MIT 24 0 - Fancier Versions of Compatibilism (3 pages)

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Fancier Versions of Compatibilism



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Fancier Versions of Compatibilism

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3
School:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Course:
24 0 - Problems of Philosophy
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24 00 Free Will Week 2 November 19 2010 Daniel Greco 1 More Compatibilism Here s an argument for incompatibilism 1 You only act freely if you could ve acted otherwise 2 If determinism is true then it s never the case that you could ve acted otherwise 3 So if determinism is true then you never act freely How might the compatibilist respond Frankfurt tries to motivate rejecting premise 1 Here s a Frankfurt style example lifted from wikipedia Example text removed due to copyright restrictions Available at http en wikipedia org wiki Frankfurt counterexamples How could the incompatibilist in particular the libertarian respond 1 1 Fancier Versions of Compatibilism Frankfurt argues that someone has free will just in case they have desires about what to desire and these second order desires are e ective when they desire to desire something they end up desiring that something Why introduce this complication It lets us distinguish regular people who Frankfurt thinks have free will from children animals etc It lets us distinguish the unwilling drug addict who wants to quit but can t and who Frank furt thinks does not have free will from the person who could resolve to quit if she wanted i e the person who would stop desiring drugs if she desired to stop desiring them Worries just as actions are manipulable by external forces so are rst order desires and second order desires and any other psychological state you might use to try to give a compatibilist characterization of free will We seem to face a dilemma 1 1 Either allow that a sophisticated enough hypnotist neuroscientist whatever could not only ensure that you perform some action if she so desired but could ensure that you performed the action of your own free will even if right now you are rmly set against performing it 2 Or instead deny compatibilism and opt for hard determinism no free will or libertarianism indeterministic free will 2 Scienti c Challenges to Free Will A few strategies for arguing that there s scienti c evidence against free will Nahmias Science is showing us that determinism is true and that rules out free will Science is showing us that mechanism is true and that rules out free will Science is showing us that human actions do not derive from conscious reasoning decisions and intentions and that rules out free will Why accept the third claim Libet experiments with interpretation behavior and conscious deliberation have a common cause readiness potential but conscious deliberation doesn t cause behavior Responses Alternative interpretations on which consciousness deliberation is playing important role in producing behavior Alternative interpretations on which deliberation intentions are playing roles but con sciousness is not These experiments have limited scope there s a wide range of cases about which they tell us little to nothing A di erent sort of challenge still Nahmias 1 Free will requires that one s actions properly derive from decisions or intentions that one has at some point consciously considered or at least that one would accept as one s reasons for acting 2 Science is showing that our actions do not properly derive from decisions or intentions that we have consciously considered or would accept as our reasons for acting Rather our actions are produced by other factors and we rationalize them after the fact 3 So science is showing that we do not have free will 2 MIT OpenCourseWare http ocw mit edu 24 00 Problems in Philosophy Fall 2010 For information about citing these materials or our Terms of Use visit http ocw mit edu terms


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