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Determinism is the belief that everything that occurs in the universe is 100% caused by everything that occurred before it since the beginning of time. Many famous philosophers from the very beginning of philosophy have been determinists.

Opponents to determinists are indeterminists. Indeterminists instead self-identify under a number of religions and philosophies which believe in Cartesian dualism, which is the idea that everything is determined except brain activity in humans.

Soft vs hard determinism[edit | edit source]

Soft determinists believe in free will and try to awkwardly reframe cartesian dualism as part of the natural world.

Hard determinists do not believe in free will, and consider the concept illogical. Hard Determinism is fundamentally at odds with some political and social movements, including neoliberalism and associated movements, and cognitive behavioural therapy.

Hard determinism - not a fringe theory[edit | edit source]

Hard determinism is the basis for all the hard sciences. Try answering any science quiz with, "the proton just chose to", or "its the protons free choice!", or "I hate this neuroscience, you are dehumanizing the human brain!". Self-described incels tend to be hard determinist. Some famous academic hard determinists include

  • Galen Strawson[1]
  • Patricia Churchland, analytic philosopher who wrote, The Computational Mind.
  • Francis Crick, who solved DNA structure, and also wrote The Astonishing Hypothesis which argued against free will in a hard determinist context.

Determinism vs. fatalism[edit | edit source]

Determinism doesnt make a claim on what should be done. Fatalism does. Determinism is descriptive whereas fatalism is prescriptive. Fatalism is more of a lifestyle whereas determinism is a philosophy. Even though a belief in hard determinism easily leads to fatalism, the two are not the same concepts.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]