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Strawson-Free Will - Essay Example

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Galen Strawson: Free Will Part I: Introduction. Galen Strawson argues that humans lack the capacity to be completely responsible for their actions despite the supposed presence of free will. The primary premise for his argument is that, since humans are not fully responsible for the way they are, they cannot be fully responsible for their actions (Strawson, 1995)…
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Strawson-Free Will

Download file to see previous pages... The unpleasantness of the choice does not nullify the presence of the choice or the fact that we always have the option to choose either the pleasant or more tolerable route over the unpleasant option and vice versa. Part II: Present the argument According to Strawson’s analysis, humans lack the capacity to make free choices. The influences of society, parents, friends, teachers, and all of the contributory factors that shape each of us into the unique individuals we are countermand our ability to freely make decisions. Since we do not control who we are and who we are determines the decisions we make, logic dictates that we are not engaging in free will because we did not have the power to shape who we are (Strawson, 1995). Additionally, Strawson states that, even if a person changes who they are, this does not mean they have free will because heredity and experience have already affected you in ways that you can never change (Strawson, 1995). ...
According to Strawson, Compatibilists base their analysis of the condition of free will on the fact that it is compatible with the concept of determinism, which states that each action creates a pattern that makes subsequent actions or reactions unavoidable (Strawson, 1995). This theory deems the determining factors that affect personality irrelevant and maintain that free will is absolute, despite the inclusion of determinism. However, the presence of determinism in the Compatibilist view of free will actually nullifies the view point because how can you freely choose an option that has been predetermined? The Libertarian perspective, according to Strawson, is in agreement with the Compatibilist argument that humans do have free will, but these views diverge on the viewpoint of determinism (Strawson, 1995). Libertarians believe that determinism is not attuned to the Compatibilist theories and that indeterminism, which is the falsity of determinism, is the correct mode of Compatibilist beliefs, although they have not yet proven how indeterminism qualifies their theories (Strawson, 1995). The Pessimistic perspective differs significantly from the Compatibilist theory in that Pessimistic theories that subscribe to the notion of humanity’s free will are erroneous. This aspect of Incompatibility theory posits that the free will necessary to claim moral responsibility is not a provable concept, although they do concede that it is possible for humans to achieve this end (Strawson, 1995). Strawson’s position that the shaping of our selves denies us free will is relevant theoretically, but not in actuality (Strawson, 1995). Each day, we are all faced with choices, which we freely make and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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