In this essay I will analyze Galen Strawson’s Basic Argument. I will first outline his main premise of the Basic Argument and then I will examine one of his criticisms. Specifically, I will be looking into his third premise, “But you can’t be ultimately responsible for the way you are in any respect at all”. I am defending Strawson’s argument that you are indeed not responsible for your actions. I will be focusing on genetics and upbringing’s in order to support Strawson’s reasoning. Due to the genetics individuals inherit and the environment they are brought up in, it is difficult to go against Strawson as he provides valid evidence that supports his argument that you cannot be ultimately responsible for your actions.
Strawson points out in premise two of his basic argument that in order to be truly morally responsible for one’s actions one would have to be Causa Sui, in a certain mental aspect. Causa Sui is the belief that something is the cause of itself. Which he later says is impossible to be the cause of oneself. If his basic argument relied on the validity of premise two then it would be impossible
Strawson negates the pessimist’s argument because it asks us to make our attitudes wholly objective, which isn’t humanly possible, thus making this argument futile. He elaborates on the optimist’s view by introducing the belief that our moral attitudes are facts of our natural human commitment to interpersonal relationships and we are incapable of ignoring them. Regardless of determinism, moral concepts are relevant and they shape all human action, including the practices enforced by social institutions. Strawson says that because human action is guided by moral attitudes which we naturally form and are not constrained by any evident notion of pre-ordination, we are free.
every action we do is of our own design, and therefore we are morally responsible for the result of those actions. Of course there are exceptions such as being held at gunpoint, being hypnotized or driven by some psychological disorder. No-one would hold you at fault for actions you were forced to commit, but we do hold you responsible for other actions, ones we feel they were free to make. We feel appalled when we see someone kill, or act in an amoral way. This feeling - Campbell thinks - is what shows we must have free will; because without free will we can’t be held responsible for our actions. Yet when you see someone do something you as “why did you do that?” or “what made you do that?”; we ask for the
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.
The chance and uncertainty of randomness is an explanation of freedom. Given this act it would break the causal chain and abolish determinisms freedom. (Doyle 1,2) For human beings to have free will they are required to have some sort of randomness. If their actions are a direct consequence of a random event they are not responsible for their actions. Interdeterminism requires certainty to establish the knowledge and the laws of nature. Strawson and Sartre have very different views regarding free will. Throughout the paper, the idea of responsibility based on our actions and the issues of human beings not having free will is discussed. I believe human beings are able to have free will based on the
In this essay I will explain why I think the strongest position of the free will debate is that of the hard determinists and clarify the objection that moral responsibility goes out the door if we don’t have free will by addressing the two big misconceptions that are associated with determinists: first that determinism is an ethical system, and secondly that contrary to common belief determinists do believe in the concept of cause and effect. I will also begin by explaining my position and why I believe that the position of the indeterminist does not hold water as an argument and the third
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
Suppose that every event or action has a sufficient cause, which brings that event about. Today, in our scientific age, this sounds like a reasonable assumption. After all, can you imagine someone seriously claiming that when it rains, or when a plane crashes, or when a business succeeds, there might be no cause for it? Surely, human behavior is caused. It doesn't just happen for no reason at all. The types of human behavior for which people are held morally accountable are usually said to be caused by the people who engaged in that behavior. People typically cause their own behavior by making choices; thus, this type of behavior might be thought to be caused by your own choice-makings. This freedom to make
Whether we have free will is widely controversial. The absence of a universal definition poses a primary problem to this question. In this essay, I shall base my argument on a set of three conditions for free will: 1) that the actor is unconstraint in his action, 2) the actor could have acted otherwise and 3) the actor must be ‘ultimately responsible’ (Kane, 2005: 121) for his action. After I have explained them, I shall apply these conditions to three scenarios that cover most, if not any, circumstances that occur when taking choices. The purpose of this essay is to show that if my conditions are true, none of the scenarios is based on free will and thus we do not have free will.
“If everything we do is caused by earlier things that we didn’t do, how can we be morally responsible for our actions?” (Appiah: 2003: pg 365)
The incompatibilists argue that one is morally responsible for what she has done given that she could have done otherwise. Further, they think that if determinism is true then one could not have done otherwise, so if determinism is true, one is not morally responsible for things she has done. In debates surrounding the issue of free will, philosophers have focused on discussing whether determinism is true or false. Harry Frankfurt thinks even though the requirement of alternative possibilities in order to be held morally responsible for our actions seems intuitively plausible, it is a questionable premise in the argument provided by incompatibilists. Frankfurt calls the premise that “a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have done otherwise” the principle of alternative possibilities or PAP (Frankfurt, 829). He argues that PAP is false and a person can be held morally responsible even if she could not have done otherwise.
The idea of blame, defined as, “A particular kind of response (e.g. emotion), to a person, at fault, for a wrongful action,” plays a significant role in the study of crime, with respect to degrees of “fault.” In most modern societies, “criminal culpability,” or degrees of wrongdoing, makes a difference between the kinds of punishment one receives for his action(s). To be culpable for a crime, there must be a guilty act (Actus Rea), and a guilty mind (Mens Rea). Degrees of culpability often depends on the kind of mental state, (Mens Rea), one brings to the act in which he engaged. How much one is blameworthy for wrongful conduct depends in part on the state of mind in relation to the wrongful conduct. One’s mental state while engaging in wrongful conduct, which in a legal sense is determined by legislators, is characterized by the following terms: purposely, knowingly, recklessly and negligence.
Personal responsibility to me means taking accountability for your own actions, Making a commitment and sticking to it. In order to be a success in college, you have to apply your life learned lessons to the equation, to balance both school and out of school priorities. Because You are responsible for the choices you make, you are ultimately responsible for your success. Becoming a master organizer and learning how to manage your time efficiently, will help you achieve your goals. Taking responsibility for all that happens while you are in college will help you prevail in areas, where you may have lacked confidence. Critical thinking and a desire to succeed will help you accomplish your goals.
The question of whether humans are responsible for their actions or if they are under the influence of divine or supernatural power is one that has been debated over for centuries. There are three views that exist: the first is that there is only free will, the second view is that there is only fate, and the third view is that there is room and justification for both possibilities. The themes of fate and free will are very prominent in the book of Genesis and Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex. In both, the fate of the characters is decided by a higher being, but the way in which they arrive at their destinies is determined by free will and the choices they make, which leads to the demise of the characters.