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Flashcards in Debate - Free Will / Determinism Deck (9)
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Define The Determinist Approach

The determinist approach proposes that all behaviour is caused by preceding factors and is thus predictable. The causal laws of determinism form the basis of science


Define Free Will Approach

Free will is the idea that we are able to have some choice in how we act and assumes that we are free to choose our behaviour, in other words we are self-determined.


Define Soft Determinism

Soft Determinism is the theory that human behaviour and actions are wholly determined by causal events, but human free will does exist when defined as the capacity to act according to one's nature.


Define Hard Determinism

Hard Determinism is the theory that human behaviour and actions are wholly determined by external factors, and therefore humans do not have genuine free will or ethical accountability.


Define Psychic Determinism

Psychic determinism is a type of determinism that theorizes that all mental processes are not spontaneous but are determined by the unconscious or pre-existing mental complexes. It relies on the causality principle applied to psychic occurrences in which nothing happens by chance or by accidental arbitrary ways.


Evaluate Free Will / Determinism:
Freud and Psychodynamic Approach

Freud also believed strongly in determinism. According to Freud, trivial phenomenon’s such as calling someone by someone else’s name are due to definite causes in the person’s motivational system. Freudian slips are involuntary but motivated errors that reveal a person’s true desires.

The Psychodynamic approach believes that internal systems such as defense mechanisms determine the way people behave as adults.


Evaluate Free Will / Determinism:
Biological Approach

The biological approach believes that behaviour is determined by a person’s genes and internal systems. In regards to mental disorders this approach states that it is not the patients fault they are ill. Their biology pre-disposes them to certain conditions and therefore cannot be controlled unless their biological make up is manipulated. This has been proved, to an extent, with the knowledge that disorders such as schizophrenia are as a result of high levels of dopamine within the brain.


Evaluate Free Will / Determinism:
Humanistic Approach

In contrast the humanistic approach believes that individuals have free will. Manslow and Rogers argued that the notion that people’s behaviour is at the mercy of external forces is inaccurate and that people have free will in that they can choose how they wish to behave. Rogers client centred therapy was based on the notion that individuals have free will. The approach states that determinism is too mechanistic and being unfalsifiable it is impossible to assume behaviour is determined. With regards to mental illness, it is a result of the patient not being able to accept themselves or others around them. Therefore the humanistic approach believes illness is due to freewill and personal decisions.


Evaluate Free Will / Determinism:

Bandura pointed a flaw in Skinners approach. If people’s actions are solely determined by the external rewards and punishments then people would be like weather vanes constantly changing direction to conform to the whims of others. Bandura stated that people have long-term goals and strive to meet these rather than following others. Skinner focused exclusively on the nation that our behaviour is determined by the external environment however our behaviour also determines our environment. There are a number of different multi determinants of behaviour and Skinner largely ignored these.