Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo

Determinism

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_73

Introduction

Deterministic doctrines are an issue or problem for psychology and social theory for fairly obvious reasons. The idea that all events in the natural world and all of human behavior and mental life are governed by ironclad natural laws appears to make any sort of free will, personal responsibility, or self-determination a complete illusion. This is an especially serious concern for critical social scientists. They are concerned not just to preserve some sort of meaningful freedom in the abstract or as a mainly philosophical matter. Critical social theory and psychology see freedom and responsibility intimately linked. In this view of its practitioners, freedom can and should be employed to detect forms and instances of domination and injustice in the social world and to actively undermine them in order to promote equity, human dignity, and human welfare. Determinism would seem to destroy this kind moral belief and purpose. This concern links up with the worry of many...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational PsychologyThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA