defending compatibilism that non-Humeans lack (though not for the reasons typically discussed in the literature). Moreover, we show that utilizing these resources does not lead to objectionable consequences. Humeans about laws should thus embrace Humean compatibilism.

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Item Type: Preprint
Keywords: Free Will Consequence Argument Ability to do Otherwise Laws of Nature Best Systems Account Humeanism
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Depositing User: Christian Loew
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2022 00:38
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2022 00:38
Item ID: 20133
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Date: October 2021

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