This is a revised version of a paper presented at the Thirty–third Annual Conference (“Free Will: Is It Possible and Is It Desirable?”) of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science, Star Island, New Hampshire, 26 July–2 August 1986.
FREEDOM AND DETERMINISM: A CONTEMPORARY DISCUSSION
Article first published online: 15 DEC 2005
Volume 22, Issue 4, pages 397–417, December 1987
How to Cite
Pojman, L. P. (1987), FREEDOM AND DETERMINISM: A CONTEMPORARY DISCUSSION. Zygon, 22: 397–417. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1987.tb00780.x
- Issue published online: 15 DEC 2005
- Article first published online: 15 DEC 2005
- free will;
Abstract. The problem of freedom of the will and determinism is one of the most intriguing and difficult in the whole area of philosophy. It constüutes a paradox. If we look at ourselves, at our ability to deliberate and make moral choices, it seems obvious that we are free. On the other hand, if we look at what we believe about causality (i.e., that every event and thing must have a cause), then it appears that we do not have free wills but are determined. Thus we seem to have inconsistent beliefs. In this paper I set forth and analyze the major contemporary arguments for free will and determinism as well as for compatibilism, the position that tries to combine insights from both theories. I end with a brief conclusion regarding my assessment of the status of the arguments.