Ideas on Free Will
Free will has become the subject for reflection of numerous outstanding philosophers, who have affected the worldview of thousands of followers. Their understanding of this phenomenon differs due to the epochs they lived in and personal convictions. This paper will present the ideas of Aristotle and Lucretius through the prism of comparing and contrasting their opinions.
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Aristotle believes that free will is a combination of all voluntary actions. He draws the line between voluntary and involuntary doings claiming that everything influenced by an inward desire of an individual is a voluntary action while everything done under the outward will of others or from ignorance is considered involuntary. In addition to it, if a person limits his or her actions by emotions or social norms, they are also involuntary (“Aristotle” 4).
Lucretius, on the other hand, views free will compare it to the movement of atoms. The philosopher says that every action having place under the influence of the external force is not a free will, which comes from the inner desire and motivation of an individual (“Lucretius” 18).
To sum up, both Aristotle and Lucretius agree that free will is always linked to a person’s inward desire instead of outward request or order. They also agree that there are no occasions, which would turn involuntary action into a voluntary one because only individuals determine what is better for them. Both authors view free will studying the laws of nature. However, Lucretius compares it to the movement of atoms, which is impossible to alter in response to one’s desire, while Aristotle focuses on the rules adopted by human society and the phenomena of power and authority.
Analysis of Logan’s Run
Most people agree with Plato, who believes that the picture of the world is determined by an individuals’ personal experience. This notion was developed in his allegory of the cave. The central idea is the existence of the cave full of fettered people, whose heads are fixed forward and who cannot get out of it because they are imprisoned forever. All they can see is the casting of shadows on the walls of the cave.
These shadows become the foundation for perceiving reality. However, Plato raises the question: what would happen if one of the prisoners managed to escape? Evidently, the real world and bright light of the sun would astonish him because he would not believe that everything seen before was unreal. Returning to the cave, he will be rich with the new knowledge, but other prisoners will laugh at him because their reality is still connected to shadows on the walls (Haymond 6-7).
The allegory of the cave inspired numerous fiction stories. The brightest example is Logan’s Run. Instead of the cave, the directors portray the domed city inhabited by young and beautiful people, who are renewed once reaching the age of thirty. Logan works as a sandman, i.e. a person, who kills those over thirty years old. As he escapes from the city, he finds an old man, who reveals the truth that the promoted renewal is death. As Logan returns to living in society, he desires to let others know about his discovery, but people think that he is insane. It means that Plato’s story and Logan’s Run are identical.
Moreover, the movie is a portrayal of free will. The motivation for taking this standpoint is the fact that Logan has chosen to run and get away from the system regardless of the established rules. His decision to come back and reveal the truth was voluntary, i.e. driven by inner motivation. That said, it falls within Aristotle’s apprehension of free will.
“Aristotle.” Free Will. Ed. Derk Pereboom. Indianapolis, Indiana: Hackett Publishing Company, 2009. 1-4. Print.
Haymond, Bryce. A Modern Worldview from Plato’s Cave. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University, 2008. Print.
“Lucretius.” Free Will. Ed. Derk Pereboom. Indianapolis, Indiana: Hackett Publishing Company, 2009. 17-18. Print.