Chapter  7: FREEDOM and DETERMINISM

FREEDOM?  Maybe Not!!

You might be wrong!

Well the book and the crumpled piece of paper hit the ground at just about the same time.

Do it again if you doubt that.

Well if you thought that the book was hitting the ground first because it was heavier than the single piece of paper, you have a couple of choices as to what to believe now:

 1. Somehow the single piece of paper gained a lot of weight and now falls almost as fast as the textbook.

2. The textbook somehow lost weight and is now about as light as the single piece of paper

3. You were wrong when you thought that the book falls faster because it is heavier.

Well my thinking is that if you thought that heavier things fall faster than light things,  

YOU WERE WRONG!

Oh my, now what to believe!  Galileo disproved that idea about heavy things falling faster than lighter things because of the weight.  He disproved it over 400 years ago.  OK, what's my point here.  That the idea about heavy things falling faster than lighter things because of the weight is still popular and it appears to a lot of people to be very obvious.  BUT, it is wrong. 

On how things fall and why they fall as they do.

If you want to know why things fall on earth the way they do and understand what was demonstrated go to this website and see a few demonstrations along with explanations:

         Laws of Motion with illustrations: http://www.physicsclassroom.com/mmedia/newtlaws/

        VIDEO:  Misconceptions About Falling Objects http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mCC-68LyZM

TEXT  Falling Objects http://physics.info/falling/


So if your belief about why things fall was not correct or not true at all , then consider this: maybe, just maybe, the belief most people have about human freedom is wrong as well.

Not everything is as it appears to be!

Let's look at ideas of human freedom, even radical ideas.  Let's start with exploring what most people already believe and then let's consider the ideas of the critics of freedom, the determinists.  

 

Freedom: the kind of freedom that is required for morality, for our being morally responsible for our actions.  
There are 3 main positions in the free will debate:

 

  • Hard Determinism (Spinoza, Jonathan Edwards, Schopenhauer, Freud, Clarence Darrow, B. F. Skinner)
 
  • Libertarianism (The Existentialists, and others, e.g., Reid, Kant, Campbell, Taylor)
 
  • Compatibilism (Soft Determinism) (Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Mill, G. E. Moore, A. J. Ayer, Frankfurt)
 
Hard determinists and libertarians are both incompatibilists. They both subscribe to the incompatibilist thesis that determinism is incompatible with acting freely.    

Let's start by understanding the basic terms involved in this issue a little better:

Cause, Determinism, Hard Determinism, Soft Determinisim,  Indeterminism, Compatibilism, Incompatibilism, , Freedom, free will, libertarianism.

READ: http://www.homepages.ucl.ac.uk/~uctytho/dfwTerminology.html

VIEW: Free Will, Determinism and Choice lecture by Dr. Peter Millican at the University of Oxford.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XT6DKn6ZJso  18:48

VIEW: Different Concepts of Freedom and Blameworthiness  and Moral Responsibility

lecture by Dr. Peter Millican at the University of Oxford.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhoBDlu7j0E&list=PL2FEB728FF960FBD9&index=28

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UG0IM9ErWCo&list=PL2FEB728FF960FBD9 10:04

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgKgdBabASU&list=PL2FEB728FF960FBD9 9:49

 

SUGGESTED READINGS:

  1. WIKIPEDIA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will

  1. STANFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA of PHILOSOPHY 

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/freewill/

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/incompatibilism-arguments/

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/incompatibilism-theories/

  1. INTERNET ENCYCLOPEDIA of PHILOSOPHY

http://www.iep.utm.edu/freewill/

See also http://www.manyworldsoflogic.com/freeWill.html

 VIDEOS:

Sam Harris on Free Will 1:18:52

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCofmZlC72g

Do We Have Free Will or Is Everything Predetermined?  5:23

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufkrJkVqems

Neuroscience and Free Will 5:54   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6S9OidmNZM

How to Dissolve the Problem of Free Will and Determinism 1:00:10  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=la31lOcbDHc

The next section presents the position of libertarianism.

Proceed to the next section by clicking here> next section.

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Introduction to Philosophy by Philip A. Pecorino is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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