The Discussion Regarding Free Will And Determinism Essay

1556 Words Dec 7th, 2016 7 Pages
The discussion regarding free will and determinism is extensive and ever pressing. David Hume believes that the two (of which he refers to as liberty and necessity respectively) are intrinsically compatible, and that the dispute surrounding the issue is a result of failing to accurately define the terms. Hume proposes that through his interpretations of the two, it will become apparent that the debate about liberty and necessity is merely verbal. While some insist that Hume’s account of liberty and necessity is unsatisfactory, I posit that the debate will remain at a stalemate unless said opposition can refute Hume without using antecedent definitions.
Necessity
Hume defines necessity as the combination of two circumstances: “the constant conjunction of similar objects, and the consequent inference [we make] from one to the other”. In fact, he claims that necessity, if understood only as the necessary causal force of objects, cannot be observed in nature. What we witness, when we think we are experiencing deterministic events, is actually a correlation of events. Constant repetitions of certain events occurring together however, lead us to postulate that the relationship between them is causal. The mistake then, is to suppose that we are capable of finding causal connections in nature, while at the same time denying that similar links exist within the realm of intelligence. In reality, only constant conjunctions are detectable, and if we infer causal necessity from these…

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