Determinism, Responsibility and Computers

  • Jacek Holowka
Part of the Nijhoff International Philosophy Series book series (NIPS, volume 28)


In his Abstraction in Science and Morals Stephan Körner has provided a very useful framework for an assessment of the view that human beings are capable of making free, enlightened and responsible decisions. The view clashes with the doctrine that all events, including our decisions, are predetermined, and therefore that we are not responsible for what we do. I will compare arguments supporting these two positions, and try to show that we are neither free nor responsible, but we are rational and punishable, which is the second best thing.


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  1. Baron Holbach, “System of Nature”, quoted from Paul Edwards & Arthur Pap, A Modern Introduction to Philosophy (The Free Press, New York, 1966).Google Scholar
  2. Stephan Körner, Abstraction in Science and Morals, The Twenty-Fourth Arthur Stanley Eddington Memorial Lecture delivered at Cambridge University, 2 February 1971 (Cambridge Universty Press, 1977).Google Scholar
  3. Alfred Lande, “The Case of Indeterminism”, in Sidney Hook, Determinism and Freedom(New York University Press, 1958).Google Scholar

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© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht 1987

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  • Jacek Holowka

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