On free will- a continuing discussion


Many of you readers know my position on the discussion of free will. Today I will just post a few quotes I have come across in the book am currently reading and hope that we can continue this debate.

First, the author, Arthur Schopenhauer writes free will means

that a given human being, in a given situation can act in two different ways

he says elsewhere

[….] the most powerful motive then decides him and his actions ensue with just the same necessity as the rolling of a ball after it has been struck.

He quotes what has been written elsewhere by others and I will just rewrite them here.

Whatever conception one may form of the freedom of the will, for metaphysical purposes, its phenomena, human actions, are nevertheless determined by universal laws of Nature, just as well as other occurrence in Nature.

Another writes

All the acts of a man, so far as they are phenomena, are determined from his empirical character and from the other concomitant causes, according to the order of Nature; and if we could investigate all the manifestations of his will to the very bottom, there would not be a single human action which we could not predict with certainty and recognize from its preceding conditions as necessary. There is no freedom therefore with reference to this empirical character, and yet it is only with reference to it that we can consider man, when we are merely observing and as is the case in anthropology, trying to investigate the motive causes of his actions physiologically.

And lastly

It may therefore be taken for granted, that if we could see far enough into a man’s mode of thinking, as it manifests itself in his inner, as well as outer actions, for us to know every, even the faintest motive, and in like manner all the other causes which act upon these, it would be possible to calculate his conduct in future with the same certainty as an eclipse of the sun or the moon.

Adapted from Arthur Schopenhauer’s The fourfold root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason

                                                                                                                                     

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

2 thoughts on “On free will- a continuing discussion

  1. aguywithoutboxers says:

    Interesting thoughts that you have posted here. I know you’ll share others soon. Thank you, buddy!

    Like

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