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A pragmatic discussion about free will
Posted: 26 October 2013 01:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 466 ]
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GdB - 25 October 2013 06:12 AM

Also, this concept makes our actions partially dependent on a random process. Now it can be that our actions are partially random (“What is your favourite colour?” “Blue…no red!”), but obviously this would be a disturbance of the possibility of free will (“I really wanted to take vanilla ice cream, but without reason I took chocolate, I really don’t know why”), instead of a condition for its existence.

This is such a durable straw man (albeit his continued existence is supine and trampled).

Of course randomness between the intention and the outcome disrupts free will.  But no model of free will postulates randomness in that location.

The proper location coincides with the decision (“I have no idea why I decided to choose chocolate ice cream over orange sherbet!”).

And of course compatibilism does not say that the universe is determined. It says that determinism and free will are compatible, i.e. go hand in hand. The more our actions are random, i.e. not determined, the less free we can be.

Free will according the model I just described fully equals the freedom component in the compatibilist account of free will (absolute agreement between intention and outcome).

Happily enough macro-systems like the brain, have enough processes with a deterministic character that we can have free will. “Adequate determinism” is enough. kkwan’s statements that we do not live in a deterministic universe and therefore compatibilism is not true just beats thin air.

Did kkwan actually write that?  Doesn’t sound like him.

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Posted: 26 October 2013 05:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 467 ]
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StephenLawrence - 25 October 2013 11:02 PM

You weighed up the options and on valuing making tea most highly you made tea.

You could have chosen to make coffee and would have done if you had weighed the options up differently.

In order to have weighed up the options differently something out of your control would have had to be different.

That is what you deny. Denial of that is belief in Libertarian free will.

No humans (except possibly, compatibilists) do that. It is so artificial and inflexible (more suited for machines, computers and automatons) than for humans.

Thus, there is nothing to deny.

It is unnatural to promote this obsession with control.

OTOH, humans decide (intuitively) whether to have tea or coffee (irrespective of what they had before) or to have something else, e.g. orange juice, for variety.

That is human free will.  grin

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Posted: 26 October 2013 06:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 468 ]
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Bryan - 26 October 2013 01:55 AM

The proper location coincides with the decision (“I have no idea why I decided to choose chocolate ice cream over orange sherbet!”).

Quite so. Human whims and fancies. Not found in machines!

Free will according the model I just described fully equals the freedom component in the compatibilist account of free will (absolute agreement between intention and outcome).

Exactly, but compatibilists seem to have this obsession with control, which is unnatural.

Did kkwan actually write that?  Doesn’t sound like him.

I did not write that, as explained in post 460:

What I wrote in post 441 was:

OTOH, from http://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/adequate_determinism.html

Adequate determinism gives compatibilists the kind of free will that they need and that they say they want.

What more do they want?

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Posted: 26 October 2013 09:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 469 ]
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kkwan - 26 October 2013 05:52 PM

OTOH, humans decide (intuitively) whether to have tea or coffee (irrespective of what they had before) or to have something else, e.g. orange juice, for variety.

That is human free will.  grin

That is compatible with my two stage model and so isn’t free will according to you.

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Posted: 26 October 2013 10:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 470 ]
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kkwan - 26 October 2013 06:16 PM


OTOH, from http://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/adequate_determinism.html

Adequate determinism gives compatibilists the kind of free will that they need and that they say they want.

What more do they want?

Compatibilists usually believe free will is compatible with adequate determinism. They also believe it is compatible with determinism. So they don’t want any more as a rule.

As you well no it’s the extra control which adequate determinism is supposed to give you which you want.That’s why you don’t want your choices depending upon the past.It’s so that the choices can be entirely up to you.

edit: This might help Kkwan:http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~uctytho/dfwCompatDennettTaylor.html

Kane describes free will itself, for instance, as “the power of agents to be the ultimate creators ... and sustainers of their own ends and purposes.”(4)

[ Edited: 26 October 2013 10:03 PM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 26 October 2013 10:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 471 ]
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StephenLawrence - 26 October 2013 09:47 PM

That is compatible with my two stage model and so isn’t free will according to you.

How it that so?

Your two stage model assumes initial indeterminism (when the universe began) followed by determinism thereafter, which is incongruous as causal chains are highly problematic.

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Posted: 26 October 2013 10:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 472 ]
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kkwan - 26 October 2013 10:14 PM
StephenLawrence - 26 October 2013 09:47 PM

That is compatible with my two stage model and so isn’t free will according to you.

How it that so?

Because it’s compatible with the choices you make being the only physically possible choices given the initial conditions of the universe.

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Posted: 26 October 2013 11:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 473 ]
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StephenLawrence - 26 October 2013 10:00 PM

Compatibilists usually believe free will is compatible with adequate determinism. They also believe it is compatible with determinism. So they don’t want any more as a rule.

Not quite so.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compatibilism

Compatibilism (or soft determinism) is the belief that free will and determinism are compatible ideas, and that it is possible to believe both without being logically inconsistent. Compatibilists believe freedom can be present or absent in situations for reasons that have nothing to do with metaphysics.

There is no mention of adequate determinism, only determinism, in the above definition.

From http://www.informationphilosopher.com/solutions/philosophers/kane/

Kane insightfully remarks “One may legitimately wonder why worries about determinism persist at all in the twenty-first century, when the physical sciences - once the stronghold of determinist thinking - seem to have turned away from determinism.”

However, if compatibilism concedes that determinism does not exist and that free will is only compatible to adequate determinism, then their belief is more tenable in the modern world.

As you well no it’s the extra control which adequate determinism is supposed to give you which you want.That’s why you don’t want your choices depending upon the past.It’s so that the choices can be entirely up to you.

That your choices is not dependent on the past is innate in you, as a free agent.

Kane describes free will itself, for instance, as “the power of agents to be the ultimate creators ... and sustainers of their own ends and purposes.”

Precisely. However, from the same website I cited above:

Two Cosmological Mysteries:

Kane describes consciousness and the indeterminacy needed for free will as “cosmological problems” that are equally “mysterious.”

1st problem:

How can a physical process of the brain be at the same time a consciously experienced effort of will?

Mind/brain and conscious problem for compatibilists and incompatibilists:

One of these problems is “the mind/body problem,” including at its core the “problem of consciousness”: how can thoughts, perceptions, and other conscious experiences — including efforts of will — be brain processes? But this is a problem whether you are a compatibilist or incompatibilist, libertarian or nonlibertarian.

2nd problem:

“The Second Cosmological Problem” of which free will partakes is the problem of genuine indeterminacy-in-nature, which is pretty mysterious as well. How can wave/particles such as electrons have indeterminate trajectories in which their position and momentum cannot both be exact at the same time?

Causal indeterminism or event-causal libertarianism?

Two philosophers who have suggested causal indeterminist views of this kind (without endorsing them), Daniel Dennett and Alfred Mele, argue that a view of this kind would give libertarians at least some of the important things they demand about free will.

Unacceptable to Kane:

It is unfortunate that Kane did not accept Dennett’s ideas for “giving libertarians what they want.” He might have reconciled many libertarians and compatibilists. Instead, Kane wants something more - indeterminism in the decision itself - so that our actions are not determined by our prior deliberations and alternative possibilities, however much these are our own creations.

Can this impasse can be resolved?

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Posted: 27 October 2013 01:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 474 ]
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kkwan - 26 October 2013 11:30 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compatibilism

Compatibilism (or soft determinism) is the belief that free will and determinism are compatible ideas, and that it is possible to believe both without being logically inconsistent. Compatibilists believe freedom can be present or absent in situations for reasons that have nothing to do with metaphysics.

There is no mention of adequate determinism, only determinism, in the above definition.

There is a slight error in the article since soft determinists believe determinism is true whilst compatibilists don’t necessarily believe it is true.

There is no mention of adequate determinism, only determinism, in the above definition.

The point is a compatibilist believes that we have free will and that it is logically consistent with determinism. That doesn’t mean a compatibilist believes free will is logically inconsistent with adequate determinism.

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Posted: 27 October 2013 01:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 475 ]
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kkwan - 26 October 2013 11:30 PM

However, if compatibilism concedes that determinism does not exist and that free will is only compatible to adequate determinism, then their belief is more tenable in the modern world.

I think we just don’t know whether determinism is true or not.

There is no reason for a compatibilist to think free will is only compatible with adequate determinism and it is not more tenable to believe it in the modern world since obviously the difference between adequate determinism and determinism can’t overcome the problem it is supposed to, which is the problem of luck.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-luck/

Causal luck. Finally, there is causal luck, or luck in “how one is determined by antecedent circumstances” (Nagel 1979, 60). Nagel points out that the appearance of causal moral luck is essentially the classic problem of free will. The problem of free will to which Nagel refers arises because it seems that our actions—and even the “stripped-down acts of the will”—are consequences of what is not in our control. If this is so, then neither our actions nor our willing are free. And since freedom is often thought to be necessary for moral responsibility, we cannot be morally responsible even for our willings.

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Posted: 27 October 2013 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 476 ]
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Bryan - 26 October 2013 01:55 AM

Of course randomness between the intention and the outcome disrupts free will.  But no model of free will postulates randomness in that location.

Well, at least not in the first stage:

Free will is also a two-stage creative process – first random and “free”, then a lawful “will”. First chance, then choice.
<snip>
The chance generation of such alternative possibilities for action does not in any way limit his choice to one of them.
<snip>
[Henri Poincaré] had the critical insight that random combinations and possibilities are generated…
<snip>
Arthur Holly Compton championed the idea of human freedom based on quantum uncertainty…
<snip>
[F]reedom is not just chance but, rather, the result of a subtle interplay between something almost random or haphazard, and something like a restrictive or selective control.

All from here.

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Posted: 27 October 2013 08:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 477 ]
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StephenLawrence - 25 October 2013 11:12 PM

The idea isn’t that the person could have done otherwise in exactly the same circumstances.

Well, I think the ‘two-stagers’ in the Wikipedia article mean it that way. Maybe you don’t.

StephenLawrence - 25 October 2013 11:12 PM

The idea is they could have done otherwise depending upon their beliefs and desires and that their beliefs and desires could have been different depending upon how the indeterminism went in the first stage of the two stage model.

There really is no indeterminism needed to ask what would have happened in another situation. I can even tell you what the surface of a circle with radius 1 cm would be when π (pi) would be 5, but the formula for the surface would be the same: it would have a surface of 5 * π r² = 5 cm².

When I don’t need indeterminism to ask what would have happened in another situation, I also don’t need it for questions about free will.

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Posted: 27 October 2013 09:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 478 ]
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GdB - 27 October 2013 08:34 AM
StephenLawrence - 25 October 2013 11:12 PM

The idea isn’t that the person could have done otherwise in exactly the same circumstances.

Well, I think the ‘two-stagers’ in the Wikipedia article mean it that way. Maybe you don’t.

Clearly the idea is that the choice would be different if event(s) in the first stage turned out differently due to indeterminism.

When I don’t need indeterminism to ask what would have happened in another situation, I also don’t need it for questions about free will.

If indeterminism would be true in another situation you do need it. It’s integral to the other situation that you are talking about.

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Posted: 27 October 2013 09:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 479 ]
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StephenLawrence - 27 October 2013 09:05 AM

If indeterminism would be true in another situation you do need it. It’s integral to the other situation that you are talking about.

This becomes confusing… Unless you clarify what you are saying here (maybe with an example?) I cannot react.

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Posted: 27 October 2013 10:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 480 ]
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GdB - 27 October 2013 09:18 AM
StephenLawrence - 27 October 2013 09:05 AM

If indeterminism would be true in another situation you do need it. It’s integral to the other situation that you are talking about.

This becomes confusing… Unless you clarify what you are saying here (maybe with an example?) I cannot react.

Any example will do GdB .This is the debate we have been having for years.
So if your car fell into the sun and melted, indeterminism would be true, for instance.

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