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Compare and Contrast Three Major Philosophical Viewpoint Essay

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The question that the textbook poses at the very beginning of chapter four is, “Are you Free” (Chaffee, 2013, p. 172)? Most people would look at this question as pretty cut and dry and would answer a resounding yes. Philosophically speaking, it is not that easy of an answer. You have to be willing to look at the question with an open mind, and ask yourself if the choices you make are truly free or if they are governed by forces outside of your control.
In the following paper I intend to compare and contrast the three major philosophical viewpoints regarding this question, and come to a conclusion on which I find to be the right answer. I believe the best way to do this is to first lay out the beliefs of each viewpoint. Once I have done this I can compare them, and give my insight on which I believe to be right.
The first viewpoint regarding human freedom is determinism. The thesis of the determinist is that, “Every event (including human actions) has a cause, and the chain of causes leading to any given action by an agent extends back in time to some point before the agent was born” (Koons, 2002, p. 81). This means that there is no such thing as free will, and that there is only one choice we could ever make
“The determinist view of human freedom is typically based off of the scientific model of the physical universe” (Chaffee, 2013, p. 176). They believe that since events in the physical universe as well as the biological realm consistently display casual connections, and because humans are a part of the physical universe and biological realm, it is a reasonable assumption that all of our actions (and the choices that initiated the actions) are also casually determined, eliminating the possibility of free choice ( Chaffee...


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...hat Sartre goes a little too far by saying that making a choice we are saying that humanity as a whole should be making the same choice. I think that he should have generalized his viewpoint by saying that every individual has their ideal “self” that they strive to be, but every once in a while we make choices that we regret. Like James said we all have choices of regret that we wish we could go back and change. If Sartre had said this in regards to his libertarian viewpoints, I would be in total agreement with him.




Works Cited

Appiah, KA. 2003. Thinking it through an introduction to comtemporary philosophy. Oxford university press, Inc . 198 Madison Avenue, New York 100016.
DJ O Connor – www.vernonpratt.com/pill8/pill8determinism5.htm
Macdonald, CA. 2010. Determinism and freewill. Unpublished.
Moore, G.E. 1912. Ethics . OUP, New York Edition



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