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Volume 23 • Number 4

October 2009



Compatibilism, Common Sense, and Prepunishment

by Matthew Talbert

Compatibilism is committed to the claim that even if we live in a deterministic universe, we may still have free will. One of the appealing things about this theory is its suggestion that moral practices that depend upon free will could remain unchanged even if determinism were shown to be true. Compatibilism tells us, in other words, that determinism is not something we need to worry about— the discovery that determinism is true would not require a radical overhaul of many commonsense views about our moral lives. Thus, with respect to our moral practices, compatibilism is a relatively conservative and optimistic thesis.

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ISSN: 2152-0542