• Rich
    3.2k
    So I don't see why we can't say that determinism allows for the capacity to prevent some action or another.Michael

    If every thing is determined then what is doing the "preventing"??

    Compatibilists simply introduce an entirely new force of nature, apparently free from the Deterministic Laws of Nature, called Free Will, that can choose. Well, at this point, Compatibilism is no longer deterministic. It has become everything but. This is what the OP observes. Compatibilism is incompatible with Determinism.
  • Michael
    7.4k
    If every thing is determined then what is doing the "preventing"??Rich

    I don't understand the question. Because of a deterministic causal chain, a damn has been built, preventing the valley from flooding.

    Compatibilists simply introduce an entirely new force of nature, apparently free from the Deterministic Laws of Nature, called Free Will, that can choose.

    No, that would be libertarianism. Compatibilists deny this.
  • Michael
    7.4k
    It might be interesting to look at an incompatibilist argument for free will from here:

    A. Any agent, x, performs an act a of x's own free will iff x has control over a.
    B. x has control over a only if x has the ability to select among alternative courses of action to act a.
    ...

    Both the compatibilist and the incompatibilist will accept A. The disagreement is over B. The compatibilist will argue that control over a does not require having the ability to select among alternative courses of action; it only requires that x's will/volition is responsible for a.

    So perhaps:

    B. x has control over a only if a wouldn't have happened had x not willed it.

    This counterfactual is consistent with determinism.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Because of a deterministic causal chain, a damn has been built, preventing the valley from flooding.Michael

    Right, it is the Laws of Nature that are guiding EVERYTHING and they create the illusion that a good is being prevented. The concept of "prevention" had no meaning in a universe guided by the emotionless Laws if Nature.

    Under Determinism, there is no Will and there is most certainly no Compatibilist Free Will, other than the illusions that emerge from the Determined, morally inert Laws of Nature. Determinists want the Universe to be a computer, they got it. As the OP suggests, Free Will of any sort is incompatible with Determinism and Compatibilism is just another illusion from a Determinist perspective. Actually Compatibilism is just another description of a Mind exerting Free Will, so went academic philosophy categorizes it as a variation of Determinism is beyond me.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.6k
    In talking about the will being free you're tacitly implying a libertarian definition of "free will", and so all you're really arguing is that the compatibilist's definition is incompatible with the libertarian's definition.Michael

    You can say it like that if you want, that in talking about the will being free, you're tacitly implying a libertarian definition, but I don't see it the way you're saying it. I don't accept the libertarian definition either, I'm more of a traditionalist. So I'm not implying a libertarian definition, you're just misinterpreting.

    What I think, is that the word "free" has a certain range of acceptable usage, and to use it outside that range is unacceptable, even dishonest, because you know that the reader will think that "free" has its normal meaning, but you are really using 'free" to signify something completely different.

    Free will, for the compatibilist, isn't a matter of whether or not the will is free to choose from more than one outcome but a matter of whether or not we are responsible for our behaviour. And as I've said before, there are two different senses of responsibility: causal and moral. We're causally responsible if the will is the cause of our behaviour and we're morally responsible if we're causally responsible, in the right state of mind, and not under any unreasonable duress.Michael

    See, you define "free" with "responsible". But free means not under the control of another, and responsible means to be liable to be called to account for. So these terms are really incompatible, almost even contradictory because to be liable implies that you are bound by another. When you say that the person, or person's will, is free, what you really mean is that the person is liable, or bound, to be called to account. That's not freedom at all. And I think it's a deceptive use of "free", because if you told a person you are free to do want you want, when what you really meant is that the person is bound to be called to account for whatever is done, I would call that deception.

    If my will causes me to turn down the alcohol then it is responsible for me not accepting and drinking the alcohol. So I don't see why we can't say that determinism allows for the capacity to prevent some action or another.Michael

    You still haven't provided any principles for dealing with the will's capacity to cause inaction. All you have done is described a particular instance of inactivity as an action, ("turn down the alcohol"), in order to avoid the issue, furthering your tactic of deception.
  • Michael
    7.4k
    You can say it like that if you want, that in talking about the will being free, you're tacitly implying a libertarian definition, but I don't see it the way you're saying it. I don't accept the libertarian definition either, I'm more of a traditionalist. So I'm not implying a libertarian definition, you're just misinterpreting.

    What I think, is that the word "free" has a certain range of acceptable usage, and to use it outside that range is unacceptable, even dishonest, because you know that the reader will think that "free" has its normal meaning, but you are really using 'free" to signify something completely different.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    See, you define "free" with "responsible". But free means not under the control of another, and responsible means to be liable to be called to account for. So these terms are really incompatible, almost even contradictory because to be liable implies that you are bound by another. When you say that the person, or person's will, is free, what you really mean is that the person is liable, or bound, to be called to account. That's not freedom at all. And I think it's a deceptive use of "free", because if you told a person you are free to do want you want, when what you really meant is that the person is bound to be called to account for whatever is done, I would call that deception.Metaphysician Undercover

    A Google search for define:free gives "able to act or be done as one wishes; not under the control of another.". It seems to me that this is consistent with the compatibilist's definition: I pick the red ball because it's what I want to happen, not because it's what someone else wants to happen (contrary to my wishes).

    It's also consistent with this incompatibilist argument, which defines having free will in terms of having control over one's behaviour.

    You still haven't provided any principles for dealing with the will's capacity to cause inaction. All you have done is described a particular instance of inactivity as an action, ("turn down the alcohol"), in order to avoid the issue, furthering your tactic of deception.

    I really don't understand what you mean here. Sometimes I will not to do something (e.g. to not drink alcohol), and because of that will to not drink alcohol I don't drink alcohol. I don't see how this is deception.
  • charleton
    1.2k
    So there you have it. Darwin knew that his theory is as incompatible with determinism as is free will.tom

    What utter nonsense!! You have made a tragic error of the most basic type; a complete glaring non sequitur.
  • charleton
    1.2k
    This is false, there is no legal definition of "free will", it is a philosophical term.Metaphysician Undercover

    Do some research.
    Read up on Stanford. They explain the origin of compatibilism.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.6k
    A Google search for define:free gives "able to act or be done as one wishes; not under the control of another.". It seems to me that this is consistent with the compatibilist's definition: I pick the red ball because it's what I want to happen, not because it's what someone else wants to happen (contrary to my wishes).Michael

    But you defined "free" with "responsible". If your will is responsible for your actions, then your will is free. Accordingly, a person (or one's will) is only free in so far as it is responsible for activity. Freedom of the will is defined by you as the will being "responsible" for activity. My point is that "responsible" is not compatible with "free" in the normal usage of "free". To be able to act as one wishes is not compatible with being responsible for one's actions. Responsibility is what curtails one's freedom. For example, a person can freely choose to be irresponsible, even break the law etc., but the desire to be responsible inspires the person to choose otherwise.

    So we don't define "free" with "responsible", as you do. Free is unbounded whereas responsible is bounded. We may define responsible in relation to free, as responsibility is what bounds our freedom, but we do not define free in relation to responsible as if freedom necessarily entails being responsible. The free person is not necessarily responsible. Likewise, a free will may choose inactivity over activity, therefore the defining feature of the free will cannot be "responsible for activity", because the will's freedom extends beyond the bounds of activity, to inactivity.

    I really don't understand what you mean here. Sometimes I will not to do something (e.g. to not drink alcohol), and because of that will to not drink alcohol I don't drink alcohol.Michael

    OK, this is a less deceptive way of stating it. So let's say that you will not to drink alcohol. Compare this with your definition of "free will". Your definition of "free will" is such that your will is free if it is responsible for your actions. In this case there is no action, you are not drinking alcohol. According to your definition it cannot be a free will which is responsible for this inactivity. But let's assume that it is in some sense "the will" which is responsible for this inactivity. I conclude that this is therefore a constrained will which is responsible for the inactivity. What is it that is constraining the will? Is it another will? There is a free will which is responsible for activities, but do you think that there is another will which constrains the free will in order to produce inactivity?

    As I explained earlier, in the traditional definition of free will, the free will is the means by which we refrain from activity. The important aspect of the free will is the capacity to refrain from activity, what is commonly called will power. By defining "free will" as a relationship between the will and human activity such that the will is only free if the human being is active, you produce an unwarranted separation between free will and will power. And it is through demonstrations of will power that we prove that the will is not causally determined.

    Do some research.
    Read up on Stanford. They explain the origin of compatibilism.
    charleton

    Actually I did a quick search to see if there was a legal definition of "free will" before I made my post, and found none. I am not inclined to use Stanford because I generally dislike the narrow minded physicalist perspective which they put forward. But if it helps you, then be my guest and refer to Stanford to produce your "legal definition" of free will.
  • charleton
    1.2k
    I am not inclined to use Stanford because I generally dislike the narrow minded physicalist perspective which they put forward.Metaphysician Undercover

    Risible.
  • BlueBanana
    900
    So you admit that the illusion of self exists in determinism (btw what you are describing is physicalism). Then this illusion is what is called self, therefore it is the self, therefore the self exists, as an "illusion" that emerges from the particles.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    So you admit that the illusion of self exists in determinism (btw what you are describing is physicalism). Then this illusion is what is called self, therefore it is the self, therefore the self exists, as an "illusion" that emerges from the particles.BlueBanana

    What illusion? It's just us.

    What a funny way to look at life? Particles are admitting illusions? I guess for some people it is fun thinking of themselves in this manner. Who am I to question such?
  • BlueBanana
    900
    What illusion?Rich

    The illusion that you said there'd be if determinism was the case.

    What a funny way to look at life? Particles are admitting illusions? I guess for some people it is fun thinking of themselves in this manner. Who am I to question such?Rich

    Dude, I don't even believe in determinism myself. I'm arguing against you because your arguments are fallacious and you've misunderstood the concepts of determinism and physicalism.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    The illusion that you said there'd be if determinism was the case.BlueBanana

    Sure, for anyone who adopts Determinism as their philosophy everything is an illusion - including Determinism. It's rather Hindu in nature.

    Dude, I don't even believe in determinism myself. I'm arguing against you because your arguments are fallacious and you've misunderstood the concepts of determinism and physicalism.BlueBanana

    I understand it very well. It's just hard to believe that people actually believe in it, but then again, we are dealing with the human mind.
  • BlueBanana
    900
    Sure, for anyone who adopts Determinism as their philosophy everything is an illusion - including Determinism.Rich

    Interesting point. Declaring causality to be an illusion is certainly a thing that has been done, but it's not a part of determinism. If consciousness is illusion, then knowledge and information must be as well, and that would lead to concepts being illusions. However, the concept represents something. What people understand when the word determinism is used would be an illusion according to determinism, but what the concept represents, what the word determinism refers to, would not be an illusion.

    I understand it very well.Rich

    Looking back, mistake would've been a better verb to use. As Michael pointed out, you've been arguing against physicalism - the conclusions of yours can't be drawn from determinism alone.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Interesting point. Declaring causality to be an illusion is certainly a thing that has been done, but it's not a part of determinism. If consciousness is illusion, then knowledge and information must be as well, and that would lead to concepts being illusions.BlueBanana

    Determinism naturally leads to Hinduism but of course it is not going to be taught this way, for it would undermine the "scientific" aspects of Determinism. It's funny that Darwin was forced to admit his whole theory falls under this illusion (it being meaningless) as would all if science. Science Burris itself in its self-made illusion. Such irony.

    . However, the concept represents something. What people understand when the word determinism is used would be an illusion according to determinism, but what the concept represents, what the word determinism refers to, would not be an illusion.BlueBanana

    A true Determinist ultimately has to succumb to the inevitable that if the mind is an illusion so it's their whole existence and experience. Rather dismal prospects. This is Hinduism at its finest. Maybe scientists will have to take up ascetic mediation to break through the illusion (Maya).
  • BlueBanana
    900
    A true Determinist ultimately has to succumb to the inevitable that if ,the mind is an illusion so it's their whole existence and experience.Rich

    People do still have experiences of the reality outside them, and as long as those experiences do not deny the possibility of one's experience of self, those experiences can be trusted to represent the reality, even if they are an illusion. This means that at least according to the current scientific knowledge what you describe is not necessary.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    People do still have experiences of the reality outside them, and as long as those experiences do not deny the possibility of one's experience of self, those experiences can be trusted to represent the reality, even if they are an illusion.BlueBanana

    The bouncing particles are supposedly creating the illusion of mind. Of course, one has to question the illusion being created by the particles since it is all an illusion. What is reality then? That is what the Hindus have been trying to figure out. Mediation is one approach. Does Dennett meditate?

    That which is an Illusion (Mind) cannot be depended on to provide Reality.
  • BlueBanana
    900
    How does it affect the reliability of the perceptions if they are an illusion?
  • Rich
    3.2k
    How does it affect the reliability of the perceptions if they are an illusion?BlueBanana

    They become meaningless much to the chagrin of Darwin. It harkens back to the days of old where all of the universe were mere puppets of the gods (bouncing particles). Compatibilism was a desperate attempt to bring some meaning back into life.

    But heck, if people want to feel that they are just illusions created by bouncing particles, no skin off my teeth.
  • BlueBanana
    900
    They become meaninglessRich

    Why? Your claim that an illusion is less reliable than a not-illusion has no basis.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Reliability has no meaning anymore. It's all an illusion - supposedly. We can jettison Descartes. It's all just something, whatever it is. Time to close up shop. Everything is only an illusion including our minds. So much for the search for truth.
  • BlueBanana
    900
    Descartes' arguments apply without determinism as well. The mind being an illusion does not make the perceptions any more or less reliable.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    What perception? What is perceiving? Don't you get it? It is just bouncing balls creating illusions. All of a sudden illusions are reliable? To what?
  • BlueBanana
    900
    It is just bouncing balls creating illusions.Rich

    Illusions that we call perceptions and that appear to us as perceptions. Determinism and physicalism don't make those perceptions any less real or reliable.

    All of a sudden illusions are reliable?Rich

    Since when are they not? What? Why? :s
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Illusions have no meaning in the world of determinism and physicalism. They are neither reliable or unreliable. You are just an illusion of bouncing particles. Bouncing particles are just an illusion. Don't treat yourself or others otherwise. Determinism it's just an illusion. There is no meaning. Eat your food. Welcome to Hinduism. There is no escape from Maya.
  • BlueBanana
    900
    Illusions have no meaning in the world of determinism and physicalism.Rich

    Debatable; I can agree if you stuff the word "objective" somewhere there.

    They are neither reliable or unreliable.Rich

    Does not follow from anything. The meaninglessness and lack of reliability of illusions are false premises that you don't derive from anything.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Find meaning in bouncing particles that are being guided by the mystical Laws of Nature. This is all there is and since this is itself an illusion, then there is nothing there other than we are all suffering from Illusions (Maya).

    At least the Hindus are honest about their philosophy. Materialists want to pretend Illusions are Scientific. Whatever.

    The moment any philosophy resorts to illusion all is finished. Now one can meditate for the rest of his/her life with the hope of breaking free of illusion. Lots of people spend their life that way.
  • BlueBanana
    900
    Now one can meditate for the rest of his/her life with the hope of breaking free of illusion.Rich

    Why would you do that? The illusion is an accurate representation of the reality and it's not like you're meditating to break free of your experiences. That the consciousness is an illusion doesn't have to have any effect on one's life or how one lives, experiences or evaluates it. You're just misinterpreting the word illusion.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    The illusion is an accurate representation of the realityBlueBanana

    You don't exist. I don't exist. Particles don't exist. Everything is an illusion.

    Actually, you have successfully turned Materialism into full-out Idealism and Illusions into Realism.

    You can work out the mess. It's not to my taste.
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