It is not...causality that freedom is to be contrasted with, but constraint. And while it is true that being constrained to do an action entails being caused to do it, I shall try to show that...from the fact that my action is causally determined it does not necessarily follow that I am constrained to do it: and this is equivalent to saying that it does not necessarily follow that I am not free. (Ayer 1954, p. 19)
In other words, if I am acting under constraint, it follows that my behaviour can be explained by natural laws; however, “from the fact that my behaviour is capable of being explained...[by] some natural law, it does not follow that I am acting under constraint” (Ayer 1954, p. 22). Both of these scenarios proposed by Ayer are consistent with compatib...
... middle of paper ...
... free will. We then came up with two objections by first considering changes in the brain to simply be the establishment of new beliefs and desires that are freely acted upon rather than a constraint and by secondly considering our original brain states, that is our minds, beliefs and desires, to be constraints just as the changes in the brain in our examples were. Although there are possible responses to my objections that Ayer could make, I maintain that my objections offer at least a different perspective to the free will debate that perhaps expands the possibilities of what is considered constraint when using Ayer’s argument to determine if we have free will in certain cases.
“Brain Tumour Causes Uncontrollable Paedophilia,” New Scientist 22 October 2002.
Ayer, A.J. (1954). “Freedom and Necessity,” Philosophical Essays, St. Martin’s, pp. 3-20.
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