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

Freedom Determinism Debate Essay

1693 words - 7 pages

Freedom-Determinism Debate

The controversy between freewill and determinism has been argued about for years. Freewill is defined as the belief that our behaviour is under our own control and do not act in response to any internal or external factors. Freewill has been found to have four different conditions and to have freewill at least two conditions must be obtained, these are; people have a choice on their actions, have not been coerced by anything or anyone, have full voluntary and deliberate control of what they do. One example of freewill in psychology is Humanism. The humanists are in favour of freewill as they believe that humans aren’t ever determined to behave in a certain way.

According to Maslow (1950) we all strive for self-actualisation, which is that we move towards freewill. However it’s been found that maladaptive behaviour results from lack of acceptance of oneself which prevents Maslow’s self-actualisation occurring, therefore not everyone can strive for it, after all there are individual differences.

Freewill has been used as a defence in murder, some say that something which is beyond their control has determined them to kill someone i.e. inherited bad temper genes. But the freewill argument will be supported by diminished responsibility in law, because it shows that most behaviour is free, only those who are mentally ill and children have determined behaviour.

More supporting evidence for the existence of freewill comes from Penfield (1947); he stimulated parts of the brain of patients about to undergo brain surgery, to make them feel as though their limbs were moving. Penfield found that his patients said they felt different when their limbs moved when being coerced and when they moved them by their own freewill. Therefore freewill is a subjective feeling and most people believe they have freewill and this feeling supports this. One criticism to this is behaviourists such as Skinner would say that this subjective feeling of being free is just an illusion. The reason we feel free is that we are often unaware of our past reinforcement history.

There are applications from the Humanistic approach, counselling can make people exercise their freewill to maximise the rewards (reinforcements) in their lives. This has good consequences as it gives us power to change. On the other hand, it’s a very optimistic view and doesn’t work for all. Evaluating the Humanistic approach by scientific criteria is difficult because of its phenomenological emphasis. The evidence for the theories is almost entirely co- relational because of the methods used i.e. case studies and interviews, which in comparison to experiments do not produce falsifiable predictions. Although the Humanistic approach remains important, it has limited influence in psychological research because of its un-testable ideas and emphasis on the experiences of the individual.

Determinism is the opposite of freewill and is defined as a philosophy that...

Find Another Essay On Freedom-Determinism debate

Hume vs. Beauvoir Essay

1305 words - 6 pages The debate regarding free will and determinism has made its appearance in history several times, and the argument only continues to grow. The topic under debate deals with “the doctrine that all events, including human action, are ultimately determined by causes external to the will” (determinism) and “the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate” (free will). Hume’s argument concerning “the doctrine of liberty” and “the

Qumran: Identity, Spirits, Science and Dualism

2324 words - 9 pages blameworthy, non-divine agents the freedom to change the physical universe through choice. Outside the world of the Dead Sea Scrolls there is a significant debate over the existence, compatibilism, and nonexistence of natural evil and moral evil, defined here as determinism and free will. Cain and Rogers, in 2004, published separate papers concerning this debate. Each chose different avenues of approach which ended in nearly the same place

Free Will Vs. Determinism

2775 words - 11 pages Free Will Vs. Determinism I. Determinism      Before one can properly evaluate the entire debate that enshrouds the Free Will/Determinism, each term must have a meaning, but before we explore the meaning of each term, we must give a general definition. Determinism is, "Everything that happens is caused to happen. (Clifford Williams. "Free Will and Determinism: A Dialogue" pg 3). This is the position that Daniel, a character in Williams

"Hard Determinism" two ojections and one responce!! how does hard determinism over come the free will and determinism argument!!

1151 words - 5 pages Hard DeterminismIn this paper, I will argue that hard determinism is the only viable position with respect to the free will and determinism debate. I will consider W.T. Stace's objection concerning the semantic problem, which is explaining what the real sense of the word" free will" means, and the objection raised by the libertarians, which is how can a person want things and the wanting just comes up out of nowhere, but ultimately I will reject

Free Will vs. Determinism

2766 words - 11 pages I. Determinism Before one can properly evaluate the entire debate that enshrouds the Free Will/Determinism, each term must have a meaning, but before we explore the meaning of each term, we must give a general definition. Determinism is, "Everything that happens is caused to happen. (Clifford Williams. "Free Will and Determinism: A Dialogue" pg 3). This is the position that Daniel, a character in Williams? dialogue, chooses to believe and defend

Free will & Determinism - The debate

1797 words - 7 pages A.The apparently contrasting theories of free will and determinism has been an endless debate that has plagued philosophers for thousands of years.There are various definitions of free will, this has led to difficulty in applying it to human behaviour. Philosophers such as Plato, Kant and Descartes have all acknowledge the existence of free will, to a varying degree. The exercise of free will consists of making choices from a genuine selection

The problem with free will

1602 words - 6 pages demonstrates that certain subatomic events are uncaused and inherently unpredictable" (Cahn 2000). Whilst this may be plausible, it irrelevant and inappropriate to the puzzle of human freedom. The problem of the free will debate with relation to indeterminism lies in the notion that if something is uncaused then it happened for absolutely no reason, but don't we want the decision that we make in our life to be based on our own wishes and reasons?. To

The Question of Free Will: Descartes, Hume, and Nietzsche

2474 words - 10 pages — the view that freedom and moral responsibility can be reconciled with (causal) determinism” (Russell). Determinism or the lack of free will Hume calls “necessity”. While Nietzsche and Descartes take the two extremes on the matter of free will, Hume agrees both determinism and free will do coexist. As Hume writes in An Enquiry Concerning Human Nature, “Everyone acknowledges that there is much uniformity in all nations and ages, and that human nature

Moral Sentiments and Determinism

3595 words - 14 pages ABSTRACT: P. F. Strawson’s essay "Freedom and Resentment" was a landmark in the study of determinism, free-will, and morality. It contributed a much-needed correction to the problem of overintellectualization as found in twentieth-century compatibilist literature. Although most of the central claims in Strawson’s essay are important and true, it fails to fill the lacuna in the analysis, discussion and proposals of traditional compatibilism

Free Will A Major Debate

1484 words - 6 pages and hard determinism, when it is brought into question. Soft determinism rejects the idea that any sort of libertarian idea of free will is required to have moral responsibility. Such as if a person were to make the decision about something, this decision would be made with some degree of freedom and in effect one would be morally responsible for one's decision. Hard determinism on the other hand is a position that moral responsibility is


2039 words - 9 pages one had chosen some act then surely he could have choose it otherwise also, which is not compatible with determinism. This problem is known as ‘problem of metaphysical freedom’. And metaphysical freedom is reluctant in order to accept compatibilism. According to which, if there is no obstacle for doing something it does not follow that must have to do it. And if it doesn`t than how the determinism can be compatible with

Similar Essays

Compatibilism Vs. Imcompatibilism: Is There Really Free Will

1225 words - 5 pages   Compatibilists and Incompatibilists debate determinism and free will. Determinism is the idea that our actions are determined by past events. In other words, in our present state we do not have control over our actions and they are pre-determined. Only one thing can happen given a certain condition and nothing else can occur. Determinism seems to pose a problem because it tests the possibility that we do not have free will or control over our

The Great Unknown Essay

1798 words - 8 pages Freedom (2) because A wants to decline B’s offer, and, had A wanted otherwise, A could have easily chosen to accept B’s offer, taking on a different Second Order Volition (3). Therefore, A satisfies all Three Degrees of Freedom and exhibits free will in the scenario. Frankfurt Meets Occam: Simple Determinism and Relative Choice Why do we debate the existence free will? Without free will as a measurable factor, we cannot make adequate judgments of

Freewill And Determinism Conflict (Choice) Essay

1020 words - 4 pages us what we are. In this paper concerning the free will anddeterminism debate I will argue that determinism is not plausible, I shall do this by givingreasons for determining how determinism is false, give arguments for determinism, andthen refute those arguments.There are those who think that our behavior is a result of free choice, but there areothers who presume "we are servants of cosmic destiny or that behavior is nothing but areflex of

Free Will Vs Determinism Essay

1413 words - 6 pages The apparent contrast between the theories of free will and determinism has been ane incessant debate that has attracted philosophers and theorists for many years.The debate itself in regards to criminal behaviour surrounds the central question, 'is our behaviour, including criminal actions, something we freely choose to do by an act of our own will or is our behaviour largely determined by forces beyond our immediate self control. These factors