Free Will Vs Determinism


Free Will Vs Determinism

Free will = the notion that humans can make choices and are not determined by biological or external forces.

Free will suggests that humans are essentially self-determining and free to choose their own thoughts and actions. However, free will does not ignore the fact that external factors have an influence on our behaviour, but believes that we have the power to reject these forces. This is a view of the humanistic approach.

Determinism = the view that an individual's behaviour is shaped by internal or external forces rather than an individual's will to do something. 

Hard determinism = implies that free will is not possible as our behaviour is always caused by internal or external events beyond our control. 

Hard determinism is sometimes reffered to as fatalism, meaning human behaviour has cause, it should be possible to identify and decribe these causes. This is compatible with the aims of science, which is to uncover the casual laws that govern thought and action. It is assumed that everything we think and do is dictated by forces that we can't control, however, this position is too extreme.

Soft determinism = all events, including human behaviour, have causes, but behaviour can also be determined by our conscious choices in the absence of coercion. In constrast with hard determinism. 

William James, a philisopher, was the first to put forward the notion of soft determinism, which became an important feature of the cognitive approach. Soft determinism also suggests that their is room for manoeuvre, meaning…


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