Compatibilism

Topics: Causality, Determinism, Free will Pages: 2 (877 words) Published: April 26, 2009
There are 3 basic views that can be taken on the view of determinism, (1) deny its reality, either because of the existence of free will or on independent grounds; (2) accept its reality but argue for its compatibility with free will; or (3) accept its reality and deny its compatibility with free will.In this paper I am going to be defending the view compatibilism, specifically W. T. Stace’s view of compatibilism. Compatibilism is the idea that determinism is true, every event in the world is caused, and that free will still exists. Stace defends this view by saying the problem is the definition of free will. The current definition of what free will is a completely and wholly uncaused action. However this obviously would be completely absurd to say that determinism is compatible with free will as this definitions are the complete opposite of each other, as one says that everything is caused and the other says that there are things that are uncaused. Stace solves this problem by giving a new definition of what free will means. I believe that he gives sufficient reason for this change in definition which he supports with his common usage argument. The new definition of free will according to Stace is the common usage definition. This is that free actions are actions that are not caused by any immediate out side source. This basically saying that free actions are actions that are caused by the agent’s immediate mental thoughts. This is not actually saying that you could have done otherwise. The view of compatibilism is preferable to me for a few reasons; first the saying that nothing has a cause is simply absurd, as there are clearly things that have a cause. Second is that some human actions are free, this seems improbable because I have never seen any uncaused actions, nor can anyone give an example of an explicit action that does not have a cause, and to say that there just are is not a good reason to believe that. I am not arguing hard determinism because...
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