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Critique My Philosophy of Life?
Posted: 13 January 2014 02:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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Bryan - 12 January 2014 10:26 PM

Subject P rejects the desire to perform action X and substitutes in its place a desire to perform action ~X, which produces action ~X in a way the compatibilist should recognize as an action under the control of subject P

 

But why did subject P reject the desire to perform action X? It will be due to something out of his control. It doesn’t matter where or when that something is placed.

And if you say it does, that is just special pleading of your own.

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Posted: 13 January 2014 09:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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StephenLawrence - 13 January 2014 02:47 AM
Bryan - 12 January 2014 10:26 PM

Subject P rejects the desire to perform action X and substitutes in its place a desire to perform action ~X, which produces action ~X in a way the compatibilist should recognize as an action under the control of subject P

 

But why did subject P reject the desire to perform action X?

Because subject P wanted to resist.

It will be due to something out of his control.

Explain how that works.

It doesn’t matter where or when that something is placed.

Great.  That will make it easy for you to explain how it works.

And if you say it does, that is just special pleading of your own.

Well, you’ve got it all figured out.  Now if you can just explain it coherently.

edit to add:

Stephen, you’re about to do it again.

There is no proximal cause because I specifically said the example is an indeterministic one.  So you’re poised to conclude, apparently, that if the decision wasn’t caused by something prior then it wasn’t under the control of subject P.  But subject P doesn’t need to be in control of any prior cause because there is none (unless we count deliberation, which is moot since the important thing is when P decides to stop deliberating and make the decision irrevocably).

So you’ll end up proposing, again, that if a decision isn’t determined then it must be uncaused.  That’s a simple enough proposition—one fitting for a syllogistic proof.  Yet if I recall correctly, the syllogism is beyond either your willingness or capability.  So we end up again with an argument that rests on your certitude above all else.  Surprise me by randomly taking a different track this time.

The “special pleading” in my case is that I insist that an indeterministic model contain indeterminism.

[ Edited: 13 January 2014 10:01 AM by Bryan ]
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Posted: 16 January 2014 12:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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Alrighty, then.  With this next step I’ll start to explain why Stephen’s intuition about indeterministic causation is wrong, which is also the reason why Galen Strawson’s regress argument doesn’t work.

In a nutshell, those arguing against LFW are rigging the game with their definition of causation.  I’ll try to explain that here with an illustration (wanted to do a presentation with animation, but that would require more time investment than I can afford right now).

Imagine a blue ball that moves left to right, striking a stationary red ball squarely.  The red ball flies off left to right on the same vector the blue ball had taken.  This is an illustration of causation in the deterministic sense.  The red ball causes the movement of the red ball.  The movement of the blue ball is a sufficient reason for the red ball to move off along the vector it takes.  And if we repeat the trial we get the same result every time.

Now imagine a blue ball that moves left to right, striking a stationary green ball squarely.  The green ball flies off at a vertical right angle to the vector of the blue ball.  Now, if this happened with every trial, it would count as a deterministic causation, even though the vector of the green ball is counterintuitive according to the physics we’re used to.  But this will be an example of determinism, so we’re going to suppose that we can repeat the trial and obtain different results.

Imagine the same blue ball again moves left to right, striking a stationary green ball squarely.  The green ball flies off laterally to the left—a different result than the first trial.  We repeat the trial 100 times.  71 times we get the first result.  25 times we get the second result.  Four times the green ball doesn’t budge.

Are these actions uncaused?  Unless I’m mistaken, the compatibilist and the determinist will tend to answer “yes.”

I’m going to question that conclusion.

We repeat the trial again, replacing the green ball with the red ball.  The red ball moves off left to right along the same vector as the blue ball that struck it.  Hmmm.  Now we try the green ball again.  It flies off at a vertical right angle to the vector of the blue ball.  Maybe it makes a difference which ball we use in the trial?  We replace the blue ball with a yellow ball and repeat all the trials.  We get the same results we got with the blue ball.  We replace the green ball with a purple one.  It behaves just like the red ball when struck by either the blue ball or the yellow ball.

Maybe the green ball is causing the indeterministic results without a prior sufficient cause?

To borrow from Joel Hodgson, “What do you think, sirs?”

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Posted: 16 January 2014 07:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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Bryan - 16 January 2014 12:48 AM

The green ball flies off laterally to the left—a different result than the first trial.

If the conditions remain the same, the green ball will react in exactly the same way each time. Why wouldn’t it?

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Posted: 16 January 2014 08:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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George - 16 January 2014 07:47 AM
Bryan - 16 January 2014 12:48 AM

The green ball flies off laterally to the left—a different result than the first trial.

If the conditions remain the same, the green ball will react in exactly the same way each time. Why wouldn’t it?

Because we are deliberately testing and exploring an alternative to determinism, called indeterminism.

If we assume that the green ball will react identically each time then we’re assuming determinism and have no way to even consider a model for libertarian free will (LFW), which is explicitly indeterministic.

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Posted: 16 January 2014 09:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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A “model”? And a child who thinks he can fly like Superman has a “theory,” right? Just like it is a “plan” to turn invisible to rob a bank.

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Posted: 16 January 2014 10:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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George - 16 January 2014 09:59 AM

A “model”? And a child who thinks he can fly like Superman has a “theory,” right? Just like it is a “plan” to turn invisible to rob a bank.

George, the scientific consensus is that our universe is indeterministic (that is, it includes phenomena that are not deterministic).  The issue I’m addressing is how we apply the concept of causation to indeterministic phenomena.

http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Indeterminism

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Posted: 16 January 2014 10:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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The scientific consensus is that our universe is indeterministic? How so? Because of quantum mechanics?

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Posted: 16 January 2014 10:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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George - 16 January 2014 10:14 AM

The scientific consensus is that our universe is indeterministic? How so? Because of quantum mechanics?

Did I not provide you a URL to visit?

Yes, because of QM.  Click the URL and read it.  It’s not long.

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Posted: 16 January 2014 10:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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Sorry, but if you want to use an analogy to get your point across (your “model”) you will then have to use an example of a subatomic particle and not one of a ball, and a green one on top of it all. You can’t mix up classical mechanics with quantum mechanics and philosophy to make stuff up and expect us to take you seriously. Probably good enough to bamboozle others in the style of Deepak Chopra, but you’ll have to try a little harder here.

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Posted: 16 January 2014 10:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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George - 16 January 2014 10:26 AM

Sorry, but if you want to use an analogy to get your point across (your “model”) you will then have to use an example of a subatomic particle and not one of a ball, and a green one on top of it all.

Why?  The principle of indeterminism is the same for a subatomic particle as it is for a hypothetical ball.

You can’t mix up classical mechanics with quantum mechanics and philosophy to make stuff up and expect us to take you seriously.

You can’t expect me to take you seriously if you think that’s what I’m doing.  I’ve already explained to you the purpose of the illustration.  It is to explore our conceptions about causation.

Probably good enough to bamboozle others in the style of Deepak Chopra, but you’ll have to try a little harder here.

Right, because with this crowd you’ll get guilt by association (Deepak Chopra) at the drop of a hat.

If you’re not willing to wrestle with the way we conceive of causation in an indeterministic scenario, then feel free to bow out of the discussion.

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Posted: 16 January 2014 12:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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Bryan - 16 January 2014 10:37 AM

The principle of indeterminism is the same for a subatomic particle as it is for a hypothetical ball.

Sure, but it is unclear if indeterminism is in fact at play in QM. Einstein didn’t think it was, but maybe you know something that he didn’t. Anyway, you can’t still muddle up something that appears (appears!) to play a role in QM with an analogy from classical mechanics to back up your philosophical position. In the end all you are doing here is slyly using quantum mechanics woo to get your point across and although you may sound a little more eloquent that Deepak (though I am not so sure), I see no reason why not call a spade a spade.

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Posted: 16 January 2014 02:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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George - 16 January 2014 12:11 PM
Bryan - 16 January 2014 10:37 AM

The principle of indeterminism is the same for a subatomic particle as it is for a hypothetical ball.

Sure, but it is unclear if indeterminism is in fact at play in QM.

It’s more clear to some scientists than to others.

Einstein didn’t think it was, but maybe you know something that he didn’t.

I know Eistein’s been dead for years.  It’ s unclear whether Einstein is aware of this (there’s been much advance in QM since Einstein).

Anyway, you can’t still muddle up something that appears (appears!) to play a role in QM with an analogy from classical mechanics to back up your philosophical position.

Okay, I’ll tell you this again.  Maybe it will sink in this time (though I’m starting to doubt it).  This is not an example from classical mechanics.  It is an analogy using easily identifiable shapes.  I’m describing a presentation I had planned to execute with animations to evaluate our concept of causation with respect to indeterministic phenomena.  You insisted on comparing this to Deepak Chopra.  The comparison is unfair, and it shames you.  The illustration is not about classical-freakin-mechanics.  The descriptions held somewhat in common with classical mechanics exist so that I can describe to readers what I had planned to animate graphically to illustrate indeterminism.  It doesn’t mix classical mechanics with QM.  It uses geometrical shapes and movements to encourage people to think about how they conceptualize causation.

In the end all you are doing here is slyly using quantum mechanics woo to get your point across and although you may sound a little more eloquent that Deepak (though I am not so sure), I see no reason why not call a spade a spade.

In the end, you’re building a straw man.  Why?  I dunno.  Afraid to challenge your own notions of causation?  Eager to protect the community from foreign ideas (though not that foreign, really)?  I dunno.  But in any case it’s a straw man. 

But maybe I should give you the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe you’re just trying to be funny, like usual.  If that’s the case, you got me.

http://www.indiana.edu/~scotus/files/Agent_Causation.pdf

edit to add:

http://philosophyisnotaluxury.com/2011/06/23/scientific-evidence-for-indeterminism/

[ Edited: 16 January 2014 02:04 PM by Bryan ]
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Posted: 16 January 2014 02:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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And here’s one more with some particularly relevant tidbits:

http://www.quantumphil.org/Bell-indeterminism-and-nonlocality.pdf

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Posted: 16 January 2014 02:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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The articles you cite do not in anyway support your statement about a scientific consensus on indeterminism. Not surprising since there is no such consensus. From the PDF from Indiana U:

Let me be clear from the outset about two tasks that I do not propose to undertake here.
First, I will in no way attempt to argue or adduce evidence for the claim that the theory described
actually applies to human action. (I will, however, briefly suggest what sort of considerations
could count as evidence in favor of its applicability.) Nor will I attempt to address the
epistemological question of whether it is reasonable to suppose, in the absence of strong,
directly-confirming evidence, that the agency theory gives a correct schematic account of (a
significant portion of) human activity,

I’m not going to evaluate the current state of arguments in quantum mechanics to figure out a philosophy for operating in the human sized world, and your attempting to do so is just annoying.

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