The goal of this paper is to show that disagreement between compatibilists and incompatibilists about compatibility of free will with determinism is merely verbal, since although one side of the dispute claims that free will is compatible with determinism, whereas the other side denies it, they in fact ascribe to the expression „free will“ a different meaning. One can thus accept both the compatibilist thesis as well as the incompatibilist thesis, as these two do not constitute a contradictory pair. My method consists in analysing the meaning of the phrase being an ability to do otherwise as a property of abilities and the meaning of the phrase having an ability to do otherwise as a property of agents. The outcome of conducted analysis enables me to make an unbiased comparison of necessary conditions which compatibilists and incompatibilists expect to hold if agents are to have the ability to do otherwise. It is shown, as expected, that these conditions are not the same.
Ability, Ability to do otherwise, Compatibilism, Determinism, Free will, Incompatibilism, Indeterminism