Human Freedom: A Psychological And Philosophical Insight

  • P S Omoyefu


We often talk of man as a being capable of making alternative choices i.e. of having the power to choose between alternative courses of action particularly after careful deliberation. We also notice that at times a man abandon a course of action say a religion for another. We are also found of blaming or praising people, punishing or rewarding people, discouraging or encouraging people. At other time, laws are enacted that may urge people to take certain actions and forbid them to take other actions. Whenever any and, or all of these things are done, the underlined assumption is that man has freedom of the will. On the other hand, it could sometime be argued that a man who does things in a certain way could not have done otherwise. At times the observation could be that certain persons behave in ways and manners dictated by orientation background, their economic beliefs or their religious upbringing. We also notice the element of environmental influences in people's behaviour. This state of affairs sometime make us to wonder whether we are really free moral agents or whether our actions are not after all determined by forces and circumstances beyond our control. In this paper while it is recognized that human actions could be determined, the paper submits that man has the free will to choose the course of the action he likes and he, at the same time bears responsibility for all his actions.

African Journal of Cross-Cultural psychology and sport facilitation (AJCPSF) Vol. 9 2007: pp. 26-36

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eISSN: 1119-7056