Chapter

Psychological Determinism

J. R. Lucas

in The Freedom of the Will

Published in print September 1970 | ISBN: 9780198243434
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680687 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198243434.003.0015
Psychological Determinism

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Psychological determinism is an aspiration rather than a threat. It needs exposing rather than arguing against. There are no psychological laws which enable us to make anything more than very tentative predictions of extreme vagueness. Psychological determinism has drawn popular support from the fact that some disturbances in adult life have been explained more or less convincingly as the result of experiences in early infancy. But the explanations offered by the psychoanalysts are seldom of the Hempelian regularity kind. Non-Hempelian explanations do not convert into predictions in the easy way that Hempelian ones do. In so far as we can construct a prediction from an explanation in human terms, it will be a guarded or fallible prediction like all other human predictions.

Keywords: psychological determinism; prediction; Hempel

Chapter.  2290 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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