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Free Will and Its Critical Concepts in Philosophy - Assignment Example

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This paper "Free Will and Its Critical Concepts in Philosophy" focuses on the fact that the debate on the topic of free will is lengthy but interesting. Free will basically questions do men as rational beings have control over their actions and decisions? …
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Free Will and Its Critical Concepts in Philosophy
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Download file to see previous pages The ethical view is that we can hold individuals morally responsible for their actions. Thirdly, Free will in scientific terms means the body actions of the body, including mind and brain do not have only physical causes (Fischer, 2005). Here defining the basic terms used in the context of free will would be helpful:

 It is the view that all current & future events are regulated by past events coupled with the laws of nature. It is the view that all current & future events are regulated by past events coupled with the laws of nature. Determinism has a variety of meanings with the corresponding different problem of free will.

• Under Causal (or nomological) determinism past, present events and laws of nature governing the universe control the future.
• Logical determinism complicates the idea of free will. We can’t have free choices if all plans about the past, present or future are already determined as either true or false?
• Theological determinism rejects free will because God is omniscient, predicts and directs the actions of the humans in advance (Shermer, 2004). 

Under this notion, determinism and free will can coexist. As obvious by the term itself, incompatibilism is in opposite of compatibilism. It says no free will can be exercised in the presence of a universe that determines all events beforehand. Two forms of incompatibilism are:

This theory accepts the only idea of the truth of determinism and rejects the possibility of FREE WILL.

This concept agrees with the existence of FREE WILL but discards the idea of a need to find compatibility with determinism. It also agrees that some form of indeterminism is true.

Another view is that of hard incompatibilism which states that free will is incompatible with both determinism and indeterminism (Lynch, 2002).

Classical compatibilists such as Thomas Hobbes support their postulation and state that a person is free to do or not to do a particular action. Man’s decision to act is not subject to some abstract notion of will, rather he is liberal to go ahead with his will to act. David Hume explains further that this hypothetical liberty is universally allowed to everyone. They quote an example of a murder or rape case wherein the FREE WILL is lacking and not denied because past is causing any influence but here the aggressor overrides FREE WILL of another person. Thus, they argue that determinism does not matter; what matters is that individuals choices are the results of their own desires and preferences, and are not overridden by some external (or internal) force. A compatibilist does not endorse any particular conception of free will but only denies that determinism is at odds with free will (Smilansky, 2000).

William James displays mixed views about FREE WILL and DETERMINISM. He believes in indeterminism so far as man is free to exercise his will and makes the world a better place. On the other hand, he did not accept incompatibility; he did not believe that the indeterminism of human actions was a prerequisite of moral responsibility. Harry Frankfurt and Daniel Dennett are among the modern compatibilists. put forward their arguments that there are cases where a coerced agent's choices are still free because such coercion coincides with the agent's personal intentions and desires.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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