PhilSoc: Toby C.P. Solomon - "Betting on Freedom: a Defence of Libertarian Decision Theory"

Toby C.P. Solomon will present a paper titled "Betting on Freedom: a Defence of Libertarian Decision Theory” at next week’s PhilSoc Seminar. This will serve as a Pre-Submission Talk. You may find more details below.

Date and time: 13/04/21, 15:30-17:00
Location: RSSS 6.71
Zoom link:

Abstract: There has been much recent discussion of the challenges for Causal Decision Theory raised by the possibility our choices are predetermined, or otherwise under the authority of the laws of nature. One response to these challenges is Libertarian Decision Theory (LDT), which says that rational decision-makers must suppose that their choices are free—i.e. not predetermined or otherwise under the authority of the laws. The most pressing objection to LDT is that it endorses betting against your evidence, and that rational decision-makers should never do that. The most obvious response to this objection is to embrace a form of incompatibilism, giving us Hard LDT. Hard LDT, however, faces a number of further objections. Not least, that it is implausible when we extend it from the possibility that our choices are predetermined to the possibility that they are merely constrained by the laws of nature. In response to these worries we might prefer a more compatibilist alternative—Soft LDT. Unfortunately, Soft LDT has a harder time explaining how it can be rational to bet against your evidence. There are several strategies for mitigating the strength of this worry, but none of them are completely satisfactory. In the end, whether Hard or Soft LDT is most plausible depends on our views on a number of issues I cannot hope to settle here. I hope, however, to show that LDT is more plausible than recent critics suggest, and to show that it has resources for dealing with several pressing objections.

Date & time

Tue 13 Apr 2021, 3:30pm to 5:00pm


RSSS Building, Level 6, Room 6.71


Toby C.P. Solomon

Event series


Shalom Chalson


Updated:  12 April 2021/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications