David Hume : Free Will And Determinism

1261 Words Dec 12th, 2016 6 Pages
John “Jack” Christopher Miller Jr.
November 22, 2016
Rough Draft for Final Paper

Over the course of time, in the dominion of philosophy, there has been a constant debate involving two major concepts: free will and determinism. Are our paths in life pre-determined? Do we have the ability to make decisions by using our freedom of will? While heavily subjective questions that have been answered many different authors, philosophers, etc., two authors in particular have answered these questions very similarly. David Hume, a Scottish philosopher from the 18th century, argues in his essay “Of Liberty and Necessity” that free will and determinism are compatible ideas, and that they can both be accepted at the same time without being logically incorrect. Alike Hume, 20th century author Harry G. Frankfurt concludes in his essay “Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility” that the two major concepts are compatible. These two authors are among the most famous of Compatibilists (hence the fact that they believe free will and determinism are compatible ideas) in philosophical history. The question that then arises in the realm of compatibilism particularly, is one dealing with moral responsibility: If our paths in life are not totally pre-determined, and we have the ability to make decisions willingly (using free will), then how do we deem an individual morally responsible for a given decision? Frankfurt reaches the conclusion that we are held morally responsible regardless of…
Open Document