Essay: Analyzing theory of compatibilism

Sample Essay

Due to the nature of the theory itself the compatibilism theory tends to attract criticism from both the determinists as well as the libertarians. The main point of argument is that both of these theorists believe that it is not possible for the theory of determinism and free will to exist together. They see the scenario as black and white and state that it is possible for human behavior to be either having free will or not be having free will at all.

Specifically speaking, the determinist’s state that the theory of compatibilism is simply puts freedom of will in a different spotlight, therefore changing the original concept of free will. “The determinists criticize the compatibilists for claiming that there is any freedom at all. The determinists think the compatibilists are defining freedom in a different manner in order to make the claim that there is some freedom of choice. The determinists hold that all apparent decision making or choices are determined by internal and external factors, including desires, motives, principles that are in turn the effects of prior causes” (Pecorino, 2001)However there do exist soft determinists who side with the theory of compatibilism and accept its relevance.

The libertarians however do not side with the theory of compatibilism at all. They state that it is not possible for any factors or events or even past experiences to affect the behavior, cognition and decision making of a person under free will. They are strongly against the theory of compatibilism. “The Libertarians criticize the compatibilists for being determinists in a different guise.” (Pecorino, 2001)

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