Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Scientific Naturalism: Deterministic

Determinism: the doctrine that all the facts in the physical universe, and hence also in human history, are absolutely dependent upon and conditioned by their causes. In psychology: the doctrine that the will is not free but determined by psychical or physical conditions. Also called scientific naturalism.

This doctrine is expressed in the late 20th c. (and now 21st c.) thinking expressed by Susan Blackmore, Paul Bloom, Paul Broks, Daniel Dennett, Sheldon Drobny, Owen Flanagan, Ursula Goodenough, Joseph Hilbe, Nicholas Humphrey, Brian Leiter ,Thomas Metzinger, Tamler Sommers, and John Symons, a list supplied by the website The Center for Naturalism, operated by Tom Clark.

Clark himself explains the doctrine this way:

"Each of us is an unfolding natural process, and every aspect of that process is caused, and is a cause itself. [ ] Seeing that we are fully caused creatures - not self-caused - we can no longer take or assign ultimate credit or blame for what we do. [ ] We don’t have free will in the sense of being able to choose or decide without being fully caused in our choices or decisions. Instead, as individuals we are part of the natural unfolding of the universe in all its amazing complexity.

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