A. J. Ayer Freedom And Necessity Summary

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A.J Ayer Explication In A.J Ayer’s paper, Freedom and Necessity, he means to address the problem of free will. The problem being that we are presented with two conflicting assumptions; first is that we have the capacity to act freely and are responsible for any resulting actions, while the second is that the world revolves around causal laws and that our actions are the result of impetuses outside of our control. In the ongoing debate of free will versus determinism, most fall into either one camp or the other. However Ayer suggests that, like many issues, the answer does not necessarily lie on either side of the spectrum but rather somewhere in between. In doing so, he argues that free will and determinism alone are insufficient for his purposes and instead argues that the two are in fact compatible. First, in his objections to free will, Ayer provides the standard argument against it. That our actions are either accidents or not accidents. If they are accidental, that is, the actions are a…show more content…
Ayer does so by attacking one of its primary assumptions, namely that every event must have a cause. Thanks to the discovery and implementation of scientific laws and advances, we are able to trace causal links quite far. That is, it is now within our ability to connect a series of events and use them to explain our actions or why things happen. However, especially in the realm of human behavior, there are things for which currently these laws do not account for. For example, we can assume with reasonable certainty that if a particular person were placed under a tragic circumstance he or she would be grief-stricken. However, these laws do not tell us how severe their grief will be, how long it will last or what they will do to alleviate it. Therefore it is possible that there exists other objects and phenomena outside the jurisdiction of these laws, the causal chain of which we cannot

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