Determinism verus Free Will
This was not only an accepted conceptual position, it was also a computational fact of life with all of the then-existing sex-role orientation measures. However, Constantinople’s (1973) conceptual reorganization allowed for the possibility of two independent dimensions: masculinity and femininity. From this new vantage point, one is not forced to deny one set of characteristics in order to assert possession of high levels of the other. Now, people can be different combinations (conceptually and computationally): high on both masculinity and femininity (androgynous). high on one and low on the other (stereotypically masculine or stereotypically feminine). or low on both dimensions (undifferentiated). It was this simple, conceptual reformulation that appeared to spark the present revolution in sex-role research.
Might a similar reformulation of the free will-determinism question stimulate new solutions to an antinomy that has perplexed thinkers for more than 25 centuries Before sketching a re-conceptualization of the free will versus determinism issue, this article will offer a working scientist’s or a counseling practitioner’s specification of the issues–not a philosopher’s reformulation of this seemingly everlasting controversy. …
, in so defining these terms, it becomes unclear exactly what the implications of these conceptual moves (and research findings) might be for philosophical debate on the issues of agency, mechanistic determinism, self-determination, and free will.
There have been many different construals of free will (van Inwagen, 1983) over the last two and a half millennia. Some of these construals (e.g., free will results from the absence of any physical constraint upon the agent) clearly do not square with the arguments and research summarized herein. Whenever an agent makes a choice (and then acts for the sake of that choice), however, one might see it as a free choice (and act) if indeed the agent might have chosen to do otherwise ceteris paribus (i.e., all other things being equal). The notion of free will entertained herein is seen in Robert Frost’s (1951) poem "The Road Not Taken."
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
If Frost’s (1951) traveller had also been able to choose "the road more [italics added] traveled by" but instead opted for "the road less [italics added] traveled by," one might assert that he or she had made a free choice. But since the time of Heraclitus (with his point that one can never step in the same river twice), philosophers and scientists recognized the virtual impossibility of meeting the demands of the ceteris paribus condition in such cases. Fortunately, new experimental methodologies now allow for the testing of the causal force of free choice in studies that do fully meet the requirements of the ceteris paribus assumption (see Howard &. Myers, 1989).
Like free will, the meaning of determinism has changed over time. "Determinism" was until the mid-nineteenth century a theory