• Rich
    3.2k
    seems to me that one of the mistakes in the early interpretation of the infamous Libet experiment was a lack of attention to the way in which intentional actions always are intentional under some descriptions and not under other descriptions. It's not just that some consequences of what you do are unintended, but even some aspects that you are perfectly aware (and in full control) of, regarding what you do, aren't deliberately chosen either, and need not be, for your action to count as intentional.Pierre-Normand

    A life form has Will that allows it to choose an action in a particular direction. Results are always unpredictable though probabilistic in nature (this parallels the essence of quantum physics). Willful movement is inherent in life forces.

    She's doing what she wished to do, given that she is thus inclined. This is also, of course, a gross simplification of the standard argument(s) for compatibilism.Pierre-Normand

    This implies a choice is made, and as such the so-called deterministic chain is broken. As soon as any non-deterministic choice is made anywhere in the universe, the deterministic paradigm is crushed as is compatibilism.
  • Pierre-Normand
    1.6k
    The problem with that approach is that it seems to completely ignore the ontological issues re causality (in the physics sense).Terrapin Station

    I just presented a standard argument for incompatibilism (and also a standard argument for compatibilism). It's not a fully developed account of incompatibilist free will, for sure. Once some libertarian philosopher has convincingly argued that free will can't be consistent with determinism (if she has) then, of course, it is incumbent on her to explain how the practical abilities possessed by rational agents can be explained in a way that takes advantage of the leeway afforded by the indeterministic "gaps" in the underlying chains of physical causation. And that's precisely what libertarian philosophers, like Robert Kane, or Christian List (in a very different way), attempt to do. For sure, this raises ontological issues regarding causation, and not only at the level of physical processes. This is certainly not being ignored by libertarian philosophers.
  • Pierre-Normand
    1.6k
    What you need help understanding is that there are no facts re whether something is a (strict) liability or not.Terrapin Station

    Let me grant that there is no fact of the matter. Very well then. My suggestion was unhelpful. The concept of strict liabilities seems to be of no use for making sense of your strange claim that you are feeling 'responsible' -- in the exact same sense of the word -- for all your bodily motions regardless of their causes. Well, I just can't help you then. Sorry about that.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k


    What does making sense of it amount to for you in a case like this? Surely not having the same opinon, right? How would any arbitrary opinion about either a moral issue (if you're parsing it this way) or a conceptual stipulation be a matter of making sense to you, at least in lieu of it being in respect to something else the person says?
  • Pierre-Normand
    1.6k
    What does making sense of it amount to for you in a case like this? Surely not having the same opinon, right? How would any arbitrary opinion about either a moral issue (if you're parsing it this way) or a conceptual stipulation be a matter of making sense to you, at least in lieu of it being in respect to something else the person says?Terrapin Station

    I did not make it a specifically moral issue. "Responsible'' has a non-moral agent-causal (or substance-causal) attribution sense: The lightning strike was responsible for the forest fire; the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration is responsible for global warming, etc. In any case, passing off your alleged phenomenological datum that you are feeling responsible for your sneezes as the expression of an arbitrary moral opinion or seemingly pointless conceptual stipulation is even more bizarre.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k


    So how about actually answering the question re what making sense amounts to for you in a case like this?
  • Pierre-Normand
    1.6k
    So how about actually answering the question re what making sense amounts to for you in a case like this?Terrapin Station

    Well, it doesn't make sense to me. Saying stuff that makes sense rather than stuff that doesn't is generally considered a desideratum in philosophical discussion. Talk about phenomenology isn't an exception to this. And there is rather more to conceptual elucidation than arbitrary stipulation.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    Well, it doesn't make sense to me.Pierre-Normand

    Right. We know that. How about we analyze what it would amount to for it to make sense to you? Or is that a problem because you haven't read anything that you can regurgitate on that? You don't mean that you wouldn't say the same thing, right?
  • Pierre-Normand
    1.6k
    Right. We know that. How about we analyze what it would amount to for it to make sense to you? Or is that a problem because you haven't read anything that you can regurgitate on that? You don't mean that you wouldn't say the same thing, right?Terrapin Station

    It really sounds to me like whenever the tea pot gets warm prime numbers above 17 suddenly get significantly heavier (except for 883, of course!). How about we analyze what it would amount to for this sentence to make sense to you? Of course, I'm not going ever to provide you with the slightest hint what it could possibly mean for me to say that. Why would I need to? It's all just a matter of arbitrary conceptual stipulation, after all. Or is that a problem because you are unaccountably prejudiced against tea drinkers?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k

    Not surprised that you can't answer.
  • FreeEmotion
    138
    To me, free will something we feel we have. Whether we actually are determining the course of a nonexistent future or discovering the scenery on a set of railroad tracks to the future depends on how the universe has been constructed. I believe that God created the universe and has set us all on His train to the future, everything preplanned, pre-known. That does not change how I feel except to know that there are things beyond by control, like the fact that I learned to write in English.
  • Forgottenticket
    200
    They freely consented to abide by those instructions and to push a button at a randomly chosen time.Pierre-Normand
    .

    You're right. For some reason I didn't think of that part. Guess it takes philosophy to unravel that bit. Although it does put some parts of philosophy in question, mainly the brain identity stuff. Patricia Churchland wrote an essay on that but that probably needs a separate thread.
  • FreeEmotion
    138
    Well if it turns out that we 'really" do not have free will, then the moment that is announced by scientists we will say "ah well" and move on, continue to do what we are doing.

    The legal system may be in a frenzy.
  • Steven Brazzale
    0
    From our subjective point of view, we make choices between the different things we value. But without consciousness neither the subjective point of view nor value exist. And so until we can understand the mystery of how consciousness arises out of determinate matter, we cannot hope to understand free-will in a deterministic universe. And I don't think we ever will understand consciousness. Proposals like panpsycism side step the issue (everything has psychical properties)
  • god must be atheist
    2.4k
    Free will requires predictability to be meaningful, and predictability is dependent on [a degree of] determinism. But absolute determinism (the clockwork universe, down to and including individual decisions and fleeting thoughts) lacks truth-valueMariner

    This is so true. To me it proves, though, that there is no such thing as a will independent of influences already started in the past.

    The crunch of the proof comes from "predictability". That is a human concept, designed by, and for, humans. What we can't predict for sure, we can predict with a probability. If the probability of an event is greater than zero but less then one, then there are alternative events.

    But in nature, as well as in human lives,there are no true alternatives. If there were, there would be more than one reality, running parallel with itself, in whcih each running parallel reality would represent the events that are probable.

    However, that is not the case, as there is only one reality.

    The human mind can't possibly compute in all events the probability that is 1 (or 100 percent likely) of enay event. And yet, that is the probability of anything happening, as everything happens only in one version, there are no alternatives according to probability.

    Therefore probability and likelyhood are human concepts, to help make humans a predicion, which has multiple outcomes; this only affects human predictions of the future, not natural events as they unfold in the future.

    Truth value in nature does not occur, as falshood of a predicted event is impossible. If all factors are calculated in, then each prediction has a 100 percent probability, so a probability that has a larger than zero but less then one hundred percent chance of happening, and then NOT happening, does not occur. If it occurred, then we'd have alternative realities, which we don't. Therefore no truth value can be false, therefore all truth values are true, therefore it is nonsensical to spealk of truth value when everythign is guaranteed to be true.
  • god must be atheist
    2.4k
    Well if it turns out that we 'really" do not have free will, then the moment that is announced by scientists we will say "ah well" and move on, continue to do what we are doing.FreeEmotion

    Not precisely. Because the legal system is one factor that affects future events.

    The law says "killers will be punished if caught". This is a factor in causing future events. Many people would kill if this case was not part of social rule.

    Of course one could say, "yes, but people still kill. So the effect is not a hundred percent predictive; therefore there is a cause that alters the behaviour, which cause is the free will."

    The counter-argument to that would be, "yes, there are other causes, and they are NOT borne by free will; they are borne by circumstances, by events in the past." If a man beats his wife and child, and though provides for them, the woman may consider whethere the infuence of the law overrides the influence of needing to stop the suffering. Depending on the INTENSITY of the two, and depending on a myriad of other factors, the woman will come to a decision, but the decision is based on the effects that influence it; there is no component inlfuence, that is without a cause.

    The proof for that is that an influence that is not effecting the outcome is irrelavant.

    I want to murder my husband. There is a supernova in a galaxy 5 billion lightyears away, and there is a solution to the general terms of the second degree one unknown equation.

    Chances are they are not affecting my decision, because they are irrelevant. So their effect is negligible.

    If someone successfully argues, however, that there may be connections between the solution of the equation and my murdering my husband, then it is an effect, and that will satisfy the claim that only those effects will determine my action to murder my husband, that are not irrelevant.
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