Freedom-Determinism Debate

1726 WordsApr 14, 20057 Pages
The controversy between freewill and determinism has been argued about for years. Freewill is defined as the belief that our behaviour is under our own control and do not act in response to any internal or external factors. Freewill has been found to have four different conditions and to have freewill at least two conditions must be obtained, these are; people have a choice on their actions, have not been coerced by anything or anyone, have full voluntary and deliberate control of what they do. One example of freewill in psychology is Humanism. The humanists are in favour of freewill as they believe that humans aren't ever determined to behave in a certain way. According to Maslow (1950) we all strive for self-actualisation, which is…show more content…
For example, Skinner (1938) argues that since people are the result of their conditioning, and will get conditioned by their upbringing and environments anyway, we should control people's upbringing and environments as much as possible to ensure that their conditioning is positive. He suggested that positive and negative reinforcement should be applied to this task. Unlike Skinner, Lorenz (1963) says that unconscious forces determine our behaviour. These forces are built into human nature by evolution. However these forces are quite unpleasant. For example, Lorenz holds that aggression and territoriality and sexual competition are innate instinctive drives. Hence, we are destined to want unconsciously to dominate others by violence, whether we consciously "want" to or not. Similarly Freud's psychoanalytic theory of personality in the psychodynamic approach, suggests that adult behaviour is determined by innate drives and early experiences. This gives support to the view that our behaviour can be determined, however has little empirical support as it's based mainly on case studies. Biological approach is genetic deterministic. It's been found that there is some genetic link to schizophrenia and depressions, meaning the genes are determining the future of the individual. This has consequences such as maybe a prenatal test in the future could determine whether an unborn child has the schizophrenia gene. Research into the human genome is producing increasing
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