Soft determinism
To know the arguments of soft
determinism
lesson 9
TASK:
Things in every day life
Free to do
Determined / predetermined to do
.
Give an example or explanation.
Are there any conclusions you come to?
lesson 9
Is it so black and white?
Or should there be a third column? A
middle ground?
lesson 9
SOFT DETERMINISM
 Soft determinists believe that both
determinism and Free will are true.
 They are called Compatiblists.
 Only some actions are predetermined
and therefore we are morally
responsible for our actions.
 An act is free unless compelled by
another person.
lesson 13
Application - Gandhi
 ‘Gandhi fasted to free India’
 This would conform to what the libertarian
would class a free action, however at the same
time there is a cause stated in that sentence.
 Gandhi’s desires to free India caused him to fast.
This desire could be a result of other causes such
as his education, upbringing, the teaching of the
Hindu faith and so on.
 So it should be ‘ Gandhi fasted because he
wanted to free India’
lesson 9
Freedom is therefore hypothetical.
 Hobbes
lesson 13
others explain the dilemma more clearly than
Hobbes.
If our past were different then so would our
present.
Were our upbringing a little different an
alternative choice could have been made.
lesson 13
HUME- used to back soft determinism up
 Free actions are not uncaused.
Lesson 10/10/12 as far as here
 Instead they are caused by our choices and our
choices are determined by our beliefs, desires and
personalities.
 Our decisions are made as a part of a process that
has a causal chain of events and are so determined.
 The agent is part of that causal chain and as long as
nobody stops us we have complete freedom.
 Actions that come from the person are the only free
acts but in terms of this quote;
 “By liberty, then, we can only mean a power of
acting or not acting, according to the
determinations of the will; that is, if we choose to
remain at rest we may; if we choose to move, we
also may.”
lesson 13
DAVID HUME
1711 –1776
SELF RESTRAINT AND WILLPOWER
1.
Desires and actions can be stopped by
willpower and self restraint.
2.
Some people are able to control their
urges and limit their freedom.
3.
Not all people are able to resist
temptations
4.
Self restraint may have a genetic
disposition but it may be due to ethical or
religious beliefs
5.
The beliefs of the person may be strong
enough to limit their own freedom.
lesson 7
SELF RESTRAINT AND WILLPOWER
1. We generally want to act to
stop desires.
2. We feel that the ability to
stop our desires is what
separates ourselves from
animals.
3. How else do we stop our
freedoms?
lesson 7
LIVING IN SOCIETY
Society has a set of rules that are followed.
1.
This is called a social contract. Can you
think of rules that go into the social
contract?
2.
Limitations on freedoms are put in place to
maximise the freedom of all people.
3.
Order justice and civilisation come about by
people agreeing to some basic rules of
conduct.
4.
What would society be like if there was no
rules?
5.
Do you have a choice over these rules?
lesson 7
LIVING IN SOCIETY
1. What would society be like if
there was no rules?
2. Do you have a choice over
these rules?
3. Nazis in 1930 organised a set of
rules which marginalised a
section of society. Their social
contract severely limited the
freedom of a group of
individuals.
lesson 7
CONFLICT OF FREE WILLS
Argument against liberty
1. If we all are free to act then eventually
some freedoms will conflict.
2. Individual freedom requires us to think
about how conflict is handled.
Conclusion
Freedoms are curtailed out of social
convention.
These are not to be underestimated as
they may be strong enough to motivate a
gay man to marry a woman for the sake of
his family.
Any more examples?
lesson 7
SUMMARY
 Moral responsibility may be mitigated by the
degree to which we were free when we acted
 Arguably environmental influences play a
strong role in determining behaviour –
perhaps we are not as free as we think!
lesson 7
SOFT DETERMINISM
 Soft determinism says that causation is still a
fact.
 There is still a complete a sufficient cause of your
actions.
 There is no alternative future but there could
have been a different future had the past been
different.
lesson 13
SOFT DETERMINISM
 As well as creating an idea of hypothetical
freedom soft determinism demonstrates how the
desires and mental state of the individual are a
part of their sufficient reasoning behind
decisions.
lesson 13
Strengths and weaknesses
 Strengths
 weaknesses
lesson 13
CRITICISMS
LIBERTARIANISM
 Soft determinism does not realise the true
extent of human freedom.
HARD DETERMINISM
DAVID HUME
1711 –1776
 Soft determinism does not realise the
extent at which human actions are
determined.
 It is a “quagmire of evasion,” William James
 or a “wretched subterfuge” Kant.
Thomas Hobbes
(1588-1679)
lesson 13
Human Condition
 Using your human condition sheet and what
Hobbes says and add your ideas to the
human condition sheet for soft determinism.
 Also see if there is anything you can add to
your libertarian side from the essay.
lesson 13