A paper by Eddy Nahmias, Stephen Morris, Thomas Nadelhoffer, and Jason Turner, "Is Incompatibilism Intuitive?" should appear soon in the Recent Papers Posted section of this site. The paper has been accepted to PPR, but comments are still welcomed. We hope it generates discussion not only about whether incompatibilism is intuitive to ordinary people but also about whether the answer to that question should matter to the philosophical debate (and if not, why not), about how to determine whether it is intuitive, and more generally, about what intuitions are and what their role should be in philosophy. Here's the abstract:
Incompatibilists believe free will is impossible if determinism is true, and they often claim that this view is supported by ordinary intuitions. We challenge the claim that incompatibilism is intuitive to most laypersons and discuss the significance of this challenge to the free will debate. After explaining why incompatibilists should want their view to accord with pretheoretical intuitions, we suggest that determining whether incompatibilism is in fact intuitive calls for empirical testing. We then present the results of our studies, which put significant pressure on the claim that incompatibilism is intuitive. Finally, we consider and respond to several potential objections to our approach.