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There isn't really a 'freewill problem'.

DBT

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These references are common usage based on limited observations the world and its objects and events, which does not take into account whether the World is Determined or not.....in other words, surface appearance.
Sorry, what?

Your responses are becoming increasingly more cryptic.

I really have no idea what you're trying to say.

Time and haste is a problem, but it shouldn't be difficult to grasp the essential meaning.

The Inhabitants of a Determined system may feel free because they feel that they are going about their lives without any apparent restrictions, making decisions and acting upon them, but not a having access to the necessary information, the state of the World at large, they are unaware of the large scale forces that are shaping not only the events around them but their very thought processes, decisions and actions.

So in every day language they express the belief that they are making 'free choices' and that they have 'free will' but in reality their choices and actions are inevitable. Set and Fixed by the vast passage of time and events which are both beyond their control and their understanding.

So what does in mean when an inhabitant of a Determined World happens to say ''my choice was freely made, I have free will?'' yet not taking into account how that decision was made or why in terms of the events that made it inevitable?
 

The AntiChris

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The AntiChris said:
This is the standard refutation of libertarian (incompatibilist) free will. I agree with it.
You haven't offered an argument or an explanation.. As usual, you merely assert your belief.
What precisely are you objecting to?

Rushed post due to limited time......... So I don't know what you are trying to say.

:confused:

I'm saying that I agree with your refutation of libertarian (incompatibilist) free will.

I honestly don't know how you could read what I said in any other way.
 

DBT

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You haven't offered an argument or an explanation.. As usual, you merely assert your belief.
What precisely are you objecting to?

Rushed post due to limited time......... So I don't know what you are trying to say.

:confused:

I'm saying that I agree with your refutation of libertarian (incompatibilist) free will.

I honestly don't know how you could read what I said in any other way.


This morning (check the time) I only had a few minutes to reply to several posts before starting work, so skimming through several replies, Emily's, etc, happened to misread what you said. My fault. Sorry for the confusion.

So, when you said - This is the standard refutation of libertarian (incompatibilist) free will. I agree with it - I assumed that your comment left an option open for compatibalism. Which is what I'd like to see explained, assuming too much too soon, I guess.
 
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The AntiChris

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These references are common usage based on limited observations the world and its objects and events, which does not take into account whether the World is Determined or not.....in other words, surface appearance.
Sorry, what?

Your responses are becoming increasingly more cryptic.

I really have no idea what you're trying to say.

Time and haste is a problem, but it shouldn't be difficult to grasp the essential meaning.
Ok here's my question again:
If the universe is deterministic, all references to freedom are an illusion.

So, are you saying that all references to freedom in our universe are an illusion (I think you really mean 'mistaken')

Or, are you saying that all all references to freedom in our universe, if they are not an "illusion", are justified by indeterminism'?
And your latest response:

The Inhabitants of a Determined system may feel free because they feel that they are going about their lives without any apparent restrictions, making decisions and acting upon them, but not a having access to the necessary information, the state of the World at large, they are unaware of the large scale forces that are shaping not only the events around them but their very thought processes, decisions and actions.

So in every day language they express the belief that they are making 'free choices' and that they have 'free will' but in reality their choices and actions are inevitable. Set and Fixed by the vast passage of time and events which are both beyond their control and their understanding.

So what does in mean when an inhabitant of a Determined World happens to say ''my choice was freely made, I have free will?'' yet not taking into account how that decision was made or why in terms of the events that made it inevitable?
Your original claim, and my response, was talking about "all references to freedom" but your response talks only about free will.

Clearly the word "freedom" is used in vastly more contexts than just freedom of the will. I'd assumed you were making a claim about the more general sense of freedom. Did you in fact only intend 'freedom of the will' when you said "freedom" in your original claim [in bold]?

On a general point, I think you generate much confusion when you make general claims about the use of the word 'free' when you actually mean 'free will'.
 

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Time and haste is a problem, but it shouldn't be difficult to grasp the essential meaning.
Ok here's my question again:
If the universe is deterministic, all references to freedom are an illusion.

So, are you saying that all references to freedom in our universe are an illusion (I think you really mean 'mistaken')

Or, are you saying that all all references to freedom in our universe, if they are not an "illusion", are justified by indeterminism'?
And your latest response:

The Inhabitants of a Determined system may feel free because they feel that they are going about their lives without any apparent restrictions, making decisions and acting upon them, but not a having access to the necessary information, the state of the World at large, they are unaware of the large scale forces that are shaping not only the events around them but their very thought processes, decisions and actions.

So in every day language they express the belief that they are making 'free choices' and that they have 'free will' but in reality their choices and actions are inevitable. Set and Fixed by the vast passage of time and events which are both beyond their control and their understanding.

So what does in mean when an inhabitant of a Determined World happens to say ''my choice was freely made, I have free will?'' yet not taking into account how that decision was made or why in terms of the events that made it inevitable?
Your original claim, and my response, was talking about "all references to freedom" but your response talks only about free will.

Clearly the word "freedom" is used in vastly more contexts than just freedom of the will. I'd assumed you were making a claim about the more general sense of freedom. Did you in fact only intend 'freedom of the will' when you said "freedom" in your original claim [in bold]?

On a general point, I think you generate much confusion when you make general claims about the use of the word 'free' when you actually mean 'free will'.



No, I meant the status of freedom in general within a Determined World.
 

The AntiChris

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No, I meant the status of freedom in general within a Determined World.
So, if I understand you correctly, you're saying that all references to freedom (e.g. "freedom of the press", "freedom of movement ", "freedom of information" etc, etc..), not just freedom of the will, are an "illusion" (I think you mean mistaken). Have I got this right?
 

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No, I meant the status of freedom in general within a Determined World.
So, if I understand you correctly, you're saying that all references to freedom (e.g. "freedom of the press", "freedom of movement ", "freedom of information" etc, etc..), not just freedom of the will, are an "illusion" (I think you mean mistaken). Have I got this right?


The inhabitants of a Determined World may not know that their thoughts and actions are determined, they may be under the impression of being free agents, that they have regulative control, which is not only a mistake but an illusion based on their narrow perspective of the World...their experience of the World being based on sensory experience;

illusion
ɪˈluːʒ(ə)n/
noun
an instance of a wrong or misinterpreted perception of a sensory experience.
 

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I agree that we all tend to perceive ourselves as having greater agency than we actually do. It's similar, in a way, to how we all tend to assume we understand other people better than they understand us (especially if they are viewed as adversaries).

To add on to the discussion 'swamp' (love the mental image on that, by the way), even though I don't think that discussions of free will vs determinism have much practical value to how humans function... I do think it has ramifications for our future, particularly in terms of AI. Some people hold the belief that we'll never be able to create truly intelligent machines, because of that 'speshul sauce' that they think makes humans so unique. Personally, I don't think that special sauce exists, nor do I think that humans are all that unique. When it comes to agency, I think we're at one end of a spectrum - we have more agency than other animals (so far as we can tell, with our admitted bias in play)... but I also think that other animals have some degree of agency as well: we're not unique. And I think that as we continue to develop more complex models and incorporate learning into programming,we will be able to build actual intelligence.

I agree.

Which raises the question: If a sufficiently intelligent machine reaches a stage where it is self aware, learns, and has the ability to weigh options and make decisions... do we hold it accountable for the consequences of those decisions? Just because it is programmed, does that imply that it has no agency? Just because the process is determined... does that make the outcome inevitable?

'Inevitable' is only part of the 'problem', I think. As I said, it isn't that hard to say that at least in principle, randomness decouples events (all events, not just human actions) from determinism. If randomness operates at the macro level that is. Which I deem possible without knowing whether it is or isn't. If it isn't we'd have to use the word 'unpredictable' (as in incapable, perhaps even in principle, of being known in advance) which is a slightly different thing, since it's 'merely' about knowing (what will happen).

Anyhows, decoupling is only 'stage 1'. 'Stage 2' (where the brain deterministically acts on whatever options are in front of it, including the ones potentially thrown up by a random swerve) is, I think, trickier. It might even be argued that your dice have the sort of free will you are talking about, even if only a tiny bit.
 
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ruby sparks

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I think I'm fine with all of that. Except for one small thing. And that is why you would use the term 'free will' to describe it. :)
Because that was the framing of the initiating discussion... and because I view it as being closer along the spectrum to "free will" than to "determinism" as each of those is classically defined.

Also, probably, because I haven't done any studying on compatabilism and other than a rough idea of what the term "compatible" means, I don't really know what it is! :D

On the idea of a spectrum...


To me, when I think about it, the capacity that we have that gives us more 'elbow room' as it has been called, more 'degrees of freedom' (a useful machine term for meat robots, imo) than, say, other meat robots (animals), seems to be that our systems (mainly brains) automatically generate predictions about what is about to happen. These are essentially a form of 'simulations', about both the future and the past (memories in the latter case). As I see it, our systems run these simulations mostly non-consciously ('in the dark'), but when we're consciously deliberating about something, they are occurring in 'daylight' (the activity seems to cross a threshold into consciousness for whatever varied reasons). In such cases, our brains can 'pretend' they have made a decision (about, say, whether to go to the beach tomorrow or do that bit of work that needs doing) and get feedback about probable outcomes. We may heavily rely on simulations from the past (memories) to inform these simulations of the future, because we can't easily imagine something that we have never before experienced, so only options from memory (or combinations of them) can arise, I'm thinking, and our systems are inducing (not deducing) the probable outcomes based on prior experience.

In other words, in that model, it's our capacity to not have to 'live in the present moment', to (non-literally) 'time travel', that gives us a lot of our sophisticated agency. It's not something a thermostat can do, even though a thermostat is arguably a very basic rational agent. And it doesn't seem to be something that other animals do as much as us.

The above capacity doesn't need randomness and may even operate better without it. Hard to say, maybe as you say randomness helps in some way.

The idea that our brains internally generate much more information which affects action than is coming in through the senses (and to which our systems react) is, I think, fairly well established. When we drop the raw egg onto the tiled kitchen floor, it seems we have already predicted that it will probably smash before it lands and that when we see it smashing we are just confirming a prediction, not waiting for it to smash and then reacting. If it were to stop a centimetre above the floor, we'd be stymied for a moment or two. Our brains' superfast inductive reasoning 'algorithms' would have failed us.
 
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The AntiChris

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No, I meant the status of freedom in general within a Determined World.
So, if I understand you correctly, you're saying that all references to freedom (e.g. "freedom of the press", "freedom of movement ", "freedom of information" etc, etc..), not just freedom of the will, are an "illusion" (I think you mean mistaken). Have I got this right?


The inhabitants of a Determined World may not know that their thoughts and actions are determined, they may be under the impression of being free agents, that they have regulative control, which is not only a mistake but an illusion based on their narrow perspective of the World...their experience of the World being based on sensory experience;

illusion
ɪˈluːʒ(ə)n/
noun
an instance of a wrong or misinterpreted perception of a sensory experience.

So, to be quite clear, are you saying that all references to freedom (e.g. "freedom of the press", "freedom of movement ", "freedom of information" etc, etc..) are instances of "wrong or misinterpreted perception of a sensory experience"?
 

DBT

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The inhabitants of a Determined World may not know that their thoughts and actions are determined, they may be under the impression of being free agents, that they have regulative control, which is not only a mistake but an illusion based on their narrow perspective of the World...their experience of the World being based on sensory experience;

illusion
ɪˈluːʒ(ə)n/
noun
an instance of a wrong or misinterpreted perception of a sensory experience.

So, to be quite clear, are you saying that all references to freedom (e.g. "freedom of the press", "freedom of movement ", "freedom of information" etc, etc..) are instances of "wrong or misinterpreted perception of a sensory experience"?

No, not all. Common references using the words 'free' or freedom can relate to relative conditions within the system. Examples I gave; the dog has slipped its chain, the dog is no longer tied up, the dog is free of its chain, etc.

Which says nothing about the ultimate condition of the dog, what brought it to the state of being tied up or how it came to be untied, perhaps slipping its collar, what goes through its head or why or what drives its behaviour. It's just a reference to chain on or chain off within the changing conditions of a determined system.

The participants know little or nothing about the causality of their thoughts and actions. They only express what they experience.

And I'm out of time.
 

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We are now discussing whether INdeterminism is compatable with free will? Of course! That just means if we live in a world where not all events are caused, there would be room for free will.

As I've opined before, I'm not entirely convinced that we either need indeterminism to exercise what we often call our 'free will' or that it's useful. Imo, thinking that we do need it could just be a hangover reaction to the idea that everything is annoyingly predetermined.

What we arguably need is a system that can make decisions with some flexibility and useful, reliable information. So, to analogise, when we drive a car up to a road junction, we don't need (or arguably even want) the steering to fail, even for an instant. We just need the car (let's assume a driverless car) to choose. Indeterminism (or randomness) would arguably screw things up.

To err on the side of caution, I'm only going to say that I think the role of indeterminism might be overstated. :)
 
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The AntiChris

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So, to be quite clear, are you saying that all references to freedom (e.g. "freedom of the press", "freedom of movement ", "freedom of information" etc, etc..) are instances of "wrong or misinterpreted perception of a sensory experience"?

No, not all.
This is really quite frustrating. You said:


If the universe is deterministic, all references to freedom are an illusion.
So when you said "all" you didn't mean "all".

So my last 5 posts on this particular claim of yours were a complete waste of time.
 

The AntiChris

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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
This is a succinct, logical refutation of libertarian (incompatibilist) free will. I have no problem with it.

You say "Compatibalism is a failed argument.". Can you produce a similar refutation of compatibilist free will?
 

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I know this is going to sound controversial to you AntiChris, but imo you can't refute compatibilist free will any more than you can refute the claim that god is just the physical universe, which is also completely valid.

Iow, to me it's about what is arguably the wrong term.

I don't mind if you disagree, because it would only be a disagreement about a preferred label.
 
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The AntiChris

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I know this is going to sound controversial to you AntiChris, but imo you can't refute compatibilist free will
I agree.

'Compatibilist free will' is simply a label used in moral discourse. A compatibilist might say that an agent must have acted of their own free will (e.g. without external coercion) if we wish to assign moral responsibility.

It's not something that can be proven 'wrong' - you either accept its use or reject it.

However I'm as sure as I can be (which to be fair is not very sure) that DBT believes that compatibilism can be proven wrong
 

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I know this is going to sound controversial to you AntiChris, but imo you can't refute compatibilist free will
I agree.

'Compatibilist free will' is simply a label used in moral discourse. A compatibilist might say that an agent must have acted of their own free will (e.g. without external coercion) if we wish to assign moral responsibility.

It's not something that can be proven 'wrong' - you either accept its use or reject it.

However I'm as sure as I can be (which to be fair is not very sure) that DBT believes that compatibilism can be proven wrong

I won't get into your debate with DBT (any more than I have done). :)

Suffice to say that I think there are ways in which you are both right, on the general issue.

On this:

"A compatibilist might say that an agent must have acted of their own free will (e.g. without external coercion) if we wish to assign moral responsibility."


Yes, that is what a compatibilist might say. Obviously, and I doubt you'll disagree, it (the bit in brackets) is an incomplete justification.

There are (pragmatic) arguments to be made for continuing with it nonetheless (even though it's not always applied I have to say, thinking for example of partial exculpability due to mental deficiency) but 'contuinuing with it' does not of course mean preserving it in aspic. It's already changing and has been, and I think future science, of more than one kind, is likely to continue to undermine the basis for it (and it's not hard to find legal articles online where this is being grappled with). Which I hope will be a 'good' thing (by good I mean that it will increase, for example, the overall level of happiness, of humans at least).

I don't want to sound like that's my mission. I'm mostly selfishly interested for personal and interpersonal reasons. Self-understanding or relationship guidance, if you like. Enlightenment. Wisdom. How better to navigate the mortal coil I didn't ask to be put on. Karma even, at a pinch, with caveats. :)
 

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I know this is going to sound controversial to you AntiChris, but imo you can't refute compatibilist free will
I agree.

'Compatibilist free will' is simply a label used in moral discourse. A compatibilist might say that an agent must have acted of their own free will (e.g. without external coercion) if we wish to assign moral responsibility.

It's not something that can be proven 'wrong' - you either accept its use or reject it.

However I'm as sure as I can be (which to be fair is not very sure) that DBT believes that compatibilism can be proven wrong
Suffice to say that I think there are ways in which you are both right, on the general issue.
In what way do you think I'm wrong and DBT is right?

Please bear in mind I'm not arguing for compatibilism - I couldn't care less if anyone is unpersuaded by the concept. All I'm arguing is that compatibilism presents no logical error and is not "a failed argument" (nearly 60% of professional philosophers surveyed in 2009 "Accept or lean toward" compatibilism - this does not make it 'correct' but it certainly isn't a failed argument.)
 

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In what way do you think I'm wrong and DBT is right?


Other than re-posting this, I'd rather not get into it:

....The principle on which compatibilism rests .........

Yes, but a leg isn't 'really' free to move either, so all I'm saying is that the word 'free' in free will can be validly used, in a provisional, limited or colloquial way, imo.

I can still say, if I want to, which I sometimes do, that at the end of the day it's the wrong word (for reasons given) and you can say that it cannot (reasonably) be used. Your saying that isn't arbitrary or irrational, nor is it a fallacy, but it is just your reasoned view, and strictly-speaking wrong in the absolute (non-subjective) sense, since the word free can (reasonably) be used, via different reasoning. Your view (and perhaps mine) might be special pleading in an informal sort of way. Or at least let me say I get that general objection. I think we should call them our reasoned opinions regarding labelling, not an absolute decree.
 

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This is really quite frustrating. You said:


If the universe is deterministic, all references to freedom are an illusion.
So when you said "all" you didn't mean "all".

So my last 5 posts on this particular claim of yours were a complete waste of time.

Nothing that needs to be frustrating. I have pointed out that within a determined world any references to freedom relate to changing conditions within the determined system but not to the ultimate state off the system, which does not entail deviation or regulation in t
he sense that a person can do otherwise in any given instance in time.

Think of it as characters in Movie going about their business, talking about doing this or that, talking about freedom, but all of their actions are fixed, they have no freedom. Their actions can be replayed countless times and each and every time its exactly the same outcome.

What then is the nature of notion of ultimate freedom within a determined system?
 

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This is really quite frustrating. You said:


If the universe is deterministic, all references to freedom are an illusion.
So when you said "all" you didn't mean "all".

So my last 5 posts on this particular claim of yours were a complete waste of time.

Nothing that needs to be frustrating.
You must be kidding!

You originally said that all references to freedom were an illusion (post #819) and, when I pressed you on this, without any apology you change your mind and casually say you didn't mean "all" (post #861).

You're wasting my time.
 

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We are now discussing whether INdeterminism is compatable with free will? Of course! That just means if we live in a world where not all events are caused, there would be room for free will.

As I've opined before, I'm not entirely convinced that we either need indeterminism to exercise what we often call our 'free will' or that it's useful. Imo, thinking that we do need it could just be a hangover reaction to the idea that everything is annoyingly predetermined.

What we arguably need is a system that can make decisions with some flexibility and useful, reliable information. So, to analogise, when we drive a car up to a road junction, we don't need (or arguably even want) the steering to fail, even for an instant. We just need the car (let's assume a driverless car) to choose. Indeterminism (or randomness) would arguably screw things up.

To err on the side of caution, I'm only going to say that I think the role of indeterminism might be overstated. :)
Whether it's necessary is different from whether it's compatible.
 

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We are now discussing whether INdeterminism is compatable with free will? Of course! That just means if we live in a world where not all events are caused, there would be room for free will.

As I've opined before, I'm not entirely convinced that we either need indeterminism to exercise what we often call our 'free will' or that it's useful. Imo, thinking that we do need it could just be a hangover reaction to the idea that everything is annoyingly predetermined.

What we arguably need is a system that can make decisions with some flexibility and useful, reliable information. So, to analogise, when we drive a car up to a road junction, we don't need (or arguably even want) the steering to fail, even for an instant. We just need the car (let's assume a driverless car) to choose. Indeterminism (or randomness) would arguably screw things up.

To err on the side of caution, I'm only going to say that I think the role of indeterminism might be overstated. :)
Whether it's necessary is different from whether it's compatible.


Ok.


Is it compatible? I don't actually know.

I think I could try to make a case that it's incompatible, as I've already alluded to, by saying it could frustrate or diminish our agency capacities.


I wouldn't bet on being right. I take on board Emily's comment about how AI scientists are, she says, finding that introducing randomness is improving decision-making abilities in artificial systems, and though I'm nowhere near up to speed on AI, it seems at least plausible and I have no good reason to doubt it.
 

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Is it compatible? I don't actually know.
As far as I know, that's not a common question since it's not been presented as controversial. The question that's normally asked is if determinism is compatible with free will. The basic idea of determinism is simply that all (not some but all) events are determined. There's more to the story, but since you're not looking for an answer to the common question but instead whether indeterminsim is compatible with free will, we need only look to see if both can coexist. Indeterminism isn't to say no events are caused--just that not all events are.

I don't see an inconsistency with being in a world where not all evensts are caused and free will, so I would think they are compatible. That's not to say I believe we are in such a world; hence, I'm not espousing a personal view about what it is that I hold true but rather merely expounding upon the implications the way I see it.
 

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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
This is a succinct, logical refutation of libertarian (incompatibilist) free will. I have no problem with it.

You say "Compatibalism is a failed argument.". Can you produce a similar refutation of compatibilist free will?

Here it is in a nutshell.....I have posted this article in a previous discussion with you....it saves me the time and effort of repeating the problems of having it both ways. You can't have it both ways. Determinism is not compatible with freedom, not compatible with 'could have done otherwise under the same circumstances, not compatible with regulative control contra the determined course of events;

Quote;
''Still others, most notably David Hume and some prominent contemporary social psychologists, believe they can have it both ways: accept determinism while also postulating a type of non-libertarian, straight-jacketed “free” will that still enables moral judgment [I put the “free” in quotation marks because the semantics are drained from the word].

This is the compatibilist view of free will (see here (link is external) for an excellent article in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). How is this supposed to work? First, we have to accept the view that prior events have caused the person’s current desire to do X. Wanting to do X is fully determined by these prior causes (and perhaps a dash of true chance). 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. Exceptions occur, but are swiftly dismissed as errors of anthropomorphism.

Some aspiring compatibilists maintain that only humans are judged morally because only they could have acted differently. Those who try this argument must realize that they are not compatibilists at all; they are libertarians. The acceptance of determinism is a defining element of compatibilism. It forbids us to say that evil-doers could have done good if only they wanted to. Well yes, if they wanted to, but they were determined to not want to.''
 

DBT

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You must be kidding!

You originally said that all references to freedom were an illusion (post #819) and, when I pressed you on this, without any apology you change your mind and casually say you didn't mean "all" (post #861).

You're wasting my time.

You are wasting your own time. Your time is not mine to waste. You cannot see the overall picture because you only appear to see a bit of information here and a bit of information there, apparently never being able to see how it fits into big picture, a determined world with inhabitants that, like you, cannot see the big picture, cannot see that it is the world that is shaping/determining their thoughts and actions and that their references to freedom are related to changing relationships within their determined world - the prisoner is locked up, then the prisoner is freed from his cell, etc - and not to something that has an actual possibility of being different. The prisoner is locked in his cell because the events of the world and his own mental condition (poor decision making) put him there...he is free from his cell for the same reason, the progress of causality entails changing conditions, so with changing circumstances the day of his release rolls around. He is now free. But not free from his own flawed mind or the relentless pressure of a vast world that never ceases to act upon him.

How the words are used in reference to changing circumstances, free lunch, free travel, free from work, etc, may have no bearing on the nature of the world at large.

I had not changed my mind, I was simply trying to convey the distinction between phenomena within the system and the system as a whole.

That is the point at which you miss the mark.
 
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DBT

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You must be kidding!

You originally said that all references to freedom were an illusion (post #819) and, when I pressed you on this, without any apology you change your mind and casually say you didn't mean "all" (post #861).

You're wasting my time.

You are not making any sense.

Here is what I said in post #819;
''You are getting pedantic. It's just shorthand for ''it is the brain alone that is responsible for generating behaviour'' What your examples suggest is will as the generator or agent of behaviour, which is not supported by evidence.

You just need to know how to search and what to search for. That may be difficult if you aren't familiar with the subject matter, as appears to be the case;


The Agent Brain
''Many neural structures have been associated to specific attributes of agency experience or to specific steps of the process that leads to sense agency. The collection of neural structures that are thought to mediate agency-related processes is rather wide and includes: the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), the cingulate cortex (CC), the supplementary and pre-supplementary motor areas (SMA and pre-SMA), the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and its inferior regions and the cerebellum (Gehring et al., 1990; Lee et al., 1999; Blakemore et al., 2001; Chaminade and Decety, 2002; Cunnington et al., 2002; Farrer and Frith, 2002; Blakemore and Sirigu, 2003; Farrer et al., 2003; Lau et al., 2004, 2006; Synofzik et al., 2008a; Balconi and Crivelli, 2009, 2010a,b; Balconi and Scioli, 2012; Balconi et al., 2017). The plurality of those structures and their distribution over the whole brain (see Figure ​Figure1)1) likely mirrors the complexity of the phenomenon and the different methodological and experimental approaches devised to study its facets (for a review see also David, 2010). Again, they are due to the contribution of multiple mechanisms in the coupling of behavior with mental states and sensory effects. Those mechanisms—and the structures that subserve them—can be traced back to overarching functions: monitoring of sensorimotor congruence and multimodal integration, intentionalization (i.e., elaboration and implementation of intentions), action monitoring and ownership/agency attribution.


Stimulating The Agent Brain: Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Evidences

''Neuroimaging and electrophysiological methods can be both enlisted among the correlational techniques (Walsh and Cowey, 2000), which allow for qualifying and quantifying ongoing neural activity during implicit or explicit tasks to compare it with co-occurrent subjective experience, cognitive performances, or behavior. By superimposing and integrating those series of data, it is possible to draw conclusions on anatomical-functional correlates of investigated functions and processes by means of association. Conversely, non-invasive stimulation methods can be enlisted among interference or causal techniques, which grant the advantage of drawing conclusion on neural causation and on the effective role of neural structures in supporting or modulating a specific function or process (Woods et al., 2016). Indeed, NIBS can be used to perturb the ongoing activity of a target structure during implicit or explicit tasks and then observe the consequences of such perturbation on behavior and/or neural activity (e.g., by means of EEG). It is worth noting that conclusions that can be drawn thanks to NIBS studies also show fewer potential biases than those deriving from clinical lesion studies (Walsh and Cowey, 2000). Relevant for the present discussion, NIBS techniques then present notably greater cognitive resolution—defined as the ability to tell something new about brain processes and to answer a wide range of questions on cognitive functioning and its physiological correlates (Walsh and Pascual-Leone, 2003)—with respect to other investigation tools.''
__________________________________________

You shouldn't try to simplify it by extending what are references to specific states within a system to the whole universe. If the universe is deterministic, all references to freedom are an illusion.

We are talking about the condition of a specific attribute or feature of brain cognition, will, what does will do? What is the role of will. Well, it doesn't make decisions, it doesn't acquire and process information, it does think or initiate actions. The brain does all that Conscious will merely serves as a conscious prompt to act, a sense of urgency, a felt need to take action...will does not decide to do this, it is just a part of conscious response as represented by the brain in response to a given situation.

So, the Agent Brain...brain agency if you like. One and the same thing. ''

And here is what I said in post #861

''No, not all. Common references using the words 'free' or freedom can relate to relative conditions within the system. Examples I gave; the dog has slipped its chain, the dog is no longer tied up, the dog is free of its chain, etc.

Which says nothing about the ultimate condition of the dog, what brought it to the state of being tied up or how it came to be untied, perhaps slipping its collar, what goes through its head or why or what drives its behaviour. It's just a reference to chain on or chain off within the changing conditions of a determined system.

The participants know little or nothing about the causality of their thoughts and actions. They only express what they experience.''


So, for the life of me, I can't see where I have supposed to have contradicted myself.

Everything I have said relates to two perspectives. One from the world as a whole, a deterministic world and what it is doing. And secondly, from the perspective of the inhabitants of a Determined World, how they perceive events and how they communicate what they see....without being aware of the big picture, the process that brought them to wherever they are.

I thought I had made this distinction quite clear.
 

ruby sparks

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Is it compatible? I don't actually know.
As far as I know, that's not a common question since it's not been presented as controversial. The question that's normally asked is if determinism is compatible with free will. The basic idea of determinism is simply that all (not some but all) events are determined. There's more to the story, but since you're not looking for an answer to the common question but instead whether indeterminsim is compatible with free will, we need only look to see if both can coexist. Indeterminism isn't to say no events are caused--just that not all events are.

I don't see an inconsistency with being in a world where not all evensts are caused and free will, so I would think they are compatible. That's not to say I believe we are in such a world; hence, I'm not espousing a personal view about what it is that I hold true but rather merely expounding upon the implications the way I see it.

Yes, it's not a question I've heard before.

I suppose we should try to define 'compatible'. The first dictionary I found says "(of two things) able to exist or occur together without problems or conflict."

Temporarily using that definition (while being aware of the limitations of dictionary definitions) determinism would not be compatible with freedom (or free will), because it conflicts with it, to at least some extent. Equally, I think, randomness would not be compatible either.

However, 'without conflict' is a very high bar. Possibly no two things would in fact get over it, except perhaps two identical things (A is fully compatible with A, with no conflict at all whatsoever for example). I suspect that in the real world, we could use 'compatible' to be 'in some or many ways compatible' (not unlike a happily married couple). And so the question in both cases might be 'how compatible?' (or 'in what ways compatible and in what ways not?') since it's likely to be a question of degree and complexity, like most things are. So the way you put it, 'can they coexist?' seems more useful than, 'can they coexist without conflict?'.
 

The AntiChris

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So, for the life of me, I can't see where I have supposed to have contradicted myself.
Ok. I'll spell it out for you (again).

This is the sequence of events.

Your first claim:

If the universe is deterministic, all references to freedom are an illusion.

This is confirmation that you were indeed talking about freedom in general and not just freedom of the will:

Your original claim, and my response, was talking about "all references to freedom" but your response talks only about free will.

Clearly the word "freedom" is used in vastly more contexts than just freedom of the will. I'd assumed you were making a claim about the more general sense of freedom. Did you in fact only intend 'freedom of the will' when you said "freedom" in your original claim [in bold]?

No, I meant the status of freedom in general within a Determined World.

Here you clarify what you mean by illusion:
illusion
ɪˈluːʒ(ə)n/
noun
an instance of a wrong or misinterpreted perception of a sensory experience.

So as a final check I asked again (because if taken at face value this would be a remarkable claim):

So, to be quite clear, are you saying that all references to freedom (e.g. "freedom of the press", "freedom of movement ", "freedom of information" etc, etc..) are instances of "wrong or misinterpreted perception of a sensory experience"?

And Your response:

No, not all.
In case you still can't see the contradiction, you've gone from "all references to freedom...." to "no, not all".

This might seem petty but it's just another example of how frustratingly difficult it is to get any consistent clarity of thought from you.
 

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Ok. I'll spell it out for you (again).

This is the sequence of events.

Your first claim:



This is confirmation that you were indeed talking about freedom in general and not just freedom of the will:

Your original claim, and my response, was talking about "all references to freedom" but your response talks only about free will.

Clearly the word "freedom" is used in vastly more contexts than just freedom of the will. I'd assumed you were making a claim about the more general sense of freedom. Did you in fact only intend 'freedom of the will' when you said "freedom" in your original claim [in bold]?

No, I meant the status of freedom in general within a Determined World.

Here you clarify what you mean by illusion:
illusion
ɪˈluːʒ(ə)n/
noun
an instance of a wrong or misinterpreted perception of a sensory experience.

So as a final check I asked again (because if taken at face value this would be a remarkable claim):

So, to be quite clear, are you saying that all references to freedom (e.g. "freedom of the press", "freedom of movement ", "freedom of information" etc, etc..) are instances of "wrong or misinterpreted perception of a sensory experience"?

And Your response:

No, not all.
In case you still can't see the contradiction, you've gone from "all references to freedom...." to "no, not all".

This might seem petty but it's just another example of how frustratingly difficult it is to get any consistent clarity of thought from you.

No, no, no, you miss the context, meaning and significance. When I said ''No, not all'' I was referring to the relative phenomena of 'the dog is chained, the dog is free of its chain'', etc. The dog is indeed free of its chain, the reference to freedom, the dog has no chain to restrain it, is correct.

But as I have repeatedly said and described, there are two conditions at play, temporal phenomena; chain on or chain off (the dog is free of its restraint) and the deterministic course of events of the world at large which determines when, how where the dog is chained and how, when and where the dog is free of its constraint.

As the dog has no option but to be either chained or not - the state of the dog at any given instance in time - which includes everything else, everything being determined in such a world, hence no alternatives at any given instance in time, hence nothing is ever free despite what limited perceptions of events may appear to tell us (illusion)

The references to freedom that we use in our daily conversations only relate to unfolding states, chain on, chain off, within the deterministic system and not to their determined nature.

In other words, we may use the word 'free' in a conditional sense but ultimately freedom is an illusion within a determined world.

You need to stop taking brief remark at face value and either ask for clarification or try to put them into context.

After all, I have repeatedly referred to two considerations, temporal phenomena as experienced by the inhabitants of a determined world, ''I am 'free' to take a walk' and the determined world at large where my so called 'free to walk' is determined by the causal progress of Determinism.

Now, I have said this repeatedly, so please do not misinterpret in a way that suits your agenda but misrepresents my position.

To confirm what I say here, you can check posts #851 #861 #870.....just to name a few.
 

The AntiChris

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Ok. I'll spell it out for you (again).

This is the sequence of events.

Your first claim:

If the universe is deterministic, all references to freedom are an illusion.

This is confirmation that you were indeed talking about freedom in general and not just freedom of the will:

Your original claim, and my response, was talking about "all references to freedom" but your response talks only about free will.

Clearly the word "freedom" is used in vastly more contexts than just freedom of the will. I'd assumed you were making a claim about the more general sense of freedom. Did you in fact only intend 'freedom of the will' when you said "freedom" in your original claim [in bold]?

No, I meant the status of freedom in general within a Determined World.

Here you clarify what you mean by illusion:
illusion
ɪˈluːʒ(ə)n/
noun
an instance of a wrong or misinterpreted perception of a sensory experience.

So as a final check I asked again (because if taken at face value this would be a remarkable claim):

So, to be quite clear, are you saying that all references to freedom (e.g. "freedom of the press", "freedom of movement ", "freedom of information" etc, etc..) are instances of "wrong or misinterpreted perception of a sensory experience"?

And Your response:

No, not all.
In case you still can't see the contradiction, you've gone from "all references to freedom...." to "no, not all".

This might seem petty but it's just another example of how frustratingly difficult it is to get any consistent clarity of thought from you.

No, no, no, you miss the context, meaning and significance. When I said ''No, not all'' I was referring to the relative phenomena of 'the dog is chained, the dog is free of its chain'', etc. The dog is indeed free of its chain, the reference to freedom, the dog has no chain to restrain it, is correct.
WTF?

I give up (for now).
 
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DBT

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WTF?

I give up (for now).

You gave up long ago. You gave up integrity. You ignore (or fail to grasp)whatever does not suit your agenda and focus on whatever you feel you can interpret in a way that supports your needs, creating a contradiction between my remarks in your own mind while ignoring all attempts at explaining what I meant.

Throwing up your hands in a show of mock outrage whenever an explanation is given. Which makes it a display of poor integrity.

Again, here is what I said about references to freedom within a determined system;

Post #840
''These references are common usage based on limited observations the world and its objects and events, which does not take into account whether the World is Determined or not.....in other words, surface appearance. ''


Now if you refuse to accept explanations of what was meant, nothing can be done. You see what you want to see and disregard the rest.

However, I'll try one more example of the dichotomy, that I am talking about and trying to convey to The AntChris (who apparently cannot see it), that lies between perceptions and references to freedom by the subjects of determinism and the actual state of determinism;


In 1931, Einstein, in response to questions about belief in free will, responded with the following comparison of the will of the moon:

“If the moon, in the act of completing its eternal way around the earth, were gifted with self-consciousness, it would feel thoroughly convinced that it was traveling its way of its own accord…. So would a being, endowed with higher insight and more perfect intelligence, watching man and his doings, smile about man’s illusion that he was acting according to his own free will.”
 

The AntiChris

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However, I'll try one more example of the dichotomy, that I am talking about and trying to convey to The AntChris (who apparently cannot see it), that lies between perceptions and references to freedom by the subjects of determinism and the actual state of determinism;


In 1931, Einstein, in response to questions about belief in free will, responded with the following comparison of the will of the moon:

“If the moon, in the act of completing its eternal way around the earth, were gifted with self-consciousness, it would feel thoroughly convinced that it was traveling its way of its own accord…. So would a being, endowed with higher insight and more perfect intelligence, watching man and his doings, smile about man’s illusion that he was acting according to his own free will.”
DBT still seems convinced, or wants to create the impression, that he's arguing with a free will advocate

Just to make things absolutely clear for any lurkers, I do not accept libertarian free will (it simply doesn't make sense). So this isn't an argument between a believer in libertarian free will and a denier of libertarian free will.

This is a dispute about certain aspects of the reasoning DBT uses to reach his conclusion.
 

fast

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Is it compatible? I don't actually know.
As far as I know, that's not a common question since it's not been presented as controversial. The question that's normally asked is if determinism is compatible with free will. The basic idea of determinism is simply that all (not some but all) events are determined. There's more to the story, but since you're not looking for an answer to the common question but instead whether indeterminsim is compatible with free will, we need only look to see if both can coexist. Indeterminism isn't to say no events are caused--just that not all events are.

I don't see an inconsistency with being in a world where not all evensts are caused and free will, so I would think they are compatible. That's not to say I believe we are in such a world; hence, I'm not espousing a personal view about what it is that I hold true but rather merely expounding upon the implications the way I see it.

Yes, it's not a question I've heard before.

I suppose we should try to define 'compatible'. The first dictionary I found says "(of two things) able to exist or occur together without problems or conflict."

Temporarily using that definition (while being aware of the limitations of dictionary definitions) determinism would not be compatible with freedom (or free will), because it conflicts with it, to at least some extent. Equally, I think, randomness would not be compatible either.

However, 'without conflict' is a very high bar. Possibly no two things would in fact get over it, except perhaps two identical things (A is fully compatible with A, with no conflict at all whatsoever for example). I suspect that in the real world, we could use 'compatible' to be 'in some or many ways compatible' (not unlike a happily married couple). And so the question in both cases might be 'how compatible?' (or 'in what ways compatible and in what ways not?') since it's likely to be a question of degree and complexity, like most things are. So the way you put it, 'can they coexist?' seems more useful than, 'can they coexist without conflict?'.

We could look at incompatibility as exclusionary. For example, a small fish can fit in a small fish bowl (since the size of the bowl can accommodate a fish of small size), but a large shark cannot fit in a small fish bowl. The small size of the bowl excludes a shark of a large size fitting. The two would be incompatible as the bowl's size excludes the physical possibility of the large shark fitting in it.

The question (the original controversial question) of the compatibility of free will and determinism can be answered by examining whether the presence of one excludes the presence of the other. Is there a physical impossibility of living in world where both all events are determined and we have free will?

"Derermined" can be inadvertently conflated with "predetermined." Just because there is a cause for an event to occur, that doesn't mean the cause necessitates events. For instance, my bumping into you may cause you to fall, but my bumping into you doesn't guarantee a future where you fall, so while an event may be determined, that's not to imply that the event was predetermined in the sense that an event that does occur implies that an event must occur.

The flaw that gives rise to thinking that free will is an illusion lies in thinking that events that do happen must happen (as if to say all events are necessary events with no room for contingency). If we proceed on the faulty assumption that events are necessary, then the acts of making choices are claimed to be illusory since the so-called choices made are purportedly necessitated.

Without the flaw in thinking, the question becomes more focused. If events are contingent, they are still caused/determined, just not necessitated/predetermined. That being said, if we act of our own free will (do as we please without compulsion (constraint to or restraint from)), is that compatible in a world where events are caused (but not necessitated)? Seems compatible to me.
 

ruby sparks

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We could look at incompatibility as exclusionary. For example, a small fish can fit in a small fish bowl (since the size of the bowl can accommodate a fish of small size), but a large shark cannot fit in a small fish bowl. The small size of the bowl excludes a shark of a large size fitting. The two would be incompatible as the bowl's size excludes the physical possibility of the large shark fitting in it.

The question (the original controversial question) of the compatibility of free will and determinism can be answered by examining whether the presence of one excludes the presence of the other. Is there a physical impossibility of living in world where both all events are determined and we have free will?

"Derermined" can be inadvertently conflated with "predetermined." Just because there is a cause for an event to occur, that doesn't mean the cause necessitates events. For instance, my bumping into you may cause you to fall, but my bumping into you doesn't guarantee a future where you fall, so while an event may be determined, that's not to imply that the event was predetermined in the sense that an event that does occur implies that an event must occur.

The flaw that gives rise to thinking that free will is an illusion lies in thinking that events that do happen must happen (as if to say all events are necessary events with no room for contingency). If we proceed on the faulty assumption that events are necessary, then the acts of making choices are claimed to be illusory since the so-called choices made are purportedly necessitated.

Without the flaw in thinking, the question becomes more focused. If events are contingent, they are still caused/determined, just not necessitated/predetermined. That being said, if we act of our own free will (do as we please without compulsion (constraint to or restraint from)), is that compatible in a world where events are caused (but not necessitated)? Seems compatible to me.

In your example of me bumping you, you have only mentioned one cause. The sum of all the causes is what could be argued to make determinism incompatible, because they would make your fall necessary and guaranteed (unless randomness).
 

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However, I'll try one more example of the dichotomy, that I am talking about and trying to convey to The AntChris (who apparently cannot see it), that lies between perceptions and references to freedom by the subjects of determinism and the actual state of determinism;


In 1931, Einstein, in response to questions about belief in free will, responded with the following comparison of the will of the moon:

“If the moon, in the act of completing its eternal way around the earth, were gifted with self-consciousness, it would feel thoroughly convinced that it was traveling its way of its own accord…. So would a being, endowed with higher insight and more perfect intelligence, watching man and his doings, smile about man’s illusion that he was acting according to his own free will.”
DBT still seems convinced, or wants to create the impression, that he's arguing with a free will advocate

I make no such assumption. I have asked you to provide something of your own several times over a number of threads and you have always been consistently evasive.

Your tactics have been consistent, just as described in my complaints about your manner of response.

I respond according to what you do say...and then the response is not related to what I say. When I give explanations of what I mean, they are ignored in favour of a snippet taken out of context and made to appear as a contradiction.


Just to make things absolutely clear for any lurkers, I do not accept libertarian free will (it simply doesn't make sense). So this isn't an argument between a believer in libertarian free will and a denier of libertarian free will.

I doubt if anyone has made that assumption....your position has never been clear.

This is a dispute about certain aspects of the reasoning DBT uses to reach his conclusion.

That is your claim....a claim you maintain regardless of any explanation to the contrary. Most of which you ignore in favour of brief remarks that taken out of context are used to assert a contradiction. Which you maintain regardless of what is said.

The prime example of that being the distinction made between the perspective of inhabitants of a determined system and their references to freedom and the perspective of the system as a whole, which means that perceptions of freedom are an illusion born of limited information and references to freedom are relative states within the system that have no possibility of being otherwise; chain on, chain off, etc, a progression of causal events..
 

The AntiChris

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This is a dispute about certain aspects of the reasoning DBT uses to reach his conclusion.

That is your claim....a claim you maintain regardless of any explanation to the contrary.
That's right. I dispute your claim that using the word 'free' to describe 'will' constitutes some kind of logical error. Your explanations thus far make no sense.

You could settle this now by producing a logical proof of your claim (i.e. a set of premises and valid conclusions). You know how to make this kind of argument (you did so for your agument against libertarian free will in your post #821)
 

fast

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We could look at incompatibility as exclusionary. For example, a small fish can fit in a small fish bowl (since the size of the bowl can accommodate a fish of small size), but a large shark cannot fit in a small fish bowl. The small size of the bowl excludes a shark of a large size fitting. The two would be incompatible as the bowl's size excludes the physical possibility of the large shark fitting in it.

The question (the original controversial question) of the compatibility of free will and determinism can be answered by examining whether the presence of one excludes the presence of the other. Is there a physical impossibility of living in world where both all events are determined and we have free will?

"Derermined" can be inadvertently conflated with "predetermined." Just because there is a cause for an event to occur, that doesn't mean the cause necessitates events. For instance, my bumping into you may cause you to fall, but my bumping into you doesn't guarantee a future where you fall, so while an event may be determined, that's not to imply that the event was predetermined in the sense that an event that does occur implies that an event must occur.

The flaw that gives rise to thinking that free will is an illusion lies in thinking that events that do happen must happen (as if to say all events are necessary events with no room for contingency). If we proceed on the faulty assumption that events are necessary, then the acts of making choices are claimed to be illusory since the so-called choices made are purportedly necessitated.

Without the flaw in thinking, the question becomes more focused. If events are contingent, they are still caused/determined, just not necessitated/predetermined. That being said, if we act of our own free will (do as we please without compulsion (constraint to or restraint from)), is that compatible in a world where events are caused (but not necessitated)? Seems compatible to me.

In your example of me bumping you, you have only mentioned one cause. The sum of all the causes is what could be argued to make determinism incompatible, because they would make your fall necessary and guaranteed (unless randomness).
When you switch from an event having a cause to speaking of the sum of all causes, it sounds like a corresponding switch between identifying necessary causes of an event to identifying sufficient causes of an event has flipped; are you not therefore in light of this also switching from determinism to predeterminism?
 

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When you switch from an event having a cause to speaking of the sum of all causes, it sounds like a corresponding switch between identifying necessary causes of an event to identifying sufficient causes of an event has flipped; are you not therefore in light of this also switching from determinism to predeterminism?

I'm not sure I would often say an event has a cause. Or I might say it colloquially (focusing mainly on one cause) or in particularly simple situations (such as one snooker ball striking another) but if I were being accurate I'd just have to say that an 'event was caused' since there will likely be multiple causes. That's determinism. Determinism doesn't mean just one cause. So, no I don't think talking about the sum of causes necessarily involves switching to predeterminism.

Not that I'm sure what the difference is to you. To me, if there were no randomness, determinism would effectively mean predeterminism. I allow for the possibility of there being a combo of determinism and random, so I tend not to speak of predeterminism. But it's only because of the possibility of randomness.
 

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This is a dispute about certain aspects of the reasoning DBT uses to reach his conclusion.

That is your claim....a claim you maintain regardless of any explanation to the contrary.
That's right. I dispute your claim that using the word 'free' to describe 'will' constitutes some kind of logical error. Your explanations thus far make no sense.

To be specific, it makes no sense to you because despite numerous attempts at explaining the distinction between the perception of inhabitants and nature of the world itself, which their limited perception cannot encompass, you do not appear to understand the distinction that reduces references to freedom a matter of a progression of determined events rather than any sort of actual freedom, ie, the possibility of being able to have chose otherwise in any given instance of a decision being made.

You could settle this now by producing a logical proof of your claim (i.e. a set of premises and valid conclusions). You know how to make this kind of argument (you did so for your agument against libertarian free will in your post #821)

The syllogism I posted relates to 'regulative control' - which may mean the ability to have chosen otherwise under the same circumstances as it relates to the common perception of free will as the ability to select options from a set of realizable alternatives.

Plus there are various versions of libertarian free will.

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

My argument being that it the state and condition of the brain at any given moment in time that determines the decision that is made in any given moment in time, and that this has nothing to do with will or so called freedom, that decisions determined by brain state and condition can be described as free will decisions. They are simply decisions.

On the neurology of morals
[/B] ''Patients with medial prefrontal lesions often display irresponsible behavior, despite being intellectually unimpaired. But similar lesions occurring in early childhood can also prevent the acquisition of factual knowledge about accepted standards of moral behavior.''

Based on the example given above;
1) A person may be self aware and intelligent and have the perception and the experience of making conscious choices, decisions that are based on his or her beliefs and desires.
2) A person may believe that he or she can consciously control their own behaviour.
3) Based on the evidence, a person's outward behaviour is a reflection of the state and condition of their neural architecture, not their conscious will .
4)The person is not in conscious control of his or her behaviour
5) It is the condition of the neural structures of the brain that determines human decision making and conscious behaviour.
6)The person's perception and experience of conscious control - free will - is an illusion.
 

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More;

''Consciousness is a complex process — too complex for anyone, most likely ever, to fully understand. “When you multiply 3 times 6 in your head,” Wegner writes, “the answer just pops into mind without any indication of how you did that" (67). Neither science nor any other institution or domain can claim to fully understand the workings of the human mind (or the mind of any other species for that matter).

We nevertheless feel that we understand consciousness at an intuitive level. This intuition arises in part from the correspondence between thought and action: the thought that we will soon act does regularly precede the act itself. And yet it is important to remember that correlation does not imply causality; just because X regularly precedes Y, even if X always precedes Y, that does not necessarily prove that a causal relation exists between the two. Wegner gives the following example: “Although day always precedes night… it is a mistake to say that day causes night, because of course both are caused in this sequence by the rotation of the earth in the presence of the sun.” (66)

And indeed, upon closer analysis, there are instances in which thought does not precede action, where the correspondence between thought and action breaks down. For example, hallucinations, dissociative identity disorder, crowd behavior, imaginary companions, spirit possession, hypnosis, sleep, etc. A good deal of Wegner’s book is devoted to the analysis of these neurological anomalies, which unquestionably do complicate the picture.

With respect to free will, the question, then, is not “what comes first, the thought or the action,” but “is the fact that thoughts (often) precede action proof that they are its true cause?”

The most direct approach to the question is through biology. Nervous impulses cascade through our brains and bodies causing actions. Do our thoughts exist independently of these nervous cascades? Or does prior nervous activity precede thought and thus cause it? This simple dichotomy is fundamental. For free will to exist, it ostensibly must be the case that thoughts function independently of biological nervous activity. Free will advocates thus posit an agent — the “self,” or the “I” — that exists independent of the laws of physics, that participates in the world without the world being able to participate in it.

Determinists have no need to invoke this trans material agency. The perception that thought precedes action is, they argue, no proof that thought actually causes action. Instead, determinists argue that prior nervous activity determines all nervous activity, including conscious thoughts. Consciousness emerges from nervous activity, not the other way around.''
 

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That's right. I dispute your claim that using the word 'free' to describe 'will' constitutes some kind of logical error. Your explanations thus far make no sense.

To be specific, it makes no sense to you because despite numerous attempts at explaining the distinction between the perception of inhabitants and nature of the world itself, which their limited perception cannot encompass, you do not appear to understand the distinction that reduces references to freedom a matter of a progression of determined events rather than any sort of actual freedom, ie, the possibility of being able to have chose otherwise in any given instance of a decision being made.

You could settle this now by producing a logical proof of your claim (i.e. a set of premises and valid conclusions). You know how to make this kind of argument (you did so for your agument against libertarian free will in your post #821)

The syllogism I posted relates to 'regulative control' - which may mean the ability to have chosen otherwise under the same circumstances as it relates to the common perception of free will as the ability to select options from a set of realizable alternatives.

Plus there are various versions of libertarian free will.

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

My argument being that it the state and condition of the brain at any given moment in time that determines the decision that is made in any given moment in time, and that this has nothing to do with will or so called freedom, that decisions determined by brain state and condition can be described as free will decisions. They are simply decisions.

On the neurology of morals
[/B] ''Patients with medial prefrontal lesions often display irresponsible behavior, despite being intellectually unimpaired. But similar lesions occurring in early childhood can also prevent the acquisition of factual knowledge about accepted standards of moral behavior.''

Based on the example given above;
1) A person may be self aware and intelligent and have the perception and the experience of making conscious choices, decisions that are based on his or her beliefs and desires.
2) A person may believe that he or she can consciously control their own behaviour.
3) Based on the evidence, a person's outward behaviour is a reflection of the state and condition of their neural architecture, not their conscious will .
4)The person is not in conscious control of his or her behaviour
5) It is the condition of the neural structures of the brain that determines human decision making and conscious behaviour.
6)The person's perception and experience of conscious control - free will - is an illusion.
I asked for a logical proof of your claim that 'free' cannot logically be used to describe 'will'.

Your claim is about word usage.

Neither of your two 'syllogisms' addresses the logic of word usage.
 
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DBT

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To be specific, it makes no sense to you because despite numerous attempts at explaining the distinction between the perception of inhabitants and nature of the world itself, which their limited perception cannot encompass, you do not appear to understand the distinction that reduces references to freedom a matter of a progression of determined events rather than any sort of actual freedom, ie, the possibility of being able to have chose otherwise in any given instance of a decision being made.



The syllogism I posted relates to 'regulative control' - which may mean the ability to have chosen otherwise under the same circumstances as it relates to the common perception of free will as the ability to select options from a set of realizable alternatives.

Plus there are various versions of libertarian free will.

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

My argument being that it the state and condition of the brain at any given moment in time that determines the decision that is made in any given moment in time, and that this has nothing to do with will or so called freedom, that decisions determined by brain state and condition can be described as free will decisions. They are simply decisions.

On the neurology of morals
[/B] ''Patients with medial prefrontal lesions often display irresponsible behavior, despite being intellectually unimpaired. But similar lesions occurring in early childhood can also prevent the acquisition of factual knowledge about accepted standards of moral behavior.''

Based on the example given above;
1) A person may be self aware and intelligent and have the perception and the experience of making conscious choices, decisions that are based on his or her beliefs and desires.
2) A person may believe that he or she can consciously control their own behaviour.
3) Based on the evidence, a person's outward behaviour is a reflection of the state and condition of their neural architecture, not their conscious will .
4)The person is not in conscious control of his or her behaviour
5) It is the condition of the neural structures of the brain that determines human decision making and conscious behaviour.
6)The person's perception and experience of conscious control - free will - is an illusion.
I asked for a logical proof of your claim that 'will' cannot logically be used to describe 'will'.

Well, that's puzzling. Very strange. I have never made the claim that the word 'will' cannot be used to describe 'will' You are either not reading what I say, or you only see what you want to see.

Are you skimming? Perhaps looking for key words while brushing over everything else?

Your claim is about word usage.

Neither of your two 'syllogisms' addresses the logic of word usage.

My claim includes word usage. I have provided working definitions of both ''free'' and ''will' in this thread.
 

The AntiChris

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Well, that's puzzling. Very strange. I have never made the claim that the word 'will' cannot be used to describe 'will'
I mistyped. Corrected now.

Your claim is about word usage.

Neither of your two 'syllogisms' addresses the logic of word usage.

My claim includes word usage. I have provided working definitions of both ''free'' and ''will' in this thread.
Here's a hint: If you're going to provide a proof that the word 'free' cannot logically be used to describe 'will', then your conclusion must include the words "Therefore 'free' cannot be used to describe 'will'".

It's becoming clear that you're using the colloquial sense of "cannot logically" (i.e. 'it doesn't make sense to me') rather than the strict philosophical sense (i.e. it leads to a contradiction). This is confusing on a philosophy forum.
 

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I mistyped. Corrected now.

My claim includes word usage. I have provided working definitions of both ''free'' and ''will' in this thread.
Here's a hint: If you're going to provide a proof that the word 'free' cannot logically be used to describe 'will', then your conclusion must include the words "Therefore 'free' cannot be used to describe 'will'".

It's becoming clear that you're using the colloquial sense of "cannot logically" (i.e. 'it doesn't make sense to me') rather than the strict philosophical sense (i.e. it leads to a contradiction). This is confusing on a philosophy forum.

A contradiction in logic means a contradiction between claims, principles and ideas.

Conscious will; conscious urge or impulse or desire to think and act.


Free;

a. Not affected or restricted by a given condition or circumstance: a healthy animal, free of disease; free from need.
b. Not subject to a given condition; exempt: income that is free of all taxes.
5. Not subject to external restraint: Unconstrained; unconfined:
*free; unrestrained; having a scope not restricted by qualification <a free variable>
7 a: not obstructed, restricted, or impeded <free to leave> b: not being used or occupied <waved with his free hand> c: not hampered or restricted in its normal operation
8 a: not fastened <the free end of the rope> b: not confined to a particular position or place.


1) Abnormal architecture and brain chemistry can radically alter consciousness and thought in ways that are not willed. Consciousness and thought are expressions of the state of the system. Neural architecture and its electrochemical activity is a deterministic system (with perhaps some degree of random quantum interference).

2)lesions and chemical changes alter perception, personality and conscious thought and will.

3)A failure of memory ( connectivity), means that this information is not consciously available, eg, you can't remember where you left your keys.

4)A progressive and permanent loss of memory results in a progressive breakdown of consciousness and consequently, conscious will.

5)Conscious will ( the perception of conscious decision making) is related to physical and information condition of a brain.

6)'Conscious will does not itself think or decide, it has no autonomy. Will, being determined by brain state and condition, is a reflection of the physical/informational condition of a brain from moment to moment.

7)Conscious will does not choose to lose memory, make irrational decisions, illusions, errors, glitches, etc, any more than it chooses rational thought or adaptive behaviour. These being reflections of the physical condition of a brain, not will, whether conscious or unconscious.

8) the term ''free'' - as defined above - does not represent the non chosen physical informational state of a brain: its structures and connections and electrochemical activity.

9)The word 'free' - as defined above- is in contradiction to the nature, role and function of 'will' - as defined - will being shaped and formed by brain state and condition not being free to do otherwise - free to do otherwise being the essence of freedom, to do this rather than that. Fixed by circumstances/ causality any given instance in time is not an example of freedom, as defined.
 

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I mistyped. Corrected now.



More than that. You have proven what I say. That it is the condition and state of a brain in any given instance in time that is being expressed as output, what you see, think, feel and do.

You mistyped because that was how your brain represented and rendered the words in your mind in that instance in time. With the passage of time, new information altered your mind bringing with it the realization that you had made an error. Your will was not free to do otherwise in that instance in time, or any other given instance in time.
 

The AntiChris

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1) Abnormal architecture and brain chemistry can radically alter consciousness and thought in ways that are not willed. Consciousness and thought are expressions of the state of the system. Neural architecture and its electrochemical activity is a deterministic system (with perhaps some degree of random quantum interference).

2)lesions and chemical changes alter perception, personality and conscious thought and will.

3)A failure of memory ( connectivity), means that this information is not consciously available, eg, you can't remember where you left your keys.

4)A progressive and permanent loss of memory results in a progressive breakdown of consciousness and consequently, conscious will.

5)Conscious will ( the perception of conscious decision making) is related to physical and information condition of a brain.

6)'Conscious will does not itself think or decide, it has no autonomy. Will, being determined by brain state and condition, is a reflection of the physical/informational condition of a brain from moment to moment.

7)Conscious will does not choose to lose memory, make irrational decisions, illusions, errors, glitches, etc, any more than it chooses rational thought or adaptive behaviour. These being reflections of the physical condition of a brain, not will, whether conscious or unconscious.

8) the term ''free'' - as defined above - does not represent the non chosen physical informational state of a brain: its structures and connections and electrochemical activity.

9)The word 'free' - as defined above- is in contradiction to the nature, role and function of 'will' - as defined - will being shaped and formed by brain state and condition not being free to do otherwise - free to do otherwise being the essence of freedom, to do this rather than that. Fixed by circumstances/ causality any given instance in time is not an example of freedom, as defined.
Your conclusions in 8 and 9 do not logically follow (they're not derived explicitly from your premises without exception).
 
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