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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
15
votes
3answers
1k views

How do defenders of libertarian freewill reconcile it with constraints imposed by the laws of physics?

Libertarian freewill is the position that we have some measure of metaphysical freewill. Per this position, a free agent at a given point in time is able to freely select a course of action among ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
508 views

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 ...
14
votes
7answers
800 views

Is there a causal influence of the mental on the physical?

Regardless of whether the mental is ultimately physical or not... doesn't the impact of human knowledge (science, mathematics, etc) on the world (ie: technology, agriculture, basically everything), ...
15
votes
9answers
11k views

Does True Randomness actually exist? [duplicate]

I tend to think of randomness as a lack of complete information when it comes to knowing something. If we look at the history of probability theory it centers on a lack of knowing the exact outcome of ...
11
votes
11answers
7k views

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 ...
17
votes
8answers
3k views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
226 views

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 ...
21
votes
13answers
12k views

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 ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

What is a mathematical description of free will?

This is following in the line of this question asking what the difference between free-will and randomness/indeterminism is: What is the difference between free-will and randomness and or non-...
12
votes
4answers
995 views

Why do modern materialists tend to favor determinism?

There seems to be no logical link between matter and determinism (or ideal and indeterminism for that matter). And libertarian free will was first articulated by a materialist, Epicurus, and is ...
7
votes
3answers
15k views

Difference between ‘determinism’ and ‘fatalism’

What is the difference between determinism and fatalism?
6
votes
6answers
1k views

Counter Proof to determinism?

I have recently been thinking a lot about determinism and pretty much decided there was no reason to refute it as there was no evidence of free will that I could find. However, a couple of days ago, ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

What are some replies to the deterministic argument against free will?

This question is about the following famous argument (*) against free will: If determinism is true, the will is not free. If indeterminism is true, our will would just be a result of chance ...
6
votes
6answers
984 views

In what type of world is free will possible, if at all?

Why is free will a widely discussed, established concept? Does this concept emerge from religious / spiritual doctrine? Why is there so much interest in this topic? If a neural-network based AI ...
5
votes
3answers
708 views

Does Einstein's local realism in quantum mechanics imply superdeterminism?

Einstein insisted that nature is locally real, which is also know as counterfactual defeniteness and means that results of experiments are predetermined. But, if everything is predetermined in every ...
4
votes
4answers
224 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference between hard determinism and compatibilism, under the assumption of physicalism?

(For the purposes of this question, I am assuming that some form of physicalism holds.) When I read about hard determinism and compatibilism, it struck me that they seem to be placing different ...
2
votes
3answers
313 views

Free will in the face of determinism? [duplicate]

If an entity existed such as Laplace's demon, that could know with precision the current state of the universe and - using the laws of physics - could tell you your future with certainty, would you ...
15
votes
8answers
442 views

What happens when a conscious, intelligent being interprets a deterministic model?

Sorry, I’m new here, and I’ve truly no experience with philosophy. However, I’ve had this problem that I’ve been thinking about for awhile concerning a deterministic model for the universe. Consider ...
4
votes
4answers
381 views

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....
2
votes
2answers
140 views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
202 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
363 views

Have David Wolpert's findings really “slammed the door” on scientific determinism?

I recently read an article describing how mathematician/physicist David Wolpert's research closed the door on scientific determinism. I have huge doubts about the implied conclusion, considering the ...
2
votes
13answers
793 views

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 ...
5
votes
6answers
575 views

What are some good books that link quantum mechanics with concepts such as fate, coincidence and free will?

I am more interested in a high level conceptual approach than the quantitative one that talks about how quantum mechanics is/is not relevant to concepts such as what I mentioned above, and why. ...
3
votes
2answers
161 views

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 ...
2
votes
3answers
442 views

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 ...
0
votes
2answers
244 views

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 ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
424 views

How can we have responsibility in the Stoic's deterministic universe?

I read the following in Anthony Kenny's 'A New History of Philosophy' book. It is a paraphrase from Chrysippus the Stoic philosopher Nothing can escape Nature's laws, but despite the determinism of ...
4
votes
1answer
127 views

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 ...
3
votes
4answers
618 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
986 views

What is the difference between determinism and superdeterminism?

I know I need to add some body to the question, so I'll give you some links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Determinism and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superdeterminism. I have seen some comments that ...
2
votes
5answers
303 views

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?
1
vote
4answers
302 views

Regarding free choice in a deterministic universe

Why can't free will or free choice exist in a 'totally' deterministic universe? What I mean by a 'deterministic universe' at least 'locally' is one where if you had 'enough' information regarding some ...