StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Determinism, free will and moral responsibility - Essay Example

Not dowloaded yet

Extract of sample
Determinism, free will and moral responsibility

There are many views and arguments reflecting different philosophers' positions on determinism, free will and moral responsibility, and it is not easy to find correct solution of such problems. Maybe this solution will never be found, as in case of many other philosophic problems. The purpose of this paper is not to find it, but to analyse the views of such philosophers as Blatchford, Schlick, Hospers, Campbell and Taylor on determinism, free will and moral responsibility. The views of these philosophers will be given in connection with my own ideas and views on these philosophic problems. In this paper I will argue that libertarian approach (Campbell and Taylor) reflects reality in more objective view than that of hard determinists (Blatchford, Schlick and Hospers).
2. Blatchford asserts that free will is determined by our nature. Heredity and environment determine our will; he says that "the free will is really controlled by heredity and environment" (Blatchford, p. 104). He also writes that "The free will party seem to think of the will as something independent of the man, as something outside of him. They seem to think that the will decides without the control of the man's reason" (Blatchford, p. 34-35). Of course, heredity and environment play great role in our actions, but I think that free will can depend on personal moral responsibility. Blatchford asserts that our actions can be predictable. Our nature and heredity determine our acts; this statement fits for famous persons too (Napoleon, Lincoln). In addition to that he claims that his work The Delusion of Free Will "disposes of the claim that man is responsible be cause his will is free" (Blatchford, p. 107).So, we can say that Blatchford is a representative of hard determinism. But there is a question. What about twins who live together and therefore have the same heredity and environment Are their free will and moral responsibility expressions equal No. I suppose that their decisions and actions depend on their free will which is not originated from heredity and environment. Their free will is determined by their personal development and the features of personality which can be developed in the process of education and self-development.

3. Moritz Schlick is a representative of logical positivism doctrine. His definition of free will, determinism and moral responsibility derives from the definition of punishment. He supposes that "Punishment is an educative measure, and as such is a means to the formation of motives, which are in part to prevent the wrongdoer from repeating the act (reformation) and in part to prevent others from committing a similar act (intimidation). Analogously, in the case of reward we are concerned with an incentive." (Schlick, p. 152). So, Schlick's view of free will and responsibility is connected with punishment. He supposes that a person in responsible if the punishment for his action is able to change his behavior in the future. So, his determinism differs a little from that of Blatchford. In his point of view, ...Show more


1. In western philosophy such terms as determinism, free will, and moral responsibility are treated differently by different authors. There are three main positions on determinism, free will, and moral responsibility. Those who adhere with hard determinism assert that everything in our world and our actions are predetermined, and decisions we make are not completely ours; moral responsibility is the reflection of free will…
Author : rabernathy
Determinism, free will and moral responsibility essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Determinism, free will and moral responsibility"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

What sort of freedom is required for moral responsibility
What sort of freedom is required for moral responsibility? Do human beings have this sort of freedom such that we are morally responsible for our actions? It so happens that when a person is unable to, or fails to perform an ethical action, which is imperative; we think that there is some specific reaction, which is required.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
The concepts of determinism, compatibilism, and libertarianism
Yet, this responsibility appears to call for some kind of free will. The presence and nature of freedom of the will is a theme of major significance for how individuals will exercise an ethical point of view in their social and personal interactions with other people.
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
The philosophical ideas of determinism, compatibilism and libertarianism
Philosophy is a complex term and also a concept complicated in nature for explaining, understanding and conceiving. Some of the philosophical ideas are determinism, compatibilism and libertarianism. These are certain concepts which are largely connected to human lives and the way they contemplate life.
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Freedom and Determinism
With the guilty given mandates to defend his or her cases, it is also the responsibility of jurisdictional body to exercise the justice endorsed by the law. This is the reason why Penry's murder case was so complex, with two consecutive murder convictions challenged in court (Doob, 2006, 13).
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Free Will and Moral Integrity
"The stronghold of the deterministic sentiment is the antipathy to the idea of chance...what is it, they ask, (determinists) but barefaced crazy unreason, the negation of intelligibility and law And if the slightest particle of it exists anywhere, what is to prevent the whole fabric from falling together.
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
Determinism verus Free Will
If 20 years ago one had complimented a man on his fine feminine characteristics, he might well have been insulted by the compliment. Why Until 2 decades ago, masculinity and femininity were thought to be polar opposites, so highlighting one's feminine characteristics typically meant denying the person's masculine traits.
9 pages (2250 words) Essay
Free Will vs. Determinism
In religion, many people believe in the existence οf a god supports determinism. The basis οf god is that he is all-knowing and all-powerful. If free will is allowed, there would be decisions and actions in which God could not know due to the persons choice. This
9 pages (2250 words) Essay
Free Will: (Determinism vs Libertarianism)
Philosophy is divided over whether events are determined and whether freedom can coexist with it. This paper analyzes the concept of free will by analyzing the arguments of determinism and libertarianism on free will. Determinism believes in a broad definition
7 pages (1750 words) Essay
Soft determinism
For the soft determinist, freewill allows him act according to their nature as defined by society, the environment, family, and other psychological factors. Soft determinism contends that moral responsibility, human freedom, and
2 pages (500 words) Essay
The problem of free will arises from three initially plausible assumptions: 1. Human beings have free will. 2. The world is deterministic. 3. Free will is incompatible with determinism
Deterministic world has it that everything that happens has roots in the natural or divine laws. They also believe that there is only one possible future (John, James , & Roy, 2008). Generally, we are supposed
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation