Questions tagged [free-will]

for questions concerning the freedom of choice of rational agents (often as opposed to determinism)

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1
vote
1answer
122 views

Is there any theory of consciousness that extends conscious existence into the future?

I would like to be able to claim that consciousness is a physical phenomenon, arising from, subject to, and embedded in the physical structure of the universe, while at the same time claim that ...
0
votes
2answers
69 views

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, ...
7
votes
2answers
240 views

Self determination in non atomistic time?

I am reading the book Perspective in Whitehead's Metaphysics by Stephen David Ross. On page 182 he says, "whiteheads theory of events is atomistic-primarily to allow for self determination, but the ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

What did Acton mean by saying “absolute power corrupts absolutely”?

John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton said that "[p]ower tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." What did he mean by this? How might power compel evil or restrict free will?
2
votes
2answers
197 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
328 views

Can a mathematician create free will? [closed]

I'm of the firm opinion that free will (the idea of choice we exercise in an event) at least in the daily usage of the word is incompatible with the "laws of the universe" as we currently know them. ...
0
votes
0answers
63 views

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 ...
0
votes
2answers
108 views

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 ...
-1
votes
0answers
20 views

Is it related to Philosophy?

We find many examples in real life when an object we don't need can be seen in front of our eyes but when we need it we struggle to find it. We also don't recognize the importance of many things ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

Existentialism and the absensce of free will

One of the most famous doctrines of existentialism formulated by Jean Paul Sartre is that we are absolutely free. Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

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 ...
20
votes
8answers
2k views

Is free will reconcilable with a purely physical world?

Many are of the opinion that there is no metaphysical world beyond the material that we can sense, and that everything is therefore governed by physical cause and effect (some believe that we cannot ...
0
votes
4answers
76 views

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 ...
0
votes
6answers
423 views

Does free will contradict the theory of infinite universes

Let's imagine that we live in a world with infinite universes. One of these universes is the same as the one we live in, except for one change: this morning I choose to cut off my leg for some reason, ...
3
votes
7answers
2k 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
185 views

How are 'voluntary' actions possible in the scope of Sam Harris's framework of free will (its absence actually)?

Disclamer: I am striving to understand the point of view, not to examine if it is right or wrong (makes sense or not, etc.). I have listened to two audio excerpts by Sam Harris, discussing his views ...
0
votes
1answer
118 views

Liberation and religions

Religion is always for a group; but philosophy is not so. One person alone cannot be a religion. It is quite natural that there is a bond (a feeling of my and my men) among the members of a religion ...
7
votes
7answers
600 views

Have there been any proposed empirical tests for free will?

Have any observational, i.e., empirical, tests been proposed for determining whether an entity has free will? That is, given an arbitrary entity, how would one test whether it has free will. Asking ...
6
votes
2answers
5k views

Hume and free will

What exactly does Hume consider acting out of free will/being free? Are those two things even the same to him? Now, I believed Hume's definition for being free, to be that if you are doing what you ...
2
votes
4answers
186 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

Anselm and being “apt to will”

I am reading Anselm's On the Fall of the Devil, and I encountered an odd bit of language that I can't quite wrap my head around. In Chapter 12, Anselm (through a religious teacher) attempts to argue ...
4
votes
3answers
498 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 ...
55
votes
16answers
46k views

In which way does quantum mechanics disprove determinism?

I've heard this pop up in a discussion with my physicist/engineer roommates, but didn't care to ask at the time. Now I'm mighty curious about it. Wikipedia doesn't really seem to say much on this ...
4
votes
1answer
110 views

Plantinga's Free Will Defense and his stance on God's omnipotence

I'm having trouble understanding exactly what Plantinga is saying in regard to God's omnipotence. He states quite clearly that it is not logically impossible for a world in which free creatures who ...
3
votes
2answers
8k views

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 ...
14
votes
14answers
3k views

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 ...
1
vote
3answers
196 views

The Nature of Consciousness

I've been wondering recently about the nature of consciousness. It seems that, from what we know, consciouss thought is a result of neurons firing in the brain in a certain pattern. This would mean ...
2
votes
2answers
217 views

Arguments against quantum mechanics allowing for free will?

There have been similar questions asked here [1] [2], but I'm asking something a bit more specific. I've ofter heard the argument that quantum mechanics might somehow make free will possible because ...
7
votes
2answers
294 views

Did Thomas Aquinas state randomness as a prerequisite of free will?

I was told the other day that in one work on free will, Thomas Aquinas suggested that some randomness / non-determinism was a prerequisite for its existence. Does any one know where he expressed this ...
2
votes
2answers
110 views

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 ...
-2
votes
4answers
208 views

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. ...
1
vote
0answers
112 views

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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
108 views

How can there be people who believe in the concept of “free will”? [closed]

For a number of years now, I've been increasingly frustrated whenever I hear anyone talk about "free will" or "his life choices", etc. It's got to the point where I'm really, really annoyed just ...
11
votes
2answers
647 views

Does having free will presuppose consciousness, can philosophical zombies have it?

Philosophical zombies may lack a consciousness, but does this preclude the ability to have a free will? Why does consciousness matter, for agency, or at all, if determinism is real? (I've framed the ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Free will and consciousness [duplicate]

I am reading about free will and it seems to me that for everyone free will is associated with consciousness and this is why the Libet experiment has been so important in this debate. I do not ...
3
votes
6answers
584 views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
157 views

Would logic be respected if we assume that the God's omniscience includes the ability to DIRECTLY OBSERVE future events?

If we assume that God knows the future, we think that the only possible way He could do that would be if He knew all possible states of the system. He could thus "compute" that future. But this "...
5
votes
3answers
323 views

What is the utility of consciousness if free will is an illusion?

Introspectively speaking, it seems to me obvious that free will is illusion. Thoughts just emerge from background causes, and actions are just thoughts about actions that we have more thoughts about ...
7
votes
3answers
624 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
193 views

Does the first law of thermodynamics guarantee us free will?

I'm considering what may already be a well-known argument. Overall I am looking for a rebuttal. I'd like to make a quick point before the argument: For this question I would like to think of free ...
2
votes
4answers
144 views

Is it possible for a human not to select the most rewarding option?

It seems that out of all the options available, humans are wired to always make the ideal (satisfying/rewarding) subjective choice, and not go with the second best option or some other. When a ...
6
votes
4answers
537 views

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-...
10
votes
2answers
30k views

What was Socrates/Plato's view on free-will?

Socrates (or, rather Plato, through the voice of Socrates) leads us to the conclusion in the dialog Protagoras (see this for example) that our actions are entirely determined by our beliefs of what is ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

What is the difference between free will and moral agency?

I've heard a lot of people get confused about the differences between free agency, free will, and moral agency. What really is the difference?
2
votes
3answers
143 views

How does Spinoza derive his ethics while keeping with his definition of an “unfree” Will

In the Ethics, Spinoza does refute any definition of Will as being free, as Will for men is an illusion which proceeds from inadequate ideas and Will for God is that of the necessity of his Being. ...
0
votes
6answers
220 views

If we don't have free will, why was the quality of being conscious selected for?

I think scientists agree that we're conscious and aware that we have consciousness and awareness. But they don't agree on whether we have free will. I think they don't even have a universal definition ...
2
votes
4answers
142 views

The illogical nature of want/motivation and its effects on free will

Are all the decisions and desires of humans made in order to stimulate pleasure centers and avoid pain? If so, could someone/thing which is unable to feel pleasure and pain, and only had the power of ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Is illiteracy something you could claim as freedom in the Libertarian world view?

Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy, emphasizing freedom of choice. (Wiki) Is it consequent or illogical to argument that a Libertarian world view allows for illiteracy as ...
3
votes
4answers
247 views

Was Nietzsche speaking of psychologists when he commented that even those with the best intentions can do immeasurable harm?

Nietzsche said this (as found here): "It seems to me that a human being with the very best of intentions can do immeasurable harm, if he is immodest enough to wish to profit those whose spirit and ...
2
votes
0answers
48 views

What does Ted Honderich's attitudinism mean for moral responsibility?

I was doing some research into compatibalism, incompatibalism, and its implications for moral responsibility, and came across Ted Honderich and his 'attitudinism'. He looks at compatibalism and ...

1
2 3 4 5 6