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Ayer-Compatibilism

Ayer-Compatibilism - LECTURE I Review II The argument for...

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LECTURE I. Review II. The argument for incompatiblism III. Ayer’s compatibilism, and critique of argument IV. Fallacy of equivocation I. Brief review of free will debate A. Phil. problem that arises from two commonly held claims (1) Humans are capable of acting freely, in the way to make them morally responsible (that is, they have special control over their actions) (2) Human behavior is entirely governed by causal laws RESULT: Seems that we do not have control over our actions because the cause of our actions comes from the outside; and this picture does not appear to satisfy the necessary condition that makes us morally accountable for our actions Qs arise : Do we have freedom of will? What does it mean to be caused to do something? a. Definition of these terms change the nature of the debate b. The way in which we answer these questions impact morality B. Free will : what is this? 1. Common belief is that we feel that we have it: “I am free” 2. D’Holbach : act independent from causes 3. Ayer : deliberations in action without external or internal constraint 4. Either (2) or (3) is a necessary condition for moral responsibility C. Determinism : what is this? Definition: The world is governed by determinism if and only if, given a specified way things are at a specific time, thereafter it is fixed as a matter of natural law D. Moral accountability: How is this assessed? 1. In the free will debate, this turns on the answer to one question 2. The question is whether the agent “could have done otherwise…” As it stands, however, the argument for two positions we have looked at have two distinct interpretations of this phrase in light of whether determinism is true. Incompatibilist Position: If determinism is true, then there is no free will Compatibilism Position: If determinism is true, then free will is possible II. Incompatiblism FREEDOM is CONTRASTED WITH CAUSALITY
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1. D’Holbach’s argument : a free action is an action that is independent from causes Q: What would it take, then, to have free will and have the power to DO OTHERWISE in a given circumstance?
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