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Questions tagged [determinism]

The doctrine that every event has a cause. The main philosophical interest of determinism has been in assessing its implications for free will.

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Is free will required in order to differentiate between the subconscious and the conscious?

If the subconscious motivates actions in a way that we are not aware of, then its fair to say that we don't have control over our subconscious. If I were to look at this from a determinist perspective,...
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Is the question of moral responsibility a valid one against determinism?

One of the questions I feel is most commonly asked about determinism is "how can people be responsible for their actions if they were following a determined fate? is it right to punish people for bad ...
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Can causally unconnected things become causally connected?

Things have properties and what it means by being in a causal connection is one object's property/properties determines the property/properties of the other object with which the first object ...
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If hard determinism is true, why should we try to better ourselves?

If hard determinism is true, then it was never really my choice to be the person I am at this exact moment. There’s also only one path from this point forward, so if I’m going to eventually be a good ...
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How can a person truly love another if hard determinism is true?

I have a wife and two kids. According to hard determinism, I was determined since time began moving forward to marry my wife and have my children. Every moment we share together was also predetermined,...
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How do I believe in free will? [closed]

After considering all possible ways that famous philosophers have tried to explain it, and reading so many articles that treat it like God’s greatest gift to mankind, I still don’t get it. Is it that ...
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Łukasiewicz & statements about the past

I think this is a fair presentation of Łukasiewicz's view on past, present, and future statements in an answer by Johannes https://philosophy.stackexchange.com/a/31995/29944: "His view is that ...
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Can we control our emotions? [closed]

Suppose a man works 15 hour shifts to provide for his wife and 10 kids, and after a very long and exhaustive day, he comes home to find his wife in bed with another man. At what point does the man ...
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How does free will give life “meaning”?

Many people have suggested that if we don’t have free will, then life is essentially meaningless because everything we’ve ever thought or done has already been determined. I’m not sure why determinism ...
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Are There Alternatives to Determinism and Stochasticism?

From my physicist's point of view, there are basically two ways of seeing the world: The world can be fundamentally deterministic or fundamentally stochastic (see also indeterminism). I believe that ...
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What role does “DESIRE” play in materialistic determinism?

Let us assume the worldview of extreme materialistic determinism. This is the belief that everything is the result of its material make up. This view goes so far as to eliminate free will. Our ...
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About Aaron Snyder, The Paradox of Determinism

I am looking at Aaron Snyder's The Paradox of Determinism (American Philosophical Quarterly Vol.9, n.4, Oct. 1970) Is it still discussed? Are his claims and arguments taken in account in present ...
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How do moral skeptics respond to the concept of permissible heinous acts

The Problem Let's say I am debating my friend Jake who believes that morality exists. But I am a hard determinist who believes that all actions are predetermined by some act or event beforehand. Jake ...
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Is Freedom in existentialism compatible with determinism

Is freedom in existentialism compatible with determinism. Or does it simply refer to the subjective experience of deciding amongst a variety of possibilities
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Free will: is reality a record, a game or unpredictable?

If a world is a record (a film), then this scenario does not have conditional rules, i.e., if it can be implemented as a computer program, it will not have "if ... then ..." commands. If a world is a ...
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Being a determinist and a believer in a multiverse seems contradictatory

A determinist holds that everything is determined by the physical world around them and free will is an illusion. A multiverse suggests there are an infinite number of alternative universes in ...
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Questioning determinism (example)

Questioning the world's deterministic behaviour, I shall present an example which seems to defy any certainty about the recurrence of events and is (obviously) a result of faulty logic, but I would ...
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I can't see how free will exists in a universe that's only causal or random, can I be convinced otherwise?

From what I've looked into on the topic of free will, I've found it difficult to see how it could exist in a universe of pure causality or randomness. However, I haven't fully abandoned the idea of ...
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Many worlds defeats Doomsday argument (betting version)? [closed]

Here is a calculation regarding observers placing bets in the many-worlds scenario. Let us assume that an observer has some current rank n in the human race (there have been n-1 humans born before ...
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What term describes 'statements about future events can't have a truth value until they occur' & ' what'll happen will happen'?

Source: Benatar, D. The Human Predicament (2017 1 edn). p. 235, for p. 114 Footnote 30. I add this qualification because some people may think that unless determinism is true, [1.] future events ...
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Is there any formal axiomatized definition of Determinism in First Order Logic (FOL), or any other logical system for that matter?

Is there any formal axiomatized definition of Determinism written in First Order Logic (FOL), with a semantic interpretation maybe rooted in Set Theory, or based on any other logical system and ...
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How is free-will formally defined as distinct from determinism, randomness and determinism-randomness hybrid to support moral responsibility?

Usually free-will is assumed by most faith traditions as a prerequisite for moral responsiblity in order to justify eternal punishment. The argument goes as "you are truly responsible for your immoral ...
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Free will, what do philosophers think this is? [closed]

My personal definition of free will is my ability to be the prime mover of all my practical actions. I am a physical being bounded by my physical and psychological needs, but I can choose and apply ...
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Is it unfair to eternally punish people in hell if determinism is true?

If determinism happens to be true, then people just do what the laws of Physics governing the chemical interactions of neurons in their brains make them do. In such a scenario, wouldn't it be unfair ...
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Against Historical (or Geographical) Determinism

It seems that determinism has gained tremendously in terms of being accepted as a general theory of everything by a large number of people. Books like The Selfish Gene and Guns, Germs, and Steel have ...
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Hume and Strawson on Libertarianism and Determinism

a) What is the traditional dispute between libertarianism and determinism, and how does Hume reconcile the two? b) What is Strawson’s claim to be an improvement on Hume?
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Can small random pieces produce a deterministic whole?

Quantum mechanics offers some statistical reasoning for small pieces of length in the Universe (please correct me if I'm wrong). To some extent everything has uncertainty. We might even say that it is ...
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Sketch of a proof for real free will?

I have read many contemporary philosophers and the mainstream view seems to be that real free will is an illusion in the sense that consciousness is an emergent phenomenon which is only set on top of ...
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Why does Newcomb's paradox seem to have different solutions depending on when the choice is made despite determinism?

I believe the Newcomb's paradox is a significant problem in philosophy, since I regard it as a well formulated version of the lazy argument (under certain conditions) with real life implications. ...
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Can someone explain Compatibilism to me?

Here is the definition of Free will: Free Will: Ability to choose between different possible courses of action unimpeded. and that of Determinism: Determinism: All events are completely ...
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Richard Taylor’s determinism

What are the premises he’s stating: …determinism cannot be reconciled with [the fact that] it is sometimes up to me what I am going to do. For if it is ever really up to me whether to do this thing ...
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Why does utilitarianism presuppose that objective utility can exist and is to the benefit of a society?

Utilitarianism asserts that a society can operate according to the benefit of the most members of the population, and that actions on behalf of a society should maximize utility. Why does it assert ...
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Is the existence of an omniscient creature impossible?

I'm not talking about God, so the subject doesn't have to be omnipotent. Is there any logical inconsistency that would make the existence of such creature impossible? How would determinism affect the ...
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How can our actions be regarded as free if they are causally determined?

After all, soft determinists are determinists, so they believe that our actions are causally determined. How can our actions be regarded as free if they are causally determined?
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Would there be free will if we assume a stochastic component in the decision making?

I was reading this answer regarding materialism and free will. It says that, under the assumption that there isn't a random process underlying decision making, there is no free will. And isn't that a ...
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Which known philosophers are firm determinists?

I'm aware of the compatibilist attitude by some philosophers, such as Hegel and Daniel Dennet. I am interested in some philosophers who are firm determinists (deny free will).
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Is the way we love deterministric?

Is the only way we are able to love the way we have been loved? In other words: Do we learn how to love? What is the relation between giving love and receiving love? (regardless of the definition of ...
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Logical Fallacies in Blomstrom's Wager

I discovered a discussion of logical fallacies inherent in Pascal's Wager. It occurred to me that a similar strategy could be used to sidestep the debate regarding determinism: It simply makes sense ...
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Determinism vs Coin Flip

Some have argued that you can escape determinism (assuming it's real to begin with) by flipping a coin: heads = chocolate, tails = strawberry. But determinists can argue that you were preordained to ...
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What is the purpose of consciousness?

Please jump to the 'Edit' portion of the question, because the below portion MAY seem confusing or irrelevant. Assuming that the control over things we have is illusory, as beautifully explained by ...
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Many-worlds defeats Doomsday argument (improved version)?

This is a more carefully argued version of my previous post Many-worlds Interpretation defeats the Doomsday argument? Standard Doomsday Argument Let N be the total number of humans who will ever ...
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Is there a term for the position “no determinism but no free will”?

Often when free will is discussed, there are three main positions espoused: Libertarian: The universe is not deterministic and there is free will Hard-determinism: The universe is deterministic and ...
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Many-worlds Interpretation defeats the Doomsday argument?

By making the a priori assumption that we are equally likely to be anywhere along the chronological list of humans, the Doomsday argument implies that our position n is correlated with the future ...
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Truth Claims - Free Will - Determinism

In this video, Ravi Zacharias when asked how we can have free will if God already knows what we are going to do, says the following: "The moment you make a truth claim you are rising above the ...
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Is nothing a theoretical possibility unless it actually happens?

If determinism is true, would that mean that in a scientific theory, everything that is a theoretical possibility actually happens? I apologize if this question is similar to previous questions of ...
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How does Hegel overcome determinism without noumena?

Hegel rejects the noumena/phenomenical dichotomy developed by Kant in his transcendental idealism and replaces it with his idea of absolute idealism. Kant, embedded in a Newtonian paradigm, holds the ...
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Aren't Determinism and Free Will indiscernible from the mortal perspective?

The title sort of says it all. Aren't Determinism and Free Will indiscernible from the mortal perspective? Under Determinism if I don't know what the plan is then whatever I do is was and always ...
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Can I predict my future by observing all humans/events

There is NO RANDOM in the Universe (Atleat in our universe) Humans have NO FREE WILL (Determinism vs Free Will: Crash Course Philosophy #24) I believe everything happened/happening in the universe is ...
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Can order come from chaos?

I've been considering the idea that matter, or some material substance, has either always existed, or just began to exist because it's necessary that it exist. In either event, it was chaotic, ...
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Can spontaneous body movements confirm or infirm free will?

When explaining to someone why I don't believe in freewill, it is almost certain that they will flap their arms around or do some sort of strange dance with their arms. I know the reason why they do ...