David Hume’s Argument on Compatibilism

David Hume advanced the idea of compatibilism. It states that the truth of one person cannot be ruled out by that of another individual. Indeed, compatibilism argues that free will does not rule out determinism. Moreover, human actions are both causally and freely determined (Hume 23). With certainty, being at liberty does not require determinism to be absent, but individual actions are caused in a particular way. Freedom has different accounts in the indeterministic and deterministic universe. Indeed, compatibilists seek to argue that liberty is compatible with being determinism or not (Ainslie 235). David Hume argues that people are not free unless they are predetermined. Hume considers the necessary connection to the topic of liberty and necessity. He sees the matter as being controversial based on the determinism and free will that are regarded as disputants and not clearly defined. For instance, he argues that people would have the same opinion if there were thecareful and precise definition of free will and necessity. Indeed, Hume examines what necessity is metaphysical. Notably, certain laws determine the significant effects, forces and causes of nature that control the motion of bodies without exemption (Ainslie 152). However, Hume has discussed the ideas of necessary causation and connection from the context of observation of the determination of the mind and constant juxtaposition. Therefore, the concept of necessary connection is inferred but cannot be observed directly in nature. The rationale of this paper will be to explain David Hume’s argument for compatibilism, determine if an action can be both free and determined and consider what a determinist and libertarian might say to Hume.

According to Hume compatibilism seeks to create space for freedom in the society. Notably, freedom does not depend on the deficiency of causality for it to be existent. David Hume’s impression is that an act is executed freely in a circumstance an agent could have acted otherwise if he or she had wanted so. For instance, if an individual accepts an invitation to attend a birthday party is free as if he or she had declined the offer. Hume takes into account the laws that govern behavior and human nature in his theory of compatibilism. He establishes that throughout cultures and history behavior of individuals remains the same. Indeed, related motives yield like actions. With certainty, like causes yield-related events in the world (Hetherington 27). Moreover, what is termed as human nature is derived from distinct regularity that is observable in the human character in all categories of situations. For instance, if we observe physical occurrence that runs counter the expectations will not confirm that laws of physics have been eliminated, but instead hostile and unobserved force have been acting against the predictions. Notably, Hume argues that we can concretely explain the unexpected character of an individual in the world. With certainty, we might perceive individuals as acting randomly and thus think that they have a hidden cause or strange personality feature that makes them move divergent to the prospects (Ainslie 230).

People like physical objects understand to behave in agreement withstrict principles and laws that might be familiar to us. Indeed, people would approve that we infer and predict regarding human behavior with a close consideration to observed uniformities found in other aspects. Notably, individual behavior is directed by particular expectations of the character of others. For instance, a peasant cannot work on the land and later put his crops on sale if he did not have expectations of getting paid a fair price for the crops. Hume argues that any resistance that might emerge based on this view may result in thefalse possibility that is perceived imperative to the acquaintances of nature (Hume 37). Therefore, societal inferences concerning human nature are founded on the observation of constant conjunction. Therefore, we are likely to deny the necessity that dictates our actions in the society. With certainty, if we allow ourselves to observe that there is no necessary connection overriding our physical sensation, we are likely to see our speculations of physical behavior and human behavior diminish to arelated set of observations. Indeed, the necessary connection of the human behavior is not found in the character but the mind of the observer (Hetherington 69).

Free will or liberty does not merely rely on actions that are disconnected from the motives but simply that the activities depend on the determination of the free will to do something. Therefore, liberty should be juxtaposed with theinability to obey one’s will rather focus on necessity. With certainty, the debate concerning the compatibility of determinism (necessity) and free will (Liberty) has a distinguished and long history in the field of philosophy. The study is even perpetuated to the present times. The critical question under scrutiny is how to reconcile the two since all the actions are causally forced while otherwise it could have behaved on free will (Ainslie 107). Incompatibilistargues that if actions are causally necessitatedthen, individual actions should be causally necessitated. Notably, if human events are causally necessitated, individuals are not likely to behave the way they do. Moreover, incompatibilist claims that determinism and liberty are incompatible. Conversely, incompatibilist points out their claims for either ethics or metaphysics while basing their argument on free will and determinism (Hume 72). Strong determinists ignore the knowledge that people have a free will and thus raising serious ethical concerns how individuals can be held up responsible for their actions in the society. For instance, might argue why he/she should be blamed if he/she behaved otherwise. With certainty, libertarians cast-off the impression that determinism are correct and thus raising fundamental concerns regarding order and necessity in the world (Hetherington 209).

Ultimately, Hume clings to compatibilist side while debating on determinism and free will. He claims that the two notions can be reunited and thus this position depends on defining determinism and free will in a logical manner that will hinder the incompatibilist criticism (Hume 34). Entirely, Hume relies on altering the conception of determinism in the universe. Hume argues that incompatibilist portrays determinism on the basis that necessary connection or causation in physical interfaces limit the existence of human behavior. The idea of necessity develops in the mind for determination to perceive two actions that are related. According to Hume determinism concludes the relying of two actions that are causally necessitated and thus depends on the perception of the two events being causally necessitated. Ultimately, Hume redefines liberty to solidify it compatible with the new formation of determinism. He further contrasts that determinism is a freedom that needs to be actedupon, and thus, it needs to be aconstraint to work in line with an individual will (Ainslie 139). Indeed, an event is deemed free and thus raising philosophical concerns of what ought to have happened.

Hume manages to reunite determinism and free will by portraying deflation of the causal necessity. For instance, if there is no deep connection but only relentless conjunction between the human actions thenactual events are leveled on the human character. In free will and determinism, individuals observe particular regularities, make predictions and act on the predictions. Conversely, the more the predictions seem right; the more optimistic individuals become in making predictions in that field. Hume’s understanding of human nature is deeply rooted in the 18th Century Enlightenment era (Hetherington 47). The thinkers of this period believed in universality and uniformity of the human reason. They argued that people entirely think the same way and are the same in the physical outlook. Notably, the exact reasoning should be globally needed and applicable. Conversely, the postmodern thinkers tend to hold a relativistic and skeptical position towards original thinking in a manner suggesting that what is true might not be faithful to another person. Hume’s contention that all individuals follow the same cause and motive are held under a closer scrutiny of the present world (Ainslie 39).

Indeed, the idea of compatibilism was advanced by David Hume. Notably, the truth of one individual cannot be ruled by the other. Hume argues that we only become free unless we become predetermined. With certainty, there is a greater connection to the topic of free will and necessity. Hume idea of compatibilism seeks to create a space for freedom in the society. Equally, freedom does not depend on the deficiency of causality for it to be authentic. Liberty and determinism do not depend on the actions that are disconnected but depend on the determination of free will to do something that is deemed correct (Hume 47). A critical concern has emerged on how the two domains can be reconciled, but instead, they have proved incompatible according to the incompatibilist. The incompatibilist defends their claims in the metaphysics context. With certainty, Hume argues that free will and determinism can be reconciled based on the definition of the two ideas.

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