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Libet's experiment provides no evidence against strong libertarian free will because it investigates the wrong kind of action

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  • Metaphysik
  • Philosophy


While other philosophers have pointed out that Libet's experiment is compatible with compatibilist free will and also with some kinds of libertarian free will, this article argues that it is even compatible with strong libertarian free will, \ie a person's ability to initiate causal processes. It is widely believed that Libet's experiment has shown that all our actions have preceding unconscious causes. This article argues that Libet's claim that the actions he investigated are voluntary is false. They are motivated by urges, and therefore the experiment shows at most that our urges have preceding unconscious causes, which is what also strong libertarianism leads us to expect.

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