PHIL 100 Free Will - Laura Andersen English 198 November 9 2005 The Question of Free Will I walk into lecture class and take seat toward the front

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Laura Andersen English 198 November 9, 2005 The Question of Free Will I walk into lecture class and take seat toward the front this time. I scramble through my papers and quickly review the “master list” one last time. Ann Baker walks in, and after talking for a minute, her TAs to start passing out the test. I read the first question thoroughly. I pick up my pencil and confidently bubble in “A”. Then I stop to think for a second. Am I freely choosing to take this test? Did I freely choose to mark “A” for number one? Could I have chosen otherwise? In this essay I will argue against free will - that I was determined to take that course of action. First off, clarification of key terms will be necessary. Free will can be defined as the ability or discretion to choose between options and decide the outcome. Additionally a concept that will be addressed often, causal determinism, is the idea that all events, including human actions, are determined by the antecedent causes operating in accordance with the laws of nature (Baker 453). If causal determinism is true, then logically free will cannot exist. For causal determinism to be true, every event would be predetermined. If everything is determined, then the outcome must always be certain and predictable. If everything is certain, then there cannot be multiple possible outcomes from which one may decide. Having other options to choose from would just be an illusion since we do not recognize which option has been predetermined. Free will requires the possibility of different outcomes, and the
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PHIL 100 taught by Professor Baker during the Fall '05 term at University of Washington.

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PHIL 100 Free Will - Laura Andersen English 198 November 9 2005 The Question of Free Will I walk into lecture class and take seat toward the front

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