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Compatibilism: What's that About?

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Yes, you made it clear that perspective my give the actor the impression of free will, but you just don't want to admit that the subjective impression of free will is what us actors are talking about when we use the expression "free will". We aren't talking about freedom from causal necessity in a deterministic reality. So your attempt to dismiss free will as an illusion is ultimately a self-refuting argument. You end up admitting that we are compelled to accept the reality of being responsible for our actions, even if we cannot step outside of the deterministic chaos that compels us to make the choices that we do. You aren't arguing that we should open up the jails and let everyone out on the grounds that none of the inmates could help themselves when they committed their crimes. Supposedly, we are compelled to keep them locked up. What does any of your argument buy us except intellectual bankruptcy?

Are you saying that those who believe in free will, compatibilists, etc, accept that their concept of free will is an illusion? That free will as an illusion is not real? That free will is a false impression, an illusion of the mind? That the term is merely a verbal construct?

Just FYI, all terms are verbal constructs. All have significance in their own right, or they wouldn't have been used in the first place.

What I am saying is that "free will" is only an illusion if you frame it as the result of a causal necessity, where the entire antecedent chain is known. That is, it is an illusion from the perspective of an all-knowing outside observer, not the actor making the choice. People who use the term almost never use it with that sort of perspective in mind. You can ask people to tell you what made them make a choice that they did, but they never try to answer by exhaustively detailing every possible past event that led up to the choice. That is just background noise from the perspective of the chooser. They simply name the factor that they recollect as the most salient one when they made their choice. If you want to treat free will as just an illusion because of your obsession with causal chaining, you are free to do so. The rest of us will carry on as we have in the past, using the term to apply to choices that we feel are not coerced or unduly influenced by the circumstances that led to them. Causal necessity remains intact and can do what it must do.

feelings... nothing more than feelings....:ROFLMAO:
 

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Yes, you made it clear that perspective my give the actor the impression of free will, but you just don't want to admit that the subjective impression of free will is what us actors are talking about when we use the expression "free will". We aren't talking about freedom from causal necessity in a deterministic reality. So your attempt to dismiss free will as an illusion is ultimately a self-refuting argument. You end up admitting that we are compelled to accept the reality of being responsible for our actions, even if we cannot step outside of the deterministic chaos that compels us to make the choices that we do. You aren't arguing that we should open up the jails and let everyone out on the grounds that none of the inmates could help themselves when they committed their crimes. Supposedly, we are compelled to keep them locked up. What does any of your argument buy us except intellectual bankruptcy?

Are you saying that those who believe in free will, compatibilists, etc, accept that their concept of free will is an illusion? That free will as an illusion is not real? That free will is a false impression, an illusion of the mind? That the term is merely a verbal construct?

Just FYI, all terms are verbal constructs. All have significance in their own right, or they wouldn't have been used in the first place.

What I am saying is that "free will" is only an illusion if you frame it as the result of a causal necessity, where the entire antecedent chain is known. That is, it is an illusion from the perspective of an all-knowing outside observer, not the actor making the choice. People who use the term almost never use it with that sort of perspective in mind. You can ask people to tell you what made them make a choice that they did, but they never try to answer by exhaustively detailing every possible past event that led up to the choice. That is just background noise from the perspective of the chooser. They simply name the factor that they recollect as the most salient one when they made their choice. If you want to treat free will as just an illusion because of your obsession with causal chaining, you are free to do so. The rest of us will carry on as we have in the past, using the term to apply to choices that we feel are not coerced or unduly influenced by the circumstances that led to them. Causal necessity remains intact and can do what it must do.

The question is not that all terms are verbal constructs, which they obviously are, but: is it a reference to something that exists independently of our terms.

The words "demons" and "people,'' for instance, are verbal constructs, but which of the two demonstrably exist independently of our terms?

The issue with free will is the reference, what exactly does the term refer to? The compatibilist gives their description of free will, and the incompatibilist points out the reason why it fails in terms of determinism and the physical processes of behaviour, which do not allow freedom of the will, only determined actions which proceed unimpeded as determined.
 
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The question is not that all terms are verbal constructs, which they obviously are, but: is it a reference to something that exists independently of our terms.

The words "demons" and "people,'' for instance, are verbal constructs, but which of the two demonstrably exist independently of our terms?

Lovely demonstration. The words "determinism" and "people", are verbal constructs, but which of the two demonstrably exists independently of our terms?

The issue with free will is the reference, what exactly does the term refer to?

What exactly does the term "free will" refer to? Free will is literally a freely chosen "I will". That is exactly what the term refers to. And what is the choosing free of? It is free of coercion and undue influence.

The compatibilist gives their description of free will, and the incompatibilist points out the reason why it fails in terms of determinism and the physical processes of behaviour, which do not allow freedom of the will, only determined actions which proceed unimpeded as determined.

Free will is consistent with both (a) determinism and (b) the physical processes of behavior! Choosing is a deterministic operation, in which multiple options are input, some criteria of comparative evaluation is applied, and a single choice is output. And the choosing operation is always performed by the physical processes within the person's own brain.

The criteria for selection are part of the person, exactly as they are at the time of choosing. The criteria typically include the person's own goals, their own reasons, their own genetic dispositions, their own prior experiences, their own beliefs and values, and so on. Which criteria play the most important roles in a given choice will depend upon the nature of the issue to be decided. But the criteria will reliably determine the choice. The choice is fully deterministic.

Under extraordinary circumstances, the choosing operation may be encumbered by coercion and other forms of undue influence. In any case, whether it be a case of free will, or a case of coercion, or a case of some other undue influence, the process is always consistent with determinism and the mental process is always carried out using the physical processes running upon the brain's neural infrastructure.

So, as you can see, once more, there is no inconsistency between the notions of free will, determinism, and neuroscience. They are all compatible with each other.
 

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descartes.... only because that tradition lived pass the printing press... and now it is here... forever.
"I will", please reconsider Marvin.
 

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The question is not that all terms are verbal constructs, which they obviously are, but: is it a reference to something that exists independently of our terms.

The words "demons" and "people,'' for instance, are verbal constructs, but which of the two demonstrably exist independently of our terms?

The issue with free will is the reference, what exactly does the term refer to? The compatibilist gives their description of free will, and the incompatibilist points out the reason why it fails in terms of determinism and the physical processes of behaviour, which do not allow freedom of the will, only determined actions which proceed unimpeded as determined.
First of all, there is no single definition or rigid doctrine among compatibilists for the concept of "free will". The term is quite often left undefined in these discussions, and Dennett offers several senses of the expression. But Marvin has done a great job of defining it quite consistently in a way that seems to fit well with common usage among English speakers. There are other definitions for the term, and we have been discussing it from a rather uncommon perspective--that of an eliminative materialist--your apparent position here--that seeks to treat the term as essentially meaningless, even though we all have to behave as if it were meaningful. One of the criticism of eliminative materialism in the philosophical literature is that it is essentially self-refuting, since its proponents tend to end up having to admit that most of the "folk psychology" terms they wish to eliminate are simply necessary in ordinary daily existence.
 

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The question is not that all terms are verbal constructs, which they obviously are, but: is it a reference to something that exists independently of our terms.

The words "demons" and "people,'' for instance, are verbal constructs, but which of the two demonstrably exist independently of our terms?

Lovely demonstration. The words "determinism" and "people", are verbal constructs, but which of the two demonstrably exists independently of our terms?

If they are objective phenomena, both are demonstrable. Compatibilism as you know is related to determinism. If determinism is false, where does compatibilism stand? Incompatibilists point out why determinism does not support freedom of will regardless.
The issue with free will is the reference, what exactly does the term refer to?

What exactly does the term "free will" refer to? Free will is literally a freely chosen "I will". That is exactly what the term refers to. And what is the choosing free of? It is free of coercion and undue influence.
Will is not only fully influenced, it is determined. You can't get a harder form of influence than that.
The compatibilist gives their description of free will, and the incompatibilist points out the reason why it fails in terms of determinism and the physical processes of behaviour, which do not allow freedom of the will, only determined actions which proceed unimpeded as determined.

Free will is consistent with both (a) determinism and (b) the physical processes of behavior! Choosing is a deterministic operation, in which multiple options are input, some criteria of comparative evaluation is applied, and a single choice is output. And the choosing operation is always performed by the physical processes within the person's own brain.

The criteria for selection are part of the person, exactly as they are at the time of choosing. The criteria typically include the person's own goals, their own reasons, their own genetic dispositions, their own prior experiences, their own beliefs and values, and so on. Which criteria play the most important roles in a given choice will depend upon the nature of the issue to be decided. But the criteria will reliably determine the choice. The choice is fully deterministic.

Under extraordinary circumstances, the choosing operation may be encumbered by coercion and other forms of undue influence. In any case, whether it be a case of free will, or a case of coercion, or a case of some other undue influence, the process is always consistent with determinism and the mental process is always carried out using the physical processes running upon the brain's neural infrastructure.

So, as you can see, once more, there is no inconsistency between the notions of free will, determinism, and neuroscience. They are all compatible with each other.

Within a determined system, all things are encumbered by forces that fix each and every outcome, which eliminates the freedom to do otherwise (the essence of freedom). Which is why freedom of will is incompatible with determinism.
 

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The question is not that all terms are verbal constructs, which they obviously are, but: is it a reference to something that exists independently of our terms.

The words "demons" and "people,'' for instance, are verbal constructs, but which of the two demonstrably exist independently of our terms?

The issue with free will is the reference, what exactly does the term refer to? The compatibilist gives their description of free will, and the incompatibilist points out the reason why it fails in terms of determinism and the physical processes of behaviour, which do not allow freedom of the will, only determined actions which proceed unimpeded as determined.
First of all, there is no single definition or rigid doctrine among compatibilists for the concept of "free will". The term is quite often left undefined in these discussions, and Dennett offers several senses of the expression. But Marvin has done a great job of defining it quite consistently in a way that seems to fit well with common usage among English speakers. There are other definitions for the term, and we have been discussing it from a rather uncommon perspective--that of an eliminative materialist--your apparent position here--that seeks to treat the term as essentially meaningless, even though we all have to behave as if it were meaningful. One of the criticism of eliminative materialism in the philosophical literature is that it is essentially self-refuting, since its proponents tend to end up having to admit that most of the "folk psychology" terms they wish to eliminate are simply necessary in ordinary daily existence.

Definitions alone prove nothing. God can be defined in relation to the world, as the creator, the giver of life, transcendent being, etc.....none of which establishes the existence of God.

Sure, you can define compatibilism as 'acting in accordance with one's will with no outside force or coercion,' but this ignores that will itself has no functional say, no alternatives, no possibility to do otherwise. Thereby, ignoring the very thing that curtails freedom - fixed outcome - compatibilism fails to establish its proposition: freedom of will.
 

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I'll be more specific. In a determined world there is no choosing.

Choosing is a deterministic operation that inputs two or more options, applies some criteria of comparative evaluation, and outputs a single choice, usually in the form of an "I will X", where X is that which we have decided we will do.

And you're saying this never happens? Come with me to the restaurant. Watch the people walk in, sit at a table, browse the menu, and place their orders. How was the literal menu of options reduced to a single choice, if not by choosing?

If we stick around, we will notice the waiter bringing each person their bill, holding them responsible for their deliberate act.

Like all events, these events were causally necessary from any prior point in the past. Causal necessity does eliminate choosing, it assures it will inevitably happen.

One's own impression of what one is doing, or of what others are doing, is subjective.

Watching people in the restaurant reducing a menu of options into a single "I will have the chef salad, please", is an objective observation, not a subjective impression. That's why I use it. Everyone has seen people actually making choices in the real world.

Causation is objective.

And we just objectively observed choosing actually happening. Cool, huh?

Subjective isn't up to the task.

So, are you suggesting that we, as objective observers, were just imagining that people in the restaurant were making choices? We cannot see inside their heads. But we did see a menu of options going into it, and a single choice coming out of it. Choosing happens. It is a real deterministic event that occurs in the real world.
And why I choose software as an example. "Choice" as a concept, in fact the more general term "decision", requires no/very little "intelligence" at all, the intelligence of a single gate.

I think where people get lost is that logical structures can be imposed in the physical, and those logical structures may be then modeled, completely ignoring the physical substrate, to perform an act of literal thaumaturgy: to make happen so below, and then follow that determined path above in the other system that performs "the same".

I can see how such ideas got off the rails though... It's a short but fatal leap to where people in ancient times took it, in our modern understanding.

But, Body Rituals of the Nacirema and all that...

Geez, you're making me look up words like "thaumaturgy", which means working miracles. As a Humanist, I don't believe in miracles.
However it seems you do believe in ethics can be materially defined. Care to try?

See: https://americanhumanist.org/what-is-humanism/definition-of-humanism/

Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism or other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good. Whether you’re doing research, exploring a personal philosophy, or are simply curious about humanism, the resources here are a great place to start: […]*

* I've highlighted a few terms beyond humanism for which I'd like to see objective constructions.

Hey! Thanks for sharing with everyone the link to the AHA.

You also ask whether ethics can be "materially" defined. Yes:

Ethics are a system of rules that guide behavior. The goal of ethics is to achieve a set of rules that provides the best good and the least harm for everyone. Which rules will best accomplish this are often a matter of debate, because the long term consequences of a given rule are often uncertain. So, groups, such as legislatures, research data and hear expert witnesses to inform their decisions. And they often argue over which rule will have the best results. After gathering information and discussion, they vote to establish a working rule that they implement. After it is implemented, we become better informed as to its actual consequences, and may modify, replace, or delete it.

But note that we have just stepped out of this thread and into this one: https://iidb.org/index.php?threads/morality-and-ethics.24777/
Yes is not a very satisfying answer to request for materiality of "ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good."

So I'm repeating the request as deterministic question about empirical rather than the washy washy material evidence. Here's a definition of material evidence: indicating the difference between the two.https://www.researchgate.net/publication/309922961_Empirical_and_Non-Empirical_Methods

Abstract:
he dividing line between empirical and non-empirical methods is marked by scholars’ approach to knowledge
gain (i.e., epistemology). Empirical methods typically involve systematic collection and analysis of data (i.e.,
observation and evidence). They are used primarily in quantitative research involving original collection of data,
but also in secondary analyses and increasingly in qualitative research. Scholars using non-empirical methods
consider that reflection, personal observation and authority/experience are just as valuable for knowledge
acquisition as empirical data. In communication studies, scholars are likely to have a clear preference for either
empirical or non-empirical methods. Yet, their scholarship may well include both.

Why the two aren't equally valuable is obvious to even the uncurious. Before advent of scientific method the morality and governance advanced from understanding or material progress from debtor warehouse hovels to racial warehouse hovels. In the about 600 years since Galileo governments are still using rationalism to grapple with truth, justice, and whatever way since Plato.

In that same interval because of of Galileo used making his discoveries by observation and manipulating material things by empirical methods we have placed the earth as orbiting around the sun, space travel, the bomb, and broad band communication from a world of firmament and heavens, ox carts, spears, and town criers.

It's not too much to ask. Use empirical methods to refine definitions of the three terms I highlighted. You might even learn something about why  Operationalism can be such a powerful tool. Caveat, as a psychologist I warn against using Skinner's approach to Bridgman's philosophy. Simply put Skinner was a fool.
Cool. I always like to think that I can provide an operational definition for any term I use. So, you've chosen three specific terms from the Humanist web site, and would like to see how they are operationally defined. Here goes:

Ethical Lives are simply lives that are consistent with a specific set of rules. You empirically compare specific acts within that life against the set of ethical rules that are assumed to apply to that individual. Acts consistent with the rules are ethical. Acts inconsistent with the rule are unethical. You make a list, check it twice, to see who has been naughty or nice. (Or so Santa says).

Personal Fulfillment refers to a person's goals for their lives and whether or not they have been achieved or at least behavior exhibited which is consistent with achieving them.

Aspire to the Greater Good refers to their motivation to achieve the best good and the least harm for everyone. You can empirically measure the strength of that motivation by observing behaviors that either contribute to or impede achieving that goal.

Questions? Comments?

But again, this seems to be more in line with the Morals & Principles category rather than in this thread on Compatibilism.

Assumed is not operational anything, nor a person's, the best, impede, or achieving. The whole idea is to use operations that are material and can be arrived at via empirical manipulation of those operations.

Science has overcome most of the 'objections in the article by use of replicable standards. The standard meter for instance being a material representation of length.

Back to school for you.

The relation of operational definitions to theory.

https://sciencetheory.net/operationalism-operationism/

An example from the reference

The importance of careful operationalization can perhaps be more clearly seen in the development of General Relativity. Einstein discovered that there were two operational definitions of “mass” being used by scientists: inertial, defined by applying a force and observing the acceleration, from Newton’s Second Law of Motion; and gravitational, defined by putting the object on a scale or balance. Previously, no one had paid any attention to the different operations used because they always produced the same results,[8] but the key insight of Einstein was to posit the Principle of Equivalence that the two operations would always produce the same result because they were equivalent at a deep level, and work out the implications of that assumption, which is the General Theory of Relativity. Thus, a breakthrough in science was achieved by disregarding different operational definitions of scientific measurements and realizing that they both described a single theoretical concept. Einstein’s disagreement with the operationalist approach was criticized by Bridgman[9] as follows: “Einstein did not carry over into his general relativity theory the lessons and insights he himself has taught us in his special theory.” (p. 335).


Obviously physical theory becomes important since it are based on traceable material operations in combination into a system of operation describing whatever is being discussed. If you look at the garbage you posted you won't find such underpinnings even qualitatively. I warned you about Skinner. You have along slog before you.

When you figure out how psycho-acousticians get from hearing to sound threshold you'll begin to get an idea of the difficulties one has to deal in going from mind to material theory. A bit of language gymnastics doesn't cut it. We're only at the level of being able to relate oxygen uptake to mental work combined with a lot of handwaving. We have to get past the handwaving to even consider treating mental behavior as science. If we don't we are stuck with Barlow's face detector in cats. BTW Freud and friends have been in the dust bin since the nineteen teens, yet AMA associate APA is still working on 'standards' based on their garbage.

And this is not morals and principles except to the extent to which principles apply to consideration of Compatibilism via a vis Determinism. You bring a slingshot to a nuclear war.
 
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... Compatibilism as you know is related to determinism. If determinism is false, where does compatibilism stand?

Compatibilism is not "related" to determinism Compatibilism demonstrates how determinism and free will are compatible within a single world view.

Incompatibilists point out why determinism does not support freedom of will regardless.

Unfortunately, to do that the incompatibilists must use a special definition of "free will", as "freedom from causal necessity" (freedom from prior causes), which is an irrational notion. It is irrational because reliable causation is required to actually do things. One cannot carry out any intent (will) without the ability to reliably cause some effect. So, freedom, the "ability to do what we want", requires a world of reliable causation. And reliable causation logically implies "causal necessity".

Incompatibilists come in two flavors: libertarian, which deny determinism but acknowledge free will, and hard determinist, which deny free will but acknowledge determinism.

Ironically, the hard determinist agrees that "freedom from causal necessity" is an irrational concept, and they use that fact to argue against the libertarians, typically by pointing out repeatedly that every event has a reliable prior cause. This should lead us to question the sincerity of the hard determinists' position, because they are using a definition of "free will" that they already believe cannot exist.

The compatibilist does not use "freedom from causal necessity" as the definition of "free will". Why? Because they recognize it for the nonsense that it is. Instead, compatibilism uses the operational definition of free will, which is a choice we make while free of coercion and other forms of undue influence (certain significant mental illnesses or brain injuries, hypnosis, authoritative command, manipulation, and any other extraordinary influence that can be reasonably said to remove a person's control of their own choices).

Compatibilists use what can be called the "operational" definition of free will, because it the the definition that is commonly used in operations that determine whether a person is morally or legally responsible for their actions, or if the responsibility for their actions lies with someone or something else (coercion and other forms of undue influence). This definition of free will is commonly understood and correctly applied by most people (at least until they attend a course in philosophy and get infected with the paradoxical definition).

Will is not only fully influenced, it is determined. You can't get a harder form of influence than that.

But you leave out the influences that constitute the person. Their goals and reasons, their beliefs and values, their genetic dispositions and prior life experiences, their thoughts and feelings. These are the influences that are an integral part of who and what a person is.

The hard determinist leaves out the most meaningful and relevant causes of their choice. Instead, they insist that the person is irrelevant to the choice, because the person had prior causes, and they believe that these prior causes are the only causes that should count.

So, having left out the most important direct causes, your determinism is incomplete, and thus it is a false version of determinism.

Within a determined system, all things are encumbered by forces that fix each and every outcome...

Correct. And among these things, that exert force and fix the outcomes, you will find human beings, people who have a vital interest in those outcomes.

... which eliminates the freedom to do otherwise (the essence of freedom).

That trope will not hold. The "ability" to do otherwise does not require anyone to actually do otherwise. If offered pancakes or waffles for breakfast, you will have the ability to choose either one, but you will still choose only one. One becomes what you "will" do. The other becomes what you "could have" done, but didn't do.

Whenever faced with a choice between two things that you "can" do, it will always be the case that "I could have done otherwise" will be true. It is only "I would have done otherwise" that will be false.
 

Copernicus

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Definitions alone prove nothing. God can be defined in relation to the world, as the creator, the giver of life, transcendent being, etc.....none of which establishes the existence of God.

Straw man. Nobody is arguing otherwise.

Sure, you can define compatibilism as 'acting in accordance with one's will with no outside force or coercion,' but this ignores that will itself has no functional say, no alternatives, no possibility to do otherwise. Thereby, ignoring the very thing that curtails freedom - fixed outcome - compatibilism fails to establish its proposition: freedom of will.

That's just false. If I were ignoring causal necessity, I would not have spent all of that time explaining why it was irrelevant to the meaning and usage of "free will" in everyday English. Your argumentum ad nauseam reduces to just a terminological dispute. Denying your usage of a term is not denying the facts. You can use the language in any way you want. Just don't expect everyone else to use it the way you want.
 

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yep everday English... in philosphy??
that's gonna be a hard one to hold onto... so in everyday of philosophy everday english is permanent?
 

Copernicus

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yep everday English... in philosphy??
that's gonna be a hard one to hold onto... so in everyday of philosophy everday english is permanent?
Interesting that you should ask that rhetorical question about philosophy. In the 20th century, much of philosophy was taken up with the subject of language in order to deal with paradoxes of one sort or another. Eliminativism is part of that trend in  Linguistic Philosophy.

Linguistic philosophy is the view that many or all philosophical problems can be solved (or dissolved) by paying closer attention to language, either by reforming language or by understanding the everyday language that we presently use better.[1] The former position is that of ideal language philosophy, one prominent example being logical atomism. The latter is the view defended in ordinary language philosophy.
Ideal language philosophers developed a lot of interesting advances in the creation of formal logical languages and their interpretation. Basically, their approach was to create an artificial language that would not allow the expression of paradoxical or self-contradictory statements. Ordinary Language philosophers argued that the paradoxes arose from a poor understanding of how language worked and that they would disappear if philosophers just played by the rules of the language game. Their trend is generally said to have originated with the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein.

I suspect that you aren't interested in any of this none, but your comment was unusually appropriate in this discussion. :)
 
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... Sure, you can define compatibilism as 'acting in accordance with one's will with no outside force or coercion,' but this ignores that will itself has no functional say, no alternatives, no possibility to do otherwise. Thereby, ignoring the very thing that curtails freedom - fixed outcome - compatibilism fails to establish its proposition: freedom of will.

Our "will" is our specific intent for the immediate or distant future. Our will marshals the resources of our mind and body to carry out that intent. "Will you help me move this sofa?" You say, "Yes, I will". And suddenly we are both lifting the sofa and moving it to its new location. This is what "will" is about, motivating and directing what we do.

So, where do the alternatives and the possibilities show up? They show up in the deliberate choosing of the will. "Where will I move the sofa? Over here (possibility number 1) or over there (possibility number 2)?" We have two different things that we can do: (1) move the sofa over here, and, (2) move the sofa over there. This is the "possibility to do otherwise".

This is so simple that it should be fairly obvious to everyone by now. (It's as easy as shooting a slingshot, said David).
 

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oh well, there you go folks.
see if only I had brought theater to the nuclear war, David? David, are you there?
 

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It all does seem kind of slingshot simple. Suppose I have a light breakfast, coffee and a donut. Why did I choose that? Because of antecedent events. Perhaps the night before I had a gluttonous meal and woke up not hungry. The previous night’s meal, and the fact that I am therefore not hungry in the morning, were causal factors in deciding to have a light breakfast. How does that mean I don’t have free will? On the contrary, it means I do have free will — I evaluated past events, my present lack of hunger, and decided to have a light breakfast.

It does not follow from this that I could not have had a heavy breakfast, it is just that I did not — for why would I? I wasn’t very hungry.

But if antecedent events had been different — if, the previous night, I had fasted — I likely would have woken up hungry, and ordered a big breakfast.

I continue to think the hangup here between hard determinists and soft determinists is that the hard determinist maintains that at any given point, I could not have chosen other than what I did; whereas the soft determinist (compaibilist) says that I would not have done otherwise, full stop. “Could” and “would” and “could not” and “would not” are modally very different.

So I resist the term “causal necessity,” which to me is not a valid modal category. To me the only valid modal category of necessity is logical necessity, which simply means that some propositions about the world are true, at all (logically) possible worlds.

It is true at all possible worlds that triangles have three sides. It is not true at all possible worlds that I have a light breakfast instead of a heavy one.

Therefore it is possible that I could have freely chosen to have a light or heavy breakfast, depending on antecedent events, in a way that it’s not possible for triangles to have sides numbering other than three.
 

Rhea

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Thread locked for moderation.
 

TomC

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Free will is an illusion based on an incomplete understanding of the underlying deterministic processes. Compatibilism ignores this and attempts to define free will into existence through semantics.
I only got this far in the thread before I realized it had been locked, because I tried to respond and couldn't. The staff unlocked it. Thanks guys.

Full disclosure: I'm not well versed in philosophy.

I never understood "compatibilism". But reading this, it sounds like me. I see "free will" as an illusion, created by our inability to recognize our own motivations. We humans aren't really all that smart or perceptive. Illusions are an extremely important part of the human experience. That's just how we are.

From horizons to literature to randomness to ideologies to mathematics, the human experience is dominated by abstractions. Things that have no objective existence. But we don't define them into existence.

I see free will the same way. It is abstract, but very real.

What I find aggravatingly dishonest is theists insisting that free will has objective existence. Because otherwise their omnimax benevolent God becomes utterly incoherent and internally inconsistent. That's the whole point to much of Genesis. Claiming that God is Almighty. The reason He appears to be a bumbling sky king, with superpowers, is because we humans have free will and are therefore responsible for all the suffering.

Eve tied God's Hands.

Tom
 
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Free will is an illusion based on an incomplete understanding of the underlying deterministic processes. Compatibilism ignores this and attempts to define free will into existence through semantics.
I only got this far in the thread before I realized it had been locked, because I tried to respond and couldn't. The staff unlocked it. Thanks guys.

Full disclosure: I'm not well versed in philosophy.

I never understood "compatibilism". But reading this, it sounds like me. I see "free will" as an illusion, created by our inability to recognize our own motivations. We humans aren't really all that smart or perceptive. Illusions are an extremely important part of the human experience. That's just how we are.

From horizons to literature to randomness to ideologies to mathematics, the human experience is dominated by abstractions. Things that have no objective existence. But we don't define them into existence.

I see free will the same way. It is abstract, but very real.

What I find aggravatingly dishonest is theists insisting that free will has objective existence. Because otherwise their omnimax benevolent God becomes utterly incoherent and internally inconsistent. That's the whole point to much of Genesis. Claiming that God is Almighty. The reason He appears to be a bumbling sky king, with superpowers, is because we humans have free will and are therefore responsible for all the suffering.

Eve tied God's Hands.

Tom
When I first ran into the determinism "versus" free will paradox, I don't think the word "compatibilism" was in use. I was a teenager in the public library who had just read something by Spinoza that suggested free will did not exist due to every event being reliably caused by prior events. This bothered me, so I tried to come up with someway to escape inevitability. I decided this would be easy to do. The next time I had a choice between any two things, say A and B, and I found myself leaning heavily toward A, I would simply choose B instead. So easy. But then it occurred to me that my desire to thwart inevitability had just made B the inevitable choice. So, to escape inevitability, I had to choose A.

Hmm. It was an infinite loop. No matter what I chose, there would always be a reason that caused my choice to be inevitable! That's when it dawned on me. The only reason for my choice changes was to escape inevitability. But the only person in the room was me. I had imagined inevitability as something that I had to escape. But inevitability wasn't there. Only I was. And it occurred to me that, if inevitability actually were such an entity, it would be sitting in the corner laughing at me, for having caused me such distress just by thinking about it.

Once I realized that what I would inevitably do was exactly identical to me just being me, doing whatever I chose to do, inevitability ceased to be a problem. It was not a real constraint. It was precisely what I would have done anyway.

So, from my perspective, causal necessity is not a threat to free will. Free will is nothing more or less than what we choose to do, while free of coercion and other forms of undue influence. Free will was never free from reliable causation. And it needn't be, because reliable cause and effect is not a meaningful or relevant constraint.

The initial illusion, is that reliable cause and effect (causal necessity) is some kind of causal agent exercising control over us (hard determinism). That illusion creates the second illusion, that we must be free of reliable cause and effect in order to have free will (libertarian free will). Both are illusions.

As you point out, it is a matter of abstractions. Causal necessity is an abstraction that consolidates all of the simple cause and effect events into one notion.

But reliable cause and effect is instantiated daily, as we reliably cause events, like fixing breakfast, driving to work, etc. And free will is instantiated daily as people decide for themselves what they will do, while free of coercion and undue influence.

As to God's problem, if an entity is omniscient and omnipotent, then it is also omni-responsible. Free will provides no "get out of jail free" card for God.
 

fromderinside

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Free will is an illusion based on an incomplete understanding of the underlying deterministic processes. Compatibilism ignores this and attempts to define free will into existence through semantics.
I only got this far in the thread before I realized it had been locked, because I tried to respond and couldn't. The staff unlocked it. Thanks guys.

Full disclosure: I'm not well versed in philosophy.

I never understood "compatibilism". But reading this, it sounds like me. I see "free will" as an illusion, created by our inability to recognize our own motivations. We humans aren't really all that smart or perceptive. Illusions are an extremely important part of the human experience. That's just how we are.

From horizons to literature to randomness to ideologies to mathematics, the human experience is dominated by abstractions. Things that have no objective existence. But we don't define them into existence.

I see free will the same way. It is abstract, but very real.

What I find aggravatingly dishonest is theists insisting that free will has objective existence. Because otherwise their omnimax benevolent God becomes utterly incoherent and internally inconsistent. That's the whole point to much of Genesis. Claiming that God is Almighty. The reason He appears to be a bumbling sky king, with superpowers, is because we humans have free will and are therefore responsible for all the suffering.

Eve tied God's Hands.

Tom
When I first ran into the determinism "versus" free will paradox, I don't think the word "compatibilism" was in use. I was a teenager in the public library who had just read something by Spinoza that suggested free will did not exist due to every event being reliably caused by prior events. This bothered me, so I tried to come up with someway to escape inevitability. I decided this would be easy to do. The next time I had a choice between any two things, say A and B, and I found myself leaning heavily toward A, I would simply choose B instead. So easy. But then it occurred to me that my desire to thwart inevitability had just made B the inevitable choice. So, to escape inevitability, I had to choose A.

Hmm. It was an infinite loop. No matter what I chose, there would always be a reason that caused my choice to be inevitable! That's when it dawned on me. The only reason for my choice changes was to escape inevitability. But the only person in the room was me. I had imagined inevitability as something that I had to escape. But inevitability wasn't there. Only I was. And it occurred to me that, if inevitability actually were such an entity, it would be sitting in the corner laughing at me, for having caused me such distress just by thinking about it.

Once I realized that what I would inevitably do was exactly identical to me just being me, doing whatever I chose to do, inevitability ceased to be a problem. It was not a real constraint. It was precisely what I would have done anyway.

So, from my perspective, causal necessity is not a threat to free will. Free will is nothing more or less than what we choose to do, while free of coercion and other forms of undue influence. Free will was never free from reliable causation. And it needn't be, because reliable cause and effect is not a meaningful or relevant constraint.

The initial illusion, is that reliable cause and effect (causal necessity) is some kind of causal agent exercising control over us (hard determinism). That illusion creates the second illusion, that we must be free of reliable cause and effect in order to have free will (libertarian free will). Both are illusions.

As you point out, it is a matter of abstractions. Causal necessity is an abstraction that consolidates all of the simple cause and effect events into one notion.

But reliable cause and effect is instantiated daily, as we reliably cause events, like fixing breakfast, driving to work, etc. And free will is instantiated daily as people decide for themselves what they will do, while free of coercion and undue influence.

As to God's problem, if an entity is omniscient and omnipotent, then it is also omni-responsible. Free will provides no "get out of jail free" card for God.
Riiight. Fortunately another observation works better. There is no God!
 
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Free will is an illusion based on an incomplete understanding of the underlying deterministic processes. Compatibilism ignores this and attempts to define free will into existence through semantics.
I only got this far in the thread before I realized it had been locked, because I tried to respond and couldn't. The staff unlocked it. Thanks guys.

Full disclosure: I'm not well versed in philosophy.

I never understood "compatibilism". But reading this, it sounds like me. I see "free will" as an illusion, created by our inability to recognize our own motivations. We humans aren't really all that smart or perceptive. Illusions are an extremely important part of the human experience. That's just how we are.

From horizons to literature to randomness to ideologies to mathematics, the human experience is dominated by abstractions. Things that have no objective existence. But we don't define them into existence.

I see free will the same way. It is abstract, but very real.

What I find aggravatingly dishonest is theists insisting that free will has objective existence. Because otherwise their omnimax benevolent God becomes utterly incoherent and internally inconsistent. That's the whole point to much of Genesis. Claiming that God is Almighty. The reason He appears to be a bumbling sky king, with superpowers, is because we humans have free will and are therefore responsible for all the suffering.

Eve tied God's Hands.

Tom
When I first ran into the determinism "versus" free will paradox, I don't think the word "compatibilism" was in use. I was a teenager in the public library who had just read something by Spinoza that suggested free will did not exist due to every event being reliably caused by prior events. This bothered me, so I tried to come up with someway to escape inevitability. I decided this would be easy to do. The next time I had a choice between any two things, say A and B, and I found myself leaning heavily toward A, I would simply choose B instead. So easy. But then it occurred to me that my desire to thwart inevitability had just made B the inevitable choice. So, to escape inevitability, I had to choose A.

Hmm. It was an infinite loop. No matter what I chose, there would always be a reason that caused my choice to be inevitable! That's when it dawned on me. The only reason for my choice changes was to escape inevitability. But the only person in the room was me. I had imagined inevitability as something that I had to escape. But inevitability wasn't there. Only I was. And it occurred to me that, if inevitability actually were such an entity, it would be sitting in the corner laughing at me, for having caused me such distress just by thinking about it.

Once I realized that what I would inevitably do was exactly identical to me just being me, doing whatever I chose to do, inevitability ceased to be a problem. It was not a real constraint. It was precisely what I would have done anyway.

So, from my perspective, causal necessity is not a threat to free will. Free will is nothing more or less than what we choose to do, while free of coercion and other forms of undue influence. Free will was never free from reliable causation. And it needn't be, because reliable cause and effect is not a meaningful or relevant constraint.

The initial illusion, is that reliable cause and effect (causal necessity) is some kind of causal agent exercising control over us (hard determinism). That illusion creates the second illusion, that we must be free of reliable cause and effect in order to have free will (libertarian free will). Both are illusions.

As you point out, it is a matter of abstractions. Causal necessity is an abstraction that consolidates all of the simple cause and effect events into one notion.

But reliable cause and effect is instantiated daily, as we reliably cause events, like fixing breakfast, driving to work, etc. And free will is instantiated daily as people decide for themselves what they will do, while free of coercion and undue influence.

As to God's problem, if an entity is omniscient and omnipotent, then it is also omni-responsible. Free will provides no "get out of jail free" card for God.
Riiight. Fortunately another observation works better. There is no God!
And if there were, any entity whose behavior is governed by their own goals and reasons would exhibit behavior that is reliably caused, i.e., deterministic behavior. And since free will is deterministic, he would qualify as having free will as well. His choices would be both reliably caused and reliably caused by himself. You know, exactly the same as our own free will. (Which makes sense, because we created him in our own image).
 

DBT

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The external world is the 'god' that acts upon the brain. The external world is the source of information that a brain responds to. Responding, not according to its will, but its unchosen neural architecture and information processing activity.
 
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The external world is the 'god' that acts upon the brain. The external world is the source of information that a brain responds to. Responding, not according to its will, but its unchosen neural architecture and information processing activity.
No, the external world is just a planet we live on. It doesn't care whether our species survives or not. The interests that motivate us are the biological drives to survive, thrive, and reproduce, that exist within us. The control that causally determines what we will deliberately do is a choosing operation performed by our own brains. Our fate is in our own hands and our future is one of our own choosing.
 

DBT

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Faith is a form of self deception.
The external world is the 'god' that acts upon the brain. The external world is the source of information that a brain responds to. Responding, not according to its will, but its unchosen neural architecture and information processing activity.
No, the external world is just a planet we live on. It doesn't care whether our species survives or not. The interests that motivate us are the biological drives to survive, thrive, and reproduce, that exist within us. The control that causally determines what we will deliberately do is a choosing operation performed by our own brains. Our fate is in our own hands and our future is one of our own choosing.

That is Libertarian Free Will. Determinism - the deterministic interactions of the world - necessitates/fixes brain structure, function and behavioural output.

Consequently, in a determined world, the future is not a matter of choice.
 
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The external world is the 'god' that acts upon the brain. The external world is the source of information that a brain responds to. Responding, not according to its will, but its unchosen neural architecture and information processing activity.
No, the external world is just a planet we live on. It doesn't care whether our species survives or not. The interests that motivate us are the biological drives to survive, thrive, and reproduce, that exist within us. The control that causally determines what we will deliberately do is a choosing operation performed by our own brains. Our fate is in our own hands and our future is one of our own choosing.

That is Libertarian Free Will. Determinism - the deterministic interactions of the world - necessitates/fixes brain structure, function and behavioural output.

Consequently, in a determined world, the future is not a matter of choice.

Choosing is the causal mechanism that necessitates the choice. Choosing happens, all the time. It is a real event in the real world. Determinism does not prevent choosing. It asserts that the event will certainly happen.

You're still trying to prove that although choosing does happen, it is somehow "not really choosing". But empirically it is an actual event and it is actually happening and we're actually doing it. So your claim is actually only that it is AS IF choosing wasn't happening. That will not hold.
 

DBT

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Faith is a form of self deception.
The external world is the 'god' that acts upon the brain. The external world is the source of information that a brain responds to. Responding, not according to its will, but its unchosen neural architecture and information processing activity.
No, the external world is just a planet we live on. It doesn't care whether our species survives or not. The interests that motivate us are the biological drives to survive, thrive, and reproduce, that exist within us. The control that causally determines what we will deliberately do is a choosing operation performed by our own brains. Our fate is in our own hands and our future is one of our own choosing.

That is Libertarian Free Will. Determinism - the deterministic interactions of the world - necessitates/fixes brain structure, function and behavioural output.

Consequently, in a determined world, the future is not a matter of choice.

Choosing is the causal mechanism that necessitates the choice. Choosing happens, all the time. It is a real event in the real world. Determinism does not prevent choosing. It asserts that the event will certainly happen.

You're still trying to prove that although choosing does happen, it is somehow "not really choosing". But empirically it is an actual event and it is actually happening and we're actually doing it. So your claim is actually only that it is AS IF choosing wasn't happening. That will not hold.

It is an actual event. It is really happening, but the wording of your reply is phrased in a way that gives the impression of realizable alternative options, that there is a choice where no choice exists within a determined system. Rather than being a matter of choice, it's a matter of inputs acting upon brain architecture that determines thought and response. That is not choice, nor is it free will.

A real choice requires the ability to have done otherwise. Determinism does not permit one to do otherwise, only what is determined from moment to moment.
 
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It is an actual event. It is really happening, but the wording of your reply is phrased in a way that gives the impression of realizable alternative options,

Which item on the menu is not a realizable alternative option? The chef is prepared to fix any item that we choose.

The fact that we "will" choose the salad does not imply we "cannot" choose the steak. We can choose any item on the menu, and the waiter will bring it to us. This is what "I can do" is all about. To say that "I can" do something does not imply that I "will" do it, but only the possibility that I will do it. To say that something "can" happen does not imply that it "will" happen. And even if it was causally necessary that I "would" choose the salad, that does not imply that I "could not" have chosen the steak.

In fact, to say that I "could have" done something logically implies that I definitely did not do it. And to say that "it could have happened" definitely implies that it "did not happen". So, "could have" is a true statement, even as a counterfactual, because it implies that something did not happen, and, sure enough, it didn't.

that there is a choice where no choice exists within a determined system.

It should be obvious by now that the "no choice exists within a determined system" claim is false. Within a deterministic system happens, choices happened. And because it is a deterministic system, they necessarily will happen. They are not eliminated, but rather guaranteed.

Rather than being a matter of choice, it's a matter of inputs acting upon brain architecture that determines thought and response. That is not choice, nor is it free will.

Are you suggesting that the menu forced my brain to order the salad? I can assure you that's not the case. I gave that steak some serious consideration, and might have chosen it had I not had eggs and bacon for breakfast. So, this was indeed a choice of my own, not a result of the menu's influence. The menu neither coerced nor unduly influenced me. I chose the salad of my own free will.

A real choice requires the ability to have done otherwise.

Of course. I was able to choose the steak, but, due to my own goals and reasons, I chose the salad instead. An "ability" to do something does not imply that one "will" do it. It only implies that one "can" do it.

Again, a deterministic system does not remove any ability to do something. It only means that if, in fact, I "did not" order the steak, that, under those specific circumstances, I "would not" order the steak. So, if we were to roll back time to the spot where I faced this choice, I never "would" do otherwise. I "would" always order the salad, and ordering the steak "would" never happen, despite that fact that it "could" have happened.

Determinism does not permit one to do otherwise, only what is determined from moment to moment.

I never "do otherwise than what I do". That's just silly.

However, I "could have" done otherwise than what I did, even though I never "would have" done otherwise in those circumstances. In order to have "actually done" otherwise, things would have had to be different. And that is why we use "could have" when re-examining our past choices, to learn from them, because "could have" implies that either us or the circumstances were different.

When evaluating past events, we are putting ourselves back into the context of uncertainty, we are imagining what might have happened had we made a different choice. For example, if the salad was made with lettuce that carried the e coli bacteria, and made me sick, then I will remember that I "could have had the steak instead", and in this case I probably "should have".

Oh, and it is my own brain and my own choices that are determining what I do from moment to moment. Determinism itself has no brain, no arms and legs, and cannot causally determine anything at all, at any moment, ever.
 

Jarhyn

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So @fromderinside @DBT:

Is it possible for a human being to use game theory to make better choices?

Edit: or, how would you reword the above statement to fit your hard determinism?

Because there is a truth there, in that statement. Game theory was invented by humans for the sake of making better "choices". That is it's entire function in the ecosystem of math.

Do you think game theory is meaningless mental masturbation? Otherwise, what process do you think "improves" and how would you even use language to meaningfully discuss it without bringing choice into it as a concept?
 
Last edited:

fromderinside

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So @fromderinside @DBT:

Is it possible for a human being to use game theory to make better choices?

Edit: or, how would you reword the above statement to fit your hard determinism?

Because there is a truth there, in that statement. Game theory was invented by humans for the sake of making better "choices". That is it's entire function in the ecosystem of math.

Do you think game theory is meaningless mental masturbation? Otherwise, what process do you think "improves" and how would you even use language to meaningfully discuss it without bringing choice into it as a concept?
Countered on Indeterminism thread. Operations required. It's for you to answer.
 

DBT

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So @fromderinside @DBT:

Is it possible for a human being to use game theory to make better choices?

Edit: or, how would you reword the above statement to fit your hard determinism?

Because there is a truth there, in that statement. Game theory was invented by humans for the sake of making better "choices". That is it's entire function in the ecosystem of math.

Do you think game theory is meaningless mental masturbation? Otherwise, what process do you think "improves" and how would you even use language to meaningfully discuss it without bringing choice into it as a concept?

My hard determinism?

No, the definition of determinism is the same for both sides.

The distinction lies between compatibility and incompatibility of 'free will'

I argue that the term is redundant. It doesn't represent cognition, decision making, the drivers of human behaviour, the nature and function of neural networks, inputs or outputs....that compatibilism rests upon a carefully selected and worded definition.

That's all.
 

Jarhyn

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So @fromderinside @DBT:

Is it possible for a human being to use game theory to make better choices?

Edit: or, how would you reword the above statement to fit your hard determinism?

Because there is a truth there, in that statement. Game theory was invented by humans for the sake of making better "choices". That is it's entire function in the ecosystem of math.

Do you think game theory is meaningless mental masturbation? Otherwise, what process do you think "improves" and how would you even use language to meaningfully discuss it without bringing choice into it as a concept?

My hard determinism?

No, the definition of determinism is the same for both sides.

The distinction lies between compatibility and incompatibility of 'free will'

I argue that the term is redundant. It doesn't represent cognition, decision making, the drivers of human behaviour, the nature and function of neural networks, inputs or outputs....that compatibilism rests upon a carefully selected and worded definition.

That's all.
I argue that it does not, and is not.

I posed a simple question to you:

Is it possible for a human being to use game theory to make better choices?
Reword terms of you need to.

Compatibilism relies on a carefully selected and worded definition for the same reason that math relies on a carefully selected and worded definition of "set" and "identity" and "transitive".

Carefully worded and selected definitions when discussing topics on a level wherein mechanical function of ideas is possible was the entire point.

I repeat: Is it possible for a human being to use game theory to make better choices?
 

fromderinside

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So @fromderinside @DBT:

Is it possible for a human being to use game theory to make better choices?

Edit: or, how would you reword the above statement to fit your hard determinism?

Because there is a truth there, in that statement. Game theory was invented by humans for the sake of making better "choices". That is it's entire function in the ecosystem of math.

Do you think game theory is meaningless mental masturbation? Otherwise, what process do you think "improves" and how would you even use language to meaningfully discuss it without bringing choice into it as a concept?

My hard determinism?

No, the definition of determinism is the same for both sides.

The distinction lies between compatibility and incompatibility of 'free will'

I argue that the term is redundant. It doesn't represent cognition, decision making, the drivers of human behaviour, the nature and function of neural networks, inputs or outputs....that compatibilism rests upon a carefully selected and worded definition.

That's all.
I argue that it does not, and is not.

I posed a simple question to you:

Is it possible for a human being to use game theory to make better choices?
Reword terms of you need to.

Compatibilism relies on a carefully selected and worded definition for the same reason that math relies on a carefully selected and worded definition of "set" and "identity" and "transitive".

Carefully worded and selected definitions when discussing topics on a level wherein mechanical function of ideas is possible was the entire point.

I repeat: Is it possible for a human being to use game theory to make better choices?
The correct answer is 'yes'. But a mistake is being made. 'Better' is a qualitative word, a subjective expression. I take the liberty here providing an example of providing a mostly subjective analysis of choice and decision in design.

Subjective And Objective Design Choices​


makes what I've been trying to make clear obvious. Humans are subjective beings living in an objective world. All operationalists try to make this point, but, being subjective beings they mostly fail. Most spectacularly, Psychologists, behaviorists, in particular, failed miserably.

So me saying what you write is subjectively expressed or view is true, but not because you can't see the light. The field which you love is filled with subjective statements, even in definitions. That you defend your view is proof of your and my subjectivity. Even the founder of Operationalism acknowledges what he expresses is never completely objective. He failed, admits his condition as true, because he has justified it because he's a physicist.

I don't ask that every word be operationally defined. I ask that you admit what you write is a mostly subjective view.

You associating your view by linking Math with your list of essential words is a strong signal you are aware what you write is a subjective statement supporting mostly subjective terms of their objectivity.
 

Jarhyn

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So @fromderinside @DBT:

Is it possible for a human being to use game theory to make better choices?

Edit: or, how would you reword the above statement to fit your hard determinism?

Because there is a truth there, in that statement. Game theory was invented by humans for the sake of making better "choices". That is it's entire function in the ecosystem of math.

Do you think game theory is meaningless mental masturbation? Otherwise, what process do you think "improves" and how would you even use language to meaningfully discuss it without bringing choice into it as a concept?

My hard determinism?

No, the definition of determinism is the same for both sides.

The distinction lies between compatibility and incompatibility of 'free will'

I argue that the term is redundant. It doesn't represent cognition, decision making, the drivers of human behaviour, the nature and function of neural networks, inputs or outputs....that compatibilism rests upon a carefully selected and worded definition.

That's all.
I argue that it does not, and is not.

I posed a simple question to you:

Is it possible for a human being to use game theory to make better choices?
Reword terms of you need to.

Compatibilism relies on a carefully selected and worded definition for the same reason that math relies on a carefully selected and worded definition of "set" and "identity" and "transitive".

Carefully worded and selected definitions when discussing topics on a level wherein mechanical function of ideas is possible was the entire point.

I repeat: Is it possible for a human being to use game theory to make better choices?
The correct answer is 'yes'. But a mistake is being made. 'Better' is a qualitative word, a subjective expression. I take the liberty here providing an example of providing a mostly subjective analysis of choice and decision in design.

Subjective And Objective Design Choices​


makes what I've been trying to make clear obvious. Humans are subjective beings living in an objective world. All operationalists try to make this point, but, being subjective beings they mostly fail. Most spectacularly, Psychologists, behaviorists, in particular, failed miserably.

So me saying what you write is subjectively expressed or view is true, but not because you can't see the light. The field which you love is filled with subjective statements, even in definitions. That you defend your view is proof of your and my subjectivity. Even the founder of Operationalism acknowledges what he expresses is never completely objective. He failed, admits his condition as true, because he has justified it because he's a physicist.

I don't ask that every word be operationally defined. I ask that you admit what you write is a mostly subjective view.

You associating your view by linking Math with your list of essential words is a strong signal you are aware what you write is a subjective statement supporting mostly subjective terms of their objectivity.
"Better" is only subjective when there is missing information, and relates in this conversation to an objective reality in the form of goal oriented operations.

First, we generally do not decide on our goals, or more appropriately we do not choose certain of our goals. I'll call these "objective needs". We need food, water, protection from environmental dangers, sleep, and self-actualization, among other things. We can make choices on how to accomplish these things, but they are objectively necessary parts of operating as a human being.

How to accomplish it in any moment may be complicated. Which pursuits are most likely to be successful are complicated. The strategy to accomplish those things are complicated. But they are not subjective. What you want you want, objectively.

You wish to eliminate choice with causal necessity? Really you just eliminate the very concept of subjectivity.
 

Jarhyn

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The fact is, I objectively exist. I'm an object. The object that I am has a complex form which generated forces not unique to the implementation.

I feel a shelter force towards objects in the shelter field proportionate to my exposure. That this field is composed of other fields, and that it is fairly uniquely defined through the orientation and alignment of those other fields matters little to it's objective reality and it's effects on the object which in many ways names that force.

That a force is experienced by only one specific thing (and this is by no means a requirement), does not change it's objective reality.

That the logic is discussed fuzzily makes it no less real.
 
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I repeat: Is it possible for a human being to use game theory to make better choices?

My impression is that game theory is a set of hypotheses and experiments exploring how people make decisions in specially constructed scenarios. I'm not sure that the goal of game theory is to help people make better choices. I suspect the information could also be used to help manipulate peoples choices.

Helping people to make better choices would be a separate enterprise. There are many books on Amazon about how individuals can make better personal decisions and how businesses can make better economic decisions.

There was a group in the Engineering department at UVa that studies group dynamics and tools that could be used to help groups of people identify problems, generate options through brainstorming, and choose the best option to pursue. I remember they had a large room, with large chairs for participants, to help people feel comfortable and confident while engaging with each other. There were white boards around the wall for sketching out ideas as well as computer support on a large terminal.

I took a Psych course in Group Dynamics in college and my older sister took a similar course in Sociology. She had lots of formal techniques that went by different names for group decision making.

Generally, when faced with a decisions, you want to collect the most complete information of the best quality about each option and identify any risks due to unknowns.
 

Jarhyn

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I repeat: Is it possible for a human being to use game theory to make better choices?

My impression is that game theory is a set of hypotheses and experiments exploring how people make decisions in specially constructed scenarios. I'm not sure that the goal of game theory is to help people make better choices. I suspect the information could also be used to help manipulate peoples choices.

Helping people to make better choices would be a separate enterprise. There are many books on Amazon about how individuals can make better personal decisions and how businesses can make better economic decisions.

There was a group in the Engineering department at UVa that studies group dynamics and tools that could be used to help groups of people identify problems, generate options through brainstorming, and choose the best option to pursue. I remember they had a large room, with large chairs for participants, to help people feel comfortable and confident while engaging with each other. There were white boards around the wall for sketching out ideas as well as computer support on large terminal.

I took a Psych course in Group Dynamics in college and my older sister took a similar course in Sociology. She had lots of formal techniques for group decision making.

Generally, when faced with a decisions, you want to collect the most complete information of the best quality about each option and identify any risks due to unknowns.
It can be "just that", if you constrain your understanding artificially. The concepts apply, in fact, to all considerations of goal oriented thinking.

Everything, in essence, becomes a game.

All of existence becomes a game.

Life, living, being... That becomes a game.

It's really just a trick of figuring out how to generalize "goal" from "a specific goal" to "a generalized, abstract 'goal'".

I'll level with you, this is, as you might imagine from my "basic beliefs", what I have thrown my entire life behind understanding and trying to derive.

Thus far, it seems to be "mutually compatible self-actualization".
 
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It can be "just that", if you constrain your understanding artificially. The concepts apply, in fact, to all considerations of goal oriented thinking.
Everything, in essence, becomes a game.
All of existence becomes a game.
Life, living, being... That becomes a game.
It's really just a trick of figuring out how to generalize "goal" from "a specific goal" to "a generalized, abstract 'goal'".
I'll level with you, this is, as you might imagine from my "basic beliefs", what I have thrown my entire life behind understanding and trying to derive.
Thus far, it seems to be "mutually compatible self-actualization".

First, there's an intuitive negative reaction to the notion that "everything is just a game".
But then again, one may avoid some stress by not taking things too seriously.

There is a general sense between all goal-directed activities that we want to "win" or be "successful" or "win or lose, play the best you can".

But it need not be a zero-sum game. Cooperation and even compromise may benefit everyone involved with no one suffering any losses.

So, when you suggest "mutually compatible self-actualization", are you thinking more of football or the PTA? (local parent-teacher association).
 

Jarhyn

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It can be "just that", if you constrain your understanding artificially. The concepts apply, in fact, to all considerations of goal oriented thinking.
Everything, in essence, becomes a game.
All of existence becomes a game.
Life, living, being... That becomes a game.
It's really just a trick of figuring out how to generalize "goal" from "a specific goal" to "a generalized, abstract 'goal'".
I'll level with you, this is, as you might imagine from my "basic beliefs", what I have thrown my entire life behind understanding and trying to derive.
Thus far, it seems to be "mutually compatible self-actualization".

First, there's an intuitive negative reaction to the notion that "everything is just a game".
But then again, one may avoid some stress by not taking things too seriously.

There is a general sense between all goal-directed activities that we want to "win" or be "successful" or "win or lose, play the best you can".

But it need not be a zero-sum game. Cooperation and even compromise may benefit everyone involved with no one suffering any losses.

So, when you suggest "mutually compatible self-actualization", are you thinking more of football or the PTA? (local parent-teacher association).
All of it.

All intelligent activity is goal directed.

In fact the goal direction is what makes it "intelligent" in most respects of the word.

Nobody ever said it was zero sum. Edit: ok, some dummies probably would but they aren't here.

"Mutually compatible self-actualization".

Actually break it down: for the goal to be accepted as the general form "metagoal", the most abstract concept of "an acceptable goal" it automatically does assume there are unacceptable goals.

The trivial emotional proof, the thing we point to for this, is "my goal is to murder everyone else in the universe". This is not compatible with any other person having that goal. Or any goal. It assumes that the holders goals matter and nobody else's do. It's a clear example I like to bring up from time to time of "an unacceptable goal".

Assuming any goal is acceptable, not in the same class as that other one, this creates two very broad sets: unacceptable goals and acceptable goals. It's just a matter of figuring out where that line really lies.

As evidenced, I think it lives in the mutual compatibility of the goals held in the population: I can have the goal for example of having a mutual competition with my fellows. We all get together and decide that we want to compete, we get together, and we each compete. Then in the context of this mutual goal we get to suspend our awareness temporarily that "it is a game in mutual brotherhood" and the "play to self actualize as 'a winner', in the mutual accord of acceptance of not-that as risk".

There are certain times, like in the PTA that "mutually compatible" probably sways a lot more than "self actualization", though the goal is generally to support the actualization of new self vis-a-vis the children.

Always in this world, we seek to be ourselves, to build it up into something worth being and to be it completely. Sometimes that thing is not even "what we are currently" but "something similar, but clearly different". And that's OK too. We each seek to actualize that, and defend our power to do so.

It becomes generally acceptable only when that self doesn't put itself before others, bit rather to their left and right.

Always, the context of the competition is in mutual brotherhood, if we call this "sport". Else we call it 'warfare' and 'battle'.

I tend to take a dim view of those who exist in this world leveraging each other rather than working together.
 

fromderinside

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Wow. OK guys. Anything you divine is somewhat ...

Can't do it.

What you determine isn't objective. Its' subjective, just because, well, you determined it.

Get it?

How easy was that? Very. I'm satisfied. If it flies with either one of you the wax securing the wings will melt. That's my subjective observation of the outcome of a fairytale.

As you can see, I don't think the use of certain words helps at all.
 
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Wow. OK guys. Anything you divine is somewhat ...

Can't do it.

What you determine isn't objective. Its' subjective, just because, well, you determined it.

Get it?

How easy was that? Very. I'm satisfied. If it flies with either one of you the wax securing the wings will melt. That's my subjective observation of the outcome of a fairytale.

As you can see, I don't think the use of certain words helps at all.

Actually, setting a measurable goal makes things literally objective. You have the objective, such as reaching the end of a marathon walk (or perhaps losing 10 pounds). And you can objectively measure how close you've come to your goal. And, because the goal is well-defined and the measurement is well-defined, all observers can objectively agree as to the result.

As you can see, I don't think the use of certain words helps at all.

I'm picking up a sense of nihilism in some of your comments. Keep in mind that "if everything is an illusion, then nothing is".
 

fromderinside

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Wow. OK guys. Anything you divine is somewhat ...

Can't do it.

What you determine isn't objective. Its' subjective, just because, well, you determined it.

Get it?

How easy was that? Very. I'm satisfied. If it flies with either one of you the wax securing the wings will melt. That's my subjective observation of the outcome of a fairytale.

As you can see, I don't think the use of certain words helps at all.

Actually, setting a measurable goal makes things literally objective. You have the objective, such as reaching the end of a marathon walk (or perhaps losing 10 pounds). And you can objectively measure how close you've come to your goal. And, because the goal is well-defined and the measurement is well-defined, all observers can objectively agree as to the result.

As you can see, I don't think the use of certain words helps at all.

I'm picking up a sense of nihilism in some of your comments. Keep in mind that "if everything is an illusion, then nothing is".
This is what I mean by objective.

 Laws of thermodynamics

The laws of thermodynamics define a group of physical quantities, such as temperature, energy, and entropy, that characterize thermodynamic systems in thermodynamic equilibrium. The laws also use various parameters for thermodynamic processes, such as thermodynamic work and heat, and establish relationships between them. They state empirical facts that form a basis of precluding the possibility of certain phenomena, such as perpetual motion. In addition to their use in thermodynamics, they are important fundamental laws of physics in general, and are applicable in other natural sciences.

Traditionally, thermodynamics has recognized three fundamental laws, simply named by an ordinal identification, the first law, the second law, and the third law.[1][2][3] A more fundamental statement was later labelled as the zeroth law, after the first three laws had been established.

The zeroth law of thermodynamics defines thermal equilibrium and forms a basis for the definition of temperature: If two systems are each in thermal equilibrium with a third system, then they are in thermal equilibrium with each other.

The first law of thermodynamics states that, when energy passes into or out of a system (as work, heat, or matter), the system's internal energy changes in accord with the law of conservation of energy.

The second law of thermodynamics states that in a natural thermodynamic process, the sum of the entropies of the interacting thermodynamic systems never decreases. Another form of the statement is that heat does not spontaneously pass from a colder body to a warmer body.

The third law of thermodynamics states that a system's entropy approaches a constant value as the temperature approaches absolute zero. With the exception of non-crystalline solids (glasses) the entropy of a system at absolute zero is typically close to zero.[2]
Material goal setting is a distraction. There is very little in your post that suggests you have any understanding of what I mean by objective operational definition or linking observations through material parameters.
 

Jarhyn

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Material goals are part of material geometry. Part of that geometry in inside it is 'goal shaped' if we are going to be "eliminative" about anything with our materialism, we eliminate the concept of subjectivity.

It is in fact objective as the material objects that hold their own geometry. Because goals are highly variable, it becomes necessary to abstract them to get a general form.

You can't play "it's all material and causal" and then ignore that the material is an object and objectively has a geometry which generated force towards those goal structure satisfactions, even if that force is highly complicated and translates through neural networks.
 
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This is what I mean by objective.

 Laws of thermodynamics

The laws of thermodynamics define a group of physical quantities, such as temperature, energy, and entropy, that characterize thermodynamic systems in thermodynamic equilibrium. The laws also use various parameters for thermodynamic processes, such as thermodynamic work and heat, and establish relationships between them. They state empirical facts that form a basis of precluding the possibility of certain phenomena, such as perpetual motion. In addition to their use in thermodynamics, they are important fundamental laws of physics in general, and are applicable in other natural sciences.
...
Hmm. Looks like the laws of thermodynamics are clearly defined by measurable goals that make things literally objective. You have the objective, such as predicting the amount of energy expended reaching the end of a marathon walk (or perhaps losing 10 pounds). And you can objectively measure how close you've come to your goal, by measuring physical quantities such as temperature, energy, and entropy. And, because the goal is well-defined and the measurement is well-defined, all observers can objectively agree as to the result.
 

Jarhyn

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This is what I mean by objective.

 Laws of thermodynamics

The laws of thermodynamics define a group of physical quantities, such as temperature, energy, and entropy, that characterize thermodynamic systems in thermodynamic equilibrium. The laws also use various parameters for thermodynamic processes, such as thermodynamic work and heat, and establish relationships between them. They state empirical facts that form a basis of precluding the possibility of certain phenomena, such as perpetual motion. In addition to their use in thermodynamics, they are important fundamental laws of physics in general, and are applicable in other natural sciences.
...
Hmm. Looks like the laws of thermodynamics are clearly defined by measurable goals that make things literally objective. You have the objective, such as predicting the amount of energy expended reaching the end of a marathon walk (or perhaps losing 10 pounds). And you can objectively measure how close you've come to your goal, by measuring physical quantities such as temperature, energy, and entropy. And, because the goal is well-defined and the measurement is well-defined, all observers can objectively agree as to the result.
And not only this, the goal is a part of the geometry of the object, a part of it's physical reality.

It can't not be what it is in that moment holding that goal and experiencing the unique momentary force vectors created by that geometry in the various contexts it exists in.

That they are momentary makes them.no less objective. That they are complicated and translates through a giant mess of squishy stuff makes them no less objective.

Objectively, these goals exist and their geometry causes the systems that hold this geometry to seek things.
 

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...
As you can see, I don't think the use of certain words helps at all.

I'm picking up a sense of nihilism in some of your comments. Keep in mind that "if everything is an illusion, then nothing is".

Technically, everything is an illusion, since our models of reality are all interpretations of sense data. That is, the way we experience and interact with reality is always filtered through passive sense data that the mind actively imposes interpretations on. However, there are different types of illusions and different senses of meaning to the word "illusion". Usually, it is used to refer to a perceptual experience that is misleading or causes us to impose a flawed model of reality on our perceptions. So optical illusions are ambiguous visual perceptions that flip between contradictory sensory experiences. Rainbows are a different type of illusion, because they aren't really ambiguous but only exist as a unique visual experience from a particular location. Hence, they can't have an end where a pot of gold could exist, although they appear to have a physical location. Even the most concrete physical objects are ultimately illusory objects built up out of complex sensory experiences.

The philosophical problem that illusions pose is that there is always some perspective from which they disappear from our model of reality. If we had different bodies with different sensory equipment, then we would make sense out of reality in different ways. Ants and whales can interact with apples and oranges, but would the brains in either animal treat them as similar to each other in the way that humans see their similarity? They interact with a very different version of reality from the one we interact with.

It is easy to see where eliminativism comes from. Anything that can be made to disappear from an imagined perspective becomes nonexistent from that perspective. From the perspective of a determinist, time is illusory, since outcomes of causal events are as well-known as antecedent events that cause them. There is no "free choice" from that perspective. If one takes the position of a soft determinist or compatibilist, then one can also shift perspective to one where consequences are unknown. From that perspective the future does not exist, only alternative versions of what it is likely to become. Hard determinists simply refuse to acknowledge that reality can be perceived differently--experienced from different angles. They cling to the delusion that there can be only one possible way to experience of reality. So you have to choose between the reality where all future outcomes are known and the one where they are not known. You can't have both.
 

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As you can see, I don't think the use of certain words helps at all.

I'm picking up a sense of nihilism in some of your comments. Keep in mind that "if everything is an illusion, then nothing is".

Technically, everything is an illusion, since our models of reality are all interpretations of sense data. That is, the way we experience and interact with reality is always filtered through passive sense data that the mind actively imposes interpretations on. However, there are different types of illusions and different senses of meaning to the word "illusion". Usually, it is used to refer to a perceptual experience that is misleading or causes us to impose a flawed model of reality on our perceptions. So optical illusions are ambiguous visual perceptions that flip between contradictory sensory experiences. Rainbows are a different type of illusion, because they aren't really ambiguous but only exist as a unique visual experience from a particular location. Hence, they can't have an end where a pot of gold could exist, although they appear to have a physical location. Even the most concrete physical objects are ultimately illusory objects built up out of complex sensory experiences.

The philosophical problem that illusions pose is that there is always some perspective from which they disappear from our model of reality. If we had different bodies with different sensory equipment, then we would make sense out of reality in different ways. Ants and whales can interact with apples and oranges, but would the brains in either animal treat them as similar to each other in the way that humans see their similarity? They interact with a very different version of reality from the one we interact with.

It is easy to see where eliminativism comes from. Anything that can be made to disappear from an imagined perspective becomes nonexistent from that perspective. From the perspective of a determinist, time is illusory, since outcomes of causal events are as well-known as antecedent events that cause them. There is no "free choice" from that perspective. If one takes the position of a soft determinist or compatibilist, then one can also shift perspective to one where consequences are unknown. From that perspective the future does not exist, only alternative versions of what it is likely to become. Hard determinists simply refuse to acknowledge that reality can be perceived differently--experienced from different angles. They cling to the delusion that there can be only one possible way to experience of reality. So you have to choose between the reality where all future outcomes are known and the one where they are not known. You can't have both.
You can't have "either", either. You can only have one: the outcome where they are not known absolutely, and are rightly identified as merely assumed due to statistical trends.

Unless the hard determinist wishes to claim that they are God...

In which case I would have a sword to show to them.
 
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