We’re rewarding the question askers & reputations are being recalculated! Read more.

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
9
votes
2answers
26k views

What is the difference between intension and intention?

What is the difference between intention and intension? If one intends to do something is this intent part of the concept of intension?
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Is Kant's “noumenal self” argument on freedom flawed?

This is what is supposedly his claim: My noumenal self is an uncaused cause outside of time, which therefore is not subject to the deterministic laws of nature in accordance with which our ...
3
votes
1answer
163 views

Is free will fundamental property of everything? [closed]

Photon has a probability distribution of where it may appear if measured. Seems like photon itself chooses where to appear.
1
vote
4answers
705 views

Do we really have a free will?

If I have a free will, but I don't get to choose to not have a free will, I just have to accept what is forced on me, doesn't that imply that I don't have a free will?
7
votes
4answers
511 views

Is belief an intentional act?

In what respect are we to understand the proposition, "I choose to believe x", and is there a significant difference between the proposition, "I choose to believe x" and "I choose to drive to San ...
1
vote
2answers
155 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
1answer
199 views

Can a deterministic model of the universe account for an agent's free will? [duplicate]

If the divergence caused by an act of free will cannot be sustained temporally, then would a material-deterministic universe self-correct? Or am I just changing the frame of reference here to account ...
6
votes
3answers
26k views

What does Sartre mean when he says people are “condemned to be free”?

What did Jean-Paul Sartre mean when he said that because there is no creator, humans are "Condemned to be Free"?
2
votes
0answers
27 views

Has anyone described what the universe must be like for agent-caused free will to be possible? [duplicate]

Let's define free will as the ability for a human being to make a choice that does not completely depend on the history of the universe. The universe may be assumed to be indeterministic. Any simple ...
0
votes
2answers
132 views

How am I supposed to make my own decisions if I am just part of a design? [duplicate]

I was created by god and I am going to be judged by god. It does not make any sense for me. You create one thing and say if you follow my orders you will go to heaven, otherwise you will go to hell. ...
1
vote
2answers
279 views

Does the free will interpretation of evil contradict God's omnipotence? [duplicate]

Evil is often explained as a result (a byproduct, in a sense) of the free will God has given to us. Doesn't this notion contradict the idea of the omnipotent God (especially the God above laws of ...
2
votes
3answers
990 views

Is there a middle ground between determinism and libertarianism?

Is it possible that we live in a universe where some things are truly deterministic and other truly random and the difference between those two things is how their particles are arranged? For example,...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

How can I reconcile my philosophy with my faith? [closed]

My philosophy holds the belief that freedom is one of the most important traits, and that when given the choice, without manipulation, a person will choose to do the right thing. Furthermore, that the ...
0
votes
2answers
65 views

Is it meaningful to describe your will as shaped by your peers

I am writing a speech which I will deliver to my fellow classmates. I wrote a paragraph which is as follows : Your will is not free. Your will is determined by me, by society and by countrymen. ...
7
votes
2answers
295 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
99 views

formulate an argument for determinism that cannot be directly solved by introducing a free soul, free consciousness, etc. [closed]

Formulate an argument for the case of philosophical determinism (i.e. no free will) that cannot be solved by the introduction of any psychics-free metaphysical entity.
1
vote
1answer
101 views

Can being lame and repose in a chair not imply Compatibilism?

Source: p 83, Philosophy: A Complete Introduction (2012) by Prof Sharon Kaye (MA PhD in Philosophy, U. Toronto) Likewise, if I tie you to a chair, we say that you are unfree because there is an ...
8
votes
1answer
516 views

What counters are there to Spinoza's argument that acts of free will create infinite regress?

My 16-to-21-year-old self was very preoccupied with free will. When I was 21 years old I rejected the notion as ill-defined as both my reason and my inner experience told me that my will was caused ...
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-...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

Can chance be both the determining factor as well as that which breaks the chain of causality? [closed]

Chance as the determining factor in the sense that it may be the prima causa of an event or set of events. For example, you were born by accident into a rich family, and this rich family enabled you ...
0
votes
3answers
317 views

Logical analysis of “Free will and god(s)” argument

Please evaluate the following argument strictly for formal logical validity. I am NOT interested in debating the content or in philosophical perspectives on the content. However, I AM interested in ...
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 ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
406 views

Can strong omnipotence be decomposed into logically possible and logically impossible aspects?

A lot of debate in the "omnipotent being" or "omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent, etc." being debate revolves around the definition of the terms. I consider the "strong form" of ...
4
votes
3answers
500 views

Are “robot rebellions” even possible?

A common science-fiction trope is the "robot rebellion"...but I have a hard time comphrending how one could actually occur. Computers follow pre-designed instructions. Without these instructions, ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

How can there be autonomy in Immanuel Kant's ethics?

Immanuel Kant defines autonomy and general freedom as when a human makes a decision that is not to satisfy a dispositional end (when a decision is made to such an end, he defines it as heteronomy). ...
4
votes
1answer
216 views

Can a materialist accept indeterminism? Can a reductionist?

The usual argument against it is that if behavior of matter is not fully determined by its state then it has to be determined by something else, ergo dualism. This begs the question however, unless we ...
4
votes
3answers
245 views

Metaphysically, what does it mean to “make a decision”?

In the freewill debate, a difference is made between metaphysical/libertarian free will, i.e. where an agent is free to choose among many possible outcomes, and the eventual outcome is caused by the ...
1
vote
1answer
216 views

Who came up with many worlds theory based on free will

The idea is that under 'normal' conditions we do not get uncertainty principle since inanimate things do not make choices or 'observe' and work purely under deterministic principles, but the moment ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

Why are these IFs 'not the same as saying you could have chosen a peach'?

Source: p 50, What Does It All Mean? A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy (1987) by Prof. Thomas Nagel   When you say you could have had a peach instead of chocolate cake, part of what you ...
1
vote
3answers
269 views

Does anti-discrimination contradict free will?

Does anti-discrimination imposed by laws, or as a universally held position and imposed by society, contradict the idea of free will? Take for example: In a business context, choosing to not ...
10
votes
2answers
386 views

Is Conway-Kochen's “free will” theorem about quantum measurements an argument for panpsychism?

Conway and Kochen have proved a theorem about free will (no to be confused with the related Kochen–Specker theorem, which rules out hidden variables), which states that if we have a type of ...
3
votes
2answers
335 views

Is debate about free will futile?

I don't know very much about the positions on free will that important philosophers have expressed, so here's my question: One could argue if we discuss the topic "Do we have free will", the "hidden" ...
6
votes
6answers
392 views

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 ...
5
votes
5answers
619 views

How do freewill compatibilists define insanity?

Compatabilism is one approach to the problem of freewill in a casually closed world: How to reconcile freewill with a casually determined world (in particular one that follows the laws of physics)? ...
4
votes
1answer
849 views

On the Objections to Compatibilism

I was reading An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding by David Hume, specifically the section titled On Liberty and Necessity (both parts). Hume reconciles liberty with metaphysical necessity by an ...
10
votes
11answers
2k views

Does punishment from god contradict the idea of free will?

In various religions it is often preached that god has given humans free will. But at the same time those religions preach that there is punishment for sinning. Assuming a god does exist, and god ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Does Epictetus State “Only One Cause Motivates Us”, Or “One Cause More than Others”?

1. Question: From Epictetus, Discourses, 1.11, (Perseus English Link): Is Epictetus implying there is only ever just one cause for our actions? Or, is Epictetus arguing there is one cause which ...
1
vote
1answer
154 views

J. J. Thomson: A Defense of Abortion - When is it permissible to kill?

WORK SOURCE: http://spot.colorado.edu/~heathwoo/Phil160,Fall02/thomson.htm (This is a homework assignment) According to Thomson, if another person is about to cause your death, then: A. It ...
0
votes
1answer
259 views

In which sense Wittgenstein criticizes Schopenhauer's WILL?

In the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, the section 6.53 may be treated as "a criticism of Schopenhauer's Will". As far as I understood there is also another concept involved: the russellian idea that ...
-2
votes
1answer
72 views

How does free will relate to external determination? [closed]

Many believe free will is having the ability to make your own choices without outside influence. But everything you see, hear and smell is an outside influence. Every lesson learnt through past ...
2
votes
3answers
322 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
286 views

Are your actions for every type of determinism determined before your birth?

We had this little discussion in class. Are your actions for every type of determinism determined before your birth? We're discussing traditional theories, so Quantum Mechanics aren't relevant (yet). ...
4
votes
4answers
289 views

'metaphysical asymmetry between past and future' : Meaning?

Source: pp 114-115, Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy (1 ed, 1999) by Simon Blackburn. See page 15 of 18. Please advise if I should reproduce two pictures omitted below (which I omitted ...
1
vote
2answers
73 views

How does eating precede cooking? If influencing the past is useless, then what is the problem?

Source: pp 116-117 , Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy (1 ed, 1999) by Simon Blackburn   What about the asymmetry between past and future? If they are symmetrical in God's eyes, why ...
9
votes
3answers
654 views

Does free will require an event to occur without a predecessor (thereby violating causality)?

From my understanding, a Mixed Quantum State defines the set of all probable outcomes for a system, but isn't there still only one outcome determined through the succession of factors leading up to it ...
11
votes
1answer
152 views

Was Augustine intentionally ambiguous regarding free will?

So many scholars have written about St. Augustine and his views on free will, but there is little consensus to be formed from their literature. According to John Rist: There is still no consensus ...
9
votes
2answers
569 views

Is compatibilism still considered a valid approach to free will?

Has the Free Will Theorem of Conway and Kochen been taken seriously by the philosophical community? Is compatibilism still considered a valid approach to free will?
3
votes
6answers
315 views

How can we let go of one (the Self) and not the other (Free Will)? [duplicate]

I am under the impression that in western culture, it is quite common to conceive the Self as an illusion — probably as an import from eastern religions, and in particular from Buddhism, and in ...
23
votes
9answers
5k views

Does free will require randomness?

Let us assume that randomness does not exist. For example, even the flip of a coin is not considered random. The coin's flip can be calculated if certain variables are given (the force used for the ...