Talk:Libertarianism (metaphysics)

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How to properly structure article[edit]

If you don't understand WP:Original research, please read that article. (In short, Do NOT include your own personal opinions or formulations of the view points.) Also read WP:Reliable sources if you need to figure out what sources can be used as references, and what cannot, especially as far as self-published sources is concerned.
The proper way to structure it would be:

  • List the foremost individuals, historically and currently, and a short summary of their views with a couple of sources. (I deleted a couple people who did not have articles; put them back in when you find a source that their views are relevant.)
  • If there are authors who summarize, compare and contrast, the views of several of these people, and/or several minor people, then summarize what that/those authors have to say. Include page numbers if it's a book and if something is very controversial, feel free to quote in the text and/or in the footnote.
  • Give appropriate weight to each person, not putting in 6 paragraphs about some relative unknown you agree with and one paragraph on Nozick or someone of equal weight. (See WP:NPOV.)
  • If it sounds like I'm lecturing, I have found that libertarians sometimes forget the importance of contract (the nearly explicit one with wikipedia) when editing wikipedia and keep asserting that the free speech issue should triumph, sometimes leading to their being blocked. (I can think of a couple high profile examples.) The rules may not be perfect, but work to change the consensus on them if you disagree. CarolMooreDC (talk) 17:04, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Here's another guideline: dont confuse Libertarianism (politics) with Libertarianism (metaphysics). 1Z (talk) 17:07, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
An important point to clarify when discussing the various individuals who write about Libertarianism (metaphysics), since some may be politically libertarian and others may not. CarolMooreDC (talk) 18:26, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't think politics is relevant to an article on metaphysics. Metaphsyical libertarianism is not the metaphyiscs of political libertarianism. 1Z (talk) 16:37, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Actually that would be up to the sources; if sources tie the individual's politics to their metaphysics, then it's relevant. If sources say individuals explicitly do not tie their politics, article should say so. If sources don't say anything, neither should the article. CarolMooreDC (talk) 22:07, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
What is relevant is relevant, it could be any number of things other than politics. 1Z (talk) 22:31, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Who could disagree with that? :-) CarolMooreDC (talk) 14:18, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Libertarianism template and this article[edit]

You're still not getting it. I've tried hinting, but now I'll say it straight: you have fundamental misapprehension about this article. This article is a branch of metaphysics, not political libertarianism as the template you added suggests. 21:22, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

The template you deleted ({template:WPLibertarianism|WPLibertarianism}) reads: "Libertarianism (metaphysics) is within the scope of WikiProject Libertarianism, an open collaborative effort to coordinate work for and sustain comprehensive coverage of Libertarianism and related subjects in the Wikipedia. It does not say "branch" but only related, which is all that I would claim.

  • The Libertarianism article explicitly mentions Libertarianism (metaphysics) saying:
The term libertarian in a metaphysical or philosophical sense was first used by late-Enlightenment free-thinkers to refer to those who believed in free will, as opposed to determinism.[17] Libertarianism in this sense is still encountered in metaphysics in discussions of free will. The first recorded use was in 1789 by William Belsham in a discussion of free will and in opposition to "necessitarian" (or determinist) views.[18][19] Metaphysical and philosophical contrasts between philosophies of necessity and libertarianism continued in the early 19th century.[20]
Of course, I'm under the impression this discussion continues today, so it would be nice if THIS article was written to reflect that fact. A ref to look for for both articles.
  • I believe three - if not all - of the individuals linked here are known as libertarians politically.
  • It's quite logical that many of those who are libertarians in the political sense will be libertarians in the metaphysical sense and vice versa and I'm sure that lots of WP:RS can be found to reflect that fact.

Do you have any other arguments before I put it back in? Do we need a third opinion and what forum would be best to get it, in your opinion? CarolMooreDC (talk) 19:00, 18 June 2009 (UTC)


The template you deleted ({template:WPLibertarianism|WPLibertarianism}) reads: "Libertarianism (metaphysics) is within the scope of WikiProject Libertarianism, an open collaborative effort to coordinate work for and sustain comprehensive coverage of Libertarianism and related subjects in the Wikipedia. It does not say "branch" but only related, which is all that I would claim.

Anything is related to anything else in the limit. 1Z (talk) 22:44, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
  • The Libertarianism article explicitly mentions Libertarianism (metaphysics) saying:
The term libertarian in a metaphysical or philosophical sense was first used by late-Enlightenment free-thinkers to refer to those who believed in free will, as opposed to determinism.[17] Libertarianism in this sense is still encountered in metaphysics in discussions of free will. The first recorded use was in 1789 by William Belsham in a discussion of free will and in opposition to "necessitarian" (or determinist) views.[18][19] Metaphysical and philosophical contrasts between philosophies of necessity and libertarianism continued in the early 19th century.[20]
That is explaining the origins of the term. The article immediately goes on to contrast metaphysical libertarianism with politcal libertariansim. 1Z (talk) 22:44, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Of course, I'm under the impression this discussion continues today, so it would be nice if THIS article was written to reflect that fact.
The fact of the contrast between belief in free will and belief in determinsim (and belief in compatibilism) is what metpahysical libertariansim is all about, The fact that the dispute is mentioned on the page on political libertariansim still does not mean that metaphysical libertariansim and politcal libertarianism are the same, or even particuarly related, since the

dispute is only mentioned to draw a distinction betwen the political and metaphysicaluses of the term1Z (talk) 22:59, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

A ref to look for for both articles.
  • I believe three - if not all - of the individuals linked here are known as libertarians politically.
You would do better to look at the free will or read the rest of the discussion on this page, or consider why free will is not templated to fall under the scope of political libertarinism.1Z (talk) 22:44, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
  • It's quite logical that many of those who are libertarians in the political sense will be libertarians in the metaphysical sense and vice versa and I'm sure that lots of WP:RS can be found to reflect that fact.
The two usage ssimply do not have the same meaning, and that is something that is already explained here and elsewhere. The fact that "swedes" -- the vegetable -- are often found in sweden does not make swede (vegetable) and swede (human inhabitant of sweden) synonymous. 1Z (talk) 22:44, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Do you have any other arguments before I put it back in? Do we need a third opinion and what forum would be best to get it, in your opinion? CarolMooreDC (talk) 19:00, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Philosophy, free will, metaphysics, etc. 1Z (talk) 22:59, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
(ec) I agree with Peterdjones on this one. This article really is unrelated to the political position of libertarianism. Adding the template only serves to further confuse the issue, and to suggest that there is a deep relationship between the two sets of views. As I recently pointed out on the Free will talk page prior to this discussion coming to a head, concerning a similar misunderstanding by an editor who thought that the Free will page should discuss the impact of libertarian views on abortion:
In the strict metaphysical sense of free will (the sense used in this article) no one person can have any more (or less) free will than any other person. It is a property (or not) of the entire universe, and beings either have or do not have it, in the same way that gravity is a property of the universe, and the way objects respond to gravity does not change if they are dropped by someone who is rich or poor. What is at debate in this article is the degree to which anyone can or cannot be said to have free will, given the laws of physics, and what free will would mean for our conception of how the entire universe works. Your whole argument about free will in different societies is predicated on the sociopolitical sense of free will, and you still fail to see how the metaphysical sense of free will (again, the sense used here, which is, after all, why there are two articles) is independent of these political considerations. Because the same words are used for the two different meanings, the sentence "A rich white man has more free will in modern America than does a poor Hispanic woman", is either (unfortunately) obviously true (political context) or complete and utter nonsense (metaphysical context). That is, there is one meaning of freewill that is purely metaphysical, and that is the version discussed in this article. To bring things like abortion or social dynamics into this simply misses the point of the distinction. [1]
The current debate is just this same misunderstanding on another page. These metaphysical, philosophical debates are far deeper than the political debates, as they concern the very structure of the universe and are unaffected by these ephemeral political considerations. The template does not belong here. Edhubbard (talk) 23:02, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
In fact, I don't want to appear as if I am simply piling on, but this point was already made rather cogently when the suggestion to remove a large portion of the unreferenced material was first made in the section "Beefing up article, including etymology" where LizardWizard pointed out "I don't see how liberalism or marxism being listed has any influence on whether this should be listed. Those are theories of government, and this article is not. You should focus on the article Libertarianism" (see above). Edhubbard (talk) 23:13, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines discourages interruptions of other's points so I have reestablished what I wrote originally and created a reply subsection.
I'm willing at this point to just see what WP:RS referenced info is put in over time and see if that in any way affects this discussion. :-) Certainly I'm getting more motivated to look more into it myself. I'm particularly interested in the physics/indeterminacy/free will aspects which someone referred to in some unreferenced and now deleted section. So many articles, so little time... CarolMooreDC (talk) 00:20, 19 June 2009 (UTC)


  • requirements for an argument for incompatibilism (base on Stanford article)
  • basic objections to indetemiiism-based freedom
  • Ginet (ditto?)
  • Ancient libertarianism, e.g lucretius
  • Flicker of freedom objection to Frankfurt -- needs to be added
  • quantum theories

libertarianism. The theory about freedom that despite what has happened in the past, and

given the present state of affairs and ourselves just as they are, we can choose or decide differently than we do—act so as to make the future different. Libertarianism asserts the freedom of the *will or *origination, and is contrasted with *determinism. Contemporary libertarians cite quantum mechanics as evidence that determinism is false. Even if this is so, the random behaviour of atoms certainly does not by itself make for the freedom and moral responsibility asserted by libertarians. R.C.W.


1Z (talk) 10:57, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

YOur comments above are a big cryptic. More importantly, most of the names and material you have inserted will be deleted soon unless you provide proper sources WP:RS. If the source is a book not available on line, you need page numbers for each section that is sourced to a book. If it is available on line, link to the relevant page number, easily done through You can't mention people's names who you can't reference at all as writing specifically about libertarianism and free will. The onus is on you to prove your assertion. Thanks for following WP:policies. CarolMooreDC (talk) 15:15, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
CarolMooreDC, your tagging throughout the article is clearly in error. Many of the places that you tagged had cited books in the text of the sentence, in some cases immediately prior to the tag you added. Please do not assume that the absence of a superscripted little number means that there is no reference or citation. I know, it's actually more work to read the sentence, but needless tagging does none of us any good. In order to avoid this, I've copied many of the references that were in the text into superscripted little numbers so that you can see them at a glance. Edhubbard (talk) 17:51, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
By the way, WP:TBD leads to Wikipedia:WikiProject Deletion sorting/Bands and musicians - don't assume everyone knows every acronym. So moving next comments to section title that editors can comprehend. CarolMooreDC (talk) 18:49, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
almost everything in this revision was copy-and-pasted from stable articles elsewhere on wikipedia. Since they are not threatened

with deletion, there is no reason why this should be. In general, editors should try and find references if they feel references are lacking , rather than assuming bad faith. 1Z (talk) 01:51, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

BTW, none of this is even remotely WP:BLP. 1Z (talk) 01:54, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Some people do consider it an insult - even defamation - to be labeled "libertarian" anything, so it's important to provide a reference.
Wikipedia:Verifiability#Burden_of_evidence states: The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material. All quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged must be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation.[nb 1] The source cited must unambiguously support the information as it is presented in the article.[nb 2] The source should be cited clearly and precisely to enable readers to find the text that supports the article content in question. Editors should cite sources fully, providing as much publication information as possible, including page numbers when citing books. CarolMooreDC (talk) 21:37, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
you are still thinking in terms of political libertarianism. 1Z (talk) 22:10, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Peter here. Within academic philosophy, which is what these people are (please Carol, go look at their bio pages, including and especially non-wikipedia bios), it is no insult to say that they argue for (or against) libertarianism. As 1) these are not biography pages, 2) at least in some cases these people are no longer living and 3) this is not in any a defamation, I do not see how the higher standards of WP:BLP apply. WP:V and WP:RS apply throughout, and are good enough reasons to have references, but this does not seem to be a BLP issue. I think in many cases, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (commonly known as the SEP) will suffice for many of the references about more general libertarianism issues in the philosophical senses. Edhubbard (talk) 22:17, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, glad to hear it isn't a "diss" in philosophy! It has been in other articles in wikipedia, not to mention other circles where statists predominate :-) CarolMooreDC (talk) 00:18, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I think this comes back to the fundamental point. This meaning of libertarianism, which is known and cared about by a select highly-educated few (over-educated? it's pretty much only philosophy PhDs who write this stuff, and force their undergrads to read it), is quite different from the political meaning, which is known and cared about by lots of people who believe that the future of their country (or even the world) hangs in the balance (one way or the other). Although academic philosophers will get exercised about this, it's nothing like the amount of emotion political philosophies can and do generate. So, Dennett might think that Kane is wrong, and may even say something snide, but he's not about to take up arms against Kane. He'll just write another book. Note that this is a debate that has been going on for over 300 years now, and as far as I know, no one has died over it. Cheers, Edhubbard (talk) 03:21, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Just to weigh in here, I don't see a problem with very briefly clarifying the distinction between the metaphysical sense of libertarian and the political sense at the top. Homonyms are destined to confuse folks who just walked in the door, and it's not a bad thing to add a disambiguation sentence to cut inevitable confusion off at the pass. However, adding a template for libertarianism in the political sense is far and away blurring a distinction that should not be blurred. { Ben S. Nelson } 04:00, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
I was going to do that when I can find the template.1Z (talk) 08:49, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
Done for ya { Ben S. Nelson } 21:28, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

What still needs referencing[edit]

Thanks for references per above. Reading abstruse text is difficult enough without inline references. Also I bet most of those books are on so actual links to pages containing text may be possible in some cases. (For example The Oxford handbook of free will by Robert Kane). Considering this article was for a long time just people's personal opinions, anything not easily verifiable will remain suspect.
Things that still need referencing:
  • Very important: That each of these people actually do write about free will using the phrase "libertarianism" - or that they explicitly identify as libertarians, if not explicitly mentioned in the article, since that is dubious from sources: Carl Ginet, Hugh McCann, Harry Frankfurt, Alred Merle, Roderick Chisolm, Daniel Dennett,[2] Timothy O'Connor, Derek Pereboom and Galen Strawson.[3]
Actually, this is worth working on a little more above and beyond the referencing. I don't like the mere listing of names here, but these are some of the major players. The problem is that this list collapses across people on both sides of the debate. As the text correctly notes, for example, Dennett is a critic of libertarianism views of free will. But, he's certainly a major philosopher, who has written about libertarianism (at the risk of beating a dead horse, the metaphysical version at issue here; he says nothing about politics). So, it's not incorrect to list him (and lots of others) but we do need to clear up who is "big name for" and "big name against". I'll try to take a stab at improving that tomorrow. Peter? Edhubbard (talk) 03:34, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
The list is not meant ot be final or definitive, and neither is the article. Improvements are always welcome. 1Z (talk) 08:22, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. I know that Dennett is a compatibilist, and criticizes libertarianism, Kane is the biggest name for, but I don't know for sure where each person here stands. Perhaps the best thing is for us to focus on the main body for a while and then come back to the lead, once we know what the lead should summarize. Edhubbard (talk) 12:55, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
  • In individual sections, in general each person's view should first be described by a third party WP:RS to establish they talk about free will and, if possible, libertarianism as well as what WP:RS think is important that they said. If a wiki editor does so himself, it is usually considered WP:original research. However, if WP:RS does NOT mention libertarianism and the person under discussion does, it's find to use their statement.
I think something like the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) entry, which is available online, would be a good starting point to get some external sources for some of this. One other nice thing about the SEP is that the entries are integrative, and can serve as a foundation for making more synthetic statements that would be disallowed under OR. The thing to be careful about here is to make use of the SEP, but not to simply let this article become a mere rehash of what's there. Edhubbard (talk) 03:34, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Doubly agreed. The list of the names at the top came pretty straight from the SEP. 1Z (talk) 08:22, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
One thing I noticed with the SEP entry is that it introduces a lot of additional technical jargon that we haven't (I think correctly) added here. The SEP entry looks like it's written really first and foremost for academic colleagues, while I think that we want to make the wiki article more accessible to the lay reader. Edhubbard (talk) 12:55, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Nozick page numbers needed, and on each paragraph.
  • Kane is one of the leading contemporary philosophers on free will.[9] Need a third party WP:RS to say that, he can't unless he's quoting someone in his book and that person should be named.
This is a little more complicated than it might at first appear. Because (as I noted above) the community is so small, it is quite rare to find someone who actually says "X is a major player in such-and-such debate." Rather, this is understood through a number of other metrics. For example, as in Kane's case, being asked to edit a major reference book (The Oxford Handbook discussed above) and simply having other major players (like Dennett) take up and argue for or against X's ideas shows that X is a major player. As the popular press will rarely, if ever, comment on this, we won't find it there either. The two best places to look for this type of quote would be in a book review, setting the stage, or when someone is close to retiring and there is a retrospective on their work, which is normally an edited volume, or a collection of essays about their work. Edhubbard (talk) 03:34, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Or the comment could be removed. I think it is true, but it is not tha important.1Z (talk) 08:22, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree it's true, as per the fact that OUP asked him to edit the handbook (using things like this as a metric, as explained above). I did a google books search last night from home in Freedom Evolves and Dennett says a few things about Kane's ideas being the "best attempt so far" and a few things like this, but it's only "snippet view" from home, so I have no context for the rest of this. I'll check it from campus today. Edhubbard (talk) 12:55, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Frankfort also needs paragraph by paragraph refs and make it clear the examples are actually his, which not clear now.
In fact, now that you mention it, although it is clear that Peter copied this directly from the Frankfurt counterexamples page, I think that the Ms. White example has to be either new or made up (i.e., expository) for inclusion in the article, since the whole issue of the Iraq war had not come up in 1969. I don't have access to JSTOR from home, but I will check and see if there is something better from the original article for use both here and in the main counterexamples article. Edhubbard (talk) 04:09, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I found the original "creation" of the Iraq war example, based on a less fleshed out Mr. X and Y version, back in August of 2007 [2]. This probably should be changed to something more direct from the Frankfurt article in both places. Edhubbard (talk) 04:18, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
And in the original Frankfurt counterexamples article too? What is the best use of limited resources, improving eisting material, or adding new material?1Z (talk) 08:22, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
We can do some of both. I think you're right to focus on adding more content. The article needs more meat. I can focus on verifying, and this particular thing is bothering me now, so I'll work on that. Let's divide the workload a bit and get this thing to at least respectable. Edhubbard (talk) 12:55, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I couldn't find anything directly relevant first time around. He seems to have commented on incompatibilism rathter than lib., which is a separate page. 1Z (talk) 08:22, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
In the Freedom Evolves' google books search, I did see that Dennett says something about how van Inwagen joins Kane on "this point" (which I still need to be able to actually read) but differs on some others. I'll try to read it from campus today (my book is in a box, since I'm in the middle of moving, again) and see what we can come up with. For now, we have enough work without van Inwagen too. Edhubbard (talk) 12:55, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I was going by my quick review when I originally deleted a bunch of WP:OR of several individuals articles. However, looking more carefully now at Peter van Inwagen wiki article I can see it includes unsourced claim: It is largely due to his monograph An Essay on Free Will[1] that libertarianism with respect to free will is once again respectable in mainstream analytical philosophy. If this is in any way true, even if not sourced, obviously he belongs here.
More importantly, the lead does not have source that free will in metaphysics IS largely called "libertarianism." If it did that would help ally suspicious that various individuals named are not really metaphysically "libertarian." Are there other terms which various philosopher use for the concept? If so, this should be made clear in the lead and in relevant sections. I'm asking as a person who wants to know, as well as a wiki editor who wants a good article. :-) CarolMooreDC (talk) 00:21, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
Hi Carol, Free will in metaphysics is not called "libertarianism". Free will is called free will. One of many possible answers, to the key questions within the free will debate of whether 1) determinism is true, and 2) whether we can have free will, is is called "libertarianism". In particular, metaphysical libertarians argue that determinism is false, and therefore free will can and does exist. Libertarianism is a subset of a related family of views called "incompatiblism" which argue that free will is in some way incompatible with a deterministic universe. Within incompatibilists, the are those who argue that determinism is true and so, in fact, we do not have free will in any strong metaphysical sense. Conversely, compatibilists argue that determinism is true, but that we nonetheless have free will, or at the very least, all the varieties of free will "worth wanting" (Dennett, Elbow Room). This is all covered in detail on the free will page. So, we won't get a reference to say that "free will in metaphysics is called libertarianism" since that's not true. One of the positions within the free will debate is called libertarianism, and we have references for that. See the last two sentences of the lead. Edhubbard (talk) 01:44, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

<backdent> Thanks for explanation. As it happens I wrote the last two sentences of the lead - but obviously the over all explanation needs updating from that which only mentions 19th century. Some WP:RS must make a clear explanation of current definition/viewpoints like you do above that could be included. CarolMooreDC (talk) 03:07, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Hi Carol, After I wrote this, and before I even saw your reply, I realized that part of the issue here must be that the jargon in the lead needed unpacking since, in some sense, everything I wrote in reply above was there, but only if you followed every wikilink and so on. Although wikilinking is encouraged, you probably shouldn't have to follow the wikilinks to make sense of the first two or three sentences. I started to unpack and reference (with the Strawson Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry) but kept getting edit conflicted by LoveMonkey. Hopefully the new unpacked version, with references (and even direct quotes in the cites) is a bit clearer, and makes the article stand on its own a bit more. Let me know if you think we need to work on unpacking the lead a little more, but I think this is definitely better... at this point almost every sentence in the lead is referenced now. Edhubbard (talk) 03:51, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Needs archiving[edit]

All these early discussions not relevant here need archiving and will do so hearing no dissent. CarolMooreDC (talk) 00:17, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree. Let's get rid of everything prior to 2009. Even some of the 2009 stuff is probably no longer necessary, but that would give us a nice cut-off date. Cheers, Edhubbard (talk) 02:42, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

N. O. Lossky[edit]

Here is N. O. Lossky's definition of free will... [1]


Why can this not be used? LoveMonkey (talk) 23:46, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

The answer to your question may be related to the answer to my last question in "What still needs referencing" above. CarolMooreDC (talk) 00:22, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Rutledge articles does not support statement[edit]

Since this article name metaphysical libertarianism or Libertarianism (metaphysics) can not be properly sourced. The lead- "Libertarianism is one of the main philosophical positions in the study of metaphysics as it relates to the problems of free will and determinism.[1]" -is misleading. Rutledge among others states that libertarianism is the incompatiblist position that believes in free will. Rutledge article does not call it in any part metaphysical libertarianism or Libertarianism (metaphysics) EVER, term appears to be a construct unique to wiki here. Causing wiki article to be unique and different then say SEP. That is why SEP and Rutledge have no article called metaphysical libertarianism. Anyone can go back to the free will article and look at the history of this article and see edhubbard and gang edit warring people and when someone contests they get bounced between various articles here on wiki until they out of frustration just gave up. You can't edit an edhubbard and group article, only ed and crew edit those. LoveMonkey (talk) 04:23, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Hmmm. I read both sections of Rutledge and I think the lead could be improved upon with more details, though it might take me a couple days of study to do it right. Want to try? CarolMooreDC (talk) 03:16, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Hi All, I'm just grabbing some quick internet time away from moving to a new apartment this weekend. Little did I know how bad of timing that would be! There's a lot happening here, but I only have a little time to address this for now.... More later.
First, Carol, I certainly think that more details could improve the lead, but the edits I've made were intended to make the jargon that was there before clearer to the non-specialist reader... instead, they've launched an all out battle over whether the page should even exist, or be renamed.
Anyway, first, let's discuss the REP entry:
There is, indeed, no one place in the REP article, where it says "libertarianism metaphysics" or "libertarianism (metaphysics)". Rather, the entire problem of free will is part of the study of metaphysics, and, as libertarianism is one of the positions on the free will problem, it, in turn in, is part of metaphysics. Note that section 5 of the REP that I have been citing is titled "Metaphysics and moral psychology" [3]. See also, the SEP entry where they say, "Acting with free will, on such views, is just to satisfy the metaphysical requirement on being responsible for one's action." and "A more moderate grouping within the self-determination approach to free will allows that beliefs, desires, and external factors all can causally influence the act of free choice itself. But theorists within this camp differ sharply on the metaphysical nature of those choices and of the causal role of reasons. We may distinguish three varieties. I will discuss them only briefly, as they are explored at length in incompatibilist (nondeterministic) theories of free will." Note that "incompatibilist (nondeterministic) theories of free will" is another term for libertarianism as it relates to free will. The REP prefers "libertarianism" (see This might be an option that would satisfy LoveMonkey about the title of the article, but I'll take that up again later. Finally, the SEP article cites Kane (who we have noted and ref'd as having discussed libertarianism) as saying "Yet it is plausible (Kane 1996) that the core metaphysical feature of freedom is being the ultimate source, or originator, of one's choices, and that being able to do otherwise is closely connected to this feature."
But, you might complain that this all requires way too much reading and therefore, is perhaps suspect. So, how about a sampling of some sampling of some peer-reviewed articles that refer to metaphysics and libertarianism, and who have been classified by Mind papers" as referring to "libertarianism about free will" (making the link between libertarianism and free will pretty explicit) [4]:
  • Graham, Peter J. (2004). Metaphysical libertarianism and the epistemology of testimony. American Philosophical Quarterly 41 (1):37-50.
NOTE: Especially, that the title of this article is exactly the phrase that LoveMonkey is looking for. Perhaps we should cite this, but I haven't had a chance to read it carefully yet.
  • van Inwagen, Peter (1998). The mystery of metaphysical freedom. In Van Inwagen, P.; Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions.
and others that make the link more explicit in the abstract:
  • "Coffman, E. J. & Warfield, Ted A. (2007). Alfred Mele's metaphysical freedom? Philosophical Explorations 10 (2):185 – 194. Abstract: In this paper we raise three questions of clarification about Alfred Mele's fine recent book, Free Will and Luck. Our questions concern the following topics: (i) Mele's combination of 'luck' and 'Frankfurt-style' objections to libertarianism, (ii) Mele's stipulations about 'compatibilism' and the relation between questions about free action and questions about moral responsibility, and (iii) Mele's treatment of the Consequence Argument"
  • Dorato, Mauro (2002). Determinism, chance, and freedom. In Between Chance and Choice: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Determinism. Thorverton UK: Imprint Academic. Abstract: After a brief but necessary characterization of the notion of determinism, I discuss and critically evaluate four views on the relationship between determinism and free will by taking into account both (i) what matters most to us in terms of a free will worth-wanting and (ii) which capacities can be legitimately attributed to human beings without contradicting what we currently know from natural sciences. The main point of the paper is to argue that the libertarian faces a dilemma: on the one hand, the possibility of doing otherwise a necessary condition of a free will according to the libertarian requires indeterminism or chance, but any kind of indeterminism has the undesirable consequence of separating our actions from our character and our past. On the other hand, if our character has to be fully expressed by our actions, determinism becomes necessary and we seem to be metaphysically unfree. I conclude by showing that the dispute between compatibilists and libertarians possesses an important but hitherto very neglected pragmatic component as well, dependent on two different ethical attitudes toward a meaningful life." (bold added)
Or, this book tiled by Fischer, J.M. (1995) "The Metaphysics of Free Will: An Essay on Control": Aristotelian Society Monographs, which shows, as I have noted above, the problem of free will is a part of metaphysics, and as libertarianism is position on the free will problem, it also falls within metaphysics (it's basic logic: If A -> B and B -> C then A -> C, assuming the middle B is "univocal").
Similarly, there are professors at major universities that call their courses "The Metaphysics of Free Will" [5] and internet directories where the hierarchy that I have been talking about here is quite explicit, as they indicate the following structure: "Home → Humanities → Philosophy → Metaphysics → Free Will and Determinism" [6] (whether any of the papers there are any good or not is something I don't have time to check).
In any case, the point is that this is, in fact, so amply documented, referenced and known that it almost becomes part of the assumptions of those working in the field, and very few people say it in exactly the explicit form that LoveMonkey would like to see. But, as I think the references I have found amply document, it is true that 1) Free will is discussed within metaphysics 2) Libertarianism is a position on the free will debate and 3) as such, libertarianism (metaphysics) as we have done here, is perfectly reasonable. This is further supported by the list of articles that Ben added below, as many of them include something about libertarianism and free will right in the title. A brief note on my reaction to the idea of merging and deleting the page: As Carol noted in her additions, the use of "libertarianism" in relation to free will predates its use in relation to political philosophies, and for the most part the two philosophical traditions seem to be quite independent, being written about by different authors, having different concerns, and so on. Indeed, there is, to my knowledge, no evidence that Joseph Déjacque was even aware of the prior usage of "libertarianism" (and of course, as a French writer, his original usage must have been libertarianisme[7] so we've also got a concern about possible false cognates here, and so on. Given both the independent traditions, and the lack of any positive evidence that the political viewpoint is systematically related to the metaphysical one (which, I hope is suitably supported by all this above), I would be strongly against any merge proposal. Edhubbard (talk) 00:36, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
One more: A search within google books finds 8 hits for "libertarian metaphysics" in the Oxford Handbook of Free Will edited by Robert Kane (as cited previously) [8]. Perhaps this would be enough to show that 1) people actually do say this, in books that are published by known publishers (Oxford University Press) and are therefore WP:RS and 2) that one of the two meanings of libertarian (and libertarianism) really does relate to metaphysics, and not politics. Edhubbard (talk) 01:10, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy-SEP[edit]

Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy does not have a Libertarianism (metaphysics) article.[9],[10] It does not have an article to validate the colloquialism Libertarianism (metaphysics). SEP as does Rutledge holds that libertarianism is the position that people have free will and that free will is incompatible with determinism. You can search both sources and you will not find the term Libertarianism (metaphysics). Nor an article on it. Why because SEP and Rutledge don't have editors making up colloquialism in order to censure or edit war opinions from articles that they and their buddies own and edit war and silence people from editing from. Were as wikipedia has this very thing as this article (which should rather be part of the free will article) is a manifestation of. LoveMonkey (talk) 04:35, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

This entire exercise is nothing but a charade. As this online encyclopedia [11] states what here is called the made up term that no one can really find in a reliable source in libraries or online-"Libertarianism (metaphysics)" -is really and properly supposed to be called traditional libertarianism.[12]. WP:OR states that wiki is not the place to publish a new term or new take on tings. Wikipedia is not a place to make innovations it is an encyclopedia not a philosophy journal.LoveMonkey (talk) 04:51, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
Your comments are hard to follow. Are you saying this article should be called libertarianism and the other one Libertarianism (politics)? In nay case that is a dispute about the naming of the article, not its accuracy. 1Z (talk) 08:39, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
I am saying that there should be only one just like on the Stanford, Rutledge philosophical encylopedia websites- one article (which is quite long in both resources).

But these resources do not make two separate articles and then by proxy make it so all of the sudden philosophers who are against determinism and support free will can not be called libertarians. Like Carol is pointing out above. Why, because no one in the academic world would ever and have ever called the bulk of libertarians, the name of this article. If someone supports free will against determinism they are called libertarians not metaphysical libertarians, they are called libertarians. Stanford and Rutledge has no article name or mentioning any such Libertarianism (metaphysics). LoveMonkey (talk) 17:30, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

This article should either be renamed or deleted only if its contents be added to their rightful home libertarianism article[edit]

That is what needs to be done to "fix" this.LoveMonkey (talk) 05:02, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

The current libertarianism article deal with a political philosophy. What is you point? That the political content should be moved, or that there is in fact no difference between political libertariansim and metaphysical libertarianism? 1Z (talk) 08:42, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
No acceptable resource supports or uses the distinction metaphysical libertarianism and political libertarianism. I can only find it here on wiki.LoveMonkey (talk) 15:53, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
I think there could be a section in libertarianism article about self-styled political libertarians who also take a sophisticated metaphysical libertarianism position. However, it is obviously non-political libertarians also use the word and you never know where that may lead them :-) CarolMooreDC (talk) 03:18, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

LM, here are 17. They are from the citations of the SEP article on theories of incompatibilism. Look at any of them and the safe bet is that their sense is metaphysical libertarianism. I would verify a handful myself but do not have the access required this summer.

  • Almeida, M. and M. Bernstein. 2003. "Lucky Libertarianism." Philosophical Studies, 113: 93–119.
  • Balaguer, Mark. 1999. "Libertarianism as a Scientifically Reputable View." Philosophical Studies, 93: 189–211.
  • Balaguer, Mark. 2004. "A Coherent, Naturalistic, and Plausible Formulation of Libertarian Free Will." Noûs, 38: 379–406.
  • Clarke, Randolph. 2002. "Libertarian Views: Critical Survey of Noncausal and Event-Causal Accounts of Free Agency." In The Oxford Handbook of Free Will, ed. Robert Kane, 356–85. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Clarke, Randolph. 2003b. Libertarian Accounts of Free Will. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Dennett, Daniel C. 1978. "On Giving Libertarians What They Say They Want." In Brainstorms: Philosophical Essays on Mind and Psychology, 286–99. Montgomery, Vt.: Bradford Books.
  • Fischer, John Martin. 1995. "Libertarianism and Avoidability: A Reply to Widerker." Faith and Philosophy, 12: 119–25.
  • Goetz, Stewart. 1997. "Libertarian Choice." Faith and Philosophy, 14: 195–211.
  • Goetz, Stewart. 2000. "Naturalism and Libertarian Agency." In Naturalism: A Critical Analysis, ed. William Lane Craig and J. P. Moreland, 156–86. London: Routledge.
  • Haji, Ishtiyaque. 2000b. "Libertarianism and the Luck Objection." Journal of Ethics, 4: 329–37.
  • Haji, Ishtiyaque. 2001. "Control Conundrums: Modest Libertarianism, Responsibility, and Explanation." Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 82: 178–200.
  • Kane, Robert. 2004. "Agency, Responsibility, and Indeterminism: Reflections on Libertarian Theories of Free Will." In Freedom and Determinism, eds. Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke, and David Shier, 70–88. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
  • Kane, Robert. 2007a. "Libertarianism." In Four Views on Free Will, by John Martin Fischer, Robert Kane, Derk Pereboom, and Manuel Vargas, 5–43. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Mele, Alfred R. 1996. "Soft Libertarianism and Frankfurt-Style Scenarios." Philosophical Topics, 24(2): 123–41.
  • Mele, Alfred R. 2005. "Libertarianism, Luck, and Control." Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 86: 381–407.
  • O'Connor, Timothy. 2002. "Libertarian Views: Dualist and Agent-Causal Theories." In The Oxford Handbook of Free Will, ed. Robert Kane, 337–55. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Wiggins, David. 1973. "Towards a Reasonable Libertarianism." In Essays on Freedom of Action, ed. Ted Honderich, 33–61. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

{ Ben S. Nelson } 03:24, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Impressive list! How abot putting some with links in external links? Lots of sources there, eh?? CarolMooreDC (talk)
I'd like to myself, but I can't access them at the moment, and I hesitate to add anything without first giving the article itself a good once-over. { Ben S. Nelson } 15:54, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Then why do none of the sources you list make or use the term Metaphysicial libertarianism or have an article called Libertarianism (metaphysical)? What kind of a justification is "their sense is metaphysical libertarianism"? That is meaningless. These institutions do not make the distinction you imply. AT ALL they have no article by this name, why? WHY? Libertarians are those who oppose determinism from the position of free will. It is a innovation to wikipedia to insist that there be two articles and that philosophers of free will not now be libertarians. None of the links you gave justify such a thing in that they call any libertarian a metaphysicial libetarian. You have made a bigger problem with your innovation. You now make it so tradition libertarian can no longer be called libertarians. SINCE NO ONE WILL EXPLICITLY SAY that Thoreau was a metaphysical libertarian. Why metaphysical and not say Libertarian (philosophy)? LoveMonkey (talk) 16:58, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

That political libertarianism is a separate subject is easily established, consider the folowgn tow entries from the oxford companion to philosophy.

  • libertarianism. The theory about freedom that despite what has happened in the past, and given the present state of affairs and ourselves just as they are, we can choose or decide differently than we do—act so as to make the future different. Libertarianism asserts the freedom of the *will or *origination, and is contrasted with *determinism. Contemporary libertarians cite quantum mechanics as evidence that determinism is false. Even if this is so, the random behaviour of atoms certainly does not by itself make for the freedom and moral responsibility asserted by libertarians.

R.C.W. Freedom and determinism; determinism, scientific. C. A. Campbell, 'Is Freewill" a Pseudo-Problem?', Mind (1951) J. C. Eccles and K. R Popper, The Self and its Brain (Berlin, 1977).

  • libertarianism, political. A theory grounded in the right of free choice.

Libertarianism comes in at least two varieties, both with roots in the writings of John Locke. One variety starts from the stipulation of particular *rights, often by direct intuition. The other grounds individual rights in causal assumptions about what leads to *freedom and productivity. Some libertarians mix these elements, arguing from intuition but hedging their discussions with references to the effects of a system of rights. Two issues, one conceptual and one practical, drive much of the discussion of libertarianism. Conceptually, there is a conflict between individual interest and its collective provision—it is odd that libertarian rights may work against our interests. Practically, it seems virtually impossible that a state could arise

and survive by strictly libertarian principles in a competitive world. R.C.W. Robert

If it is so easy then why doesn't Stanford and Rutledge have two articles one call libertarians political and one called libeterianism metaphysics? Why? because you know better then them..Whomever you are.LoveMonkey (talk) 20:16, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

My name is Ben. If curious see tag ---> { Ben S. Nelson } 23:37, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Why no sig at the end of your above comment?LoveMonkey (talk) 02:36, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Another source that gives that a very clear reason for not deleting this article, or merging it, or anything else, is provided by in the book, Four Views on Free Will‎, co-written as a debate by John Martin Fischer, Robert Kane, Derk Pereboom and Manuel Vargas. In a section titled "A Brief Introduction to Some Terms and Concepts" they say:

In the philosophical literature, libertarianism is the view that we have free will and that free will is incompatible with determinism. "Libertarianism" as it is used in the context of free will is distinct from libertarianism in political philosophy. (Indeed, "libertarianism" in the free will sense is the original meaning - it was only later appropriated as the label for a view in political philosophy.) One might be a libertarian in both political and free will senses, but you can be a libertarian about free will without being a libertarian in political philosophy. And, perhaps, you could also be a political libertarian without being a free will libertarian (although many political libertarians seem to also be free will libertarians). (page 3)

The problem of induction and Hume[edit]

It is against philosophy to insist that those who oppose determinism based on metaphysics are exclusively libertarians. As Hume could find no valid connection between people and objects this issue of induction makes it so that if all things reduce to a single substance or substances (metaphysics) then why can we not find a empirical connection? Natural libertarians (whatever that is) do not need a beyond physics substance theory to lay out their dialectical arguments for free will. Why are people misusing philosophical terms and then inventing other terms that acedemic do not use? Libertarians are those who oppose determinism from a position of free will. Compatiblist say that determinism and free will co-exist and are compatible with one another. Why does an USA political party's existence get to rewrite almost 2000 years of history (see Chuang Tzu)?LoveMonkey (talk) 17:08, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

It is against philosophy to insist that those who oppose determinism based on metaphysics are exclusively libertarians.
I don't think the article actually says that, so this is a non-issue. 1Z (talk) 10:50, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Then why is the article called libertarianism metaphysical instead of compatiblist metaphysics? Or Libertarianism? Or Epistemological libertarianism? Or Analytical liberrtarianism? Why? Because this is something that couple of non academics here at Wikipedia came up with to separate libertarianism into some unworkable and inappropriate categories.LoveMonkey (talk) 20:18, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

it isn't called compatibilist metaphysics because libertarianism is a form of incompatibilism, so that would be a misnomer. Your other suggestions are in-apt as well. When something is added the title of an article to disambiguate it, editors have to make a judgement about what is appropriate. Such diambiguations do no have to reflect any existing name. 1Z (talk) 09:03, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
the division of libertarianism into two categories is supported by WP:RS as I have shown. 1Z (talk) 09:03, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

OK typo on me why then not incompatiblist metaphysics?? This article should be libertarian philosophy at best since specifying only metaphysics or ontology and not other subs of philosophy is incorrect. And does not cover every libertarian bent that your putting in the article.LoveMonkey (talk) 15:27, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

The bit in parentheses is just there to prevent name-clashes with other articles. it is not meant to be an exhaustively accurate specification. 1Z (talk) 15:32, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Aristotle all over again[edit]

People have sensory perspectives. It is kind of confusing to call this perspective minds since that now holds a mechanical type of meaning. So lets call that perspective cognition or nous (which is kinda wrong too). So people have this thing in them (nous) that collects sensory perceptions and unify them into a singular thing called experience. The activities or energy of cognition or consciousness Aristotle called noesis. When one thinks or behaves from a noetic perspective they are being intuitive. The activities (energeia) of cognition (nous) called noesis are metaphysical only in the sense that they are no empirically detectable (or at least where not at the time of Aristotle). What is emperical is what is caused or created and as such is what falls into the realm of scientific study. One does not need to validate free will against determinism from an internal perspective.[13] Or from insisting that persons are body and spirit as a duality. One can be a libertarian and not embrace metaphysics as there are plenty of persons who are atheist and still believe in free will as Philip Pullman can validate. As such people who are libertarians (again those who believe in free will as opposed to determinism) do not need to have anything to do with power (politics) or if they have dialetical arguments to support their position (aka philosophers) they do not have to use metaphysics. So attempting to call tradition libertarianism or philosophical libertarianism --libertarianism (metaphysics) is not proper in an academic sense. Nor is it validated by published data from acceptable resources who do not make separate article for some unhear of metaphysical destinction and a philosophical one and a supposed political one. Standford calls libertarianism simply libertarianism. LoveMonkey (talk) 17:24, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

There are indeed naturalistic libertarians, and ther article says so. The article is using metaphysics in its correct sense as a branch of philosophy, not in the loose and popular sense of "spookily non-physical". Since the metaphysics article explains the correct sense, there is no need for action. 1Z (talk) 10:52, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
1Z wrote "There are indeed naturalistic libertarians, and ther article says so."
Ther article? Or this article? There is no naturalistic libertarians article here on wiki, is it under a different name? Aristotle again. So why no epistemological libertarian, why no analytical libertarianism? Why no logic libertarian? Why? because no academics would make such a seaparation and support making all of these division but would rather have them all covered under simply libertariainism.LoveMonkey (talk) 20:55, 3 August 2009 (UTC)


I didn't change it, for fear of it being changed back, but I noticed that the article is inconsistent. In the intro, it claims that Daniel Dennett and Galen Strawson have defended some form libertarianism. Later in the article, this doesn't appear to be so--see the section on Criticisms of Robert Kane. In fact, Dennett is a compatibilist and Strawson is a hard determinist. I apologize for not just changing it myself, but I didn't want it to just be switched back. (talk) 03:36, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

The lede only says they 'discussed' it. 1Z (talk) 08:00, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Sorry but whomever is, their contributions at least to me are dead on accurate and also valid. This is yet another crazy circular dog chasing tail answer to a very valid point. However I think that 1Z hopefully will not get frustrated with this and instead keep trying to improve the article. Since it is staying the article should be its best. So I hope 1Z forgives my criticism. LoveMonkey (talk) 15:34, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

It says "discussed and defended by." So I think my point still stands. Besides, if the lede is only proposing to mention some people who have discussed libertarianism, that seems silly, because everyone writing on the free will problem has "discussed" it. So in that case, its just a random sampling of metaphysicians. (talk) 02:04, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

That is far from the case. It is perfectly possible to defend compatibiism without explicitly mentioning lib., for instance 1Z (talk) 08:57, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes exactly. So maybe like Carol stated that it now should only contain libertarians not compatiblists or determinists.LoveMonkey (talk) 05:03, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Article unbalanced, needs better overview, structure[edit]

I really don't know who the leading philosophers are or why three get lots of space and the rest are ignored.And the article doesn't really explain it.

  • Kane is one of the leading contemporary philosophers on free will. - reference? Kane.
  • Harry Frankfurt - who says where he fits in, he's important in overall scheme?

We need and intro that gives historical perspective on these people and relation to each other. So something to work on to make it a good encyclopedic Wikipedia article for those of us who don't have to spend days searching around, learning a whole new discipline (unless someone wants to pay me $500), but just want an overview and jumping off point to good refs from what looks interesting, preferably online :-) CarolMooreDC (talk) 14:30, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Yes, the article needs more. It has been re-started. No-one has said it is finished.
I think the idea that Kane's being editor of the Oxford Handbook is enough to establish notability.
An inital intro/overview could be obtained from free will and incompatibilism.
I am planning to add a section on John Carew Eccles 1Z (talk) 08:59, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

1Z (talk) 14:40, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Definitely looking better. Over view helps, though would like to see more refs. The underconstruction tag will keep my carping down. And one day I'll read it all through, read a bunch of the refs and have a more studied opinion :-) After all, I do think free will is basic to time space energy and matter, so I should be up on all this stuff!!! CarolMooreDC (talk) 16:44, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Removed OR tag[edit]

Due to the article as a keep and consensus that the title is valid (which I disagree with). I removed the OR tag if you disagree go ahead and re-add it.LoveMonkey (talk) 15:38, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Under Construction[edit]

Could everybody be clear that this is effectively a new article. It would therefore be more helpful at this stage to add material rather putting the highest possible polish on the existing material. 1Z (talk) 09:04, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Disputed Accuracy Tag[edit]

Do we still need this? Is there any issue beyond the incomplete nature of the article? 1Z (talk) 09:05, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Give it another week to see what gets added? If there was a response to why "N. O. Lossky" does or doesn't belong, that might make me feel more like people are committed to accuracy. (I have no opinion on it myself, since whether he's notable -- or anyone else WP:RS in regard to him - uses phrase libertarian not clear to me. CarolMooreDC (talk) 16:47, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Hatnote and deleted disambiguation page[edit]

There is a discussion of the deletion of Libertarianism (disambiguation) page on request of User:MutantPlatypus which is relevant to the hat note reverts of today. Feel free to comment. User_talk:MrKIA11#Deletion_of_Libertarianism_disambiguation_without_fair_warning. CarolMooreDC (talk) 01:40, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

I only added it because (1) there wasn't a disambig page at the time and (2) I thought it would be handy to have links pointing both directions. The policy on this was pointed out, though, and so this article shouldn't have a hatnote to general libertarianism or to the disambiguation page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by MutantPlatypus (talkcontribs) 12:49, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Libertarianism (disambiguation) has been restored. Per Wikipedia:Hat_note#Linking_to_a_disambiguation_page, the disambiguation should be on top. CarolMooreDC (talk) 22:15, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

= Frankfurt counter examples (criticisms)[edit]

basically, I cant find any criticisms of frankfurt's CE so if one of you learned people could find something then that would be great. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bobthefishmonger (talkcontribs) 10:25, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Emphasize how agent is known[edit]

The article wrongly states that metaphysical libertarianists believe in an immaterial mind or soul. You can be a metaphysical libertarian just like Ockham and believe any particular man or woman doesn't have a soul. Or you can believe that nobody has a soul. The only thing required to be consistent with Ockham is that you must arrive at this conclusion freely that people do not have a soul. Which means that you must have alternatives available in coming to conclusion about the identity of the agent. One of those alternatives may be nothing, or emptiness. For sure with many people Ockham may have gotten a feeling that they did not have a soul, that their spirit was empty. --Syamsu (talk)

The word "soul" only appears once in the article. I don't know what you're reading. It also sounds like you might be describing [hard determinism], which is emphatically not libertarianism. LWizard @ 09:03, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
please read and understand. This change was also made on the free will wiki--Syamsu (talk) 20:53, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
I read, but apparently am not up to the task of understanding what you're writing. It's much much less clearly written than the stuff you replace. LWizard @ 21:07, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
come on people let's have a brain! libertarians know the agent through CHOOSING. No choosing about that, then you're not a libertarian, so bleedingly obvious. That's what libertarians do, they choose.--Syamsu (talk) 23:16, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
As Syamsu notes, he made this change over at Free will too, and has been pushing it for at least a year against the (extremely weak) consensus of myself and the handful of other people who have deigned to comment at all on the matter. See Talk:Free_will#emphasize_how_the_agent_is_known_in_metaphysical_libertarianism for some history; there are other discussions in the archives there too, such as Talk:Free_will/Archive_8#How_free_will_is_talked_about and Talk:Free_will/Archive_8#.22Common_understanding.22_vs_the_lack_of_consensus_of_experts. I would love it if some other people would join in this conversation, please. --Pfhorrest (talk) 08:28, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Given the recent history at Talk:Free_will I've removed Syamsu's contribution. Garamond Lethe (talk) 01:42, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

"The most popular position on free will amongst professional philosophers"[edit]

This phrase appears in the introduction paragraph and refers to compatibilism. The paper cited is here. The closest thing I found to evidence for the claim that cites this paper is the following paragraph:

On one standard view, Hobbes was the first philosopher in the early modern period to articulate the compatibilist view clearly. But after Hobbes, compatibilism takes off. It might not be accurate to say that compatibilism becomes the dominant position in the early modern period, but it clearly enjoys an impressive members list. The enormous success of compatibilism is something of an embarrassment for those of us who think incompatibilism is the natural commonsense position. Incompatibilists are accordingly inclined to regard compatibilists as philosophically shallow. However, when compatibilism enjoys the support of Hobbes, Locke, Leibniz and Hume, the charge of philosophical superficiality starts to seem rather less plausible. Thus we are stuck with the question, If compatibilism violates commonsense, why is it such a hit?

This proves that several well-known early modern philosophers were compatibilists, but it is a far cry from proving that "most professional philosophers" are compatibilists. The article says elsewhere, "In contemporary discussion of free will, incompatibilists self identify as the underdog (e.g., Strawson 1994; Pereboom 1995)." This, too, is not proof that compatibilism is the dominant position. Can someone point out the evidence in the work cited that supports the claim that compatibilism is the "most popular position on free will amongst professional philosophers"? Otherwise, I suggest we remove it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mwmoretti (talkcontribs) 23:20, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Tolerant environment free will.[edit]

Most psychologists appear to believe that free will is an illusion and after-justification, but metastudies by Kurt Fischer, Christina Hinton and others at "Mind, Brain and Education" have linked the prevalence of extreme recoveries after brain damage (that are unexplainable by established neurological and psychological theories) to unusually tolerant social environments. This can be explained by the model that social pressure to justify one's actions leads to justifications that paralyze an underlying ability of practically unlimited self-correction. This is explained in greater detail on the pages "Moderating the free will debate" and "Brain" on Pure science Wiki, a wiki devoted to the scientific method unaffected by academic prestige. (talk) 09:58, 8 January 2013 (UTC)Martin J Sallberg

  1. ^ a b c d Lossky, Nikolai (1951). History of Russian Philosophy «История российской Философии ». U.S.A: International Universities Press Inc. ISBN 978-0823680740.