Problem Set 09

Consider the traditional Problem of Freedom of the Will:

1. Either Determinism is true or Determinism is not true.

2. If Determinism is true, then Free Will is impossible. (Since our actions would not be the result of our reasons for them. Rather, they would be determined by antecedent causes.)

3. If Determinism is not true, then Free Will is impossible. (Since our actions would not be determined by causes; they would, instead, be determined by nothing at all beyond mere chance. Yet free will seems as incompatible with mere chance as causal determinism.)

Therefore,

4. Free Will is impossible.

In at most two pages, i) explain why the apparent complexity of human behavior or even first-person reports of having deliberately chosen one course of action over another cannot be used to counter the Problem of Freedom of the Will, and ii) explain why the traditional problem of freedom of the will is important socially. Do you think Psychology conceived as a science tends to support the notion that we enjoy freedom of the will, or do you think Psychology so-conceived will eventually force us to admit that freedom of the will is a mere conceit on our part? Justify your answer. (50)