Ideology & Ism


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Feelosofi –  Determinism is an important concept in the world of philosophy which discusses provisions and destiny in human life. In Indonesian, determinism can be interpreted as “provision” or “destiny,” and this is a topic that is often debated in the world of philosophy. In this article, we will explain what determinism is, various related views, and how this concept influences our worldview.

What Is Determinism?

Determinism is a view in philosophy and science which assumes that everything in the universe, including events and human actions, is determined by certain causes or factors, so that nothing happens by chance or randomly. At its core, determinism implies that the universe operates according to strict laws, and if we have sufficient knowledge of the initial conditions and factors influencing an event, we should be able to predict the outcome.

Determinism is divided into several forms, such as physical determinism which assumes that all events in the universe are determined by the laws of physics, or social determinism which claims that human behavior is also influenced by social and cultural factors. There is also technological determinism which considers technological development as the main driver of change in society.

In contrast, there is another view known as indeterminism, which says that there are elements of chance or randomness in the universe and that not all events can be predicted with certainty. Discussions surrounding determinism and indeterminism have been controversial topics in philosophy and science, especially in the context of human freedom, morality, and responsibility. Some arguments state that if everything is determined, then humans may not be responsible for their actions, while others argue that determinism does not automatically eliminate the concept of human freedom. This debate remains an interesting subject in human thought regarding the relationship between determinism and freedom.

Determinism Vs. Determinism Human Freedom

The long-standing debate over determinism versus human freedom has captivated philosophical, scientific, and religious minds for centuries. Determinism is the view that every event, including human actions, is predetermined by a number of unchangeable factors. This means that everything in the universe, including human choices and actions, is not actually free, but is bound by previous events and natural laws.

On the other hand, the concept of human freedom states that humans have the ability to make independent choices and are not bound by external causes or fate. Human freedom assumes that we have complete control over our actions and choices, so that we can be blamed or praised for our actions.

However, this debate is not always a black-and-white choice. Some philosophers have argued that there are types of freedom that can exist in deterministic contexts. They claim that although we may be bound by a number of factors, we still have the freedom to respond and adapt ourselves to certain situations.

The determinism versus human freedom debate encompasses a variety of viewpoints, including philosophy, science, religion, and ethics . This is a complex question that raises important questions about responsibility, morality, and the role of humans in the universe. Although there is no absolute consensus, this debate remains an interesting and relevant subject in various fields of science and human thought.

Various Views Of Determinism

Causal Determinism

Causal determinism is a view in philosophy and science that holds that all events, including human actions, have definite and explainable causes. This view is based on the belief that the universe follows a strict series of causes and effects, and that no event occurs without a clear cause. In other words, every action or event is the result of previous causes, and if we have enough knowledge, we should be able to predict or explain these events.

In causal determinism, the concept of human freedom is often placed in question. Do humans really have the freedom to make choices, or are each of their actions determined by certain causes? Some philosophers and scientists have argued that, within the framework of causal determinism, human freedom may appear to be an illusion, since our actions are actually only the result of the interaction of pre-existing causes.

Although causal determinism is a strong view in physical science, there are various arguments for and against it in philosophy . Some people support this view because it provides a strong basis for scientific explanation and prediction of events. However, others argue that this view ignores important aspects of human freedom and moral responsibility. The debate over causal determinism has raised profound questions about the relationship between human action, causation, and freedom, and continues to be a subject of interest in the study of philosophy and science.

Biological Determinism

Biological determinism is a view that emphasizes that human behavior, including aspects of personality and social behavior, is significantly influenced by biological factors, such as genetics and brain structure. This theory states that an individual’s traits and actions are largely determined by genetic inheritance and irreversible biological processes. This view assumes that the genes we inherit play a large role in determining traits such as intelligence, sexual orientation, and even predisposition to certain diseases.

Biological determinism has been a major focus in a variety of fields, including psychology, anthropology, and brain science. Genetic research, for example, has identified correlations between certain genes and certain traits, although the relationship between genetics and behavior is complex and controversial. There is also research in neuroscience that tries to understand how the structure and function of the brain influences human behavior.

Although biological determinism provides important insights into the biological basis of human behavior, many critics argue that this view is too simplistic. They emphasize that environmental, experiential, and cultural factors also play a significant role in shaping human behavior. In this view, human behavior is rather the result of complex interactions between biological and environmental factors. Discussions about the extent to which biological determinism influences human behavior continue, and this issue raises deep questions about the foundations of existence and individual freedom.

Psychological Determinism

Psychological determinism is a view in psychology that argues that human behavior and our thoughts are influenced by psychological factors and our life history, especially past experiences. This means that our behavior and thoughts are not the product of chance, but rather the result of a number of internal and external factors interacting in our lives. Psychological determinism often emphasizes the importance of the influence of aspects such as trauma, childhood development, environmental experiences, and cognitive processes in shaping a person’s personality and actions.

This concept has become an integral part of clinical psychology, especially in efforts to understand and treat mental disorders. Behavioral therapy and cognitive therapy, for example, are based on the psychological determinism assumption that behavior is adapted to patterns of thought and emotional reactions formed through the individual’s experiences. In psychology, the concept of psychological determinism has also had an impact in the development of personality theories, which attempt to explain how a person’s past experiences influence his or her personality.

Although psychological determinism has power in explaining many aspects of human behavior, there are also critics who suggest that this view may be too simplistic in ignoring other factors such as free will and biological factors. This critique emphasizes that humans also have the ability to make choices and change their behavior, even if there are a number of psychological factors that influence them. Therefore, the debate about the extent to which psychological determinism influences human behavior still continues, and this view remains one of the main focuses in psychological research.

Implications Of Determinism

The view of determinism has significant implications in various fields. This can affect the law, ethics , and even our views on responsibility. If everything is predetermined, can humans be held responsible for their actions?


The implications of determinism profoundly impact how we understand and respond to the world around us. Here are some implications of this view:

  1. Responsibility and Morality : In the framework of determinism, the concepts of responsibility and morality become complicated. If a person’s actions are determined by factors outside their control, can we still punish or praise those actions? This is an important question in legal and ethical systems , and needs to be balanced with the understanding that some level of responsibility remains.
  2. Control and Freedom : Determinism can lead to a lower understanding of individual freedom. If all actions are predetermined by certain causes, what is the meaning of freedom in making choices? This raises questions about the extent to which humans have control over their lives.
  3. Research and Prediction : In science, determinism provides a strong basis for research and prediction. If every event has a definite cause, then we can try to understand, predict and control those events better, which has huge implications in various scientific disciplines.
  4. Religion and Destiny : In some religions, the concept of determinism conflicts with the idea of ​​human free will. The implications of determinism in a religious context can spark debate about the extent to which humans have control over their fate and the extent to which fate plays a role.
  5. Human Limitations : Determinism also reminds us of the limitations of human knowledge. When we realize that many of the factors that influence our lives may be hidden or difficult to understand, we become more humble in responding to events and the actions of others.

It is important to remember that determinism is not a single view, and there are various schools and viewpoints in this discussion. Discussions regarding the implications of determinism still continue and are a perennial subject in various scientific disciplines and human thought.


What Is The Difference Between Determinism And Human Freedom?

Determinism is the view that everything is predetermined by existing causes and effects, while human freedom refers to the belief that humans have the freedom to make their own decisions without external influences forcing them.

What Are The Implications Of Determinism In Ethics?

Determinism can raise questions about responsibility. If everything is determined, can humans still be held responsible for their actions? This is a topic of debate in ethics .

Does Determinism Eliminate Chance?

Determinism tends to reject chance. According to this view, everything happens because of pre-existing cause and effect, and there is no room for coincidence.

Are All Forms Of Determinism The Same?

No, there are several forms of determinism, such as causal determinism, biological determinism, and psychological determinism, which focus on different factors in determining human actions.

Is There A Way To Prove Or Disprove Determinism?

Determinism is a philosophical view that is difficult to prove or disprove scientifically. This is more a philosophical problem than an empirical one .


  1. “ An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding ” – David Hume (1748)
  2. “ Freedom and Necessity ” – AJ Ayer (1954)
  3. “ Determinism, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility ” – Ted Honderich (1988)
  4. “ The Concept of Law ” – HLA Hart (1961)
  5. “ Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting ” – Daniel C. Dennett (1984)
  6. “ The Free Will Delusion: How We Settled for the Illusion of Morality ” – James B. Miles (2015)
  7. “ Freedom Evolves ” – Daniel C. Dennett (2003)
  8. “ The Determinism and Freedom Philosophy Website ” – Ted Honderich

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Raymond Kelvin Nando, "Determinism," Feelosofi, 1 November 2023,
Raymond Kelvin Nando
Writer, Researcher, & Philosophy Enthusiast