33

Hard determinism does not entail that your love is a chemical reaction in your brain. Hard determinism is roughly the view that : For every event, E2, there is another event, E1, that precedes E2 and is causally sufficient for E2. If dualism were true, hard determinism could still be true even though E1 and E2 were purely mental, with no physical ...


28

Most academic philosophers (around 60%, according to the PhilPapers survey) lean toward compatibilism: the view that determinism (which is what you are getting at, more or less) is compatible with free will. Think of it this way: even if every decision is determined (in the "determinism" sense of the word), it's still useful to distinguish between what you ...


24

Like you, I think most uses of the terms 'probable' and 'random' are just epistemic, i.e. they relate to how much information we have. We say of a toss of a coin that it is random, and that there is a probability of (approximately) one half of it falling heads, but this just reflects the information we possess. Tell me more about the force and vector of the ...


19

I found one writer (page 183) who seems to describe the Hard Determinist point-of-view in a way that allows for some response to criminal acts: Can we say of an [ethically disabled] indvidual - Robert Harris, for example - that he ought not have killed the two young men? Certainly. Could we say that he was morally wrong to commit such murders? Of course. ...


17

Can I predict my future by observing all humans/events According to Wolpert's theorem, no you can't. What you are describing here: I believe everything happened/happening in the universe is not random. There should be a reason for each and every event(Cause and Effect). In sameway Human brain, all my decision are impacted by environment, previous ...


16

Schiphol's answer is correct, in that you need to first say what kind of free will you're talking about. I'm going to answer your question assuming that you're talking about libertarian free will. It's the "real", pre-philosophical kind of free will that most people think that have. Ted Wrigley's answer is also correct, in that free will seems like something ...


13

Determinism is the view that the laws of nature together with the universe's initial state are sufficient to determine the state of the universe at every other point in the future. What "determine" means here isn't always clear, but usually what people have in mind is something like "derivability": in other words, determinism is the view that one could ...


13

Dave's and James Kingsbery's answers are the best so far in the fewest words that gets at the crux of why a hard determinist would still punish criminals, but I wanted to flesh out some ideas a bit and explain why they make sense. I may go a bit overboard in explaining concepts but I want to make sure there is no confusion; having been a philosophy tutor and ...


11

Definitions One has to define "omniscient" (knowing all things) and "omnipotent" (being all powerful) properly, otherwise one runs into trouble without even considering your question. Let's deal with "omnipotent" first. Omnipotence 1 If by "omnipotent" you literally mean "being able to do everything", then consider the following fact: It is impossible ...


11

There are ways to reconcile libertarian free will even with classical physics. One could say (as was common position in 19-th century) that the laws of nature are only approximations and do not prescribe future events in every detail, free will is constrained only as far as the metaphysical margin of error. Non-Lipschitz forces (gravity, resistance) produce ...


10

I tend to share your puzzlement. A lot of contemporary metaphysicians seem to have an outdated view of physics, not only about determinism but also about locality or mereology. (This was criticized by Ladyman and Ross in "everything must go".) I think the main reasons are the following: Generally, philosophers are not trained in physics (except ...


10

Your point, "Determinism and free will are not discernible from the mortal perspective" is indeed the third antinomy (paradox) of Kant. According to Kant, human capacity for knowledge is innately limited by his 12 categories. The categories function like a fish net. Those that are caught by the net constitute human knowledge, and those that go though the net ...


10

Contrary to the other answer and the assumptions in your question: Hard determinism does not, in any way, mean that trying to better yourself does not work. Rather, under hard determinism, whether you decide to "try" to better yourself is also determined. You had no "free will" to decide whether or not to post this question. And you're "destined" to be ...


10

We believe in free will because — aside from a few people with particular psychological conditions — we experience ourselves as beings capable of making choices and exercising free will. When someone brews a cup of coffee and drinks it, they do not generally think: That was not an action any agent took, but an event predestined since the beginning of ...


9

Short answer: It doesn't matter, because there is no "should" in determinism. Long answer: If you believe in hard determinism, then all of this - crime, society's handling of crime, our discussion about crime, etc - is happening as it was preordained. So whatever you end up doing is exactly what you were destined to do, since the beginning of time. Hard ...


9

The threat of epiphenomenalism is indeed a major issue intensively discussed in the last decades. But while there is a broad consensus against it, there is no agreement as to what exactly blocks it. Burge in Foundations of Mind (Ch. 20) even says that the dominance of materialism in the contemporary philosophy of mind is a reaction (in his view unwarranted) ...


8

I would highly recommend learning QM. QM is science's strongest current theory for "how the universe works," and it has very interesting things to say about determinism. It will be very hard to debate determinism vs. indeterminism without catching up on several decades of QM. (This is a ridiculously high level view of QM. I give this disclaimer because I ...


8

If hard determinism is correct then there is no other option so "true" love would be defined as you having the moments you've had and experiencing the corresponding chemical response that you have.


7

One distinction to make clear is that between "deterministic" and "predictable." Predictability is generally not a precondition for determinism. Even if a world is unpredictable by any means, it doesn't directly follow that it could not be deterministic. For example, say a set of all past events X leads to an outcome Y determined by the probability function ...


7

The colloquial meaning of "destiny", "an attitude of resignation in the face of some future event or events which are thought to be inevitable" as SEP's Fatalism puts it, is in fact compatible with "free will". The prototypical example is the myth of Oedipus, who was destined to kill his father and marry his mother, warned of it long in advance, and free to ...


7

If determinism is true, the will is not free. 1.1 Determinism is not true: One could argue for this from a dualist position, that the mind is separate from the body and part of a non-material mental realm that doesn't follow the laws of physics, yet has the power to act on the body in a causal way. DesCartes famously argued for this position, and went so ...


7

First a point of clarification, from what you are describing, you are talking about libertarian freewill, not compatibilist freewill. More on that later. At the heart of your question is a confusion that you need to clarify, then you will understand the second paragraph you quoted better. You are confusing "Determinism" with "Lack of freewill" due to a ...


7

The OP quote draws a distinction between determinism ("hard determinism"), and causal completeness ("less absolute determinism"). The former means that the current physical state of the universe predetermines its future state in every detail, i.e. it is a "sufficient cause", this is the Laplacian view of classical mechanics. The latter means that although ...


7

Whether or not you can predict your future actually depends on your definitions of the world. In particular, you have the emphasized "if" regarding the monitoring and processing of the data. Obviously you intend this to be an assumption, not to be questioned, but that process must still be implemented within the universe's laws. You're going to need a way ...


7

The usual question is whether free will is possible under hard determinism. However, love, particularly romantic love as conceived in the western culture, certainly is not construed as an act of free will. In the popular imagination, it is an involuntary response to someone's qualities. So in fact, quite the opposite, the concept of a predestined love that ...


6

Randomness and causation are in different categories. Something can be both random and caused, or random and uncaused (if you believe in such things). Randomness is not a property of origin (cause) but of comprehension (understanding the origin). Random can mean simply "unpredictable", or "of or characterizing a process of selection in which each item of a ...


6

Abstract mathematics doesn't have to be related to physics. There are many things that mathematicians routinely consider (such as non-measurable sets, etc) that cannot possibly exist in the physical world. In particular, the laws of the physical world have no bearing on the P=NP problem.


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