Unformatted text preview: • Idea that we perform actions of our own free will What are causes? • A cause need not be a sufficient condition for its effect • Causes often are not necessary for their effects to occur • Only a complete description of the system determines what will happen next • Causal determinism says only that if all the casually relevant facts are set out, these will leave open only one possible future for the pair of dice What is determinism? • The idea that a complete description of the causal facts guarantees what will happen next What is indeterminism? • If determinism is false, then the world is indeterministic. This means that a complete description of the causal facts at one time leaves open what will happen next • Even a complete description of the present will leave open more than one possible future • If a person’s mind is a material object, then his or her beliefs, desires, and subsequent behaviors are governed by deterministic laws • If all matter is deterministic and if a person’s mind is a material thing, then human behavior is physically determined • Quantum Theory says the behavior of particles is not deterministic. Copenhagen interpretation – Even a complete description of a physical system leaves open what its future will be like. Some futures will be more probably than others, but the # of possibilities is always greater than one. In short, the present does not determine the future – chance is part of the way the world is. • Our behavior must be like the behaviors of physical particles • If chance influences the behavior of particles, then chance also influences the behavior of people • If physical things don’t obey deterministic laws, then our beliefs and desires don’t determines what our actions will be Does indeterminism make us free? • Suppose your beliefs and desire were due to genes, environment, and chance. If determinism robs you of freedom, chance seems to rob you of freedom as well. • The shift from being a deterministic system to being an indeterministic system has not made a difference as far as the question of freedom is concerned • Causality can exist in an indeterministic universe just as much as it can in a deterministic one • It is possible to have causation without determinism What does determinism say about the causation of behavior? • Given your genes and environment, you couldn’t have had a set of beliefs and desires different from the set you in fact possess, and given your beliefs and desires, you couldn’t have performed an action different from the action you in fact produced • Determinism is the thesis that the facts at one time uniquely determine what comes next • Determinism differs from fatalism (Oedipus) • Determinism says that the present determines the future What is the difference between determinism and fatalism? • Determinism does not rule out the idea that you can affect what the future will be like by now acting one way rather than another. Fatalism denies this and says that the future is independent of what you do in the present. • Fatalism says that our beliefs and desires make no difference as far as what actions we perform and as far as what happens to us • Determinism says that our beliefs and desires are not impotent; they causally control what we do and thereby powerfully influence what happens to us...
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- Fall '08
- Problem of evil, deterministic system