Since, however, the evidence of ordinary consciousness almost always goes to prove that the individual, especially in relation to future acts, regards himself as being free within certain limitations to make his own choice of alternatives, many determinists go so far as to admit that there may be in any action which is neither reflex nor determined by external causes solely an element of freedom.
But the contribution made by psychology to the solution of the problem has taken the form not so much of a direct reinforcement of the arguments of either of the opponent systems, as of a searching criticism of the false assumptions concerning conative processes and the phenomena of choice common alike to determinists and libertarians.
But, nevertheless, the new light thrown upon the unity of the self and the more careful and accurate scrutiny made by recent psychologists of the phenomena of decision have rendered it no longer possible either for determinists to deny the fact of choice (whatever be their theory as to its nature) or for libertarians to regard the self or the will as isolated from and unaffected by other mental constituents and antecedents, and hence, by an appeal to wholly fictitious entities, to prove the truth of freedom.
What is opposed to obligation, or at least always distinguished from it, is that very domain of necessity within which determinists would bring the will.
We must now consider the arguments by which determinists attack the position of their opponents and the evidence which they adduce to show that the freedom of the will is no necessary postulate for moral action.