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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Can hatred and retribution be justified and rationalized without free will?

Without free will, our behaviour would be no different from any other natural phenomenon, Sam Harris and other determinists claim: https://imgur.com/bIrWOJI “Compare the response to Hurricane Katrina,...
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causality vs determinism

Does causality implies determinism? Causation is a necessary relation between cause and effect and I consider determinism as "state of the future will be uniquely fixed by the past's state " ...
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If dualism provides an escape from determinism, how does it work

There are confusing number of types of dualism, i am not sure which one to restrict the question to. Reductionist physicalism has a dichotomy between determinism and random. Dualists like to claim ...
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Non-random indeterminism in physicalist reductionism?

In lectures on free will, often a dichotomy between determinism and random is alluded. This dichotomy always is not a true dichotomy, there are some known and even trivial examples of non-random ...
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Can there be determinism without predictability?

Suppose you have two intelligent agents interacting, with each one one's behavior based on their prediction of what the other will do. For example, suppose you have two mind readers playing rock, ...
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Is the debate on free will over? [closed]

I've never posted on here but I am interested in philosophy. I think a lot about free will / determinism / compatibilism. I always felt like I have some degree of free will. I know free will is ...
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Does determinism include any concept of knowledge?

Causal determinism means that every event is completely caused by prior events. Therefore no amount or kind of knowledge can have any effect whatsoever on the flow of events. If a person's behaviour ...
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Free Will vs Destiny

Is living, believing having free will the destiny(predetermined truth)of our life? Do we really have free will or we just believe to have free will?
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If everything is predetermined, why should I feel motivated to do anything?

I am a proponent of hard-determinism. Now, the problem is, if free will doesn't exist, why should I feel motivated to do anything? The question "Why should I feel motivated to do anything" ...
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Wouldn't physicalistic determinism and non-compatiblistic free will both be possible at the same time?

Physicalistic determinism would require that the entire physicalistic universe would be determined. Non-compatiblistic concepts of free will generally hold that our conscious self awareness and free ...
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Which evolutionary concepts or theories are used to either support or undermine 'perception of free will' as accurate?

NOTE: 'Free will' in this question describes an ability to have chosen otherwise, given the same circumstances. According to American Scientist, Darwin came to a belief that we had no free will 30 ...
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How does hylomorphic dualism (Thomism) deal with free will?

As I understand, according to hylomorphism the soul and the body are one in the same. The soul "informs" the matter, but does not interact as it would in interactionism. But how does this ...
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Is it the incorrect assumption of an "a priori determined universe", which creates the paradox of determinism versus free will?

I reached a bit of a watershed recently in my thinking on the question of whether we live in a deterministic universe, and what I see as a the related question of whether we enjoy real freedom of ...
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Hume's Law and determinism?

So I've been reading on the is-ought distinction. Let's say I have a supercomputer and am given the initial conditions of an isolated system which contains humans. Then I see the time evolution of the ...
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Does determinism prevent rationality?

If hard determinism is true, and our thoughts are merely the results of a causal chain of atomic interactions, are reason and logic illusory? This matter has likely been discussed in another thread, ...
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Why does "being able to do otherwise" not count as having free will?

Hello my question is a relatively simple one. But it is also one that seems to have alot of different complicated answers. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to derive a concise clear answer as to why ...
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Is there anyway for a Determinist to justify capital punishment as being logical?

Hello to all great philosophers here! I've recently finished an essay and a few readings on determinism vs compatibilism. I actually have a few questions but my question is this : can a determinist ...
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If Free Will Is Proven Illusory, Is There a Case for Suppressing the Finding?

NOTE: This question does not assume the existence or non-existence of free will. Dan Dennett, Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University, states that when "...neuroscientists who've been going ...
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Which Philosophical Ideas Best Protect Us From Existential Suffering in a Society Increasingly Accepting of the Claim That There is No Free Will?

Discussion of free will seems increasingly prevalent in mainstream media, particularly Youtube and in reputable periodicals such as the Atlantic, the Conversation and the Guardian (to name a few). ...
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Proof for the absence of free will?

There are a number of arguments which aim to prove the impossibility of free will. The Standard Argument (incorporating the Determinism Objection and the Randomness Objection) is well known and ...
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what's the big deal with "amor fati"?

Why do I keep hearing about Nietzche's "amor fati" (meaning "love your fate") or "eternal recurrence" ? It seems to boil down to "one should strive to be willing ...
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Is Determinism a valid objection to Utilitarianism (or ethics in general)?

I understand Utilitarianism to be the ethical theory which states that "we should choose to do those things that cause the most happiness". As soon as I see the word "choose" in ...
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Is everything just coincidence?

The lyrics of a song by The Chameleons made me wonder: It's just coincidence Well you can talk that way But I have to say I don't believe in it After considering these lyrics, I have the ...
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Relationship between Causal Determinism and Principle of Sufficient Reason?

Causal Determinism is the concept that events are bounded by causality in such a way that any state (of an object or event) is completely determined by prior states. The Principle of Sufficient ...
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What are the differences between Free Will, Autonomy and Agency? [closed]

I'm especially interested in differences that show dependence or independence of these concepts on each other. Like is it possible to have Agency without Free will, according to definitions? Or ...
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How does a determinist explain darwin and chess? [closed]

I think the consensus among most materialists is that "living beings" have a common ancestor. I say "living beings" in quotes because I don't even know what it means that something ...
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Does an Eternal Multiverse Undermine Causality, Time and Free Will? [closed]

An eternal multiverse is a static multiverse that just exists and is presented as a series of static moments, and each moment is separated by proper time (in the relativistic sense) and has many ways ...
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Is there a philosophy where non-determinism is reduced to determinism without an agent

It appears to be quite difficult to define agency in a metaphysical sense in a deterministic world. All handling I have seen suggests agents "choose" between paths, and thus require the ...
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Why do compatibilists believe that whether we act freely is independent of whether or not determinism is true?

I am mainly looking for information based on Dennett's work, I Could Not Have Done Otherwise- So What? because that is the only thing I am familiar with other than D'Holbach, but other works will do ...
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If we don't have free will, does that mean evil automatically exists?

If we don't have free will, can we be held responsible for our actions because they are deterministic? And if we can't be held responsible does that mean that evil exists?
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Philosophy of science: Determinism and indeterminism in statistical methods of science

A variable is modeled as a random variable in a statistical model, often without reference to the question of whether it is random in reality. For example, when the outcome of a coin flip is modeled ...
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Would the universe have played out differently?

If the universe was rewound to an earlier point of time(to the beginning of the universe for example), would events have manifested exactly the same? That is, would facts such as "[The Sun] ...
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Determinism and Freewill [duplicate]

Is there a definitive answer to the problem of free will as follows: How can free Will exist while physics laws tell us (as well as causality) that every state at any given time is the result of the ...
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Is free will compatible with determinism? (Ramsey theorem)

Do we have free will? Or everything is already determined? Are they mutually exclusive? I think they can coexist and have something similar to a proof here and would like to know your thought There is ...
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Is there a name for this form rejection of the free will vs determinism debate?

I'm familiar with the positions of determinism, free will, and compatibilism. But I recently heard a new position in this domain, and I'm curious if it has a name. The position goes something like ...
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Time travel, free will and "could have done otherwise"

The phrase "could have done otherwise" is almost essential to all discussions concerning free will. Most philosophers, as I understand the literature, believe this phrase characterizes and validates ...
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Is there any classic argument supporting freewill?

As much as I read about history of philosophy, I saw that a vast majority of ancient philosophers supported determinism(like Cynicists, Stoicists, Buddha etc.). Did any body support freewill in ...
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Does the denial of free will necessarily imply determinism?

SEP's entry on Arguments for Incompatibilism contains a curious passage: Empirical discoveries about our brain and behavior might tell us that we don’t have as much conscious control as we think we ...
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Could free will exist as spontaneous particle creations?

I've been reading a lot on determinism from a quantum mechanics perspective in order to reach a conclusion about freewill and determinism. So far, it seems that quantum interpretations (Copenhagen, ...
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Non-Computability And Randomnes

I once thought (tweeted) that physics is 'explaining the explainable (computable) part of the universe' as the rest can be seen as random. Now I'm not sure about this anymore. The simplest example ...
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Free Will as Incoherent (What's wrong with this argument?)

Is this a sound argument? Free will is a cause that is neither determinism nor stochastic. Causes are either deterministic or stochastic. Free will is an incoherent entity All incoherent entities do ...
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A Statistical Argument Against Naturalism from Pro Golf [closed]

Imagine a golfer in a professional tournament. She is about to attempt a putt on the 18th hole. On naturalism, the golfer’s behavior is determined by neurophysiological events in the brain. Some of ...
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Can determinists take decisions?

For what I understand, determinism is based on the assumption that free will is not possible. So, I would conclude that a determinist has not the power to modify his future, and whatever decision he ...
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Why do people still believe in free will?

If we assume that macro-scale matter like we have in brains only acts in ways that are caused, then would not all actions in human behavior be a result of prior physical events beginning with ...
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Heaviness in eternal recurence

In The Unbearable Lightness of Being, it is said that: In the world of eternal return the weight of unbearable responsibility lies heavy on every move we make. That is why Nietzsche called the idea ...
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Boethius, Logical Necessity, and Accidental Necessity: A Solution to Free Will and Foreknowledge?

In his classic book, the Consolation of Philosophy (Book V), Boethius attempts to make an argument that libertarian free will and [divine] foreknowledge are not incompatible. His argument goes ...
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Some questions on causality and modern science

Note: I'm translating the vocabulary from Spanish so there may be some erroneous terms. If so, please edit them. In Causality: the place of the causal principle in modern science by Mario Bunge, the ...
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If cause C has the mutually exclusive effects Y and Z, then is causality held? Why?

Imagine there is a cause but several effects. Of course determinism is not held, but my question is about causality. If cause C has two mutually exclusive effects Y and Z, then at each given time ...
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I could prove: Copenhagen QM is NOT causal. Is my argument acceptable?

A quantum system consists of some states. It is in all of the states but beCAUSE of the act of the measurement, the wavefunction collapses into one state. I am really confused because I can repeat the ...
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Does the principle of sufficient reason imply mechanistic determinism?

The principle of sufficient reason states that any fact has a cause (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/sufficient-reason). To some authors, this principle led to extrapolated mechanistic determinism ...
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