Compatibilism

Topics: Free will, Determinism, Causality / Pages: 4 (974 words) / Published: Dec 1st, 2013
A Classical Compatibilists Approach

I could have chosen to start this paper in any particular fashion. Although, given the specific events that transpired prior to me typing these letters indicate that this sentence was absolutely necessary. You see, as a person who believes in evolution and has an understanding for the laws of physics and the natural laws of science, I have no choice but to side with determinism and its thesis that everything that occurs, happens of necessity. With that being said, I am in strong agreement with the classical compatibilist view that we are “free to do otherwise” even if all thoughts and actions are determined by cause and effect implications. It is vital that we are “free to do otherwise” since this gives us accountability for our actions and allows us to attain moral responsibility.
Unlike John Martin Fischer’s semi-compatibilism, I hold that determinism does not rule out all alternative actions encompassing “that we can never do otherwise.” I find the compatibilists definition of freedom convincing enough that I can agree to the thesis that determinism exists and that we are still “free to do otherwise” without being logically inconsistent. As long as some force does not restrain me, I am free to do as I wish. For example, let’s suppose that I’ am incarcerated at your local county jail, I am not free to leave the vicinity, but I’ am still
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free to use my recreational time outdoors to play basketball with the inmates. I am not completely free, but I am somewhat free and ultimately, if I want to play basketball and I play basketball, then me playing basketball is considered a free act. I therefore, am equipped, with free will. Hence, an agent is free to do otherwise when he would have done otherwise and would have wanted to do otherwise. This is so because desires, wants, and intentions are all causes of actions. One may argue in regard to this definition that there are times were an agent is not be in control of their

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