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Unformatted text preview: Notes 3 Test 3 April 10, 2008 William James (1842 1910) and Indeterminism 1. James agrees with Holbach that if determinism is true then there is no room for free will, and thus man cannot be held morally accountable for his actions 2. But unlike Holbach James does not believe that determinism is true Determinism V. Indeterminism 1. Determinism 2. Indeterminism- If I don’t accept determinism then I must accept indeterminism and the pluralism which goes with it, namely, that there is good and bad in the universe, but it is possible that through our actions we may better it. (This is called “ Meliorism ”) a. Libertarianism b. Free Will-ism “Soft Determinism” (Compatibilism) 1. Soft determinism is intended to be a half way position between so called “Hard determinism” (Holbach) and indeterminism (Free Will-ism) 2. I t basically says that determinism and free will are compatible. 3. James rejects the compatiblism position. For him it constitutes an evasion of the real issue: a. “Now, all this is a quagmire of evasion under which the real issue of fact has been entirely smothered” (141) 4. For James, you are either a determinist or an indeterminist; there is no middle ground. She soft determinism is a form of sophistry(You are the only thinking thing?) Real Freedom 1. Real freedom requires that there are real possibilitiesm that events have a certain loose play; no set of facts lays down or determines what other facts will be. Thus we want to know whether there are real possibilities a. “The question relates solely to the existence of possibilities, in the strict sense of the term, as things that may , but...
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- Spring '07
- Philosophy, Determinism V. Indeterminism