Compatibilism: In philosophy of action, the view that causal determinism is logically compatible with free will. The compatibilist who accepts both determinism and free will is called a soft determinist. Compatibilism usually defines free will as an action that is caused by the individual’s own desires or wishes, rather than being coerced by some external power. The alternative possibilities that seem necessary for genuine free will are interpreted by compatibilists as hypothetical in character. For example, the individual who freely gave money to a charity could have refrained from giving money if the individual had wished to do so or if the situation had been different. Critics of compatibilism argue that genuine freedom requires an individual to have more than one possibility that is actually possible at the time of choosing, not merely possibilities that would be open if certain facts that do not obtain were to obtain.1
1. C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), p. 25.