Volume 13, Issue 1, 2011
The Ontological Argument from Reason
Why Compatibilist Accounts of Reasoning Fail
The ontological argument from reason aims to show that deliberative reasoning cannot be located in a naturalistic ontology, because such reasoning requires a unified, enduring self with libertarian free will. The most popular way of avoiding this argument is to claim that some version of naturalistic compatibilism suffices for human reason, because even in a world of event causation, some creatures may be responsive to reason. In this paper, I argue that the best versions of this approach either smuggle in nonnaturalistic commitments or else cannot distinguish between compulsive rationality merely occurring in someone’s brain from reasoning an agent does.