Elliott Sober

this topic looks into the intriguing question as to whether we humans really have free will – that is, are we really free to make any choice, to do whatever we will, in a way that is NOT predetermined by something that happened in the past? Or, was the story of our lives already decided at the beginning of time, and we only have the illusion that we are running the show?

Required reading:

1) Elliott Sober on Free Will

Excerpt from Elliott Sober, Core Questions in Philosophy, Chapts. 24 & 25, Pearson: Boston, 2013.
2) Baron D’Holbach: Free will & Determinism are IncompatibleActions

Excerpt from Baron D’Holbach, ‘Of the System of Man’s Free Agency’ in A System of Nature (1770), (Trans). H.D. Robinson.

Elliott Sober 1

required video


Prompt: Describe D’Holbach’s argument for why we do not have free will, even though it might appear to us that we do. Is he right?

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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