Organon F

Volume 31, February 2024, Issue 1, Pages 22–47

ISSN 2585-7150 (online) ISSN 1335-0668 (print)

Research Article

Free Will: A consensus gentium Argument

William Hunt


This argument for free will is a probabilistic one based upon two conjectures: first, that of consensus; namely, that a large majority of people believe that they and others have free will and second, that a priori proofs against the existence of free will either fail or remain questionable. If these two conjectures hold, an inductive argument follows on the basis of beliefs founded upon justified auxiliary assumptions, assumptions that ensure a well-defined probabilistic relationship between the evidence of consensus and the proposition free will exists in an elaborated form. I will then demonstrate, through subjective Bayesian confirmation theory, that such evidence probabilistically confirms this proposition. Moreover, if one’s prior degree of belief in the existence of free will is not very low - prior that is to consideration of the evidence - then, provided this evidence is factual, it is likely that one’s resultant degree of belief in the veracity of the proposition is not only rational, but also compelling.


Bayesianism; consensus; free will; libertarianism; probability.

Author(s) and affiliation(s)


William Hunt


Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society


MF Norwegian School of Theology, P.O. Box 5144 Majorstua, 0302 Oslo, Norway


About this article


20 March 2023


1 November 2023


7 January 2024


Institute of Philosophy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences

Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Cite as


Hunt, W. (2024). Free Will: A consensus gentium Argument. Organon F31(1), 22–47.


Hunt, William. 2024. "Free Will: A consensus gentium Argument." Organon F 31 (1): 22–47.


Hunt, W. (2024). Free Will: A consensus gentium Argument. Organon F, 31(1), pp. 22–47.

Copyright information

© William Hunt

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