Thursday, September 26, 2019

Determinism, Compatiblism, and Libertarianism Research Paper

Determinism, Compatiblism, and Libertarianism - Research Paper Example I will divide my paper into four main parts. Part one will be devoted to an analysis of determinism. I shall use Paul Holbach’s version of this position. In contrast to part one, part two will tackle the libertarian position. Here I shall use Roderick Chisholm’s version. And part three will discuss the compatibilist view on free will. In doing so, I shall use A. J. Ayer’s version. Finally, I will show the main strengths and weaknesses of each. I will conclude my paper by giving an explanation on why I think compatibilism is the most feasible and practical among all three. Determinism: Everything Has A Cause Determinism is the view that rests on the assumption that everything has a cause. â€Å"All doctrines of determinism imply that given the past and the laws of nature at any given time, there is only one possible future. Whatever happens is therefore inevitable† (Kane 285). What does this imply? It simply implies that â€Å"we could not have chosen othe rwise† (Feinberg and Shafer-Landau 410). To illustrate this position further, I will explore Paul Holbach’s version of hard-determinism. Holbach says that we are not free. But how does he argue for this position? The main claim of determinism is that â€Å"whatever happens is determined by prior events† (Sie 2). Holbach is a hard determinist. ... But if my action is determined by past events, then I'm unable to act otherwise. Therefore, I don’t ever act freely. One can argue that it is not the case that I don’t act freely for I have my own motives, choices and I am not restrained. However, Holbach refutes this on the basis of â€Å"the complexity of human conduct and the illusion of free agency† (Holbach 463). Holbach argues, we only think we are free because we cannot explain the phenomena, but in principle, we can explain everything by explaining its causes (463). For instance, if I can explain my actions through the laws of nature then we have no use for free will anymore. So if we discover the cause of a given phenomena, then it nullifies freedom. Therefore, we are not free. Contrary to determinism is the libertarian position. I shall discuss Chisholm’s version of libertarianism next. Libertarianism: some of our actions are free Libertarianism argues that some events that happen are not determi ned by prior events. In defending freewill, Chisholm suggests: We must not say that every event involved in the act is caused by some other event; and we must not say that the act is something that is not caused at all. The possibility that remains, therefore, is this: We should say that at least one of the events that are involved in the act is caused, not by any other events, but by something else instead. And this something else can only be the agent—the man (440). Given Chisholm’s suggestion, I can say that my action-A is free if and only if I am the cause of A and that I could have done another action-B other than A. If determinism is true, I could not have done B. But I could have done B because I am the cause of my actions. My decision to do A caused me to perform A,

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