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Free-Will and Behavior Psychology Research Paper Essay (Research Paper Sample)


do human beings possess free will and the extent to which their behavior is determined by conditioning or behavior.


Free-Will and Behavior
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Free-Will and Behavior
Free will has steadily emerged as one of the leading contentious issues surrounding the existence of man. Various philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle tried to tackle the issue without a definitive answer. The question that still ranges is whether human beings possess free will and the extent to which their behavior is determined by conditioning or behavior.
Plato became one of the first philosophers to tackle the issue of free will. In his assertions, he offers two opposing theories. In the first theory, Plato believes that humans are free in their quest to form belief system (Fischer, 2007). These in turn enables them to create causes or conditions that bare necessary for them to assert their will. In his second theory, Plato looks at degrading quality of the afterlife occurrence (Fischer, 2007). In this sense, Plato asserts that free will exists when the person freely decides on changing their moral beliefs. The change in an individual’s moral beliefs is what governs their free will.
David Hume is another theorist who critically looked at the topic of free will in humans. On his part, he focused on the inevitability of human behavior and he believes that humans tend to perform their actions out of instinct and passion (Fischer, 2007). For this reason, they have a sense of free will and autonomy for what they do. Hume also believed that people are morally responsible for the actions they performed and this will ensure that they are either punished or rewarded. He asserts that morality is a key part of human existence and arises from reason and not on the moral senses (Baer, Baumeister & Kaufman, 2008). He asserts that people are free to do all they want but they are judged by their actions whether they are morally virtuous or they require punishment.

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