Philosophy 1301 discussion(need to be divided into six documents)

Do We Have Free Will?

[Before completing this thread, make sure you have read section C in Chapter 7.]

In System of Nature by Baron d’Holbach (p. 446 in our text), d’Holbach presents the argument known as hard determinism, that free will doesn’t exist, that it is an illusion. For this discussion, give a 3-4 sentence summary of his argument that we do not have free will, and then give your response to his argument. Also, watch the video below in which philosopher and neuroscientist Sam Harris presents a thought experiment to show that free will doesn’t exist, and then describe your experience with this thought experiment.

Finally, if you think you have free will, how can you defend your position? Often in this discussion, students make claims such as “I have free will because I make choices” or “I have free will because I can do whatever I want.” But such responses commit the fallacy of begging the question. Essentially, such claims say ‘I have free will because I have free will.’ In your response, try to avoid committing this fallacy. 

Works Linked/Cited:

“Sam Harris Free Will Thought Experiment” YouTube, uploaded by Critical Thoughts, 4 Nov. 2018,  Accessed 4 May 2020.


Watch the video below. Then, explain your understanding of compatibilism. What is your response to this theory? What problems do you find with it, if any? 

Compatibilism: Crash Course Philosophy #25. YouTube video file. [8:54]. Crashcourse. 2016, Aug 22.

Moral Responsibility and Determinism

As you know from your reading in Chapter 7, particularly Section C, a good deal of evidence suggests we do not have free will, that determinism is true (make sure to distinguish between fate, which involves supernatural forces, and determinism, which does not; for this discussion, we are NOT referring to fate, the idea that supernatural forces control our lives). If determinism is true, then questions regarding moral responsibility take on new significance: how can we be morally responsible for our actions if we do not have free will? how might our evaluation of our own actions and the actions of others be affected? If people cannot do other than what they do, should they be praised and blamed for their actions? Watch the video below on moral luck, another complication related to questions of praise and blame, and then give your response to the 3 questions above. Your response should include specific references to the video as well as Section C of Chapter 7. 

Works Linked/Cited:

“Moral Luck: Crash Course Philosophy #39.” YouTube, uploaded by Crash Course, 12 Dec 2016, Accessed 4 May 2020.

Berkeley’s Idealism

Chapter 3 discusses idealism, the claim that nothing exists but our minds and their ideas. Many people find this a difficult theory to grasp, let alone accept. Watch the video below about idealism; it succinctly explains the theory as well as objections to it. Then, explain your understanding of idealism and your response to it. Do you accept idealism? Why or why not? If you don’t accept it, how do you refute it? 

Works Linked/Cited:

George Berkley’s Idealism. YouTube video file. [8:58]. Philosophy Vibe.. 2016, April 24.

Dreams and Evil Demons

State your understanding of Descartes’ dream argument and his Evil Demon/Genius argument. Exactly how do you know that you are not dreaming right now? Given the strength of the Evil Demon argument, how do you think one can escape the skepticism it seems to entail? What do you think we can know with absolute certainty? Defend your response with reasons and examples.

Would You Want to Live in the Matrix?

The film The Matrix is in large part based on Descartes’ Meditations, specifically the Evil Genius argument, and Plato’s allegory of the cave (video below). In The Matrix, one character, Cypher, wants to return to the matrix (a computer simulated reality), knowing full well that nothing he experiences there will be ‘real’ (see Agent Smith and Cypher video below). In thinking of how you value your experiences, specifically, what you value about them, is one criterion for assigning value related to whether or not an experience is real? Does it matter to you if something ‘really’ happened? Or, if you experience it as real, is that all that matters? If, at the end of your life, you were to find out that all of it had been a computer simulation, would that change the way you value the ‘experiences’ you had? Explain why or why not. 

Works Linked/Cited:

The Cave: An Adaption of Plato’s Allegory in Clay. YouTube video file. [3:10]. bullheadent. 2008, April 18.

Agent Smith and Cypher. YouTube Video file. [1:11]. pumasheen. 2006, Dec 12.

Essay Help
Calculate your paper price
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Why Work with Us

Top Quality and Well-Researched Papers

We always make sure that writers follow all your instructions precisely. You can choose your academic level: high school, college/university or professional, and we will assign a writer who has a respective degree.

Professional and Experienced Academic Writers

We have a team of professional writers with experience in academic and business writing. Many are native speakers and able to perform any task for which you need help.

Free Unlimited Revisions

If you think we missed something, send your order for a free revision. You have 10 days to submit the order for review after you have received the final document. You can do this yourself after logging into your personal account or by contacting our support.

Prompt Delivery and 100% Money-Back-Guarantee

All papers are always delivered on time. In case we need more time to master your paper, we may contact you regarding the deadline extension. In case you cannot provide us with more time, a 100% refund is guaranteed.

Original & Confidential

We use several writing tools checks to ensure that all documents you receive are free from plagiarism. Our editors carefully review all quotations in the text. We also promise maximum confidentiality in all of our services.

24/7 Customer Support

Our support agents are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and committed to providing you with the best customer experience. Get in touch whenever you need any assistance.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

Total price:

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Services

No need to work on your paper at night. Sleep tight, we will cover your back. We offer all kinds of writing services.


Essay Writing Service

No matter what kind of academic paper you need and how urgent you need it, you are welcome to choose your academic level and the type of your paper at an affordable price. We take care of all your paper needs and give a 24/7 customer care support system.


Admission Essays & Business Writing Help

An admission essay is an essay or other written statement by a candidate, often a potential student enrolling in a college, university, or graduate school. You can be rest assurred that through our service we will write the best admission essay for you.


Editing Support

Our academic writers and editors make the necessary changes to your paper so that it is polished. We also format your document by correctly quoting the sources and creating reference lists in the formats APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago / Turabian.


Revision Support

If you think your paper could be improved, you can request a review. In this case, your paper will be checked by the writer or assigned to an editor. You can use this option as many times as you see fit. This is free because we want you to be completely satisfied with the service offered.