WHAT IS Free will versus determinism in mental health?
A fundamental issue in psychology is the issue of how much
our behaviour can be attributed to choose, and how much to genetic programming.
The natural sciences in general are based upon a deterministic approach to organic behaviour.
This approach implies that behaviour occurs in a regular and
orderly manner which is predictable in principle and governed by our genetic
makeup and disposition.
Because psychology is a relatively young science, it has
relied upon imitating the basic principles of other sciences in its approach to
human behaviour. Its application of the deterministic approach, however, has proved
to be most controversial.
If people’s behaviour is genetically determined, how can they
have free will? Furthermore, how can
they be held responsible for their actions?
Most of the approaches discussed in mental health adhere
quite firmly to a deterministic approach. However, humanist psychologists argue
that people’s subjective experience of choice, free will and…
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