Research and Projects/Free Will and Responsibility


The problem of free will and determinism is the most extensively debated of all philosophical problems. Free will is a kind of ability to make decisions of the sort for which one can be morally responsible. (True) free will is precondition of moral responsibility and (true) moral responsibility is precondition for (fair) practices of moral praise and blame. Could we have free will in a deterministic universe? Compatibilists hold that free will is compatible with the universe being deterministic, incompatibilists conversely think that free will is incompatible with the world being deterministic. The most cogent argument against free will is the Basic Argument: Having (true) free will would require that one be a cause of oneself (causa sui). But being an ultimate cause of oneself is impossible, at least for us human beings. If we are not the creators of our original characters, then we have not (true) free will which is necessary for (true) moral responsibility.


JUDr. Tomáš Sobek, Ph.D.