Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism, VOL 18 (2) 2010


Ching-Hung Woo
Issued Date: 9 Oct 2013


The body of this essay is free of philosophical jargons. Since however some readers are accustomed to thinking about the free-will problem in terms of the compatibilism/incompatibilism divide, I wish to briefly comment on why this emphasis is not very helpful. If by “freedom” one means that a person’s will is the ultimate choicemaker free from prior causes, then the position of this essay is that “freedom is incompatible with determinism”; but if by “freedom” one means that there is harmony between the intended consequences of a choice and the nature of the choice-maker, the position of this essay is that “freedom is compatible with determinism.” This illustrates that unless there is first an agreement on what is meant by “freedom,” it is premature to put the focus on whether freedom is compatible with determinism.

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DOI: 10.1558/eph.v18i2.35


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