Organon F

2021, Pages 1–24

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

Research Article

Partial Compatibilism: Free Will in the Light of Moral Experience

David Peroutka

DOI: to be assigned


Partial compatibilism says that there are basically two kinds of freedom of the will: some free volitions cannot be determined, while others can. My methodological choice is to examine what as- sumptions will appear necessary if we want to take seriously—and make understandable—our ordinary moral life. Sometimes, typically when we feel guilty about a choice of ours, we are sure enough that we, at the considered moment, actually could have taken a different option. At other times, however, typically when we are aware of some unquestionable moral reasons for a certain choice, we may perceive our choice as voluntary and free in spite of the fact that it is, in the given situation, unthinkable for us to choose otherwise than we actually do (there are situations when responsible agents, because of their strong moral reasons/motives, cannot choose differently). The assumption that experiences of the first kind are not always mistaken excludes our world being deterministic. Yet free will and determinism go together in some of those possible worlds which contain only the second kind of free volitions. Partial compatibilism represents a ‘third way’ between standard compatibilism and incompatibilism, a way to solve that old dilemma.


Compatibilism; free will; moral experience; volitional necessity.

Author(s) and affiliation(s)


David Peroutka


Jan Evangelista Purkyně University


Department of Philosophy and Humanities, Faculty of Arts, Jan Evangelista Purkyně University, Pasteurova 13, 400 96 Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic


About this article


11 June 2020


1 December 2020


25 December 2020

Published online

12 March 2020


Institute of Philosophy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences

Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Cite as

Peroutka, David.  "Partial Compatibilism: Free Will in the Light of Moral Experience" Organon F 2021, 1–29.

Copyright information

© David Peroutka

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