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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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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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), ...
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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 ...
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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-...
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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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Difference between ‘determinism’ and ‘fatalism’

What is the difference between determinism and fatalism?
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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 ...
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Are actually random events causeless?

Radium atoms decay by emitting alpha particles at random. Are these events without cause? Of course one may take a closer look at radium nuclei to determine a possible reason why they decay; for ...
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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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Is Compatibilism just a word game?

I understand compatibilism to mean that an action can be free if it is self-determined by the agent, even if it would have been impossible for the agent to choose any other action. Consider the ...
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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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Is World Deterministic?

I think that all the events of the world are just the results of the application of the rules of nature on the previous situation of the world. Our thoughts or efforts are also completely ...
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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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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, ...
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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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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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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 ...
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Does the logical tautology “what will happen, will happen” imply the impossibility of free will?

The statement what will happen, will happen is true by definition (right?). But to me that also implies that as long as time is linear, the future is predetermined (and hence there is no free ...
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According to Existentialism, is the statement “I don't have a choice” a choice?

Determinism and Existentialism differ on a person's responsibility. In Determinism we don't have free will, but in Existentialism we can't avoid free will. Even when we try to avoid making a choice, ...
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Considering kantian determinism for phenomena, what's the point of ethics?

Kant's determinism seems to imply that if we (somehow) get to know all the physical properties of a certain object we can also know what will be the state of the latter object given a certain period ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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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Does Quantum Entanglement Disprove the Principle of Locality?

Regarding the debate between quantum mechanics and determinism I have encountered a problem I can't find the answer to. It is my impression that in order to solve Bell's inequality you would have to ...
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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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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 ...
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Could reality be a projection of another reality?

I'm new to metaphysics. So, I apologize if this is an established question. I've been asking the question, could reality be a projection of another reality? In geometry, you can project a three ...
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Does providence imply the same thing as fate in Christianity?

Fate implies the idea that all things which happen were meant to happen. They could not have happened another way. I am curious to know whether providence also implies this idea. I know that the two ...
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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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Do compatibilists consider robots to have freewill?

Compatibilism is the position that freewill and physical determinism are compatible. This is in opposition to the idea that since everything has a cause, any act or decision a person takes has ...
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Am I just a force of nature? (physicalist determinism)

I was pondering for a while on determinism and had a hard time explaining how we living things are seemingly able to change our surroundings by force of will. Inanimate object can change their ...
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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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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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As far as Marx was concerned, is all of history predestined, including human actions?

Are humans' minds fully deterministic robots? IINM, Newton would have certainly said so. My question is threefold: How would Newton have answered this? How would Marx have answered this? I'm ...
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Why is it wrong to deduce determinism from a logical law?

In Aristotle's famous sea battle argument, he argues from bivalence (or something like it) to determinism. Stalnacker has an argument to determinism using standard logical laws, as well. My question ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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Can nihilists reject Kantian necessitation without also rejecting free will?

To me, the rejection of free will seems so useless that it is not even worth seriously considering. However, the existence of free will does seem to necessitate a normative standard by which certain ...
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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 kind of fallacy attributes cause to chance when the cause is unknown?

What kind of fallacy is it if one attributes a cause to chance when a cause is unknown? e.g., Scientists don't know why X, therefore X must be due to chance. Take for example the masses of leptons. ...