Is Freud really a hard determinist?

Does Freud's theory, as you understand it, really imply that hard determinism is true. ("Hard determinism" is the name for the bizarre and self-contradictory theory that determinism is true and that, magically, this somehow means that free will doesn't exist. This is very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very different from plain old determinism, which ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT SAY ANYTHING ABOUT FREE WILL.)

Do John Hospers and Richard Peters prove that Freud's theory implies that free will doesn't exist, or do they merely assume that it does, and hope that nobody notices that they give no argument whatsoever?

(If you suffer from the misconception that determinism rules out free will, and find yourself wanting to say that determinism rules out free will, remember that DETERMINISM DOES NOT RULE OUT FREE WILL as you do this topic.)

(If your urge to claim that determinism rules out free will is so strong that you cannot set aside your feelings long enough to do this topic, you should either take the time to think about this common but utterly false view by attempting the topic incompatible.htm, or

Please note that looking up what the book says does not constitute thinking about the issue. If all you do is look in the textbook and write down what the book says, you will be deliberately failing this assignment.

I know that John Hospers thinks that Freud is a hard determinist. But he could be wrong, and you are not John Hospers, so don't give me his opinion as if it were your own. Instead, look at his argument for his belief that Freud is a hard determinist, and think about whether or not it's a logically compelling argument.

I know that Richard Peters thinks that Freud is a hard determinist as far as all important decisions are concerned. But he could be wrong, and you are not Richard Peters, so don't give me his opinion as if it were your own. Instead, look at his argument for his belief that Freud is a hard determinist for everything except trivial decisions, and think about whether or not it's a logically compelling argument.

It is important to remember that this is a philosophy assignment. You fulfil philosophy assignments by thinking about things for yourself. You do not fulil them by reporting what other people think. This distinction is important for this assignment because the text reports John Hospers' theory about Freud. Since you are not John Hospers, telling me what Hospers thinks does not constitute telling me what you think!

Your assignment is to:

1. Explain Freud's theory in your own words.

2. Explain the main argument (if any) in favor of the idea that this theory implies that, in later life, external forces will appear to coerce everyone into doing things that they would not choose to do.

3. Logically critique that arguement, and say whether or not it's a logically compelling argument.

Your paper should give one argument in favor of Freud's theory implying hard determinism, one argument against that view, and your own analysis of which argument is stronger, OR you
could give Hospers' argument, some criticism of that argument, and your own analysis of whether that criticism succeeds in refuting Hospers' argument, OR you could say that neither Hospers nor Peters actually gives an argument, say what Palmer says about Hospers and Peters, and explain why it isn't an argument for their thesis.

Notice that these instructions all concern things that you are supposed to work out for yourself. So if you "answer" this question by merely telling me Hospers's theory, you will be deliberately failing to do the assignment. You can refer to Hospers if you think discussion of his views will be useful, but you have to make it clear that his theory is his theory, not yours. Abd you absolutely have to take the time to think about whether or not he proves his theory is true.

For background, read pages 219-223 in Does the Center Hold?

219. According to Freud, by what age has an individual's personality crystallized?
220. What makes up the bulk of one's motivational system?
220. According to Freud, how is the mind structured? How do people make decisions?
220. How does John Hospers interpret Freud?
220. What decisions, if any, does John Hospers think that we make freely?

222. What do soft determinists believe about freedom and determinism?
222. Do soft determinists think that determinism means that free will doesn't exist?
222. On the typical Freudian model, how do we explain the woman's bad experiences with men?
222. Can Freudian analysis remove an unconscious motivation?
222. Is Freudian analysis powerless to help the woman avoid future bad experiences? Why not?
222. How can Freudian analysis give someone control over her life?
222-223. How does Richard Peters interpret Freud?
223. What kind of actions don't require a Freudian explanation?
223. What kind of actions do require a Freudian explanation?
223. What would be a good rule for deciding when and when not to use a Freudian explanation?


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