Patricia Churchland Analysis

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4. Many people like to think that we are completely free beings and that everything we do is a result of a decision we made ourselves. However, not all of our actions are free; many of the things we do are influenced by something else and therefore become deterministic. For example, the morals and values we have influence us to behave a certain way. Some people may think that they chose to have those morals and values and therefore it was an act of free will; however, many of those things were dependent upon what their parents taught them was moral and valuable. Another example in which our actions are not always free is when we succumb to peer pressure. When we behave a certain way because we think society will find it acceptable is not an …show more content…

She believes that we must redefine what free will is because its traditional definition does not work. She explains how free will was defined as being an uncaused choice; however, she brought up the point that our brains make decisions for us and therefore none of our choices are “uncaused”. Instead, Churchland suggests that we replace discussion of free will with self-control. She claims that self-control can be used to explain what free will cannot. She describes instances where people do things that others cannot begin to understand why; for example, she tells the case of a man that molested his stepdaughter and the case of a mother who drowned her children. Churchland explains how a tumor or an epileptic seizure compromises one’s ability to control their actions; free will offers no valid explanation for such actions. I believe that Churchland is right in changing the topic from free will to self-control because there are so many people that believe we are completely free when we are not. People that believe we have free will would say that the man and woman Churchland spoke about chose to commit those actions without an external force causing it and this is certainly not the

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