Pebble wrote: ughaibu wrote:
it is barking nonsense to hold that our behaviour is "chemistry or physics doing its thing".
Are you sure?
Yes. As explained above, if all human behaviour is "chemistry and physics doing its thing", then in principle, it would be possible to derive, from laws of chemistry or physics, all behaviour of human beings. But this cannot be done, even in principle, because chemistry and physics are examples of empirical sciences and no empirical science can entail all human behaviour.
Empirical science cannot be conducted unless researchers can accurately and consistently record their observations according to arbitrarily defined conventions. For example, if a researcher defines the observed value of a specified phenomenon to be "-1", they will not be able to conduct their science if upon observing the indicated phenomenon they write "+1". Now, imagine a researcher who has access to the set of laws of some empirical science that entails all human behaviour, and a sufficient description of the universe of interest, sufficient computing power, etc. That researcher would be able to stick the required input into a computer and get an answer to the question "after observing the result of the computation, which will I write earliest "-1" or "+1"?" But the researcher can set as their recording procedure the following: if the computation predicts "-1", record this by immediately writing "+1", and if the computation predicts "+1", record this by immediately writing "-1"
So, the only way to have an empirical science with laws that entail all human behaviour is to lose the ability to conduct empirical science. In short, no empirical science can have laws that entail all human behaviour.
Yet it is clear that at a basic neuronal level that is the only viable model, so scaling up is the only reasonable hypothesis in the market.
Chemistry and physics are concerned only with those phenomena that can form the subject of an experiment in the sciences of chemistry or physics. There is no reason to think that they are any more relevant to the free will debate than anthropology, psychology or sociology are. In all cases we are talking about human activities that include the assumption that their practitioners have free will. Accordingly, no empirical science could ever consistently show that there is no free will, but neither could any ever show that there is free will. Basically, science is irrelevant to the discussion, but none of this should be a surprise because determinism, the thesis most relevant to the debate, is a stance apropos mooted laws of nature, and these are emphatically not laws of science.