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Free Will in a Quantum World?

  • Valia AlloriEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 414)

Abstract

In this paper, I argue that Conway and Kochen’s Free Will Theorem (Conway and Kochen 2006, 2009) to the conclusion that quantum mechanics and relativity entail freedom for the particles, does not change the situation in favor of a libertarian position as they would like. In fact, the theorem more or less implicitly assumes that people are free, and thus it begs the question. Moreover, it does not prove neither that if people are free, so are particles, nor that the property people possess when they are said to be free is the same as the one particles possess when they are claimed to be free. I then analyze the Free State Theorem (Conway and Kochen 2009), which generalizes the Free Will Theorem without the assumption that people are free, and I show that it does not prove anything about free will, since the notion of freedom for particles is either inconsistent, or it does not concern our common understanding of freedom. In both cases, the Free Will Theorem and the Free State Theorem do not provide any enlightenment on the constraints physics can pose on free will.

Keywords

Free will theorem Strong free will theorem Free state theorem Nonlocality Compatibilist free will Libertarian free will Free will Quantum mechanics 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyNorthern Illinois UniversityDekalbUSA

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