Free will – What is it, definition and concept | 2022

Free will is the faculty or capacity that individuals have to make decisions and choose, at all times, the alternative that suits them. it seems, as well as the situation derived from it.

That is, free will is the idea that people have the actual ability to make their own decisions. This, based on your own criteria.

The concept of free will is highly complex, and it is difficult to define it precisely.

It should be clarified that when in the first paragraph we refer to a derivative situation, this is the type of society resulting from the free interaction of individuals.

The RAE, on the other hand, defines free will as “taste or will of the person in question, without any subjection or condition”. Likewise, it refers to free will as “the power to act by reflection and choice.” Therefore, as basic elements common to the concept of free will, we have freedom and non-subjection to external factors when we speak of acting or acting.

Causes and consequences of free will

To continue investigating free will, it is necessary to ask what its causes and consequences are. That is, what allows people to choose freely and what are the effects derived from it.

Some authors, and also other people who have stopped to reflect on the issue, defend that there is no free will. In other words, external pressures are so powerful that they cause personal decisions to be, to a greater or lesser extent, determined.

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But, to see what its causes and consequences are, we are going to assume that it exists. Or that, at least, the personal criterion has some weight among all the factors that intervene when choosing one thing or another.


The cause of free will or free choice is twofold. On the one hand, there is the rationality of the individual. The human being is a rational being and as such he can think and analyze which decision is correct. Although it is obvious that this is not always the case, we are not perfectly programmed machines. On the other hand, the government system widens the range of possibilities. One will have greater choice and more options available under a regime of freedoms than under a dictatorial regime.

On the other hand, the consequences of this freedom of choice can be of two types, good or bad. They will be good if the responsibility of the individual is high, if it carries with it all the consequences derived from his free choice. On the contrary, if he does not take responsibility for his actions, external mechanisms will have to arise to make up for this lack of responsibility, just as the paternalistic State does.

For example, if a person goes at 200 km/h with the car, they have the risk of having a serious accident. And if this happens, you should not go looking for external agents or avoiding possible damage to third parties, you must respond to him and to others.

in economics

Free will, as the ability of human beings to choose according to their own preferences, is clearly reflected in economic ideologies such as liberalism or the idea of ​​the free market.

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We find this idea in the famous “invisible hand” of Adam Smith. This concept alluded to the fact that the supply and demand of the different concurrent goods and services in a society regulated themselves according to the needs of the consumers themselves. That is why ideologies of this nature defend the free market and the abstention of the State regarding the provision of goods and services, since interventionism can artificially alter this balance.

That is, the companies, thanks to market studies, sales history, trends, etc. they better anticipate the amount of goods to be manufactured than a group of bureaucrats situated on the fringes of everyday life. In addition, the market is regulated practically day by day, while the State has to make long-term plans, which increases its probability of failure in these forecasts.

On the contrary, we find ideologies that either out of interest, or out of conviction, are contrary to free will. Marx, and other interventionist thinkers, opposed this idea. The philosopher affirmed that the human being was alienated, that is to say, that he was not aware of his own life and that, therefore, he had no real capacity to choose, but that everything was imposed by the system under which he had been touched to live

However, the regime proposed by the socialist and communist rulers also denied free will, although a state of true freedom was being sold. We have seen this throughout history thanks to regimes such as the Castro regime, the USSR, China or the North Korean.

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