An analysis of the concept of fate versus free will in libertarianism and determinism

Overview[ edit ] The first recorded use of the term "libertarianism" was in by William Belsham in a discussion of free will and in opposition to " necessitarian " or determinist views.

An analysis of the concept of fate versus free will in libertarianism and determinism

Major Historical Contributions 1. Indeed, on this matter, as with so many other major philosophical issues, Plato and Aristotle give importantly different emphases that inform much subsequent thought.

In the absence of justice, the individual is enslaved to the passions. While Aristotle shares with Plato a concern for cultivating virtues, he gives greater theoretical attention to the role of choice in initiating individual actions which, over time, result in habits, for good or ill.

Furthermore, mature humans make choices after deliberating about different available means to our ends, drawing on rational principles of action. Choose consistently well poorlyand a virtuous vicious character will form over time, and it is in our power to be either virtuous or vicious.

A question that Aristotle seems to recognize, while not satisfactorily answering, is whether the choice an individual makes on any given occasion is wholly determined by his internal state—perception of his circumstances and his relevant beliefs, desires, and general character dispositions wherever on the continuum between virtue and vice he may be —and external circumstances.

One might worry that this seems to entail that the person could not have done otherwise—at the moment of choice, she has no control over what her present character is—and so she is not responsible for choosing as she does. Aristotle responds by contending that her present character is partly a result of previous choices she made.

We note just a few contributions of the subsequent centuries of the Hellenistic era. This period was dominated by debates between Epicureans, Stoics, and the Academic Skeptics, and as it concerned freedom of the will, the debate centered on the place of determinism or of fate in governing human actions and lives.

The Stoics and the Epicureans believed that all ordinary things, human souls included, are corporeal and governed by natural laws or principles. Epicurus and his followers had a more mechanistic conception of bodily action than the Stoics. They held that all things human soul included are constituted by atoms, whose law-governed behavior fixes the behavior of everything made of such atoms.

Epicurus has often been understood as seeking to ground the freedom of human willings in such indeterministic swerves, but this is a matter of controversy. If this understanding of his aim is correct, how he thought that this scheme might work in detail is not known.

Major Historical Contributions

A final notable figure of this period was Alexander of Aphrodisias, the most important Peripatetic commentator on Aristotle.

In his On Fate, Alexander sharply criticizes the positions of the Stoics. He goes on to resolve the ambiguity in Aristotle on the question of the determining nature of character on individual choices by maintaining that, given all such shaping factors, it remains open to the person when she acts freely to do or not to do what she in fact does.

Augustine — is the central bridge between the ancient and medieval eras of philosophy.

Determinism - Wikipedia

His mature thinking about the will was influenced by his early encounter with late classical Neoplatonist thought, which is then transformed by the theological views he embraces in his adult Christian conversion, famously recounted in his Confessions.

He clearly affirms that the will is by its nature a self-determining power—no powers external to it determine its choice—and that this feature is the basis of its freedom.

An analysis of the concept of fate versus free will in libertarianism and determinism

Scholars divide on whether Augustine was a libertarian or instead a kind of compatibilist with respect to metaphysical freedom. It is clear, however, that Augustine thought that we are powerfully shaped by wrongly-ordered desires that can make it impossible for us to wholeheartedly will ends contrary to those desires, for a sustained period of time.

Will is rational desire: Freedom enters the picture when we consider various means to these ends and move ourselves to activity in pursuit of certain of them. Our will is free in that it is not fixed by nature on any particular means, and they generally do not appear to us either as unqualifiedly good or as uniquely satisfying the end we wish to fulfill.

Furthermore, what appears to us to be good can vary widely—even, over time, intra-personally. For this reason, some commentators have taken Aquinas to be a kind of compatibilist concerning freedom and causal or theological determinism. The first consideration is clearly consistent with compatibilism.

The second at best points to a kind of contingency that is not grounded in the activity of the will itself. And one wanting to read Aquinas as a libertarian might worry that his third consideration just passes the buck: Those who read Aquinas as a libertarian point to the following further remark in this text: In opposition to Aquinas and other medieval Aristotelians, Scotus maintained that a precondition of our freedom is that there are two fundamentally distinct ways things can seem good to us: Contrary to some popular accounts, however, Scotus allowed that the scope of available alternatives for a person will be more or less constricted.

Freewill and Determinism | Simply Psychology

He grants that we are not capable of willing something in which we see no good whatsoever, nor of positively repudiating something which appears to us as unqualifiedly good. However, in accordance with his uncompromising position that nothing can be the total cause of the will other than itself, he held that where something does appear to us as unqualifiedly good perfectly suited both to our advantage and justice —viz.

The centrality of the problem of free will to the various projects of early modern philosophers can be traced to two widely, though not universally, shared assumptions. The first is that without belief in free will, there would be little reason for us to act morally. More carefully, it was widely assumed that belief in an afterlife in which a just God rewards and punishes us according to our right or wrong use of free will was key to motivating us to be moral Russellchs.

Life before death affords us many examples in which vice is better rewarded than virtue and so without knowledge of a final judgment in the afterlife, we would have little reason to pursue virtue and justice when they depart from self-interest. And without free will there can be no final judgement.

The second widely shared assumption is that free will seems difficult to reconcile with what we know about the world. While this assumption is shared by the majority of early modern philosophers, what specifically it is about the world that seems to conflict with freedom differs from philosopher to philosopher.Free Will-Determinism The dialogue between philosophers over the existence of free will versus the inevitability of determinism is a debate that will always exist.

The discussion centers around the true freedom of humans to think and act according to their own judgment versus the concept that humans are intrinsically bound by the physical laws of the universe.

Libertarianism is one of the main philosophical positions related to the problems of free will and determinism, which are part of the larger domain of metaphysics. In particular, libertarianism, which is an incompatibilist position, [2] [3] argues that free will is logically incompatible with a deterministic universe and that agents have free.

Free will here is predominately treated with respect to physical determinism in the strict sense of nomological determinism, although other forms of determinism are also relevant to free will. For example, logical and theological determinism challenge metaphysical libertarianism with ideas of destiny and fate, and biological, cultural and.

KEYWORDS: William Shakespeare, Freewill, Libertarianism, Naturalism, Macbeth. INTRODUCTION The issue of freewill and determinism in the course of our actions have been one of the most debated and discussed issues even from the classical times. It has developed into a . Sep 23,  · The paradox of freedom versus determinism has plagued philosophers for ages.

A paradox arises when two (or more) equally evident assumptions lead to apparently inconsistent results. This paradox derives from the inconsistent theories of hard determinism (the determinist position), libertarianism, semi-compatibilism, and timberdesignmag.coms: 7.

Hard Determinism Event-Causal Libertarianism Compatibilism Impossibilism Hard Incompatibilism of free will versus determinism. But consider his arguments for decrees of fate, whence comes this free will [libera]?” 6 Cicero unequivocally denies fate, strict causal determinism.

Free Will (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)