Free Will

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Hard Determinism

Actions are either determined by nature or nurture and is the concept that humans aren't truly free.

Hereby all events are completely determined. Psychology and sociology have determinist view points (Behaviourism).

Hard Determinism

All actions are completely determined (universal causation).This means that all actions our a result of a complex network of prior events. These type of events include, sociological, psychological, cultural and physical influences. However one of these alone will not be able to determine all human actions. Therefore a person can be held morally responsible for an action.

Examples: Clarence Darrow Case

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Soft Determinism

An Act is free unless it is forced by another person

A soft determinist would argue that the choice you will make will always have been determined, but if you have not been forced by a person , then it is your free will,

In other words, all acts are causedbut caused is not the same as forced or compelled. Forced, not caused is the opposite of free. There are two types of cause:

  Internal– voluntary acts. I choose to leave a concert because I don’t like the music

  External – involuntary acts eg I leave the concert because I have been ejected by security.

Soft Determinism allows moral responsibilty.

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> Accepts freedom and rejects determinism

Liberty of spontaniety:

There are limits to a persons freedom in the sense that their Nature/Nurture makes certain choices  harder or easier to make but they are still free to choose.

Liberty of Indifference

A person is not bound by limits to their freedom such as heredity, upbringing and society. This is 'real' freedom.

Personality is formed by genetics and the environment. Our personality may incline use to choose or not to choose.

Moral Self This 'kicks in' when we need to make a moral decision. It acts in decinding what is our wish/inclination and what is our duty.

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Historical Background to Nature vs Nurture

Nature refers to the qualities that we are born with, anything determined by genes

Nurture this says at conception or birth, humans are tabula rusa a blankslate, which is loaded by our environment.

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Francis Galton - Nature (1869)

Ideas:His findings were that "talented people come from talented families". 'Genuis' is inherited and is the result of natural superiority. In 1883 he said that society could be improved by 'better breeding' - this became known as 'eugenics'. There was positives to this such as getting rid of inherited conditions however abuse of this could lead to ethnic cleansing or compulsory sterilisation.

Quotes:"Soiety could be improved by better breeding"

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Watson - Nurture (1924)

Ideas: 1920 ideas on human intelligence was analysed and some evidence seemed to suggest that there was a link between social class and intellegience as opposed to it being inherited.

Quotes:"Give me a dozen healthy infants and my own specific world to bring them up in and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist, I might select".

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Jesse Owens - Nurture (1936)

Ideas: Nazi Ideology rejuvenated the idea that there could be a master race, the Aryan race or white race and set it about its policies to eliminate Jews, Gypsies and Homosexuals, to name a few. Hitlers ideas, however were embarrased when Jesse Owens, a black man, won four gold medals in the berlin olympics in 1936

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Ridley - Nature&Nurture (1999)

Ideas:Both Nature and Nurture are an accepted norm. There has been weight added to both sides.

Quotes: 'Mother Nature has plainly not entrusted the determination of our intellectual capacities to the blind fate of a gene or genes; she gave us parents, learning, language, culture and education to programme ourselves with'

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