Free will and determinism

Define hard determinism
People have no free will; all actions have prior causes
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Define libertarianism
People free to make moral choices + are responsible for their actions
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Define soft determinism
Parts of determinism are true, but we're still free in many ways
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Define compatibalism
Though some aspects of our nature are determined, our morality is not.
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Define predestination
Christian idea; God determines who will and won't be saved
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Name two theologians who formulated the idea of predestination
John Calvin, Augustine of Hippo
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What are the two conditions for free will?
Our choice isn't forced, and we must have two or more opportunities open to us
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Who was Clarence Darrow?
Defendant of Loeb and Leopold, said their crimes resulted from violent upbringing
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Define psychological determinism
Behaviour can be predicted and controlled by things like environment
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Who first discussed psychological determinism?
John B Watson - human behaviour can be changed and reinforced through both heredity and environmental factors
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What psychologist experimented with dogs to learn more about conditioning?
Ivan Pavlov
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Define operant conditioning
Learning involves changed behaviour
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Who first investigated operant conditioning?
B.F Skinner -Actions resppond to stimuli, response reinforced
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How did Steven Pinker approach determinism?
Guilt, love etc all have biological basis; evolution may lead to different emotions, but our moral sense means we still have control
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Give a criticism of hard determinism
Can't blame/praise people, no moral responsibility
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Scientific determinism
Laplace - if you know the positions of particles at one time, you are able to know their positions in the future
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What did Heisenberg say about determinism?
uncertainty principle - can't know location of subatomic particles
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How does Hondreich criticise this?
Randomness doesn't apply to humans in the same way as particles
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Give a strength of libertarianism
Recognises human autonomy, allows this to underpin law/ethics. Allows belief in God-given soul
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Give a weakness of libertarianism
What if a person chooses to decide through emotions, beliefs, etc?
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How did Locke reject libertarianism?
Man wakes up in a locked room - he thinks he can walk out, but actually can't
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What is liberty of spontaneity?
Everyone is free to act based on their own natures, butg this is determined by ext. factors
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Give a strength of soft determinism
Doesn't let people be held responsible for their actions if they have no control over them, allows creativity in our choices (not just through desires, beliefs)
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Give a weakness of soft determinism
What is determined, and what is freely chosen?
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What did Spinoza say about free will?
"In the mind there is no absolute or free will..."
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What did Hondreich say about hard determinism?
Our actions are byproducts of brain activity - "all our choices are...effects of others equally neccesitated event"
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What did Hume say about hard determinism?
Event A and Event B can follow each other w/o one causing the other
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What did Hospers say about hard determinism?
Something internal and external causing actions - "all a matter of luck"
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How did Kant approach determinism?
Hard determinism wrong - no reason behind actions
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What is existentialism, as put forward by Sartre?
Freedom is both the goal and measure of life. Everything in life depends on the individual and the meaning they give to their life
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Define libertarianism


People free to make moral choices + are responsible for their actions

Card 3


Define soft determinism


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Card 4


Define compatibalism


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Define predestination


Preview of the front of card 5
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