Taylor argues that determinism should be rejected as a philosophical theory. In this context, determinism is taken to mean a theory that says that all events in the universe are causally determined. This goes for human actions as well. The theory suggests that all human actions are caused or influenced by external forces while in the contrary; Taylor argues that human actions are only a result of free will of the subject or agent.
According to Taylor, an agent is completely divorced from all causal influence. Taylors view is that any desires or beliefs that the agent acquires originate solely in the agent. What Taylor means by this view is that desires and beliefs have no antecedent causes. He is of the opinion that a person’s actions are free as they originate from a free will. Taylor views will on basis of desires and beliefs. He says that desires and beliefs are of a person’s making without influence of any external force. In his view, human actions are free and not caused as the philosophical theory of determinism suggests. This therefore forms the first reason why Taylor holds his ground that determinism should be rejected as a philosophical theory.
Secondly, Taylor bases his justification for disregarding the determinism theory on its validity. Normally, a philosophical theory, simply defined as a set of statements that explain a statement or empirical evidence. The minimal requirement for the acceptability of a theory as an adequate philosophical theory is that it ought to be consistent and that it has to deductively provide an explanation of the subject matter. In this understanding, for a theory to be considered valid, its consistency has to remove all false or unverifiable statements in it. It moreover has to remove suggestive stories that do not actually deductively explain the subject matter. Simply put, the validity of a philosophical theory is based on its consistency and deductive ability in the explanation of its subject matter. These two reasons above form the foundation upon which Taylor argues that the philosophical theory of determinism should be done away with.
From Taylor’s point of view, the theory of determinism fails to pass the test of validity of a philosophical theory. Taylor argues that the theory of validity fails to explain what he refers to as the data. Simply put, the theory fails to consistently and deductively explain its subject matter. As stated earlier, the theory of determinism suggests that all events in the universe are causally determined. This goes for human actions as well. Taylor is of the opinion that this theory fails to consistently explain its subject matter. Whereas the theory suggests that all actions are caused, it fails to consistently explain how human actions are caused except from the self. Taylor argues that an individual’s desires and beliefs are solely determined by the individual himself. In this sense therefore, the theory of determinism fails in explaining the cause of human desires and belief, which cause actions. He says that beliefs and desires are independent of any external influence which he explains categorically. He concludes that the theory of determinism should be in a position to in a position to successfully oppose and prove his theory wrong, which it doesn’t. To Taylor therefore, the theory of determinism is invalid and should therefore be rejected as a philosophical theory.