Philosophy Essay Sample
The following essay will present two arguments, one on the question of whether or not people have free will, and another one on the question of whether mental states are functional states. Below I will do my best to separately analyze both of the arguments using one of the premises for each.
The consciousness argument is supported by several premises, one of such premises is states that “if it is not possible to explain what it is like to have any sensory experience (like smelling chocolate, or hearing nails scratching a chalkboard) without using words or concepts that refer to at least some sensory experience, then mental states are not functional states”. I agree with this argument, because I do consider that the mental states are not functional states. In my opinion, the key idea of this argument is that mental events are something completely different from all the physical events.
The above does not mean that mental events are lesser or greater than the physical ones, however it does mean that the mental experiences are not obvious and evident as the physical ones. For presentation of every concept or object it is vital to use sensory experiences, otherwise the presentation of the object or event will be unsuccessful. Thus, although there is strong evidence that there is a connection between mental and brain states, these two notions are entirely different, one being functional in nature (brain) and another one being not (mind/mentality).
The free will argument is supported by the premise that “every mental and physical event everyone performs has at least some prior cause over which these people had no control.” In my opinion, this argument has premises the truth or falsehood of which is very difficult to determine, thus, I consider it to be a weak argument, however it is not insignificant. In general, I believe that when it comes to free will the arguments are rather frustrating. This is so because it seems clear that the premises are true, though it is difficult to demonstrate that they are. Though, after careful consideration I would like to agree with this argument because indeed the person makes decisions and choices basing them on his/her ideas that are in their turn dependent on the ideas of someone else or are influenced by someone else. Thus, it is applicable to say that people do not in the long run have free will because all their actions are predetermined by higher powers or stronger counterparts (in fact, the will of stronger counterparts is also determined by other parties and not completely by them). Thinking along these lines, it can be assumed that the only one who has real free will is the Almighty. However, those who do not believe in godly powers would disregard this assumption.
In conclusion I consider it important to say that, in my opinion, both of the arguments have been formulated in such a way that the conclusion follows easily from the premises by evident laws of logic. That is one of the reasons why after careful consideration I have chosen to agree with both of the arguments.