Day School: Philosophy - The Freewill and Determinism Debate in Philosophy
This interactive, fun and thought-provoking Philosophy study day examines different philosophers’ theories about the concepts of free will and determinism. Questions pertinent to the issue of what it is to be human will be raised, such as: Is the future in some way determined? How much, if any, free will do we have? What are the implications of this debate for moral responsibility? Strengths and weaknesses of the views will be considered, enabling learners to form reasoned judgements about them.
Additional information about this course
This course is not supported by the Skills Funding Agency and does not have a fee waiver but concessions may be available - contact the Branch for further details.
To provide an introduction to the free will and determinism debate in philosophy, including considering and discussing some questions pertinent to the issue of what it is to be human.
Who is the course for?
No prior knowledge is required, but a good grasp of English is essential. This study day is suitable both for students who are new to the study of Philosophy and those with some existing knowledge.
What topics will this course cover
This study day involves learning about and critically assessing some different philosophers’ theories about the concepts of free will and determinism. Key topics will be moral responsibility, whether the future is determined and the possibility (and extent) of free will. Students' rights to express differing opinions will be respected at all times.
What will it be like?
WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.
By the end of the course I should be able to:
1. Explain two key philosophical theories about free will and determinism. 2. Identify some of the main criticisms of the theories covered. 3. Think critically about issues arising from the content of the study day.
How will I know I'm making progress?
There will be no formal assessment. Students’ understanding and progress will be informally assessed through their contributions to discussions and activities. The tutor will feed back on these contributions verbally and will assess and respond to students’ learning needs in collaboration with them.
What else do I need to know, do or bring?
It would be useful for students to bring pens and paper with them.
Reading and information sources
No preparation is required. The tutor will recommend further reading/information sources during the study day.
What could the course lead to?
This study day could lead to further WEA day schools/courses on Philosophy and related subjects, other courses of a similar or higher level, individual reading and research and attending public Philosophy events.