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8 Great Philosophical Questions That We’ll Never Solve
Posted: 31 October 2012 04:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]
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TimB - 30 October 2012 08:33 PM

If you use the metaphor of consciousness being a spectator, I would suggest that the spectator is often a quite active part of the performance and sometimes a key part of the performance.

Except that experiments such as Libet’s, for example, show it is not a key part.

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Posted: 31 October 2012 05:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]
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George - 31 October 2012 04:29 AM
TimB - 30 October 2012 08:33 PM

If you use the metaphor of consciousness being a spectator, I would suggest that the spectator is often a quite active part of the performance and sometimes a key part of the performance.

Except that experiments such as Libet’s, for example, show it is not a key part.

It is not a key part in the setting of Libet’s experiment: to flex your wrist spontaneously for no reason. If for you all conscious acts are like that, then OK.

Maybe you show me where Dennett makes an error in his argumentation against this common interpretations of Libet’s experiments?

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Posted: 31 October 2012 06:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]
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I don’t think Dennett is making much sense here, so it’s kind of hard for me to tell where he is wrong.

There have been obviously other, more recent experiments, where they can predict which of two buttons a person will press before he becomes consciously aware of his decision. I see nothing wrong with such experiments.

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Posted: 31 October 2012 08:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]
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George - 31 October 2012 06:36 AM

I don’t think Dennett is making much sense here, so it’s kind of hard for me to tell where he is wrong.

There have been obviously other, more recent experiments, where they can predict which of two buttons a person will press before he becomes consciously aware of his decision. I see nothing wrong with such experiments.

Yes, I know. I think it was about playing Rock, Paper, Scissors in an MRI. If I remember correctly the researchers were able to predict the choice of the player a few seconds in advance. But so what? What does that say against freedom of action? Did the brain states that the researchers observed ‘coerced’ the player to make his choice as predicted? Or did the player just did what he wanted and the researchers could predict it while the brain processes are determined?

In some youtube video (I’ll try to find it if I am home), Dennett declares what the result of the experiment means: “Don’t play Rock, Paper, Scissors when you have your head in an MRI, because you will loose.”

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Posted: 31 October 2012 08:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]
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The main problem with Libet is for libertarians about free will who believe the self is identical to first-person conscious experience. For anyone who doesn’t make that identification (and Dennett most certainly does not) Libet is beside the point.

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Posted: 31 October 2012 08:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]
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Doug!

Glad you are alive and kicking. How are you doing in NY?

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Posted: 31 October 2012 08:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]
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GdB - 31 October 2012 08:36 AM

Doug!

Glad you are alive and kicking. How are you doing in NY?

Back online with my ISP, things are basically OK where I am. Problems getting around, though, with no subway. Streets are jammed today.

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Posted: 31 October 2012 09:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 83 ]
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dougsmith - 31 October 2012 08:20 AM

The main problem with Libet is for libertarians about free will who believe the self is identical to first-person conscious experience. For anyone who doesn’t make that identification (and Dennett most certainly does not) Libet is beside the point.

Libet’s and other such experiments focus on the relationship between decision making and conscious thought. Dennett’s ideas on “the self” are beside the point.

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Posted: 31 October 2012 09:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 84 ]
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Dennett’s ideas of the self are not beside the point if what we are discussing is free action or free will. Since the self which acts is not identical with first person conscious experience, it doesn’t matter if the decision was made before it came to conscious awareness. I can act subconsciously or preconsciously.

The point here is that many who interpret Libet do so along libertarian lines, assuming that the self which acts must be the conscious self. Descartes’s intuitions are hard for some to get rid of.

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Posted: 31 October 2012 09:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 85 ]
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George - 31 October 2012 09:03 AM
dougsmith - 31 October 2012 08:20 AM

The main problem with Libet is for libertarians about free will who believe the self is identical to first-person conscious experience. For anyone who doesn’t make that identification (and Dennett most certainly does not) Libet is beside the point.

Libet’s and other such experiments focus on the relationship between decision making and conscious thought. Dennett’s ideas on “the self” are beside the point.

The point is none of this has anything to do with compatibilism, which just requires the action to be caused by our beliefs and desires.

No role given to conscious thought, or even consciousness at all. That’s not to say there is no role, just that it’s not part of the definition so it doesn’t matter whether there is or isn’t.

Stephen

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Posted: 31 October 2012 09:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 86 ]
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Of course it has nothing to do with compatibilism. These experiments are about free will. Compatibilism is probably a good tool to deal with the problem of morality (who and when can be held morally accountable for their actions) in the absence of free will. That is an interesting topic, but irrelevant to the question of free will. Compatibilism is about what ought to be, and that never interested me.

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Posted: 31 October 2012 09:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 87 ]
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George - 31 October 2012 09:17 AM

Of course it has nothing to do with compatibilism.

OK.

Stephen

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Posted: 31 October 2012 09:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 88 ]
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George - 31 October 2012 09:17 AM

Of course it has nothing to do with compatibilism. These experiments are about free will. Compatibilism is probably a good tool to deal with the problem of morality (who and when can be held morally accountable for their actions) in the absence of free will. That is an interesting topic, but irrelevant to the question of free will. Compatibilism is about what ought to be, and that never interested me.

What a nonsense George. It is based on the experience that we can act according our wishes and beliefs. To add that we under exactly the same circumstances ‘could have done otherwise’, i.e. that we are not elements of a causal chain, is libertarian nonsense. You are all the time arguing against libertarian free will, which is not suported here by anybody.

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Posted: 31 October 2012 09:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 89 ]
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GdB - 31 October 2012 09:42 AM

You are all the time arguing against libertarian free will, which is not suported here by anybody.

Nobody? Are you sure?

GdB - 31 October 2012 09:42 AM

It is based on the experience that we can act according our wishes and beliefs.

“Can”?

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Posted: 31 October 2012 09:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 90 ]
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George - 31 October 2012 09:47 AM
GdB - 31 October 2012 09:42 AM

You are all the time arguing against libertarian free will, which is not suported here by anybody.

Nobody? Are you sure?

Yes. Here, in this thread.

George - 31 October 2012 09:47 AM
GdB - 31 October 2012 09:42 AM

It is based on the experience that we can act according our wishes and beliefs.

“Can”?

Yes, when we are coerced we do not.

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