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 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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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 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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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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Would truly random events be strictly equivalent to events without a cause?

There are a couple of questions (one, another) about this topic, and as I was thinking about this for a while, I started wondering whether there has been any systematic research into this that raises ...
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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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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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Do we make spontaneous decisions or are our decisions based on prior experience and subconscious evaluation?

Do humans ever make spontaneous decisions in its true meaning? Or our decisions, including the ones made spontaneously, the product of our previous experiences, thoughts and subconscious evaluations. ...
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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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Why do people mix up physical indeterminism as related to free will?

if reality has code that makes you do X, or code that runs a random number generator and then makes you do X and Y, you don't have more free will in the second case. the random number generator used ...
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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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Is free will a third option aside from chance and necessity?

The determinism dilemma is that if our actions are predetermined they are not free, and if they are random they are not willed, either way there is no free will. Even if will causation is a mixture of ...
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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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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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Determinism vs Indeterminism debate

I need to find an article/website/book which offers a brief survey of the dispute determinism vs indeterminism (with no or really few references to the free-will problem). I need them for a high ...
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Is there evidence for existence of destiny as opposed to free will?

Is there any evidence for the existence of some kind of "destiny"? And if not: What about the "free will", its very much the opposite of destiny. Lets assume, our brain really is "only" an input-...
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Difference between ‘determinism’ and ‘fatalism’

What is the difference between determinism and fatalism?
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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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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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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 ...
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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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Being a determinist and a believer in a multiverse seems contradictory

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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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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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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Will superdeterminism, if proven, make science useless?

Superdeterminism states that no experiment we perform has complete freedom, so no matter what you are trying to learn about how things work out in nature, nature will tell you what it wants to tell ...
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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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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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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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What is the point of creating for an omniscient being?

I read a book about determinism and free will that argued an all knowing / all powerful God and free will are incompatible, because if God knows our future then our actions are determined, hence no ...
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Any argument against determinism?

I'm a very logical person. I like mathematics, software engineering, physics... everything in that area. Also I'm an anti-theist. My understanding of the universe: If you would take every atom (as ...
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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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If everything is ruled by determinism, what rules determinism itself?

If everything is ruled by determinism, what rules determinism itself? Has any philosopher ever explored this matter?
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Rudolf Carnap's opinion about free will

I know that the logical positivists thought that many old philosophical questions are meaningless, but I never found a source on the internet about their position on free will. So what was their ...
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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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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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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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Is there freedom in determinism?

I'm contemplating the idea that regardless of whether or not there is randomness involved in physics, the universe is still pretty much deterministic in the way of our actions being defined by physics....
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How should you respond to criminal behavior if you believe in hard determinism?

There are several ideas on hard determinism, but the core seems to be that in an interconnected existence, there can be no "actions" (free will), but only "reactions" (determinism). An action of free ...
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Relation between Existence of Free Will and Existence of the Self

So, I am a student in mathematics and physics with no formal training in philosophy whatsoever, although I enjoy reading popular discussions of philosophical questions. However, my question is bound ...
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Standard Argument against free will rebuttal

The Standard argument against free will states that an action is either predetermined or random and that these two options exhaust all the possibilities, leaving no room for true free will. To ...
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How can Determinism be true in light of the Free Will Theorem

The Free Will Theorem states: Given the axioms, if the two experimenters in question are free to make choices about what measurements to take, then the results of the measurements cannot be ...
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How does Quantum Mechanics affect the modern account of free will and determinism?

In the edition of Feb/Mar 2016 of the Philosophy Now Magazine says: Under Feel Free to Differ it says: [...] Determinism itself comes in different flavours. Hard determinism of the most absolute ...