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Does free will exist?

 
 
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2010 06:04 pm
Can some one basically summarize the arguments FOR and AGAINST free will, and summarize the POSITIONS of those FOR and AGAINST free will? Thanks!
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Type: Discussion • Score: 9 • Views: 10,884 • Replies: 97
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kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2010 06:23 pm
@Diogenes phil,
Diogenes;154667 wrote:
Can some one basically summarize the arguments FOR and AGAINST free will, and summarize the POSITIONS of those FOR and AGAINST free will? Thanks!


Determinism is the view that every event has a cause without which that event would not occur. Indeterminism is the view that Determinism is false. (that some events have no causes).

1. Hard determinism is the view that since human actions are caused, free will is false.
2. Soft determinism is the view that even if human actions are caused, there is free will.
3. Libertarianism is the view that human action are uncaused (undetermined) and so, there is free will.

Notice that both hard determinism and libertarianism hold that determinism is incompatible with free will, so both hard determinism and libertarianism are varieties of incompatibilism. That determinism and free will are incompatible with one another. But soft determinism is, on the other hand a compatibilist theory, and holds that determinism and free will are compatible with each other. Both soft determinism and libertarianism hold, as opposed to hard determinism, that there is free will, although for different reasons.
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2010 10:54 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;154674 wrote:
Determinism is the view that every event has a cause without which that event would not occur. Indeterminism is the view that Determinism is false. (that some events have no causes).

1. Hard determinism is the view that since human actions are caused, free will is false.
2. Soft determinism is the view that even if human actions are caused, there is free will.
3. Libertarianism is the view that human action are uncaused (undetermined) and so, there is free will.

Notice that both hard determinism and libertarianism hold that determinism is incompatible with free will, so both hard determinism and libertarianism are varieties of incompatibilism. That determinism and free will are incompatible with one another. But soft determinism is, on the other hand a compatibilist theory, and holds that determinism and free will are compatible with each other. Both soft determinism and libertarianism hold, as opposed to hard determinism, that there is free will, although for different reasons.
My basic objection centers around the notion
that an event may have a cause but not be determined?
That causality and determinism are not identical concepts?
Quantum events have causes but may not display determinism? This is not to say that quantum indeterminacy demonstrates free will; merely to note that causality and hard determinism anyway are separate concepts.
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2010 10:59 pm
@prothero,
prothero;154740 wrote:
My basic objection centers around the notion
that an event may have a cause but not be determined?
That causality and determinism are not identical concepts?
Quantum events have causes but may not display determinism? This is not to say that quantum indeterminacy demonstrates free will; merely to note that causality and hard determinism anyway are separate concepts.
Determinism has nothing to do with cause, the world can be causally complete and not determined.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 06:13 am
@prothero,
prothero;154740 wrote:
My basic objection centers around the notion
that an event may have a cause but not be determined?
That causality and determinism are not identical concepts?
Quantum events have causes but may not display determinism? This is not to say that quantum indeterminacy demonstrates free will; merely to note that causality and hard determinism anyway are separate concepts.


The question may be whether determinism and causation are separate concepts. Not whether hard determinism and causation are separate concepts. Hard determinism says that determinism and free will are incompatible.

Since I don't know what you mean by "determinism" I cannot say whether determinism and causation are separate concepts in your vocabulary. As philosophers use the term, "determinism" determinism is the thesis that every event has a cause, such that the event will not occur unless the cause occurs. As I said, I don't know how you are using the term, "determinism".

---------- Post added 04-21-2010 at 08:15 AM ----------

ughaibu;154745 wrote:
Determinism has nothing to do with cause, the world can be causally complete and not determined.


As I wrote to Prothero, I don't know how you are using the term, "determinism". But you are not using it as it is ordinarily used in philosophy.
The term, "determined" is a technical term. In the sense you and Prothero and I are using it, it is not used in its ordinary sense. So you and Prothero will have to say how you are using it.
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 06:24 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;154806 wrote:
you are not using it as it is ordinarily used in philosophy.
On the contrary, it is you who doesn't use the term as it's used by philosophers or scientists. This has consistently been the case over the three or four years that I have known you, despite all efforts to correct your misunderstanding, so I will not be wasting any time on explanations, about this, for you.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 06:39 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;154811 wrote:
On the contrary, it is you who doesn't use the term as it's used by philosophers or scientists. This has consistently been the case over the three or four years that I have known you, despite all efforts to correct your misunderstanding, so I will not be wasting any time on explanations, about this, for you.


I still don't know how you (or P) are using the term.
But, for your information:

Determinism: The view that every event or state of affairs is brought about by antecedent events or states of affairs in accordance with universal causal laws that govern the world.

The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy (second edition). Edited by Robert Audi.
0 Replies
 
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 06:46 am
@Diogenes phil,
"When the editors of the Stanford Encyclopedia of
Philosophy asked me to write the entry on determinism, I found that the title was to be "Causal
determinism".
I therefore felt obliged to point out in the opening paragraph that determinism actually
has little or nothing to do with causation"

http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/archive/00002071/01/Causality_and_Determinism.pdf
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 06:54 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;154815 wrote:
"When the editors of the Stanford Encyclopedia of
Philosophy asked me to write the entry on determinism, I found that the title was to be "Causal
determinism".
I therefore felt obliged to point out in the opening paragraph that determinism actually
has little or nothing to do with causation"

http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/archive/00002071/01/Causality_and_Determinism.pdf


No idea what that means. In any case, the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy is an authoritative source for the ordinary philosophical use of the term, "determinism". I don't know what the difference between "causal determinism" and "determinism" is supposed to be. But if someone would explain it to me in terms I can understand, I would be only too happy to listen.

I am not sure what the issue is between you and me. Are you saying that "determinism" is not used by philosophers the way I said it was used, or are you saying that it ought not to be used in that way? Those are two different contentions. What I am saying is the first, not the second. What are you saying?
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 07:09 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;154820 wrote:
Are you saying that "determinism" is not used by philosophers the way I said it was used
Yes, and for the umpteenth time.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 07:16 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;154827 wrote:
Yes, and for the umpteenth time.


Well, you are wrong. The Cambridge Encyclopedia is evidence that you are wrong. And the source you cited is evidence (if it is evidence for anything) that at least one philosopher thinks that "determinism" should not be used to imply causation. It is not evidence that "determinism" is not used that way by philosophers. And the Encyclopedia I cited is proof that it is.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 07:18 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;154829 wrote:
Well, you are wrong. The Cambridge Encyclopedia is evidence that you are wrong. And the source you cited is evidence (if it is evidence for anything) that at least one philosopher thinks that "determinism" should not be used to imply causation. It is not evidence that "determinism" is not used that way by philosophers. And the Encyclopedia I cited is proof that it is.


He quoted the author of one encyclopedia entry and you quoted the author of another. Your case is no stronger than his right now.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 07:22 am
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;154831 wrote:
He quoted the author of one encyclopedia entry and you quoted the author of another.


But what he quoted is not evidence that the word "determinism" is not ordinarily used by philosophers to imply causation. It is only evidence that the person who wrote that article does not think it is properly used in that way. So that is an entirely different issue. All I maintain is that is how philosophers do use that term. Maybe they shouldn't (whatever that means). Meantime, I still don't know what he thinks it should mean.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 07:31 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;154832 wrote:
But what he quoted is not evidence that the word "determinism" is not ordinarily used by philosophers to imply causation. It is only evidence that the person who wrote that article does not think it is properly used in that way. So that is an entirely different issue. All I maintain is that is how philosophers do use that term. Maybe they shouldn't (whatever that means). Meantime, I still don't know what he thinks it should mean.


I find this all a bit of a waste of time. Who cares how a term is ordinarily used? Either you understand how it's being used now or you don't. If you don't then ask for clarification. If you do then stop arguing about which word would be better suited and argue about what he's actually saying.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 07:35 am
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;154837 wrote:
I find this all a bit of a waste of time. Who cares how a term is ordinarily used? Either you understand how it's being used now or you don't. If you don't then ask for clarification. If you do then stop arguing about which word would be better suited and argue about what he's actually saying.


How it is used now by philosophers is what I call its ordinary use. I mean by that, its ordinary philosophical use (as I have already explained). U. denied this was true. He has no evidence, since what he cited is not evidence. The person he cited did not deny that the ordinary philosophical use of the word is connected with causation. You have to read more carefully.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 07:38 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;154838 wrote:
How it is used now by philosophers is what I call its ordinary use. I mean by that, its ordinary philosophical use (as I have already explained). U. denied this was true. He has no evidence, since what he cited is not evidence. The person he cited did not deny that the ordinary philosophical use of the word is connected with causation. You have to read more carefully.


I didn't say anything other than you've both quoted authors of encyclopedia entries. Which you have. But again, it doesn't matter. Stop wasting time with this pedantry.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 07:47 am
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;154841 wrote:
I didn't say anything other than you've both quoted authors of encyclopedia entries. Which you have. But again, it doesn't matter. Stop wasting time with this pedantry.


What you said is that one source says one thing, the other a different thing. But that is not at all true.One source said that "determinism" is used by philosophers in connection with causation. The other source did not deny that. It seemed to say (although it is hard to tell) that however the term is used, it should not be used that way (whatever that means). So, the two sources do not conflict, as you and U. seem to believe they do. You really have to read (and think) more carefully). Both you and U. don't seem to see the difference between how a term is actually used, and how it ought to be used (whatever that means). Now, where would you like to go from here?
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 07:55 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;154843 wrote:
What you said is that one source says one thing, the other a different thing.


Where did I say that? Either quote me or retract your statement. That's a lie.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 07:57 am
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;154846 wrote:
Where did I say that? Either quote me or retract your statement. That's a lie.


Why then did you point out that there were two different sources? As a point of information. Not very informative. The obvious implication was that the two sources conflicted. And that, of course, is false.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 08:00 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;154848 wrote:
Why then did you point out that there were two different sources? As a point of information. Not very informative. The obvious implication was that the two sources conflicted. And that, of course, is false.


I see how you could make that mistake but no that was not my intention. You claimed that philosophers ordinarily use a term one way and you provided a single author as evidence. Yet, ughaibu also posted an article that doesn't use the term that way and even goes on to point out it would be a mistake to do so. Unless you think most philosophers are mistaken, that would seem to imply it was a minority view. So, you are both tied right now. Maybe it's ordinarily used that way, maybe not.

Are you ready to retract your statement now?
 

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