Determinism Determinism is the thesis that every state of affairs follows necessarily from every prior state of affairs. For instance, if it is true that I am typing now, the determinist claims that I could not possibly be doing anything else, given the immediately prior state of the universe. So far, determinism says nothing at all about free will.
The hard determinist holds that since determinism is true, we cannot have free will.
The libertarian holds that since determinism is false, we can have free will.
- The hard determinist and libertarian agree about the consequences of determinism. What do they both think must be the case if determinism is true?
The compatibilist or soft determinist claims that determinism and free will are compatible. This position denies the inference above.