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Ryle’s regress and the Homunculus argument
Posted: 06 March 2013 10:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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morgantj - 13 February 2013 07:25 PM

It seems that Ryle’s regress and the Homunculus argument has something going for it in regards to an argument against free-will. Your thoughts?

From the wiki you cited: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homunculus_argument

The problem with the homunculus argument is that it tries to account for a phenomenon in terms of the very phenomenon that it is supposed to explain.

It is a circular argument which begs the question and as such, it is an untenable argument.

However, what is free will?

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will

Free will is the ability of agents to make choices unconstrained by certain factors. Factors of historical concern have included metaphysical constraints (for example, logical, nomological, or theological determinism), physical constraints (for example, chains or imprisonment), social constraints (for example, threat of punishment or censure, or structural constraints), and mental constraints (for example, compulsions or phobias, neurological disorders, or genetic predispositions).

In the human context, what is the agent that has the ability to make free choices?

Is it only the conscious mind/brain without metaphysical, physical, social or mental constraints?

Or should it also include the “second brain” as well?


When it comes to your moods, decisions and behaviour, the brain in your head is not the only one doing the thinking

So, when is the agent actually free to exhibit free will at all?

Given the stringent conditions in the above definition of free will and the influence of the “second brain”, it implies that human free will is unattainable.

OTOH, the above definition of free will is circular. When is an agent free to exhibit free will? When it is unconstrained by the very same factors which will allow it to do so.



I am, therefore I think.

Posted: 06 March 2013 11:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Total Posts:  97
Joined  2012-12-01

Philosophy is about noumenon—about the existence of observation

Science is about phenomena—-about the observation of existence

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