What kind of free will did the Buddha teach?
Federman, Asaf. (2010) What kind of free will did the Buddha teach? Philosophy East and West, Vol.60 (No.1). ISSN 0031-8221
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/pew.0.0086
The modern version of the problem of free will is usually described as a collision
between two beliefs: the belief that we are free to choose our actions and the belief
that our actions are determined by prior necessary causes. Determinism—the view
that events are determined by specific causes—makes most aspects of reality intelligible.
It works quite well, for example, when explaining aspects of the natural world
(quantum physics aside). When heat, fuel, and oxygen come together there is fire.
There must be fire. To borrow a famous Buddhist simile, when a mango seed is given
the right conditions, it will grow to become a mango tree. It cannot grow to be anything
else. However, we do not usually think of agents as being caused in the same
way. We tend to think that agents somehow transcend natural causation by their
ability to choose freely. If we also think that agents are part of the natural order, we
face a paradox. This is, in short, the problem of free will.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BQ Buddhism
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
|Divisions:||Faculty of Science > Psychology|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Gautama Buddha -- Teachings, Free will and determinism -- Religious aspects -- Buddhism, Buddhism -- Doctrines|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Philosophy East and West|
|Publisher:||University of Hawaii Press|
|Official Date:||January 2010|
|Access rights to Published version:||Open Access|
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