Free will and Determinism

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  • Free Will and Determinism
    • Free Will
      • Suggests that as a human being we are free to choose our thoughts and beliefs
      • Does not deny that there may be biological or environmental factors but it implies that they can reject these forces
      • View of human behavior that is advocated by the humanistic approach
    • Determinism
      • Hard determinism
        • AKA Fatalism suggests all human behavior has a cause and it should be possible to identity and describe these causes
        • Uncover the causal laws that govern thoughts and action and always assume that everything we think we do is dictated by internal or external forces we cannot control
      • Environmental determinism
        • We are determined by conditioning
        • Behaviourist approach popularized the idea of environmental determinism
          • Skinner said free will is an illusion and argued all behavior is a result of conditioning
        • Our experience of 'choice' is the total of reinforcementcontingencies that we have acted upon throughout our lives
        • We may think we are acting independently but our behavior has been shaped by our environment
      • Soft determinism
        • William James - Some room for maneuvre that people have conscious mental control over the way they behave
      • Psychic determinism
        • Freud thought free will is an illusion but places emphasis on biological drives and instincts rather than conditioning
        • Freud's physic determinism sees behavior as determined and directed by unconscious conflicts repressed in childhood
      • Biological determinism
        • Emphases the role of biological determinism in behavior
        • Physiological processes are not under conscious control
        • Genetic factors may determine many behaviors and characteristics
        • Hormones may determine behavior
    • Evaluation
      • One strength of free will is that we often make choices in everyday life
      • One limitation is hard determinism is not consistent with the legal system
      • Untitled
      • One strength of determinism is that it is consistent with the aims of science
      • One strength is a compromise in the middle ground position


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