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Do non-human animals have free will?
Posted: 16 February 2014 01:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 871 ]
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VYAZMA - 15 February 2014 09:35 PM

In otherwords, once you get behind the idea of consciousness, acting and wishes and beliefs, it makes the idea of compatibilism redundant.

You are thinking along the wrong lines. What we need is to divide up choices which we should be asked to take responsibility for and those that we shouldn’t. We need to distinguish between rape and consenting sex, between slavery and a fair working contract etc etc.

All these things take analysing whether a choice is up to us or not. Is the slave freely choosing to work? If not why not?

Compatibilists are saying this is a subject of free will and since free will = free choice they have a point.

I am being forced out of my place of work right now. The council want to close the market I’m in. They are building a new smaller market with worse facilities and charging £100 more a week for it. I have a choice, I’m told, I can move to the new market or not. But is the choice up to me? If I sign a years lease is that a decision I should be held responsible for if it goes pear shaped, which is quite likely?

Getting this right is very important because if we get it wrong the powerful can abuse the weak by pretending they enter into agreements, written or otherwise, freely. In this case it’s me who is the weak.

So we must divide choices up between choices which are up to us and those which are not. It’s semantics whether you call that the subject of free choice (= free will) or not.

Once you start wondering about consciousness you’re going off on a tangent.

[ Edited: 16 February 2014 01:47 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 16 February 2014 04:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 872 ]
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VYAZMA - 15 February 2014 09:35 PM

I don’t agree.  If those examples are not sufficient, then they are not necessary. What is necessary is finding sufficient terms or explanations for consciousness that explain why we perceive we are in control.

Right. You know what the meaning of necessary and sufficient is, don’t you? confused

VYAZMA - 15 February 2014 09:35 PM

Compatibilism is like the instruction manual to a TV. It tells you how to operate your TV, but it doesn’t explain how to open the TV and understand how it works.

Yes. And therefore you are saying the TV does not work, because you do not know how it works, and that the manual therefore is wrong.

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Posted: 16 February 2014 06:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 873 ]
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StephenLawrence - 09 February 2014 10:22 PM
Lois - 09 February 2014 11:22 AM

But they are never “up to us” if you mean we are capable of overriding out deterministic influences just because we want to.

 

So you know I don’t mean that.

I gave a wedding example. Think about the differences between a shotgun wedding, an arranged marriage, a forced marriage and a couple who have fallen in love and want to spend the rest of their lives together.

The couple in love are free to do what they want. The couple in the forced marriage are not.

It’s important to not treat all choices as the same. It’s important to differentiate between different choices to give people a better quality of choices and when dividing up responsibility for choices.

I will try to explain my position using your example of a forcedU marriage (for what it’s worth). But I fear that our views of free will will prevent any true understanding.

IMO neither the couple in the forced marriage nor the couple “choosing” to spend the rest of their lives together are exercising free will. Whatever made the couple “fall in love” and “choose” to spend the rest of their lives together came from their determining factors. They did not arrive at that point through free will. The couple “forced” into a marriage also did not choose that situation through free will.  If they are “allowing”  themselves to be forced to marry it is also determined by their determining factors. Either could refuse and suffer the consequences, even if it’s death, if that’s what their determining factors “decide.” But they will neither refuse or allow themselves to be married out of free will. They will act out of determining factors that push them in whichever direction they go in. And they and others will probably still say the loving couple “chose” to marry and the other couple were forced to marry if they do marry. I know it’s a hard concept to accept because it feels as if we are making independent decisions, especially if those decisions are seen as positive. But in my view we all act as we are determined to act at the moment the action is carried out and we don’t act independently of determining factors even if it feels as if we do and we like to either blame it on or give credit to free will.

But I suspect we aren’t going to agree on this because we’re both determined to think and decide in a way that is contrary to the other. wink

Lois

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Posted: 16 February 2014 10:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 874 ]
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GdB - 16 February 2014 04:45 AM

Right. You know what the meaning of necessary and sufficient is, don’t you? confused

You said the analogy was insufficient.  If an analogy is insufficient, then it is not necessary.  Find a better analogy.

VYAZMA - 15 February 2014 09:35 PM

Yes. And therefore you are saying the TV does not work, because you do not know how it works, and that the manual therefore is wrong.

No that’s not what I said.  Don’t put words in my mouth.
I’m saying you’re observing the television show, but you don’t know the TV works.(heck, you don’t even know it’s a show, you think it’s real.)
Do you understand that? Get it now?

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Posted: 16 February 2014 10:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 875 ]
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StephenLawrence - 16 February 2014 01:26 AM

Once you start wondering about consciousness you’re going off on a tangent.

LOL  I see.

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Posted: 16 February 2014 11:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 876 ]
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VYAZMA - 16 February 2014 10:44 PM
StephenLawrence - 16 February 2014 01:26 AM

Once you start wondering about consciousness you’re going off on a tangent.

LOL  I see.

I explained why. It’s good to have real examples. If I sign the lease I spoke about will it be a choice which is up to me? It’s not a good idea, the risk reward ration is very bad, but I’m being forced out of my current place of work and it probably is the best of my bad options.

These are the sorts of factors that we judge this by. Consciousness barely comes into it. When you think about consciousness you are thinking about something different “conscious control” I expect.

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Posted: 16 February 2014 11:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 877 ]
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Lois - 16 February 2014 06:50 PM

I will try to explain my position using your example of a forcedU marriage (for what it’s worth). But I fear that our views of free will will prevent any true understanding.

I believe I do understand you already.

IMO neither the couple in the forced marriage nor the couple “choosing” to spend the rest of their lives together are exercising free will. Whatever made the couple “fall in love” and “choose” to spend the rest of their lives together came from their determining factors.

OK, so you are using the term free will to mean neither couple could do otherwise in the actual situation in a way that makes the choice up to them.


They did not arrive at that point through free will. The couple “forced” into a marriage also did not choose that situation through free will.  If they are “allowing”  themselves to be forced to marry it is also determined by their determining factors. Either could refuse and suffer the consequences, even if it’s death, if that’s what their determining factors “decide.” But they will neither refuse or allow themselves to be married out of free will. They will act out of determining factors that push them in whichever direction they go in. And they and others will probably still say the loving couple “chose” to marry and the other couple were forced to marry if they do marry. I know it’s a hard concept to accept because it feels as if we are making independent decisions, especially if those decisions are seen as positive. But in my view we all act as we are determined to act at the moment the action is carried out and we don’t act independently of determining factors even if it feels as if we do and we like to either blame it on or give credit to free will.

But I suspect we aren’t going to agree on this because we’re both determined to think and decide in a way that is contrary to the other. wink

We agree because of how you are defining free will.

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Posted: 17 February 2014 04:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 878 ]
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VYAZMA - 16 February 2014 10:39 PM
GdB - 16 February 2014 04:45 AM

Right. You know what the meaning of necessary and sufficient is, don’t you? confused

You said the analogy was insufficient.  If an analogy is insufficient, then it is not necessary.  Find a better analogy.

No.

For free will it is a necessary condition that determined does not imply ‘does not control anything’.
But it is not a sufficient condition, because a thermostat has no free will, even that it does control something.

Read this.

VYAZMA - 16 February 2014 10:39 PM

No that’s not what I said.

I know. But it is the implication of what you said.

Compatibilism must not show exactly how ‘it’ works. Philosophy is not an empirical science. It is, amongst others, the analysis of concepts. Compatibilism shows that there is no contradiction between being determined or being caused on one side, and having free will and being in control on the other side. If anything, philosophy shows how language and meaning work, and how words can lead us astray if we give them the wrong meaning (e.g. free will as being uncaused).

[ Edited: 17 February 2014 05:52 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 17 February 2014 05:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 879 ]
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GdB - 17 February 2014 04:55 AM
VYAZMA - 16 February 2014 10:39 PM
GdB - 16 February 2014 04:45 AM

Right. You know what the meaning of necessary and sufficient is, don’t you? confused

You said the analogy was insufficient.  If an analogy is insufficient, then it is not necessary.  Find a better analogy.

No.

For free will it is a necessary condition that determined does not imply ‘does not control anything’.
But it is not a sufficient condition, because a thermostat has no free will, even that is does control something.

Read this.

VYAZMA - 16 February 2014 10:39 PM

No that’s not what I said.

I know. But it is the implication of what you said.

Compatibilism must not show exactly how ‘it’ works. Philosophy is not an empirical science. It is, amongst others, the analysis of concepts. Compatibilism shows that there is no contradiction between being determined or being caused on one side, and having free will and being in control on the other side. If anything, philosophy shows how language and meaning work, and how words can lead us astray if we give them the wrong meaning (e.g. free will as being uncaused).

Yes but we need to be able to use the term free will for libertarian free will. There is very little doubt that most people have libertarian intuitions and often when they refer to free will they are referring to what is supposed to fit with those intuitions, what they immediately see determinism would block by taking away ultimate control.

So I think we really need to get away from framing the question as is free will compatible with determinism or not, because that assumes there is only one meaning of free will.

We just need to accept more than one meaning for the term free will.

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Posted: 17 February 2014 05:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 880 ]
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StephenLawrence - 17 February 2014 05:42 AM

We just need to accept more than one meaning for the term free will.

Yes. And therefore, as Bryan said, we need adjectives.

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Posted: 17 February 2014 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 881 ]
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StephenLawrence - 17 February 2014 05:42 AM
GdB - 17 February 2014 04:55 AM
VYAZMA - 16 February 2014 10:39 PM
GdB - 16 February 2014 04:45 AM

Right. You know what the meaning of necessary and sufficient is, don’t you? confused

You said the analogy was insufficient.  If an analogy is insufficient, then it is not necessary.  Find a better analogy.

No.

For free will it is a necessary condition that determined does not imply ‘does not control anything’.
But it is not a sufficient condition, because a thermostat has no free will, even that is does control something.

Read this.

VYAZMA - 16 February 2014 10:39 PM

No that’s not what I said.

I know. But it is the implication of what you said.

Compatibilism must not show exactly how ‘it’ works. Philosophy is not an empirical science. It is, amongst others, the analysis of concepts. Compatibilism shows that there is no contradiction between being determined or being caused on one side, and having free will and being in control on the other side. If anything, philosophy shows how language and meaning work, and how words can lead us astray if we give them the wrong meaning (e.g. free will as being uncaused).

Yes but we need to be able to use the term free will for libertarian free will. There is very little doubt that most people have libertarian intuitions and often when they refer to free will they are referring to what is supposed to fit with those intuitions, what they immediately see determinism would block by taking away ultimate control.

So I think we really need to get away from framing the question as is free will compatible with determinism or not, because that assumes there is only one meaning of free will.

We just need to accept more than one meaning for the term free will.

Not in a debate about free will. The point is to come to an agreement as to how all participants are going to define the term before the debate begins. And adding adjectives isn’t going to help unless the participants also agree on the meaning of the adjectives.

Lois

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Posted: 17 February 2014 02:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 882 ]
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Let me get back to this again….
What use does compatibilism serve if the compatibilist also believes in causal determinism?

Did I get an answer on that one yet?  I’m not sure.
Is it just to fill up 100s of pages about playing chess and eating oranges?

Again, did someone address that one yet?  I know I brought that up a few pages back….(remember, I mentioned redundancy?)

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Posted: 17 February 2014 02:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 883 ]
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StephenLawrence - 16 February 2014 11:40 PM
VYAZMA - 16 February 2014 10:44 PM
StephenLawrence - 16 February 2014 01:26 AM

Once you start wondering about consciousness you’re going off on a tangent.

LOL  I see.

I explained why. It’s good to have real examples. If I sign the lease I spoke about will it be a choice which is up to me? It’s not a good idea, the risk reward ration is very bad, but I’m being forced out of my current place of work and it probably is the best of my bad options.

These are the sorts of factors that we judge this by. Consciousness barely comes into it. When you think about consciousness you are thinking about something different “conscious control” I expect.

You can be aware of something and still have no control over how you react to it through decision-making.

Think of life as a movie. You are aware of what’s going on. You may even be aware of things the characters don’t know. You may form opinions as to what the characters “should do” and criticize their actions.  But you can’t rewrite the script. I say you can’t rewrite your script, either, even though you are aware of how it’s unfolding.

Lois

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Posted: 17 February 2014 11:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 884 ]
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VYAZMA - 17 February 2014 02:30 PM

Let me get back to this again….
What use does compatibilism serve if the compatibilist also believes in causal determinism?

Did I get an answer on that one yet?  I’m not sure.

Yes you got answers. The chess thing was about intentions so leave that aside, every related topic shouldn’t be lumped in with free will.

We need a fair concept of when choices are up to us. I gave an example of me signing a lease. Am I responsible if I sign it? It depends upon whether I’m freely choosing to sign it or whether I’m forced into it.

Compatibilism is about that subject.

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Posted: 17 February 2014 11:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 885 ]
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Lois - 17 February 2014 01:29 PM

Not in a debate about free will. The point is to come to an agreement as to how all participants are going to define the term before the debate begins. And adding adjectives isn’t going to help unless the participants also agree on the meaning of the adjectives.

Lois

But it is used to mean more than one thing. So everybody except Bryan agrees with you about free will as you define it. But compatibilists think there is another definition that we should use as well.

So, why not two or more definitions? And if only one why your one?

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