According to William James, what are the unpleasant implications of determinism? Do you agree that the implications are as menacing as William James thinks they are?
William James defined determinism as a lack of choice, with every part of the universe designed to follow an exact and unchanging path. The implications of this mean humanity has no control over its future and that concepts like morality and justice are pointless. However, James argues reality is actually indeterministic, and therefore the implications of determinism should not be seen as menacing since they are only hypothetical.
Late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century American philosopher William James laid forth the definitions of both "determinism" and "indeterminism" in his treatise The Dilemma of Determinism.
The former, he suggests, declares that all "those parts of the universe already laid down absolutely appoint and decree what the other parts shall be." In other words, everything exists for a purpose and is essential to that purpose; some call a future that has been predetermined "fate." This means anything that lies outside of this predetermined plan is a sheer impossibility, and those who argue that certain possibilities that could have materialized did not are simply tricked into believing an illusion.
He notes that indeterminism is...
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