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Lecture 11

PHLA10H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Hard Determinism, Determinism

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William Seager

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PHLA10 Exercise 11
Krishani Patel
1. A cause is something that is simply part of a whole set of causally relevant
facts, all of which may contribute, so in the case of a match and light, the
striking of a match is a cause. The whole cause, on the other hand, is the
whole set of causally relevant facts (in terms of the match case, the oxygen,
temperature or wind would make up the whole cause).
2. Determinism says that a complete description of the causal facts guarantees
what will happen next, while indeterminism says that just knowing a
complete description of the causal facts is not enough to know what will
happen next with absolute certainty and that even a complete description
would leave more than one possibility for the future.
3. Hard determinism is a position saying that determinism is true and that we
aren’t free. Soft determinism says that that our actions are both free and
causally determined.
4. The objection gives an example of a man who, by free will, remains in a room
in order to talk with a friend there. Unknown to him, is that the door of the
room is actually locked. Even though he chooses to remain in the room from
his own free will, it is clear that he couldn’t have done anything otherwise
(leave the room). This objection raises a good point, in that if Locke is correct
in his explanation of the example, Hume’s is mistaken with his theory. This is
because you can perform an action freely even though you are restricted
from acting in any other way. The man was free because he chose to stay in
the room.
5. A second order desire is a desire about what one’s desires should be like. For
example, “I’d like to have a better control on my temper”, would be a second
order desire.
6. The evolutionary function of some biological organ or process is explained
without the reliance of any creator and says that a function of o is to do F,
and that o’s” are present because they do F” (or have some evolutionary
7. Sober outlines the two parts of our minds: Beliefs and Desires and says that
their function is served in terms of free will whenever choices we make are
caused be properly functioning beliefs and desires.
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