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Lecture 4: Discussion on Dennett (Compatibilists)

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Jessica Wilson

PHL B60 Lec 4 Oct 3, 2011 Dennett (compatibilist) -notes that most assume the CHDO principle is correct -Van Inwagen’s argument for free will is incompatible with determinism and assumes that CHDO is correct -compatibilists typically accept CHDO and show that “able to do otherwise” (free will) is compatible with determinism -S could have done X -If S had chosen to have done X, S would have done X -if determinism is true, the antecedent of the conditional is always false. (smith never chooses to save the drowning child). -This is compatible with the truth of the conditional b/c there are different kinds of conditional statements: -when presented with an if-then statement that isnt qualified as a particular kind of conditional, you can assume that it is a material conditional. Material Conditionals are true if: -P, then Q is true just in case P is false or Q is true So is this true?: -if the antecedent is false, but the consequent is true, so if 2+2= 5, then pigs can fly -yes it is true ex. if P then Q= true ex. if not P then not Q=true ex. if not P then Q=true ex. if P then not Q= not true If smith had chosen to save the drowning child, he would have chosen to save the drowning child Why is this true whether or not determinism is true? b/c it is of the form if not P then not Q which is still a true statement. -what does Dennett mean by “special pleading” -”Ad Hoc” is latin for “to this”. This means something like: in response to a specific need -an ad hoc committee is one that is formed just in response to a
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