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Free will and believing in determinism

Tartaglia, James



The article addresses the issue of free will and determinism through a discussion of Newcomb’s paradox, presented as a dialogue between the spirits of Lady Luck and Fate. I argue that commitment to determinism, which is suggested by materialist metaphysics, is in contradiction with our experience of freedom of choice. Newcomb’s paradox describes the dilemma of choosing between either one or two boxes in order to maximise the quantity of money these boxes contain, which has been determined by the machine predicting what your decision will be. The character of Heather, faced with this dilemma, symbolizes humanity grappling with the issue of free will in the face of determinism. I claim that our experience of freedom prevents us from believing that determinism is true when we properly reflect on the issue, just as Heather could not believe in determinism when she had to make the choice in the situation described in the paradox.


Tartaglia, J. (2023). Free will and believing in determinism. Laboratorium Mentis, 1(1), 61-68

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 12, 2023
Online Publication Date Dec 20, 2023
Publication Date Dec 20, 2023
Deposit Date Jan 22, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jan 29, 2024
Journal Laboratorium Mentis
Publisher Academicon Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 1
Issue 1
Pages 61-68
Keywords free will, determinism, Newcomb’s paradox, Robert Nozick
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