Determinism Vs. Indeterminism And The Existence Of Free Will

2943 WordsJan 12, 201512 Pages
Though there is no singular definition of ‘free will’, the standard argument against it is the dilemma between determinism/indeterminism and the fact that these two concepts threaten the prospect or the existence of free will. Determinism is the basic philosophical principle that every event, including human decisions and actions, are the imminent consequence of prior events. Strict determinism would argue that free will does not exist due to the fact that our previous actions or past events, determine what our future actions will be. Thus creating the idea that a ‘present free will’ could not actually occur, essentially contending that human autonomy is impossible. A determinist would argue that ‘free will’ is essentially an illusion, arguing that preceding actions predetermine any choice we make in the future. Though determinism argues against the case of free will, it is a common misconception that most compatibilists are determinists. Though useful, determinism is somewhat unnecessary when deciding whether we act freely or not as it fails to explain why we act at will. However, the objection to free will that the deterministic approach takes is one that I will explore in this essay in regards to the different theories of compatibilism. A traditional argument of compatibilism would simply state that freedom of the will is otherwise known as the freedom to do whatever an agent would desire, without the obstruction from any exterior elements. Hobbes would argue that free

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