Determinism is the outlook that all behaviour has a cause and is thus predictable. Free will is an illusion – there is no ‘me’ that is in control. Everything I think and do is guided by the laws of physics, chemistry and biology. This of course has profound implications for criminal justice.
This has been debated by philosophers for millennia and has many dimensions. For example, some famous experiments performed in the 1980s suggest that our brains make a decision to do something before we are consciously aware of this. This kind of experiment is leading to fascinating discussions and ongoing research.