Presentation on theme: " Humans are metaphysically free Our choices define us and as a result our intuitions about the human condition are satisfied. Dualism Kant Existentialism."— Presentation transcript:
Humans are metaphysically free Our choices define us and as a result our intuitions about the human condition are satisfied. Dualism Kant Existentialism What does all of this mean?
Metaphysics, uses logic based on the meaning of human terms, rather than on a logic tied to human sense perception of the objective world Metaphysics might include the study of the nature of the human mind, the definition and meaning of existence, or the nature of space, time, and/or causality.
The origin of philosophy, beginning with the Pre-Socratics, was metaphysical in nature. For example, the philosopher Plotinus held that the reason in the world and in the rational human mind is only a reflection of a more universal and perfect reality beyond our limited human reason What does all this mean in terms of human condition?
dualism is a set of views about the relationship between mind and matter, which begins with the claim that mental phenomena are, in some respects, non-physical. While Aristotle shared Plato's view of multiple souls, hierarchical arrangement corresponded to distinctive functions of plants, animals and people: a nutritive soul of growth and metabolism, shared by all three, a perceptive soul of pain, pleasure and desire, shared by animals and people only, and the faculty of reason, unique to humanity
While Aristotle shared Plato's view of multiple souls, his hierarchical arrangement corresponded to distinctive functions of plants, animals and people: a nutritive soul of growth and metabolism, shared by all three, a perceptive soul of pain, pleasure and desire, shared by animals and people only, and the faculty of reason, unique to humanity. If we have a soul which works in tune with our physical body, how would this effect the human condition and free will?
The idea of a good will is supposed to be the idea of one who only makes decisions that she holds to be morally worthy, taking moral considerations in themselves to be conclusive reasons for guiding her behaviour. This sort of disposition or character is something we all highly value. Kant claims as human beings we feel we have a ‘duty’ to do the right thing. ‘Ought implies can’ therefore we have the free will to choose whether to act selflessly and therefore morally (based on his idea of universal moral law) or in our self interest, regardless of the consequence.
Søren Kierkegaard maintained that the individual is solely responsible for giving his or her own life meaning and for living that life passionately and sincerely, in spite of many existential obstacles and distractions including despair, angst, absurdity, alienation, and boredom.
Subsequent existentialist philosophers retain the emphasis on the individual, but differ, in varying degrees, on how one achieves and what constitutes a fulfilling life, what obstacles must be overcome, and what external and internal factors are involved, including the potential consequences of the existence or non-existence of God.
Existentialism became fashionable in the post-World War years as a way to reassert the importance of human individuality and freedom. Which has an extremely close relationship to the views of Libertarians.
Libertarianism makes a distinction between a persons formed personal character and their moral self. Personality is an empirical concept. Governed by causal laws. The personality one has formed limits actions, influences choices and may make us accustomed to certain actions, e.g. Bulger case But it is not definitive.
It is possible that the youths moral self will counteract the tendencies of his personality. The moral self is therefore, an ethical concept rather than an empirical concept. It is operative when we make choices. Most commonly this is in operation when we talk about making a decision between self-interest and duty. (Kant) In the example of stealing / not stealing the moral self is able to make a causally undetermined choice.
Through an effort of will the moral self overcomes the pressures of personality and becomes morally responsible for what they do. It is this capacity which distinguishes men from animals, the former are capable of moral choice, whist the latter are not.
Political libertarianism investigates the relationship between the state and the individual. We are free and morally responsible for our actions. JS Mill – On Liberty Contains an outspoken defence of free speech. Individuals should not be crushed by the will of the many in society. The individual should be heard at all times and they are the most important. The freedom of the individual is primary. What theory have you studied which is an opposition to this point? Individuality is part of what being human is. It is part of the human condition and allows the person to develop fully and in order to do this they must have free speech and freedom of action. (within reason) Our freedom to act marks both our moral capacity but also our personality. Who I am is defined by the choices I have made in the past. Freedom is important because it is an important part of what it means to be a moral self. Why do you think this is?
In this age the mere example of non-conformity, the mere refusal to bend the knee to custom, is itself a service. If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person that he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind. The worth of the state, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it. The individual is not accountable to society for his actions in so far as these concerns the interests of no person but himself. The only purpose of which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community against his will is to prevent harm to other members. The liberty of the individual must be thus far limited, he must not make himself a nuisance to other people. JS Mill On Liberty
Individuality is essential for what it means to be a human. Freedom is necessary to be able to express that individuality. The state should protect the rights of the individual. What does this idea not cover? JS Mill On Liberty
Mill only says that Freedom is required for moral responsibility and to be truly Human. He does not say whether or not it is possible. He does not provide an argument against determinism. JS Mill On Liberty
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