Free will

suitor will is voluntary like free will and a name for wanting humans, which determines these on his part, thus, and above all freely. Self determining or self-determination it appears generally less problematic than the question where meant the here Liberty exists and above all, about which own wanting is in detail free and must be, thus from a free will and/or. of free will to be spoken can.

Table of contents

containmentthe term of the free will

in the everyday life the statement, humans means it has somewhat voluntarily or “from free pieces “done generally that he decided to this doing and in addition with no pressure or obligation was pushed or forced. Openlyor remains unclear thereby how it arrived at its resolution.

With respect to this regard already the normal or everyday life psychology between intended actions and inadvertent, reflexful come reactions differentiates. Such do not stand with a resolution or once fixed resolutions, purposes and goalsand associated desires, intentions or motives in connection, but come off on momentarily noticed incentives of different kind like internal impulses (urge, longing) or outside attractions . Reactions of this kind are called in demarcation to conscious actions easily misleadingly also impulse actions,although it concerns thereby automatic movements.

The Tätigkeitswort or verb “wants to become” and as in the expression” my last will “ sense-same noun or noun “the will” therefore often ambiguously used, in particular if even if between impulsive behavior and shortdecidedcome-coming that acting one does not differentiate exactly. On the other hand the specializedpsychological use of the term is will in the emotiven or Volitions - and/or. Will psychology in principle to decision-making processes referred: intended is thereafter doing only and only then if

  • two or more for the order and thus toSelection standing reaction possibilities or action alternatives was considered by humans,
  • by it one of it out for it to important reasons selected itself,
  • it decided, to these to commit itself
  • and it in the further - on likewise by it specified way and to onebesides also from it determined time - “into practice put ".

Details of these regulations are also well-known. Already the vernacular speaks of freedom of election, resolution or freedom of choice and of freedom of action as well as their aspects such as scope of action, freedom of movement, freedom of contract, liberty of opinion, thought liberty, freedom of religion, faith or confessionor uninformativeness, pressing and broadcast liberty.

The occasionally represented alleged “Gegenkonzept” to the free will, the ambiguous or contradictory expression” the unfree will “owes itself obviously the colloquial speech way, in which one if one itself on threat or other pressure to an actiondecided, to say can, one acted involuntarily. Psychologically seen against it everyone always is like come action intended; with all other movements of humans it acts around reflexful, in the everyday life language “also automatically” reactions mentioned.

consequences of the free will/moral ones Responsibility

the free will, and concomitantly each freely wanted action, on the subject decreases/goes back there, the concept of the free will frequently with the concept of the moral responsibility is linked. Therefore humans for each “free action” are drawable to the account, and/or. to pullaccordingly to confront and with positive or negative sanctions. Accordingly also controversies over the question accompany with controversies over the free will whether, and/or. in which sense one for the own actions is morally responsible. In what respect from such discussions actual consequences - e.g. in the criminal law- to pull are, is however another debate.

Inkompatibilisten tend to consider December RMI sneezing mash and moral responsibility incompatible. How can one make someone responsible for an act, which was pre-determined from the beginning of all times on?

Hard December-RMI-sneezed reject therefore the concept of the moralResponsibility - Clarence Darrow used this argument in its famous defense of the murderers Leopold and Loeb - while Libertarianer reject the December RMI sneezing mash. This topic seems to be the core of the argument between hard December-RMI-sneezed and Kompatibilisten.

Hard December-RMI-sneezed must admit that we often in the kompatibilistischen, Denials have sense “free will” however that this is the meaning of free will, those really count in the sense that them can serve moral responsibility as reason: The fact that the decisions of an action do not develop under obligation, does not change anything in the fact thatthat December RMI sneezing mash the action of the responsibility relieves.

Kompatibilisten argue against the fact often in such a way that that is December RMI sneezing mash a straight precondition for moral responsibility: one cannot make anybody for somewhat responsible, it is, its actions through something was determined (this argument goes on David Hume back).

Finally it applies that in case of indeterminism those events, which are not determined are purely coincidental. How can one praise someone or to blames for something, which rose purely coincidentally from its nervous excitations? Instead it is argued that one, around a person for somewhat responsible toomake, to show must, like the action by the desires and preferences of the person were justified - by the character of the person.

Libertarianer answer on the fact that and-scheduled actions are not completely coincidental, but from a substantial will rises, whose decisions are and-scheduled. This beginning becomes far awayas not satisfyingly outstandingly, since it needs the problem only one step further back shifted and in addition a very mysteriöse Metaphysik.

the conception of a free will numerous doubting already particularly saw itself philosophical positions in the Greek antiquity, but since beginning of the clearing-upsuspended. Here different beginnings exist.

the problem of the December RMI sneezing mash and indeterminism

  • December RMI sneezing mash designates the view that all conditions of the world are necessarily certain by all previous conditions. What happens next, is completely certain (determined) by what alreadyhappened.
  • Indeterminism designates the opposite view that there (at least some) would be events, which are certain by earlier conditions not completely. At least some that happens, is not completely certain by, what already happened.

With the beginning of the modern natural science sat down in thatScience the view through, the world is deterministic. The view (absolute) as well as of the December RMI sneezing mash can be illustrated with the picture of the Laplace' Dämons, the all knowledge over past and present for the order has all valid laws of nature knows and from this the entire future completely to inlast detail to predict can.

Some philosophers regarded the concepts of the free will and the December RMI sneezing mash as incompatible. If the will, how to everything else in the world also, would be subject to the December RMI sneezing mash, can then the will, and thus all decisions and actions outgoing from it, not thatCorrespond to picture of the free will. One calls this philosophical view Inkompatibilismus that December RMI sneezing mash and free will are incompatible. Inkompatibilisten assume a person acts exactly freely (possesses a free will) if it is the only causing reason for the action andanother decision could have met. If that applied December RMI sneezing mash, then each choice, which we make, would be already predetermined by earlier events outside of our sphere of influence. Our decisions would be only a further result of the determined world order, the free will only an illusion predetermined for primeval times. Outthis time comes the today's confrontation from December RMI sneezing mash and free will.

“Hard December-RMI-sneezed” like baron d'Holbach are those Inkompatibilisten, those the December RMI sneezing mash accept and the free will denial. Libertarianer Inkompatibilisten are called such as van Inwagen, those the free will to affirm and therefore the position of thephilosophical indeterminism accept (not to confound with the political direction of the same name).

it will represent however also the position that that is compatible December RMI sneezing mash with the free will. Kompatibilisten such as Thomas Hobbes assume a person acts exactly freely ifit an action wants to act and also differently can, if it wants to act differently. Whether the decision is fixed deterministically long, does not play a role, since the free will does not know the determined future. For Kompatibilisten freely its in the long run to act after reasons those means thatActing ones are not conscious.

Sometimes in the discussion around the free will also in the cases one refers to, in which clearly no free will is present (z. B. Victim of rape, murder, theft). The free will is here reduced however not by the fact that the past thoseFuture determines, but that an aggressor ignores the free will of the victim. December RMI sneezing mash plays here no role. Crucial it is rather that our decisions are the result of our desires and preferences and are not waived not by external (or even internal) influences.

December RMI sneezing mash -Paradox

() of the December RMI sneezing mash in the sense of the Laplace' Dämons leads to a paradox. He states in the long run that everything happens exactly the same, how it happens. Thus one cannot differentiate (strictly) a deterministic world from a indeterministischen world. Each acceptance of a free will would be,just like each acceptance of the opposite already pre-determined. A strictly deterministic world could assume from itself to be a indeterministische world.

On the other hand also () indeterminism can be attributed to this paradox. Also a indeterministische world would know both the December RMI sneezing mash and indeterminismassume, without being able to decide it however.

In addition indeterminism proceeds from the free will only for the future. Everything which in the past is appropriate, does not leave themselves any longer to affect. With it December RMI sneezing mash and indeterminism agree for the past. However one knows the future onlyjudge, if it is past.

Thus it come down to an illusory problem.

An alleged solution would be that several conditions can occur at the same time that the sentence of impossible third does not apply that there are several passingnesses and Zukünfte. However would be by observation after today's viewto decide not.

From the paradox it results that that does not have December RMI sneezing mash any actual influence on concrete acting.

a decision as free in

any relevant sense to be designated it knows, is necessary Kompatibilisti theories of the free will thereby in opinion of many,that the action it also differently could have made. They take this principle - van Inwagen calls it the “principle of the alternative possibilities” - as a necessary condition for liberty.

If e.g. a scientist a machine in Robert's brain uses, which causes Robert, the Federal President tookill, was not not free Robert's action, because Robert could not have acted differently.

Inkompatibilisten refer repeatedly to this principle, in order to show that December RMI sneezing mash and free will are incompatible.

“If a decision is completely certain by the past, as the action could decide,to do something else? “one asks. Whereupon it is answered that it is not only important whether the action something else could have done, but, whether he could have done something else, “if he would have wanted it”.

In addition some Kompatibilisten argues such as Frankfurt or Dennett thatit clear cases gives, where an action could have acted not differently, the decision of the action however was nevertheless free: What be in the case, would where Robert wanted to really kill the Federal President, and the machine in Robert's head begins only if Robert loses the nerves?If Robert runs so equipped by the city, this action would be surely free. Inkompatibilisten answer on the fact that the problem is with the fact that what “wanted” Robert, was already predetermined, before he noticed it.

Also large analyses of the free will were tried. A free actionnot only liberty of outside obligations could require, but also liberty of internal conflicts or obligations.

Obligation-clung behaviors and the actions of the spirit-disturbed are not free therefore. In addition the healthy human understanding says us that an action can unimportant also rationally or irrationally completely. Ineach case is which we mean with free will that an action is independent “owner” of its will of external or internal influences.

The English mathematician and philosopher John G. Bennett (1897-1974) presented the interesting thoughts for discussion that free will without the possibility and/or.without conscious entering of risk it is impossible and that this therefore a basic condition of the life, the existence of the universe are.


at the latest since the development of quantum physics is to be noted however that from the denial of the December RMI sneezing mash not inevitably the libertythe will is derivable. In the today's indeterministischen conception of the world the coincidence applies for quantum physics as a component of the physical world, that December RMI sneezing mash indeterminism yielded. However a coincidence regulation of the will is just as possible as its self-determination in a indeterministischen world.

Therefore it is in oneto ask indeterministischen world more attached whether the free will is compatible with the causal conception of the world of human thinking. Under causal criteria the free will is a cause of effects, our actions, which has even no influence from the outside, and an own cause exhibits.

(However is philosophicalto differentiate strictly between a epistemischen indeterminism and a ontologischen indeterminism. Epistemische indeterminism refers to our realization ability, i.e. we cannot determine clearly, which circumstances apply, but due to epistemological problems and borders, not, because “the thing” is indeterministisch. A ontologischer indeterminism against itrefers to “the thing”, i.e. the world. Thus the “solution” becomes with the quantum theory an alleged solution, to that extent it - usually - on a epistemischen indeterminism refers, not however to a ontologischen. Not few philosophers criticize therefore such allegedSolutions for the problem of the free will and point out that this option is possible then and only then, if we can actually proceed from a ontologischen indeterminism).

Schopenhauer, which admits this beginning made, saw basic celebrations of the human in the injury of the causality principle,Thinking, a counterargument against the free will. The free will is an illusion, in truth the will by chaotic influences outside of the subject steered. Under the external influences fall Sozialisation, genetic factors, and all environmental impressions.

scientific positions

in the process of history thatNatural sciences were made many attempts to answer the question of the free will using scientific principles. Early scientific conceptions often regarded the world as deterministic, and there was the view that with sufficient exact information the future can be predicted arbitrarily exactly. On the other hand is it in quantum mechanics no longer possible to predict the expiration of a procedure regarding all measurable sizes even if all accessible in principle information about its initial condition admits is (in practice it is not possible, which however it does not mean that the procedures not theoretically a deeperTo “it is subject law of nature”, with which we are again with the December RMI sneezing mash). After usual interpretation thereby the nature happening is not completely determined but is subject in a fundamental sense partially to the coincidence. (Again this only a practical coincidence is, theoretical can this “coincidence” evenly to a law of nature be subject, with which it noneCoincidence more is. It can be thus in no case of ontologischem indeterminism the speech.)

something similar as physicist to have also biologist frequently tried to illuminate the question of the free will. One of the most heated debates of biology is the question nature vs. Coinage. As importantare genetics and biological bases for the human behavior contrary to the coinage by culture and environment? Genetic studies identified many specific genetic factors, which affect the personality of an individual, from obvious cases like the down syndrome up to rather subtle effects like thatstatistic arrangement for schizophrenia. It is not safe nevertheless whether the coinage has by the environment less influence on the free will than genetic determining.

It became also possible in the last years to examine the living brain and there are different methods, thatProcess of the decision formation to observe, one generally with the free will identifies.

An experiment pointing the way in this area accomplished by Benjamin love into the 1980er years. The pro gangs were asked to move to any moment the wrist during simultaneous the brain activities notedbecame.

Love found out that the brain activity, which to it led that the person moves its wrist, about a half second the moment ago began, in which the person decided consciously to it, what points out that the decision in reality on an unconscious level takes placeand into a “conscious decision” one translates only later. An experiment which is connected with it was accomplished later by Alvaro Pascual Leone, with which the pro gangs were asked to move coincidentally the right or the left hand. It found out that by the Stimulation of the different brain halves by means ofmagnetic fields the choice of the person to be strongly affected could.

Strictly speaking these experiments do not show however that there is no free will. That would be the case only if decisions were singular, temporally exactly assignable events. In addition, from the everyday experience one knows thatDecision-making processes quite complex and lengthy to be can. The “conscious decision” could be seen simply as the last stage of a decision-making process, which began substantially in former times. Exactly the same the experiments of Alvaro Pascual Leone show only that an influence is possible.

Normally Rechtshänder select the right hand inapprox. 60% of all cases. However if the right brain half was stimulated, the left hand in 80% of all cases was selected (the right hemisphere of the brain is essentially responsible and in reverse for the left body half). Despite this provable influence the pro gangs reported from the outside further thatthey the conviction were the choice freely to have met.

A part of the representatives of modern neuro biology, so for instance Gerhard Roth, is increasing the view that the free will is an illusion. (Consider in addition the criticism at the communist manifesto of the 11 neuro scientists in Gehirn&Geist(Roth e.a., June 2004 [1]) under the title “only one illusory problem - to the epistemological premises of the neuro sciences”. Therein referring to of Max Planck parting lecture 1947, Bertrand Russell, briefly Gödel etc. with the conclusion that the phenomenon ranges of the Erlebnisphänomenologie (mind LANGUAGE) and that Brain physiology (brain LANGUAGE) to hold more strictly apart are.)

the neuro scientist Manfred pencil sharpener regard the free will among other things under neuropsychological aspects.

liberty understanding in

the Bible liberty does not define Christian-theological

positions [work on] after the today's yardsticks. Intoday's western culture area becomes liberty often with the words self implementation, Hedonismus, freeness among other things described. In the Bible liberty is always described as dependence on God. Humans not on God are dependent, depend and thus unfree after Biblical understanding on something different one. ThisLiberty understanding is crucial, wants to understand one the free will of humans in the Biblical sense. One has the liberty to decisions from therefore only in the dependence on God.

theological discussion

in theology several factors face each other, from “(un) the freeSake " one of the favourite topics of various theologians from all epochs made. However two substantial points crystallize, around which the discussion until today turns.

  • The omnipotence and all knowledgeness of God contradict the logic of the human freedom of choice.
  • The Bible contains verses, both the thoseLiberty of humans to even decide underlines, in addition, such, which deny this liberty to humans.

These two factors led to the fact that the Christian camp in two opposite fundamental convictions polarized itself. Even if already Augustinus in 4. Century concerned with the topic, sothe today's theological discussion can be limited to two names. On the side one finds Johannes Calvin, on the other page Jacobus Arminius. Calvin teaches the double Prädestination, after the God predetermined, who saved and who is condemned. Armin leansthe teachings Calvins decided off and confess the liberty to humans too to reject the grace of God however God has the Vorauswissen also according to its opinion, which humans accept the faith or not; its trailers are called Remonstranten. Bend within the broad spectrum of Christian churchessome denominations more strongly in addition the free will to stress than others. Thus the Roman-catholic church stands on the side of the free will of humans, it is because of each particular to accept the grace gifts of God. Also most free churches, which did not develop from the Pietismus,regard the free will of humans as given.Lutheri and calvinistische churches oppose and represent a double or simple Prädestination.

Both positions have however one together, each side must Biblical statements reinterpret or exclude, in order to justify their position. Both teachings failat a certain point and questions leave open, in particular regarding the question of the all good-naturedness of God and thus the Theodizee. Evenly this is also a reason, why also in 21. Century is discussed still this topic, because both theories to have their entitledObjections opposite that in each case different one. The discussion is not final however however still for a long time and it will be probably also never.

Some theologians as for instance Adolf Schlatter tried therefore, the paradox of a free will and the sovereignty of God in own way toounderstand. At his beginning can be shown, which elements are contained of the free will in the Christian understanding. An excerpt from its 1897 book, the service of the Christian appeared:

If the affiliation of a desiring to us is intimate and natureful [...], then we recognize it, [...]as the Unsrige on. However if opposite desiring are in us alive, then the new screen end upper will, [...] special importance, keeps because this new, selecting will causes the continuation of our will and personal record. In this last sense there is only after a good wanting ina choice developed for us; because it needs two Wollungen to the choice and the selecting will raises itself as third governing over the two different. In the Godless conditions the speech can be from free choice only in the sense that we us alsoour spoiled desiring unite always again and it as our own nature recognize and want.

This text contains elements both from the Calvinismus and the Arminiairismus (Remonstranten). Calvinisten as well as the majority of the Arminianer assume Godless humans under thatStand for rule of the sin. That is called humans does only which its nature corresponds, it can themselves for nothing decide, which lies outside of its nature-moderate understanding. It is God grace those humans in addition frees itself to decide. This view Schlatters is a synthesis from thatboth against laws aspects, it however not into the practical Religiosität flowed.


the demand for “liberty of the will,” in that metaphysical Superlativ understanding, like it unfortunately still in the heads the halfinformed prevails, the demand, the whole and last responsibility forits actions themselves to carry and God, world, ancestor, coincidence, to relieve society of it nothing smaller is not to be as evenly those causa sui and, with one more than Muenchhausen' schen itself boldness, from the sump anything at the hair in' s existence tooziehn. (Friedrich Nietz)

I laugh your free will and also your unfree: Illusion is not me what its will is called, it giebt will. (Friedrich Nietz: Deduction, summer 1883, 13 [1-36], Zarathustras holy laughters)

the thumb screw of everyone find: This is the art,to set the will of others in motion. It belongs to more fate than firmness. One must know, where is to be gotten to everyone. There is no will, which would not have its own slope, which, after the diversity of the taste, is different. All are Götzendiener, some thatHonour, other one of the interest, most of the pleasure. The trick consists of it that one knows this Götzen of everyone, in order to determine by means of the same it. If one, which is for everyone the effective impact, knows then is it, as if one would have the key to its will.One must decrease/go back now to the all first jumping feather/spring or primum the mobile in him, which however not the highest of its nature, but the lowest is mostly: because there are more bad than probably-arranged mind in this world. Now one must work on at the very front its mind,because give it by a word the impact, make finally with its favourite inclination the main attack; thus infallibly its free will becomes chess matt. (Baltasar Gracián: Handorakel and art of the world intelligence, 1647, translation: Arthur Schopenhauer)

I does not know honestly, what the people mean, if themof the liberty of the human will speak. I have for example the feeling that I want something; but which has to do with liberty, I cannot understand at all. I feel the fact that I mean whistle to anzünden want and does also; but howcan I connect with the idea of the liberty? What lies behind the will act that I mean whistle to anzünden want? Another will act? Schopenhauer said once: “Humans can do which it want; it cannot however want which it wants. “ (Albert Einstein in Abraham Pais “I trust on intuition. Other Albert Einstein. “, Spectrum academic publishing house Heidelberg, Berlin, Oxford, Seite 176.)

Finally freely, finally freely. I thank God. I am finally freely - finally free. (Inscription on of Martin Luther King gravestone)

a taking we on, you would have onefree will. It would be a will, which would depend on nothing: completely more detached a will free of all causal connections. A sollcher will would be a however-funny, abstruse will. Its detachingness would mean that he would be independent of its body, its character, its thought and feelings,their fantasies and memories. It would be, in other words, a will without connection with all what makes you certain person. In a substanziellen sense of the word it would be therefore not at all her will (Peter Bieri: “Liberty and coincidence”)


  • Augustinus of Hippo: The free will. translated of Carl Johann Perl. 4. Aufl., unveränd. Reproduction, Paderborn 1986 ISBN 3-506-70462-1
  • John Godolphin Bennett: Risk and liberty. Hazard - the venture of the implementation ISBN 3-905272-70-9, Zurich, 2005
  • Peter Bieri: The handicraft of the liberty.Over the discovery of the own will. Munich: Hanser 2001 ISBN 3596156475, expenditure for license as a Fischer TB 15647 Frankfurt: Fischer 2003, ² 2004
  • Michael H. Bishop: Can a concept of the free will do without the principle of the alternative possibilities? Harry G. Of Frankfurt criticism at the principle of the alternativePossibilities (PAP). In: Magazine for philosophical research (ZphF), number 4, 2004.
  • Arnold Gehlen: Theory of the free will and early philosophical writings. 1965
  • P.M. Driver, D.A. Humphries: Protean Behaviour - The Biology OF Unpredictability. 1988 ISBN 0198571704
  • Hans Ertel: Causality, Teleologie and free will as problem complex thatNature philosophy. 1954
  • Christian Geyer (Hrsg.): Brain research and free will. To the interpretation of the newest experiments. Frankfurt A.M.: Suhrkamp 2004 (it 2387) ISBN 3518123874
  • Jürgen Habermas: Liberty and December RMI sneezing mash. DZPhil 52/6 (2004) 871-890; ern. in: Between naturalism and religion. Philosophical essays Frankfurt, Suhrkamp, 2005, S.155-186 ISBN 3518584472
  • Dirk Hartmann: Free will and the autonomy of the culture sciences. Action, culture, interpretation 2000, 1, 66 - 103; ern. in: E-journal philosophy of the psychology 1, March 2005
  • walter, Henrik: Neuro philosophy of the free will. mentis, Paderborn 1999
  • Ted Honderich: How Free of acres You?The DeterminsmProblem. Oxford: Oxf.Univ.Press 1993; dt.:Are we how free? The December RMI sneezing mash problem. Stuttgart: Reclam 1995, ISBN 3-15-009356-2
  • Hans Jonas: Or does faint of the subjectivity make? - The body soul problem in the apron of the principle responsibility. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp 1987 ISBN 3-518-38013-3
  • William Neuser: Arminius, the Remonstanten, the school ofSaumur. In: Manual of the dogma and theology history. Volume 2. Goettingen 1980, S. 335-339 (UTB expenditure 1988)
  • Michael Pauen: Illusion liberty? Possible and impossible consequences of the brain research. Fischer, Frankfurt 2004
  • Max Planck: Of the nature of the free will and other lectures. 1991 ISBN 3596104726
  • Ulrich poet haste (Hrsg.): Seminar: Free acting and December RMI sneezing mash, Suhrkamp 1978
  • Gerhard Roth: The brain and its reality. Cognitive neuro biology and its philosophical consequences. Suhrkamp Frankfurt 1997 (stw 1275) ISBN 3-518-28875-X
  • Arthur Schopenhauer: The world as will and conception. I: 1818, I+II: 1844, ISBN 3458335730; Over the liberty of the human will. In: The two Grundprobleme of the ethics., Smaller writings II, Zurich 1977 (Diogenes), ISBN 3257204264
  • Michael Springer: Will and knowledge - our will is free, because we cannot know everything.Spektrum der Wissenschaft, February2006

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