Analysis Of Paul Holbach's The Illusion Of Free Will

1285 Words 5 Pages
Holbach’s View on Free Will
Paul Holbach was a French philosopher who is a hard determinist meaning that he believes determinism is true, and if determinism is true then you cannot have free will, therefore free will does not exist. In Paul Holbach 's “The Illusion of Free Will,” he argues that people don’t have any free will and that nature determines every human’s actions and will. Free will is the ability for one to perform an action without any outside force influencing them and to be able to be morally responsible for that action. Determinism is the belief where people’s actions and wills are caused by an external force rather their own will meaning no one can be held morally responsible for the outcome for that action. The dilemma of
…show more content…
Holbach states that it is not free will that causes you to perform an action, but it is his desire or motive which decides to perform an action. Meaning, the reason you decided to perform an action was to convince your opponent. The desire to convince your opponent was what made you perform your action instead of free will where your desires were created from temperament which is out of your control. All motives and ideas originate from your temperament which was created by laws nature created that you must obey without your consent, therefore you cannot do not have any free will on your motives, ideas, and desires. People believe that they are a free agent because they fail to understand the true motive that causes one to perform an action. Free agency is defined as the absence of obstacles that influences one’s desires and motives and that a free agent can perform an action he has proposed to these objects. Holbach’s response states that it is out of one’s control to remove obstacles and to be in an environment that cannot influence your desires. This means that free agency cannot exist because it is impossible for a person to have control over their environment and the objects around them. Therefore, the objects will continue to control one’s will and desire. Holbach continues to argue that people are under a false belief that he acts as a free agent when he performs an action where the performer does not …show more content…
If the causes of one to perform an action were simple, then one would deem his actions as necessary because they could instantly recall the cause that is forcing them to perform that action. Meaning if all causes were simple, then everyone would believe their action was forced, so no one would believe they are a free agent. Due to the complexity of the causes that lead one to behave a certain way. people tend to believe they are a free agents because they cannot recall the cause of their action. If you cannot recall the cause of an action, therefore you made the action of your own free will. Holbach understands that it is nearly impossible to locate the true causal of your actions because many of the times the cause happens without you realizing and if you never realized when it occurred then you can never find the cause. However, Holbach also states that if one were to discover the true cause of one’s actions then it would relate back to the reason he performed an action, which relates back to one’s motives and will, which relates back to the external objects that give you impulses, which the you feel impulses from the objects due to your temperament, where your temperament was created by the nature you were exposed

Related Documents