Free will and determinism

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What is Autonomy or free will?
Self-rule or self-government.
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There is an important relationship between freedom and....
...moral responsibility.
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This is due to the fact that it is commonly believed that we should be held morally responsible for actions that are...
...freely performed.
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If someone is forced to commit an act, they cannot be held...
...morally responsible.
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Define moral responsibility:
Our blameworthiness or praiseworthiness for our actions.
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How does Aristotle confine praise and blame?
To voluntary acts.
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However, he adds that acts are made non-voluntary when...
...they are committed out of compulsion or ignorance.
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He wrote about it in his book called...
... 'Nicomachean Ethics.'
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It is important to remember that, although someone is not responsible for ignorance, they are responsible for...
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If a person is not entirely in control of their actions due to a disorientating influence (such as drug abuse/emotional trauma) ....
....they are not entirely (also somewhat) responsible for their actions.
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For example: the drunk who kills a pedestrian may be ...
...morally blameworthy but he has not committed as great a crime as a sober person.
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Someone who does something by accident is less morally blameworth than someone who commits an antrocity...
...on purpose.
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When considering moral blameworthiness, something important to consider is their ...
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What is hard determinism?
The teaching that denies that humanity has free will and believes that all actions have prior cause.
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Finish this quotation by Honderich: "Our actions are no more than ...
...effects of other equally necessitated events."
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By this, Honderich means that humans may make a choice believing it was made using free will...
...but every event that went before led to it so it had already been determined.
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Hard determinists are very strict and...
...rigid in their beliefs.
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Which scientific figure's work do hard determinists heavily rely on?
Isaac Newton.
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Why did he say that all physical things were governed by?
A series of unchangeable natural laws such as gravity or motion.
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Natural laws assist in forming the basis of evidence for...
...cause and effect that governs our lives.
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Hard determinists are very strict and rigid... their beliefs.
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If everything is determined and we are not free at all to act in different way...
...we cannot be hold morally responsible for our actions because we didn't choose to perform or commit these actions.
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What is the name of the hard determinist who claimed that there was always something within us that urges us to make choices which we believe to be a product of our own free will?
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Hospers says that we aren't always aware of the 'urging' in our choice making but...
...we have all probably made choices and not remembered why and how we made them.
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What is Libertarianism?
The theory that we are morally responsible for al our actions and are free to make choices.
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This approach arrose from rejecting determinism on the grounds that.. rules out all moral responsibility even though many people feel complete freedom when they act.
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Why is libertarianism also known as incompatabilism?
It is an incompatible with determinism.
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Why do libertarians believe that cause and effect is not relevant to decision making?
This is because they believe that decision making is a result of individual character and values being applied to ethical concerns.
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What is Hume's description of liberty?
"By liberty, we mean the power of acting and not acting, according to the determinations of the will."
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For liberatarians, unlike Honderich, there is no...
...compulsion to act.
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What is the evidence for their view?
There are stories of people who grew up in poverty, surrounded by drug/gang culture, but choose to be different and not do drugs.
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This illustrates their belief that there is... will in decision making.
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What is soft determinism?
The teaching that we can be both determined and free as some moral choices are free whereas some aspects of our nature are determined.
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Why is this theory called compatibilism?
It is compatible with determinism.
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What is Rachels' definition of free will:
"Whether your behaviour is free just depends on how its causes. Your act is free if it is caused by your own desires, rather than being caused by a mental disease, or by someone forcing you or tricking you, or the like."
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However, it is important to note that soft determinsts emphasis moral responsibility for the actions that we perform as...
...we have some degree of free will regardless of whether they could have been determined by our values/choices.
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Name the famous soft determinist who says: "If we claim not to be free the we face a self-awareness problem of who orginates our actions?"
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What is predestination?
The teaching that there is no choice because God already knew before time who would be saved and who would go to hell.
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Where did the teaching of predestination originate from?
The teaching of St Paul: Romans: 8:29-30.
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Quote: Romans:29-30:
"For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his son."
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What did Augustine of Hippo say?
"The potter has authority over the clay from the same lump to make one vessel for honour and another for contempt."
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Predestination is a well-known component of a 16th century protestant reformation called...
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Why did John Calvin think that it was necessary for God to predestine people?
Man is inherently evil and is not capable of good as him having free will would lead to him rejecting God. Therefore, God has predestined those who will be save otherwise no one would be capable of saving.
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Although there are indications of predestination in the bible...
....there are passages in other places that are very specific that free will has been given to all of mankind.
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For example: Free will is first illustrated in the book of genesis where...
..Adam and Eve freely disobeyed God's wishes by eating the forbidden fruits.
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Aquinas taught that Adam and Eve were able to exercise free will due to the fact that God...
...created them with free will.
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Use a quotation from Summa theologica to support this:
"Man choose not of necessity but freely."
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Traditional theism teaches that the Christian God is omniscient (all-knowing) which means that...
...he must be knowledgable of all that is in the past, happening in the present and is going to happen in the future.
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These creates a problem with moral responsibility because...
...we can't have free will if God has determined us.
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It could be argued that free will for religious believers who believe in an omniscient God is.. illusion.
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However, belief in a God who knows that choices we will make doesn't mean that...
...he causes us to make these choices.
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It is suggested by many church denominations that God has given mankind free will even though...
...he knew the choices that they woud make.
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Why is free will essential to Christian beliefs about salvation?
Humankind has to be able to make free moral choices of whether to obey or disobey God and accept the grace that saves them.
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Factors other than philosophy that are seen to influence free will and determinism are:
psychology/genetics/ environmental issues/ social conditioning.
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What does the field of psychology seek to understand?
How our minds work and how it influences our behaviour/ attitudes and thinking.
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Name the area of psychology that links to determinism:
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What does this theory suggest?
Our behaviour can be predicted as it is based on prior experiences and causes.
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What did Watson argue?
Human behaviour can be controlled because we leave in a deterministic universe that doesn't leave anything up to choice.
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Watson is convinced that heredity (nature) and environment (nuture) can be useful tools to...
...change or reinforce behaviour.
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For example: if you the change environment that a drug addict lives in... can change the addictive behaviour.
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Who built on this and saw behaviour as something that could be modified using punishment and reward?
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He belief was that our actions are probably determined if... is possible for scientists and psychologists to observe and control human behaviour.
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If our behaviour is determined by our psychological makeup...
...we can not be held morally responsible for our actions.
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What did Freud believe most determined our actions?
Our early years as they had an immense effect on our moral development.
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In short, our actions are determined by...
... repressed or subconscious memories from our childhood.
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What is the name of the approach that believes that people think in line with their social conditioning rather than through genetic determined factors or a real freedom of choice?
Social conditioning.
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What did Sowell say?
Social conditioning is the ida that the human self is infinitely plastic, allowing humanity to be changed and automatically perfected."
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This theory suggests that our social learning and placement ....
...determines our actions.
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What is genetic determinism?
The belief that almost all physical and behavioural aspects of humanity are determined by genetics.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


There is an important relationship between freedom and....


...moral responsibility.

Card 3


This is due to the fact that it is commonly believed that we should be held morally responsible for actions that are...


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


If someone is forced to commit an act, they cannot be held...


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Define moral responsibility:


Preview of the front of card 5
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