Free Will Vs. Determinism As Philosophical Problem

The problem of free will or the question of determinism is a fundamental problem of human cognition and the nature of one’s thoughts. This problem is characterized by a well-known philosophical reflection on whether man’s mind generates his being or vice versa, and a great deal depends on it. Whether a person’s free will exists or their behavior is dictated by a series of circumstances that can be recreated.

The principle of determinism implies that every event has a cause. On the other hand, human thinking skill is difficult to assess from determinism since thoughts are constantly generated in the human head and make people different. In favor of the idea of determinism, much of the human science evidence correlates human conditions, the process of growing up, and other factors with whom one will become in the future. A curious example is the Scandinavian penitentiary system, in which prisoners fare better than most of the free people on the planet. Nevertheless, Scandinavian countries have relatively low recidivism rates (Lappi-Seppälä, 2018), which may serve as an example to prove that a person’s living conditions, and social experiences determine their future behavior.

The philosophical problem of free will lies at the heart of understanding neural network development. Suppose a person’s behavior is a direct consequence of something the person has experienced or a consequence of any other cause. In that case, this cause can be recreated, which is what developers of neural networks do. The creation of artificial intelligence challenges the idea of human free will because it shows that human behavior can be recreated. Nevertheless, at the moment, no technology can fully replace humans and their ability to think, but there are already programs capable of creating paintings, music, and books.

Thus, the philosophical question of the existence of free will is constantly being reinterpreted, especially since the advent of neural networks. Several questions remain as to whether a machine with all of the original human data can continue to develop autonomously and whether it can recreate an exact copy of the human mind. The emergence of such technology can have a detrimental effect on the idea of and completely change humanity’s view of itself.


Lappi-Seppälä, T., & Koskenniemi, L. (2018). National and regional instruments in securing the rule of law and human rights in the Nordic prisons. Crime, Law and Social Change, 70(1), 135-159.