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Lecture

Aristotle & Searle

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 1F91
Professor
David Hayes
Semester
Fall

Description
18/04/2012 1 FREE WILL, DETERMINISM, MORALITY AND RELIGION THE PROBLEM: [1] THERE ARE GOOD REASONS FOR BELEIVING THAT EVERY THING THAT HAPPENS OCCURS FOR A REASON OR CAUSE. [2] IF EVERY EVENT HAS A CAUSE THAT MEANS WE HAVE NO CONTROL OVER OUR ACTIONS [3] IF HUMANS HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THEIR ACTS WE CANNOT HOLD ANYONE RESPONSIBLE [4] BUT TO DENY CAUSALITY SEEMS TO OPEN UP THE UNIVERSE AND SOCIETY TO THE MIRACULOUS OR AT LEAST THE INEXPLICABLE 2 ARISTOTLES SEA BATTLE AND FREE WILL 1 Aristotles sea battle 2 1. 4 century BCE: you anxiously await the morning news about an important sea battle 2. 21 stcentury CE: you anxiously await the news whether your team won last nights crucial game. 3 Aristotles idea of Truth 4 According to Aristotle it was already true before you heard the news and of course he would say the same to todays sports fanatics. But was it TRUE BEFORE the game or battle begun?? 1 18/04/2012 Aristotles idea of Truth 4 According to Aristotle it was already true before you heard the news and of course he would say the same to todays sports fanatics. But was it TRUE BEFORE the game or battle begun?? 3 FREE WILL & DETERMINISM Since GOD is supremely perfect [by df.] then (S)HE knows everything. But if GOD knows everything then She knew the future. But no-one can know the future unless it is already determined. If GOD knows I am going to kill someone tomorrow [or worse yet die myself] then I can do nothing to prevent this. THEREFORE I DO NOT HAVE FREE WILL. Since I do not have free will, the categories of sin, crime and vice are undermined. 4 FREE WILL & DETERMINISM Suppose a SUPER-COMPUTER : (1) It has all the laws of nature on its data base and all the relevant facts about nature and human society so that (2) It can deduce the entire future of the universe including all human actions and the their results. 3. If the computers knows I am going to kill someone tomorrow then I can do nothing to prevent this. 4. THEREFORE I DO NOT HAVE FREE WILL. Since I do not have free will, the categories of sin, crime and vice are undermined. 5 WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS? 1 1. Hard Determinism 2. Indeterminism 3. Soft Determinism 4. Libertarianism [a word also used in Political Philosophy] 2 UQ distinguishes TWO types of Soft Determinism: (1) Traditional Soft Determinism and (2) Deep SELF-COMPATIBILISM: = Acts are free if caused by our own AUTHENTIC DESIRES Whereas Traditional Soft Determinism merely requires that they are caused by the unforced will of the agent 6 LAPLACES DEMON Given for one instant an intelligence which could comprehend all the forces by which nature is animated and the respective situation of the being who compose it an intelligence sufficiently vast to submit these data to analysis-- it would embrace in the same formula the movement of the greatest bodies of the universe and lightest atoms; for it nothing would be uncertain and the future, as the past would be present to its eyes. 2 6 LAPLACES DEMON 18/04/2012 Given for one instant an intelligence which could comprehend all the forces by which nature is animated and the respective situation of the being who compose it an intelligence sufficiently vast to submit these data to analysis-- it would embrace in the same formula the movement of the greatest bodies of the universe and lightest atoms; for it nothing would be uncertain and the future, as the past would be present to its eyes. 7 ARE FREE WILL AND DETERMINISM COMPATIBLE? Only if one or the other is watered down and becomes less interesting and provocative. Spinozas flying rock that becomes conscious and The Argument from Ignorance When is Absence of Evidence equivalent to Evidence of Absence? Dam good question!!! If it is true that we are ignorant of the putative causes of our acts, does it follow that there are such causes or reasons or explanations or.? 8 CAUSES AND REASONS Some reconcile The Principle of Sufficient Reason with Free Will by distinguishing Causes and Reasons. This in my parallel to Libertarian Event Causation and Agent Causation UQ p. 98. But what is The Principle of Sufficient Reason? 9 THE PRINCIPLE OF SUFFICIENT REASON 1 Epistemic Version 2 Very similar to W.K. Clifford [UQ, 43-44] We should have a Sufficient Reason for all of our beliefs, factual claims or theories 3 Metaphysical Version 4 There is a Sufficient Reason for every event and so for every thing that exists Therefore there is an explanation for every human act and for its results 10 CAUSES AND SUFFICIENT REASON There are several [physical] causes explaining why my car is now in the Brock parking lot but the complete explanation includes my REASONS for leaving it there just as there are several [physical] causes for the various physical phenomena in this classroom but the complete explanation includes my REASONS and your REASONS for being here. The car and the computer and chairs could NOT CHOOSE NOT to be here and choose to go elsewhere but all of us could have according to one major version of indeterminism. We are not like pieces on a chess board. 11 FREE CHOICE AND FREE WILL SO maybe the question is whether free will is a pseudo-problem and whether it may be better to call it: The problem of Free CHOICE On this view it is either true [or it does not matter] that our will is free or caused by factors not under our control since we are still free to choose what to do about this under many constraints [due to physiology, physics etc.] The LIMITS of PREDICTABILITY: why are we more successful at predicting the behaviour of stars and planets and many other physical objects than we are at predicting the behaviour of human beings? 3
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