Questions tagged [free-will]

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

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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 ...
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Introduction to understanding behaviour [closed]

I am trying to find good references that explain why human agents behave the way they do (and if possible more specifically when dealing with choices, or even tastes if you like). I know from ...
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What are some counterarguments to Schopenhauer's refutation of free will?

The following slogan often attributed to Schopenhauer "A man can do as he will, but not will as he will" [so there is no free will] — quoted by Albert Einstein in "Mein Weltbild" (1931) has ...
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483 views

Is God free to make decisions?

God is omniscient, that means He knows the only one future. The only one future will become the only one past after some time. Thus we are sure that this future is really only one. It will be ...
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Contradiction between the selfish gene and lack of free will demonstrated by Libet experiment

According to the Libet experiment, there is no such thing as a free will, only the illusion of it. This means that not only biologically every living creature follows a program that is aimed to spread ...
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Why would a God create animals that manifest homosexual behavior if he thought that homosexuality is a sin?

There are some people who think that homosexuality is a choice. They would argue that we can make this choice because we have free will. I will focus on those who think this way because of religious ...
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314 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 ...
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What does the Soon unconscious determinants study prove?

I recently read this scientific study: Soon, C. S., Brass, M., Heinze, H. J., & Haynes, J. D. (2008). Unconscious determinants of free decisions in the human brain. Nature neuroscience, 11(5), 543....
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Does the presence of free-will allow for the possibility of evil in a world with a benevolent God?

The Problem of Evil is to understand how God can allow evil in the world if He is omni-benevolent (all-good), as someone who is all-good would not knowingly allow evil to occur where they could ...
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874 views

What does the experience of free will imply in a materialistic worldview?

In responses and comments to Do human thoughts interact with matter?, one answer begins, "Thoughts consist of nerve impulses..." Which, as I understand the materialist view, is partially correct. ...
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Does the existence of total warfare (i.e. win or die) prove that free-will is limited?

When you look at history there seems to be two types of wars: 1) the "unilateral" or asymmetric wars (like recently the Iraq war where one group of people overwhelmingly keep the conflict under their ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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Which known philosophers are firm determinists?

I'm aware of the compatibilist attitude by some philosophers, such as Hegel and Daniel Dennet. I am interested in some philosophers who are firm determinists (deny free will).
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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 ...
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“The” before “future” means we believe in hard determinism?

English speakers put the definite article "the" before the word "future" when they refer to the future (no pun intended). For example: In the future, everyone will have access to clean water. Does ...
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567 views

Free Will and Rational Thought - Kant

According to http://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/history/ Kant believed in both determinism and rational thought. Kant subsumed causality and determinism under his idea of Pure Reason. ...
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174 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 ...
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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 ...
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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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How do compatibilists handle brainwashing?

Compatabilism is one approach to the problem of freewill in a casually closed world. If a person is free to choose among several possible courses of action, doesn't this violate the laws of causality? ...
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173 views

Can we characterize libertarianism without assuming moral realism?

In the discussion about free will, moral realism and libertarianism go hand in hand. It seems that libertarian free will is assumed to be what we need to “attach” moral responsibility to certain ...
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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 ...
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379 views

Sartrian Freedom Compatible with Determinism?

In Being and Nothingness, Sartre talks about how humans are "condemned to be free". But I was wondering if, because Sartre's philosophy is phenomenological ontology, what this really amounts to is ...
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99 views

Free will and the principle of sufficient reason

According to Hume, "All distinct ideas are separable from each other, and as the ideas of cause and effect are evidently distinct, it will be easy for us to conceive any object to be non-existent this ...
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212 views

When would someone not have free will?

I was thinking about free will, and I kind of got confused. What would it look like for someone to not have free will? For example, if someone was paralyzed, they could still control their thoughts. ...
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The infinite regress in Galen Strawson's Basic Argument for determinism

In the Basic Argument that attempts to prove that one cannot be held truly and ultimately responsible for the actions they may make, an infinite regress at the end of the argument is employed. I have ...
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101 views

Does Dennett's definition of Free Will imply that game-playing programs have free will?

In The Self as a Responding—and Responsible Artifact. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1001: 39-50. doi: 10.1196/annals.1279.003 Dennett writes as follows. Non-human animals can engage in voluntary actions of ...
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Can a non linear perception of time be the answer to the apparent contradiction between God's Decree and human free will?

In Islamic teachings which I was brought up in, we are made to believe that everything that happens is in the Decree of God (Allah). There is a hadith (sacred text from the Prophet) which says that ...
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327 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" ...
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Introduction Modal Logic with emphasis on metaphysics - free will particularly - and also mathematical logic

I'm reading Timothy O'Connor's 'Persons & Causes The metaphysics of free will' and the first chapter briefly goes into (though without introduction) the application of modal logic and ...
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If deduction does not exist in regards to the free will, is omniscience possible with omnipotence?

As the argument goes: If God is omniscient, he must already know how he is going to intervene to change the course of history using his omnipotence. But that means he can't change his mind about ...
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Assuming we don't have a free will, why would we have this illusion?

Ok, first post on this stack exchange site and I've already restated my question because of this answer on the main toppic but yet: I'm not going to enter into the debate whether or not we do have a ...
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Conceptions of Free Will

Three questions here. Does anyone know of thought experiments in the philosophical literature that illustrate essential features of free will? Does anyone know of a philosophical work which offers an ...
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492 views

Is this really an omniscience vs free-will paradox?

Thought experiment: let there be an omniscient being who knows the future and an agent with free will. They are playing a simple game: there is a table with 2 cards and the free agent asks the ...
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How far can compatibilism go: God as active creator with perfect foreknowledge and free will

One of the main arguments of compatibilists trying to save free will from God's foreknowledge seems to be that free will is still possible in the face of perfect foreknowledge as long as God only ...
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231 views

Who were the first philosophers against free will?

I know David Hume in the 18th century had a critical position against the traditional view of free will or at least he is cited as a compatibilist. I wonder who were the first compatibilists and also ...
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Was Kant successful in establishing the autonomy of the will?

Was Kant successful in establishing the autonomy of the will, and hence the authority of moral demands over us? Kant appeared not to recognize the gap existing between the law of an autonomous ...
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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.
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Are our desires driven by destiny?

Could there be a possibility that everyone has a destiny pre-written and their desires are just driven by that destiny? And the concept of free will is just a blindfold with limited options. No ...
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Free Will and Intelligence

What is the relation between free will and intelligence. I'll identify free will with conscious mind and wonder what their relation is. Obviously there is free will without intelligence. Just have a ...
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Can I predict my future by observing all humans/events

There is NO RANDOM in the Universe (Atleat in our universe) Humans have NO FREE WILL (Determinism vs Free Will: Crash Course Philosophy #24) I believe everything happened/happening in the universe is ...
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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 ...
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459 views

Can the Universe be deterministic and still allow free will? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the difference between free-will and randomness and or non-determinism? Is free will reconcilable with a purely physical world? As asked in the title, can a Universe ...
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823 views

How far does Nietzsche's skepticism of causality go?

On page 21 of Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, I found the following quote: Suppose someone sees through the boorish naivete of this famous concept of "free will" and manages to get it out of his ...
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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?
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Would two identical people ever be able to communicate successfully?

Let's say you know some guy. And you told him that he was going to be copied and both him and the clone moved to an area where there are no external factors. After telling the man this, the man is ...
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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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Does Quantum Mechanics imply free will? [duplicate]

I think that QM does not favor free will, any more than Classical Mechanics does, and here is my reasoning: QM predicts odds, but that doesn't mean we are free, right? To be free, we will have to ...