Determinism

Edited by Jonah Nagashima (University of California, Riverside)
About this topic
Summary Determinism is a claim about the laws of nature. Events are determined if the laws of nature, together with the total set of facts prevailing at a moment in time, are sufficient to settle precisely what happens at the next and each subsequent moment of time. Determinism thus rules out chanciness in a central sense of that word. The free will debate has been centrally concerned with whether determinism is incompatible with freedom: many philosophers worry that if how agents act is always settled prior to their action (settled even prior to their birth) than we lack free will.
Key works The key works on the compatibility question are more or less coextensive with the key works on free will, since the first issue has been so central to the second. I shall not list those works here. Important papers that explore the nature of determinism itself as it pertains to free will includeBerofsky 1971; the two volumes of Honderich 1988 and Earman 2004.
Introductions Honderich 1973;Kane 2002
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  1. Frankfurt Cases and 'Could Have Done Otherwise'.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    In his seminal essay, Harry Frankfurt argued that our exercise of free will and allocation of moral responsibility do not depend on us being able to do other than we did. Leslie Allan defends this moral maxim from Frankfurt's attack. Applying his character-based counterfactual conditional analysis of free acts to Frankfurt's counterexamples, Allan unpacks the confusions that lie at the heart of Frankfurt's argument. The author also explores how his 4C compatibilist theory measures up against Frankfurt’s conclusions.
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  2. Free Will and Compatibilism.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    The author mounts a case against the libertarian and hard determinist's thesis that free will is impossible in a deterministic world. He charges incompatibilists with misconstruing ordinary 'free will' talk by overlaying common language with their own metaphysical presuppositions. Through a review of ordinary discourse and recent developments in jurisprudence and the sciences, he draws together the four key factors required for an act to be free. He then puts his 4C theory to work in giving a credible account of (...)
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  3. Determinism and Luck.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    In the course of writing a book on Free Will, I took the opportunity to read a good deal of contemporary literature on the Free Will problem. This paper is a survey and reflection on that reading, responding to the current trends and state of play concerning the existence of free will.
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  4. Constructive Dilemma Arguments for the Impossibility of Free Will.Kristin M. Mickelson - manuscript
    The traditional problem of free will and determinism is ostensibly about settling the relationship between free will and determinism. According to the standard narrative, this problem boils down to settling whether free will stands in a compatibility or incompatibility relation with determinism. Similarly, there is traditional debate over whether a compatibility or an incompatibility relationship holds between free will and indeterminism. Since indeterminism is simply the negation of determinism, anyone who holds that human free will is incompatible with both determinism (...)
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  5. [Temporarily Unavailable; Under Review].Kristin M. Mickelson - manuscript
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  6. Free Will of an Ontologically Open Mind.Jan Scheffel - manuscript
    The problem of free will has persistently resisted a solution throughout centuries. There is reason to believe that new elements need to be introduced into the analysis in order to make progress. In the present physicalist approach, these elements are emergence and information theory in relation to universal limits set by quantum physics. Furthermore the common, but vague, characterization of free will as "being able to act differently" is, in the spirit of Carnap, rephrased into an explicatum more suitable for (...)
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  7. How Necessary is the Past? Reply to Campbell.Matthew H. Slater - manuscript
    Joe Campbell has identified an apparent flaw in van Inwagen’s Consequence Argument. It apparently derives a metaphysically necessary conclusion from what Campbell argues is a contingent premise: that the past is in some sense necessary. I criticise Campbell’s examples attempting to show that this is not the case (in the requisite sense) and suggest some directions along which an incompatibilist could reconstruct her argument so as to remain immune to Campbell’s worries.
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  8. The Basis of Indeterminism.Shan Gao - 2001
  9. From Newtonian Determinism to Branching-Space-Time Indeterminism.Nuel Belnap - manuscript
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  10. Freedom and Determinism.Author unknown - manuscript
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  11. One World or Many? Poppoer's Three World Theory and the Problem of Scientific Determinism.Brian Baigrie - unknown - Eidos: The Canadian Graduate Journal of Philosophy 3.
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  12. Compatibilism From the Inside Out.Andrew M. Bailey - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    In this article, I focus on internal dimensions of moral responsibility. I argue that if such dimensions are real -- and it seems they are -- then moral responsibility is compatible with determinism.
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  13. On the Compatibility of Rational Deliberation and Determinism: Why Deterministic Manipulation is Not a Counterexample.Gregg D. Caruso - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    This paper aims to defend deliberation-compatibilism against several objections, including a recent counterexample by Yishai Cohen that involves a deliberator who believes that whichever action she performs will be the result of deterministic manipulation. It begins by offering a Moorean-style proof of deliberation-compatibilism. It then turns to the leading argument for deliberation-incompatibilism, which is based on the presumed incompatibility of causal determinism and the ‘openness’ required for rational deliberation. The paper explains why this argument fails and develops a coherent account (...)
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  14. Tertullian on Divine Sovereignty and Free Will in Advance.David Clark - forthcoming - Philosophy and Theology.
    Christian thinkers in the patristic era were not reluctant to integrate classical philosophy with biblical theology as they addressed the seeming incompatibility of free will and determinism (fate). This paper compares and contrasts Tertullian and the Stoics as they explain three issues relating to freedom and fate: 1) The operation of the Logos, 2) Theological Anthropology, and 3) Teleology. While in agreement with the Stoics on several key points, Tertullian crucially departs from them as he argues it is not by (...)
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  15. Taking Hobart Seriously.Taylor W. Cyr - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-20.
    Hobart’s classic 1934 paper “Free Will as Involving Determination and Inconceivable Without It” has been widely cited (and taught in many undergraduate courses) as an example of an argument for the view that free will requires the truth of determinism. In this paper, I argue that this reading of Hobart’s paper is mistaken and that we should instead read Hobart as arguing that an agent exercises her free will only if the proximate causes of the agent’s action deterministically cause her (...)
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  16. Free Will, Control, and the Possibility to Do Otherwise From a Causal Modeler’s Perspective.Alexander Gebharter, Maria Sekatskaya & Gerhard Schurz - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-18.
    Strong notions of free will are closely connected to the possibility to do otherwise as well as to an agent's ability to causally influence her environment via her decisions controlling her actions. In this paper we employ techniques from the causal modeling literature to investigate whether a notion of free will subscribing to one or both of these requirements is compatible with naturalistic views of the world such as non-reductive physicalism to the background of determinism and indeterminism. We argue that (...)
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  17. Effects, Determinism, Neither Compatibilism nor Incompatibilism, Consciousness.Ted Honderich - forthcoming - Philosophical Explorations.
    Since the rise of the theory of determinism, philosophers have argued and declared that we are diminished by it. Bishop Bramhall against Thomas Hobbes in the 17th Century, Kant against Hume in the 18th, F. H. Bradley against John Stuart Mill in the 19th, Robert Kane and Robert Nozick against such as me in the 20th Century. There must be something in this relentless tradition. It cannot, it seems to me, be the falsehood of determinism. Is it, so to speak, (...)
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  18. Freedom and Determinism.Jenann Ismael - forthcoming - Philosophical Explorations.
    Any person truly considering belief in a scientific world view has to confront the question of whether and in what sense, if she views herself as a natural system in a world governed by natural laws, she can continue to regard herself as free. The prima facie clash is usually expressed in terms of a conflict between freedom and determinism, captured in an argument known as the Consequence Argument. If the natural laws are deterministic, our behavior must be deducible by (...)
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  19. The Ability to Do Otherwise and the New Dispositionalism.Romy Jaster - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    According to the New Dispositionalist’s response to the Frankfurt Cases, Jones can do otherwise because Black merely masks (or finks), but does not deprive Jones of the relevant ability. This reasoning stands in the tradition of a line of thought according to which an informed view of the truth conditions of ability attributions allows for a compatibilist stance. The promise is that once we understand how abilities work, it turns out that the ability to do otherwise is compatible with determinism, (...)
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  20. What Freedom in a Deterministic World Must Be.Brian Looper - forthcoming - Mind.
    Contrary to Lewis and Vihvelin, I argue that free will in a deterministic world is an ability to break a law of nature or to change the remote past. Even if it were true, as Lewis and Vihvelin think, that an agent who is predetermined to perform a particular act might not break a law or change the remote past by doing otherwise, it would nevertheless be true that he is able to do otherwise only if he is able to (...)
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  21. Ted Honderich, Philosopher: A Kind of Life.D. Macey - forthcoming - Radical Philosophy.
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  22. The Zygote Argument Is Still Invalid: So What?Kristin M. Mickelson - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-18.
    In “The Zygote Argument is Invalid: Now What?”, Kristin Mickelson argues that Alfred Mele’s original Zygote Argument is invalid: its two premises tell us merely that the truth of determinism is correlated with the absence of free human agents, but the argument nonetheless concludes with a specific explanation for that correlation, namely that deterministic laws preclude—rule out, destroy, undermine, make impossible, rob us of—free will. In a recent essay, Gabriel De Marco grants that the original Zygote Argument is invalid for (...)
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  23. (In)Compatibilism.Kristin M. Mickelson - forthcoming - In Joseph Campbell (ed.), Companion to Free Will. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.
    This chapter offers the reader some useful tools for identifying and assessing the distinct views and debates currently associated with the terms ‘compatibilism’ and ‘incompatibilism’. It begins with a discussion of the two relata of free-will (in)compatibilism, namely the free-will relatum (§2) and the determinism relatum (§3). The next section (§4) provides an overview of five relations which are commonly said to hold (or not hold) between these relata: conceptual (in)compatibility, logical (in)compatibility, logical (in)consistency, metaphysical (in)compatibility, and metaphysical (in)compossibility. In (...)
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  24. A Hot Mess: Girolamo Cardano, the Inquisition and the Soul.Jonathan Regier - forthcoming - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science.
  25. Causal Decision Theory’s Predetermination Problem.Toby Charles Penhallurick Solomon - forthcoming - Synthese:1-32.
    It has often been noted that there is some tension between engaging in decision-making and believing that one’s choices might be predetermined. The possibility that our choices are predetermined forces us to consider, in our decisions, act-state pairs which are inconsistent, and hence to which we cannot assign sensible utilities. But the reasoning which justifies two-boxing in Newcomb’s problem also justifies associating a non-zero causal probability with these inconsistent act-state pairs. Put together these undefined utilities and non-zero probabilities entail that (...)
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  26. Free Will and Determinism. Edited by Vlggo Mortensen and Robert C. Sorensen. Philadelphia: Coronet, 1987. 213 Pages and Notes. $28.50 (Paper). Tackling the Subject of Free Will and Determinism is Like Trying to Fight a Tar Baby: No Matter Where You Throw the First Punch, You Find. [REVIEW]Kenneth Vaux - forthcoming - Zygon.
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  27. The Question of Determinism.Greg Whistance-Smith & Dr Nathan Kowalsky - forthcoming - Philosophy.
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  28. Law-Abiding Causal Decision Theory.Timothy Luke Williamson & Alexander Sandgren - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    In this paper we discuss how Causal Decision Theory should be modified to handle a class of problematic cases involving deterministic laws. Causal Decision Theory, as it stands, is problematically biased against your endorsing deterministic propositions (for example it tells you to deny Newtonian physics, regardless of how confident you are of its truth). Our response is that this is not a problem for Causal Decision Theory per se, but arises because of the standard method for assessing the truth of (...)
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  29. Predestinación y libertad. Escritos en torno a la controversia de auxiliis.Domingo Báñez & David Torrijos-Castrillejo - 2021 - Pamplona: EUNSA.
    Edition of the opuscules by D. Báñez on De auxiliis controversy. There is the critical edition of three manuscripts and the first Spanish annotated translation of the opuscules. The Latin text is disposed together with the translation. An introduction situates the opuscules in its systematic and historical context.
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  30. His Sovereignty Rules Over All: A Review of Recent Work on Divine Determinism. [REVIEW]Jesse Couenhoven - 2021 - Modern Theology 37 (2):508-522.
  31. Determinism, Counterfactuals, and Decision.Alexander Sandgren & Timothy Luke Williamson - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):286-302.
    Rational agents face choices, even when taking seriously the possibility of determinism. Rational agents also follow the advice of Causal Decision Theory (CDT). Although many take these claims to be well-motivated, there is growing pressure to reject one of them, as CDT seems to go badly wrong in some deterministic cases. We argue that deterministic cases do not undermine a counterfactual model of rational deliberation, which is characteristic of CDT. Rather, they force us to distinguish between counterfactuals that are relevant (...)
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  32. Freedom in a Physical World.Andrew M. Bailey - 2020 - Philosophical Papers 49 (1):31-39.
    Making room for agency in a physical world is no easy task. Can it be done at all? In this article, I consider and reject an argument in the negative.
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  33. A New Puppet Puzzle.Andrew M. Bailey & Joshua Rasmussen - 2020 - Philosophical Explorations 23 (3):202-213.
    We develop a new puzzle concerning a material being's relationship to the smallest parts of the material world. In particular, we investigate how a being could be responsible for anything if its be...
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  34. La moción divina ante la contingencia y la libertad de las creaturas según santo Tomás y Domingo Báñez.Torrijos-Castrillejo David - 2020 - Scripta Fulgentina 30:39-64.
    Against an interpretation of Saint Thomas Aquinas’s thought that understands the divine motion of the created will only providing a generic impulse to it, in this article is defended that God moves specifically for every good choice. This motion doesn’t prevent at all the contingency of creatures and neither freedom of choice. Is also shown how Báñez’s thought is quite faithful to Saint Thomas in this and doesn’t intend anything else but simply to make it known and defend it from (...)
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  35. Teilhard’s Proposition for Peace: Rediscovering the Fire. By Jean Maalouf. Pp. X, 290, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, $119.95. [REVIEW]Ilia Delio - 2020 - Heythrop Journal 61 (1):203-204.
  36. Free Will as a Higher‐Level Phenomenon?Alexander Gebharter - 2020 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (3):177-187.
    List (2014, 2019) has recently argued for a particular view of free will as a higher-level phenomenon compatible with determinism. According to List, one could refute his account by showing that determinism at the physical level implies the impossibility of doing otherwise at the agential level. This paper takes up that challenge. Based on assumptions to which List’s approach is committed, I provide a simple probabilistic model that establishes the connection between physical determinism and the impossibility of doing otherwise at (...)
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  37. Dennett and Taylor’s Alleged Refutation of the Consequence Argument.Johan E. Gustafsson - 2020 - Analysis 80 (3):426-433.
    Daniel C. Dennett has long maintained that the Consequence Argument for incompatibilism is confused. In a joint work with Christopher Taylor, he claims to have shown that the argument is based on a failure to understand Logic 101. Given a fairly plausible account of having the power to cause something, they claim that the argument relies on an invalid inference rule. In this paper, I show that Dennett and Taylor’s refutation does not work against a better, more standard version of (...)
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  38. Agents’ Abilities.Romy Jaster - 2020 - Berlin, New York: De Gruyter.
    In the book, I provide an account of what it is for an agent to have an ability. According to the Success View, abilities are all about success across possible situations. In developing and applying the view, the book elucidates the relation between abilities on the one hand and possibility, counterfactuals, and dispositions on the other; it sheds light on the distinction between general and specific abilities; it offers an understanding of degrees of abilities; it explains which role intentions and (...)
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  39. Free Will and Desire.Brian Looper - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (6):1347-1360.
    I make a case for the thesis that no one can refrain from trying to attain the object of his or her currently strongest desire. I arrive there by defending an argument by Peter van Inwagen for a relatively mild conclusion about the way desires limit our abilities, and by arguing that if van Inwagen’s conclusion is correct, and correct for his reasons, so is my bolder thesis. I close with replies to objections, such as the objection that it is (...)
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  40. Fate and Free Will---Book Review. [REVIEW]Mark Maller - 2020 - Religious Studies 1234:----0--.
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  41. Natural Compatibilism, Indeterminism, and Intrusive Metaphysics.Thomas Nadelhoffer, David Rose, Wesley Buckwalter & Shaun Nichols - 2020 - Cognitive Science 44 (8).
    The claim that common sense regards free will and moral responsibility as compatible with determinism has played a central role in both analytic and experimental philosophy. In this paper, we show that evidence in favor of this “natural compatibilism” is undermined by the role that indeterministic metaphysical views play in how people construe deterministic scenarios. To demonstrate this, we re-examine two classic studies that have been used to support natural compatibilism. We find that although people give apparently compatibilist responses, this (...)
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  42. Does Encouraging a Belief in Determinism Increase Cheating? Reconsidering the Value of Believing in Free Will.Thomas Nadelhoffer, Jason Shepard, Damien L. Crone, Jim A. C. Everett, Brian D. Earp & Neil Levy - 2020 - Cognition 203:104342.
    A key source of support for the view that challenging people’s beliefs about free will may undermine moral behavior is two classic studies by Vohs and Schooler (2008). These authors reported that exposure to certain prompts suggesting that free will is an illusion increased cheating behavior. In the present paper, we report several attempts to replicate this influential and widely cited work. Over a series of five studies (sample sizes of N = 162, N = 283, N = 268, N (...)
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  43. A Theory of Evolution as a Process of Unfolding.Agustin Ostachuk - 2020 - Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 16 (1):347-379.
    In this work I propose a theory of evolution as a process of unfolding. This theory is based on four logically concatenated principles. The principle of evolutionary order establishes that the more complex cannot be generated from the simpler. The principle of origin establishes that there must be a maximum complexity that originates the others by logical deduction. Finally, the principle of unfolding and the principle of actualization guarantee the development of the evolutionary process from the simplest to the most (...)
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  44. Determinism, Moral Responsibility and Retribution.Elizabeth Shaw & Robert Blakey - 2020 - Neuroethics 13 (1):99-113.
    In this article, we will identify two issues that deserve greater attention from those researching lay people’s attitudes to moral responsibility and determinism. The first issue concerns whether people interpret the term “moral responsibility” in a retributive way and whether they are motivated to hold offenders responsible for pre-determined behaviour by considerations other than retributivism, e.g. the desires to condemn the action and to protect society. The second issue concerns whether explicitly rejecting moral responsibility and retributivism, after reading about determinism, (...)
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  45. Determinism, Free Will and Morality: A Jain Perspective.Jinesh R. Sheth - 2020 - In Shrinetra Pandey & Sanjali Jain (eds.), Determinism in Śramaṇa Traditions. Delhi, India: pp. 77-84.
    The problem of determinism and free will has occupied the minds of human beings since time immemorial. Philosophers have dwelt on it at great length. The problem is alike for both those who support determinism and those who do not. From one side, it is argued that since all the actions are causally determined, the belief that we are free is an illusion; from the other side, it is argued that since we know that we are free, universal determinism is (...)
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  46. のレビュー"「ハードワイヤードですか?) (Are We Hardwired?) by Clark and Grunstein (2000)(2019年改訂レビュー).Michael Richard Starks - 2020 - In 地獄へようこそ 赤ちゃん、気候変動、ビットコイン、カルテル、中国、民主主義、多様性、ディスジェニックス、平等、ハッカー、人権、イスラム教、自由主義、繁栄、ウェブ、カオス、飢餓、病気、暴力、人工知能、戦争. Las Vegas, NV , USA: Reality Press. pp. 82-84.
    これは、行動に関する遺伝子/環境相互作用の優れたレビューであり、少し日付が付いているにもかかわらず、簡単で価値のある読み取りです。彼らは遺伝学が行動に与える圧倒的な影響を示す双子の研究から始まります。 彼らは、家庭環境を共有することは行動にほとんど影響を及ぼさないという事実を拡張し要約し、養子が無作為に選ばれた人々と同じくらい義理の兄弟や姉妹と同じように成長するという事実を拡張し、要約するジュディス ・ハリスのますますよく知られた研究に注意してください。彼ら(そして行動遺伝学について議論するほぼすべての人)が注意できない基本的なポイントの1つは、私たちの性格のすべての基本を含む人間の行動普遍的な何 百人(あなたの視点に応じて数千人)が、正常にばらつきのない私たちの遺伝子によって100%決定されるということです。誰もが木を木として見て、石ではなく、食べ物を求めて食べ、怒りと嫉妬などを求めます。だか ら、彼らがここで主に話しているのは、環境(文化)が外見ではなく、様々な形質が示される程度にどれだけ影響を与えるかです。 最後に、彼らは、私たちとすべての生物が自然の優生学の産物であり、医学、農業、文明全体で自然選択を打ち負かそうとする試みは、これを続ける社会にとって悲惨なことに注意せず、通常の政治的に正しい方法で優生学 について議論しています。すべての概念の50%、または約1億/年は、母親が気づかずに、ほぼすべての早期自然流産に終わる。この欠陥遺伝子の自然なカリングは進化を促進し、私たちを比較的遺伝的に健全に保ち、社 会を可能にします。異性原性は文明を破壊するのに十分であるが、人口過剰は最初にそれをdする。 現代の2つのシス・エムスの見解から人間の行動のための包括的な最新の枠組みを望む人は、私の著書「ルートヴィヒ・ヴィトゲンシュタインとジョン・サールの2ndnd edの哲学、心理学、ミンと言語の論理的構造」を参照することができます。私の著作の多く興味がある人は、運命の惑星に関する「話す猿--哲学、心理学、科学、宗教、政治」を見ることができます - 記事とレビュー2006-2017' 3rded (2019) その他。 .
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  47. Überprüfung von "Ich bin eine seltsame Schleife" (I Am a Strange Loop) von Douglas Hofstadter (2007) (Überprüfung überarbeitet 2019).Michael Richard Starks - 2020 - In Willkommen in der Hölle auf Erden: Babys, Klimawandel, Bitcoin, Kartelle, China, Demokratie, Vielfalt, Dysgenie, Gleichheit, Hacker, Menschenrechte, Islam, Liberalismus, Wohlstand, Internet, Chaos, Hunger, Krankheit, Gewalt, Künstliche Intelligenz, Krieg. Las Vegas, NV , USA: Reality Press. pp. 112-129.
    Neueste Predigt aus der Kirche des fundamentalistischen Naturalismus von Pastor Hofstadter. Wie sein viel berühmteres (oder berüchtigtfür seine unerbittlichen philosophischen Fehler) Werk Godel, Escher, Bach, hat es eine oberflächliche Plausibilität, aber wenn man begreift, dass dies ein grassierender Scientismus ist, der reale wissenschaftliche Fragen mit philosophischen vermischt (d.h. die einzigen wirklichen Fragen sind, welche Sprachspiele wir spielen sollten), dann verschwindet fast sein ganzes Interesse. Ich bieten einen Rahmen für die Analyse basierend auf der Evolutionspsychologie und der Arbeit von Wittgenstein (seit (...)
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  48. Was Báñez a Bañecian?David Torrijos-Castrillejo - 2020 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 94 (3):431-458.
    This article deals with the historical position of Domingo Báñez in the De Auxiliis Controversy. He was a protagonist of the beginning of the dispute and his name was used by the defenders of Luis de Molina to describe the traditional Thomist account on divine providence and free will; even today, many Thomists use the name of Báñez to designate their own position. This article tries to determine his personal opinion regarding the ontology of physical premotion without presupposing the later (...)
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  49. Back to the actual future.Jacek Wawer & Alex Malpass - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2193-2213.
    The purpose of the paper is to rethink the role of actuality in the branching model of possibilities. We investigate the idea that the model should be enriched with an additional factor—the so-called Thin Red Line—which is supposed to represent the single possible course of events that gets actualized in time. We believe that this idea was often misconceived which prompted some unfortunate reactions. On the one hand, it suggested problematic semantic models of future tense and and on the other, (...)
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  50. W. Matthews Grant, Free Will and God’s Universal Causality. [REVIEW]Greg Welty - 2020 - Philosophia Christi 22 (1):159-164.
    A review of W. Matthews Grant's *Free Will and God's Universal Causality*, which argues that we can reconcile 'divine universal causality' and human 'libertarian free will' by adding an 'extrinsic model' of divine agency, resulting in a trio of doctrines which Grant calls 'dual sources' (divine universal causality, libertarian free will, extrinsic model of divine agency). On this view, both God and humans are the ultimate cause of each human choice in the universe.
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