We’ve got a nice thread going on free will and determinism around these parts.  Albert the Abstainer chimes in:

Real free will: An ability to choose alternatives such that the
possibility of an alternative action is real and not the product of a
particular history of preceding events.

Free will: A state wherein a person experiences the sense of
choosing to act. The state itself is real, (i.e. existent/emergent),
but the action is the product of a particular history of preceding
events. (In other words the actor does not have any degree of freedom.
) That requires that an act, other than the one which results, was a
possible outcome. This form of free will is subjective not actual.

State: A state is a discrete condition. A mental state is a discrete
state of mind. A machine state is a discrete state, (i.e. the switch is
on or the switch is off.)

” a place in the unfolding tapestry which is necessary and
contingent” – the universe unfolds moment to moment changing with the
passing of time. I am a member of the set and process that is the
universe. My existence is necessary by the fact that I exist. My existence is contingent in that it requires a particular history, (i.e. another history could have occurred such that I do not exist.)

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