Industrial Grade Linguist
- May 28, 2017
- Bellevue, WA
- Basic Beliefs
- Atheist humanist
With no possible alternative in the instance of information processing/decision making, it remains true that the decision, regarding what we will do, may be coerced by someone outside pointing a gun at the brain, and, it remains true that the decision may be unduly influenced by the brain's own disorders, like suffering hallucination, or a crippled ability to think through a decision, or by an irresistible impulse. Or the decision process may be free from such coercion and such undue influences.
When the decision process is free of coercion and undue influence, it is literally a freely chosen will, or simply free will.
Explaining how the brain works during a case of coercion does not eliminate the influence of coercion upon the decision process.
Explaining how the brain works under an extraordinary influence, such as a significant mental illness, does not eliminate the influence of that illness.
Explaining how the brain works during a case where it is left free of coercion and undue influence, does not eliminate free will.
Explaining how things work does not "explain them away", it only explains how they work.
Well, that has been the subject of much debate between philosophers. What DBT and some others here have been arguing for is "free will eliminatavism", which is a type of Eliminative Materialism.
Eliminative materialism (or eliminativism) is the radical claim that our ordinary, common-sense understanding of the mind is deeply wrong and that some or all of the mental states posited by common-sense do not actually exist and have no role to play in a mature science of the mind. Descartes famously challenged much of what we take for granted, but he insisted that, for the most part, we can be confident about the content of our own minds. Eliminative materialists go further than Descartes on this point, since they challenge the existence of various mental states that Descartes took for granted.
Ordinary common sense psychology is also called Folk Psychology in the philosophical literature.
In philosophy of mind and cognitive science, folk psychology, or commonsense psychology, is a human capacity to explain and predict the behavior and mental state of other people. Processes and items encountered in daily life such as pain, pleasure, excitement, and anxiety use common linguistic terms as opposed to technical or scientific jargon.
Traditionally, the study of folk psychology has focused on how everyday people—those without formal training in the various academic fields of science—go about attributing mental states. This domain has primarily been centred on intentional states reflective of an individual's beliefs and desires; each described in terms of everyday language and concepts such as "beliefs", "desires", "fear", and "hope".
Eliminative materialism is the claim that folk psychology is false and should be discarded (or "eliminated").
What we've been engaged in throughout the thread is a debate that essentially declares both sides of the philosophical argument compatible. They just represent different levels of description of the same underlying physical substrate.