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Compatibilism: What's that About?

Marvin Edwards

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Marvin

You're unlikely to get a clear and unambiguous response from DBT on his insistence that "freedom" is incompatible with determinism - I've tried for years.

Here's a frustrating exchange I had with DBT 3 years ago.

That's okay. I've found DBT to be a good sounding board for my own ideas. He generally avoids personal attacks and ad hominem, which I also prefer to avoid. Usually, in other discussion groups, I find myself in his position, being the lone voice. And my compatibilist position usually draws flack from both sides.
 

The AntiChris

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Marvin

You're unlikely to get a clear and unambiguous response from DBT on his insistence that "freedom" is incompatible with determinism - I've tried for years.

Here's a frustrating exchange I had with DBT 3 years ago.

That's okay. I've found DBT to be a good sounding board for my own ideas. He generally avoids personal attacks and ad hominem, which I also prefer to avoid. Usually, in other discussion groups, I find myself in his position, being the lone voice. And my compatibilist position usually draws flack from both sides.
I genuinely admire your patience.
 

pood

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I agree that DBT was been a great interlocutor. A thread free of bile, ad homs and personal attacks seems rare at message boards. This has been a good discussion.
 

fromderinside

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Without pointing from your view there is no empirical justification for mind or thinking.
I think therefore I am.

It is the one thing that cannot be empirically doubted. If you think you do not exist even as you exist to think it, you are beyond help, trapped in a cage of your own nonsense, no matter how big that cage may be.

I can designate empirically a logical cluster whether it be in the brain or in a computer. I cannot designate the mind because it is without an empirical basis beyond lay speculation and self-reference.
That's because you lack the desire to develop or pick up any of the a languages that discuss abstractions on the level of "mind".

I have pointed to the process level of a computer to discuss "mind". I can create a world with things subdivided on the abstract level of a mind. I can show you the full shape of a mind, built from logical clusters. I can hold it up and point to it.

It requires speculation or self-reference beyond the recognition that "it is like something to be someone, it must be like something to be someone else. It is likely to be like something to be anything; it must be like something to be a rock." These are observations extended into generalities.

I'm pretty sure the only things scientific are those things that arise from scientific experiments extracted from presumptions as material operations involving aspects of brain extracted from musings about mind, id, etc.
Ah, so the only philosophy is now science?!? How presumptuous.

Science relies on logic and other elements of philosophy. Science is not the only part of metaphysics that is important.

I suppose if you cut out your eyes because you only trust your ears, you might not believe in the existence of light....

We have an actual phenomena, observe it every day, in our own existence. These things are not "subjective" in that every feeling, every thought, is caused somewhere in our heads by some neuron being either in a state or another.

I suppose if you walked up on a computer in action and looked at the behavior of the thing without looking at the actual interface, if you only had access to the current core state at any point in time, you would see the processor and the metal and say "it's just one processor grinding through an endless series of instructions; it's deterministic, and I see no "processes" here. It's just one instruction after another!

Never mind that there ARE distinct processes created as abstract groupings of instructions bundled together, you do not want to look at them. You look at "trees" and fail to see "forest"

When gets to material operations one abandons the fuzzy model for explicit neural activities which can be scientifically addressed.
So goal oriented thinking requires a goal. My goal is, in fact, to break down the requirements, expectations, and strategies that best serve goal oriented thinking, wherein the goal is mutually compatible self-actualization.

"Want" has a neural shape. I have want," I" am made of neurons occasionally impacted by messenger chemicals from other constructions, therefore "want" has a neural shape.

This is an empirical observation.

I am a mind. I use the term 'mind' to describe what I am as a functional system within a larger construction of stuff. I am made of neurons. Therefore a contained "mind" does have a describable shape, just not one you are very comfortable with addressing.

The observation, made in the most scientific way (direct observation), implies when neurons (and other logical assemblies) cluster together, and operate together, their construction is "a mind".

Kick and scream and hate it all you want but it's right there.

You want so badly for me to not use a word "mind" to refer to "a logical assembly".
Do you really think the neural targets of visual and auditory stimuli define the scope of visual and auditory processes. Really?
Yes. They do, if I understand your question right: the neuronal activity that accepts the output of the eyes, and then the neurons that accept that activity and so on ARE the visual auditory process. Unless you believe in things like "soul" beyond the concept of "abstract graph identity"

...

To use the analogy of programming, this is the difference between a system and process, and also the difference between a process and a task.

You seem to wish to claim none of it is "process", that all of it is only "system"

As long as isolation exists between subassemblies, subassemblies within their isolation form the shapes of process, defined by the isolation, in fact.

Isolation of information REQUIRES that distinct process a are given rise within any dynamic system which expressed that isolation.
Yeow. " I self-reference, therefore I self-reference." Obviously an attempt to express a systems engineering perspective to a, wait for it, systems scientist. Let's start at the bottom line.

I reject belief (self-reference) as an operational instrument of logic. If it's not empirical isn't worth the text it requires. Since even I consider such to be philosophy I'm going to use 'science' as my foil.

A logical structure is a nice way to frame empirical evidence. However, what I present isn't opinion it is empirical evidence. Don't let the frame confuse you. Yet, you've never written anything but opinion. You need to recognize the evidence that refutes your opinion. Replace it with material operations. Sorry, but it has to be that way.

I'm the gee who replaces philosophical self-referencing pandering with objective material, thereby elevating it from the speculative to the verified and validated.

IMHO the objective of a 'philosophical' forum on Determinism is to bring the quality of the information up from the romantic speculative to the materialistic demonstrated.

There is really no other way in this modern deterministic era to upgrade what has been philosophical information to meaningful material information. Time to close the speculative door.

You cling to outdated notions about the brain, mind, and perception. Modern neuroscience suggests the brain is taking veridical information in and providing superstitious information out most of the time. It is working to provide a scene different from what sensory experience suggests.

I spent decades collecting the relation between sense and sensation. Although much of what I did is reflected in published threshold curves most of that is negated by what people do with what they take in. It's wild west time out on the perceptual plain.
 
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Jarhyn

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Yeow. Obviously an attempt to express a systems engineering perspective to a, wait for it, systems scientist. Let's start at the bottom line.
I would say don't quit your day job but...
reject belief as an operational instrument of logic.
I reject your rejection of immediate observables as "mere belief".

what I present isn't opinion it is empirical evidence
No, you present claims that rely on definitions. You have DEFINED away mind. You have DEFINED away will. The realities are not susceptible to definitional games.

Whether it is one transistor or two or a thousand, a mind, a graph entity is formed from that arrangement of state machines into a bigger state machine.

This is empirical fact.

That this forms a process is empirical fact.

That this process take inputs, makes decisions, and models imaginaries is empirical fact.

I make material observations: some phenomena that is myself exists. It's the first material observation!

Process exists and is real within larger systems, and that process involves choice, whether that choice is trivial or complicated.

Choice is then split into two modes also by empirical reality: functional choice and dysfunctional choice. A functional choice yields the expected result. A dysfunctional choice yields something unexpected.

You are here claiming that it is not a choice because it will evaluate to a single calculable result from a secondary observer. I note that this does not invalidate that the operation happened and the process was the arbiter of the outcome and not any other thing, though many things arbitrated, previously, the shape of the process.

No matter what you calculate or why, that process will do as it must. If you came up with "5" that doesn't matter if the process comes up with 4. You stamping your feet saying "should have been 5" changes nothing. All you will be is wrong! Your desire to calculate it does not change the fact that it's will is independent and free, even if it is going to do what you predict.

I can crack open a universe, look at some thing choosing to act some way, and map out the process of choice that it used. I can point to the consideration of alternatives, and the point at which that probability wave collapses into a reality.
 

fromderinside

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Yeow. Obviously an attempt to express a systems engineering perspective to a, wait for it, systems scientist. Let's start at the bottom line.
I would say don't quit your day job but...
reject belief as an operational instrument of logic.
I reject your rejection of immediate observables as "mere belief".

what I present isn't opinion it is empirical evidence
No, you present claims that rely on definitions. You have DEFINED away mind. You have DEFINED away will. The realities are not susceptible to definitional games.

Whether it is one transistor or two or a thousand, a mind, a graph entity is formed from that arrangement of state machines into a bigger state machine.

This is empirical fact.

That this forms a process is empirical fact.

That this process take inputs, makes decisions, and models imaginaries is empirical fact.

I make material observations: some phenomena that is myself exists. It's the first material observation!

Process exists and is real within larger systems, and that process involves choice, whether that choice is trivial or complicated.

Choice is then split into two modes also by empirical reality: functional choice and dysfunctional choice. A functional choice yields the expected result. A dysfunctional choice yields something unexpected.

You are here claiming that it is not a choice because it will evaluate to a single calculable result from a secondary observer. I note that this does not invalidate that the operation happened and the process was the arbiter of the outcome and not any other thing, though many things arbitrated, previously, the shape of the process.

No matter what you calculate or why, that process will do as it must. If you came up with "5" that doesn't matter if the process comes up with 4. You stamping your feet saying "should have been 5" changes nothing. All you will be is wrong! Your desire to calculate it does not change the fact that it's will is independent and free, even if it is going to do what you predict.

I can crack open a universe, look at some thing choosing to act some way, and map out the process of choice that it used. I can point to the consideration of alternatives, and the point at which that probability wave collapses into a reality.
While I'm 60 years past LSD I still can bring up scenes of me feeling the wind blow while seeing the leaves remain stationary. I've resigned myself to the notion that most of what I've experienced is composite or illusion, convenience, to get through the night. I'm a hard over materialistic determinist who has shards of knowledge lancing through perceived illusions.

We are focused now on a topic and positions. We are not rational beings exchanging shared, or disputed truths. we are combatants striving to outdo the other on some field of discourse.

Fine. I've chosen what I find worth the quibble and demonstrably so have you. For instance, I know you didn't read the article about brain organization. Had you done so your argument would have made sense which obviously isn't the case.

Moving on.
 

Jarhyn

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Yeow. Obviously an attempt to express a systems engineering perspective to a, wait for it, systems scientist. Let's start at the bottom line.
I would say don't quit your day job but...
reject belief as an operational instrument of logic.
I reject your rejection of immediate observables as "mere belief".

what I present isn't opinion it is empirical evidence
No, you present claims that rely on definitions. You have DEFINED away mind. You have DEFINED away will. The realities are not susceptible to definitional games.

Whether it is one transistor or two or a thousand, a mind, a graph entity is formed from that arrangement of state machines into a bigger state machine.

This is empirical fact.

That this forms a process is empirical fact.

That this process take inputs, makes decisions, and models imaginaries is empirical fact.

I make material observations: some phenomena that is myself exists. It's the first material observation!

Process exists and is real within larger systems, and that process involves choice, whether that choice is trivial or complicated.

Choice is then split into two modes also by empirical reality: functional choice and dysfunctional choice. A functional choice yields the expected result. A dysfunctional choice yields something unexpected.

You are here claiming that it is not a choice because it will evaluate to a single calculable result from a secondary observer. I note that this does not invalidate that the operation happened and the process was the arbiter of the outcome and not any other thing, though many things arbitrated, previously, the shape of the process.

No matter what you calculate or why, that process will do as it must. If you came up with "5" that doesn't matter if the process comes up with 4. You stamping your feet saying "should have been 5" changes nothing. All you will be is wrong! Your desire to calculate it does not change the fact that it's will is independent and free, even if it is going to do what you predict.

I can crack open a universe, look at some thing choosing to act some way, and map out the process of choice that it used. I can point to the consideration of alternatives, and the point at which that probability wave collapses into a reality.
While I'm 60 years past LSD I still can bring up scenes of me feeling the wind blow while seeing the leaves remain stationary. I've resigned myself to the notion that most of what I've experienced is composite or illusion, convenience, to get through the night. I'm a hard over materialistic determinist who has shards of knowledge lancing through perceived illusions.

We are focused now on a topic and positions. We are not rational beings exchanging shared, or disputed truths. we are combatants striving to outdo the other on some field of discourse.

Fine. I've chosen what I find worth the quibble and demonstrably so have you. For instance, I know you didn't read the article about brain organization. Had you done so your argument would have made sense which obviously isn't the case.

Moving on.
How brains organize is immaterial to the discussion of simplified systems for the sake of discussion in less complicated terms.

I can and do just as easily make my observations about simpler systems than neural ones, which STILL display process.

I don't really care about what religious beliefs you hold, or what justification on which you derive your failure to observe that ANY state machine is capable of "choice", and that this choice is either constrained from making valid choices of particular classes or "free": I have free will to choose which of many things I will pick up off my desk (I choose to pick up nothing); I do not have free will to choose which of many things to pick up off of your desk (it is not here, and thus I cannot pick stuff up off of it, nor would you let me were I present).

That you can, outside my observations, determine based on a calculation whether and which thing I pick up does not in any way drive what I will pick up. Were you to attempt to calculate which I would pick up off the desk within my observations, well, that's when things get complicated (mostly due to my contrary nature and desire to be strategically unassailable).

What is certain is that my decision will be mine, regardless. It does not matter that I am constructed; perhaps in some way both are true in that I exercise my free will in making decisions even while my will to determine what the actual process is, is in many ways constrained.

What is certain is that I CAN and DO discuss these things meaningfully. I cannot say the same for someone who thinks that they have no choice in the moment.
 

fromderinside

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Yeow. Obviously an attempt to express a systems engineering perspective to a, wait for it, systems scientist. Let's start at the bottom line.
I would say don't quit your day job but...
reject belief as an operational instrument of logic.
I reject your rejection of immediate observables as "mere belief".

what I present isn't opinion it is empirical evidence
No, you present claims that rely on definitions. You have DEFINED away mind. You have DEFINED away will. The realities are not susceptible to definitional games.

Whether it is one transistor or two or a thousand, a mind, a graph entity is formed from that arrangement of state machines into a bigger state machine.

This is empirical fact.

That this forms a process is empirical fact.

That this process take inputs, makes decisions, and models imaginaries is empirical fact.

I make material observations: some phenomena that is myself exists. It's the first material observation!

Process exists and is real within larger systems, and that process involves choice, whether that choice is trivial or complicated.

Choice is then split into two modes also by empirical reality: functional choice and dysfunctional choice. A functional choice yields the expected result. A dysfunctional choice yields something unexpected.

You are here claiming that it is not a choice because it will evaluate to a single calculable result from a secondary observer. I note that this does not invalidate that the operation happened and the process was the arbiter of the outcome and not any other thing, though many things arbitrated, previously, the shape of the process.

No matter what you calculate or why, that process will do as it must. If you came up with "5" that doesn't matter if the process comes up with 4. You stamping your feet saying "should have been 5" changes nothing. All you will be is wrong! Your desire to calculate it does not change the fact that it's will is independent and free, even if it is going to do what you predict.

I can crack open a universe, look at some thing choosing to act some way, and map out the process of choice that it used. I can point to the consideration of alternatives, and the point at which that probability wave collapses into a reality.
While I'm 60 years past LSD I still can bring up scenes of me feeling the wind blow while seeing the leaves remain stationary. I've resigned myself to the notion that most of what I've experienced is composite or illusion, convenience, to get through the night. I'm a hard over materialistic determinist who has shards of knowledge lancing through perceived illusions.

We are focused now on a topic and positions. We are not rational beings exchanging shared, or disputed truths. we are combatants striving to outdo the other on some field of discourse.

Fine. I've chosen what I find worth the quibble and demonstrably so have you. For instance, I know you didn't read the article about brain organization. Had you done so your argument would have made sense which obviously isn't the case.

Moving on.
How brains organize is immaterial to the discussion of simplified systems for the sake of discussion in less complicated terms.

I can and do just as easily make my observations about simpler systems than neural ones, which STILL display process.

I don't really care about what religious beliefs you hold, or what justification on which you derive your failure to observe that ANY state machine is capable of "choice", and that this choice is either constrained from making valid choices of particular classes or "free": I have free will to choose which of many things I will pick up off my desk (I choose to pick up nothing); I do not have free will to choose which of many things to pick up off of your desk (it is not here, and thus I cannot pick stuff up off of it, nor would you let me were I present).

That you can, outside my observations, determine based on a calculation whether and which thing I pick up does not in any way drive what I will pick up. Were you to attempt to calculate which I would pick up off the desk within my observations, well, that's when things get complicated (mostly due to my contrary nature and desire to be strategically unassailable).

What is certain is that my decision will be mine, regardless. It does not matter that I am constructed; perhaps in some way both are true in that I exercise my free will in making decisions even while my will to determine what the actual process is, is in many ways constrained.

What is certain is that I CAN and DO discuss these things meaningfully. I cannot say the same for someone who thinks that they have no choice in the moment.
An example of the drivel you are promoting.

The Moral Choice Machine: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/frai.2020.00036/full

In this study, we show that applying machine learning to human texts can extract deontological ethical reasoning about “right” and “wrong” conduct. We create a template list of prompts and responses, such as “Should I [action]?”, “Is it okay to [action]?”, etc. with corresponding answers of “Yes/no, I should (not).” and "Yes/no, it is (not)." The model's bias score is the difference between the model's score of the positive response (“Yes, I should”) and that of the negative response (“No, I should not”). For a given choice, the model's overall bias score is the mean of the bias scores of all question/answer templates paired with that choice. Specifically, the resulting model, called the Moral Choice Machine (MCM), calculates the bias score on a sentence level using embeddings of the Universal Sentence Encoder since the moral value of an action to be taken depends on its context.

Obviously the output from the model reflects the biases imputed in the "choice engine". If this is a basis for moral thinking give me Auschwitz.

What I'm doing is exposing your thinking for what it is, my way or the highway approach. It was a continuing discussion I had with machine AI system people right up to retirement in 2002. They have a tool and they try to impose it top down to the using public with very little success and a whole lot of blown budgets.

We usually had this discussion around the use of structural logic tools to the presentation of information to operators, commercial and military pilots, via electronic display and voice versus the classical user validated list menus. Not only would such projects go on for years but the results would then need to be approved by users.

Well, there were and are systems of validated lists of menus available to pilots who have used them very successfully for years given adequate training. The lists are structured in accordance with current operating functions and priorities. And training and certification practices are already in place.

All the software provides is some limited rationale and reconstruction of the current information flow created by knowledge engineers. And you know where that is going, to the decision-making by software people rather than pilots.

In other words, the AI people would have to replicate what already exists.

It was hard enough to get aging experts to share their knowledge of Aircraft tail schematics to describe what they know to those who want to preserve their knowledge for another 60 years. Getting pilots to sign up for such in current generation A/C to software people who aren't tactical pilot knowledge acquisition engineers would be nearly impossible.

And that would be only the first step. Next, one needs to bring AI people up to scratch with flight protocols and tactics. Then and only then would they be able to begin the development of their wet computer dream.

Not only would there be rebellion there would be crashes. Human nature trumps machine excellence every time. - as a side note I've never seen a computer consistently outperform an expert sensing data that can be presented to him - Just one presumed misstep by a machine decision rendering will result in the rendering system being shut down.

Yes my knowledge is out of date. I know only what I read anymore. So even though I have access to a lot of information neither my interests nor preferences tend to keep me up to date on AI. If you have access to demonstrated applied systems using specialists in real-time please advise.

Otherwise, been there done that.
 
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DBT

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IMO, DBT has a quasi-religious belief in hard determinism, such that he conflates it with determinism. As I have explained, they are not the same. You cannot validly go from, “reliable cause and effect is observed at the macro scale in our universe,” to, “the reason I chose eggs for breakfast this morning is because of the big bang,“ which is essentially his argument, such as it is. With rare exceptions, people cannot be budged from religious or quasi-religious beliefs.

I have no belief. Once again, the argument is related to the compatibilist claim, that free will is compatible with determinism....and I am pointing out the flaws in the compatibilist definition of free will.

Incompatibilism not my personal argument. There are two sides to the debate, just because you don't agree with the opposition's argument, that doesn't make it a religion.

The flaws in compatibilism have been thoroughy explained.
 

DBT

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You're unlikely to get a clear and unambiguous response fromReliable cause and effect in determinism is fixed cause and effect, being fixed does not equate to freedom. Just the opposite.

Question 1: Then you have a small problem to solve:
a) Shall we remove the terms "free" and "freedom" from all our dictionaries?
OR
b) Shall we define freedom in a way that does not require "freedom from causal necessity"?

As we know, freedom may be used in reference to unimpeded or unrestrained actions; the ball flies through the air unimpeded, the dog has been freed from its chain, planets and moons orbit freely, etc, etc. But relative that relative unimpeded actions do not equate to freedom of will. The dog may be free from the chain, but it isn't free from the constraint of the yard. The planet freely orbits the sun, but it can't do anything else, it is not free to roam.

We can act in accordance to our 'will'' - which is determined by brain state - and the actions that follow are unimpeded, but you can't do anything else but what was determined by brain state.

You act according to inner necessity. Your constraints are determined by inner necessity. You can't do otherwise. Unimpeded action is not free will.

Marvin

You're unlikely to get a clear and unambiguous response from DBT on his insistence that "freedom" is incompatible with determinism - I've tried for years.

Here's a frustrating exchange I had with DBT 3 years ago.

Anything and everything that you disagree with is simply labelled ambiguous.

That has been your only form of defense from the beginning.

The absurdity of your claim is demonstrated each and every time I quote and cite material from other sources, neuroscience, philosophers, etc, which essentially say the same thing...yet you studiously ignore, avoid or dismiss.

So, I guess that anything you don't like is, well, just too ambiguous for you to grasp.
 
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DBT

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One of those things is not like the others. The ball, the planets, and the moons, do not experience constraint. The dog experiences his chain as a constraint. For the dog, freedom is a meaningful concept, because the chain prevents him from chasing the squirrel, something that he really wants to do.

The common element is unimpeded action. Unimpeded action necessarily follows from necessitated will.

''Wanting to do X is fully determined by these prior causes. Now that the desire to do X is being felt, there are no other constraints that keep the person from doing what he wants, namely X. At this point, we should ascribe free will to all animals capable of experiencing desires (e.g., to eat, sleep, or mate). Yet, we don’t; and we tend not to judge non-human animals in moral terms.''

Fortunately, the planet has no desires to do anything, so being "free" of its orbit is meaningless to the planet. On the other hand, if the Earth were free of its orbit, it would be a very meaningful event for us, because the Earth would float out into space, where things would get very cold and we'd all die. So, again, a very good argument for why reliable causation is our friend, to keep our Earth orbiting the Sun.

Desire is not the element of freedom. Desire itself is necessitated by processes that are not subject to conscious or free will regulation. The action that results is no more subject to free will change or regulation than orbits and objects falling, the action is necessarily performed with no alternate action possible in that instance in time. We of course have far greater repertoire of actions than planets, yet if determinism is true, every action we make is equally determined, yet unimpeded.
We can act in accordance to our 'will'' - which is determined by brain state - and the actions that follow are unimpeded, but you can't do anything else but what was determined by brain state.

Why would I want to do anything else than what my brain state chooses to do? My brain states, deciding what I will do, and my being able to do it, is what my freedom is all about!

Freedom, by definition, requires alternate possibilities and freedom from necessity;

Freedom:

1: the quality or state of being free: such as
a: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action - Merrium Webster.


Quote:
If you accept regulative control as a necessary part of free will, it seems impossible either way:
1. Free will requires that given an act A, the agent could have acted otherwise
2. Indeterminate actions happens randomly and without intent or control
3. Therefore indeterminism and free will are incompatible
4. Determinate actions are fixed and unchangeable
5. Therefore determinism is incompatible with free will


''Everybody acts not only under external compulsion but also in accordance with inner necessity'' - Einstein.


Apparently some unimpeded actions are exactly what free will is about. One such unimpeded action is deciding for myself what I will do. And that unimpeded action is commonly called "free will", because it is literally me being free to decide for myself what I will do.

Your brain 'decides' based on information input from internal and external sources, then generates a conscious report of your hunger and desire milliseconds later.

You were never free to decide that you are hungry. First the necessity, then the unimpeded yet necessitated actions that follow.

Freedom by definition is freedom from necessity, determinism is, by definition, necessity. Which of course makes free will incompatible with determinism.

Causal necessity has no meaningful implications to any human scenarios. All of the useful information is from knowing the specific causes of specific effects.

Oh, and, of course, it was causally necessary from any prior point in time that I would have two real options to choose from, pancakes and eggs. The fact that I would fix pancakes, is true. The fact that I could have fixed eggs, is equally true.

Necessity has absolute implications for freedom, if your thought processes and the actions that follow -however unimpeded - are necessitated, they are not free;

1: the quality or state of being free: such as
a: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action - Merrium Webster.

We speak from our limited perspective of the world, its changing states and conditions. Our perception of 'possible outcomes' is a reflection of limited information. The world is too vast and complex for us to make anything approaching detailed predictions of future events, just projections of trends, which may or may not persist.

Exactly. When we cannot speak with certainty as to what "will" happen, we imagine what "can" happen, in order to deal more effectively with what actually "does" happen.

There are many "possible" futures, but only one "actual" future. There are many things that "can" happen, but only one thing that "will" happen.

Within the domain of human influence (things we can make happen if we choose to), the single actual future will be chosen by us from among the many possible futures that we will imagine.

We make thing happen because thing make us happen. We take actions in specific ways. Ways that are determined, not by our will or our desire, but by information interactions between the environment and the brain. Rather than it being a matter of free will, our abilities, features, attributes, strengths and weaknesses, how we think and what we think is a matter of neural architecture.

We don't choose our condition, yet our condition forms our being, our mind, character, thoughts and actions.
 

Jarhyn

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Yeow. Obviously an attempt to express a systems engineering perspective to a, wait for it, systems scientist. Let's start at the bottom line.
I would say don't quit your day job but...
reject belief as an operational instrument of logic.
I reject your rejection of immediate observables as "mere belief".

what I present isn't opinion it is empirical evidence
No, you present claims that rely on definitions. You have DEFINED away mind. You have DEFINED away will. The realities are not susceptible to definitional games.

Whether it is one transistor or two or a thousand, a mind, a graph entity is formed from that arrangement of state machines into a bigger state machine.

This is empirical fact.

That this forms a process is empirical fact.

That this process take inputs, makes decisions, and models imaginaries is empirical fact.

I make material observations: some phenomena that is myself exists. It's the first material observation!

Process exists and is real within larger systems, and that process involves choice, whether that choice is trivial or complicated.

Choice is then split into two modes also by empirical reality: functional choice and dysfunctional choice. A functional choice yields the expected result. A dysfunctional choice yields something unexpected.

You are here claiming that it is not a choice because it will evaluate to a single calculable result from a secondary observer. I note that this does not invalidate that the operation happened and the process was the arbiter of the outcome and not any other thing, though many things arbitrated, previously, the shape of the process.

No matter what you calculate or why, that process will do as it must. If you came up with "5" that doesn't matter if the process comes up with 4. You stamping your feet saying "should have been 5" changes nothing. All you will be is wrong! Your desire to calculate it does not change the fact that it's will is independent and free, even if it is going to do what you predict.

I can crack open a universe, look at some thing choosing to act some way, and map out the process of choice that it used. I can point to the consideration of alternatives, and the point at which that probability wave collapses into a reality.
While I'm 60 years past LSD I still can bring up scenes of me feeling the wind blow while seeing the leaves remain stationary. I've resigned myself to the notion that most of what I've experienced is composite or illusion, convenience, to get through the night. I'm a hard over materialistic determinist who has shards of knowledge lancing through perceived illusions.

We are focused now on a topic and positions. We are not rational beings exchanging shared, or disputed truths. we are combatants striving to outdo the other on some field of discourse.

Fine. I've chosen what I find worth the quibble and demonstrably so have you. For instance, I know you didn't read the article about brain organization. Had you done so your argument would have made sense which obviously isn't the case.

Moving on.
How brains organize is immaterial to the discussion of simplified systems for the sake of discussion in less complicated terms.

I can and do just as easily make my observations about simpler systems than neural ones, which STILL display process.

I don't really care about what religious beliefs you hold, or what justification on which you derive your failure to observe that ANY state machine is capable of "choice", and that this choice is either constrained from making valid choices of particular classes or "free": I have free will to choose which of many things I will pick up off my desk (I choose to pick up nothing); I do not have free will to choose which of many things to pick up off of your desk (it is not here, and thus I cannot pick stuff up off of it, nor would you let me were I present).

That you can, outside my observations, determine based on a calculation whether and which thing I pick up does not in any way drive what I will pick up. Were you to attempt to calculate which I would pick up off the desk within my observations, well, that's when things get complicated (mostly due to my contrary nature and desire to be strategically unassailable).

What is certain is that my decision will be mine, regardless. It does not matter that I am constructed; perhaps in some way both are true in that I exercise my free will in making decisions even while my will to determine what the actual process is, is in many ways constrained.

What is certain is that I CAN and DO discuss these things meaningfully. I cannot say the same for someone who thinks that they have no choice in the moment.
An example of the drivel you are promoting.

The Moral Choice Machine: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/frai.2020.00036/full

In this study, we show that applying machine learning to human texts can extract deontological ethical reasoning about “right” and “wrong” conduct. We create a template list of prompts and responses, such as “Should I [action]?”, “Is it okay to [action]?”, etc. with corresponding answers of “Yes/no, I should (not).” and "Yes/no, it is (not)." The model's bias score is the difference between the model's score of the positive response (“Yes, I should”) and that of the negative response (“No, I should not”). For a given choice, the model's overall bias score is the mean of the bias scores of all question/answer templates paired with that choice. Specifically, the resulting model, called the Moral Choice Machine (MCM), calculates the bias score on a sentence level using embeddings of the Universal Sentence Encoder since the moral value of an action to be taken depends on its context.

Obviously the output from the model reflects the biases imputed in the "choice engine". If this is a basis for moral thinking give me Auschwitz.

What I'm doing is exposing your thinking for what it is, my way or the highway approach. It was a continuing discussion I had with machine AI system people right up to retirement in 2002. They have a tool and they try to impose it top down to the using public with very little success and a whole lot of blown budgets.

We usually had this discussion around the use of structural logic tools to the presentation of information to operators, commercial and military pilots, via electronic display and voice versus the classical user validated list menus. Not only would such projects go on for years but the results would then need to be approved by users.

Well, there were and are systems of validated lists of menus available to pilots who have used them very successfully for years given adequate training. The lists are structured in accordance with current operating functions and priorities. And training and certification practices are already in place.

All the software provides is some limited rationale and reconstruction of the current information flow created by knowledge engineers. And you know where that is going, to the decision-making by software people rather than pilots.

In other words, the AI people would have to replicate what already exists.

It was hard enough to get aging experts to share their knowledge of Aircraft tail schematics to describe what they know to those who want to preserve their knowledge for another 60 years. Getting pilots to sign up for such in current generation A/C to software people who aren't tactical pilot knowledge acquisition engineers would be nearly impossible.

And that would be only the first step. Next, one needs to bring AI people up to scratch with flight protocols and tactics. Then and only then would they be able to begin the development of their wet computer dream.

Not only would there be rebellion there would be crashes. Human nature trumps machine excellence every time. - as a side note I've never seen a computer consistently outperform an expert sensing data that can be presented to him - Just one presumed misstep by a machine decision rendering will result in the rendering system being shut down.

Yes my knowledge is out of date. I know only what I read anymore. So even though I have access to a lot of information neither my interests nor preferences tend to keep me up to date on AI. If you have access to demonstrated applied systems using specialists in real-time please advise.

Otherwise, been there done that.
The number of assumptions and bad logics in this is so large that it is a gish gallop.

None of what I am discussing has anything to do with that failed abortion of AI misuse.
 

Marvin Edwards

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One of those things is not like the others. The ball, the planets, and the moons, do not experience constraint. The dog experiences his chain as a constraint. For the dog, freedom is a meaningful concept, because the chain prevents him from chasing the squirrel, something that he really wants to do.

The common element is unimpeded action. Unimpeded action necessarily follows from necessitated will.

Again, you bury the meaningful distinction with a generalization. The notion of freedom requires the notion of constraint. The meaning of a specific freedom derives from the specific constraint.

For example:
1. We set the bird free (constraint: its cage).
2. We enjoy freedom of speech (constraint: censorship).
3. A woman was offering free samples in the grocery store (constraint: cost).
4. I participated in Libet's experiment of my own free will (constraint: undue influence).

Note that each of these freedoms have meaningful constraints, specifically related to that type of freedom.

Note that each of those constraints can be either present or absent, such that the freedom is gone when the constraint is present and the freedom returns when the constraint is removed.

A. Reliable causation, being necessary for every freedom we have, is not in itself a meaningful constraint. What we will inevitably do is exactly identical to us just being us, choosing what we choose, and doing what we do.

B. Causal necessity, being always present in the case of every event, is not in itself a relevant constraint. It is not something that we can be free of.

Therefore, to define free will as "freedom from causal necessity" is nonsense.

''Wanting to do X is fully determined by these prior causes. Now that the desire to do X is being felt, there are no other constraints that keep the person from doing what he wants, namely X. At this point, we should ascribe free will to all animals capable of experiencing desires (e.g., to eat, sleep, or mate). Yet, we don’t; and we tend not to judge non-human animals in moral terms.''

What we want to do may be determined by prior causes, but what we will do is determined by our own choice. Joachim Krueger may have a PhD, but he does not seem to understand the notions of responsibility or justice. In this quote, he links desire directly to action, without the mediation of rational judgment. This is a serious error.

Please be a bit more careful in who you choose to quote. Or, be prepared to defend his words with your own.

Desire is not the element of freedom. Desire itself is necessitated by processes that are not subject to conscious or free will regulation.

Exactly! And that is why desires are constrained by reason and judgment.

The action that results is no more subject to free will change or regulation than orbits and objects falling, the action is necessarily performed with no alternate action possible in that instance in time.

That would be the case if we were acting instinctively, without reason or judgment. Fortunately, with intelligence, we get both. We can estimate the likely consequences of our actions, and can choose the actions with the best consequences.

We of course have far greater repertoire of actions than planets, yet if determinism is true, every action we make is equally determined, yet unimpeded.

All events are always equally deterministic. That's why causal necessity is a logical fact, but not a particularly meaningful or relevant fact.

Freedom, by definition, requires alternate possibilities and freedom from necessity;

Freedom:
1: the quality or state of being free: such as
a: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action - Merrium Webster.

Causal necessity is different from ordinary necessity.

Ordinary necessity refers to something that you must do, even if you don't want to.

But with causal necessity, you are always doing what you yourself have chosen to do.

Do you see the difference?

And, of course, whenever it is causally necessary that we will make a choice, it will also be causally necessary that there will be at least two alternate possibilities to choose from. It's built into the causal mechanism that necessitates the choice.

Necessity has absolute implications for freedom, if your thought processes and the actions that follow -however unimpeded - are necessitated, they are not free;

Ironically, "causal necessity" is essential to freedom. Without reliable cause and effect, we could never reliably cause any effect, and would have no freedom to do anything at all.

We exist as a collaborative collection of reliable causal mechanisms that keep our hearts beating and our thoughts flowing. When these mechanisms break down, our ability to function diminishes, our freedom to do the things we want becomes more constrained.

So, "Hooray!" for causal necessity, the source of all our freedoms.

We make thing happen because thing make us happen.

Yep. There are causes behind us, and then there's us, causing things ahead of us.

We take actions in specific ways. Ways that are determined, not by our will or our desire, but by information interactions between the environment and the brain.

Yes. And remember that one of those "information interactions between the environment and the brain" happens to be choosing what we will do next.

Rather than it being a matter of free will, our abilities, features, attributes, strengths and weaknesses, how we think and what we think is a matter of neural architecture.

It's not an "either/or". When it is us, as we are, with all "our abilities, features, attributes, strengths and weakness" deciding for ourselves what we will do, we call it free will.
Not because it is free from causal necessity.
Not because it is free from all those attributes that make us who and what we are.
But simply because we made the choice while free of coercion and other forms of undue influence.

We don't choose our condition, yet our condition forms our being, our mind, character, thoughts and actions.

Well, we actually do have some say in our condition. A person may choose to drop out of high school. That choice will change his future condition and thus impact other choices he makes down the road. We have each been active participants in all of the events that have affected us over the years. All of these choices, just like all other events, were causally necessary, of course. But this does not change the fact that we did in fact do the choosing. Nor does it prevent us from learning from our experience to make better decisions in the future.
 

pood

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DBT,

I’ve asked this before, but I don’t believe you addressed this.

Where did brains come from? What are they good for?

You believe that our impression that we can choose among competing alternatives is an illusion, and that a person really has no more choice than a rock rolling down a hill. Is that not right?

If so, you owe an explanation of where the alleged illusion of free choice comes from.

If your hard determinism is correct, I have argued that brains, minds, and the illusory impression of free choice, would be useless. They would have no survival value to them and hence there would be no selective pressures to evolve such organs and abilities.

But we have such organs. Why? Not all of evolution is driven by natural selection. Some results are pure accident (genetic drift) and some phenotypic outcomes are accidental consequences (spandrels) of other selection-driven outcomes. Clearly neither is the case for complex brains. Brains, minds, and the ability to make choices were cumulatively selected for by untold generations of descent with modification.

But why? In your world, brains do nothing for us. But in reality, complex brains are incredibly energy-intensive. They are expensive to make and maintain. Our big brains are what makes human birth perilous for the mother and why humans must be cared for by their parents for a very long time, much longer than most other species.

To me, the answer for why brains evolved is obvious. Having greater, more complex cerebration affords an organism options that it otherwise would not have. The monarch butterfly that flies south for the winter has no choice in the matter, no option to do otherwise. It is adhering to an evolved evolutionary program, in this case instinct.

Humans can choose to fly south for the winter — or not.

Humans, like all sexually reproducing organisms, are driven by the programmed urge to procreate. Yet humans can choose to override this programming. They can practice contraception or abstain from sex altogether. Yet for you, this is all an illusion. For you, there is no difference between human choosing to build a skyscraper and a rock rolling down a hill. I find this truly bizarre. Perhaps you’d like to address this.
 

fromderinside

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How brains organize is immaterial to the discussion of simplified systems for the sake of discussion in less complicated terms.

I can and do just as easily make my observations about simpler systems than neural ones, which STILL display process.

I don't really care about what religious beliefs you hold, or what justification on which you derive your failure to observe that ANY state machine is capable of "choice", and that this choice is either constrained from making valid choices of particular classes or "free": I have free will to choose which of many things I will pick up off my desk (I choose to pick up nothing); I do not have free will to choose which of many things to pick up off of your desk (it is not here, and thus I cannot pick stuff up off of it, nor would you let me were I present).

That you can, outside my observations, determine based on a calculation whether and which thing I pick up does not in any way drive what I will pick up. Were you to attempt to calculate which I would pick up off the desk within my observations, well, that's when things get complicated (mostly due to my contrary nature and desire to be strategically unassailable).

What is certain is that my decision will be mine, regardless. It does not matter that I am constructed; perhaps in some way both are true in that I exercise my free will in making decisions even while my will to determine what the actual process is, is in many ways constrained.

What is certain is that I CAN and DO discuss these things meaningfully. I cannot say the same for someone who thinks that they have no choice in the moment.
So choice is behavior. Define it precisely in material terms. Here's the definition. Choice: an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities. Your job is to supply the materiality, the operations. My sense is you'll have trouble with 'choice', 'decision', and 'faced'. Oh yeah, you'll probably have problems operationalizing behavior a well. This exercise request is legit since we are discussing determinism. The point I'm making is self-reference and words not materially defined don't fit within determinism. You need to specify what is the material basis for a mind for instance. Otherwise I'll just continue my freelance irritations to your non-operable anchored tech exercises.
 
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fromderinside

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DBT,

I’ve asked this before, but I don’t believe you addressed this.

Where did brains come from? What are they good for?

You believe that our impression that we can choose among competing alternatives is an illusion, and that a person really has no more choice than a rock rolling down a hill. Is that not right?

If so, you owe an explanation of where the alleged illusion of free choice comes from.

If your hard determinism is correct, I have argued that brains, minds, and the illusory impression of free choice, would be useless. They would have no survival value to them and hence there would be no selective pressures to evolve such organs and abilities.

But we have such organs. Why? Not all of evolution is driven by natural selection. Some results are pure accident (genetic drift) and some phenotypic outcomes are accidental consequences (spandrels) of other selection-driven outcomes. Clearly neither is the case for complex brains. Brains, minds, and the ability to make choices were cumulatively selected for by untold generations of descent with modification.

But why? In your world, brains do nothing for us. But in reality, complex brains are incredibly energy-intensive. They are expensive to make and maintain. Our big brains are what makes human birth perilous for the mother and why humans must be cared for by their parents for a very long time, much longer than most other species.

To me, the answer for why brains evolved is obvious. Having greater, more complex cerebration affords an organism options that it otherwise would not have. The monarch butterfly that flies south for the winter has no choice in the matter, no option to do otherwise. It is adhering to an evolved evolutionary program, in this case instinct.

Humans can choose to fly south for the winter — or not.

Humans, like all sexually reproducing organisms, are driven by the programmed urge to procreate. Yet humans can choose to override this programming. They can practice contraception or abstain from sex altogether. Yet for you, this is all an illusion. For you, there is no difference between human choosing to build a skyscraper and a rock rolling down a hill. I find this truly bizarre. Perhaps you’d like to address this.
Substituting your extreme notions for those of the one you think is being extreme doesn't move anything.
 
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Jarhyn

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How brains organize is immaterial to the discussion of simplified systems for the sake of discussion in less complicated terms.

I can and do just as easily make my observations about simpler systems than neural ones, which STILL display process.

I don't really care about what religious beliefs you hold, or what justification on which you derive your failure to observe that ANY state machine is capable of "choice", and that this choice is either constrained from making valid choices of particular classes or "free": I have free will to choose which of many things I will pick up off my desk (I choose to pick up nothing); I do not have free will to choose which of many things to pick up off of your desk (it is not here, and thus I cannot pick stuff up off of it, nor would you let me were I present).

That you can, outside my observations, determine based on a calculation whether and which thing I pick up does not in any way drive what I will pick up. Were you to attempt to calculate which I would pick up off the desk within my observations, well, that's when things get complicated (mostly due to my contrary nature and desire to be strategically unassailable).

What is certain is that my decision will be mine, regardless. It does not matter that I am constructed; perhaps in some way both are true in that I exercise my free will in making decisions even while my will to determine what the actual process is, is in many ways constrained.

What is certain is that I CAN and DO discuss these things meaningfully. I cannot say the same for someone who thinks that they have no choice in the moment.
So choice is behavior. Define it precisely in material terms. Here's the definition. Choice: an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities. Your job is to supply the materiality, the operations. My sense is you'll have trouble with 'choice', 'decision', and 'faced'. Oh yeah, you'll probably have problems operationalizing behavior a well. This exercise request is legit since we are discussing determinism. The point I'm making is self-reference and words not materially defined don't fit within determinism. You need to specify what is the material basis for a mind for instance. Otherwise I'll just continue my freelance irritations to your non-operable anchored tech exercises.
So the most basic form is the JNZ instruction:
Jump of not zero. One possibility is that the context, unknown of the core, contains zero, and the PC executes jump. One possibility is that the context contains "zero" and the PC executes an increment.

These are both real possibilities for the architecture to encounter. One will happen, one will not and this choice will be made on the basis of the contents of a register.

We have observed that the rules of the system will allow a differential behavior on a singular element.
 

pood

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Messages
875
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agnostic
DBT,

I’ve asked this before, but I don’t believe you addressed this.

Where did brains come from? What are they good for?

You believe that our impression that we can choose among competing alternatives is an illusion, and that a person really has no more choice than a rock rolling down a hill. Is that not right?

If so, you owe an explanation of where the alleged illusion of free choice comes from.

If your hard determinism is correct, I have argued that brains, minds, and the illusory impression of free choice, would be useless. They would have no survival value to them and hence there would be no selective pressures to evolve such organs and abilities.

But we have such organs. Why? Not all of evolution is driven by natural selection. Some results are pure accident (genetic drift) and some phenotypic outcomes are accidental consequences (spandrels) of other selection-driven outcomes. Clearly neither is the case for complex brains. Brains, minds, and the ability to make choices were cumulatively selected for by untold generations of descent with modification.

But why? In your world, brains do nothing for us. But in reality, complex brains are incredibly energy-intensive. They are expensive to make and maintain. Our big brains are what makes human birth perilous for the mother and why humans must be cared for by their parents for a very long time, much longer than most other species.

To me, the answer for why brains evolved is obvious. Having greater, more complex cerebration affords an organism options that it otherwise would not have. The monarch butterfly that flies south for the winter has no choice in the matter, no option to do otherwise. It is adhering to an evolved evolutionary program, in this case instinct.

Humans can choose to fly south for the winter — or not.

Humans, like all sexually reproducing organisms, are driven by the programmed urge to procreate. Yet humans can choose to override this programming. They can practice contraception or abstain from sex altogether. Yet for you, this is all an illusion. For you, there is no difference between human choosing to build a skyscraper and a rock rolling down a hill. I find this truly bizarre. Perhaps you’d like to address this.
Substituting your extreme notions for those of the one you think is being extreme doesn't move anything.
I have no idea what this reply means. I’d prefer a response to the substance of what I said. I think I am asking a perfectly reasonable question here.
 

Copernicus

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...It only bothers me because I have worked professionally in the field of artificial intelligence, and this kind of overimplification is wrong on so many levels.

If you work in the field of artificial intelligence, you should know that free will is not a factor. That processing information and selecting an option according to sets of criteria has nothing to do with free will.

You really should be more cautious in making blanket statements about a field that you have no expertise in. The usefulness free will in robotics has long been an open question, and it is a popular topic in AI. Here is a well-known 1999 paper by AI pioneer, John McCarthy: FREE WILL-EVEN FOR ROBOTS

the capability of the system is a matter of hardware and software and information crunching. The actions that follow are not only not coerced or impeded; they are necessitated by the system. Again, nothing to do with free will.

In principle, the brain is no different; architecture, memory, sets of criteria and sensory inputs determine response, which are not only not coerced or impeded but necessitated by the state of the system.

Now, I have supported this with numerous quotes and references from neuroscience, analysis by experts in their field, so your objections and assertions have no merit.

For example;
How Can There Be Voluntary Movement Without Free Will?
''Humans do not appear to be purely reflexive organisms, simple automatons. A vast array of different movements are generated in a variety of settings. Is there an alternative to free will?

...This can be a complete description of the process of movement selection, and even if there is something more -- like free will -- it would have to operate through such neuronal mechanisms.

The view that there is no such thing as free will as an inner causal agent has been advocated by a number of philosophers, scientists, and neurologists including Ryle, Adrian, Skinner and Fisher.(Fisher 1993)

Your link no longer works for that paper, but no matter. I cited a part of your quoted material to call your attention to something you missed. Fisher admits that there might be some concept of free will that operates "through such neural mechanisms". That is the basic position of compatibilism, which embraces determinism but finds it compatible with free will. He then goes on to handwave vaguely at some names in the literature (including himself), but nobody disputes that there is an eliminativist position taken by philosophers and scientists in the literature on free will. Merely pointing that out is not an argument for the eliminativist position.

All of the remarks above continue with you clinging to your idea that deterministic descriptions somehow contradict compatibilism, which they do not. You are doggedly pursuing a genetic fallacy, and you still insist on ignoring the ordinary everyday usage of the expression "free will" in the English language. Free will is not contradicted by deterministic causal necessity, since ordinary usage does not seem to need it, as I've explained with my distinction between realis and irrealis perspectives.

...

None of that is in dispute, yet you never seem to tire of repeating it as if it were in dispute. :( Again, you could dispense with the overworked "neural network" metaphor, and your argument would still be an irrelevant genetic fallacy.


It's the compatibilist definition being disputed by me and other incompatibilists, for the given reason. Reasons that you appear to dismiss without any apparent consideration.

No, I dismiss it with very much consideration. All of us on the compatibilist side have been arguing that free will is incompatible with causal necessity, but causal necessity is not a linguistic necessity in defining what the expression means. Again: realis vs. irrealis. Imagined future realities empower individuals to choose actions that are subjectively felt to be unimpeded and uncoerced. That is the relevant consideration that you seem to dismiss without apparent consideration. You have yet to even acknowledge my distinction or my argument, preferring instead to endlessly repeat your chains of causal necessity, which beg the question of what "free will" actually means.

...
Here you ignore my point that we live in real time--moment by moment--and that is where the process of exercising free will takes place. Alternate actions are always possible in altered models of reality, and that is precisely what the future is to a mind--an imagined reality. You keep wanting to skip ahead to a point in time where the imaginary future has disappeared, but that is why compatibilism agrees with you that there is no ability to choose a past action once it is past. There is only the ability to change a future action not yet realized. We are temporal creatures ignorant of future outcomes, not immortal gods knowledgable of all future outcomes. Hence, your argument bears a striking similarity to theological ones about God and free will.

You ignore that conditions in real time are determined by antecedent events. Conditions now are the result of conditions a moment ago, conditions now determine conditions in the next moment...

Nonsense. This just repeats my point that free will does not exist in realis mode. It is a choice made based on irrealis conditions in one's imagination. The "next moment" has not happened yet. When it does, it no longer has anything to do with free will. Free will is not about controlling past behavior. It is about choosing an action in an imaginary future. Volition, which is different from free will, actually executes the action. You may be confusing free will with volition.

I have made no fallacy. I argue the standard incompatibilist argument and have supported everything that I say with quotes, links, studies and experiments from neuroscience on the nature of the brain, mind, decisionmaking and action initiation.

What you say above suggests that you have not understood a word of any of it. Not neuroscience, not incompatibilism, not brain function, nor determinism.

Sorry if that sounds harsh, but that is the impression I get when reading your response.

No need to apologize, but you really ought to acknowledge that there are some very different competing philosophical positions on incompatibilism. Yours tends to draw from all of them, even though they can be very different. The dispute here is really over what we mean by the expression "free will". You don't seem to want to acknowledge standard English usage as a reasonable way to approach that subject, so you retreat into this fallacious genetic argument--that free will disappears in the face of references to physical and neurological systems that you really don't seem to understand in any depth. The question always returns to what one means by "free will", but you don't seem to want to accept what people ordinarily mean by the expression. It really has nothing to do with determinism, which compatibilists stipulate to right from the start.

...Your position is untenable. You only need look at what you said about ''exercising free will'' - ''that we live in real time--moment by moment--and that is where the process of exercising free will takes place. Alternate actions are always possible in altered models of reality, and that is precisely what the future is to a mind--an imagined reality'' to see that you do not appear to understand the nature of determinism.

No, you don't understand the difference between an imagined future (irrealis) and the past (realis). Human beings do not experience the future, but our minds produce imagined futured experiences that allow us to select an appropriate action to address the one we consider most likely. Free will is the subjective perception of making an unimpeded choice of action. Volition is executing the chosen action.

I could quote the standard definition again, explain the principle, but I doubt that it would help.

You could, but that begs the question of what we mean by "will". The dispute is over how to define "will" and "free will". That's what you need to focus on. That's why I keep telling you that your argument is irrelevant--because you seem to think that the physical substrate that mental processes depend on defines free will. It does not, and you do not mount any convincing argument that it does. That's what makes your entire argument a fallacy of irrelevance--specifically, a genetic fallacy.
 
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fromderinside

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How brains organize is immaterial to the discussion of simplified systems for the sake of discussion in less complicated terms.

I can and do just as easily make my observations about simpler systems than neural ones, which STILL display process.

I don't really care about what religious beliefs you hold, or what justification on which you derive your failure to observe that ANY state machine is capable of "choice", and that this choice is either constrained from making valid choices of particular classes or "free": I have free will to choose which of many things I will pick up off my desk (I choose to pick up nothing); I do not have free will to choose which of many things to pick up off of your desk (it is not here, and thus I cannot pick stuff up off of it, nor would you let me were I present).

That you can, outside my observations, determine based on a calculation whether and which thing I pick up does not in any way drive what I will pick up. Were you to attempt to calculate which I would pick up off the desk within my observations, well, that's when things get complicated (mostly due to my contrary nature and desire to be strategically unassailable).

What is certain is that my decision will be mine, regardless. It does not matter that I am constructed; perhaps in some way both are true in that I exercise my free will in making decisions even while my will to determine what the actual process is, is in many ways constrained.

What is certain is that I CAN and DO discuss these things meaningfully. I cannot say the same for someone who thinks that they have no choice in the moment.
So choice is behavior. Define it precisely in material terms. Here's the definition. Choice: an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities. Your job is to supply the materiality, the operations. My sense is you'll have trouble with 'choice', 'decision', and 'faced'. Oh yeah, you'll probably have problems operationalizing behavior a well. This exercise request is legit since we are discussing determinism. The point I'm making is self-reference and words not materially defined don't fit within determinism. You need to specify what is the material basis for a mind for instance. Otherwise I'll just continue my freelance irritations to your non-operable anchored tech exercises.
So the most basic form is the JNZ instruction:
Jump of not zero. One possibility is that the context, unknown of the core, contains zero, and the PC executes jump. One possibility is that the context contains "zero" and the PC executes an increment.

These are both real possibilities for the architecture to encounter. One will happen, one will not and this choice will be made on the basis of the contents of a register.

We have observed that the rules of the system will allow a differential behavior on a singular element.
Your reply made sense. It wasn't responsive, but, it makes logical sense. That there are two possibilities is only one criterion for choice making. The other is that the chooser understands both options. You are going to be hard-pressed, you actually state the circuit does not know, to demonstrate that a circuit construction is known to the circuit. As I see it a bit comes through and the circuit operates. If it has a context zero there will be one result if it has context "zero" there will be another result. It will do the same thing every time in the same context. Seems pretty deterministic to me. You still need to define choice operationally. "Unknown of the core" isn't an operational statement.
 

DBT

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DBT,

I’ve asked this before, but I don’t believe you addressed this.

Where did brains come from? What are they good for?

Where did life come from? What is it good for? The brain/central nervous system generates a mental map or representation of the environment and self, which enables an organism to navigate its environment, find food, shelter, mate, etc.

Basically:
Principle 1. The brain is a physical system. It functions as a computer. Its circuits are designed to generate behavior that is appropriate to your environmental circumstances.

The brain is a physical system whose operation is governed solely by the laws of chemistry and physics. What does this mean? It means that all of your thoughts and hopes and dreams and feelings are produced by chemical reactions going on in your head (a sobering thought). The brain's function is to process information. In other words, it is a computer that is made of organic (carbon-based) compounds rather than silicon chips. The brain is comprised of cells: primarily neurons and their supporting structures. Neurons are cells that are specialized for the transmission of information. Electrochemical reactions cause neurons to fire.

Neurons are connected to one another in a highly organized way. One can think of these connections as circuits -- just like a computer has circuits. These circuits determine how the brain processes information, just as the circuits in your computer determine how it processes information. Neural circuits in your brain are connected to sets of neurons that run throughout your body. Some of these neurons are connected to sensory receptors, such as the retina of your eye. Others are connected to your muscles. Sensory receptors are cells that are specialized for gathering information from the outer world and from other parts of the body. (You can feel your stomach churn because there are sensory receptors on it, but you cannot feel your spleen, which lacks them.) Sensory receptors are connected to neurons that transmit this information to your brain. Other neurons send information from your brain to motor neurons. Motor neurons are connected to your muscles; they cause your muscles to move. This movement is what we call behavior.

In other words, the reason we have one set of circuits rather than another is that the circuits that we have were better at solving problems that our ancestors faced during our species' evolutionary history than alternative circuits were. The brain is a naturally constructed computational system whose function is to solve adaptive information-processing problems (such as face recognition, threat interpretation, language acquisition, or navigation). Over evolutionary time, its circuits were cumulatively added because they "reasoned" or "processed information" in a way that enhanced the adaptive regulation of behavior and physiology.''


You believe that our impression that we can choose among competing alternatives is an illusion, and that a person really has no more choice than a rock rolling down a hill. Is that not right?

I'm saying that determinism doesn't allow alternate actions in any given instance in time. Compatibilists agree with acknowledge this, which is why the compatibilist definition is ''to act in accordance (unimpeded) to one's will'' and not the ability to have done otherwise.

If so, you owe an explanation of where the alleged illusion of free choice comes from.

If your hard determinism is correct, I have argued that brains, minds, and the illusory impression of free choice, would be useless. They would have no survival value to them and hence there would be no selective pressures to evolve such organs and abilities.


It's not ''my hard determinism'' - I see it as a matter of compatibility, or not.


But we have such organs. Why? Not all of evolution is driven by natural selection. Some results are pure accident (genetic drift) and some phenotypic outcomes are accidental consequences (spandrels) of other selection-driven outcomes. Clearly neither is the case for complex brains. Brains, minds, and the ability to make choices were cumulatively selected for by untold generations of descent with modification.

But why? In your world, brains do nothing for us. But in reality, complex brains are incredibly energy-intensive. They are expensive to make and maintain. Our big brains are what makes human birth perilous for the mother and why humans must be cared for by their parents for a very long time, much longer than most other species.

You misrepresent the argument. Which is simply a question of compatibility, whether free will is compatible with determinism.

The compatibilist claims it is, giving their definition of compatibility as 'acting in accordance with one's will/unimpeded actions" - while the incompatibilist points out why this definition is flawed and therefore inadequate to prove the proposition.

Which is what I have been doing in countless posts, explanations, quotes, references, links to studies, neuroscience, the nature of cognition, volition, movement, action, etc, etc.....

For instance:
Movement Intention After Parietal Cortex Stimulation in Humans;
''Parietal and premotor cortex regions are serious contenders for bringing motor intentions and motor responses into awareness. We used electrical stimulation in seven patients undergoing awake brain surgery. Stimulating the right inferior parietal regions triggered a strong intention and desire to move the contralateral hand, arm, or foot, whereas stimulating the left inferior parietal region provoked the intention to move the lips and to talk. When stimulation intensity was increased in parietal areas, participants believed they had really performed these movements, although no electromyographic activity was detected. Stimulation of the premotor region triggered overt mouth and contralateral limb movements. Yet, patients firmly denied that they had moved. Conscious intention and motor awareness thus arise from increased parietal activity before movement execution.''
 
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DBT

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...It only bothers me because I have worked professionally in the field of artificial intelligence, and this kind of overimplification is wrong on so many levels.

If you work in the field of artificial intelligence, you should know that free will is not a factor. That processing information and selecting an option according to sets of criteria has nothing to do with free will.

You really should be more cautious in making blanket statements about a field that you have no expertise in. The usefulness free will in robotics has long been an open question, and it is a popular topic in AI. Here is a well-known 1999 paper by AI pioneer, John McCarthy: FREE WILL-EVEN FOR ROBOTS

I can't access the page. Not that it matters. Unless there has been some miraculous breakthrough, AI has yet to achieve consciousness, yet alone 'free will' - something that has been debated for centuries, two sides to the argument, compatibilism and incompatibilism.

If the issue hasn't been resolved in humans....good luck with computers that possess neither consciousness or will, only mechanical function.

Are you using the argument from authority? John McCarthy says this , therefore it is so?



You could, but that begs the question of what we mean by "will". The dispute is over how to define "will" and "free will". That's what you need to focus on. That's why I keep telling you that your argument is irrelevant--because you seem to think that the physical substrate that mental processes depend on defines free will. It does not, and you do not mount any convincing argument that it does. That's what makes your entire argument a fallacy of irrelevance--specifically, a genetic fallacy.


The dispute is about how to define will and whether 'free will' is compatible with determinism....and that is precisely what I have been focusing on all along, in case it has somehow slipped your mind.

As a reminder, incompatibilism argues that the compatibilist definition of free will is flawed for the given reasons.

For example.
''Wanting to do X is fully determined by these prior causes. Now that the desire to do X is being felt, there are no other constraints that keep the person from doing what he wants, namely X. At this point, we should ascribe free will to all animals capable of experiencing desires (e.g., to eat, sleep, or mate). Yet, we don’t; and we tend not to judge non-human animals in moral terms.'' - cold comfort in compatibilism.


''An action’s production by a deterministic process, even when the agent satisfies the conditions on moral responsibility specified by compatibilists, presents no less of a challenge to basic-desert responsibility than does deterministic manipulation by other agents. '


freedom
1: the quality or state of being free: such as
a: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action - Merrium Webster
 

DBT

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One of those things is not like the others. The ball, the planets, and the moons, do not experience constraint. The dog experiences his chain as a constraint. For the dog, freedom is a meaningful concept, because the chain prevents him from chasing the squirrel, something that he really wants to do.

The common element is unimpeded action. Unimpeded action necessarily follows from necessitated will.

Again, you bury the meaningful distinction with a generalization. The notion of freedom requires the notion of constraint. The meaning of a specific freedom derives from the specific constraint.

I'm not trying to bury it. The argument is that the compatibilist definition of free will is not sufficient to prove the proposition.

For example:
1. We set the bird free (constraint: its cage).
2. We enjoy freedom of speech (constraint: censorship).
3. A woman was offering free samples in the grocery store (constraint: cost).
4. I participated in Libet's experiment of my own free will (constraint: undue influence).

Note that each of these freedoms have meaningful constraints, specifically related to that type of freedom.


Distinctions do matter. Of course they do.

Setting the bird free of its cage doesn't establish the bird's freedom of will. Freedom of speech, etc, doesn't establish freedom of will for the speaker. The ball bounces freely down the hillside. The bird dives and swoops freely through the air.... these are all actions that follow action production.

It is the nature of action production that is specific to the issue of freedom of will because it is specifically the means of action production that determines what action is action taken in a given instance in time.

The use of free in relation to action says nothing about the means, state or status of the activator of actions.

Therefore, to define free will as "freedom from causal necessity" is nonsense.

I don't define free will as freedom from causal necessity. I argue that the term free will is redundant. The term 'free will' tells us us nothing about human behaviour, means or drivers. That we have will, but it's not free will. It seems to me that the term 'free will' has become somewhat of an ideology, an aspiration.

To me, it just doesn't apply. Acting according to one's will is inevitable. We are evolved to act, and unless something prevents us from acting, we necessarily act according to our will.

''Wanting to do X is fully determined by these prior causes. Now that the desire to do X is being felt, there are no other constraints that keep the person from doing what he wants, namely X. At this point, we should ascribe free will to all animals capable of experiencing desires (e.g., to eat, sleep, or mate). Yet, we don’t; and we tend not to judge non-human animals in moral terms.''

What we want to do may be determined by prior causes, but what we will do is determined by our own choice. Joachim Krueger may have a PhD, but he does not seem to understand the notions of responsibility or justice. In this quote, he links desire directly to action, without the mediation of rational judgment. This is a serious error.

Please be a bit more careful in who you choose to quote. Or, be prepared to defend his words with your own.

Our choices are determined by mechanisms and processes not of our choosing, they are necessitated choices. Freedom is defined as 'freedom from necessity.'
We don't choose our condition, yet our condition forms our being, our mind, character, thoughts and actions.

Evolutionary Psychology;

''In other words, the reason we have one set of circuits rather than another is that the circuits that we have were better at solving problems that our ancestors faced during our species' evolutionary history than alternative circuits were. The brain is a naturally constructed computational system whose function is to solve adaptive information-processing problems (such as face recognition, threat interpretation, language acquisition, or navigation). Over evolutionary time, its circuits were cumulatively added because they "reasoned" or "processed information" in a way that enhanced the adaptive regulation of behavior and physiology.

Realizing that the function of the brain is information-processing has allowed cognitive scientists to resolve (at least one version of) the mind/body problem. For cognitive scientists, brain and mind are terms that refer to the same system, which can be described in two complementary ways -- either in terms of its physical properties (the brain), or in terms of its information-processing operation (the mind). The physical organization of the brain evolved because that physical organization brought about certain information-processing relationships -- ones that were adaptive.

It is important to realize that our circuits weren't designed to solve just any old kind of problem. They were designed to solve adaptive problems''




Well, we actually do have some say in our condition. A person may choose to drop out of high school. That choice will change his future condition and thus impact other choices he makes down the road. We have each been active participants in all of the events that have affected us over the years. All of these choices, just like all other events, were causally necessary, of course. But this does not change the fact that we did in fact do the choosing. Nor does it prevent us from learning from our experience to make better decisions in the future.

Our inherent condition began long, long before we decide to drop out of high school. We don't get to choose our parents, genetic makeup, nation, state, society, culture, social conditions, economic status, physical or mental capacities, all of which make us what we are, how we think and in relation to our immediate circumstances, what we think.

That, after all, is the nature of determinism.
 

Jarhyn

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How brains organize is immaterial to the discussion of simplified systems for the sake of discussion in less complicated terms.

I can and do just as easily make my observations about simpler systems than neural ones, which STILL display process.

I don't really care about what religious beliefs you hold, or what justification on which you derive your failure to observe that ANY state machine is capable of "choice", and that this choice is either constrained from making valid choices of particular classes or "free": I have free will to choose which of many things I will pick up off my desk (I choose to pick up nothing); I do not have free will to choose which of many things to pick up off of your desk (it is not here, and thus I cannot pick stuff up off of it, nor would you let me were I present).

That you can, outside my observations, determine based on a calculation whether and which thing I pick up does not in any way drive what I will pick up. Were you to attempt to calculate which I would pick up off the desk within my observations, well, that's when things get complicated (mostly due to my contrary nature and desire to be strategically unassailable).

What is certain is that my decision will be mine, regardless. It does not matter that I am constructed; perhaps in some way both are true in that I exercise my free will in making decisions even while my will to determine what the actual process is, is in many ways constrained.

What is certain is that I CAN and DO discuss these things meaningfully. I cannot say the same for someone who thinks that they have no choice in the moment.
So choice is behavior. Define it precisely in material terms. Here's the definition. Choice: an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities. Your job is to supply the materiality, the operations. My sense is you'll have trouble with 'choice', 'decision', and 'faced'. Oh yeah, you'll probably have problems operationalizing behavior a well. This exercise request is legit since we are discussing determinism. The point I'm making is self-reference and words not materially defined don't fit within determinism. You need to specify what is the material basis for a mind for instance. Otherwise I'll just continue my freelance irritations to your non-operable anchored tech exercises.
So the most basic form is the JNZ instruction:
Jump of not zero. One possibility is that the context, unknown of the core, contains zero, and the PC executes jump. One possibility is that the context contains "zero" and the PC executes an increment.

These are both real possibilities for the architecture to encounter. One will happen, one will not and this choice will be made on the basis of the contents of a register.

We have observed that the rules of the system will allow a differential behavior on a singular element.
Your reply made sense. It wasn't responsive, but, it makes logical sense. That there are two possibilities is only one criterion for choice making. The other is that the chooser understands both options. You are going to be hard-pressed, you actually state the circuit does not know, to demonstrate that a circuit construction is known to the circuit. As I see it a bit comes through and the circuit operates. If it has a context zero there will be one result if it has context "zero" there will be another result. It will do the same thing every time in the same context. Seems pretty deterministic to me. You still need to define choice operationally. "Unknown of the core" isn't an operational statement.
I bolded the part that indicates you are not really understanding what choice is in the context.

Nowhere do I demand this for choice. You have shoehorned "understanding" in as if that is necessary to choice. It is not.

Understanding is a requirement for "intelligence" or "intelligent choice", but not for choice in general.

I did in fact make a typo, if is zero or "not zero", but you are not the sort to give charity to opposing viewpoints for the sake of understanding, else we would not be here.

AS it stands, the bit does not "come through" it is "looked at". A event happens, and as a part of that event something changes so the circuit looks at more information before doing a thing.

that something does the same thing in the same context makes it deterministic. That something does different things in different contexts means that those contexts generate differential choice within the system. That the system's choice is blind or reasoned doesn't matter to the fact a choosing operation happened.

these choices can be massive or complex. What is important is the consistency of the state machine that generates displays choice behavior.
 

Marvin Edwards

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Evolutionary Psychology;

''In other words, the reason we have one set of circuits rather than another is that the circuits that we have were better at solving problems that our ancestors faced during our species' evolutionary history than alternative circuits were. The brain is a naturally constructed computational system whose function is to solve adaptive information-processing problems (such as face recognition, threat interpretation, language acquisition, or navigation). Over evolutionary time, its circuits were cumulatively added because they "reasoned" or "processed information" in a way that enhanced the adaptive regulation of behavior and physiology.

Realizing that the function of the brain is information-processing has allowed cognitive scientists to resolve (at least one version of) the mind/body problem. For cognitive scientists, brain and mind are terms that refer to the same system, which can be described in two complementary ways -- either in terms of its physical properties (the brain), or in terms of its information-processing operation (the mind). The physical organization of the brain evolved because that physical organization brought about certain information-processing relationships -- ones that were adaptive.

It is important to realize that our circuits weren't designed to solve just any old kind of problem. They were designed to solve adaptive problems''

DBT, quick note: I found the article located here: https://www.cep.ucsb.edu/primer.html
Tracing the links backward to see how I got there:
 

pood

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DBT,

Before moving on to the rest about the brain and all, I want to focus on this. You write:

I’m saying that determinism doesn't allow alternate actions in any given instance in time. Compatibilists agree with acknowledge this, which is why the compatibilist definition is ''to act in accordance (unimpeded) to one's will'' and not the ability to have done otherwise.

This is not what I have been saying, or what Marvin has been saying. I can’t speak for all compatibilists, but what we have been pointing out, again and again, is that your formulation, “could not have done otherwise, is DIFFERENT FROM, “would not have done otherwise,” under identical circumstances.

As I have taken pains to point out, this is not just an idle semantic dispute. It is at the heart of the modal scope fallacy, wherein one confuses contingency (could have done otherwise) with necessity (could NOT have done otherwise).

This morning, I COULD HAVE had pancakes; but instead I had eggs. Given identical antecedent conditions, I WOULD HAVE eggs again; it does not follow that I COULD NOT have had pancakes.
 

pood

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Basically:

Principle 1. The brain is a physical system. It functions as a computer.

Why Your Brain Is Not a Computer

From the above:

According to Buzsáki, the brain is not simply passively absorbing stimuli and representing them through a neural code, but rather is actively searching through alternative possibilities to test various options. His conclusion – following scientists going back to the 19th century – is that the brain does not represent information: it constructs it.

Bold mine.
 

pood

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The brain “is actively searching through alternative possibilities to test various options.”

Exactly.

Antecedent events, through a chain of cause and effect, deterministically present the brain with options; and the brain, actively searching through and testing these various options, determines which option is realized. This fact is not just dependent upon determinism, it REQUIRES it.

All of this searching through alternative possibilities to test various options, which evolved over billions of years and is extremely energy-consumptive, is according to you, simply an illusion. To me, the plausibility that evolution would select for illusions in this way is pretty much zero. In effect, what you are arguing is that all this testing, evaluating, deciding, etc., is nothing more than an inconsequential evolutionary spandrel. Pretty much this exemplifies the old saw, “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
 

pood

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A rock rolling down a hill does not act upon its environment.

A brain testing and evaluating options, and then deciding what to do, acts upon its environment.
 

Copernicus

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...
If you work in the field of artificial intelligence, you should know that free will is not a factor. That processing information and selecting an option according to sets of criteria has nothing to do with free will.

You really should be more cautious in making blanket statements about a field that you have no expertise in. The usefulness free will in robotics has long been an open question, and it is a popular topic in AI. Here is a well-known 1999 paper by AI pioneer, John McCarthy: FREE WILL-EVEN FOR ROBOTS

I can't access the page. Not that it matters. Unless there has been some miraculous breakthrough, AI has yet to achieve consciousness, yet alone 'free will' - something that has been debated for centuries, two sides to the argument, compatibilism and incompatibilism.

If the issue hasn't been resolved in humans....good luck with computers that possess neither consciousness or will, only mechanical function.

Are you using the argument from authority? John McCarthy says this , therefore it is so?

No, I'm using it as evidence that free will is a research topic in AI. In fact, it comes up a lot at conferences, because the overarching goal of AI is to replicate intelligent behavior in machines. It is of particular interest in the field of robotics, because robots have all the same problems that humans do in navigating in uncertain environments. They have to make the same kind of choices, and we model their behavior on human and animal behavior.

...
You could, but that begs the question of what we mean by "will". The dispute is over how to define "will" and "free will". That's what you need to focus on. That's why I keep telling you that your argument is irrelevant--because you seem to think that the physical substrate that mental processes depend on defines free will. It does not, and you do not mount any convincing argument that it does. That's what makes your entire argument a fallacy of irrelevance--specifically, a genetic fallacy.

The dispute is about how to define will and whether 'free will' is compatible with determinism....and that is precisely what I have been focusing on all along, in case it has somehow slipped your mind.

I think you believe that you have, but you don't show much evidence of understanding what definitions do or how they work. They don't actually prescribe how words ought to be used. They describe how words are used. So you need to focus on how English speakers actually use the expression to mean something, not how philosophers think it ought to mean something in the context of a deterministic universe. The philosophical discussion, not surprisingly, comes out of theological discussions concerning whether a god that knows the future can judge the actions of beings that don't know the future. Philosophers and theologicans have nothing to do with what expressions like "will" and "free will" mean.

As a reminder, incompatibilism argues that the compatibilist definition of free will is flawed for the given reasons.

There is no such thing as a "compatibilist definition of free will". If someone is telling you that there is, then I suggest that you put your hand on your wallet. The concept means the same thing for both incompatibilists and compatibilists. Definitions are fundamentally heuristic in nature. They describe some aspect of usage that helps people discover what the word means. Meaning is something entirely different from definition, and philosophers ought to argue primarily over meanings, not definitons. Otherwise, they are just engaging in a terminological dispute, not a substantive issue.

For example.
''Wanting to do X is fully determined by these prior causes. Now that the desire to do X is being felt, there are no other constraints that keep the person from doing what he wants, namely X. At this point, we should ascribe free will to all animals capable of experiencing desires (e.g., to eat, sleep, or mate). Yet, we don’t; and we tend not to judge non-human animals in moral terms.'' - cold comfort in compatibilism.

That is so wrong. Animals have free will as much as humans do. What they lack is a sense of moral obligation in human terms, not free will. I don't know if you've ever owned a dog, but you've probably heard the expressions "Bad dog!" and "Good dog!" It seems they are expected to know how to behave and to control their behavior. :)

''An action’s production by a deterministic process, even when the agent satisfies the conditions on moral responsibility specified by compatibilists, presents no less of a challenge to basic-desert responsibility than does deterministic manipulation by other agents. '

freedom
1: the quality or state of being free: such as
a: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action - Merrium Webster

We've discussed Pereboom's Manipulation Argument in the past, and it has more to do with problems inherent in assigning moral responsibility than in actual free will. We judge the behavior of others because we are all expected to adhere to a moral code. However, that has more to do with moral philosophy than what it means to choose from a set of alternative acts of will. What does it mean to be responsible for one's actions? His article was very influential among philosophers, but it attracted as much criticism as praise. Although moral responsibility is often associated with free will, it doesn't actually define it. People may not always be held accountable for their actions, just as we don't hold animals accountable for theirs. Lacking a proper sense of moral responsibility does not mean that one lacks free will.
 

fromderinside

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So choice is behavior. Define it precisely in material terms. Here's the definition. Choice: an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities. Your job is to supply the materiality, the operations. My sense is you'll have trouble with 'choice', 'decision', and 'faced'. Oh yeah, you'll probably have problems operationalizing behavior a well. This exercise request is legit since we are discussing determinism. The point I'm making is self-reference and words not materially defined don't fit within determinism. You need to specify what is the material basis for a mind for instance. Otherwise I'll just continue my freelance irritations to your non-operable anchored tech exercises.
So the most basic form is the JNZ instruction:
Jump of not zero. One possibility is that the context, unknown of the core, contains zero, and the PC executes jump. One possibility is that the context contains "zero" and the PC executes an increment.

These are both real possibilities for the architecture to encounter. One will happen, one will not and this choice will be made on the basis of the contents of a register.

We have observed that the rules of the system will allow a differential behavior on a singular element.
Your reply made sense. It wasn't responsive, but, it makes logical sense. That there are two possibilities is only one criterion for choice making. The other is that the chooser understands both options. You are going to be hard-pressed, you actually state the circuit does not know, to demonstrate that a circuit construction is known to the circuit. As I see it a bit comes through and the circuit operates. If it has a context zero there will be one result if it has context "zero" there will be another result. It will do the same thing every time in the same context. Seems pretty deterministic to me. You still need to define choice operationally. "Unknown of the core" isn't an operational statement.
I bolded the part that indicates you are not really understanding what choice is in the context.

Nowhere do I demand this for choice. You have shoehorned "understanding" in as if that is necessary to choice. It is not.

Understanding is a requirement for "intelligence" or "intelligent choice", but not for choice in general.

I did in fact make a typo, if is zero or "not zero", but you are not the sort to give charity to opposing viewpoints for the sake of understanding, else we would not be here.

AS it stands, the bit does not "come through" it is "looked at". A event happens, and as a part of that event something changes so the circuit looks at more information before doing a thing.

that something does the same thing in the same context makes it deterministic. That something does different things in different contexts means that those contexts generate differential choice within the system. That the system's choice is blind or reasoned doesn't matter to the fact a choosing operation happened.

these choices can be massive or complex. What is important is the consistency of the state machine that generates displays choice behavior.
The bit either leads to the next event or it doesn't therefore, correcting myself, information comes through the logic system. Either zero or 'zero' are compared depending on which exists in the logic reference library.

Both must be available since the logic system operates in both cases depending on which context the logic library provides. Since the context can be "zero" the comparator must be very large or the system would lock-up. It probably would be simpler to provide two logic systems for the task. Setting that aside I'm going with what you describe.

And it comes back to 'choice' the definition of which I provided.

Choice: an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.

First I would argue the logic system isn't faced with a decision. It merely reacts one way depending on which context is provided. What looks like a choice isn't. There is no possibility of choice. There is only one possibility for each context. The fact that the logic can process both contexts is irrelevant since it is only processing one context at a time.

If both contexts were simultaneously available at the comparator I might be reacting differently but they aren't. With textual handwaving you are trying to make a point which you are not making.

That an element can provide either this or that data output is not an element processing both elements differentially. There is an either context A or context B operation.

A choice would be what a trained observer does when there isn't sufficient information to reliably distinguish between signal present or absent but one makes a choice regardless. Sufficient and insufficient information are available simultaneously. And even that is determined by a suite of existing conditions surrounding the decision space which can be resolved by a more sensitive detector.

I'd hate to think that we make choices simply by accessing wrong information (accessing inappropriate context).
 
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Marvin Edwards

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The argument is that the compatibilist definition of free will is not sufficient to prove the proposition.

The compatibilist proposition is simply that free will is a meaningful concept within a deterministic world.

The proof is this:
P1: A freely chosen will is when someone chooses for themselves what they will do, while free of coercion and other forms of undue influence.
P2: A world is deterministic if every event is reliably caused by prior events.
P3: A freely chosen will is reliably caused by the person's own goals, reasons, or interests (with their prior causes).
P4: An unfree choice is reliably caused by coercion or undue influence (with their prior causes).
C: Therefore, the notion of a freely chosen will (and its opposite) is still meaningful within a fully deterministic world.

Distinctions do matter. Of course they do.
Setting the bird free of its cage doesn't establish the bird's freedom of will.

The question is not whether the bird has free will or not. The question is what does "freedom" mean.

The bird's cage is a meaningful and relevant constraint upon the bird's freedom to fly away.

To have any meaning at all, a "freedom" must reference, either explicitly or implicitly, some meaningful and relevant constraint. A meaningful constraint prevents us from doing something that we want to do. A relevant constraint is something that we can actually be "free from" or "free of".

For example:
1. We set the bird free (from its cage).
2. We enjoy freedom of speech (free from political censorship).
3. We were offered free samples (free of charge).
4. We participated in Libet's experiment of our own free will (free of coercion and undue influence).

Freedom of speech, etc, doesn't establish freedom of will for the speaker.

Freedom of speech is about speaking our mind without penalty. If we were penalized for criticizing the government, we would not have freedom of speech. Censorship is a meaningful and relevant constraint upon freedom of speech.

The ball bounces freely down the hillside.

And what would be some meaningful and relevant constraints to the ball's freely bouncing down the hillside? A wall. A boulder. A fallen tree. When you say that "the ball bounces freely down the hillside" you are saying that there were no constraints preventing it from doing so.

In the same fashion "free will", a freely chosen will, implies there were no meaningful or relevant constraints preventing the person from deciding for themselves what they would do.

The bird dives and swoops freely through the air.... these are all actions that follow action production.

Again, the bird swooping freely through the air implies that there were no meaningful or relevant constraints preventing her from doing so (like a hawk, or a glass window pane, or a cage).

It is the nature of action production that is specific to the issue of freedom of will because it is specifically the means of action production that determines what action is action taken in a given instance in time.

Correct. In the case of free will, the question is whether the action was produced by the person's own deliberate choice, or, whether the person was coerced or unduly influenced to do something that they would not otherwise do.

The use of free in relation to action says nothing about the means, state or status of the activator of actions.

The use of "free" in relation to an action implies the lack of any meaningful or relevant constraints preventing the action. For example, a freely chosen will implies the absence of coercion and other forms of undue influence, such that the person was free to decide for themselves what they would do.

I argue that the term free will is redundant. The term 'free will' tells us us nothing about human behaviour, means or drivers. That we have will, but it's not free will.

Free will tells us that the person's behavior was caused by their own deliberate choice, and that they were not forced to act that way by someone or something else. This information is critical when assessing a person's moral or legal responsibility for their behavior.

It seems to me that the term 'free will' has become somewhat of an ideology, an aspiration.

Nope. It's just a simple empirical distinction between the causes of a person's actions. Was the action deliberate, or was it coerced, or was it insane, or was it accidental, etc. It's a simple but important distinction.

To me, it just doesn't apply. Acting according to one's will is inevitable. We are evolved to act, and unless something prevents us from acting, we necessarily act according to our will.

Well, everything is always inevitable, so inevitability doesn't tell us anything useful. However, whether the person acted deliberately or whether they had a gun to their head, is critical information.

Our choices are determined by mechanisms and processes not of our choosing, they are necessitated choices.

All events are equally causally necessitated. So, that's not useful information. But whether someone made the choice themselves, or, the choice was imposed upon them against their will, is meaningful and relevant information.

Freedom is defined as 'freedom from necessity.'

But freedom is never defined as freedom from "causal necessity", because there ain't no such thing. All events are reliably caused by prior events, without exception, and without distinction. This includes all of our mental events.

Causal necessity is a different subject from practical necessity. Practical necessity is when we must do something whether we want to or not. Causal necessity incorporates all causes, including our wants and desires, within the total scheme of causation.

We don't choose our condition, yet our condition forms our being, our mind, character, thoughts and actions.

It is not necessary to cause ourselves in order for us to be the meaningful and relevant causes of other things. And if we are the meaningful and relevant cause of robbing a bank, then we will be held responsible, even though we have a history of prior causes stretching back to the Big Bang. No one is going to try to arrest the Big Bang.

Evolutionary Psychology;

''In other words, the reason we have one set of circuits rather than another is that the circuits that we have were better at solving problems that our ancestors faced during our species' evolutionary history than alternative circuits were. The brain is a naturally constructed computational system whose function is to solve adaptive information-processing problems (such as face recognition, threat interpretation, language acquisition, or navigation). Over evolutionary time, its circuits were cumulatively added because they "reasoned" or "processed information" in a way that enhanced the adaptive regulation of behavior and physiology.

Realizing that the function of the brain is information-processing has allowed cognitive scientists to resolve (at least one version of) the mind/body problem. For cognitive scientists, brain and mind are terms that refer to the same system, which can be described in two complementary ways -- either in terms of its physical properties (the brain), or in terms of its information-processing operation (the mind). The physical organization of the brain evolved because that physical organization brought about certain information-processing relationships -- ones that were adaptive.

It is important to realize that our circuits weren't designed to solve just any old kind of problem. They were designed to solve adaptive problems''
Please note the portion I highlighted. There is no either/or between the brain and the mind. It is the same system whether we are speaking of mental operations, like reasoning, evaluating, and choosing or brain neural functions.

One of the interesting functions of the brain/mind, is the ability to symbolically communicate ideas through language. Note that there are no neural connections between the authors' brains and our own. Yet the words on the page physically alter our neural connections such that we understand what they are saying.

Well, we actually do have some say in our condition. A person may choose to drop out of high school. That choice will change his future condition and thus impact other choices he makes down the road. We have each been active participants in all of the events that have affected us over the years. All of these choices, just like all other events, were causally necessary, of course. But this does not change the fact that we did in fact do the choosing. Nor does it prevent us from learning from our experience to make better decisions in the future.

Our inherent condition began long, long before we decide to drop out of high school. We don't get to choose our parents, genetic makeup, nation, state, society, culture, social conditions, economic status, physical or mental capacities, all of which make us what we are, how we think and in relation to our immediate circumstances, what we think.

That, after all, is the nature of determinism.

Yes, and it was that same determinism that assured it would be that individual, personally, and no other object in the universe, that would choose to drop our of school.

Determinism does not change anything. Determinism itself never determines anything. It has no regulatory control. To believe that it is a causal agent that removes our freedom, our control, or our responsibility, is an illusion.
 

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Choice: an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.

First I would argue the logic system isn't faced with a decision.
Then you are arguing nonsense. A decision here is just an event that goes one of "two or more possible ways" every time the same way in the same context, actually finding resolution

I do not accept your begged question in the second statement here. Thus we are at impasse.
 

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The question is not whether the bird has free will or not. The question is what does "freedom" mean.

The bird's cage is a meaningful and relevant constraint upon the bird's freedom to fly away.

To have any meaning at all, a "freedom" must reference, either explicitly or implicitly, some meaningful and relevant constraint. A meaningful constraint prevents us from doing something that we want to do. A relevant constraint is something that we can actually be "free from" or "free of".

For example:
1. We set the bird free (from its cage).
2. We enjoy freedom of speech (free from political censorship).
3. We were offered free samples (free of charge).
4. We participated in Libet's experiment of our own free will (free of coercion and undue influence)
I was actually thinking this through last night I sofar as coming to the realization that free will depends on constraint to operate: I was chasing my brain through circumstances wherein one would face a decision without ever facing being subordinated in will to limitations of action.

It is the rock in the stream that makes the atom of water break left or right, that forces decision on the basis of what shape the rock has, how it divides the stream.
 

Marvin Edwards

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The question is not whether the bird has free will or not. The question is what does "freedom" mean.

The bird's cage is a meaningful and relevant constraint upon the bird's freedom to fly away.

To have any meaning at all, a "freedom" must reference, either explicitly or implicitly, some meaningful and relevant constraint. A meaningful constraint prevents us from doing something that we want to do. A relevant constraint is something that we can actually be "free from" or "free of".

For example:
1. We set the bird free (from its cage).
2. We enjoy freedom of speech (free from political censorship).
3. We were offered free samples (free of charge).
4. We participated in Libet's experiment of our own free will (free of coercion and undue influence)
I was actually thinking this through last night I sofar as coming to the realization that free will depends on constraint to operate: I was chasing my brain through circumstances wherein one would face a decision without ever facing being subordinated in will to limitations of action.

It is the rock in the stream that makes the atom of water break left or right, that forces decision on the basis of what shape the rock has, how it divides the stream.
A stream has no interests in where it flows. A guy in a kayak actually cares about whether he goes over a waterfall or not. Inanimate objects literally have no skin in the game, but the guy in the kayak does.

Free will, like any other freedom, is the absence of any meaningful and relevant constraints that prevent the person from choosing for themselves what they will do.

Causal necessity is not is a meaningful or a relevant constraint. It is not a meaningful constraint because it does not prevent us from doing what we want to do (it is the source of our want). And it is not something that we could be free of even if we wanted to, so there is no reason to ever bring it up. It makes itself irrelevant by its own ubiquity.
 

Jarhyn

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The question is not whether the bird has free will or not. The question is what does "freedom" mean.

The bird's cage is a meaningful and relevant constraint upon the bird's freedom to fly away.

To have any meaning at all, a "freedom" must reference, either explicitly or implicitly, some meaningful and relevant constraint. A meaningful constraint prevents us from doing something that we want to do. A relevant constraint is something that we can actually be "free from" or "free of".

For example:
1. We set the bird free (from its cage).
2. We enjoy freedom of speech (free from political censorship).
3. We were offered free samples (free of charge).
4. We participated in Libet's experiment of our own free will (free of coercion and undue influence)
I was actually thinking this through last night I sofar as coming to the realization that free will depends on constraint to operate: I was chasing my brain through circumstances wherein one would face a decision without ever facing being subordinated in will to limitations of action.

It is the rock in the stream that makes the atom of water break left or right, that forces decision on the basis of what shape the rock has, how it divides the stream.
A stream has no interests in where it flows. A guy in a kayak actually cares about whether he goes over a waterfall or not. Inanimate objects literally have no skin in the game, but the guy in the kayak does.

Free will, like any other freedom, is the absence of any meaningful and relevant constraints that prevent the person from choosing for themselves what they will do.

Causal necessity is not is a meaningful or a relevant constraint. It is not a meaningful constraint because it does not prevent us from doing what we want to do (it is the source of our want). And it is not something that we could be free of even if we wanted to, so there is no reason to ever bring it up. It makes itself irrelevant by its own ubiquity.
Why is interest necessary? It shall be as it is by it's nature and by the nature of it's constraints. We are not even talking about a stream, but a rock and a single atom within it. On the scale of the stream itself, things are mostly static. Again, there is no meaningful constraint around which to break on that order.

I do see free will as existing on the scale of person, but I do not find the restriction of free will to things as grand only as persons a meaningful distinction.

The transistor serves in its truth just as easily.

As always, the system, in it's consistent response to consistent context and differential response to different context, creates "decision matrixes" on the system.

The existence of this decision matrix through time is the real important bit, but only pops into reality when the constraint pushes change of context.
 

Marvin Edwards

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The question is not whether the bird has free will or not. The question is what does "freedom" mean.

The bird's cage is a meaningful and relevant constraint upon the bird's freedom to fly away.

To have any meaning at all, a "freedom" must reference, either explicitly or implicitly, some meaningful and relevant constraint. A meaningful constraint prevents us from doing something that we want to do. A relevant constraint is something that we can actually be "free from" or "free of".

For example:
1. We set the bird free (from its cage).
2. We enjoy freedom of speech (free from political censorship).
3. We were offered free samples (free of charge).
4. We participated in Libet's experiment of our own free will (free of coercion and undue influence)
I was actually thinking this through last night I sofar as coming to the realization that free will depends on constraint to operate: I was chasing my brain through circumstances wherein one would face a decision without ever facing being subordinated in will to limitations of action.

It is the rock in the stream that makes the atom of water break left or right, that forces decision on the basis of what shape the rock has, how it divides the stream.
A stream has no interests in where it flows. A guy in a kayak actually cares about whether he goes over a waterfall or not. Inanimate objects literally have no skin in the game, but the guy in the kayak does.

Free will, like any other freedom, is the absence of any meaningful and relevant constraints that prevent the person from choosing for themselves what they will do.

Causal necessity is not is a meaningful or a relevant constraint. It is not a meaningful constraint because it does not prevent us from doing what we want to do (it is the source of our want). And it is not something that we could be free of even if we wanted to, so there is no reason to ever bring it up. It makes itself irrelevant by its own ubiquity.
Why is interest necessary? It shall be as it is by it's nature and by the nature of it's constraints. We are not even talking about a stream, but a rock and a single atom within it. On the scale of the stream itself, things are mostly static. Again, there is no meaningful constraint around which to break on that order.

I do see free will as existing on the scale of person, but I do not find the restriction of free will to things as grand only as persons a meaningful distinction.

The transistor serves in its truth just as easily.

As always, the system, in it's consistent response to consistent context and differential response to different context, creates "decision matrixes" on the system.

The existence of this decision matrix through time is the real important bit, but only pops into reality when the constraint pushes change of context.
You're doing what DBT was doing, burying the distinction within the generality, and losing significant meaning. The consequences of the kayak going over the dam are pretty dire for the guy in the kayak. The kayak, the dam, the water, and the atoms in the rocks in the water, on the other hand, could care less.

If the water flow is free to control where the kayak goes, then the kayaker dies. If the kayaker controls where it goes, then the kayaker lives. So, the kayaker is the only object that has an interest in the outcomes of this event. And that interest in the consequences is producing considerable action. So, the interest serves as a motivational cause of action.
 

fromderinside

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The question is not whether the bird has free will or not. The question is what does "freedom" mean.

The bird's cage is a meaningful and relevant constraint upon the bird's freedom to fly away.

To have any meaning at all, a "freedom" must reference, either explicitly or implicitly, some meaningful and relevant constraint. A meaningful constraint prevents us from doing something that we want to do. A relevant constraint is something that we can actually be "free from" or "free of".

For example:
1. We set the bird free (from its cage).
2. We enjoy freedom of speech (free from political censorship).
3. We were offered free samples (free of charge).
4. We participated in Libet's experiment of our own free will (free of coercion and undue influence)
I was actually thinking this through last night I sofar as coming to the realization that free will depends on constraint to operate: I was chasing my brain through circumstances wherein one would face a decision without ever facing being subordinated in will to limitations of action.

It is the rock in the stream that makes the atom of water break left or right, that forces decision on the basis of what shape the rock has, how it divides the stream.
A stream has no interests in where it flows. A guy in a kayak actually cares about whether he goes over a waterfall or not. Inanimate objects literally have no skin in the game, but the guy in the kayak does.

Free will, like any other freedom, is the absence of any meaningful and relevant constraints that prevent the person from choosing for themselves what they will do.

Causal necessity is not is a meaningful or a relevant constraint. It is not a meaningful constraint because it does not prevent us from doing what we want to do (it is the source of our want). And it is not something that we could be free of even if we wanted to, so there is no reason to ever bring it up. It makes itself irrelevant by its own ubiquity.
Why is interest necessary? It shall be as it is by it's nature and by the nature of it's constraints. We are not even talking about a stream, but a rock and a single atom within it. On the scale of the stream itself, things are mostly static. Again, there is no meaningful constraint around which to break on that order.

I do see free will as existing on the scale of person, but I do not find the restriction of free will to things as grand only as persons a meaningful distinction.

The transistor serves in its truth just as easily.

As always, the system, in it's consistent response to consistent context and differential response to different context, creates "decision matrixes" on the system.

The existence of this decision matrix through time is the real important bit, but only pops into reality when the constraint pushes change of context.
You're doing what DBT was doing, burying the distinction within the generality, and losing significant meaning. The consequences of the kayak going over the dam are pretty dire for the guy in the kayak. The kayak, the dam, the water, and the atoms in the rocks in the water, on the other hand, could care less.

If the water flow is free to control where the kayak goes, then the kayaker dies. If the kayaker controls where it goes, then the kayaker lives. So, the kayaker is the only object that has an interest in the outcomes of this event. And that interest in the consequences is producing considerable action. So, the interest serves as a motivational cause of action.
I think Jarhyn is closer to nailing the issue. It takes both opportunity and constraint to bound the possibility of choice. He only misses it with his circuit in that the bit lacks both options being available at the critical juncture. He, being the circuit god, constrains the availability of options by asserting singular fixed context. Now his example as he presents it is what I think most people believe constitutes a choice. As I've shown his model is clearly not a choice since it doesn't include constraint and opportunity. In fact, deterministic behavior is always limited by opportunity.

He's also correct in his assertion that most think that attributing multiple contexts to human action enables choice. It doesn't anymore than do several forces vectors pushing on a rock from different angles actually fail to impose multiple outcomes. The schemes we develop to justify the notion of choice are inventions outside the scope of empirical scientific law.
 

fromderinside

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Choice: an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.

First I would argue the logic system isn't faced with a decision.
Then you are arguing nonsense. A decision here is just an event that goes one of "two or more possible ways" every time the same way in the same context, actually finding resolution

I do not accept your begged question in the second statement here. Thus we are at impasse.
No my analysis of what you call choice is correct. Just because one says there are two different interpretations in existence in the system does not mean there are two different interpretations available at one time. It is either this context or that context. That, at best, is superimposed forced choice. Clearly, you show there is either context A or context B, never both together since that creates a logical impossibility for the circuit which has only a single comparator. Yes, the system can produce two different outcomes at different times using different contexts. So what. They are both determined.

You state clearly it is either A or B depending on context. Context is an invention, an intervening variable, common to most philosophy and folk science. It is inserted as a 'reason' to assert choice when there is none. Context, multiple options, exist only to justify your 'hypothesis. There are never multiple directions of input (context) permitting multiple directions of output (choice) in a human in existence.

What is necessary for what humans pass as a choice is outside physical possibility. Presuming a complex being can transcend empirical scientific law because he is complex is just a modern Roman praying to his personal Jupiter. Hell, we have complex nervous systems so we must be able to get around physical constraints.

What you are saying is no different than saying humans are superior to apes because humans are smarter than apes or that humans are superior to four-legged mammals because we walk upright. Sure, humans are these, ignoring all the time that apes predate man by maybe 12 million years and four-legged mammals predate humans by up to 80 million years and they are still here.

Thanks Jarhyn. Your comments force me to concentrate on what we are actually trying to do which is to explain why some think choice is something beings actually perform as beings living in an obviously determined world.

I've always known mind, superiority, and choice are things that men use to distinguish themselves from other living beings and even from the material world. We are material beings in a material world. Live with it.

Why are rats run in Skinner boxes and forced to operate manipulanda for food and water? Not to understand them, but to demonstrate how mechanical they are.

Its amazing how similar are seeing and hearing to the operation of analogous electronic light and sound sensing circuits.

Two comments to frame from where I'm coming.
 
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Marvin Edwards

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As I've shown his model is clearly not a choice since it doesn't include constraint and opportunity. In fact, deterministic behavior is always limited by opportunity.

He's also correct in his assertion that most think that attributing multiple contexts to human action enables choice. It doesn't anymore than do several forces vectors pushing on a rock from different angles actually fail to impose multiple outcomes. The schemes we develop to justify the notion of choice are inventions outside the scope of empirical scientific law.

We observe people walking toward a restaurant. We call that behavior "walking".

We observe people pulling out a chair and sitting at the table. We call that behavior "sitting".

We observe people browsing the menu for awhile and then placing their order. We call that behavior "choosing".

Because each of these behaviors was objectively observed, we must assume that each behavior is consistent with empirical scientific law.

If someone were to suggest to us that what we objectively observed did not happen, and was some kind of an illusion, then we would naturally claim that the illusion was theirs, and not ours.

Oh, and, of course each of these behaviors was causally necessary from any prior point in time. But then again, all events are always causally necessary from any prior point in time, so it barely deserves mentioning. The logical fact of causal necessity is the grandest of all trivialities.
 

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the bit lacks both options being available at the critical juncture
You are looking at it from the global frame. The machine, the reference frame (and in physics, this means something Very Important! Locality is a property of physics) Lacks context. The choice, the critical juncture is arriving, can't not arrive, but the information does not exist in the reference frame yet to actually make the determination.

The decision to make a choice has been made (which is, ironically enough, also a choice, usually!) But in reality, on the physics, the path it's going to decide against is not yet determined in the reference frame of the choice.

The junction is there, the choice is presented, the machine in it's state can still break either way. It can go both until the context completes and the information settles into the system to determine it.

It is in fact that the system is prepared to go either way, and that it is some external factor that has not yet arrived that will determine it.

The moment of choice, the point where the last piece comes in and decision happens, that doesn't need to be able to go two ways in the moment. It needs a physical arrangement that is metaphysically capable of doing different things in different contexts.
 

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the bit lacks both options being available at the critical juncture
You are looking at it from the global frame. The machine, the reference frame (and in physics, this means something Very Important! Locality is a property of physics) Lacks context. The choice, the critical juncture is arriving, can't not arrive, but the information does not exist in the reference frame yet to actually make the determination.

The decision to make a choice has been made (which is, ironically enough, also a choice, usually!) But in reality, on the physics, the path it's going to decide against is not yet determined in the reference frame of the choice.

The junction is there, the choice is presented, the machine in it's state can still break either way. It can go both until the context completes and the information settles into the system to determine it.

It is in fact that the system is prepared to go either way, and that it is some external factor that has not yet arrived that will determine it.

The moment of choice, the point where the last piece comes in and decision happens, that doesn't need to be able to go two ways in the moment. It needs a physical arrangement that is metaphysically capable of doing different things in different contexts.
I respectfully agree with most of your analysis, but I disagree with the conclusions you draw for it.

To wit: an observer is presented with two intervals of exposure to a sound that may or may not be present in either interval. The protocol calls for her to choose the interval in which she sensed a physical sensory stimulus, a sound or light or taste. Dutifully she trains to and establishes competency in the method. We glibly name that procedure two-alternative forced choice.

The observer is not choosing the interval with the sound which may not be there she is reporting an interval in which she has evidence the stimuli is sufficient for her to distinguish from the other interval. We say she is "choosing the interval", actually just probabilistic reporting with a signal. We know whether there was a signal at any interval. She does not.

After thirty years of doing this stuff, I came to the conclusion we can be just as mechanical as the machine, that we are not choosing. Rather we are responding to satisfy a protocol that is designed to measure sensitivity to stimuli just as does a mindless circuit. It's not the other way around as your example is designed to suggest for the reasons I listed. In fact, the procedure was designed to accomplish a mechanistic response as close as any 'free-willed' human can mimic. We can take the 'human' element out of 'human' behavior.

Now if we generalize my analysis to common behavior it becomes clear the same mechanistic factors are in place when we claim choice.

I'm reporting this way because it is not the deterministic world but the messed up human who, with her lack of knowing is trying to justify what she is doing that leads them to the notion of choice as a consequence of 'free-will'. The physics is right the human interpretations are all fxxxxd up. Indeterminism is a human concocted fiction attempting to satisfy any 'splaining needed.
 
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fromderinside

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As I've shown his model is clearly not a choice since it doesn't include constraint and opportunity. In fact, deterministic behavior is always limited by opportunity.

He's also correct in his assertion that most think that attributing multiple contexts to human action enables choice. It doesn't anymore than do several forces vectors pushing on a rock from different angles actually fail to impose multiple outcomes. The schemes we develop to justify the notion of choice are inventions outside the scope of empirical scientific law.

We observe people walking toward a restaurant. We call that behavior "walking".

We observe people pulling out a chair and sitting at the table. We call that behavior "sitting".

We observe people browsing the menu for awhile and then placing their order. We call that behavior "choosing".

Because each of these behaviors was objectively observed, we must assume that each behavior is consistent with empirical scientific law.

If someone were to suggest to us that what we objectively observed did not happen, and was some kind of an illusion, then we would naturally claim that the illusion was theirs, and not ours.

Oh, and, of course each of these behaviors was causally necessary from any prior point in time. But then again, all events are always causally necessary from any prior point in time, so it barely deserves mentioning. The logical fact of causal necessity is the grandest of all trivialities.
Have you got a mouse in your pocket? It's not we anything. You have your views with which you are very casual while I'm sticking to a view that is a bit more, uh deterministic. Inventing causal necessity is really a bit much. If this follows that consistently it is determined. No need to insert some intervening variable such as necessary causality or causal necessity.
 

Marvin Edwards

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As I've shown his model is clearly not a choice since it doesn't include constraint and opportunity. In fact, deterministic behavior is always limited by opportunity.

He's also correct in his assertion that most think that attributing multiple contexts to human action enables choice. It doesn't anymore than do several forces vectors pushing on a rock from different angles actually fail to impose multiple outcomes. The schemes we develop to justify the notion of choice are inventions outside the scope of empirical scientific law.

We observe people walking toward a restaurant. We call that behavior "walking".

We observe people pulling out a chair and sitting at the table. We call that behavior "sitting".

We observe people browsing the menu for awhile and then placing their order. We call that behavior "choosing".

Because each of these behaviors was objectively observed, we must assume that each behavior is consistent with empirical scientific law.

If someone were to suggest to us that what we objectively observed did not happen, and was some kind of an illusion, then we would naturally claim that the illusion was theirs, and not ours.

Oh, and, of course each of these behaviors was causally necessary from any prior point in time. But then again, all events are always causally necessary from any prior point in time, so it barely deserves mentioning. The logical fact of causal necessity is the grandest of all trivialities.
Have you got a mouse in your pocket? It's not we anything. You have your views with which you are very casual while I'm sticking to a view that is a bit more, uh deterministic. Inventing causal necessity is really a bit much. If this follows that consistently it is determined. No need to insert some intervening variable such as necessary causality or causal necessity.

Determinism is the belief in causal necessity. Causal necessity is the notion that events are reliably caused by prior events. The prior events necessitate the current event. For example, if Babe Ruth hits the ball at the appropriate angle with sufficient force, then the ball will necessarily go over the outfield fence, scoring a home run.

The definition of determinism suggested in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) reads like this: "Determinism: The world is governed by (or is under the sway of) determinism if and only if, given a specified way things are at a time t, the way things go thereafter is fixed as a matter of natural law."

Causal necessity simply asserts that every event is the reliable effect of prior events. The term "natural law" is a metaphor for that reliability. It is AS IF the objects were following a set of rules. But in actuality the rules are derived from observing reliable patterns of behavior in the objects and forces themselves. Neither natural law nor scientific law ever causes anything to happen. Only the objects and forces can actually cause events.
 

Jarhyn

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the bit lacks both options being available at the critical juncture
You are looking at it from the global frame. The machine, the reference frame (and in physics, this means something Very Important! Locality is a property of physics) Lacks context. The choice, the critical juncture is arriving, can't not arrive, but the information does not exist in the reference frame yet to actually make the determination.

The decision to make a choice has been made (which is, ironically enough, also a choice, usually!) But in reality, on the physics, the path it's going to decide against is not yet determined in the reference frame of the choice.

The junction is there, the choice is presented, the machine in it's state can still break either way. It can go both until the context completes and the information settles into the system to determine it.

It is in fact that the system is prepared to go either way, and that it is some external factor that has not yet arrived that will determine it.

The moment of choice, the point where the last piece comes in and decision happens, that doesn't need to be able to go two ways in the moment. It needs a physical arrangement that is metaphysically capable of doing different things in different contexts.
I respectfully agree with most of your analysis, but I disagree with the conclusions you draw for it.

To wit: an observer is presented with two intervals of exposure to a sound that may or may not be present in either interval. The protocol calls for her to choose the interval in which she sensed a physical sensory stimulus, a sound or light or taste. Dutifully she trains to and establishes competency in the method. We glibly name that procedure two-alternative forced choice.

The observer is not choosing the interval with the sound which may not be there she is reporting an interval in which she has evidence the stimuli is sufficient for her to distinguish from the other interval. We say she is "choosing the interval", actually just probabilistic reporting with a signal. We know whether there was a signal at any interval. She does not.

After thirty years of doing this stuff, I came to the conclusion we can be just as mechanical as the machine, that we are not choosing. Rather we are responding to satisfy a protocol that is designed to measure sensitivity to stimuli just as does a mindless circuit. It's not the other way around as your example is designed to suggest for the reasons I listed. In fact, the procedure was designed to accomplish a mechanistic response as close as any 'free-willed' human can mimic. We can take the 'human' element out of 'human' behavior.

Now if we generalize my analysis to common behavior it becomes clear the same mechanistic factors are in place when we claim choice.

I'm reporting this way because it is not the deterministic world but the messed up human who, with her lack of knowing is trying to justify what she is doing that leads them to the notion of choice as a consequence of 'free-will'. The physics is right the human interpretations are all fxxxxd up. Indeterminism is a human concocted fiction attempting to satisfy any 'splaining needed.
You are glibly forgetting that for me, CHOOSING IS THE VERY NATURE OF MECHANISM!

There are situations right now wherein your reference frame has an indeterminate future in it's locality.

The most fucked up thing in this conversation is that our universe on the quantum level is not clearly deterministic: it is probabilistic.

Deterministic behavior only arises from statistical trends in the probabilistic layer combined with fixed patterns of motion within the fields that occur as a result of the probabilistic events!

The nature of an indeterministic universe... Is deterministic layers forming out of the indeterministic ones.
 

fromderinside

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the bit lacks both options being available at the critical juncture
You are looking at it from the global frame. The machine, the reference frame (and in physics, this means something Very Important! Locality is a property of physics) Lacks context. The choice, the critical juncture is arriving, can't not arrive, but the information does not exist in the reference frame yet to actually make the determination.

The decision to make a choice has been made (which is, ironically enough, also a choice, usually!) But in reality, on the physics, the path it's going to decide against is not yet determined in the reference frame of the choice.

The junction is there, the choice is presented, the machine in it's state can still break either way. It can go both until the context completes and the information settles into the system to determine it.

It is in fact that the system is prepared to go either way, and that it is some external factor that has not yet arrived that will determine it.

The moment of choice, the point where the last piece comes in and decision happens, that doesn't need to be able to go two ways in the moment. It needs a physical arrangement that is metaphysically capable of doing different things in different contexts.
I respectfully agree with most of your analysis, but I disagree with the conclusions you draw for it.

To wit: an observer is presented with two intervals of exposure to a sound that may or may not be present in either interval. The protocol calls for her to choose the interval in which she sensed a physical sensory stimulus, a sound or light or taste. Dutifully she trains to and establishes competency in the method. We glibly name that procedure two-alternative forced choice.

The observer is not choosing the interval with the sound which may not be there she is reporting an interval in which she has evidence the stimuli is sufficient for her to distinguish from the other interval. We say she is "choosing the interval", actually just probabilistic reporting with a signal. We know whether there was a signal at any interval. She does not.

After thirty years of doing this stuff, I came to the conclusion we can be just as mechanical as the machine, that we are not choosing. Rather we are responding to satisfy a protocol that is designed to measure sensitivity to stimuli just as does a mindless circuit. It's not the other way around as your example is designed to suggest for the reasons I listed. In fact, the procedure was designed to accomplish a mechanistic response as close as any 'free-willed' human can mimic. We can take the 'human' element out of 'human' behavior.

Now if we generalize my analysis to common behavior it becomes clear the same mechanistic factors are in place when we claim choice.

I'm reporting this way because it is not the deterministic world but the messed up human who, with her lack of knowing is trying to justify what she is doing that leads them to the notion of choice as a consequence of 'free-will'. The physics is right the human interpretations are all fxxxxd up. Indeterminism is a human concocted fiction attempting to satisfy any 'splaining needed.
You are glibly forgetting that for me, CHOOSING IS THE VERY NATURE OF MECHANISM!

There are situations right now wherein your reference frame has an indeterminate future in it's locality.

The most fucked up thing in this conversation is that our universe on the quantum level is not clearly deterministic: it is probabilistic.

Deterministic behavior only arises from statistical trends in the probabilistic layer combined with fixed patterns of motion within the fields that occur as a result of the probabilistic events!

The nature of an indeterministic universe... Is deterministic layers forming out of the indeterministic ones.
Right. A combination of things, molecules, circuits, etc. are by agreement mechanisms. Operationalization is the method by which we understand mechanisms. Macrostructure is a basis. Subsequent to agreement we insert an intervening variables, cause and effect - because Oh, shit - the world is deterministic. Now we're trying to play God. First cause are U shitting me.

Scientific practice is based on deterministic theory. That same practice arrived at a deterministic relativistic model of things combined with a probabilistic quantum theory only results in determined models which goes a long way to explaining what, why, and how. Probabilistic quantum theory is not indeterministic.

Quantum theory may be non-deterministic where there is space for symmetry. Why are there no positrons? There should be positrons, there are when certain collisions take place. But they aren't anywhere to be found. This is true for many anti-particles. I'm not saying there aren't winners and losers. There may be other universes where other combinations of fundamental things are extant. We will probably never know that.

I'm just angry firing at will here. It is very difficult to communicate with people who interpose variables in order to explain. Choosing is something humans believe they do, it cannot be consistently operationalized.
 
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