EDUCATING MINDS AND HEARTS—EDUCATING THE WHOLE PERSON University of Holy Cross COURSE #/SEMESTER: PHI 101, Fall 2016 COURSE TITLE: Introduction to Philosophy (MW: 9:00-10:14) INSTRUCTOR NAME: Dr. Caitlin Smith Gilson E-MAIL: [email protected] PHONE # OFFICE # /HOURS: M/T/W 12:00-2:00 Class Notes Packet 1 | P a g e
Holbach Handout: Holbach’s position is called HARD DETERMINISM —this means there is no room for choice, the activity of the will is NOT FREE. Man’s actions are determined from the beginning by the same Universal Physical/Causal laws that leave no room for the possibility of anything else to happen but what occurs. For example –The Earth rotates the sun, this action is the only action the earth could have done because it has done so. It was determined and ordered from the beginning by the Physical laws of the Universe to follow a prescribed path around the Sun. Just as the Sun and all things in Nature follow Universal Physical Laws so does Man. Part I- Evidence that man is Determined and not free- For Holbach, Man’s nature is the greatest evidence of this determinism, that he like all other things, follows without free choice a prescribed and pre- determined path. Here are Holbach’s 4 main examples that demonstrate Man’s determinism: 1) He is born without his own consent - He has had no choice in the matter, nature has determined that he be born in this time, this place, this way. Does anyone disagree? 2) His Physical Being/ his organic nature is set for him by nature —his height, his eye color, his hair color, any deformities,- his cleft palate, his uneven legs, and his exceptional qualities athletic or intellectual, have been set without his choice, without his parent’s choice, without his grandparent’s choice and on and on..each man has been determined from the very beginning to be what he is! 3) His ideas come to him involuntarily —In this class some of you might be daydreaming or the light of reason just flickered on, or déjà vu occurs while driving, or some thought without and outside your control enters your mind. You can’t control the thoughts that enter your mind at any given time, even if they are expressing boredom in this class at the present moment!! 4) You are unceasingly/endlessly affected by various causes- whether known or unknown these causes change/modify/alter your personality to determine the manner of how you live, to determine your attitude and so on. Part II The Illusion of Free Will- Holbach attempts to show the error of our ways—that even though we recognize all these determining factors we still think we are free, and that we regulate or determine our own actions rather than our actions being determined and conditioned independent of us from nature. This nagging sense that we are still free Holbach calls the Illusion of Free Will—like a mirage in a desert we think we our free. Because our weak minds are unable to see clearly all the determining causes that regulate or will we think that we made our choice freely. If we did see all the causes that determined our actions we
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 84 pages?
- Fall '19