Causal Determinsim

1448 WordsJun 23, 20186 Pages
Causal determinism is the concept that preceding causes give rise to everything which exists such that reality could be nothing but what it is. Science depends on this idea as it aims to find generalisations about the conjunction of certain causes and effects and thus hold some power of prediction about their future co-occurrence. However, in human interaction people assume each other to be responsible for their acts and not merely at the whim of causal laws. So the question which troubles philosophers is whether causation dictates entirely the course of human action or whether we as agents possess some free will. I will argue that free will is an inescapable illusion of the mind, something which never did nor ever could exist under…show more content…
Disregarding its impossibility, a society without reactive attitudes would not be a desirable one as these attitudes serve a socially beneficial purpose. (Fischer. 2005. pp. 37-57) I believe that the same principle applies to free will. The chemical, social and biological factors which spur our actions are rarely obvious to us and the notion of free will provides us with a satisfying explanation for the actions they produce in us. Taylor judges the different beliefs about the existence of free will against his introspective observations. He feels that he deliberates - an activity which would only be possible if choices concerning his future acts were ‘up to’ him. Additionally he believes that some acts are up to him, whether he deliberates on them or not. However, free action, the ability to act without impediment or compulsion, is not the same as free will. An individual could be free to act yet her actions could still be entirely causally necessitated. Additionally, if an agent’s future actions were predetermined, she could never choose them herself so deliberation would be futile. Simple indeterminism does not offer any more viable explanation for Taylor’s convictions because if people’s actions were totally uncaused, they would hold no control over them. No agent could will her hand to move for she would have no effect on the action of that hand. Thus both determinism and its opposite are inconsistent with Taylor’s preliminary

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