Free Will Denialism as a Dangerous gamble

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Denialism concerning free will and moral responsibility combines, in its minimal form, the rejection of libertarian free will and the rejection of compatibilism. I will address the more ambitiously “happy” or “optimistic” version of denialism, which also claims that we are better off without belief in free will and moral responsibility, and ought to try to radically reform our moral, social and personal lives without such beliefs. I argue that such denialism involves, for various reasons, a dangerous gamble, which it would be morally irresponsible to follow. I conclude by reflecting upon the implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-131
Number of pages13
Issue number79
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

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  • denialism
  • free will
  • illusionism
  • moral responsibility
  • punishment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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