Brandeis University, Philosophy Department
Fall 2009
Brandeis University Web Stite

Philosophy 1A


Professor Andreas Teuber
Prof. Teuber

Making Up One's Mind (4)

Drawing on the reading and your own sound reasoning and good judgment, make a case for or against the claim that you could have had yogurt instead. In making your case, explain - as best you can - what it is you believe and why you believe it. Propose a possible set of objections to your line of thought and explain how you would address those objections.

In writing about your choice of pizza, think about the implications of the truth or falsity of such a claim for the more general proposition that human beings have free will and do your best to make it plain which of the following three positions you find most appealing and why:

(1) Determinism: Determinism is true, so we do not have free will.

(2) Libertarianism: We do have free will, so determinism is false.

(3) Compatibilism: Determinism and free will can be reconciled one with the other without contradiction, i.e., determinism and free will are compatible.

Notice that your efforts are likely to be given a boost by the organization of the readings in the Perry, Bratman and Fischer text:

See Perry et al, INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY, pp. 392-448.

Arranging the readings in the way they have, Perry, Bratman, and Fischer have created what might be called "a space" for lively debate, But you also realize that it would help to sort out what you think before reading any of the readings above if you hope to be able develop anything like a view of your own.

In making your case identify at least two of the readings from the Perry, Bratman and Fischer text that to your mind stand in opposition to your thesis or create difficulties for your point of view and say, in your own words, how you think the author or authors would criticize the claims you make and the position you take and offer your own best response.

Free Will

Good Luck!


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