In determining the free will of a human’s nature many philosophers want to solve the dilemma of determinism. The dilemma of determinism is as follows (Rowe, p.587):
A.) If determinism is true, we are not responsible for our actions since our choices are determined by factors that we have no control over.
B.) If indeterminism is true, we are not responsible since ever choice is a chance occurrence
C.) Either determinism or indeterminism is true.
D.) Therefore we can never responsible for our actions.
Chisholm responds to this dilemma in a way that most others do not think of. He says that there is a third category, in which most libertarians agree, that humans are free to make their own decisions. Chisholm also has a problem with agreeing to the relationship between moral responsibility and determinism. In this paper, I will be arguing that Chisholm’s idea of humans being responsible agents is true and that there should be a third category in the dilemma of determinism.
Roderick Chisholm is a libertarian who believes that humans have the ability to have free thought and are responsible for their actions. He discusses the man and gun scenario, in which a man shoots another man. Chisholm says that the man is only responsible if the decision was entirely up to him when he shot. For this statement to be true there has to be the option for the man to fire the shot and also to not fire the shot. For a man to be responsible he must first have the choice of whether or not he should commit the act. Chisholm also states that if a third man is forcing the man to pull the trigger, through hypnotism or some other way, then the man who is actually committing the act whether or not he ag...
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...g something he still has the decision to act or not to act on something regardless of his past. I think that this reply is logical and makes the scenario that a determinist would offer up untestable.
Chisholm’s libertarian beliefs are tough to conceive, and he does state them as ideas that can be easily understood. I believe in agent causation and that it coincides with the event causation that is believed by most determinist. Some factors leading up to an event may tip the outcome one way or another, but it is up to the agent to decide what to do. Because of agent causation we can determine that humans are responsible for their actions because they have a say in their choice, and it is not caused, uncaused, or determined by chance. Therefor I believe that Chisholm has made a logically sound argument for freewill to be its own category in the dilemma of determinism.
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