Un argomento fenomenologico contro l’esistenza del libero arbitrio

Di Luca Zanetti

In: Verifiche, Anno LI, N. 1-2, 2022 LI , No. 1-2 ( 2022 )

Sezione Discussioni / Discussions


The contemporary debate on free will takes for granted the assumption that the phenomenology of choice reveals that we do in fact possess free will. In this paper I argue on phenomenological grounds that this assumption is wrong. My argument relies on insights developed by Sartre in the concluding remarks of his The Transcendence of the Ego. The core insight of the argument is that we cannot freely choose what we do because we cannot decide what appears in the field of appearances. Since we cannot choose unless our choices appear in the field of appearances, we cannot control what we choose. More radically, the agent itself, if it exists, is nothing but an appearance, albeit a fundamental one, within the field of appearances. In order to clarify the argument I shall connect it with the paradox of the moment of change and I shall explain the way in which libertarians rely on the notion of causa sui in order to make sense of the possibility of free will.