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freewill2.ppt - METAPHYSICS The Problem of Free Will WHAT...

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The Problem of Free Will METAPHYSICS
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“surface freedom” Being able to ‘do what you want’ Being free to act, and choose, as you will BUT: what if ‘what you will’ is not under your control? “free will” Being an agent capable of influencing the world Source of ones own actions Actions and choices are “up-to-us” WHAT IS FREEDOM?
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We ‘feel’ that we are free; that we are the originators of our own actions We need to be free in order to be responsible for our actions; our practices of praise and blame presuppose that we are free Greene Paper – neuroscience, moral and legal responsibility, theories of punishment Roper v. Simmons, 2005, US Supreme Court, unconstitutional to impose capital punishment for crimes committed under age 18 Recent scientific advances in brain research indicate that the adolescent brain has not yet fully developed, the decision-making capacity and risk-taking behavior of adolescents are far different from those of adults; thus adolescent offenders are less culpable. Roper v. Simmons: The Role of the Science Brief WHY IS FREEDOM IMPORTANT?
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psychological capacities to control our own lives, change our habits and traits, overcome addictions, exercise willpower, and consciously consider the sort of life we want to lead (and to control our behavior accordingly). If people interpret free will to include these sorts of capacities, then telling them that they don’t have free will could have detrimental effects on their self-conception, interpersonal relations, and moral behavior, as well as our political debates and legal practices. It may make them more fatalistic, less likely to exert those powers of rational deliberation and willpower they do have, and less motivated to improve themselves and their lives – Eddy Nahmias SOCIETY AND FREE WILL
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In 1969 Harry Frankfurt defined what he called "The Principle of Alternate Possibilities" or PAP. "a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have done otherwise.“ “Although I came to class today, I could have decided not to” What does the world have to be like for this counterfactual to be true? PRINCIPLE OF ALTERNATIVE POSSIBILITIES
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( Roughly ): the view that the state of the world at a given time determines the state of the world at the next moment Every event that occurs, including human action, is entirely the result of earlier causes [event causation] CAUSAL DETERMINISM
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We may regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its past and the cause of its future. An intellect which at a certain moment would know all forces that set nature in motion, and all positions of all items of which nature is composed, if this intellect were also vast enough to submit
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