PY4 Controversies section: freewill vs. determinism

The document contains an essay plan outlining the arguments, for and against both freewill and determinism.

part 1 of 5 essays to be uploaded.

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  • Created on: 16-06-12 09:33
Preview of PY4 Controversies section: freewill vs. determinism

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Freewill has implications with the law; if we are self-determined then we are responsible for
our actions
Children and those who are mentally ill do not have this responsibility.
In summary we are responsible for our actions, regardless of innate factors, or the influences
of early experiences as determinists would argue.
Freewill is subjective experience support the idea of freewill. Most people believe they have
Examples that support this
MASLOW'S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS ­ we have a hierarchy of needs, we must fulfil these first
satisfy their fundamental needs such as those for food and warmth. If these are satisfied
then individuals need moves onto intermediate needs such as ensuring safety and seeking
love. At the top the hierarchy is the need for self-actualisation.
COGNITIVE: CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) used to help treat depression, by reality
testing, help them overcome their irrational and erroneous thinking.
C/A: Skinner suggested that being able to decide between a course of action may give us
the illusion of freewill.
However some people don't believe in freewill and believe that all our behaviour is
Psychoanalytic theory: Freud:- suggested that our behaviour is driven by the libido, which
focuses on erogenous zones (mouth, anus and genital region). If a child is frustrated or
overindulges at any of these stages during development, the libido remains fixated on the
relevant erogenous zone and the method of obtaining satisfaction that characterises that
stage will dominate the adult personality.
Learning theory: behaviourists believe that our behaviour is determined by previous
experiences; external forces (from the physical or social world) condition new responses.
The principles of learning theory have been applied to many areas of behaviour, such as
attachment and formation of relationships.
Butterfly effect: small alterations in initial conditions can result in major changes ­ our knowledge of
the world is probabilistic rather than deterministic.
Logical conclusion - address the opening statement.


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