Was Aristotle a determinist?

That Aristotle can be considered as the ‘father of determinism’ should come as no great surprise to those who know anything about his philosophy. And it will also not come as a surprise that he discovered all three versions of determinism: logical, physical, and ethical determinism.

Was Immanuel Kant a determinist?

Kant’s main idea, whatever sense can finally be made of it, depends on his fundamental two-worlds doctrine. He locates determinism in the empirical world or world of appearances, and freedom in the world of things-in-themselves, the world of reason. It is important that the latter world is not in time.

Was Hobbes a determinist?

1. Hobbes: Hobbes, though a determinist, believed that we have free will. This is because, by “free” he simply means “the absence of opposition.” In other words, as long as the actions that we form a desire to perform are not hindered or prevented in any way by some obvious, external force, we are said to be free.

Does William James believe in determinism?

In his 1884 address to Harvard Divinity Students in Lowell Lecture Hall,10 James famously coined the terms “hard determinism” and “soft determinism,” by which he meant the compatibilism of Hobbes and Hume. Hard determinists simply deny the existence of free will altogether. He argued instead for “indeterminism.”

What philosopher was a determinist?

Determinism was developed by the Greek philosophers during the 7th and 6th centuries BCE by the Pre-socratic philosophers Heraclitus and Leucippus, later Aristotle, and mainly by the Stoics.

Did Descartes believe in determinism?

And though he held that God has no cause other than himself, Descartes thought that everything apart from God is externally caused: he was a determinist with respect to the created universe.

Does Hume agree on free will?

It is widely accepted that David Hume’s contribution to the free will debate is one of the most influential statements of the “compatibilist” position, where this is understood as the view that human freedom and moral responsibility can be reconciled with (causal) determinism.

What does James think of soft determinism?

Soft determinism is the view that determinism and free will are compatible. It is thus a form of compatibilism. The term was coined by the American philosopher William James (1842-1910) in his essay “The Dilemma of Determinism.”

When did William James write the dilemma of determinism?


In 1884, James set the terms for all future discussions of determinism and compatibilism in the free will debates with his lecture to Harvard Divinity School students published as “The Dilemma of Determinism”.

Does Plato believe in free will?

While Plato never expressly mentions free will, we can presume this is his meaning with the mastery of one’s self, overcoming desires which prohibit our reasoned mind. It would be reasonable to surmise that Plato believed in the possibility of free will, though only once certain conditions had been overcome.

Does John Locke believe in free will?

John Locke took a ‘hard determinist’ position. This is the belief that moral agents have only preprogrammed choices, over which they have no control. A moral agent is not free to act — free will is no more than an illusion.

What does Aristotle say about free will?

1) According to the Aristotle, free will and moral responsibility is determined by our character. 2) According to absolute free will (indeterminism), free actions cannot be determined in any fashion. 3) Therefore, you cannot endorse Aristotle’s view, and also affirm absolute free will.

Does Socrates believe in free will?

for socrates free will and self-control are one and the same, combined in his commitment to the doctrine that reason, properly cultivated, can and ought to be the all-controlling factor in human life.

What is freedom according to Thomas Aquinas?

According to Aquinas, intellect and will have command over free will. This then is true freedom, and on this Aquinas and Pinckaers agree. We do not have freedom of indifference, we have freedom for excellence. Anything else makes us slaves.

Which philosopher did not believe in free will?

The 19th-century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche is known as a critic of Judeo-Christian morality and religions in general. One of the arguments he raised against the truthfulness of these doctrines is that they are based upon the concept of free will, which, in his opinion, does not exist.

Was Nietzsche a fatalist?

Nietzsche is often classified and taught along with the “Existentialists,” mainly because he is (like Kierkegaard) so adamantly an “individual” and an early advocate of “self-making.” But Nietzsche also subscribes to a number of harsh doctrines that might be described as “fatalism” and a kind of “biological determinism

What does Kant say about free will?

Equivalently, a free will is an autonomous will. Now, in GMS II, Kant had argued that for a will to act autonomously is for it to act in accordance with the categorical imperative, the moral law. Thus, Kant famously remarks: “a free will and a will under moral laws is one and the same” (ibd.)