Free Will

on fundamental matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind and ethics.

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Re: Free Will

#4501  Postby GrahamH » Nov 26, 2016 3:49 pm

archibald wrote:The part of the argument from compatibilists (such as Dennett for example) which I find at least somewhat persuasive and worthy of exploration is the part which says that we have at least some greater degree of freedom (or more degrees of freedom if you like) than other entities.

So the example given is to compare us with a housefly, which will try to escape out of a room in daylight by banging against the glass of the closed window, and never implement the option to fly away from the window to get through the darkened open door behind it and so get outside via a circuitous route. Unlike us. Or maybe not unlike us. I'm not sure, since presumably sometimes houseflies 'accidentally' find the door. Though a lot of them don't and they pile up, dead, at the bottom of my window cill.


That doesn't seem to be a matter of free will. It's more like a better algorithm for route-finding. A really good algorithm would efficiently find a route out and wouldn't that information determine the action of this super-fly? Aren't we looking for the edge cases where an entity doesn't do the obvious just because it wants to do something else? A robotic fly/drone might mechanically always take the shortest route out, because that is the determined behaviour it is programmed with. It has no free will. What does it matter that it evaluated a thousand routes in the process? It you reset it to the exact same initial conditions it would make the same choice every time, but put it in nominally identical situations at some other time and it might do something different. In particular it might adapt at every attempt and 'learn'.
Why do you think that?
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Re: Free Will

#4502  Postby archibald » Nov 26, 2016 3:55 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:Well, OK, but that may only be interesting in terms of keeping some kind of score, unless you have more to say about it.

What I mean, is that I would like to see a more cogent commentary on the fact of complexity. There's a wall at zero-complexity and things get more complex from there, but you don't really know what the boundaries are, especially since you haven't bothered to explain what the score-keeping denotes, except a score. God-botherers use the score-keeping to assert human domination over the animals, but really, there's nothing but an ecosystem, and all the votes are not yet in.


I can't hope to convince you, especially not for a position that I tend to disagree with and which I am only exploring, as a devil's advocate, for the purpose of making the ding-dong less boring and predictable, because not holding the position means that I don't feel I have the killer argument for it.

The idea was that others would join in, by attempting to counter the 'more choices than a fly' scenario, not that I would prevail. :)

And right now, I have to go outside and sweep up leaves from my driveway, so.........I'll maybe try elaborations later.
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Re: Free Will

#4503  Postby archibald » Nov 26, 2016 3:56 pm

GrahamH wrote:
archibald wrote:The part of the argument from compatibilists (such as Dennett for example) which I find at least somewhat persuasive and worthy of exploration is the part which says that we have at least some greater degree of freedom (or more degrees of freedom if you like) than other entities.

So the example given is to compare us with a housefly, which will try to escape out of a room in daylight by banging against the glass of the closed window, and never implement the option to fly away from the window to get through the darkened open door behind it and so get outside via a circuitous route. Unlike us. Or maybe not unlike us. I'm not sure, since presumably sometimes houseflies 'accidentally' find the door. Though a lot of them don't and they pile up, dead, at the bottom of my window cill.


That doesn't seem to be a matter of free will. It's more like a better algorithm for route-finding. A really good algorithm would efficiently find a route out and wouldn't that information determine the action of this super-fly? Aren't we looking for the edge cases where an entity doesn't do the obvious just because it wants to do something else? A robotic fly/drone might mechanically always take the shortest route out, because that is the determined behaviour it is programmed with. It has no free will. What does it matter that it evaluated a thousand routes in the process? It you reset it to the exact same initial conditions it would make the same choice every time, but put it in nominally identical situations at some other time and it might do something different. In particular it might adapt at every attempt and 'learn'.


I hope to get back to you on this soon. Was replying to cito, not you, just now. Forgot to 'quote' his post.
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Re: Free Will

#4504  Postby GrahamH » Nov 26, 2016 4:00 pm

archibald wrote:I hope to get back to you on this soon. Was replying to cito, not you, just now. Forgot to 'quote' his post.


No problem, I jumped in there. In your own time.
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Re: Free Will

#4505  Postby archibald » Nov 26, 2016 5:32 pm

GrahamH wrote:That doesn't seem to be a matter of free will. It's more like a better algorithm for route-finding. A really good algorithm would efficiently find a route out and wouldn't that information determine the action of this super-fly? Aren't we looking for the edge cases where an entity doesn't do the obvious just because it wants to do something else? A robotic fly/drone might mechanically always take the shortest route out, because that is the determined behaviour it is programmed with. It has no free will. What does it matter that it evaluated a thousand routes in the process? It you reset it to the exact same initial conditions it would make the same choice every time, but put it in nominally identical situations at some other time and it might do something different. In particular it might adapt at every attempt and 'learn'.


I would probably agree with all of that.

I'm fine with will. We have that, as far as I'm concerned. It's just a synonym for want (or desire). I think the sticking point for me (as opposed to compatibilists) is the word 'free'. They don't seem to mind using it in situations I would mind. I guess this is because I am being idealistic.

To analogise, it's like I'm not satisfied with an extremely efficient but not quite perfectly efficient motion machine and am insisting that unless it's an actual perpetual motion machine, I'm not interested in the degree of efficiency it can manage.

Similarly, if a system has a high number of variables, it is often said to have high high number of degrees of freedom and again, I could object to the word freedom in that, but I don't.

So in some ways, perhaps it's unfair to disallow the word 'free'.

Ditto for choice, perhaps.

Maybe the sticking point becomes clearer again if we put the word 'conscious' in front of that. Which is arguably already there in an implied sense.

The other reason I shy away from taking a hard position is that I think the brain is so incredibly and awesomely complicated that if I use my limited understanding of its capabilities in an overly-reductionist way, I might be missing something. For example, the word algorithm, while useful, is really only a limited and partial analogy (I feel you'll agree) for what goes on in my brain.
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Re: Free Will

#4506  Postby ughaibu » Nov 27, 2016 2:56 am

archibald wrote:The other reason I shy away from taking a hard position is that I think the brain is so incredibly and awesomely complicated that if I use my limited understanding of its capabilities in an overly-reductionist way, I might be missing something. For example, the word algorithm, while useful, is really only a limited and partial analogy (I feel you'll agree) for what goes on in my brain.
Earlier you denied that "in the actual world, some agents, on some occasions, engage in an activity under their own volition in full apprehension of the consequences and not under threat or coercion". This is bullshit, pretty much every time that you take a piss you engage in an activity under your own volition in full apprehension of the consequences and not under threat or coercion. If you find yourself committed to claims that are false, you have fucked up somewhere. You then have a choice, figure out which of your assumptions or inferences is mistaken, or cease to be part of any rational discussion that intersects your claim.
Let's move on from the legalese notion of free will and consider the notion as relevant to the so called problem of free will. For this discussion, an agent has free will on any occasion on which that agent makes and enacts a conscious choice from amongst realisable alternative courses of action. This definition, too, is defended by both compatibilists and incompatibilists.
All healthy human adults unavoidably assume that they have the ability to make and enact conscious choices from amongst realisable alternative courses of action, and hundreds of times every day they confirm the reliability of that assumption by successfully making and enacting conscious choices from amongst finite sets of two or more courses of action that they know, from experience, are realisable.
There are very few other things about which we can say that we unavoidably assume their reality and hundreds of times a day demonstrate the reliability of that assumption. There is the existence of an external world and there is gravity, unless we're in outer space. So, our warrant for holding free will to be real is equal to our warrant for holding the external world to be real, and at least as strong as for holding gravity to be real. It is stronger than our warrant for holding evolution or global warming to be real.
So, the first problem for the free will denier is to explain why they do not deny the reality of evolution, global warming, moon landings, Shakespeare's authorship, etc, etc, etc, but do deny the reality of free will. The second problem is that experimental science is one of the human activities that requires the assumption of free will, so the denier cannot appeal to experimental science for their denialism. And if their denialism is based on a god-of-the-gaps argument, as GrahamH's is, then they need to take on the further commitment of denying big-bang cosmology and pretty much any realism about the ontologies of science since Pythagoras.
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Re: Free Will

#4507  Postby Cito di Pense » Nov 27, 2016 7:07 am

ughaibu wrote:Let's move on from the legalese notion of free will and consider the notion as relevant to the so called problem of free will. For this discussion, an agent has free will on any occasion on which that agent makes and enacts a conscious choice from amongst realisable alternative courses of action. This definition, too, is defended by both compatibilists and incompatibilists.


But legalistic is ALL YOU HAVE. Classic. Your version fails to do anything but make one individual's 'free will' contingent on someone else's perception of the 'choices' he faced. That's ideal for passing judgment on criminals, but not much else. Philosophers are still in the bin on this one, because if we only reflect on what 'conscious choice' an individual perceives himself to have, it remains entirely subjective, and anyone else's opinion about that is simply going to depend on whether the individual writes up his memoirs on why he did this instead of that. In retrospect, you know. The compatibilism - incompatibilism debate is an irrelevant wibble by a bunch of academic jackasses who like to invent what looks like sophisticated terminology, but isn't.

ughaibu wrote:All healthy human adults unavoidably assume that they have the ability to make and enact conscious choices from amongst realisable alternative courses of action, and hundreds of times every day they confirm the reliability of that assumption by successfully making and enacting conscious choices from amongst finite sets of two or more courses of action that they know, from experience, are realisable.


Any 'choice' you know (even from experience) is realizable is a trivial one, like steering your car left or right at an intersection, or the aimless task of doing the same simple trick over and over again. The debate on free will is thus a debate about trivialities. "Realizable" is another wibble, and convinces the skeptic you're interested only in trivialities. And it just gets piled deeper from there. Your version of free will is still strictly legalistic, which is fine, as far as it goes, but it isn't a philosophical edifice of any consequence. It's a beginner's five-finger exercise on the piano of language, suitable for teaching the style of philosophical discourse to beginners or for passing judgment (somewhat arbitrarily) in courts of law. It's better than burning witches, but that's not really saying much, is it?

The joke's on you, and other purveyors of anonymous stuffed-shirt expert opinion on the internet. Such expert opinion is dandy in court, where it has to drop its anonymity, and nowhere else; that's not chopped liver, but it's still nothing but an opinion. Otherwise: We must believe in free will -- We have no choice!
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Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Free Will

#4508  Postby archibald » Nov 27, 2016 1:18 pm

ughaibu wrote:Earlier you denied that "in the actual world, some agents, on some occasions, engage in an activity under their own volition in full apprehension of the consequences and not under threat or coercion".


Yes, I did, on the grounds that I'm not persuaded that there is any such thing as an agent.

ughaibu wrote:This is bullshit, pretty much every time that you take a piss you engage in an activity under your own volition in full apprehension of the consequences and not under threat or coercion. If you find yourself committed to claims that are false, you have fucked up somewhere. You then have a choice, figure out which of your assumptions or inferences is mistaken, or cease to be part of any rational discussion that intersects your claim.


I agree that this is what it 'feels like', but that is not the same as saying what it is. Lots of people (to temporarily analogise) strongly 'feel' god and lots of other stuff.

The brain is capable of all sorts of things. The conscious self-awareness that you and I call 'me' is, imo, likely just a user illusion, produced by churning brain activity (and crucially, after that activity, not before it). I have never heard anyone explain how it could be otherwise, but if you want to have a go, feel free, but 'it really really feels like something else' is not going to be persuasive, because that's exactly what a system under an illusion would obviously say.


ughaibu wrote:Let's move on from the legalese notion of free will and consider the notion as relevant to the so called problem of free will. For this discussion, an agent has free will on any occasion on which that agent makes and enacts a conscious choice from amongst realisable alternative courses of action. This definition, too, is defended by both compatibilists and incompatibilists.


I don't think that's correct. I don't think it's defended by many incompatibilists, because it presumes that there's such a thing as an agent.

ughaibu wrote:All healthy human adults unavoidably assume that they have the ability to make and enact conscious choices from amongst realisable alternative courses of action, and hundreds of times every day they confirm the reliability of that assumption by successfully making and enacting conscious choices from amongst finite sets of two or more courses of action that they know, from experience, are realisable.


I agree with you that they assume it.


ughaibu wrote:There are very few other things about which we can say that we unavoidably assume their reality and hundreds of times a day demonstrate the reliability of that assumption. There is the existence of an external world and there is gravity, unless we're in outer space. So, our warrant for holding free will to be real is equal to our warrant for holding the external world to be real, and at least as strong as for holding gravity to be real. It is stronger than our warrant for holding evolution or global warming to be real.
So, the first problem for the free will denier is to explain why they do not deny the reality of evolution, global warming, moon landings, Shakespeare's authorship, etc, etc, etc, but do deny the reality of free will. The second problem is that experimental science is one of the human activities that requires the assumption of free will, so the denier cannot appeal to experimental science for their denialism. And if their denialism is based on a god-of-the-gaps argument, as GrahamH's is, then they need to take on the further commitment of denying big-bang cosmology and pretty much any realism about the ontologies of science since Pythagoras.


I don't think the analogy with 'the external world' holds up. For starters, we don't know the reality of it and have, over the centuries, often discovered that it is not what we thought it was, such as realising, after much investigation, that despite appearances, the blindingly obvious assumption, empirically confirmed, that the sun moves around the earth, was (is) essentially an illusion.

As for science, if anything, it's neuroscientific investigation which is hinting that this particular beloved assumption (that we have free will) may also be an illusion.

Basically, a supposed agent is essentially some kind of hommunculi-esque entity acting inside our brains independently of the laws of physics and intervening in them, and to me this is not much different from the sorts of things elves and other supernatural entities are supposed to get up to. I don't think I have the equivalent of an elf in my head and I can't think of a good reason to.

Perhaps you do. If so, can you explain to me how it might work, the mechanics of it?
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Re: Free Will

#4509  Postby ughaibu » Nov 27, 2016 2:01 pm

archibald wrote:
ughaibu wrote:This definition, too, is defended by both compatibilists and incompatibilists.
I don't think that's correct. I don't think it's defended by many incompatibilists, because it presumes that there's such a thing as an agent.
Well, this is a matter of fact, not of opinion. So, what you think is irrelevant, and yet again, you are mistaken about one of the basics of the discussion. The probability that you will have anything interesting to say about the free will question, unless you considerably increase your background knowledge, is negligible.
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Re: Free Will

#4510  Postby archibald » Nov 27, 2016 4:52 pm

ughaibu wrote:Well, this is a matter of fact, not of opinion. So, what you think is irrelevant, and yet again, you are mistaken about one of the basics of the discussion.


I would disagree, in fact I already did and am happy to stick with what I said, but much more to the point, whichever of us is correct about what incompatibilism is or isn't is largely irrelevant to whether there is free will or not.

In fact, to a large extent, it is, furthermore, irrelevant (to the free will issue) which, if either, of compatibilism or incompatibilism is correct.

As I said before, the two teams on the pitch are not the compatibilists versus the incompatibilists, nor are they the determinists versus the free-willers. Unless the game is taking place in the false dichotomy championships.

You don't seem to be particularly keen to actually engage on the free will issue and answer my questions on it. To me, that looks like a somewhat trivial detour away from the main free will question; does it exist? You know, the question posed in the OP?
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Re: Free Will

#4511  Postby ughaibu » Nov 28, 2016 12:19 am

archibald wrote:
ughaibu wrote:Well, this is a matter of fact, not of opinion. So, what you think is irrelevant, and yet again, you are mistaken about one of the basics of the discussion.
I would disagree
If you disagree with facts, then you are not part of any rational discussion. You are a deniaslist and of no intellectual respectability.
archibald wrote:You don't seem to be particularly keen to actually engage on the free will issue and answer my questions on it. To me, that looks like a somewhat trivial detour away from the main free will question; does it exist?
The above only makes sense on the assumption that it is open to me to answer your questions. In short, you are assuming my free will.
Also, the problem of free will is not "does it exist?" it is how to explain it.
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Re: Free Will

#4512  Postby Cito di Pense » Nov 28, 2016 2:15 am

ughaibu wrote:
Also, the problem of free will is not "does it exist?" it is how to explain it.


Oh, it's easy to 'explain'... after the fact.

Here's the wonderful (and funny) situation, lads and lattices:

The guy freely choosing (rationally) from among realizable alternatives cogitates for awhile, and says, "rationally, I'm going to do this".

"Oh, wait. To prove I have free will, I'm going to do that, instead. No, wait..."


Samuel Beckett wrote a fine little absurdist dramatization of this, involving two fellows named Vladimir and Estragon. Do you see what the problem of 'rational free will' is, yet? Doing nothing is always the rational choice in freedom.

Now, after the filosofeezers have written up their little monographs on free will, with big words like 'compatibilism', and so on, the only heavy lifting that seems to have been done is moving lots of words around.

archibald wrote:The idea was that others would join in, by attempting to counter the 'more choices than a fly' scenario, not that I would prevail.


Well, there you have it, Arch: The fly doesn't have the choice of doing nothing, of inhibiting action. If the fly's action is inhibited, it is inhibited by the action of neuro-inhibitors that suppress the action of the neuro-transmitters. See? If we think about people as collections of molecules, we have something more interesting to think about than 'free will'.

If you could look at the server logs, you'd see this post developed organically, rather than being planned out from the start, and yet it hangs together, does it not?

Nobody with anything really going on upstairs is going to pretend to confront the philosophical question of free will head on, because it's like talking to the wall. We'll be fine if we can just incorporate a little more irony in our discourse, and inhibit the action of talking about ourselves. Yes, we are the authors of our posts, but isn't that kind of obvious?
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Re: Free Will

#4513  Postby archibald » Nov 28, 2016 8:40 am

ughaibu wrote:Also, the problem of free will is not "does it exist?" it is how to explain it.


Well, you may not think it's the problem, because you already assume it exists, but many people aren't making that assumption.

But anyhows, go on then, explain to me how it comes about. Tell me about a free will choice you made recently and how it managed to uncouple itself from all the events leading up to it.
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Re: Free Will

#4514  Postby GrahamH » Nov 28, 2016 8:53 am

archibald wrote:
ughaibu wrote:Also, the problem of free will is not "does it exist?" it is how to explain it.


Well, you may not think it's the problem, because you already assume it exists, but many people aren't making that assumption.

But anyhows, go on then, explain to me how it comes about. Which is what I already asked you.


ughaibu knows it exists because ughaibu defines is merely as "some agents on some occasions consciously choosing from among realisable alternatives" (or something like that). Of course that definition is laden with assumptions that ignore the actual issues.
Indeed various metaphysical scenarios would support such a definition for the supposed "conscious agents" that was not free will by anybody's definition (selection of option experienced as a conscious choice but determined by something else.
Why do you think that?
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Re: Free Will

#4515  Postby archibald » Nov 28, 2016 8:58 am

Cito di Pense wrote:Nobody with anything really going on upstairs is going to pretend to confront the philosophical question of free will head on, because it's like talking to the wall. We'll be fine if we can just incorporate a little more irony in our discourse, and inhibit the action of talking about ourselves. Yes, we are the authors of our posts, but isn't that kind of obvious?


Well if you mean that there is no point in a system which is under the illusion it has free will asking itself if it has free will....or Buzz Lightyear asking himself if he is just a toy robot...then yes.

But at least we can do science on the bugger and come at it slightly sideways.
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Re: Free Will

#4516  Postby archibald » Nov 28, 2016 9:06 am

GrahamH wrote:ughaibu knows it exists because ughaibu defines is merely as "some agents on some occasions consciously choosing from among realisable alternatives" (or something like that). Of course that definition is laden with assumptions that ignore the actual issues.


Personally, I only have a problem with the word 'agent'.

ETA: oh and 'consciously choose'.

GrahamH wrote:Indeed various metaphysical scenarios would support such a definition for the supposed "conscious agents" that was not free will by anybody's definition (selection of option experienced as a conscious choice but determined by something else.


The way I think about it, consciousness (and self-consciousness) only emerge from/after brain activity. I think this is fairly settled. They may interact with brain activity thereafter, in all sorts of complex patterns and feedback loops and waves of neuronal activity, but they don't happen of their own accord in the first place. We all experience them booting up every day when we wake up.

As such, how can anything I become consciously aware of (or if you like made consciously aware of by my brain processes) be anything other than commentary, or reporting after the fact?

We all know, of course, that most of the stuff I do is selected without my self-consciousness being involved at all. To pick up on cito's example, I can even drive my car through several road junctions to the supermarket without consciously 'choosing' (or even being aware of) the manoevures if my brain happens to be distracting me towards something else, such as worrying about whether the supermarket will or won't have the blue cheese pizza I want for dinner.
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Re: Free Will

#4517  Postby GrahamH » Nov 28, 2016 9:26 am

archibald wrote:
GrahamH wrote:ughaibu knows it exists because ughaibu defines is merely as "some agents on some occasions consciously choosing from among realisable alternatives" (or something like that). Of course that definition is laden with assumptions that ignore the actual issues.


Personally, I only have a problem with the word 'agent'.

ETA: oh and 'consciously choose'.


Agreed.

What about "realisable alternative"?
Realisability of any alternative is not testable. It may seem physically possible, and may occur on other similar occasions, but you can never know if any other option is something you could have actually chosen. Maybe you were destined to chose the one option you chose and the apparent freedom you think you had to choose otherwise on that specific occasion is just lack of knowledge about why you act as you do.

I think we are agreed that there is a problem assuming that agency lies in conscious experience, that experience thoughts of willing something may not be self-generating cause that brings about action.
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Re: Free Will

#4518  Postby Cito di Pense » Nov 28, 2016 9:53 am

archibald wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:Nobody with anything really going on upstairs is going to pretend to confront the philosophical question of free will head on, because it's like talking to the wall. We'll be fine if we can just incorporate a little more irony in our discourse, and inhibit the action of talking about ourselves. Yes, we are the authors of our posts, but isn't that kind of obvious?


Well if you mean that there is no point in a system which is under the illusion it has free will asking itself if it has free will....or Buzz Lightyear asking himself if he is just a toy robot...then yes.

But at least we can do science on the bugger and come at it slightly sideways.


Whether or not there's 'freedom', you pay a price when one alternative is taken rather than another, and that price is often the elimination of some other possibility. I just happen to think the discussion of that gets closer to the issue that most people who have 'choice' issues have with their 'choices'. I know it looks grim if the possibilities you might otherwise believe are open to you, aren't. Accepting that they aren't immediately bypasses a lot of the dithering and ritual some people apply to the task of getting on to the next task. Since life is short, dithering may reflect a certain failure to come to terms with something. This is to say that my orientation is definitely in favor of those who want to help people with their issues. If you know why it helps to attack this problem with science, I'm all ears, unless it's just a knee-jerk belief that the scientific method can be applied to such stuff.

I think people who assume free will so they can go on to figure out 'how it works' are simply not yet free of the "hoomins is speshul" disease, and they want to have something interesting to say about what make hoomins so speshul. You know, as if they were looking at the problem from the outside. If somebody just wants to pretend to do science, and learn something about how to manipulate people's 'choices', who's stopping him but the raft of other people who don't want to do anything as difficult as taking the chance on being shown to be wrong. Don't mistake the pop psychology you read for science.
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Re: Free Will

#4519  Postby archibald » Nov 28, 2016 10:19 am

Cito di Pense wrote:Don't mistake the pop psychology you read for science.


I am thinking, for example, of the experiments done in the 1960s (nielsen et al) with which you are probably familiar, where a subject is asked to draw a line on a sheet of paper but is fooled, via some nifty arrangement of mirrors, because the line is actually being drawn by someone else (who deliberately and subtly deviates the line).

https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?sourceid ... ree%20will

The subjects nonetheless appear to believe that they are drawing the line!

I'm not citing that as conclusive, but it definitely hints in the direction of conscious free will as a (confabulated) illusion.

There are other experiments mentioned here, such as those relating to a 'phantom arm' and those involving decisions induced by cranial magnets: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=DTv ... ng&f=false

And then of course there is the sort of stuff Libet started, which others have continued with, including this, from neuroscientist John-Dylan Haynes:

"Brain makes decisions before you even know it"
http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080411/ ... 8.751.html

There are also the split-brain experiments which suggest that we are capable of confabulating our reasons for events when we could not have known the reasons, because the input was severed.

All of which should, at least, I think, raise some small doubt in the minds of those who simply assume they have free will, just because it 'feels like it', or as you say because they think hoomins is speshul.
Last edited by archibald on Nov 28, 2016 11:21 am, edited 11 times in total.
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Re: Free Will

#4520  Postby archibald » Nov 28, 2016 10:33 am

Conscious experience is often unreliable because the brain is always fooling around. This is apparently why 'you' don't notice that your eyes move in rapid jerky saccades (because your actual cone of focussed vision is only 2 degrees in scope, so that you are effectively editing what you see to make a motion film from stills) or that you have a blind spot, or that when you see something in the outside world, more of the visual (ie electro-chemical) signals relating to the observation are coming from inside your brain than from the scene in front of you.

These appear to be some of the things you can't readily get at by asking yourself what is going on (such as if you have free will or not) and they seem to show how science can help us to see 'behind the curtain' of experience (in this case vision), at least to an extent which is less subjective than just asking ourselves what something 'feels like'.
Last edited by archibald on Nov 28, 2016 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
"It seems rather obvious that plants have free will. Don't know why that would be controversial."
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