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The greatest proof of free will…
Posted: 12 May 2011 01:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1036 ]
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StephenLawrence - 12 May 2011 01:29 AM

It’s a good question. Perhaps it cant!

So you decide to heat the house of the neighbours when you are cold in your own house, because the only heating that works is there?

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Posted: 12 May 2011 01:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1037 ]
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GdB - 12 May 2011 01:34 AM

I don’t say that. Truths only exist where language exists.

Fine so far

They are a description of the relation between language and reality.

Fine so for a relation between language and what really happens in the future to be not necessarily true or necessarily false it needs to be the case that more than one future is possible in some sense of possible.

I’ll rest my case for a while.

You have no case because there is no sense in which there is more than one possible future in your philosophy.

It’s amazingly that simple.

Stephen

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Posted: 12 May 2011 03:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1038 ]
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StephenLawrence - 12 May 2011 01:44 AM

You have no case because there is no sense in which there is more than one possible future in your philosophy.

It’s not needed.

It’s amazingly that simple.

Your 5th statement is empty:

It’s a necessary condition of having free will that certain truths about the future could be false.

It contains a logical contradiction. How can a truth be false? Are you saying something here? Or do you want to express that certain sentences can be true or false, but we don’t yet know? That we do not know the laws of nature involved, or that we do not have enough parameters to apply the natural laws on?

“It’s a necessary condition of having free will that 1 could not be 2”?
“It’s a necessary condition of having free will that E could not mc2”?
“It’s a necessary condition of having free will that the King of France could not be bold”?

My mental dispositions are caused.
My mental dispositions belong to the causes of my actions.
Without mental dispositions as cause for my actions, actions would not exist, there would only be bodily movements.
“What I want” is one of those mental dispositions.
Free will means I can at least partially do what I want.
Free will does not mean, and never meant, I can want what I want.

And as special addition for you:

Luck swallows a lot, but surely not everything.

All I need for free will is that my wishes, beliefs and deliberations cause my actions. Why all the fudge and confusion about initial conditions, possibilities, necessitarism, contingent or necessary truths?

It really is that simple, I don’t know how I could put it plainer and don’t know why you don’t understand.

I think you are a non-compatibilist determinist who cannot get rid of the idea of LFW, and therefore is struggling all the time.

[ Edited: 12 May 2011 08:31 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 12 May 2011 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1039 ]
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GdB - 12 May 2011 03:22 AM

It contains a logical contradiction. How can a truth be false? Are you saying something here? Or do you want to express that certain sentences can be true or false,

To say certain true sentences can be false, is the same as saying certain sentences can be true or false.

I think that’s perhaps the clearest way of expressing your error.

Stephen

[ Edited: 12 May 2011 11:36 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 12 May 2011 11:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1040 ]
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GdB - 12 May 2011 03:22 AM
StephenLawrence - 12 May 2011 01:44 AM

It’s a necessary condition of having free will that certain truths about the future could be false.

It contains a logical contradiction. How can a truth be false?

If you think it contains a logical contradiction then you are a necessitarian.

Because what necessitarianism is, is the belief that what is true could not be false.

You are making the most basic errors.

Errors that I’ve made too.

The reasons I’m prepared to rub it in are 1) because you claim to be learned about this subject. and 2) because you treat me like the pupil here, like you understand and you’re just trying to put the information across to me.

Stephen

[ Edited: 12 May 2011 11:40 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 12 May 2011 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1041 ]
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GdB - 12 May 2011 12:48 AM
isaac - 11 May 2011 11:06 PM

Gdb—I’m concerned that you may be pouring a lot of energy into writings which may not be being read.  As far as i read, i agree with you, but… is anyone reading it all?  carefully?

I think some people are reading it. Eating crisps and drinking beer… But you see that some others react, so at least these are reading the thread (so now and then?).

yeah.  I’m glad w4u says he’s reading.  And i wish others would chime in, now and then, with just a quote plus a “yes” or a “huh?” or an “err…”.

About the energy: You made a remark already in your ‘compatibilists thread’. Stephen is really wrestling with the problem of free will and responsibility. I can only regret that he wants to stick to his thinking, and is so strongly stuck in it that he cannot even see what others mean. He gives wrong interpretations of my, and other’s view points.

As you see in his posting above, he does not react at the contents of my post, but just rants against me.

whatever he’s doing, it doesn’t seem to be working. 

I think that many of us have done him the grave mis-service failing to correct his illusions when he chimes in with happy agreement to our posts, in ways that shows that he didn’t understand what we said at all.  I don’t know if it would be appropriate for me to call anyone else out on this, but i know that i’ve done it, and i’m pretty sure i’ve seen others do it.

Still, the process appears to take a good deal of self-delusion on his part… above and beyond the degree which is probably healthy.

isaac - 11 May 2011 11:06 PM

stephen—would it help to separate “objective possibility” (indeterminism) from “subjective possibility” (useful hypothetical realities)?

His reaction on this is a nice example:

StephenLawrence - 12 May 2011 12:00 AM

When considering non actual possibilities we are running the same laws of nature.

You propose to make a distinction between ‘real possibilities’, i.e. possibility in the metaphysical fabric of nature in the form of some non-determinist opening in an otherwise determinist universe, and ‘mental possibilities’. i.e. possibilities we imagine of certain events that will occur or not. Right? But he takes it as the distinction between ‘actual possibilities’ and ‘non actual possibilities’, which is not necessarily the same.

right.  It is actually true that “if x were different, then y could be different”, and these hypotheticals are useful and real, even when they refer to realities which didn’t exist, or which won’t exist.  And that’s all equally true whether the world is, from moment to moment, perfectly deterministic or not.

I think my standpoint in my previous posting was quite clear, but he does not answer on it.

There is one positive side on the whole discussion: my own standpoint becomes ever more detailed, as I try to explain (my version of?) compatibilism to Stephen.

well, i hope you have a broader and more attentive audience than just stephen.  I know it takes higher-quality reactions than [some of] his for me to keep posting.

[ Edited: 12 May 2011 11:41 AM by isaac ]
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Posted: 12 May 2011 11:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1042 ]
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isaac - 12 May 2011 11:22 AM

right.  It is actually true that “if x were different, then y could be different”,

It doesn’t work like that Isaac.

Y could be different because if X were different Y would be different.

Because different circumstances in which X were different could have arisen, Y could have been different.

That is only true if X could have been different.

You and GdB are making the most basic errors, egging each other on and insulting me.

Stephen

[ Edited: 12 May 2011 11:52 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 12 May 2011 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1043 ]
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Stephen—

I hope that doesn’t all come across as insultingly as it might.  You’re obviously very bright, and i’m sure you know a lot that i don’t.

In fact, i had to look up “subjunctivity”, even for a basic grammatical definition, and i’ve been reading up on it a little… but i still don’t get how it relates to this.  I’m willing to play pupil, a bit, if you care to try to explain it…

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Posted: 12 May 2011 12:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1044 ]
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isaac - 12 May 2011 11:57 AM

I hope that doesn’t all come across as insultingly as it might.  You’re obviously very bright, and i’m sure you know a lot that i don’t.

I’m sure I’m not that bright but I have taken a special interest in this subject.

In fact, i had to look up “subjunctivity”, even for a basic grammatical definition, and i’ve been reading up on it a little… but i still don’t get how it relates to this.  I’m willing to play pupil, a bit, if you care to try to explain it…

I think you need to simply answer something like this: How could you have been in Watford yesterday, without violating physical laws?

Stephen

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Posted: 12 May 2011 10:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1045 ]
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GdB - 12 May 2011 03:22 AM
StephenLawrence - 12 May 2011 01:44 AM

It’s a necessary condition of having free will that certain truths about the future could be false.

It contains a logical contradiction. How can a truth be false?

How it can is the right question but it needs to be the case that it can in order for your beliefs and desires to cause your actions.

A simple example of a truth that could be false is you are married is true. And you could be a bachelor is true.

So the truth that you are married could be false, since you can’t be both married and a bachelor.

Are you saying something here?

Sure am.

Or do you want to express that certain sentences can be true or false,

From the principle of bivolence it’s the same thing. You might try three valued logic but if you are using that why on earth didn’t you say? 

And it won’t work for obvious reasons that I’ll go into if you try it.

And on the thread about eternalism and presentism you were knocking Kkwan for trying precisely the same thing by saying “kkwan tries to get it his way”

So if you believe 1) Certain sentences can be true or false

and

2) Truths could be false is a logical contradiction.

You are in error.

And this is error is at the bottom of this disagreement.

but we don’t yet know?

Introducing knowledge is to confuse epistemic possibilities with subjunctive possibilities, which I think is part of what’s causing you to make this error.

Stephen

[ Edited: 12 May 2011 11:10 PM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 12 May 2011 11:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1046 ]
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isaac - 12 May 2011 11:57 AM

In fact, i had to look up “subjunctivity”, even for a basic grammatical definition, and i’ve been reading up on it a little… but i still don’t get how it relates to this.  I’m willing to play pupil, a bit, if you care to try to explain it…

Well, you believe that circumstances could have been different.

That is expressed here:

It is actually true that “if x were different, then y could be different”

So say Y is Obama is president.

You can think of a way that he could not be, if less people had voted for him, say.

Now, you know he is president so this possibility is distinct from epistemic possibility.

And again the question is how could less people vote for him without violating physical laws?

No problem with possibilities being subjective Issac but it still needs to make sense.

Stephen

[ Edited: 12 May 2011 11:13 PM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 13 May 2011 02:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1047 ]
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StephenLawrence - 12 May 2011 10:49 PM

From the principle of bivolence it’s the same thing. You might try three valued logic but if you are using that why on earth didn’t you say? 

No, no, I’ll stick to two valued logic here, don’t be afraid. I am a bit precise here: truths cannot be false per definition, otherwise it would not be truths. But I supposed you meant the same proposition can be true or false, so I prefer that formulation.

StephenLawrence - 12 May 2011 10:49 PM

And on the thread about eternalism and presentism you were knocking Kkwan for trying precisely the same thing.

I more or less stayed away from that thread, Doug was so kind to take that over… I only made a few side remarks, not even aimed at kkwan. I suppose you mean another thread?

StephenLawrence - 12 May 2011 10:49 PM

1) Certain sentences can be true or false

and

2) Truths could be false is a logical contradiction.

You are in error.

1, yes, 2 is as wrong as it can be. Maybe you mean “Truths are necessary true”?
If I say from some sentence that is true, then it cannot be false (according to me!). The sentence can turn out to be false, but then it was not a truth from the beginning. Where is the error? Or do you mean “I believe this to be true, but it turned out to be wrong”?

So the truth that you are married could be false, since you can’t be both married and a bachelor.

What is the difference between:

“The proposition that you are married could be false” and “the truth that you are married could be false”?

StephenLawrence - 12 May 2011 10:49 PM

Introducing knowledge is to confuse epistemic possibilities with subjunctive possibilities, which I think is part of what’s causing you to make this error.

Sorry, I was just asking what you meant with ‘truths can be false’. The root cause of your misunderstanding lies somewhere else:

- Determinism says that given some state of (part of) the universe, on every point of time afterwards only one other state will occur.
Right?

- If I say ‘It is possible that a meteor will hit the earth’, I am expressing lack of knowledge.
So this would be an epistemic possibility. Right?

- If I say ‘It is possible that I decide I will go the seaside tomorrow’, again I am expressing lack of knowledge.
Right?

Now I have all knowledge I need: I know how to get to the seaside, I know the weather forecast, my family wants to go too. I only have to say ‘Yes, we go’, and it will happen. Here it becomes really interesting. It is possible that I’ll go to the seaside, isn’t it? From my own perspective it surely is possible, but is it an epistemic, or a subjunctive possibility?

And what from the viewpoint of the neurologist, who knows exactly what I will do, based on her remote sensing neurological mapping device?

Now my wife is the neurologist and sees me hesitating. She starts to discuss with me, in the hope she can change my mind. In what sense is it possible that we go to the seaside tomorrow?

[ Edited: 13 May 2011 10:34 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 13 May 2011 12:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1048 ]
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GdB - 13 May 2011 02:19 AM

No, no, I’ll stick to two valued logic here, don’t be afraid.

Ok

I am a bit precise here: truths cannot be false per definition, otherwise it would not be truths.

Well we’ve pinpointed a disagreement.

But I supposed you meant the same proposition can be true or false, so I prefer that formulation.

The point is it’s the same thing.

It is true that you are married

It can be true that you are a bachelor

Which is the same as saying it can be false that you are married.

- If I say ‘It is possible that a meteor will hit the earth’, I am expressing lack of knowledge.
So this would be an epistemic possibility. Right?

In part it’s an epistemic possibility but only in part.

You also want to say its physically possible.

And all you need to do is put this in the past to see the error.

It’s possible that a meteor hit the earth yesterday.

Now we’ve wiped out the epistemic element and we’re just left with the subjunctive element.

- If I say ‘It is possible that I decide I will go the seaside tomorrow’, again I am expressing lack of knowledge.
Right?

Again it’s both and again that’s why I suggest we stick with the past to avoid confusion.

Now I have all knowledge I need: I know how to get to the seaside, I know the weather forecast, my family wants to go too. I only have to say ‘Yes, we go’, and it will happen. Here it becomes really interesting. It is possible that I’ll go to the seaside, isn’t it? From my own perspective it surely is possible, but is it an epistemic, or a subjunctive possibility?

Both

And it needs to be because otherwise you don’t influence the future.

Stephen

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Posted: 13 May 2011 02:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1049 ]
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StephenLawrence - 13 May 2011 12:19 PM
GdB - 13 May 2011 02:19 AM

No, no, I’ll stick to two valued logic here, don’t be afraid.

Ok

I am a bit precise here: truths cannot be false per definition, otherwise it would not be truths.

Well we’ve pinpointed a disagreement.

But I supposed you meant the same proposition can be true or false, so I prefer that formulation.

The point is it’s the same thing.

It is true that you are married

It can be true that you are a bachelor

Which is the same as saying it can be false that you are married.
Stephen

I’m sorry, but that makes no sense at all.

It is true that I can be married or I can be a bachelor. But if it is true that I am married it cannot be true that I am a bachelor. And if it is true that I am a bachelor it cannot be true that I am married. It can never be false that you are married if you are married and if you are a bachelor it cannot be false that you are a bachelor.
Your conclusion is based on an impossible premise. The statement “it can be false that you are married” if it is true that you are married is false.
My point is that you have to stop at that point, else we “can” end up with saying that it can be true that it can be false that it can be true that it can be false, ad infinitum.

[ Edited: 13 May 2011 02:55 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 13 May 2011 03:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1050 ]
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StephenLawrence - 13 May 2011 12:19 PM

And it needs to be because otherwise you don’t influence the future.

1. Compatibilism says determinism and free will are compatible. Right?
2. Determinism says that given some state of (part of) the universe, on every point of time afterwards only one other state will occur. Right?
3. Free will in compatibilism says that our wishes, beliefs and deliberations are causally effective, and that these wishes, beliefs and deliberations are caused in themselves. Right?
4. An ‘unfree will’ occurs then, when some circumstances intervene in such a way that our mental dispositions are overruled. Right?

My mental dispositions belong to the causes of my actions.
Without mental dispositions as cause for my actions, actions would not exist, there would only be bodily movements.
“What I want” is one of those mental dispositions.
Free will means I can at least partially do what I want.

Which of the bold statements you do not agree with? And why?

Only when you generally deny causal influence, you get away with it. But if you deny causal influence, then determinism cannot even be thought of, except in some magical way.

I think you just deny LFW, you think free will needs real possibilities. You take Bryan too serious. He infected you with his LFW ideas.

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