Essay Philosophy Notes

Submitted By cmattoon
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Pages: 9

[Biological: Environmental Conditioning]  Habits  Character  Motives & Desires  Choice  Act
Character: Confirmed (fixed and stable) disposition to behave in certain ways
Robert Alton Harris
San Quentin Prison (gas chamber execution)
Grew up in a bad family with drunks as parents and suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome
Holbach = hard determinist

Doctrine of Total Determination
When you walk into the classroom and pick the chair that you are going to sit in is already set because your “act is already determined”
Says that you can not have sat any place else because your past determined you to sit in precisely that chair in the room
It is primarily determined by your biological conditioning
Philosophers primarily like to focus on Character
Character seems to be resistant to change
Character is fixed and stable
We expect people’s behavior to be predictable
Holbach says there is ZERO room for freedom

The view that human choices and actions are the products of genetic and environmental (social) conditioning
Moral Responsibility Thesis
An agent (anyone who acts) can be blamed/praised for an action resulting in significant harms/benefits to others and/or to the agent, provided that the action was freely preformed
Question: Is determinism compatible with freedom and moral responsibility?
Moral responsibility
Freedom and Moral Responsibility always go together
If they are compatible (saying yes): you are a compatibles
Soft Determinist: AJ Ayer
Says (1) we are totally determined and (2) we can act freely and are responsible for our acts
Compatibalist Analysis of “Free Agency”
1. Choice
2. Absence of force
Accepted by soft determinist
If they are not compatible (incompatible) (saying no): you can either be:
1. Hard Determinist: Holbach
Holbach says (1) we are totally determined and (2) we have no freedom and no moral responsibility
Hard determinist does not believe in capital punishment. They will not blame anybody. They say that these people do what they do because of the way that their brains are conditioned
Karl Marx, Sigmound Freud are hard determinist
They believe in prison reform
Incompatibilist Analysis of “Free Agency”
Free agency requires:
1. Choice
2. Absence of force
**3. Ability to chose and act alternatively at the time of choice and act: called power to refrain.
Definition of free agency: Both libertarians and hard determinists accept this definition
Holbach says that the 3rd condition can NEVER be satisfied
Why? Because we can never choose anything that we are programmed to choose and you could not have made an alternative choice to act differently
2. Libertarianism: Chisholm and Kane
C & K say: (1) we are not totally determined and (2) we can act freely and we are responsible for our freely preformed acts
Libertarians say that Kadejah made choices that were made completely freely by their own free will

Holbach: Reductive Materialist Account of the will
Holbach says the will (whatever is whatever in you that gives you movtive/intentions) is a modification of the brain
Lori and Art
Art would cheat on lori and he would go out all the time
Lawerence tankreete the doc is hard determinist
Told them to have their brains reconditioned

Holbach: Argument that Choice does not prove freedom your choice is totally determined
HD & SD say everything is determined
HD say no, we are not holding you responsible (praise and blame fly out the window)
SD say yes, we are holding you responsible (credit for good actions, blame for bad actions)
Holbach: Argument that choice does not prove freedom: window example
Case 1: guy jumps out of a window to prove he is free
Case 2: the other guys is tossed out of the window
Holbach says the one who chose to jump out the window and commit suicide is no more free than the one who was tossed out the window
Because it doesn’t matter whether you are forced by your