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THE IDEAL OF FREE WILL AND DETERMINATION IN ANGLO AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY DURING 1969-80, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO STUART HAMPSHIRE, ANTHONY KENNY, P.F STRAWSON, AND DONALD DAVIDSON

Hassan, Zahoor-UL- (2002) THE IDEAL OF FREE WILL AND DETERMINATION IN ANGLO AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY DURING 1969-80, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO STUART HAMPSHIRE, ANTHONY KENNY, P.F STRAWSON, AND DONALD DAVIDSON. PhD thesis, University of Karachi, Karachi.

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Abstract

The philosophical problem of free will and degeneration of human actions emerging out of a profound conflict between two beliefs. The belief in freedom of human action appears to contradict the belief that all human actions are caused, and therefore determined, by physical or material factors beyond an individual's control. Freedom of action is usually conceived as freedom from the laws of nature. This is broadly called libertarianism. On the other hand, the view that all occurrences in nature, including human actions, are caused by physical conditions subsumable under causal laws is called determinism. Reconciliation between freedom and determinism falls under the position called compa1ibilism, which broadly advocates the view that human actions are both caused as well as free. Denial of the possibility of this reconciliation leads to a fourth position called compatibilism. This involves the view that beliefs in freedom and determinism are contradictory to each other and therefore cannot be held together. It seems that we cannot give up any of these two beliefs, however contradictory they might appear to the philosophical mind. In my dissertation, the views of Anglo-American philosophers, Stuart Hampshire, Anthony Kenny, P. F. Strawson, and Donald Davidson are examined on this problem. However, examination of their views has left many questions unanswered and many more questions arising out of this perennial problem. Keeping in view the immense complexity of the problem at hand, it seems impossible to offer a final solution acceptable to all. Nevertheless, description and analysis of the views of the philosophers in this dissertation is attempted in order to expose many serious problems, which would have remained unapprised. It is a central contention of my thesis that the freedom of action cannot be understood without explaining the nature of self-consciousness. I intend to. argue, through examination of the views of these philosophers,. that the paradigm of causality in nature cannot explain human actions that originate by self-conscicus mental acts. Deterministic explanations have their limits where the nature of self-consciousness is in question.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:free will, determination, anglo american philosophy, stuart hampshire, anthony kenny, p.f strawson, donald davidson, libertarianism, determinism, compa1ibilism, compatibilism
Subjects:Social Sciences(g) > Philosophy(g14)
ID Code:1283
Deposited By:Mr. Muhammad Asif
Deposited On:22 Jan 2007
Last Modified:04 Oct 2007 21:05

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