Is Compatibilism True? Essay example

Is Compatibilism True? Essay example

Length: 1285 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Free will is the ability for a person to make their own decisions without the constraints of necessity and fate, in other words, their actions are not determined. Determinism is the view that the initial conditions of the universe and all possible worlds are the same, including the laws of nature, causing all events to play out the same. Events are determined by the initial conditions. Two prominent positions advocated concerning the relation between free will and determinism are compatibilism and incompatibilism. In this essay I shall argue that compatibilism is true. Firstly, I shall explain what compatibilism is and consider possible objections and responses to the theory. I shall then examine incompatibilism and evaluate its strengths and weaknesses and argue that compatibilism is a stronger argument and, as a result, show why it is also true.
Compatibilism is the thesis that all events have a cause and are determined but we still have free will or, as Sider states, ‘we can retain both freedom and determinism’ (Sider 2005, 125). Van Inwagen states that ‘we must distinguish between a future’s being “internally” physically possible and its having a physically possible connection with the present’ (van Inwagen 2002, 205). By internally physically possible, van Inwagen means events that can actually happen and are within the laws of nature (van Inwagen 2002, 205). For example, it is internally physically possible that I will buy a packet of crisps for lunch today. By having a physically possible connection with the present, van Inwagen means events that are conceivable and logically possible given the present events (van Inwagen 2002, 206). Van Inwagen argues that the only way in which an internally physically possible future that...

... middle of paper ...

...m cannot be rejected.
I believe that compatibilism is true because it is a stronger and more convincing argument than the incompatibilist positions. Incompatibilism appears to be illogical as both positions can be seen to be extreme. Libertarianism rejects evidence shown by science and hard determinism appears to go against all of our moral beliefs. As a result it appears that we cannot reject free will or determinism and, therefore, compatibilism must be true.
Word Count: 1484

Works Cited

Plantinga, Alvin, "Religion and Science", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), forthcoming URL = .
Sider, T. & Conee, E. (2005) Riddles of Existence. New York: Oxford University Press.
Van Inwagen, P. (2002) Metaphysics (2nd Edition). Cambridge: Westview Press

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Compatibilism vs. Imcompatibilism: Is There Really Free Will

-   Compatibilists and Incompatibilists debate determinism and free will. Determinism is the idea that our actions are determined by past events. In other words, in our present state we do not have control over our actions and they are pre-determined. Only one thing can happen given a certain condition and nothing else can occur. Determinism seems to pose a problem because it tests the possibility that we do not have free will or control over our actions because with certain conditions there can only be one possible outcome....   [tags: determinism, compatibilism, incopatibilism]

Strong Essays
1027 words (2.9 pages)

The Free Will Debate By Defending The Position Of Compatibilism As The Most Valid Solution

- This paper contributes to the free will debate by defending the position of compatibilism as the most valid solution. The debate of the free will of humans relates to the seeming incompatibility between determinism and human free will. Compatibilism is the idea that determinism is compatible and consistent with free will. This debate ties into the topics of moral responsibility, and I will defend my argument that freedom and moral responsibility are compatible even with determinism. My main argument consists of the fact that “free will” means that a human being could have selected another option if they wished to do so, meaning they could have responsibility for their actions even if determi...   [tags: Free will, Determinism]

Strong Essays
1070 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person by Harry Frankfurt

- In “Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person”, Harry Frankfurt illustrates the concepts of freedom of will and freedom of action, but more importantly, Frankfurt has refined the compatibilism theory. Compatibilism allows the freedom of will to exist in the deterministic world. According to determinism theory, the future state of worlds is determined by some events in the distant past (E) and the laws of nature (L). More specifically, E refers to the history, such as experiences or states whereas L refers to scientific or physical law like gravity....   [tags: compatibilism theory, determinism]

Strong Essays
1236 words (3.5 pages)

Essay about Determinism Is Not True By Peter Van Inwagen

- Consequence argument means taking a radical claim between compatibilism and determinism. Compatibilism is the free will to do whatever one wishes to do because it is in their own nature. In the free will debate of “Consequence Argument,” Peter van Inwagen, the author of An Essay on Free Will, takes on a compatibilist view by arguing that determinism is not true because one cannot be held responsible for their own actions. Determinism is the belief that human actions or free will have either a positive or an effect in the future....   [tags: Free will, Determinism, Libertarianism]

Strong Essays
1133 words (3.2 pages)

Free Will And Determinism Being True Essay

- 1) Free will and Determinism being true. Philosophers have pondered over the subject of free will for decades and there still hasn’t been a definite answer to the question of free will. What does free will truly mean. Is it just a figure of our imagination. Or is it something that has been around since the creation of men. These are only a small fraction of questions the topic of free will arises. Free will can be broken down into smaller and fewer overcomplicated categories. A normal person like you has free will if our universe revolves around the fact of determinism, if you believe this theory, then you’d be considered a compatibilist....   [tags: Free will, Determinism, Libertarianism]

Strong Essays
1261 words (3.6 pages)

True Shakespeare or Not True shakespeare Essay

- Many historians and famous authors, such as Mark Twain and Sigmund Freud, have trouble believing that William Shakespeare truly wrote the plays published in his name. As TIME writer Jumanna Farousky wrote, “Doubters started questioning the true identity of the writer in the late 19th century. Ever since then, the theory of an alternate author has flirted with the mainstream as some scholars and researchers have tried to get the broader academic community to treat the question as a legitimate debate”....   [tags: Sir Francis Bacon was the true creator]

Strong Essays
1450 words (4.1 pages)

Why Evolution is True, by Jerry A. Coyne Essay

- Why Evolution is True is a book by Jerry A. Coyne about how modern man slowly evolved from single cell organisms. This book has changed my whole perspective of evolution. Before I read this book I was a strong believer in creation but while reading this book I realized that there are to many connections between all of earths animals. I am unable see a scenario where we could share so much of our genes with other creatures and still say that we did not evolve from other animals and were just created by a god....   [tags: Why Evolution is True]

Strong Essays
2497 words (7.1 pages)

The Virtues of Love in Shakespeare's "Let me not to the marriage of true minds"

- William Shakespeare's "Let me not to the marriage of true minds" is a Shakespearean or English sonnet that attempts to determine the true meaning of love. The dictation used to write this sonnet reveals a number of meanings to readers. The speaker uses the imagery to compare love to a ship lost at sea. The writer often uses caesuras, in this poem, which applies emphasis on some parts of the poem. The author uses many elements to define what true love is not; then, he moves on to tell what true love is and how it withstands the test of time....   [tags: true love]

Strong Essays
932 words (2.7 pages)

The Cult of True Womanhood 1820-1860, by Barbara Welter Essay

- The conditions of the women in the United States during the nineteenth century, woman were basically expected to obey their husbands and pressure the role of housewife. "The Cult of True Womanhood" by Barbara Welter allows a person to understand the life for a woman during this time. Most women write about fighting for women’s right in the nations, where Welter decided to take a different approach. The purpose of “The Cult of True Womanhood” was to educate people about the life of a woman in the 19th century....   [tags: The Cult of True Womanhood Essays]

Strong Essays
600 words (1.7 pages)

The Success Of True Blood Essay

- True Blood is a new television series in many centuries of attempting to capitalize on Vampires. Based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels, these stories have been successful in print and now television. Vampires films have always been in abundance in entertainment media. Some are exceptionally well composed and timeless. Others are mediocre and ridiculous. The success of True Blood is based upon the societal interest in vampires, the well written script, and the exceptional cast of the film. Vampires have been a successful and popular form of superstition and entertainment for centuries....   [tags: Vampire, Dracula, True Blood, Bram Stoker]

Strong Essays
701 words (2 pages)