Analysis Of Compatibilism By W. T. Stace

1040 Words 5 Pages
In this article, W.T Stace defends the view of compatibilism, which is also known as “soft determinism.” He argues that every event in one’s life is inevitable and is the result of past affairs, which also leads him to the belief that free will is indeed consistent with determinism. Near the end of the article he also explores the notion of moral responsibility and it’s compatibility with free will. Stace begins by briefly outlining the significance of free will because if someone has no control over their actions how can they be punished or rewarded for the way the act? He believes that many people entirely deny the concept of free will. Yet the fact that many do not believe in free will is contradictory because their actions prove other wise. …show more content…
Free acts are caused by desires, motives or internal psychological states that are present in the individual’s mind while unfree acts are caused by physical forces or physical conditions that are present outside the individual. Stace then goes on to say that free will is compatible with determinism due to the fact that free acts are caused by desires and hopes, which demonstrates that the way an individual acts is determined by existing causes. Stace then brings up the fact that his definition of free will may not always function in every scenario because there are “mixed” cases in which it is difficult to identify whether the acts can be known as free acts or if they were compelled. Finally Stace discusses free will leading to moral responsibility and determinsim being compatible with both of these factors. He provides many different examples, his first is giving a boy a mild beating for lying. The point of this is to inflict pain and fear in hopes that he will stop lying and begin telling the truth. Therefore we are supplying a cause which will change the outcome. This example leads to Stace 's conclusion that moral responsibility requires determinism because if actions were uncaused, there would be no point to praise or …show more content…
Some people may go ahead and steal to stay alive while others may choose to act differently and do the complete opposite. Your actions solely depend on you and what type of person you are. Stace also claims that it is delusion to think that determinism is incompatible with free will meanwhile it is merely impossible for them to be compatible as determinism claims that freedom is just an illusion while free will is the complete opposite and is the notion that people are free to act and behave as they please. How can free will and determinism be compatible when people have no control of the causes that occur around them which according to Stace is the reason that they act in a certain manner? If people are not able to genuinely control their actions due to predetermined causes that make them act a certain way, then do they really have free will? Humans have no choice and no power over the laws of nature therefore it seems to not make sense that free will and determinism go hand in hand. Free will requires a person to have alternate possibilities when deciding how to act in a certain situation meanwhile determinism states that the way a person acts is clear cut and already determined due to prior causes. Therefore, if determinism were to be true, then a person would not have free will which challenges Stace’s belief. Moving on to Stace’s final

Related Documents