•  491
    Presentism and Ockham's Way Out
    Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion 1 1-17. 2008.
    We lay out the fatalist’s argument, making sure to clarify which dialectical moves are available to the libertarian. We then offer a more robust presentation of Ockhamism, responding to obvious objections and teasing out the implications of the view. At this point, we discuss presentism and eternalism in more detail. We then present our argument for the claim that the libertarian cannot take Ockham’s way out of the fatalism argument unless she rejects presentism. Finally, we consider and dispens…Read more
  •  22
    Our Fate: Essays on God and Free Will, by John Martin Fischer
    Faith and Philosophy 35 (4): 497-502. 2018.
  • There is a very popular, very potent argument for the impossibility of undetermined free action---call it the naysayer's argument . The argument as I have formulated it is this: If an act is undetermined, it is impossible to account for the occurrence of that act. If it is impossible to account for the occurrence of an act, that act occurs by mere chance. If an act occurs by mere chance, that act falls under no one's control. If an act falls under no one's control, that act is not free. Thus, if…Read more
  •  209
    The consequence argument for the incompatibility of free action and determinism has long been under attack, but two important objections have only recently emerged: Warfield’s modal fallacy objection and Campbell’s no past objection. In this paper, I explain the significance of these objections and defend the consequence argument against them. First, I present a novel formulation of the argument that withstands their force. Next, I argue for the one controversial claim on which this formulation …Read more
  •  95
    Against libertarianism
    Philosophical Studies 166 (3): 475-493. 2013.
    The so-called Mind argument aims at the conclusion that agents act freely only if determinism is true. The soundness of this argument entails the falsity of libertarianism, the two-part thesis that agents act freely, and free action and determinism are incompatible. In this paper, I offer a new formulation of the Mind argument. I argue that it is true by definition that if an agent acts freely, either (i) nothing nomologically grounds an agent’s acting freely, or (ii) the consequence argument fo…Read more
  •  48
    The Empirical Stance
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 77 (2): 302-307. 2003.
  •  87
    Experimental Philosophy and the Concept of Moral Responsibility
    Modern Schoolman 88 (1/2): 146-160. 2011.
    In recent years, so-called experimental philosophers have argued that participants in the moral responsibility debate ought to adopt a new methodology. In particular, they argue, the results of experimental surveys ought to be introduced into the debate.According to the experimental philosophers, these surveys are philosophically rel- evant because they provide information about the moral responsibility judgments that ordinary people make. Moreover, they argue, an account of moral responsibility…Read more
  •  439
    The mind argument and libertarianism
    with Ted A. Warfield
    Mind 107 (427): 515-28. 1998.
    Many critics of libertarian freedom have charged that freedom is incompatible with indeterminism. We show that the strongest argument that has been provided for this claim is invalid. The invalidity of the argument in question, however, implies the invalidity of the standard Consequence argument for the incompatibility of freedom and determinism. We show how to repair the Consequence argument and argue that no similar improvement will revive the worry about the compatibility of indeterminism and…Read more
  •  26
    Experimental Philosophy and the Concept of Moral Responsibility
    Modern Schoolman 88 (1/2): 145-160. 2011.
    In recent years, so-called experimental philosophers have argued that participants in the moral responsibility debate ought to adopt a new methodology. In particular, they argue, the results of experimental surveys ought to be introduced into the debate. According to the experimental philosophers, these surveys are philosophically relevant because they provide information about the moral responsibility judgments that ordinary people make. Moreover, they argue, anaccount of moral responsibility i…Read more
  •  74
    Fatalism: Logical and Theological
    with Ted A. Warfield
    Faith and Philosophy 16 (2): 233-238. 1999.
    The logical fatalist holds that the past truth of future tense propositions is incompatible with libertarian freedom. The theological fatalist holds that the combination of God’s past beliefs with His essential omniscience is incompatible with libertarian freedom. There is an ongoing dispute over the relation between these two kinds of fatalism: some philosophers believe that the problems are equivalent while others believe that the theological problem is more difficult. We offer a diagnosis of …Read more