Difference Between Determinism And Incompatibilism

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Compatibilism as a Solution for the Free Will Problem
Are human actions completely free? Freedom can acquire several definitions; according to Bavetta’s study on freedom of choice, for example, liberty can refer to the agent’s freedom of choice, effective freedom, or autonomy (47). The belief of freedom of choice acquires two main perspectives: an incompatible and a compatible view between free will and determinism. The incompatible position states that free will and determinism cannot coexist in the same universe. Determinism, on the one hand, one of the incompatible positions, claims that freedom of choice is nonexistent; instead, the deterministic position believes in universal casualty. Events are the consequence of previous events or actions,
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Previous events are the cause of agents’ decisions and actions; agents cannot control or change the course of action because “everything that happens must happen in an unalterable, preset fashion” (Vaughn 219). The agent’s freedom of choice depends on the type of deterministic position since it presents two views: hard or strict determinism and soft determinism or compatibilism. When it comes to soft determinism, agents have the ability to choose not to perform an action that was determined to happen because they have a certain level of freedom to perform actions led by their desires, which makes possible the idea of determinism and free will as two compatible notions, attempting to solve the incompatible problem. Whereas, the hard deterministic position is incompatible with freedom of the will because agents are not free; they cannot control their behavior or choices. Choices are a product of universal causation or laws of nature instead of being caused by the agent’s desires and reason. Hence, actions are inevitable and …show more content…
In this metaphysical view, moral responsibility cannot exist because agents are not causing their own actions, but they are caused by a natural chain of events. There is only one alternative course of action, so the agents’ behavior is expected. Agents cannot be blamed for actions they did not perform at will, which means criminals are not guilty of their crimes and hence should not be punished as society accustoms to: if agents “cannot be held morally responsible, what possible justification can there be for a system of law constructed on conceptions of blame and punishment?” (Grim 184). In case choices come with responsibility, free will is necessary to exist. In order to explain this phenomenon, determinists argue “cognitive science increasingly operates under the assumption that the mind is, or approximates, a deterministic system” (Evans 642). By arguing brains function in a deterministic manner, however, the agents’ choices would be predictable and therefore their future as well. Still, predictability is not completely related to the idea of determinism. A predictable system is an epistemological claim while a deterministic system is a metaphysical argument (Evans

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