phil HW4 - Dr. Hornsby PHIL 260.001 9/14/09 Compatibilism...

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Dr. Hornsby PHIL 260.001 9/14/09 Compatibilism is also referred to as soft-determinism. The reason for this other name is because Compatibilism directly combats the theories of hard determinism. While hard determinists believe that every event has a cause, traditional compatibilists agree that every event is caused but do not consider that these events are compatible with free actions. This traditional theory of Compatibilism attempts to combine causal determinism, which means that every incident is caused by past events and forces of nature, with free will, which is anyone’s ability to do otherwise. According to traditional Compatibilism, an action is said to be free only under certain conditions; the action must be caused by the person’s will, and it must not be externally constrained. The most important aspect of the theory of traditional Compatibilism is that we are always ethically accountable for our actions, despite the past. Hierarchical Compatibilism defends against the objects to Compatibilism. This theory, from Frankfurt’s point of view, states
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phil HW4 - Dr. Hornsby PHIL 260.001 9/14/09 Compatibilism...

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