Free Will

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Re: Free Will

#4601  Postby Fenrir » Nov 29, 2016 1:51 pm

archibald wrote:

In one of the experiments I linked to, the researcher found that the brain makes a decision before (up to 7 seconds before) the brain's owner becomes aware of it, to the extent that the researchers can predict, significantly above chance, what the brain's owner will do before he or she either does it or is conscious of having decided to do it.

That appears to undermine the idea of free will, and I would love to hear how it does not.


I don't see how this undermines the possibility of free will. Just because I am not conscious of making a decision does not mean I did not. Much is happening below the surface, so what if I'm not directly aware of it?

Unless you cobsider my subconscious as not part of me.
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Re: Free Will

#4602  Postby ughaibu » Nov 29, 2016 1:52 pm

archibald wrote:
ughaibu wrote:
archibald wrote:Please. Just engage with the questions.
Okay. Give me the first question.
What do you make of the results of the '7 seconds' experiment?
Nothing.
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Re: Free Will

#4603  Postby archibald » Nov 29, 2016 1:52 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIOCFFRDqKo



That is just a taster. We could find the actual research paper itself.
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Re: Free Will

#4604  Postby archibald » Nov 29, 2016 1:55 pm

Mathematician Marcus du Sautoy explores it here:

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=0c5_1377891062
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Re: Free Will

#4605  Postby LucidFlight » Nov 29, 2016 1:57 pm

Fenrir wrote:
archibald wrote:

In one of the experiments I linked to, the researcher found that the brain makes a decision before (up to 7 seconds before) the brain's owner becomes aware of it, to the extent that the researchers can predict, significantly above chance, what the brain's owner will do before he or she either does it or is conscious of having decided to do it.

That appears to undermine the idea of free will, and I would love to hear how it does not.


I don't see how this undermines the possibility of free will. Just because I am not conscious of making a decision does not mean I did not. Much is happening below the surface, so what if I'm not directly aware of it?

Unless you cobsider my subconscious as not part of me.

Interesting point. It is possible to non-consciously enact free will?

:popcorn:

ETA

And how would that work?
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Re: Free Will

#4606  Postby archibald » Nov 29, 2016 2:01 pm

Here's an abstract from the paper:

Unconscious determinants of free decisions in the human brain.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18408715

"There has been a long controversy as to whether subjectively 'free' decisions are determined by brain activity ahead of time. We found that the outcome of a decision can be encoded in brain activity of prefrontal and parietal cortex up to 10 s before it enters awareness. This delay presumably reflects the operation of a network of high-level control areas that begin to prepare an upcoming decision long before it enters awareness."
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Re: Free Will

#4607  Postby archibald » Nov 29, 2016 2:04 pm

LucidFlight wrote:
Fenrir wrote:
archibald wrote:

In one of the experiments I linked to, the researcher found that the brain makes a decision before (up to 7 seconds before) the brain's owner becomes aware of it, to the extent that the researchers can predict, significantly above chance, what the brain's owner will do before he or she either does it or is conscious of having decided to do it.

That appears to undermine the idea of free will, and I would love to hear how it does not.


I don't see how this undermines the possibility of free will. Just because I am not conscious of making a decision does not mean I did not. Much is happening below the surface, so what if I'm not directly aware of it?

Unless you cobsider my subconscious as not part of me.

Interesting point. It is possible to non-consciously enact free will?

:popcorn:

ETA

And how would that work?


To me, and I suspect to most people who like to think that they have free will, the idea of it being non-conscious is pretty much useless. That's essentially just the brain doing it's thing, the way it does for the vast majority of all the things that we do (free will directed by consciousness being a sort of magical exception).

Non-conscious free will sounds very similar to some versions of compatibilist free will, in that the brain (not 'you' as in your conscious 'self') is free, in the same sense that an unrestrained object in space is free to move in 3 dimensions, or a more complicated robot is free to choose from the options available to it via its algorithms.
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Re: Free Will

#4608  Postby archibald » Nov 29, 2016 2:13 pm

ughaibu wrote:
archibald wrote:
ughaibu wrote:
archibald wrote:Please. Just engage with the questions.
Okay. Give me the first question.
What do you make of the results of the '7 seconds' experiment?
Nothing.


That's fine. If you don't engage with it, why do you even bother to pretend to be actually interested?
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Re: Free Will

#4609  Postby archibald » Nov 29, 2016 2:14 pm

Fenrir wrote:I don't see how this undermines the possibility of free will. Just because I am not conscious of making a decision does not mean I did not. Much is happening below the surface, so what if I'm not directly aware of it?

Unless you consider my subconscious as not part of me.


Well, is your subconscious part of 'you' (or indeed 'I')?

It depends what is meant by 'you'. If we mean the sense of self you consciously experience, then no it isn't.
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Re: Free Will

#4610  Postby newolder » Nov 29, 2016 2:25 pm

LucidFlight wrote:
Fenrir wrote:
archibald wrote:

In one of the experiments I linked to, the researcher found that the brain makes a decision before (up to 7 seconds before) the brain's owner becomes aware of it, to the extent that the researchers can predict, significantly above chance, what the brain's owner will do before he or she either does it or is conscious of having decided to do it.

That appears to undermine the idea of free will, and I would love to hear how it does not.


I don't see how this undermines the possibility of free will. Just because I am not conscious of making a decision does not mean I did not. Much is happening below the surface, so what if I'm not directly aware of it?

Unless you cobsider my subconscious as not part of me.

Interesting point. It is possible to non-consciously enact free will?

:popcorn:

ETA

And how would that work?

Subconsciously and of my own free will I continue to sleep until such a time that I’m awake. The waking process may relate to external influence, sometimes.

Do some relevant brain cells fire much earlier than 7 seconds before I wake? :dunno:

I could sleep for England, btw. :yawn:
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Re: Free Will

#4611  Postby Cito di Pense » Nov 29, 2016 2:45 pm

Fenrir wrote:I don't see how this undermines the possibility of free will.


This is so funny. If only somebody came along and did enough 'undermining', the question would be settled. I mean, you could prove free will just by sufficiently undermining the notion that there isn't any free will.

Sadly, undermining never achieves anything but potholes. One thing that will never be undermined is undermining.

Just don't read 'undetermined' as 'undermined'. Not even on purpose.

Undermining possibility is not easy. Undermining expectation is easier.
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Re: Free Will

#4612  Postby GrahamH » Nov 29, 2016 2:53 pm

Fenrir wrote:
archibald wrote:

In one of the experiments I linked to, the researcher found that the brain makes a decision before (up to 7 seconds before) the brain's owner becomes aware of it, to the extent that the researchers can predict, significantly above chance, what the brain's owner will do before he or she either does it or is conscious of having decided to do it.

That appears to undermine the idea of free will, and I would love to hear how it does not.


I don't see how this undermines the possibility of free will. Just because I am not conscious of making a decision does not mean I did not. Much is happening below the surface, so what if I'm not directly aware of it?

Unless you cobsider my subconscious as not part of me.


Some people make much of "conscious choosing", even to the extent that they take it as obvious that we have free will because we have this experience of making a choice. If the choice is made before consciousness of choosing that concept of free will is undermined. Can you have "unconscious choosing"? Perhaps, but the whole concept gets pretty vague by that stage. What is will if not conscious thought preceding action?

The boundaries become pretty vague as well. It might seem reasonable to extent "me" to include the brain, and the body. Why not include encounters the body has leading up to decision? Why not include your deep past? Aren't your genes "you"? What about all the people I know?

What all the other people I don't know but have encountered however minimally?
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Re: Free Will

#4613  Postby archibald » Nov 29, 2016 3:30 pm

GrahamH wrote:It might seem reasonable to extent "me" to include the brain, and the body. Why not include encounters the body has leading up to decision? Why not include your deep past? Aren't your genes "you"? What about all the people I know?

What all the other people I don't know but have encountered however minimally?


It feels odd to say it but as an externalist, I feel I have to admit that ughaibu (no offense to him, he has very good taste in music) is, as I see it, part of 'me' when I'm interacting with him (and after and possibly before, though probably only very very slightly in the latter case, as in the butterfly effect). Iow, the connections in the system don't necessarily have to be across my internal brain synapses or down my blood vessels. They can go along the internet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internali ... xternalism

But that may be a slight detour, even if related.
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Re: Free Will

#4614  Postby GrahamH » Nov 29, 2016 3:49 pm

archibald wrote:
GrahamH wrote:It might seem reasonable to extent "me" to include the brain, and the body. Why not include encounters the body has leading up to decision? Why not include your deep past? Aren't your genes "you"? What about all the people I know?

What all the other people I don't know but have encountered however minimally?


It feels odd to say it but as an externalist, I feel I have to admit that ughaibu (no offense to him, he has very good taste in music) is, as I see it, part of 'me' when I'm interacting with him (and after and possibly before, though probably only very very slightly in the latter case, as in the butterfly effect). Iow, the connections in the system don't necessarily have to be across my internal brain synapses or down my blood vessels. They can go along the internet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internali ... xternalism

But that may be a slight detour, even if related.


OK. That does go against ughaibu's notion of free will though. Indeed wouldn't it mean that "you" include the gunman coercing Archibald to do things "against your will"? It seems to destroy any notion of "conscious agents" since agency is then dissipated far and wide and there are no individuals that could count as "conscious agents" making their own individual free decisions.
Why do you think that?
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Re: Free Will

#4615  Postby LucidFlight » Nov 29, 2016 3:59 pm

If only evolutionary processes knew the philosophical fun we would be having right now, when it they gave us that "me" feeling.

Edit: bad grandma.
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Re: Free Will

#4616  Postby archibald » Nov 29, 2016 4:13 pm

GrahamH wrote:OK. That does go against ughaibu's notion of free will though. Indeed wouldn't it mean that "you" include the gunman coercing Archibald to do things "against your will"? It seems to destroy any notion of "conscious agents" since agency is then dissipated far and wide and there are no individuals that could count as "conscious agents" making their own individual free decisions.


Yes, it would mean all that.

It might even disallow the word 'individual' too, apart from that term being an approximation, not entirely unanalagous (in some ways) to it being like the centre of gravity of some irregularly-shaped object.
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Re: Free Will

#4617  Postby Cito di Pense » Nov 30, 2016 4:14 am

archibald wrote:
It might even disallow the word 'individual' too,


No, really. Disallowing should be made of sterner stuff. Undermining is better, especially the metaphysical kind, because you don't need to manufacture shovels for the bullshit, and buckets to haul it away in.
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Re: Free Will

#4618  Postby archibald » Nov 30, 2016 9:12 am

Cito di Pense wrote:
archibald wrote:
It might even disallow the word 'individual' too,


No, really. Disallowing should be made of sterner stuff. Undermining is better, especially the metaphysical kind, because you don't need to manufacture shovels for the bullshit, and buckets to haul it away in.


Ok, I thought my 'might' covered that, but yes, undermine is better.
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Re: Free Will

#4619  Postby archibald » Nov 30, 2016 9:13 am

LucidFlight wrote:If only evolutionary processes knew the philosophical fun we would be having right now, when it gave us that "me" feeling.


Exactly. We must never tell them. They wouldn't take it too well.
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Re: Free Will

#4620  Postby GrahamH » Nov 30, 2016 9:30 am

archibald wrote:
LucidFlight wrote:If only evolutionary processes knew the philosophical fun we would be having right now, when it gave us that "me" feeling.


Exactly. We must never tell them. They wouldn't take it too well.


Here we are, doing that. You aren't separating yourself from your evolutionary past are you? It took a while, but evolution got the joke.
Why do you think that?
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