Freedom Paper

Freedom Paper - A Defense of Freedom Melissa Harintho...

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A Defense of Freedom Melissa Harintho Philosophy 10100-01 Marian David/ Anna Rafalski
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The “metaphysical thesis of determinism… says that everything, including every cause, is the effect of some cause or causes… if true, it holds not only for all things that have existed but for all things that do or ever will exist,” Richard Taylor declares in his chapter on Freedom and Determinism (Taylor, CR 167). The Principle of Causal Determinism states that all events are causally determined by antecedent events and/ or conditions. Determinism is in principle predictability, and states that a complete description of the state of the universe at any given time combined with complete laws of nature logically entails the complete description of the state of the universe at any other time. In regards to human actions, Determinism provides that the same motives in the same circumstances lead to the same actions. This contention leads to the No-Freedom Argument which declares that (1) all events are determined and (2) if all events are determined, then there are no free actions. The No-Freedom Argument concludes that therefore, (3) there are no free actions. The objective of this paper is to disprove the second premise of the No-Freedom Argument by demonstrating that Determinism does not preclude freedom of action. The most grievous problem with the second premise is that it prematurely supposes that Determinism and free actions cannot coexist. In his section, “Of Liberty and Necessity,” Hume demonstrates that Determinism and freedom of action are harmonious concepts through his theory of Compatibilism, which states that freedom and Determinism are compatible concepts.
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In the first part of “Of Liberty and Necessity,” Hume emphasizes that humans believe in Determinism, and illustrates how human actions are especially determined by our motives, or desires and beliefs. At the end of Part I Hume asserts, “We cannot surely mean, that actions have so little connexion with motives, inclinations, and circumstances, that one does not follow with a certain degree of uniformity from the other, and that one affords no inference by which we can conclude the existence of the other” (Hume, Enquiry 63). Hume stresses the correlation between motives and decisions and actions; he describes motivation as the following pathway: our beliefs and desires (or motives) determine our decisions (or intentions), which ultimately determine our actions. When the Principle of Determinism is applied to this sequence, one can deduce that the same
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This note was uploaded on 05/18/2008 for the course PHIL 10100 taught by Professor David during the Spring '08 term at Notre Dame.

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Freedom Paper - A Defense of Freedom Melissa Harintho...

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