Necessity in the Historical Framework (Determinism)July 1, 2021
The scientific view, which asserts that objective reality is determined by causality and objective laws…
1. Antiquity: Order and harmony in nature were sensed by the first humans that the same causes brought about the same result. Essentialism is basically the scientificization of this primitive intuition. Whithead says: “The ancestors of scientific thinking are the great tragedies of ancient Athens, such as Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. In their tragedies, there is fatalism that leads an event to unavoidable consequences. This understanding of fate is the same as that of today’s scientific thought. Fate in Greek thought is the same as today’s. is the ‘order of nature’ in his thought
However, there are great differences between ‘reality’ and ‘fatalism’, which used to be synonymous, and these two terms are meticulously separated from each other. Fatalism includes the will of a metaphysical superior power and cannot be changed by human influence. Necessity is based on the objectivity and independence of the laws of nature, it can be changed by human influence. That’s why the fatalist who gets sick waits for the result that can never be changed, the determinist who gets sick goes to the doctor to prevent and change the result. By knowing and recognizing the laws of nature, man puts them at his service, dominates them, and passes from the field of necessity to the field of freedom. Man cannot create, destroy or change the laws of nature, but by knowing and knowing them, he can be protected from them and turn their harmful results into useful ones. As every event in the universe has a cause, the first traces of the determinism understanding that when this cause occurs, its result will necessarily occur, can be found in ancient Greek atomism.
2. The Middle Ages: The determinism understanding of medieval metaphysics is also prone to fatalism. He states that every universal event, including human will, is the necessary result of conditions that are predetermined or determined together with that event.
One of the examples of this metaphysical understanding is Leibniz’s doctrine of ‘prior order’. The understanding of metaphysical determinism asserts that the universe submits to an absolute necessity in space and time. In the field of metaphysics, theology clearly names this necessity and argues that everything in the universe is determined by God. This is called ‘theological determinism’. In determinism in this sense, it is impossible to talk about human will and freedom. The same understanding expressed by the term ‘necessity’ instead of ‘God’ is called ‘metaphysical determinism’.
3. New Age: A mechanistic determinism understanding based on the mechanics of the English scholar Isaac Newton has been made the basis of science.
Claude Bernard says: “The scholar may suspect everything, but he cannot get rid of determinism. Realism exists as absolutely in the world of the inanimate as it is in the events of living beings.”
The mathematician Laplace also defines determinism as follows: “Let’s imagine such an anger (genius) that he knows all the forces that move nature and the situations of all beings that make up nature against each other in a given moment and can apply all this information to mathematical analysis formulas. This is such an anger, He can collect the movements of all the movements of the universe, from the largest objects to the smallest and lightest atoms, in these formulas. For him, nothing will be uncertain and the future will be before his eyes like the past”. This view, which denies chance and leads to fatalism, is called ‘Laplaceian determinism’, which ultimately leads to belief and theism.16. In this age, which covers a very long period from the 19th century to the present, the dominant one is ‘mechanical determinism’, which identifies causality with necessity and denies chance.
Bacon, Galileo, Descartes and Spinoza have made great contributions to the understanding of determinism, albeit with a mechanistic attitude. However, those who developed the concept of determinism in this age, again with a mechanistic understanding, 18. century French materialists.
Also in this era, idealism, which culminated especially in Hegel, completely denied causality and replaced it with teleology. According to this understanding, the principle of the world is not a cause and the world is not its effect, but the world is a cause and the world is its purpose. For in a logical reasoning, the judgment must be deducible from the premises. According to idealism, the effect or effect cannot be deduced from the cause, for example, freezing follows cold, but this is not necessary at all, something other than freezing can also follow cold. However, a goal is necessarily inferred from its cause, because it is immanent in it, for example, the acorn is latently (potentially) present in the oak, the oak necessarily produces acorns, not cherries; because the acorn is the purpose of the oak and the cause of the acorn. This understanding of teleology also suggested a completely distorted, idealist determinism.
In addition, corrupt understandings such as Kant’s understanding, which regards causality as a priori and universal and denies its objective essence, have also been put forward in this era.
Dialectical materialism is the only philosophical doctrine that saves necessities from both mechanistic and metaphysical and idealistic errors and brings them to its true and scientific meaning.
4. Dialectal materialism: Eyti