Determinism

Report
Determinism &
Responsibility
Determinism
• Determinism - the concept that events within a given paradigm (i.e. human
conscious) are bound by causality in such a way that any state (of an object
or event) is completely, or at least to some large degree, determined by
prior states.
Determinism
• Determinism - the concept that events within a given paradigm (i.e. human
conscious) are bound by causality in such a way that any state (of an object
or event) is completely, or at least to some large degree, determined by
prior states.
• Genetic Determinism the belief that genes determine physical and behavioral
phenotypes.
Determinism
• Determinism - the concept that events within a given paradigm (i.e. human
conscious) are bound by causality in such a way that any state (of an object
or event) is completely, or at least to some large degree, determined by
prior states.
• Genetic Determinism the belief that genes determine physical and behavioral
phenotypes.
• Social Determinism - the hypothesis that social interactions and constructs alone
determine individual behavior.
Determinism
• Determinism - the concept that events within a given paradigm (i.e. human
conscious) are bound by causality in such a way that any state (of an object
or event) is completely, or at least to some large degree, determined by
prior states.
• Genetic Determinism the belief that genes determine physical and behavioral
phenotypes.
• Social Determinism - the hypothesis that social interactions and constructs alone
determine individual behavior.
• Environmental Determinism - the view that the physical environment,
rather than social conditions, determines culture.
Determinism
• Determinism - the concept that events within a given paradigm (i.e. human
conscious) are bound by causality in such a way that any state (of an object
or event) is completely, or at least to some large degree, determined by
prior states.
• Genetic Determinism the belief that genes determine physical and behavioral
phenotypes.
• Social Determinism - the hypothesis that social interactions and constructs alone
determine individual behavior.
• Environmental Determinism - the view that the physical environment,
rather than social conditions, determines culture.
• Biological Determinism - the hypothesis that biological factors such as an
organism's individual genes completely determine how a system behaves or
changes over time.
Common misconceptions
about genetic determinism
• Genes alone determine human traits and behaviors.
• GD doesn’t account for environmental influences.
• example - when two monozygous twins living in different
environments
Epigenetics
• Epigenetics - the study of heritable changes in phenotype or gene
expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in the
underlying DNA sequence.
• Example – Cell division of a fertilized egg cell. The egg cell changes
into different types of cells (muscle cells, blood cells, etc.) by
activating some genes while inhibiting others.
Free Will
• Free Will - the ability make choices free from certain kinds of
constraints (i.e. determinism).
• Free will and determinism are largely believed to be
incompatible ideas.
• Compatibilist - belief that free will and determinism are
compatible ideas. Free will may be defined in more
philosophical terms.
Free Will (Philosophical)
• Chance and determination
• Lack of physical restraint
• Unpredictability
• And many more…
Free Will vs. Determinism
Metaphysical libertarianism
Concept of free will that requires the agent to be able to take
more than one possible course of action under a given set of
circumstances
Non-physical mind overrides physical causality
Soul is said to make decisions and override physical causality
Indeterminism
Alternating between chance and necessity
Red circles represent mental states
Blue circles represent physical states
Arrows describe causal interaction
Conflicts with Free Will
• In a religious sense, free will implies that individual will and
choices can coexist with an omnipotent divinity.
Conscious Will
• Daniel Wegner - Human perception of conscious control is an illusion
• Authorship processing
• the perception of conscious will is not connected to the execution of
actual behaviors, instead through an intricate mental process
• Wegner was able to manipulate a person to show that:
• People will often experience conscious will over behaviors that they haven’t caused
• People can be led to experience a lack of will over behaviors that they did cause
• Wegner claims his studies are about mechanisms for perceptions of control,
not for control itself
Neuroscience of free will
Benjamin Libet (1980)
• Wrist Flicking
• Monitor Brain activity vs. subjects reported conscious time
• Results: difference of ~ half second
Further Research (2008)
Picking left or Right
Results: Scientist able to predict (with 60% accuracy) 10 seconds
before the subject became aware of having made that choice
Questions of Ethical Concern
Who/what should be held
accountable for one’s actions?
And to what degree?
Moral responsibility – It is of
debate whether free will is held
morally accountable for an
individuals actions, or is blame
assigned to factors of determinism
(Alcoholism, Domestic violence,
etc.).
Legal responsibility – One is legally
responsible for their moral actions.
Responsibility
Blame and praise
• “Don’t pick them up, don’t lay them down” – Maya Angelou
• “…one deserves no credit for anything. Nor ought one to blame others.” –
Darwin
• “To tell people they are not to blame for past mistakes is to make future
mistakes more likely.” – Wright
More moral dilemmas
homosexuality (victimless crime)
divorce
etc.
What are your thoughts?
Questions?

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