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Week 11 Philosophy Discussion

The “Problem of Free Will: the problem(s) about the capacity/power to perform certain kinds of actions.

The ability of persons to exercise control over actions/conduct in the way that is necessary for moral responsibility. So Free Will seems to besome feature of agency that seems necessary for moral responsibility.
Some Terminology:

1. Determinism: Every event is causally necessitated by antecedent events. (in other words- Whatever happens is determined by prior events)

• What does it mean that an event is ‘totally determined’?
– Given what preceded it, it was inevitable that the event takes place.

1a. Compatibilism (or soft determinism)

(i). determinism is true
(ii). determinism is compatible with free will (and moral responsibility)

(Soft determinism agrees with hard determinism that determinism is true, but maintains that this doesn’t rule out free will. That is, determinism and free will are compatible. For this reason soft determinists are called compatibilists.)

2a. Hard determinism

(i) Accepts the first and denies the second thesis of the compatibilist
(ii) There is no free will

2. Indeterminism: Some events are not determined by prior events.

DISCUSSION PROMPT: Does Chisholm think “could have done otherwise” means what the compatibilists such as Stace says it does (in your answer be sure to briefly explain what the compatibilist – such as Stace- says it does)? If not, explain why Chisholm disagrees with this meaning of “could have done otherwise”.

Last Updated on February 10, 2019

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