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Philosophia Christi

Volume 13, Issue 1, 2011

Angus Menuge
Pages 59-74

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.

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