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In philosophy, determinism is the doctrine that all events, including human decisions, are completely determined by previously existing causes. Pierre-Simon Laplace is responsible for the classical formulation of determinism in the 18th century. For Laplace, the present state of the universe is the effect of its previous state and the cause of the state that follows it. If a mind, at any given moment, could know all the laws and all the forces operating in nature and the respective positions and momenta of all its components, it could thereby know with certainty the future and the past of every entity in a deterministic world.1

The Free Will Problem - Compatibilism vs Hard Determinism

Hard determinism (or metaphysical determinism) is a view on free will which holds that some form of determinism is true, and that it is incompatible with free will, and, therefore, that free will does not exist. It is contrasted with soft determinism, also known as compatibilism, which is a form of determinism, holding that free will may exist even despite determinism.2


Page last modified on October 05, 2012, at 12:29 AM