Human Freedom And The Self By Roderick M. Chisholm

Decent Essays

In “Human Freedom and the Self,” Roderick M. Chisholm takes the libertarian stance, arguing that freedom is incompatible with determinism, that determinism is in fact false, and that humans do posses the kind of freedom required for moral responsibility. Chisholm argues that a deterministic universe, where all events, including human actions, proceed from prior events without the possibility that they would proceed differently than they do prevent the possibility that humans are responsible for their actions. To validate his libertarian beliefs, Chisholm sets out to prove that humans are responsible for their actions and also the thoughts that lead to those actions. In order to answer this problem, Chisholm believes we must make some assumptions about the man who preforms the act. Chisholm begins his argument for the case of free will and it’s incompatibility with determinism by showing that people are responsible for the choices they make. If an agent (person) is responsible for the choices he makes, and has the power to change that choice, then determinism can’t exist. Chisholm uses the scenario of one man shooting another man to prove his point.. The shooter is responsible for his actions, because he had a choice of whether to fire or not to fire the shot. If the shooter has the ability to choose which course of action to take, it means that the man causes action. Having the freedom of choice could not have been caused or determined by any event that was not itself

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