Determinism Vs Indeterminism Essay

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Although both philosophers believed in free will, Sartre’s argument seems more atheistically designed to back the existence of free will above anything else.

According to Sartre, man cannot escape from making choices, and must act within his will to make the necessary choices or risk being perceived in bad faith.

On the stroke of ten, you get up and pour yourself some water. If acting freely simply means doing what you want, acting on your desires, then the answer is yes, you acted freely.

But most people would see your action as unfree since, in effect, you are being controlled by someone else.

Suppose I hypnotize you, and while you are under hypnosis I plant certain desires in your mind: e.g.

a desire to get yourself a drink when the clock strikes ten.And this requirement is met if our actions flow from (are determined by) our decisions, deliberations, desires, and character.The most common objection to soft determinism is that the notion of freedom it holds onto falls short of what most people mean by free will.They reject the idea that free will must involve some strange metaphysical capacity that each of us has–namely, the ability to initiate an event (e.g.our act of will, or our action) which is not itself causally determined.The critic will point out, though, that according to the soft determinist, your desires, decisions, and volitions–in fact, your entire character–are ultimately determined by other factors that are equally outside your control: e.g.your genetic make up, your upbringing, and your environment.The problem soft determinists face is that of explaining how our actions can be both predetermined but free.Most of them do this by insisting that the notion of freedom, or free will, be understood in a particular way.Advocates of determinism suggest that the concept of free will is an illusion since agents are no more capable of controlling situations with their rational minds than any other irrational matter.On their part, advocates of free will argue that a universe in which rational agents do not actually make their own rational choices as suggested by determinism has no morality (“Determinism” para. This paper compares the philosophical thoughts of William James and Jean-Paul Sartre on the concept of free will.


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