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PH100 Lecture Notes

• survival can be a matter of degree parfit's

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Unformatted text preview: • Survival can be a matter of degree Parfit's suggestion: The relationship between my different selves is not one of identity, but one of psychological connectedness. • Psychological connectedness is a matter of degree Parfit's consequences: 1. Egoism vs. altruism: Shall I be concerned only about myself or also about others? • Egoism requires personal identity. I am identical to my future self. • If however, my future self is me only to a degree (i.e. I am not identical but only psychologically connected to my future self), then egoism loses much of its theoretical support. 2. Fear of death: If I am not identical to my future self, should I be afraid of death? Problems with Parfit's account 1. Is survival all that matters? 2. Is there a problem with Parfit's methodology? October 25, 2012: Free Will and Determinsism Free will: a. the capacity to act freely b. capacity to choose one action (or one course of action) from various alternatives c. the capacity to have done (or acted) otherwise Hypothetical situation: Three cases of robbery 1. due to hypnotization 2. due to excessive drinking 3. because that's who you are Should you be arrested in all three cases? [Having free will = to be the author of one's own actions] → moral responsibility, praise, love, friendship The importance of free will “We all believe that we have free will. How could we not? Renouncing freedom would mean no longer planning for the future, for why make plans if you are not free to change what will happen? It would mean renouncing morality, for only those who act freely deserve blame or punishment. Without freedom, we march along pre- determined paths, unable to control our destinies. Such a life is not worth living” - Sider (112-3). PARADOX: Freedom must exist (legal considerations, ethical considerations, existential considerations) BUT freedom cannot exist (science) Why can't there be freedom? • Reasonable belief: every event has a cause. There are no uncaused events. • Better formulation: every event is necessitated by a set of antecedent events and the laws of nature. → determinism ◦ have no choice to do otherwise Clarification: • Determinism doesn't mean predictability ◦ Can be true that every event has a cause without also being true that we can predict every future event • Determinism threatens free will ◦ If every event has a cause (necessarily caused) then there can be no free events. ◦ But if there are no free events, then can there be blame, moral responsibility, praise, true love, or true friendship? Three solutions to the paradox 1. Give up free will ( Hard determinism ) 2. Reject determinism ( Libertarianism ) 3. Hold that determinism is compatible with free will ( Soft determinism or Compatibilism ) 1. Hard determinism • No free will • No uncaused events all actions are pre-determined • No moral responsibility • We are automata (well-functioning machines) 2. Libertarianism • Determinism is false: not all actions are caused...
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• Survival can be a matter of degree Parfit's suggestion...

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