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Philosophy unit 5
Terms in this set (43)
Where does the notion of determinism come from?
The advent of Newtonian physics, and religious tenants that hold God to be perfectly omniscient
What about determinism have philosophers noted?
They have noted that it follows logically from any theory of physics and that everything is pre determined.
Explain Newtonian physics
In Newtonian physics, if you know the states of a system (the way things are set up), and the trajectory of the other components (the way things are headed) then you can know exactly what is going to happen. Everything is taken to be fully determined.
What is the theory of determinism
Human actions are just as predictable as in any other event in nature. If nature is the deterministic why should humans not be as well?
What is genetic determinism?
The notion that the chemicals of which we are made of are determined and that they control all of our behavior. If genetic determinism is true, then it would merely seem to us as though we are in control of our behavior.
What is determinism from a religious perspective?
If God is all knowing, then God knows what each and every person is going to do. On this view, to say a person has a choice is merely saying that the person does not know exactly what he or she is going to do next. Choice is merely ignorance of what God already knows.
What is one possible solution of the problem of determinism from a religious perspective?
If something is knowable, even if no one actually knows it, then it is determined.
Explain what some theists believe
God only knows everything about the past and present but not the future. Determinism does not follow from this religious perspective. In this case God's knowledge it would be limited.
What do many philosophers, and perhaps all ethicists, believe?
If every action is caused by some other action like a chain of events, then no one can be held morally responsible. One would merely do what one was already going to do; there would be no place for blame.
What would it mean if determinism were true?
You are determined to do the things that you do do your physical makeup because that situation was going to be that way.
What is free will?
The ability to make choices for oneself. If one has free will, then one could have always done other than what they have done.
In what ways does "aught" imply "can"?
If it is true that a person ought do something, then it is also true that she can do it. If a person can not do something, then it would make no sense to say that she ought to do it.
Why does advocating a political system that respects individual rights imply that free will exists?
Individual rights are based on the notion that people can make choices in their lives, and that we ought to tell them do so as long as it does not interfere with the rights of others.
Does advocating a political system not imply that free will exists?
Why does Machan maintain that political systems that respect individual rights imply that free will exists? How could the determinist counter this claim?
It may only seem to us that we have the ability to make choices, so that we have set up political systems and notions of rights that use the notion of free will. That does not mean that free will exists; it only means that most of us think that it does.
Individual rights are based on the notion that people can make choices in their lives and that we ought to let them do so (as long as their choice does not interfere with the rights of others).
The determinist can reply that it may only seem to us that we have the ability to make choices, so that we have set up political systems and notions of rights that use the notion of free will. That does not mean that free will exists; it only means that most of us think that it does.
What does Machan say about personal responsibility?
We approach relationships expecting other people to be capable of personal responsibility.
Wh as t is machan's thesis?
Human beings are able to cause their actions and they are there for responsible for some of what they do.
In what way does machan say that free will is compatible with scientific explanations of human behavior?
It could be that free will is a product of nature and that all of nature is not necessarily determined. Perhaps nature created beings that can think and be aware of their own thinking.
What is the problem and response in Machan's section labeled "nature's laws versus free will?"
Problem: nature is controlled by the laws of physics and human beings are just complicated versions of things that show up in nature. Humans are governed by whatever governs other material substances. Response: different kinds of things show up in nature; they vary in complexity and in kind. We cannot rule out that there could be a form of existence that exhibits free will.
What is the problem and response in Machan's section labeled " can we know of free will?"
Problem: all knowledge is gained by observing the world. When we observe, we find no direct evidence of anything like free will, so it does not exist. Response: many things that we say we know, like facts in biology physics and chemistry, are not known throughout the nation. So free will couldnexist just because it is not observed.
What is the problem and response in Machan's section labeled " is free will weird?"
Problem: since no other creature in the world exhibit for you well, it seems obituary to impute it to human beings. Why should we be free to do things when the rest of nature lacks any such capacity? Response: as he noted before, there are plenty of different kinds of things in nature. If free will exists, it could be yet another addition to all the varieties of nature.
What is the problem and response in Machan's section labeled "are we determined to be determinists, or not?"
Problem: if we are fully determined in what we think believe and do, then the belief that determinism is true is also a result of determinism. If a person believes that his determinism is false, then that would have been determined as well. There's no objective way to decide. Response: if that is the case, we will never be able to resolve the debate regarding determinism and free will. All of our scientific and every dress on the notion that we have some mental freedom, so we should go with free will.
What is the problem and response in Machan's section labeled " should we become determinists?"
Problem: determinists want to persuade others that determinism is true. But in trying to persuade someone, determinists implies that the other has a choice in what to believe. Response: register - is committing a contradiction by assuming that we are free to believe in determinism.
What is the problem and response in Machan's section labeled " we often no we are free"?
Problem: determinism does not take people seriously when they give introspective reports of having made choices. Response: it is pointed out that we usually do take introspective knowledge seriously.
What is the problem and response in Machan's section labeled " modern science discovered free will"?
Many scientists maintain that we have good scientific reasons to believe in free will. It has to do with the brain structure and the way that it can monitor itself. As a result we can decide whether to continue in a certain pattern or the change that pattern.
What is explained in Machan's section labeled " some people are determined, some are not."?
There may be causes in which some people are determined by forces that are outside their control. The problem for the determinists is that they cannot make sense of our distinction between cases in which a person controls her behavior and other cases in which another person does not
What is explained in Machan's section labeled " the best theory is true?"
When we put all of the evidence together, the best explanation is that humans have free will.
What doed Blatchford believe?
That if the will were free, then a person cannot know right from wrong until they have been taught it.
What is the free will party?
According to Blatchford, a person who believes in free will necessarily believe that conscience is an unerring guide to right and wrong; is that the case? Why or why not?
Anyone who believes in free will, whether or not individual people actually make choices or merely act according to autopilot.
The free will party includes anyone who believes in free will. One who believes in free will need not believe that conscience is an unerring guide to right and wrong (most who believe in free will probably don't also believe that can do no wrong).
Blatchford says that concious is shaped by...
Heredity and environment. They explain everyrhing about human life and environment, and everything else in the universe.
According to Blatchford, what causes a person to choose?
Heredity and environment
Does Blatchford deny the existance of choice?
No. He argues that a person is free to choose, but only however the person's heredity or environment would have him choose.
He does not deny choice. He does deny free will. He reconciles this by maintaining that one can makes choices; it is just that one will always choose in accordance with one's heredity and environment
Does Blatchford deny the existance of free will?
Yes. Free will is impossible because a person will always choose according to what is dictated by a persons heredity or environment.
What does Stace say about free will?
If there is no free will then moralitybcannot exist. It is a philosophical problem.
Why does stace believe that free will is a philosophical problem?
It is a verbal dispute, a sematic problem, a confusion about the meaning of words, and it has an incorrect definition.
According to Stace, free will is a philosophical problem because it is:
› A mere verbal dispute
› A semantic problem
› A confusion about the meaning of words
› An incorrect definition
What does Stace say about the problem of free will?
The problem is due to a semantic problem. philosophers have assumed the wrong definition of free will and will lead one to conclude that there are no humans. They find nothing in the world that fits the description and therefore argues that it doesnt exist.
What does Stace say about free will being determanistic?
He says that if we have the correct deffinition of free will then we will find that it is consistent with determinism.
What is the problem with free will's definition according to Stace?
It is defined as indeterminism- that an action preformed by free will are not wholly determined by causes.
What does Stace say about the deffinition of words?
Words are used correctly if they reflect the common usage of the word.
What are some cimmon usages?
Compelled by circumstance, choice (could have done other), bodily function (hunger), threat.
What is Stace's conclusion?
It may be the case that complete determinism is true and that free will exists. On his view, all actions that are not compelled by external forces are free.
Why do most (if not all) ethicists maintain that people have free will?
The ethicist creates theories that tells one how one ought (or should) behave. If determinism is true, then the ethicist is not saying anything important (he or she is blowing hot air).
Explain Machan's response to the idea that there is no objective way to decide between determinism and free will; if we are determined, then a belief for or against determinism would be determined.
If that is the case, we will never be able to resolve the debate regarding determinism and free will. All of our scientific endeavors rest on the notion that we have some mental freedom, so we should go with free will.
Blatchford wants to use common sense and common knowledge to establish that free will is always caused.
If a choice is caused, it can still be the product of a free will.
If determinism is true, how would one come to know about right and wrong?
-In whatever way it was determined that one would come to know about right and wrong.
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