J. Ayer 's Analysis Of Free Will And Determinism Essays

1038 Words Oct 13th, 2016 5 Pages
A. J. Ayer’s analysis of free will is as follows (611):
P1 If you would have chosen to act in a way other than you did, you would have
P2 You acted voluntarily
P3 You were not compelled to act in a certain way
C1 Your action was the result of free will
Ayer’s first premise for an act of free will states that if you would have decided to make a different choice, you would have made a different choice. This condition for free will addresses the determinism theory (everything that happens can be predicted if you know every nuance of the laws that govern the universe). Ayer believes in both free will and determinism, and this part of his definition of free will eliminates the apparent conflict between the two theories. Just because all of your actions can be predicted and would play out the same way if you rewound time 1000 times doesnt mean that you are bound to do those actions and have no choice. For example, if you are driving and come to a 4 way intersection. You could go left, right, or straight. Lets say you are returning home and your home is to the left, so you go left. Now, if you would have chosen to go straight in that moment, you would not have turned left even though you decided to go straight.
The second premise for an act of free will in Ayer’s definition is that your choice was voluntary. Ayer uses the example of a kleptomaniacs need to steal (609). If a kleptomaniac goes into a store and decides to steal something, they will steal something. If they go into…

Related Documents