Free-Will Skepticism and Meaning in Life

Derk Pereboom

in The Oxford Handbook of Free Will

Second edition

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780195399691
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Free-Will Skepticism and Meaning in Life


This article discusses and defends a hard incompatibilist position. It first explains why it rejects both compatibilism and libertarianism as adequate solutions to the free-will problem. This rejection of compatibilism is based upon the so-called “four-case manipulation argument.”. Regarding libertarianism, the article notes that the two most prominent theories, (centered) EC libertarianism and agent-causal (AC) libertarianism, fail for different reasons. The former falls prey to the “luck objection,” whereas the latter is not plausible, the article states, given the best scientific theories. The article argues in general that the consequences of hard incompatibilism would not be as destructive as many people believe and would be compensated by benefits in the form of more humane treatment of others.

Keywords: libertarianism; compatibilism; incompatibilist position; free will; luck objection

Article.  9312 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Metaphysics

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