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Unit 7 Assignment – Freedom and Determinism

Instructions: Please note that the questions below are based on the Unit readings and are intended to be both an outline of the units’ material and the basis for your Unit Assessment, so please give your best effort to answering them thoroughly. The task is to respond to all 15 of the questions below. Each question will be worth two points.

The format for submission is to include the questions with the replies. Example:


How does one know what the good life is? 

– The good life is… 


1. Define Free Will. What is meant philosophically by the “Problem of Free Will or Dilemma of Determinism”?

2. In what ways do you think you are free? In what way do you think you are determined? (This answer doesn’t require the readings, just your reflection.)

3. Give an example to show why freedom does not mean the ability to make decisions and to act without undesirable consequences.

4. What are the origins of the English words liberty and freedom? In what way are the similar and in what nuance are they distinct?

5. Most people born in the twentieth century were raised with a conflicting set of beliefs concerning the issue of freedom. “ What does your textbook mean by this statement? (Quote in Chapter  7: FREEDOM and DETERMINISM)

6. Are you one of those people who claim to believe in FATE? Do you think that all things occur as they were meant to occur?  Do you believe that “What will be, will be”?Explain and try to give an example.

7. Explain the distinct philosophical views of the “compatibilist” and the incompatibilist” as they relate to free will and divine foreknowledge.

8. Give a formal definition of Fate and Destiny. Briefly describe the 3 possible scenarios that “those who consider the matter of fate, destiny, and freedom seriously must consider.” 

9. Define Causal Determinism, Hard Determinism, Soft Determinism, Indeterminism, and Libertarianism.

10. List some of the arguments used by libertarians in support of freedom of will. (Hint: the Data of Experience)

11. How does the modern American philosopher Richard Taylor define deliberation, and what does he say the presuppositions of deliberation are?

12. Read the “Summary of Taylor’s view by Omonia Vinieris” and give your own analysis of Taylor’s Theory. (75-100 words)

13. What is John Searle’s Solution to the Freewill Problem?

14. What is the Existentialist approach to the free will debate? Be sure to include the thoughts of both the French Existentialist Jean Paul Sartre as well as Nietzsche. (75-100 words)

15. What is Universal Determinism? State the “Thesis of Determinism.” What is fatalism?

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