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16. Persons / F. Free Will / 5. Against Free Will

[reasons for doubting that free will is possible]

38 ideas
Aristotle assesses whether people are responsible, and if they are it was voluntary [Aristotle, by Zagzebski]
A swerve in the atoms would be unnatural, like scales settling differently for no reason [Chrysippus, by Plutarch]
The free will problem was invented by the Stoics [Stoic school, by Berlin]
We must admit that when the will is not willing something, the first movement to will must come from outside the will [Aquinas]
A man cannot will to will, or will to will to will, so the idea of a voluntary will is absurd [Hobbes]
Freedom is absence of opposition to action; the idea of 'free will' is absurd [Hobbes]
If a man suddenly develops an intention of doing something, the cause is out of his control, not in his will [Hobbes]
Those actions that follow immediately the last appetite are voluntary [Hobbes]
An act of will can only occur if it has been caused, which implies a regress of causes [Spinoza]
'Free will' is a misunderstanding arising from awareness of our actions, but ignorance of their causes [Spinoza]
Would we die if we lacked free will, and were poised between equal foods? Yes! [Spinoza]
The mind is not free to remember or forget anything [Spinoza]
A thing is free if it acts only by the necessity of its own nature [Spinoza]
Men are not free to will, because they cannot help willing [Locke]
Saying we must will whatever we decide to will leads to an infinite regress [Leibniz]
If we know what is good or rational, our knowledge is extended, and our free will restricted [Leibniz]
The doctrine of free will arises from a false sensation we have of freedom in many actions [Hume]
Kant made the political will into a pure self-determined "free" will [Kant, by Marx/Engels]
We all regard ourselves a priori as free, but see from experience that character and motive compel us [Schopenhauer]
A thought comes when 'it' wants, not when 'I' want [Nietzsche]
Wanting 'freedom of will' is wanting to pull oneself into existence out of the swamp of nothingness by one's own hair [Nietzsche]
Philosophers invented "free will" so that our virtues would be permanently interesting to the gods [Nietzsche]
'Freedom of will' is the feeling of having a dominating force [Nietzsche]
I cannot prepare myself for the next thought I am going to think [Ryle]
If free will miraculously interrupts causation, animals might do that; why would we want to do it? [Frankfurt on Chisholm]
For Hobbes (but not for Kant) a person's actions can be deduced from their desires and beliefs [Chisholm]
Determinism claims that every event has a sufficient causal pre-condition [Chisholm]
Out of more than a hundred planets, Earth is the only one with the idea of free will [Vonnegut]
There is only a problem of free will if you think the notion of 'voluntary' can be metaphysically deepened [Williams,B]
It is an absurd Kantian idea that at the limit rationality and freedom coincide [Williams,B]
There is no need to involve the idea of free will to make choices about one's life [Baudrillard]
If reason could be explained in computational terms, there would be no need for the concept of 'free will' [Rey]
Free will isn't evidence against a theory of thought if there is no evidence for free will [Rey]
People believe they have free will that circumvents natural law, but only an incorporeal mind could do this [Flanagan]
We only think of ourselves as having free will because we first thought of God that way [Flanagan]
Roundworms live successfully with 302 neurons, so human freedom comes from our trillions [Pinker]
Brains can initiate free actions before the person is aware of their own decision [Edelman/Tononi]
The will hardly ever does anything; most of our life just happens to us [Gray]