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The Southern Journal of Philosophy

Volume 47, Issue 1, Spring 2009

Mark Balaguer
Pages 1-24

The Metaphysical Irrelevance of the Compatibilism Debate (and, More Generally, of Conceptual Analysis)

It is argued here that the question of whether compatibilism is true is irrelevant to metaphysical questions about the nature of human decision-making processes—for example, the question of whether or not humans have free will—except in a very trivial and metaphysically uninteresting way. In addition, it is argued that two other questions—namely, the conceptual-analysis question of what free will is and the question that asks which kinds of freedom are required for moral responsibility—are also essentially irrelevant to metaphysical questions about the nature of human beings.

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