Answer any Four Questions


  1. What is determinism? Is determinism different from causality or predictability? If so how?

Determinism refers to the philosophical notion that all states ofaffairs or events, including all human actions and decisions, are thenecessary and inevitable consequences of precursor states of affairs.More precisely, determinism should be differentiated frompre-determinism, the notion that the whole past (alongside thefuture) was influenced or determined at the universe’s origin.

Yes, determinism is different from predictability or causality. Thereappears to be a common tendency of conflating determinism andcausality or predictability. At a minimum, people usually appear totake determinism as a strong causality form – the term CausalDeterminism is often used (Lecture Notes). Therefore, the ideasof determinism and causality are different. Generally, determinismrefers to the idea that given a particular world situation at a timet, and given fixed nature laws, the future events’ course is fixedas an affair of natural law. On the other hand, causality is the ideathat an even e pursues previous conditions c with uniformity.

  1. Is determinism consistent with free-will? What is compatibilism? Discuss a compatibilist`s position regarding the relationship between determinism and free-will.

Freewill is the idea that the self (&quotme&quot, &quotyou&quot)can make its individual decisions in the present time. Conversely,determinism is the idea that all things that happen in the globe areordained or planned earlier. Therefore, freewill would be consideredincompatible with determinism.

Compatibilism gives solutions to the problems of freewill, whichconcern disputed incompatibility between determinism and freewill.Compatibilism refers to the proposition that determinism iscompatible with freewill (Lecture Notes). Since freewill is usuallyconsidered an essential condition of ethical responsibility,compatibilism is at times expressed as an idea regarding thecompatibility between determinism and ethical responsibility.

Compatibilists maintain that human freedom is compatible withdeterminism. In addition, they believe indeterminism is at bestincoherent or not compatible. They think that there has to be acausal or deterministic connection between people`s actions andpeople`s will. This enables people to be responsible for theiractions, inclusive of blames for the bad as well as credit for allgoods.

  1. What is fatalism? Give an argument in favor for fatalism. What is an objection to fatalism?

Fatalism refers to the thought that “what would be would be,”since all present, future, and past are already pre-determined by anall-powerful force like “Fate” or by God. In religion, fatalismmight at times be mixed up with predestination, which is the notionthat God picks those going to heaven before their birth (LectureNotes).

In modern philosophy, arguments in favor for fatalism refer tothe arguments that conclude that no action of humans is free. Thesearguments are usually of two sorts: theological and logical.Arguments for the logical fatalism continue, roughly, from realitiesabout the future deductions that those actions or deeds areinevitable hence, not free. Equally, arguments for the theologicalfatalism continue, roughly, from the divine thoughts regarding futuredeeds to the deduction that those deeds are inevitable thus, notfree. Generally, all arguments for fatalism purport to illustratethat no actions of humans are free.

As stated by fatalists, the actions of people are not justdetermined they are fated. If people`s actions are determined, itmeans the way they will choose to act has already been settled. Ifthe actions of people are fated, then there actions are alreadysettled in spite of the way they decide. Many philosophers believethat the notion of fatalism is mixed up, and it has no significanceto the debate of free will – there is a fundamental problem aboutlogical fatalism.

  1. Identify the name of the philosophers from the following writings:

    1. We are not morally responsible for our actions.IMMANUEL KANT

    2. We need to have a science of human behavior based on which we can control human actions. BURRHUS FREDERIC SKINNER

    3. Karma is grounded in a “greed, anger, and folly without beginning.….” BUDDHIST VERSE OF REPENTANCE


Lecture Notes (n.d). Freedom and Determinism: phl:101