John Hospers uses the rule of common usage, and Freud’s Psychoanalytic theory of human behavior, to argue man is incapable of being free. As a hard determinist, Hospers believes a truly free act can’t be caused, and man’s actions are all predetermined, because they’re caused by an external factor. He begins by using the rule of common usage to show that freedom can’t be defined through its characteristics, as attempting to persuade us to use the hard determinist definition. He then uses psychoanalytical cases to support his argument, because they display individuals making regretful decisions without external factors. The immediate cause is an inner psychological factor, also known as will. Freud’s theory says this internal compulsion is man’s unconscious mind, and control of all man’s actions. This is explained by dividing the unconscious mind into three parts consisting of the id, the super ego, and the unconscious ego. Man’s feelings of desire are the id and constantly want to be satisfied. His sense of right and wrong comes from the super ego, which rejects every wish the id has. The unconscious ego is the negotiator, and is responsible for reaching a compromise to keep the other two happy. Man’s will choosing his actions is simply the unconscious reaching compromises. Briefly, all of man’s actions are controlled by the unconscious mind. 1.All of man’s actions are controlled by the unconscious mind. 2.The unconscious mind can be categorized as an external factor. 3.Therefore since man has no control over his actions, he is incapable of being free.
Its common knowledge man is unable to control his unconscious, as its very definition is what man is unaware of. In addition Hospers believes a person’s behavior is determined by the influences of their early environment, at an age when they were unable to make responsible choices. Common man would agree during this infantile stage, a person has no control over what their environment consists of. As a result they have no choice of what experiences they’ll have, and have no control on the development of their behavior. When comparing the unconscious mind to external factors, Hospers believes they’re the same. An external factor is understood to be any force compelling man’s actions out of his control. Hospers has used Freud’s theory to help explain that man’s will, is a factor he has no control over, and can be categorized as an external force. Therefore since
man has no control over his actions, he is incapable of being free.
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