Chapter

Nature

in Free Will

Published in print June 2004 | ISBN: 9780192853585
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191776366 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/actrade/9780192853585.003.0004

Series: Very Short Introductions

Nature

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‘Nature’ explores Hobbesian freedom. Hobbes contradicted the prevailing medieval view by saying that will was not a uniquely human trait, and that man was simply a complex part of an all-encompassing naturalistic system. Hobbesian freedom is simply unobstructed desire, but common sense dictates that our desires can take away our freedom, such as in addiction. For Hobbes, decisions were not subject of the will and were non-voluntary, ergo there was no freedom of will. However, whilst common sense accepts that we cannot take decisions at will, it still believes that decision-making is free, as we can choose which decisions to take. Thus, freedom and voluntariness are not the same.

Keywords: action; common sense; compatibilism; compulsion; experience; Thomas Hobbes; Immanuel Kant; materialism; nature

Chapter.  5409 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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