Determinism

determinism, philosophical thesis that every event is the inevitable result of antecedent causes. Applied to ethics and psychology, determinism usually involves a denial of free will, although many philosophers have attempted to reconcile the two concepts. Thomas Hobbes, identifying the will with appetites and defining freedom as the absence of impediments, concluded that free will exists where nothing prevents a person from satisfying his prevailing appetite. David Hume argued that a person's willful conduct counts as freely chosen even though his will has itself been determined by his motives. William James called such attempts to fit notions of free will into determinist systems "soft" determinism; "hard" determinism excludes the possibility of free will altogether. The doctrine of determinism is opposed by the principle of emergence, which states that truly novel and unpredictable events may occur out of the composite forces of nature.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Determinism: Selected full-text books and articles

Free-Will and Determinism By Allan M. Munn University of Toronto Press, 1960
A Historical Overview and Contemporary Expansion of Psychological Theories of Determinism, Probabilistic Causality, Indeterminate Free Will, and Moral and Legal Responsibility By Wilks, Duffy; Ratheal, Juli D'Ann Counseling and Values, Vol. 53, No. 2, January 2009
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Determinism: Do Untutored Intuitions Feed the Bugbears? By Dhar, Sharmistha International Journal on Humanistic Ideology, Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring 2009
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Free Will By Graham McFee Routledge, 2014
Deep Control: Essays on Free Will and Value By John Martin Fischer Oxford University Press, 2012
PRIMARY SOURCE
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
Persons and Causes: The Metaphysics of Free Will By Timothy O'Connor Oxford University Press, 2000
Librarian's tip: Chap. 1 "Freedom and Determinism"
Free Will: A Philosophical Study By Laura Waddell Ekstrom Westview Press, 2000
Librarian's tip: Includes discussion of determinism in multiple chapters
PRIMARY SOURCE
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
Living without Free Will By Derk Pereboom Cambridge University Press, 2001
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