light gazing, ışığa bakmak
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
depois de comer, pensar. fiz duas cadeiras de filosofia, que adorei, mas na altura não aguentei (trabalho, letras à noite, outros cursos). além disso estava na católica, rodeada de seminaristas novíssimos e cheios de uma energia em bruto às oito da manhã. tanto temos falado de filosofia, a matemática das ideias em língua.
"There is no such thing as free will. There is a fundamental sense of the word 'free' in which this is incontrovertibly true; and this has been known for a long time. There are plenty of senses of the word 'free' in which it is false. But the sense in which it is true seems to be the one that matters most to most people. Or rather, it seems to be the one that most people think matters most to them — rightly or wrongly.
Why is this sense of 'free' so important? (Why is it thought to be so important?) Because it is, among other things, the sense of 'free' that is in question when it is said that because people are free agents, they can properly be held to be truly responsible for their actions in such a way as to be truly deserving of praise and blame for them. It is the ordinary, strong sense of the word 'free'. Chapter 2 presents one version of the argument that such freedom is impossible.
If Chapter 2 is supposed to prove that there is no such thing as free will, what is the rest of the book about? It is partly about some of those senses of the word 'free' given which free will can be said to exist. But it is principally concerned with what one might call the 'general cognitive phenomenology' of freedom: it is concerned with our beliefs, feelings, attitudes, practices, and ways of conceiving or thinking about the world, in so far as these involve the notion of freedom. It is concerned with the experience we have of being free agents, and of being truly responsible for what we do in such a way that we can be truly deserving of praise and blame. It considers the causes, the character, and the consequences of this experience.
Why concentrate in this way on the experience of being free, rather than the thing itself? Because the best way to try to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the free will debate, and of the reason why it is interminable, is to study the thing that keeps it going — our experience of freedom. Because this experience is something real, complex, and important, even if free will itself is not real. Because it may be that the experience of freedom is really all there is, so far as free will is concerned."
G. Strawson em Freedom and Belief.
A more cumbersome statement of the Basic Argument goes as follows.
(1) Interested in free action, we are particularly interested in actions that are performed for a reason (as opposed to 'reflex' actions or mindlessly habitual actions).
(2) When one acts for a reason, what one does is a function of how one is, mentally speaking. (It is also a function of one's height, one's strength, one's place and time, and so on. But the mental factors are crucial when moral responsibility is in question.)
(3) So if one is to be truly responsible for how one acts, one must be truly responsible for how one is, mentally speaking—at least in certain respects.
(4) But to be truly responsible for how one is, mentally speaking, in certain respects, one must have brought it about that one is the way one is, mentally speaking, in certain respects. And it is not merely that one must have caused oneself to be the way one is, mentally speaking. One must have consciously and explicitly chosen to be the way one is, mentally speaking, in certain respects, and one must have succeeded in bringing it about that one is that way.
(5) But one cannot really be said to choose, in a conscious, reasoned, fashion, to be the way one is mentally speaking, in any respect at all, unless one already exists, mentally speaking, already equipped with some principles of choice, 'P1'—preferences, values, pro-attitudes, ideals—in the light of which one chooses how to be.
(6) But then to be truly responsible, on account of having chosen to be the way one is, mentally speaking, in certain respects, one must be truly responsible for one's having the principles of choice P1 in the light of which one chose how to be.
(7) But for this to be so one must have chosen P1, in a reasoned, conscious, intentional fashion.
(8) But for this, i.e. (7), to be so one must already have had some principles of choice P2, in the light of which one chose Pl.
(9) And so on. Here we are setting out on a regress that we cannot stop. True self-determination is impossible because it requires the actual completion of an infinite series of choices of principles of choice.'
(10) So true moral responsibility is impossible, because it requires true self-determination, as noted in (3).
This may seem contrived, but essentially the same argument can be given in a more natural form. (1) It is undeniable that one is the way one is, initially, as a result of heredity and early experience, and it is undeniable that these are things for which one cannot be held to be in any way responsible (morally or otherwise). (2) One cannot at any later stage of life hope to accede to true moral responsibility for the way one is by trying to change the way one already is as a result of heredity and previous experience. For (3) both the particular way in which one is moved to try to change oneself, and the degree of one's success in one's attempt at change, will be determined by how one already is as a result of heredity and previous experience. And (4) any further changes that one can bring about only after one has brought about certain initial changes will in turn be determined, via the initial changes, by heredity and previous experience. (5) This may not be the whole story, for it may be that some changes in the way one is are traceable not to heredity and experience but to the influence of indeterministic or random factors. But it is absurd to suppose that indeterministic or random factors, for which one is ex hypothesi in no way responsible, can in themselves contribute in any way to one's being truly morally responsible for how one is.
The claim, then, is not that people cannot change the way they are. They can, in certain respects (which tend to be exaggerated by North Americans and underestimated, perhaps, by Europeans). The claim is only that people cannot be supposed to change themselves in such a way as to be or become truly or ultimately morally responsible for the way they are, and hence for their actions.
(Adapted from Freedom and Belief, 1986, published in Philosophical Studies, 75/1-2 (Kluwer 1994), 5-24, and reprinted in Free Will, ed. Watson, 2003, p.212.)