Compatibilism Essays

873 Words Apr 10th, 2009 4 Pages
There are 3 basic views that can be taken on the view of determinism, (1) deny its reality, either because of the existence of free will or on independent grounds; (2) accept its reality but argue for its compatibility with free will; or (3) accept its reality and deny its compatibility with free will.In this paper I am going to be defending the view compatibilism, specifically W. T. Stace’s view of compatibilism.
Compatibilism is the idea that determinism is true, every event in the world is caused, and that free will still exists. Stace defends this view by saying the problem is the definition of free will. The current definition of what free will is a completely and wholly uncaused action. However this obviously would be completely
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There are a few criticisms that are brought up against this compatibles view; in fact Stace brings up possible objections himself. The first that I will consider is that there are some cases that are borderline. For example, if somebody has a gun and puts it to your head and commands you to do something it seems that you would have to do it even though the person with the gun is not physically forcing you to do it. However I do not believe this to be a borderline case at all, even if someone is holding a gun to your head you are still making the decision to do whatever it is that they are telling you to do. It is still of your own mental state that you will do it out of your own perceived state that whatever they are asking you to do would be preferable to your own death. The second objection that he presents is that if you could somehow know that somebody was going to do an action before they did it (even though this itself is very hard to believe) then how could they have done otherwise. However I do not understand how this is detrimental to this argument of compatibilism. Obviously if someone somehow new 100% for sure that you were going to do something then to even ask if the person could have done otherwise is completely absurd, they obviously would have, as in the first part of the statement its said that they couldn’t. Basically saying that hypothetically you will do an action with
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