Which School Of Criminology Propounded The Theory Of Free Will?


Which School Of Criminology Propounded The Theory Of Free Will
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This article is about the classical school of thought in criminology. For the classical school of economic thought, see Classical economics, For other uses, see Classical (disambiguation), In criminology, the classical school usually refers to the 18th-century work during the Enlightenment by the utilitarian and social-contract philosophers Jeremy Bentham and Cesare Beccaria,
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What is the free will theory of criminology?

In the field of criminology, free will refers to the concept that people have control over their actions, and are therefore responsible for their decisions and the consequences they bring.
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Who advocated the free will theory of crime?

Theory – Classical crime theory, especially according to Beccaria, is based on the assumption that people are free of will and thus completely responsible for their own actions, and that they also have the ability to rationally weigh up their abilities.
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Which school of criminal theory believes behavior stems from free will?

Positivism in Criminology – The positivist school of criminology emerged in the 19th century as a contrasting idea to the classical theory of crime. The classical school of criminology posited that individuals commit crimes because of their selfish desires and that crime is a product of free will.

  • Positivism in criminology, on the other hand, links crime to external or internal influences placed upon individuals and attributes the reason people commit crimes to these factors.
  • This school of thought creates a relationship between criminal behavior and the psychological or sociological traits of the offender.

For example, the positivist theory will link a crime to the lack of parental care rather than the calculated decision of the offender. Historically, the positivist theory of crime has been approached in two ways:

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    Did Lombroso believe in free will?

    Cesare Lombroso, the Positivist School, and the Italian School of Criminology – Cesare Lombroso is sometimes called “the father of modern criminology”, and he’s often seen as the founder of the positivist school. The positivist school used measurements as a way to find evidence for the causes of criminal behavior.

    • In Lombroso’s case, that was done with his measurements of people’s physical characteristics.
    • He was a well-known scholar in his time, and many people both from Italy and abroad visited him to discuss ideas and research with him.
    • Lombroso was certainly not the only one who thought that physical characteristics were linked to criminal behavior.

    He had a lot of influence on other Italian criminologists (like Ferri and Garofalo) and together, these scholars are often called the Italian School of Criminology. Which School Of Criminology Propounded The Theory Of Free Will Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images [email protected] http://wellcomeimages.org Six figures illustrating types of criminals L’Homme Criminel Lombroso, Cesar Published: 1888 Cesare Lombroso did not agree at all with the idea of free will, so with the idea that people make decisions freely.

    The philosophy of free will was important in Italy at the time, but, unlike philosophers like Beccaria and Bentham, Lombroso was much more interested in factors outside of a person’s free will that influence behavior, and he was not the only one. This was a time in world history when Darwin’s evolutionary theory was gaining popularity, and sociology was coming up where it was thought that every society and every individual was affected by outside forces such as war and famine, and that wealth and class affected the way in which we live our lives.

    This, of course, challenged the idea that humans have free will. In other words, Lombroso wasn’t an outlier; he fit right in with his time. In fact, he had significant influence on these ideas. Which School Of Criminology Propounded The Theory Of Free Will Credit: Fondo Antiguo de la Biblioteca de la Universidad de Sevilla from Sevilla, España https://www.flickr.com/photos/fdctsevilla/4157827328/
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    Who is the founder of free will theory?

    History of free will – The problem of free will has been identified in ancient Greek philosophical literature. The notion of compatibilist free will has been attributed to both Aristotle (fourth century BCE) and Epictetus (1st century CE); “it was the fact that nothing hindered us from doing or choosing something that made us have control over them”.

    According to Susanne Bobzien, the notion of incompatibilist free will is perhaps first identified in the works of Alexander of Aphrodisias (third century CE); “what makes us have control over things is the fact that we are causally undetermined in our decision and thus can freely decide between doing/choosing or not doing/choosing them”.

    The term “free will” ( liberum arbitrium ) was introduced by Christian philosophy (4th century CE). It has traditionally meant (until the Enlightenment proposed its own meanings) lack of necessity in human will, so that “the will is free” meant “the will does not have to be such as it is”.
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    Is free will theory propounded by Beccaria?

    On Crimes and Punishments – Frontpage of the original Italian edition Dei delitti e delle pene Cesare Beccaria was best known for his book on crimes and punishments. In 1764, with the encouragement of Pietro Verri, Beccaria published a brief but celebrated treatise On Crimes and Punishments,

    Some background information was provided by Pietro, who was writing a text on the history of torture, and Alessandro Verri, a Milan prison official who had firsthand experience of the prison’s appalling conditions. In this essay, Beccaria reflected the convictions of his friends in the Il Caffè (Coffee House) group, who sought reform through Enlightenment discourse.

    Beccaria’s treatise marked the high point of the Milan Enlightenment, In it, Beccaria put forth some of the first modern arguments against the death penalty, His treatise was also the first full work of penology, advocating reform of the criminal law system.

    The book was the first full-scale work to tackle criminal reform and to suggest that criminal justice should conform to rational principles. It is a less theoretical work than the writings of Hugo Grotius, Samuel von Pufendorf and other comparable thinkers, and as much a work of advocacy as of theory.

    The brief work relentlessly protests against torture to obtain confessions, secret accusations, the arbitrary discretionary power of judges, the inconsistency and inequality of sentencing, using personal connections to get a lighter sentence, and the use of capital punishment for serious and even minor offences.

    1. Almost immediately, the work was translated into French and English and went through several editions.
    2. Editions of Beccaria’s text follow two distinct arrangements of the material: that by Beccaria himself, and that by French translator André Morellet (1765) who imposed a more systematic order.
    3. Morellet felt the Italian text required clarification, and therefore omitted parts, made some additions, and above all restructured the essay by moving, merging or splitting chapters.

    Because Beccaria indicated in a letter to Morellet that he fully agreed with him, scholars assumed that these adaptations also had Beccaria’s consent in substance. The differences are so great, however, that Morellet’s version became quite another book than the book that Beccaria wrote.

    1. Beccaria opens his work describing the great need for reform in the criminal justice system, and he observes how few studies there are on the subject of such reform.
    2. Throughout his work, Beccaria develops his position by appealing to two key philosophical theories: social contract and utility.
    3. Concerning the social contract, Beccaria argues that punishment is justified only to defend the social contract and to ensure that everyone will be motivated to abide by it.

    Concerning utility (perhaps influenced by Helvetius), Beccaria argues that the method of punishment selected should be that which serves the greatest public good. Contemporary political philosophers distinguish between two principal theories of justifying punishment.

    First, the retributive approach maintains that punishment should be equal to the harm done, either literally an eye for an eye, or more figuratively which allows for alternative forms of compensation. The retributive approach tends to be retaliatory and vengeance-oriented. The second approach is utilitarian which maintains that punishment should increase the total amount of happiness in the world.

    This often involves punishment as a means of reforming the criminal, incapacitating him from repeating his crime, and deterring others. Beccaria clearly takes a utilitarian stance. For Beccaria, the purpose of punishment is to create a better society, not revenge.

    1. Punishment serves to deter others from committing crimes, and to prevent the criminal from repeating his crime.
    2. Beccaria argues that punishment should be close in time to the criminal action to maximize the punishment’s deterrence value.
    3. He defends his view about the temporal proximity of punishment by appealing to the associative theory of understanding in which our notions of causes and the subsequently perceived effects are a product of our perceived emotions that form from our observations of a causes and effect occurring in close correspondence (for more on this topic, see David Hume’s work on the problem of induction, as well as the works of David Hartley).

    Thus, by avoiding punishments that are remote in time from the criminal action, we are able to strengthen the association between the criminal behavior and the resulting punishment which, in turn, discourages the criminal activity. For Beccaria when a punishment quickly follows a crime, then the two ideas of “crime” and “punishment” will be more closely associated in a person’s mind.

    Also, the link between a crime and a punishment is stronger if the punishment is somehow related to the crime. Given the fact that the swiftness of punishment has the greatest impact on deterring others, Beccaria argues that there is no justification for severe punishments. In time we will naturally grow accustomed to increases in severity of punishment, and, thus, the initial increase in severity will lose its effect.

    There are limits both to how much torment we can endure, and also how much we can inflict. Cesare Beccaria, Dei delitti e delle pene Beccaria touches on an array of criminal justice practices, recommending reform. For example, he argues that dueling can be eliminated if laws protected a person from insults to his honor. Laws against suicide are ineffective, and thus should be eliminated, leaving punishment of suicide to God.

    1. Bounty hunting should not be permitted since it incites people to be immoral and shows a weakness in the government.
    2. He argues that laws should be clear in defining crimes so that judges do not interpret the law, but only decide whether a law has been broken.
    3. Punishments should be in degree to the severity of the crime.

    Treason is the worst crime since it harms the social contract. This is followed by violence against a person or his property, and, finally, by public disruption. Crimes against property should be punished by fines. The best ways to prevent crimes are to enact clear and simple laws, reward virtue, and improve education.

    • Three tenets served as the basis of Beccaria’s theories on criminal justice: free will, rational manner, and manipulability.
    • According to Beccaria—and most classical theorists—free will enables people to make choices.
    • Beccaria believed that people have a rational manner and apply it toward making choices that will help them achieve their own personal gratification.

    In Beccaria’s interpretation, law exists to preserve the social contract and benefit society as a whole. But, because people act out of self-interest and their interest sometimes conflicts with societal laws, they commit crimes. The principle of manipulability refers to the predictable ways in which people act out of rational self-interest and might therefore be dissuaded from committing crimes if the punishment outweighs the benefits of the crime, rendering the crime an illogical choice.

    1. The principles to which Beccaria appealed were Reason, an understanding of the state as a form of contract, and, above all, the principle of utility, or of the greatest happiness for the greatest number.
    2. Beccaria had elaborated this original principle in conjunction with Pietro Verri, and greatly influenced Jeremy Bentham to develop it into the full-scale doctrine of Utilitarianism,

    He openly condemned the death penalty on two grounds:

    1. because the state does not possess the right to take lives; and
    2. because capital punishment is neither a useful nor a necessary form of punishment.

    Statue of Beccaria in Pinacoteca Brera, Milan Beccaria developed in his treatise a number of innovative and influential principles:

    • Punishment has a preventive ( deterrent ), not a retributive, function.
    • Punishment should be proportionate to the crime committed.
    • A high probability of punishment, not its severity, would achieve a preventive effect.
    • Procedures of criminal convictions should be public.
    • Finally, in order to be effective, punishment should be prompt.

    He also argued against gun control laws, and was among the first to advocate the beneficial influence of education in lessening crime. Referring to gun control laws as laws based on “false ideas of utility”, Beccaria wrote, “The laws of this nature are those which forbid to wear arms, disarming those only who are not disposed to commit the crime which the laws mean to prevent.” He further wrote, ” certainly makes the situation of the assaulted worse, and of the assailants better, and rather encourages than prevents murder, as it requires less courage to attack unarmed than armed persons”.

    Thomas Jefferson noted this passage in his “Legal Commonplace Book “. As Beccaria’s ideas were critical of the legal system in place at the time, and were therefore likely to stir controversy, he chose to publish the essay anonymously, for fear of government backlash. Among his contemporary critics, was Antonio Silla, writing from Naples.

    In the event, the treatise was extremely well received. Catherine the Great publicly endorsed it, while thousands of miles away in the United States, founding fathers Thomas Jefferson and John Adams quoted it. Once it was clear that the government approved of his essay, Beccaria republished it, this time crediting himself as the author.
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    Which theories emphasize free will?

    Major Theorists – The following are the most influential humanistic perspective theorists:

    • Carl Rogers : Believed in the inherent goodness of people and emphasized the importance of free will and psychological growth. He suggested that the actualizing tendency is the driving force behind human behavior.
    • Abraham Maslow : Suggested that people are motivated by a hierarchy of needs, The most basic needs are centered on things necessary for life such as food and water, but as people move up the hierarchy these needs become centered on things such as esteem and self-actualization.

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    What are the three theories of free will?

    Free Will: Determinism, Compatibilism & Libertarianism.
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    Who is the main philosopher of free will?

    Abstract – Over the past 2500 years, the concept of free will has been debated by some of the most brilliant minds in ancient and modern history. This paper discusses landmark theories by five well-known philosophers. There are several definitions of free-will.

    • Sometimes, it is described as an innate characteristic possessed by human beings.
    • In juxtaposition, causal determinism states that free will is limited or does not exist.
    • Philosophical arguments are presented by: Plato, Hobbes, Hume, Leibniz, and Hegel.
    • Plato offers a dual theory offering limited support for free will.

    Leibnitz includes theological tenets to make the case for predetermined outcomes. Hobbes and Hume contend that moral beliefs and ethical standards are conditions that support causal determinism. Hegel’s treatise on “freeing of the Will” aligns with Taoist philosophy and links the evolution of the universe to human spiritual development toward self-realization.
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    Is Behavioural theory free will?

    Behaviorism and the Question of Free Will Although they differed in approach, both structuralism and functionalism were essentially studies of the mind. The psychologists associated with the school of behaviorism, on the other hand, were reacting in part to the difficulties psychologists encountered when they tried to use introspection to understand behavior.

    1. Behaviorism is a school of psychology that is based on the premise that it is not possible to objectively study the mind, and therefore that psychologists should limit their attention to the study of behavior itself.
    2. Behaviorists believe that the human mind is a “black box” into which stimuli are sent and from which responses are received.

    They argue that there is no point in trying to determine what happens in the box because we can successfully predict behavior without knowing what happens inside the mind. Furthermore, behaviorists believe that it is possible to develop laws of learning that can explain all behaviors.

    1. The first behaviorist was the American psychologist John B.
    2. Watson (1878–1958).
    3. Watson was influenced in large part by the work of the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov (1849–1936), who had discovered that dogs would salivate at the sound of a tone that had previously been associated with the presentation of food.

    Watson and the other behaviorists began to use these ideas to explain how events that people and other organisms experienced in their environment (stimuli) could produce specific behaviors (responses). For instance, in Pavlov’s research the stimulus (either the food or, after learning, the tone) would produce the response of salivation in the dogs.

    In his research Watson found that systematically exposing a child to fearful stimuli in the presence of objects that did not themselves elicit fear could lead the child to respond with a fearful behavior to the presence of the stimulus (Watson & Rayner, 1920; Beck, Levinson, & Irons, 2009). In the best known of his studies, an 8-month-old boy named Little Albert was used as the subject.

    Here is a summary of the findings: The boy was placed in the middle of a room; a white laboratory rat was placed near him and he was allowed to play with it. The child showed no fear of the rat. In later trials, the researchers made a loud sound behind Albert’s back by striking a steel bar with a hammer whenever the baby touched the rat.

    • The child cried when he heard the noise.
    • After several such pairings of the two stimuli, the child was again shown the rat.
    • Now, however, he cried and tried to move away from the rat.
    • In line with the behaviorist approach, the boy had learned to associate the white rat with the loud noise, resulting in crying.

    The most famous behaviorist was Burrhus Frederick (B.F.) Skinner (1904–1990), who expanded the principles of behaviorism and also brought them to the attention of the public at large. Skinner used the ideas of stimulus and response, along with the application of rewards or reinforcements, to train pigeons and other animals.

    1. And he used the general principles of behaviorism to develop theories about how best to teach children and how to create societies that were peaceful and productive.
    2. Skinner even developed a method for studying thoughts and feelings using the behaviorist approach (Skinner, 1957, 1968, 1972).
    3. The behaviorist research program had important implications for the fundamental questions about nature and nurture and about free will.

    In terms of the nature-nurture debate, the behaviorists agreed with the nurture approach, believing that we are shaped exclusively by our environments. They also argued that there is no free will, but rather that our behaviors are determined by the events that we have experienced in our past.

    1. In short, this approach argues that organisms, including humans, are a lot like puppets in a show who don’t realize that other people are controlling them.
    2. Furthermore, although we do not cause our own actions, we nevertheless believe that we do because we don’t realize all the influences acting on our behavior.

    Recent research in psychology has suggested that Skinner and the behaviorists might well have been right, at least in the sense that we overestimate our own free will in responding to the events around us (Libet, 1985; Matsuhashi & Hallett, 2008; Wegner, 2002).

    In one demonstration of the misperception of our own free will, neuroscientists Soon, Brass, Heinze, and Haynes (2008) placed their research participants in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scanner while they presented them with a series of letters on a computer screen. The letter on the screen changed every one-half second.

    The participants were asked, whenever they decided to, to press either of two buttons. Then they were asked to indicate which letter was showing on the screen when they decided to press the button. The researchers analyzed the brain images to see if they could predict which of the two buttons the participant was going to press, even before the letter at which he or she had indicated the decision to press a button.

    Suggesting that the intention to act occurred in the brain before the research participants became aware of it, the researchers found that the prefrontal cortex region of the brain showed activation that could be used to predict the button press as long as 10 seconds before the participants said that they decided which button to press.

    Research has found that we are more likely to think that we control our behavior when the desire to act occurs immediately prior to the outcome, when the thought is consistent with the outcome, and when there are no other apparent causes for the behavior.

    Aarts, Custers, and Wegner (2005) asked their research participants to control a rapidly moving square along with a computer that was also controlling the square independently. The participants pressed a button to stop the movement. When participants were exposed to words related to the location of the square just before they stopped its movement, they became more likely to think that they controlled the motion, even when it was actually the computer that stopped it.

    And Dijksterhuis, Preston, Wegner, and Aarts (2008) found that participants who had just been exposed to first-person singular pronouns, such as “I” and “me,” were more likely to believe that they controlled their actions than were people who had seen the words “computer” or “God.” The idea that we are more likely to take ownership for our actions in some cases than in others is also seen in our attributions for success and failure.

    • Because we normally expect that our behaviors will be met with success, when we are successful we easily believe that the success is the result of our own free will.
    • When an action is met with failure, on the other hand, we are less likely to perceive this outcome as the result of our free will, and we are more likely to blame the outcome on luck or our teacher (Wegner, 2003).

    The behaviorists made substantial contributions to psychology by identifying the principles of learning, Although the behaviorists were incorrect in their beliefs that it was not possible to measure thoughts and feelings, their ideas provided new ideas that helped further our understanding regarding the nature-nurture debate as well as the question of free will.
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    Which school of criminology emphasizes the free will and rationality on the part of the criminal actor?

    Classical theory in criminology refers to an approach that emphasizes free will and rationality on the part of the criminal actor.
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    Which school of criminology believes in social determinism?

    The Classical School of Criminology is based on freewill and determinism, while the Positivist School of Criminology is based on the biological, psychological, and sociological aspects of a criminal.
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    What is the difference between Lombroso and Beccaria?

    Introduction – Lombroso’s most important book is L’Uomo delinquente (1876; 2nd edition, 1878; French trans., L’Homme criminel, 1887; German trans., Der Verbrecher, 1887; 4 th edition, 2 vols., 1889; 5 th and final edition, 3 vols., 1896-7; English version, Criminal Man According to the Classification of Cesare Lombroso, briefly summarised by his daughter Gina Lombroso Ferrero, with an introduction by Cesare Lombroso, New York, 1911).

    He applied the methods of natural science (observation, measurement, experimentation, statistical analysis) to the study of criminal behaviour. Lombroso rejected the classical theory of crime, associated with Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham, which explained criminal activity as freely chosen behaviour based on the rational calculation of benefit and loss, pleasure and pain – that is, criminals commit crime because they believe crime pays.

    Lombroso, by contrast, argued that criminality had an organic, hereditary basis; that it was a product not of rational, if perhaps erroneous, thought processes, but of a biological criminal tendency. He promoted the theory of ‘atavism’, which categorised criminals as developmental throwbacks, savages, reversions to more primitive stages of human evolution.

    According to this theory criminals were distinct biologically from non-criminals, almost a different species, and they manifested certain stigmata or physical anomalies (abnormal jaw and skull formations, facial asymmetries, unusual ears, eye defects, abnormal noses, protruding lips, irregular teeth, a receding chin, excessive wrinkles, longer than normal arms, extra nipples or fingers or toes, etc.), which the criminologist could use to diagnose their criminality.

    Enrico Ferri coined the term ‘born criminal’ to express Lombroso’s theory. In later editions of L’Uomo delinquente Lombroso broadened his theory in an attempt to account for the various cases of criminality that he came to believe were not caused by atavism.

    • He stressed increasingly the idea that some criminals were the degenerate end-points of diseased, regressive evolutionary lines, and postulated a causal relationship between epilepsy and criminality.
    • In Le Crime: Causes et Remèdes (1899; English trans.
    • Crime: Its Causes and Remedies, 1911), perhaps because of the influence of his collaborator, Enrico Ferri, Lombroso further widened the range of his criminal typology to include occasional or ‘evolutive’ criminals who were not, strictly speaking, throwbacks to primitive man.

    He subdivided the occasional criminals into various categories, such as pseudo-criminals, those who commit illegal but not immoral acts (e.g. in self-defence), criminaloids, those who have a relatively weak biological tendency to commit crime, whose criminal behaviour is prompted mainly by environmental conditions, or by sheer opportunism; and habitual criminals, who have no organic criminal tendency, and fall into a life of crime because of poor parenting and education, or perhaps by association (e.g.

    The Mafia). Lombroso also identified a small number of so-called epileptoids who commit crime because they are affected by epilepsy. Finally, he separated out criminals of passion, those who commit violent crimes when possessed by the ‘irresistible force’ of love or anger or because their honour has been impugned.

    Included in this group are political criminals, who are unusually, perhaps pathologically, intelligent or sensitive or altruistic or patriotic or pious. In Crime; Its Causes and Remedies, Lombroso suggested that about 33% of criminals were born with a criminal instinct.
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    Who rejected the theory of free will like Lombroso?

    As mentioned before, Garofalo was a student of Cesare Lombroso. Like his mentor, Raffaele Garofalo rejected the classical view of free will saying that criminals were slaves to impulses out of their control.
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    Did Plato believe in free will?

    An Introduction to Free Will – Do we have free will? Think of a time where you felt an involuntary urge to act – for example, to inflict violence in a fit of rage. Or perhaps, when you were a child and no one was watching, you would try to steal candies from the kitchen counter. Out of the fear of hurting someone or getting into trouble, we can prevent ourselves from going through with these impulses. The reasoning we give to keep ourselves from acting a certain way follows the belief that we have the ability to do otherwise – capturing a possible definition of free will. However, how does this view of free will account for the involuntary thoughts and feelings we have, our insecurities and desires easily existing even when we become adults? When we challenge ideas in our brains, there is an internal struggle between our initial thoughts – instincts, and our reasoning against it – rationality. With this awareness that human nature is led by instinct and rationality at the same time, is there a conflict of free will? This imbues deeper questioning on “What is free will?” These are two different definitions from two Ancient Greek Philosophers on the notion of free will: Aristotle says, that unlike nonrational agents, we have the power to do or not to do, and much of what we do is voluntary, such that its origin is ‘in us’ and we are ‘aware of the particular circumstances of the action’. Furthermore, mature humans make choices after deliberating about different available means to our ends, drawing on rational principles of action. Choose consistently well (poorly), and a virtuous (vicious) character will form over time, and it is in our power to be either virtuous or vicious (O’Connor, 2019). In this definition, we mostly make independent (voluntary) decisions if we have free will, and the acts we commit decidedly are what determine our character. Hence, our identity is majorly shaped by our decisions, whether they are moral or immoral. This means that even evil is part of free will, because we consciously choose to act unjustly. On the other hand, Platonists adopt a more optimistic view of developing rational agency as the key to fixing our inherently misdirected moral compass, and this is free will. Platonists believe that freedom is a kind of self-mastery, attained by developing the virtues of wisdom, courage, and temperance, resulting in one’s liberation from the tyranny of base desires and acquisition of a more accurate understanding and resolute pursuit of the Good (O’Connor, 2019) Plato’s understanding of free will is contrary to Aristotle. Plato’s account is that we are only exercising free will by consciously choosing to be good over naturally succumbing to evil. This aligns itself with the definition that free-will is “The ability to do otherwise”. However, the premise that our base desires are evil is open to debate. Additionally, if we are all predisposed towards evil, and free will is restricted to getting us away from that, is free will truly free? As per typical philosophical fashion, there are no conclusive definitions of free-will, and our limited knowledge only spurs more questions. One might wonder – “is being innately evil a choice?” – and if our nature was predetermined, would our choices matter? Other questions/ideas: “Do we actually have Free-will?” (Free-will nihilism) “What is the difference between the choice of desire and choice of requirement?” (Hume’s compatibilism) “Does soft determinism affect accountability?” “What is the “law of nature”?” (Determinism) “Can Morality exist without Free-will?” (Kantianism) “Is God compatible with Free-Will?” (Omniscience and its consequences) “How can causation and Free-will be compatible?” (Compatibilism) “Is the concept of Free-Will paradoxical?” Rationally Constructed by Celine Leo (NYPR Deputy Editor) Edited by Joshua Chua (NYPR Editor) Editor’s note: Hi reader, this is the Editor (19/20). This article is part of a series of articles I have titled “Philosophy: A Topical Overview”. If you liked this article, there’s more where it came from and there’s more coming! Simply click the link in the menu bar above. (Western Tradition -> Topical Discussion) And if you liked this topic, click on the links provided for more specific discussions. If you have any questions, feedback or if you’d just like to contact us, email us at [email protected] or contact our Publicity Director at our Instagram @nanyangphilosophy. Thanks! https://www.instagram.com/nanyangphilosophy/ References: O’Connor, Timothy and Franklin, Christopher. “Free Will”. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2019 Edition). Edward N. Zalta (ed.). Retrieved from https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2019/entries/freewill/&gt ;.
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    What are the main theories of free will?

    Theories of free will focus on two basic questions: its possibility and its nature. The possibility question is almost always concerned principally with whether freedom is compatible with causal determinism, as well as with closely related (putative) threats like God’s foreknowledge.
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    What is the ethical theory of free will?

    Free Will describes our capacity to make choices that are genuinely our own. With free will comes moral responsibility – our ownership of our good and bad deeds. – That ownership indicates that if we make a choice that is good, we deserve the resulting rewards.

    If in turn we make a choice that is bad, we probably deserve those consequences as well. In the case of a really bad choice, such as committing murder, we may have to accept severe punishment. The link between free will and responsibility has both theological and philosophical roots. Within theology, for example, the claim that humans are ‘made in the image of God’ (a central tenet of major religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam) is not that they are the physical image of their creator.

    Rather, the claim is made that humans are made in the ‘moral image’ of God – which is to say that they are endowed with the ‘divine’ capacity to exercise free will. Of course, the experience of free will is not limited to those who hold a religious belief.

    1. Philosophers also argue that it would be unjust to blame someone for a choice over which they have no control.
    2. Determinism is the belief that all choices are determined by an unbroken chain of cause and effect.
    3. Those who believe in ‘determinism’ oppose free will, arguing that that the belief that we are the authors of our own actions is a delusion.

    Whereas scientific evidence has found there is brain activity prior to the sensation of having made a choice, we’re unable to resolve the question of which account is correct. Should that gap close – and free will be proven to be an illusion, then the basis for ascribing guilt to those who act unethically (including criminals) will also be destroyed.
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    Which theory talks about free will?

    Incompatibilists hold that free will and determinism are mutually exclusive and, consequently, that we act freely (i.e., with free will) only if determinism is false. However, they disagree amongst themselves about what else, besides indeterminism, is required for free will.

    One question that divides them concerns which type of indeterminism—uncaused events, nondeterministically caused events, or agent caused events—is required. Another concerns where in the processes leading to action indeterminism must be located in order for an action to be free. Different answers to these questions yield different incompatibilist theories of free will.

    This entry examines the main types of incompatibilist theories of free will and considers some of the principal objections to them. It is divided into four sections. The first section focuses on noncausal theories, the second on event-causal theories, and the third on agent-causal theories.
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    What are the three major theories of free will?

    Determinism, compatibilism, and libertarianism all hold differing positions on freedom. Determinism asserts that man may have circumstantial freedom, but he does not have metaphysical freedom. We may be able to choose physical actions, but our paths in life are predetermined.
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