Compatibilism

We continue our topic of free will – now looking at another approach. We saw that according to Determinists like D’Holbach, we really do not have free will, there are only a physical, causal chains of events, and our actions are included in those: therefore free will is an illusion.

Now we will address the approach called Compatibilism: Compatibilism says that, yes, the universe is deterministic insofar as it is subject to the laws of physics, but that doesn’t mean that there are certain actions we nevertheless understand, and describe as resulting from our free will. So free will and determinism are compatible.  Read on to find out how this idea can be made out.

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We continue our topic of free will – now looking at another approach. We saw that according to Determinists like D’Holbach, we really do not have free will, there are only a physical, causal chains of events, and our actions are included in those: therefore free will is an illusion.

Now we will address the approach called Compatibilism: Compatibilism says that, yes, the universe is deterministic insofar as it is subject to the laws of physics, but that doesn’t mean that there are certain actions we nevertheless understand, and describe as resulting from our free will. So free will and determinism are compatible.  Read on to find out how this idea can be made out.

Required reading:

1) W.T. Stace, Free will & Determinism are compatible

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Excerpt from W.T. Stace, 1952, (pp. 248-258) in Religion & the Modern Mind, HarperCollins: London.

2) Ansgar Beckermann, ‘Compatibilism’ 

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Excerpted from Ansgar Beckermann, ‘Free will in a Natural Order of the World’, The Determinism and Freedom Philosophy Website.

Open source. Downloaded 08/06/2017 from http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~uctytho/dfwBeckermann.html

 

Prompt: Describe the theory of Compatibilism. Do you think it works?

Please write a minimum 200 word response to the prompt; and then write a 100 word response to one of your fellow students’ posts

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