Whither determinism: On Humean beings, human beings, and originators

Inquiry 32 (March):55-77 (1989)
Abstract
Much of this paper is concerned with several issues of considerable importance in assessing the adequacy of Honderich's account of our nature and the persuasiveness of his case for his theory of determinism. First, there are a number of respects in which his treatment of the mental does not do justice to it, chiefly owing to the mental's being abstracted from its larger context in human life, and to neglect of its intimate relation to socially engendered and maintained systems of significant forms. Second, and relatedly, there is his contention that the untenability of the notion of an Originator is fatal to any attempt to offer a philosophically respectable alternative to the sort of deterministic theory he espouses. An attempt is made to show how one might mount a response that would counter this argument by making sense of the idea of a humanly attainable substitute for the kind of Originator he with good reason rejects. The conclusion is not that indeterminism may thereby be saved, but rather that we might do better to abandon the dispute between determinism and indeterminism in favor of other more promising questions
Keywords Agent  Determinism  Human  Metaphysics  Honderich, T
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