Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy

Subject Categories

Theory and Philosophy


College of Liberal Arts



Thesis Adviser

Gansham T. Mansukhani

Defense Panel Chair

Napoleon M. Mabaquiao

Defense Panel Member

Elenita D. Garcia
Florentino T. Timbreza
Maxwell L. Felicilda
Juan Rafael Macaranas


This study examines the implications of the modular theory of mind of Evolutionary Psychology on the debates regarding free will. Evolutionary Psychology puts forward a unique perspective concerning how the mind works which has a critical bearing on the concept of human free will. In this light, the main objective of this study is to examine and determine the free will theory which can best take into account the findings in Evolutionary Psychology. Evolutionary psychologists claim that the mind is like a computer in that it is capable of making computations which can help people solve various problems in the most efficient way. They also claim that the mind possesses mental mechanisms called modules that induce people to act in a certain way whenever they encounter certain conditions. These modules were inherited from our hunter-gatherer ancestors. During prehistoric times our hunter-gatherer ancestors encountered various problems on a regular basis which prompted them to formulate solutions to those problems. Since those problems occurred regularly, their solutions to those problems were retained and became a feature of their minds. These features are called modules by evolutionary psychologists. These modules exert a certain degree of influence on peoples behavior whenever they encounter situations similar to those encountered by our hunter-gatherer ancestors. This study argues that the free will theory that could best accomodate the findings in Evolutionary Psychology is Compatibilism. Compatibilist thought is compatible with the theory of mind advanced by Evolutionary Psychology because it complements the requirements advanced by compatibilists for people to exercise free will. Compatibilists basically argue that even if there are various factors which determine peoples behavior it does not hinder people from making free choices because they can choose to do otherwise than what they first intended to do after some careful deliberation. Furthermore, they see it necessary that people possess a certain degree of rationality that enables them to examine all the options available to them in order to be able to make informed choices. These features cohere well with or are accounted for by how the Modular Theory of Mind of Evolutionary Psychology describes the nature of the human mind; namely, that it has inherited problem-solving mechanisms, that it works computationally, and that it is flexible enough to adapt to the changes in its environment.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

130 leaves ; 28 cm.


Free will and determinism; Philosophy of mind; Cognitive therapy

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