Wednesday, March 1, 2006 PHL105Y - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Loading...

PPT – Wednesday, March 1, 2006 PHL105Y PowerPoint presentation | free to view - id: ab2e7-ODMwY



Loading


The Adobe Flash plugin is needed to view this content

Get the plugin now

View by Category
About This Presentation
Title:

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 PHL105Y

Description:

The wanton and the unwilling addict both desire the drug. ... water causes the soil to erode away, where the melting snow has caused the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:49
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 37
Provided by: sergiote
Category:

less

Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: Wednesday, March 1, 2006 PHL105Y


1
Wednesday, March 1, 2006PHL105Y
  • For Monday, finish reading Richard Taylors A
    Defense of Libertarian Freedom of the Will
    (339-345 in the Pojman) and start reading Derek
    Parfits Personal Identity (395-400)
  • For Fridays tutorial, answer one of these
    questions
  • 1. What is soft determinism, and how does Taylor
    criticize it?
  • 2. Taylor argues that free action involves a kind
    of causation not found elsewhere in nature.
    Explain this special kind of causation.

2
Announcements
  • The Research Opportunity Fair will be held
    tomorrow (March 2nd, 12 noon - 2 p.m.) in the
    Student Centre Presentation Room. There are 21
    different projects presenting opportunities
    across various disciplines at UTM first-year
    students are strongly encouraged to apply (for
    work starting next year).
  • Spots are currently available at the new UTM
    Child Care Centre. More information available at
    the open house Monday, March 6, 2006, Student
    Centre, Upstairs in the Meeting Room, 6pm, or
    email adele_at_sac.utoronto.ca

3
Harry Frankfurt
  • Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person

4
First- and second-order desires
  • First-order desires are just desires to do (or
    not do) something (I want to drink some milk I
    dont want to swim)
  • Second-order desires are desires to have or not
    have certain first-order desires (I want to stop
    desiring cigarettes I want to have the desire to
    exercise)

5
Wanting and willing
  • Some desires do end up having a special relation
    with action, however.
  • To identify an agents will is either to
    identify the desire (or desires) by which he is
    motivated in some action he performs or to
    identify the desire (or desires) by which he will
    or would be motivated when or if he acts. (331)

6
Wanting and willing
  • Your will is one (or more) of your first-order
    desires.
  • It is the desire (or set of desires) that is
    effective. (The ones that actually move you, or
    would move you if it werent for those darn
    handcuffs well call the other ones background
    desires.)
  • Background desires are things you want that dont
    happen to cause you to act (right now, anyway).

7
What is a person?
  • When you want a certain desire to be your will,
    you have a second-order VOLITION.
  • Having second-order volitions is essential to
    being a person.
  • A person is someone who cares which of his
    desires is strongest.

8
Persons and wantons
  • A person is someone who wants to will certain
    things, who identifies with some of her desires
    and struggles against others.
  • The wanton is the character who has desires, and
    maybe even desires for desires, but doesnt care
    what he wills he doesnt care which of his
    inclinations ends up having power over his acts.

9
Persons and wantons
  • A person is someone who wants to will certain
    things, who identifies with some of her desires
    and struggles against others. (And therefore
    could have a free will, although she might not
    always act freely.)
  • The wanton is the character who has desires, and
    maybe even desires for desires, but doesnt care
    what he wills he doesnt care which of his
    inclinations ends up having power over his acts.
    (The wanton like animals or very small children
    lacks free will.)

10
The two addicts
  • The wanton and the unwilling addict both desire
    the drug.
  • The unwilling addict has a second-order volition
    to quit. (So if he uses, its against his will.)
  • The wanton doesnt even consider the question of
    what his will should be he might have some
    desires to quit and some desires to go on using,
    but he has no preference of his own as to which
    desire should win out in the end.

11
Freedom to will vs.Freedom to act
  • I can have free will even in a situation in which
    I am not able to act on the desires I want to
    have.
  • Freedom of action being able to do what I want
    to do
  • Freedom of will having the will I want to have

12
Frankfurt on Freedom
  • A persons will is free only if he is free to
    have the will he wants. This means that, with
    regard to any of his first-order desires, he is
    free either to make that desire his will or to
    make some other first-order desire his will
    instead. (337)
  • So the unwilling addict has a will that is not
    free (the desire that leads to action isnt the
    one he wants to lead to action)

13
Freedom and determinism
  • Chisholm thinks that a free act must be an act
    that isnt determined by the laws of nature (a
    little miracle)
  • Frankfurt argues that this doesnt explain why
    freedom of the will is specially human couldnt
    rabbits be enjoying these little miracles too?
  • And furthermore, why is it better for me to have
    little miracles going on when I walk around?

14
Could I have done otherwise?
  • In order to be morally responsible, is it
    essential that I could have done otherwise?
  • Frankfurt thinks not there are cases in which
    someone could not have done otherwise but is
    still responsible

15
Responsibility and freedom
  • Imagine a third drug addict who is so addicted
    that he cant help acting on the basis of his
    desire for the drug, but who likes his addiction
    and wouldnt have it any other way (so he has a
    second-order volition to desire the drug)
  • His will is outside his control, but with his
    second-order volition he has made this
    out-of-control will his own
  • His will is not free, although he takes the drug
    freely
  • He is morally responsible for taking the drug
    even though he couldnt do otherwise

16
Freedom and determinism
  • Frankfurts position is compatible with
    determinism it might be causally determined
    whether you are free to want what you want to
    want (or not)
  • Freedom is a condition that can happen to you (or
    be denied to you) for reasons independent of your
    will

17
Freedom and moral responsibility
  • When you choose certain desires to be your will,
    you are morally responsible for this choice (even
    if you couldnt have chosen otherwise)
  • It could be a matter of chance whether you are
    free to have the will you want some human beings
    are lucky to be free, some might be unlucky.
    (337)

18
Richard Taylor
  • A Defense of Libertarian Freedom of the Will

19
Soft determinism
  • Soft determinism says
  • 1. determinism is true human behaviour always
    arises from antecedent causes
  • 2. voluntary behaviour is still free as long as
    it is not externally constrained
  • 3. when there arent external constraints,
    voluntary behaviour is caused by our own inner
    states, volitions, decisions, etc.

20
Whats wrong with soft determinism?
21
Whats wrong with soft determinism?
  • Appealing to inner states, desires, volitions,
    etc., to explain actions will only make those
    actions free if the inner states themselves
    arent all fated, or caused, or beyond our
    control
  • Imagine a person who has been hypnotized into
    desiring certain things, and then acts on the
    basis of these planted desires is she free?

22
Freedom and soft determinism
  • Doing what I want isnt enough for me to be free
    what if circumstances beyond my control lead me
    to want something? (e.g. someone poisons my food
    over a period of time and leaves me addicted to
    morphine)

23
Indeterminism is no better
  • Indeterminism says some human behaviour is not
    caused it just happens, out of the blue
  • This isnt a satisfying conception of freedom
    its a scary picture in which we fly out of
    control from time to time for no reason

24
Indeterminism is no better
  • You could apply the indeterminist story to
    desires or inner states rather than actions, so
    that we just find ourselves desiring certain
    things at certain times, for no reason
    whatsoever, and then we are free to act on those
    random desires
  • But thats still not what we want from freedom

25
Data?
  • Some data that Taylor considersincompatible with
    determinism and indeterminism
  • (1) my behaviour is sometimes the outcome of my
    deliberation
  • (2) it is sometimes up to me what I do

26
Deliberation and prediction
  • If determinism were true, we could at best
    struggle to predict what we are fated to do we
    couldnt engage in genuine deliberation over the
    best course of action
  • Is that true? Why or why not?

27
Taylors theory of agency
  • If you are to be free, you must be able to act in
    a way that is not determined by any prior
    conditions
  • To be an agent, to be one who really acts, I must
    be the cause of my actions (I myself, not just
    something in me, like one of my desires, or nerve
    impulses etc.)

28
Taylors theory of agency
  • Its only my action if its caused by me (not by
    something external to me, not by some part of me
    or event within me)
  • Question What is this me?

29
Taylors theory of agency
  • Its only my action if its caused by me (not by
    something external to me, not by some part of me
    or event within me)
  • Question What is this me?
  • Taylors answer a self or person is a substance,
    a self-moving being (not just a collection of
    things or events)

30
Taylor on the self
  • Do we know that the self is not just a bunch of
    processes? (Cells, neurons firings, etc.)
  • Taylor thinks that it is only because the theory
    of agency requires that we see ourselves as
    selves, as substances rather than collections,
    that we are justified in seeing ourselves that way

31
The causation of agency
  • Usually, causes happen as parts of causal chains
    so, the dripping water causes the soil to erode
    away, where the melting snow has caused the water
    to drip, and the heat of the sun on the snow
    causes the snow to melt, and the nuclear fusion
    in the sun has caused its heat, and so on (back
    to the Big Bang if you like)

32
The causation of agency
  • When I as an agent cause an action of mine,
    however, there are no antecedent causal chains
    I am beginning a brand new chain
  • Its also an unusual, special causal chain
    usually events cause other events in this case,
    however, a substance is causing an event

33
Substances causing events
  • We are used to thinking of events causing events
    (the striking of the match caused the ignition
    the motion of my hand caused the pencil to make a
    mark)
  • Its harder to think about a substance causing an
    event I caused my hand to go up (Why? Is Taylor
    in trouble here?)

34
Substances causing events
  • Taylor thinks we may be more comfortable taking
    about ourselves as initiating or performing,
    rather than causing our acts (does that make it
    any better?)

35
Objections Taylor considers
  • 1. this is a strange view of what we are
  • 2. should we really be so confident of the
    data? Are we really free? Do our
    deliberations really matter?
  • 3. Perhaps we are determined and we just cant
    tell.
  • Taylor concludes that his theory can be doubted
    (but he still believes it himself, even if its
    not perfectly certain).

36
The two positions
  • Taylor agent causation required for genuine
    freedom, determinism is incompatible with
    freedom, not all our behaviour is causally
    determined
  • Frankfurt we must be free to will according to
    second-order volitions to be free determinism
    could still be true
About PowerShow.com