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5 Pages

Course Code
PHIL 1100

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Compatibilism (Soft Determinism)  W. T. Stace  External constraints may limit freedom  Determinist in the tradition of d’Holbach  but wants to establish the existence of free will and personal responsibility within deterministic framework  People behave as if they’re free  A commitment to hard determinism undermines the reality of human affairs  If free will is an illusion then it makes no sense to encourage people to make enlightened moral choices and to hold them morally responsible  Philosophical hypocrisy  people think, behave and live their lives as if they have free choice  “Determinism is inconsistent with free will.”  Free Acts o Gandhi fasting because he wanted to free India. o Stealing bread because one is hungry. o Signing a confession because one wanted to tell the truth. o Leaving the office because one wanted one’s lunch.  Unfree Acts o The man fasting in the desert because there was no food. o Stealing because one’s employer threatened to beat one. o Signing because the police beat one. o Leaving because forcibly moved.  Free acts caused by desires, motives, or internal psychological states  Unfree acts caused by caused by physical forces or conditions, outside the person  Acts freely done are those whose immediate causes are psychological states in the agent  Acts not freely done are those whose immediate causes are states or affairs external to the agent  “All human actions, both those which are freely done and those which are not, are either wholly determined by causes, or at least as much determined as other events in nature.”  Free choices are those that are not compelled by forces or circumstances external to the individual  Unfree choices are those that are compelled  Both cases  actions are causally determined: what distinguishes free choices from unfree choices is the nature of the causal factors  Individual lost in desert  failure to eat was result of his circumstances  Case of Gandhi  failure to eat was choice on his part/ his desire to make political statement  When choices are compelled by only internal
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