For the very argument from the undeveloped possibilities of each man's character by which the determinist proves the compatibility of his theory with the phenomenon of sudden conversion and the like is sufficient also to prove that the state can never be sure that the punishments which it inflicts upon the individual will have the effect upon his character and conduct which it desires.
That the determinist theory alone provides a rational basis for state activity of whatever kind.
It is comparatively unimportant to the determinist whether the cause to which he attributes conduct be the self, or the will, or character, or the strongest motive, provided that each of these causes be regarded as definitely ascertainable and that its effects in sufficiently known circumstances be calculable.
The determinist presuppositions of psy chology (determinist because they involve the applica tion of the causal conceptions of modern science to mental phenomena) have in many instances in no way retarded the utilization of new information concerning mental processes in order to prove the reality of freedom.
Moreover, much of the apparent cogency of modern scientific determinist arguments has been derived from the unguarded admissions or timorous acquiescence of their opponents.
Spinoza is a convinced determinist regarding the will as necessarily determined by ideas.
It is this immediate consciousness of the power of choosing between alternatives which the determinist finds so difficult to explain.
The determinist equally with the libertarian moral philosopher can give an account of morality possessing internal coherence and a certain degree of verisimilitude.
Sianism, and from other suggestions of the past, developed that great system of determinist pantheism which was a scandal and a terror to his generation.
His brief Inquiry Concerning Human Liberty (1715) has not been excelled, at all events in its main outlines, as a statement of the determinist standpoint.