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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110 views

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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140 views

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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247 views

Is it possible to be a determinist? [closed]

I find it logically impossible to believe in determinism. First: There is no concept of alternative in determinism. The future is as fixed as the past. A belief implies two alternative truth values. ...
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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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241 views

Does our experience with habits lead us to believe in free will?

Notoriously intractable, free will have had no success in being proven physically. Even phenomenally it is difficult to pin down precisely. So why do people believe each other when claiming that they ...
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552 views

Deterministic or stochastic universe?

Just a little bit before my graduation from computer science, I attended a course about computational intelligence, and my professor then challenged us to debate on whether the world/universe follows ...
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How do I prove an incompatibilist argument wrong?

I found a classical incompatibilist argument that looks that this: If a person acts of her own free will, then she could have done otherwise If determinism is true, no one can do otherwise ...
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If we are rationally obliged to be moral, and morality is not arbitrary, then are some decisions not freely made?

If we are rationally obliged to be moral, and morality is not arbitrary, then are some decisions not freely made? I mean 'not arbitrary' to mean that some values, e.g. courage, are more rational than ...
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182 views

Do Aristotle's three laws of logic apply to statements about the future?

I have just read about Aristotle's Three Laws of Logic. I was wondering if statements such as "There is a chance of it raining in the next hour" can be evaluated using the three laws. Can you apply ...
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835 views

What was Camus’ opinion of hedonism and determinism?

I’ve read The Myth Of Sisyphus, and it prompted some questions that I’m hoping other readers of Camus might be able to answer: Did Camus see unbridled hedonism as a solution to the nihilism caused by ...
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215 views

What is the case for free will?

By understanding the laws of nature, I've come to the conclusion that everything evolves according to the laws of physics, and that includes the formation of conscious and unconscious thoughts in the ...
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168 views

Historicism vs Determinism

Can anyone explain the difference between historicism and determinism (e.g. economic determinism)? I've found articles that describe them as different things, while others treat them as synonyms. If ...
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967 views

If you are predictable do you have free will?

Let there be a person that acted in some way. Also there is another person who had predicted that behaviour of first person. Does the first person has free will? Is it just possible to do something ...
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Is determinism logically flawed?

If determinism is true, every event shall have a cause. So, what is the cause of the first event (which is the first cause)? Conflict (paradox): 1) every event shall have a cause -> First event/...
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If each of our thoughts is entirely determined by the brain, can there be free will or a soul?

Supposing that every single thing that exists in our mind is due to the brain, and supposing that each and every decision we have is determined by our neurons, can there be free will? How? If ...
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Free Will and Causeless Causes

When searching on free will, what will often be found is that free will is incoherent (Sam Harris) or an illusion. Other references will claim it exists while citing clinical studies which ...
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Why do people argue in favor of IQs, while then encouraging people (of any IQ) to use hard work to obtain the same successes?

At the same time people will say (science included) that IQ is a very important thing -- while at the same time saying that people with lower IQs can do things that people with higher IQs can -- while ...
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Did anyone argue against the possibility of a perfect prediction from within a system?

Did anyone offer an argument against the possibility of a perfect and complete prediction about a system from within that system along the following lines: Let's imagine a machine (like a desktop ...
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Is the event of death deterministic?

It's 5 months since I lost my dad in a factory accident. His manner of death is obviously the biggest tragedy of my life, but now when I contemplate about it, the Physics of the event seem so unlikely....
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When did the idea of free will begin? Same for determinism

Hey so I'm doing this free will v determinism thing for class and I've tried but I can't seem to find when the separate beliefs came about. I know Socrates and Aristotle had something to do with them ...
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Why is the word “however” used here? What does it mean? [closed]

I was reading a Wikipedia article on fatalism and the idle argument. It says a Stoic philosopher "attempted to refute" it and then it states the argument. The very next line it uses the word "however"....
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How does Quantum Mechanics disprove determinism? [duplicate]

I personally believe in determinism and understand the basics of quantum mechanics, but don't see how any of it disproves that the universe is deterministic. Electrons cannot move change momentum or ...
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How can we be accountable if we are chemically programmed?

If we accept that neuro-chemistry largely explains cognitive function, deterministically, how can we be accountable? Not how or why can we be held accountable but how can we earnestly be in fact ...