Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Locke and Determinism

Locke and Determinism
From Locke’s work it isn’t clear whether he is a compatibilists or incompatibilist. However, his work can be used to illustrate both views.
Locke provides a metaphor for hard determinism to show how our ‘free-will’ as it were is an illusion. He says imagine a man in a locked in a dark room, he is not aware of the fact that he is locked and makes a choice that he wants to stay in the room. Actually the man has no choice and he has an illusion of free-will.
Locke goes on to say that in order to have free-will you need to have two things:
Choice - so the man in the room doesn’t have a choice but to have free-will is to have a choice between being in the room and outside it.
Ability: You need to be able to exercise your choice for example if you are lying on a hospital bed tied up to several drips etc although you have a choice to walk out you do not have the ability to make that choice.
So, essentially what Locke is trying to say is in certain situation we have no choice and ability therefore our actions are determined however the times when we do have this we have free-will. So we can see Locke’s views as soft determinism.

No comments:

Post a Comment