Free Will pp 47-56 | Cite as

Objections to Determinism: II

  • D. J. O’Connor
Part of the Problems of Philosophy book series


the conclusion seems to be, as far as this argument takes us, that determinism is after all a more attractive program than free will. It is certainly unproved at this stage of our inquiry, but it seems to offer no special logical difficulties and makes no unsightly breaches in the general scientific picture of the world. Best of all, so far, we seem to be able to understand what the determinist is claiming. And it is difficult to say the same for the defender of free will. It will, of course, be a consequence of accepting determinism that rational argument will be simply a conscious counterpart of physical happenings in the brain. But is it, on reflection, very surprising that a capacity for evaluating evidence should be tied closely to a biological foundation? The ability to interpret signs correctly, a very important and basic kind of reasoning, must always have been, in the animal world, a tendency favored by natural selection. For few failings of an animal in a state of nature would be as lethal as a tendency to misread signs. The coincidence of physical and logical causes that determinism requires would not, after all, be a mere inexplicable coincidence but a reasonable and indeed probable outcome of known biological processes.


Rational Argument Causal Belief Biological Foundation Basic Kind Metaphysical System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© D. J. O’Connor 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. J. O’Connor

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations