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Recent content by Marvin Edwards

  1. Marvin Edwards

    Compatibilism: What's that About?

    Apparently we can. If choosing will inevitably happen, then choosing will inevitably happen. The fact of inevitability does not contradict the fact of choosing. You are posing a false dichotomy, which is easily demonstrated to be false. Again, a possibility need not happen in order to be a...
  2. Marvin Edwards

    Compatibilism: What's that About?

    It falsifies only the paradoxical definition of free will. But the ordinary definition of free will, as a choice we make while free of coercion and undue influence, is untouched by causal necessity. Ordinary free will fully expects a world of reliable cause and effect, where I can choose to...
  3. Marvin Edwards

    Compatibilism: What's that About?

    And this happens to be exactly how they must proceed, because it is how they did proceed: 1. We're hungry, and we've just sat down at a table in the restaurant. 2. We've picked up the menu (in order to satisfy our hunger, we must choose something from the menu). 3. We are considering that juicy...
  4. Marvin Edwards

    Compatibilism: What's that About?

    The human mind is suggestible. I suppose this is a genetic adaptation that aids learning, in a species like ours that enters the world lacking many of the instincts that help lesser animals survive from birth. In any case we are given to beliefs, some true and some false, and not always knowing...
  5. Marvin Edwards

    Compatibilism: What's that About?

    Of course. But they may still exercise control in most other matters of their life. And there are helpers out there, psychologists and therapists, that can provide meaningful assistance to minimize if not eliminate specific problems.
  6. Marvin Edwards

    Compatibilism: What's that About?

    I would say that there is a set of neurons that want the salad and another set of neurons that want the steak, and a third set of neurons weighing the signals from the other two sets and choosing the salad. All of these neurons are integral parts of who and what I am. Thus, it is still me, and...
  7. Marvin Edwards

    Compatibilism: What's that About?

    States of the System: 1. We're hungry, and we've just sat down at a table in the restaurant. 2. We've picked up the menu (in order to satisfy our hunger, we must choose something from the menu). 3. We are considering that juicy Steak. 4. But then we recall that we had bacon and eggs for...
  8. Marvin Edwards

    Compatibilism: What's that About?

    (A) I don't know where you get that impression. If a specific cause, or a specific combination of causes, reliably brings about a specific effect, then the behavior is deterministic. We can employ those causes to bring about a specific effect. (B) What we do and how we do it will, of course...
  9. Marvin Edwards

    Compatibilism: What's that About?

    Determinism is reliable cause and effect. A specific cause will always produce a specific effect. Indeterminism is unreliable cause and effect. The effects of a specific cause are unpredictable. The notion of "reliable" simply distinguishes determinism from indeterminism.
  10. Marvin Edwards

    Compatibilism: What's that About?

    And yet choosing is the process that causes the choice. It's that cause and effect thing, you know, what determinism is based on. You see drops of water falling from the sky? That's called "raining". You see someone browsing the restaurant menu and placing an order? That's called "choosing"...
  11. Marvin Edwards

    Compatibilism: What's that About?

    Every process is deterministic, including volition (will). A person's deliberate will is reliably caused by the process of deliberation, a process in which we decide what we will do. When free of coercion and undue influence, we call this a "freely chosen" will, or simply "free will". The...
  12. Marvin Edwards

    Compatibilism: What's that About?

    If you really believed that everything is entailed by causal necessity, then you must also agree that choosing will inevitably happen, without deviation. There is nothing we can do about it. It will inevitably happen, exactly as it does happen. When it comes to choosing, we will have no choice...
  13. Marvin Edwards

    Compatibilism: What's that About?

    Possibilities exist solely within the imagination. We cannot drive a car across the possibility of a bridge. A possibility is a "real" possibility if we have the ability to actualize it if we choose to do so. But an actualized possibility immediately ceases to be called a possibility and is now...
  14. Marvin Edwards

    Compatibilism: What's that About?

    You may have noticed that, unlike Daniel Dennett, I have no problem with the term "inevitable". And I have no problem with the notion of "causal necessity" or even the word "must". This is because, as long as I still get to choose what I will do, it doesn't really matter that my choice was...
  15. Marvin Edwards

    Compatibilism: What's that About?

    Quite the opposite. No deviation means that choosing will inevitably happen, and there is nothing we can do about it actually happening. Without deviation, we will choose to have dinner at the restaurant. Without deviation, we will be confronted with a literal menu of alternate possibilities...
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