Free Will Vs Incompatibilism

1673 Words 7 Pages
Freedom of the Will
Consider a case involving hypnosis. When someone else decides our actions for us, do we have any input in what actions we take? When under the power of hypnosis, do we truly display the freedom of will? Are we truly free to make choices and act upon them? Freedom of the will, according to Frankfurt, is compatible with determinism; however, his inability to refute the possibility that second order desires may be predetermined allows for the conclusion that all humans truly do not possess freedom of the will and are only under the illusion that they do.
In order to fully understand free will, it is important to define it. Free will is determined as the ability to choose between many options and act upon the choice chosen.
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The Compatibilist argues that free will and determinism are compatible with each other. On the other hand, the Incompatibilist states that free will and determinism are incompatible (397). For the incompatibilist, determinism does apply to freedom of the will. However, he claims that if things are predetermined then the person does not exhibit free will. The person will be predetermined to make only a certain choice, so he is not fully exhibiting free will (400). Free will is defined as the ability to choose among various alternatives and perform that decision. If things are predetermined, then the person will be unable to actually choose between different options, so the person is said to not have free will (400). In the bicyclist example, the bicyclist may love to ride his bike on a road with lots of turns because he loves the feeling of turning his bike very fast. This desire to ride on a path with a lot of turns predetermines his choice. He is very likely to choose this path, so he does not exhibit free …show more content…
For example, Frankfurt does not consider the fact that the second order desires can be determined by the first order desires (445). For example, the desire to eat or not eat pie precedes the desire to desire to eat pie or not eat pie, so there can be some influence of the first order desires on the second order ones. So, if second order desires are predetermined by the first order desires, the person does not have free will. Since he is already determined to pick a certain option, he is not exercising his free will. In essence, the determinism and free will are not compatible with each other in this case, so it does not follow Frankfurt’s

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