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  1. Marvin Edwards

    Compatibilism: What's that About?

    Actually no. That is a demonstration of external manipulation. It is an undue influence, and a rather extreme one at that. It is the very opposite of free will. But, then again, if we cannot make the distinction between an unfree will, versus a freely chosen will, then we are morally lost.
  2. Marvin Edwards

    Demystifying Determinism

    Deliberation, according to the OED, is "The action of thinking carefully about something, esp. in order to reach a decision; careful consideration; an act or instance of this." A deliberate act is caused by that which chooses to perform the act. Specifically, it is our own brain deciding...
  3. Marvin Edwards

    Demystifying Determinism

    A deliberate act begins with us choosing what we will do, and ends with us acting upon that choice. Of course. All events are reliably caused by prior events, stretching back in time as far as we can imagine. But the farther back we go, the less meaningful and relevant, and the more...
  4. Marvin Edwards

    Compatibilism: What's that About?

    Deliberation and "choosing what we will do" are emergent functions. Free will describes the conditions present during that choosing. Were we free to make that choice for ourselves? Or, was that choice forced upon us against our will, by coercion or other forms of undue influence?
  5. Marvin Edwards

    Demystifying Determinism

    Yes, we can program computers to think for us. But we don't really want to program them to think for themselves. As you suggest, we don't want them pursuing their own goals.
  6. Marvin Edwards

    Demystifying Determinism

    What we choose to do controls the development/evolution of the system within our sphere of influence. Our "sphere of influence" includes all of the things that we ourselves can cause to happen if we choose to make them happen. Thinking happens only within sufficiently evolved brains. This...
  7. Marvin Edwards

    Demystifying Determinism

    By all means. That "sounds" reasonable but it gives a false impression. We are a part of the system, and what we choose to do controls the development/evolution of the system within our sphere of influence. Our "sphere of influence" includes all of the things that we ourselves can cause to...
  8. Marvin Edwards

    Demystifying Determinism

    I like that term "simulated deviation". After all, the brain's own imagination function is essentially running a simulation of events, trying out different choices and imagining what happens when we choose this or we choose that.
  9. Marvin Edwards

    Compatibilism: What's that About?

    There is nothing that prevents a person from being determined by antecedents and at the same time being free from the coercion and undue influence. But it is not the same problem at all. Inner necessity includes our mental processes that weigh our options and choose what we will do. And that...
  10. Marvin Edwards

    Demystifying Determinism

    Nothing else will happen, but any number of things could have happened if one of them, instead of A, were determined to happen. Again, no deviation is required. I can order the Salad and I can order the Steak. Both statements are true, despite the fact that I will inevitably order the Salad. I...
  11. Marvin Edwards

    Compatibilism: What's that About?

    Nope. It is a False Dichotomy, just like Jaryn said. There is nothing that prevents a person from being determined by antecedents and at the same time being free from the coercion and undue influence. You've ignored Jaryn's point, that in order to correct your behavior we need to correct you...
  12. Marvin Edwards

    Demystifying Determinism

    Like I said, we've covered the things that can and do happen. The issue is that you seem to be denying all of the things that can happen but never do happen. The point I'm making is that most of the things that can happen will never happen. Yet we still refer to them and discuss them as things...
  13. Marvin Edwards

    Demystifying Determinism

    You guys really need to cut back on the personal insults.
  14. Marvin Edwards

    business question

    We expect moral behavior from businesses as well as individuals. Laws are intended to prevent harmful behavior, whether by business or by individuals. A business, being in a position to harm people in many different ways, is subject to additional rules to prevent that harm. The 40 hour work week...
  15. Marvin Edwards

    Demystifying Determinism

    Yes. It is not uncommon to use "could" to include what "would" happen. After all, the thing that actually did happen was among the many things that could happen. The thing that did happen was one of the possibilities, in fact, the only one that was realized. But when referring to past events...
  16. Marvin Edwards

    Demystifying Determinism

    The problem is not with things that "can and do happen". Our issue involves things that "can and don't happen". Are things that "can" happen, but "will not" happen, to be considered real possibilities or not? That's what we're focusing on here. In order for us to process matters of uncertainty...
  17. Marvin Edwards

    Demystifying Determinism

    Again, both you and Britannica are trying to limit what "can happen" to what "will happen". It is a standard error in the formulation of determinism to suggest that "we could not have done otherwise" when it is only the case that "we would not have done otherwise". Claiming that the...
  18. Marvin Edwards

    Demystifying Determinism

    Again, both you and Britannica are trying to limit what "can happen" to what "will happen". It is a standard error in the formulation of determinism to suggest that it is AS IF "we could not have done otherwise" whenever it is the case that "we would not have done otherwise". But whenever...
  19. Marvin Edwards

    Demystifying Determinism

    On the other hand, if it looks like a choice and quacks like a choice, it might actually be a choice. Well, yes. Having decided with the girls that they would have dinner at a restaurant after work, they tossed around several options, and they all agreed to go to Ruby Tuesdays. It had enough...
  20. Marvin Edwards

    Demystifying Determinism

    Okay, so now we've established that both Determinism and Compatibilism have entries in the Britannica website. However, a more detailed exploration of the relevance of both is found here: It explores the topic of Compatibilism from the standpoint of many philosophers, from Aristotle to...
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