This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Freeclo Comapring Free Will In A Clockwork Orange And Freedom And The Control Of Man

2508 words - 10 pages

Free Will in A Clockwork Orange and Skinner's Freedom and the Control of Man

 
   Socrates once said, "Know thyself," and over two thousand years later we're still perplexed with the complexities of human behavior. The concept of free will has been debated and challenged by science, religion, and philosophy throughout history. By free will, I mean our ability to choose and behave as we wish, without our choices being determined by outside sources. Such a notion has been discussed and disputed by philosophers like B.F. Skinner, Robert Kane, William Lycan, and Richard Hanley in very different ways.

 

In order to better understand the arguments of Skinner and Kane, we must first understand the concept of determinism. Determinism is the idea that all events are caused, occurring only as effects of causes before them. For example, the event of my bringing an umbrella to work was caused, or determined, by a rainstorm or perhaps by the day's weather forecast predicting rain. Whatever the reason, determinism follows that a later event is inevitable due to its earlier cause. If true, determinism holds that the future is fixed and unchangeable, in much the same way the past is unchangeable in time travel. If true, determinism leaves only one possible effect for each subsequent event. Influencing the ideas of determinism is the religious conception of predestination. Here the idea is that God has determined beforehand who will go to heaven and hell and nothing can be done to change the fixed and determined outcome. Predestination has been criticized by some because it seems to lead to fatalism. If our destinies are already decided, we seem to lack the free will to control our future. But believers in predestination believe that if God has destined us to Hell, He only did so because He knew beforehand that we'd live a life of sin. Those of us bound for Heaven wouldn't be heading there if we didn't live life according to God's law. Therefore, none of our actions can surprise God, because He knows beforehand whether or not we will get to Heaven. In this way, our destiny is both determined and caused by our actions, similar to backward causation in time travel when the cause can occur after the effect. This does not lead to fatalism, though, because our actions, sinful or not, are anything but useless. They will determine where we'll spend our eternal life. While predestination doesn't necessarily lead to fatalism, it has led some to question the concept of free will. If, for example, God knows beforehand that I'll bring an umbrella to work, how can I not bring the umbrella? And if I can't, then how am I free? So determinism, if true, seems to mean we cannot have free will.

 

Indeterminism, however, argues that not all events are caused by an earlier event. In fact, a strong reading of indeterminism would say that if there has been even one exception to determinism, then determinism must be false. Consider the following scenario: It's...

Find Another Essay On freeclo Comapring Free Will in A Clockwork Orange and Freedom and the Control of Man

Free Will vs Determinism in A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess

1580 words - 7 pages family of his own, and “reconciling his opposing values” (Rabinovitz). And this is the ultimate message of the story: the young are like clockwork, limited in their freedom of choice by age, only to gain the idea of free will by growing up. “Life has aspects both of determinism and free will...clockwork and orange” (Rabinovitz). Works Cited Blumenfeld, David. "Freedom and Mind Control." American Philosophical Quarterly 25.3 (1988): 215-27

Freedom and Exercising Free Will Essay

1917 words - 8 pages that there is no such thing as free will and that anything we do is caused by a biological base. It would indicate that we are a mechanical being, a soul stuck in the vassal of a physical body. This creates conflicts between the subjects of moral responsibility, equally it was explained that to be held responsible for something one would have been in control of the situations However, if that was true; there would be no justice done in the world

Free Essays - A Clockwork Orange is Not Obscene

544 words - 2 pages society. To be legally defined as obscene, a work must be completely lacking in redeeming social value. However, A Clockwork Orange has both social and literary value. It is a shocking warning of what the world could become.   The first amendment to the Constitution of the United States protects free speech. However, there are some forms of expression that are not protected by this amendment, including obscenity. Roth v. United States

The Affect on Free Will of A Clockwork Orange's 21st Chapter

1562 words - 6 pages more fun than being good. So I guess, while I firmly believe omitting the 21st chapter was wrong, I tend to agree more with the Kubrickian version. Without social constraint, the human being is a dangerous animal.Works CitedBurgess, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange. New York: W.W. Norton, 1986.Davis, Todd F. and Womack, Kenneth. "O My Brothers: Reading the Anti-Ethics of the Pseudo-Family in Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange."College

Little man against the system film analysis-fight club&a clockwork orange

2154 words - 9 pages and watching the movie Fight Club, it's easy to see the common language of them. They are both reactionary in the sense that they both criticise the system. In Fight Club Tyler Durden is the one who underlines the shortcomings of the system while trying to create a new one in a fascistic manner. Fincher has created what could easily be described as the 90s A Clockwork Orange. Clockwork Orange is the story of a young man, Alex Delarge who is a

Types of Conditioning and Maslow's Hierarchy in A Clockwork Orange

2532 words - 11 pages and pain from loud noise, or anything that could be fixed by medication such as aspirin. There are schedules for it as well. Predetermination of when the reinforcements are going to be implied for learning. These reinforcers help to influence learning. If the reinforcers are stopped, it is more probable that the subject will completely forget what they were conditioned to do. OPERANT CONDITIONING IN “ A CLOCKWORK ORANGE” In a Clockwork

Creation and Destruction in A Clockwork Orange

2021 words - 8 pages Creation and Destruction in A Clockwork Orange In the novel A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess shows his readers a society in which pure destruction seems to reign supreme. The lead character, Alex, and most members of his generation, spend their evenings recreationally beating passersby, having small but brutal gang fights, and generally destroying both property and people. Yet these images and instances of destruction constantly

The Theme of Self-awareness in Frankenstein, Flowers for Algernon, and A Clockwork Orange

671 words - 3 pages Self-awareness is the main theme that is present throughout all three novels, Frankenstein, Flowers for Algernon, and A Clockwork Orange. All four characters, Charlie, Alex, Victor, and the monster are aware of themselves. Alex’s awareness is revealed in the first page of the novel when Alex says, “What’s it going to be then, eh?”(Burgess 1). In Flowers for Algernon, Charlie’s consciousness is shown through his written progress reports. In

Free Will: Do Humans Have Total Control Over Their Lives?

2514 words - 10 pages power and the way it controls everything could be described as a ‘democratic dictatorship’, where one person – in our case, one body – imposes duties on people and forces them to obey. However, if we look more closely to the situation, if there are no rules to obey, then no legal system would exist or continue to exist. Thus, it could be argued that disciplinary control is the efficacy of law. Human beings feel that they can only be free through discipline, control and power; as such, genuine freedom becomes unbearable. As Jean-Jacques Rousseau once said: “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains” .

The Psychology of Violence in A Clockwork Orange

2334 words - 9 pages in fact is there. A Clockwork Orange is a book well known for its discussion of good and evil. The novel presents readers with a question to discuss in the introduction written by Anthony Burgess himself. Burgess states: "By definition, a human being is endowed with free will. He can use this to choose between good and evil. If he can only perform good or only perform evil, then he is a clockwork orange....is only a clockwork toy to be wound

Music, Violence, and Identity in Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange

1481 words - 6 pages Music, Violence, and Identity in Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange Linking the fundamental conflict between individual identity and societal identity with musical imagery in Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange creates a lens through which one can recognize the tendency that violence has to destroy an individual’s identity. Although Alex clearly associates violence with his own individual identity and sense of self, he consistently

Similar Essays

Free Will In A Clockwork Orange And Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep

2736 words - 11 pages on free will and how it can be very relatable to the world today. It’s also interesting to read these two novels and watch the two films and then look what is happening in countries around the world and see how other governments control their free will and think about how the government played huge roles on free will in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep/Blade Runner and A Clockwork Orange for the main characters.

Freedom Of Choice In A Clockwork Orange

1258 words - 5 pages Freedom of Choice In the novel A Clockwork Orange, the author Anthony Burgess tells a story about a young man name Alex and his friends, every night they go around and start committing violent acts. In the novel Alex expresses his freedom of choice between good and evil. The freedom of choice is a decision that every person must make throughout his life in order to guide his actions and to take control of his own future. This Freedom of

Free Will In Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange

562 words - 2 pages      Is it better to be a man choosing wrong than a man who is forced to choose right? In the classic novel, A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, a theme emerges. This is the theme of free will. Through the main character, Alex, Burgess is able to convey his ideas about free will and the oppressive nature of establishments such as governments and the media. Aside from these suggestions made by Burgess the question persists: When a man ceases

Freedom Of Choice In Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange

992 words - 4 pages badness, Alex is free to leave the prison. He is only free in the physical sense though. His mind is no longer his own. The technique has taken away his ability to choose between good and bad. He no longer has the freedom of choice. He becomes a machine, a Clockwork Orange: still a living organism, but one that is programmed to tick in a certain way. The experiment changes Alex. The desire to be bad still exists, however, when he thinks