The very word determinism has a rather undefined meaning, much because the philosophers have different meanings in the word and defined it in a different way. In general, we can say that determinism is a teaching which means that all that happens is preceded by one cause and thus is predetermined, such that A determines B, and B has happened from A. This means that man has no free will to design himself. their lives and choose their paths.
All events are governed by a binding legacy, so one event causes another only if there is a law that binds them together. This means that, in a broad perspective, we can, in principle, predict everything that will happen. An extreme form of determinism even means we can know everything about the future and the past. By having a complete knowledge of how the world is today, we can see how everything will evolve in the future. Furthermore, the free will is defined as the ability to choose between different possible courses of action. This essay will investigate if underlaying causes and legacy will undermine the total concept of the free will.
Underlying causes always make a big difference to what decision to make. Causes such as education, inheritance, experience, social circumstances help one to make the decisions that must be taken. However, some consider that these factors not only affect one’s choice but also determine them. They therefore think that there is no chance of acting in any other way than what they did. They therefore believe in determinism. An example would be: A girl is dancing in a nightclub and a stranger comes over and invites her for a drink. She believes that he will become hard and demand something in return for the accepted drink, yet she accepts it. The question is if she could have done this any other way than receiving the drink. Those who follow determinism do not believe it. They therefore mean that all decisions that are made are based on events that have taken place earlier.
In this case, the basics of her decision may be that she was raised with an increased trust on strangers, or that she in a short time spent a lot of money and did not want to waste any more money, or simply that she has no experience of what could be a danger to be invited to drink by strangers, or if the stranger looked good and reliable. All this background gives a picture of why she received the drink. If circumstances were different, she may have not trust the stranger so much, maybe if she had more money on her, or a suspicious mate in the shadows, then she might not have accepted the drink. But could she have done otherwise in the same situation? Do you really have the total opportunity to choose freely what to do until you decide?
Moreover, determinism’s part of modern psychology is quite small because it contradicts the free choice, and therefore for various reasons why you make the choices you make. But the connection to think about is the emphasis psychology puts on the legacy. Heritage can be different things, depending on the definition. If you think of the inheritance as something, as a part of yourself, uninfluenced, one can see traits of determinism in psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis emphasizes inner forces, such as needs, motives and desires we cannot control, which are the reasons for why we act and think as we do. According to Sigmund Freud, we can dedicate these needs to our childhood. For example, if we do not get enough physical contact during infancy this may affect us by feeling distrust and negative attitude towards others throughout the rest of our lives. This, plus the importance of genes and biology as Freud also emphasizes, is something we cannot control over, but still affect in all the choices we make.
In conclusion, the free will contains elements of traditional determinism and in the psychoanalysis determinism. Since we have not investigated some external factors, such as the will of God or similar, the choices we make are probably caused by something that lies within ourselves, something from our past. And if that is true then we are determined by our own personality, our previous choices, our history of life and heritage and environment. This is not a traditional determinism because everything is not completely beyond our control, because it does not. The free will is still there because we can influence our choices themselves, but within certain limits, because we will always be guided by our personality.