Freedom - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics

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Human Freedom Versus Deterministic Science

The philosophical concept of freedom may be seen in opposition to that of determinism. The determinist holds that there is no freedom. For a hard determinist, all events in nature are strictly determined. As such, the idea of freedom is incompatible with that of the causal determination of all natural events. What is sometimes called soft determinism or compatibilism modifies the hard position by maintaining that freedom is compatible with the determination of natural events. A compatibilist holds that all events in nature are causally determined but that human beings can initiate new series of events and have responsibility for the outcomes of their actions. Thus, moral ideas of praise and blame make sense if people are able to act according to some causality arising from their will or for reasons of their own choosing.

Finally, it should be noted that with the development...

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This section contains 2,783 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
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Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics
Freedom from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.