Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 1 month ago

Explain the differences between hard determinism, indeterminism and soft determinism. ?

Which view do you think works best in explaining the presence or absence of free will? 

2 Answers

  • j153e
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Your teacher is likely asking for you to position yourself re question of "free will."

    Defining "free will" is perhaps your first step.

    "Free" has the PIE root of *pri-, "to love."  People tend to love freedom, particularly when it is contrasted with "servitude" or "slavery."

    "Will" has the PIE root of *wel-, "to will."  Being able to do is an act of agency, or the ability to do one's will.

    "Soft determinism" is compatible with agency:  a turtle has agency to walk and swim; a fish has agency to swim; and many birds have agency to fly, walk, and swim.  William James, the American philosopher, would opine that birds have the most agency or ability to make choices--what options do you, a human being, have?  Many more than turtles and fish, yet fewer than birds, unless you invent the airplane or buy a flight ticket, etc.

    Hard determinism is more atomic in nature (no pun intended); A causes B, B causes C or D, depending on energy laws of atomic physics, chemistry, etc.

    Indeterminism is not logical, as it denies causality for some events.  It is a superficial view based on lack of knowledge of predisposing or causal factors.  The cartoon with a whiteboard covered with formulas and calculations, then the words "then a miracle happens" expresses the naive perspective.

    Hard determinism is somewhat less accurate as it presumes no levels of agency.  For example, God has certain clear rules to live by:  love God as Love, love colleague as Self (Self being realized while loving God).  The rules are hard and fast, yet the individual at his or her level has the ability to accept such laws as Life, or reject them.  This is soft determinism--some levels of agency permit awareness within the general strata.

    So, would suggest you clarify your definition of free and of will, and of hard and soft determinism, and of indeterminism, and then give quick thought to what you believe and practice in daily life, and then write your answer.

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  • 1 month ago

    just peeps trying to be fancy with their language

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