What Is The Problem Of Freewill?

1495 WordsNov 15, 20156 Pages
What is the problem of freewill? Outline and defend your favoured solution to the problem. The problem of freewill concerns whether it is possible to retain agency in a world where events are necessitated. For the sake of clarity, my definition of freewill is “the power of acting or not acting without constraint”. Universal causation or hard determinism (both terms I shall use interchangeably) is the belief that “events in the future are fixed, as a matter of natural law, by the past”. Indeterministic theories such as libertarianism preserve freewill by maintaining that not all events are determined by preceding causes. Both indeterminism and determinism are incompatibilist theories as they imply that universal causation erodes the prospect of freewill. Compatibilist theories, like agent-causalism assert that causation doesn’t necessarily mean we do not have free will. There are compelling experiential and anthropological arguments that strongly support universal causation. Using these arguments, I will defend it as the most plausible solution to the problem of freewill, while considering the alternatives such as compatibilist and libertarian theories and pointing out their core weaknesses. The implications of universal causation are wide-ranging. Its truth means we don’t have freewill nor moral responsibility, rendering our entire justice system and conception of ethics inherently flawed. However, as this essay progresses, it will become apparent that this is a
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