Free Will

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

Moderators: Calilasseia, ADParker

Re: Free Will

#6481  Postby romansh » Feb 17, 2017 2:35 am

scott1328 wrote:Au contraire. He could have examined the very predictable consequences of his actions and chosen a less assholish path.

Bearing in mind the above statement and your statement below:
scott1328 wrote:
I do not accept either proposition as true.

I do not believe that one could do otherwise
I do not believe that one could not do otherwise

Is this clear?

Yes it is totally clear.
"That's right!" shouted Vroomfondel, "we demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!"
User avatar
romansh
 
Posts: 2491

Country: BC Can (in the woods)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Free Will

#6482  Postby scott1328 » Feb 17, 2017 3:51 am

Yes it is difficult to phrase counter factuals about options not chosen.

Nevertheless, presumably archibald is a reasonably normal human being with reasonably normal cognitive abilities, and an ability to read and comprehend the Fua,and also that another party was not coercing him to behave badly.

With those caveats in mind: archibald had available all that was needed to make a free choice to violate the fua on numerous occasions.

You too are free to choose to twist what I say to suit yourself.
User avatar
scott1328
 
Name: Some call me... Tim
Posts: 8038
Male

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Free Will

#6483  Postby romansh » Feb 17, 2017 4:53 am

Scott
Free choice? But could he have done otherwise? Au contraire implies to me that you believed he could.

Now that is interesting. This is why I think the compatibilist definition misses the mark somehow. Even Graham gave you a heads up as to what your reply implied.

Exactly how did I twist what you said [yes you did imply it] ... those are your own freely chosen words?
Not that it is your fault, but please don't put your faux freedom on me.

If you truly were led to believe your I don't believe statements, you would not have replied in the way you did. You could have asked me what makes me say archi could have not done otherwise. You could have asked for evidence. But no, you freely showed you beliefs.
"That's right!" shouted Vroomfondel, "we demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!"
User avatar
romansh
 
Posts: 2491

Country: BC Can (in the woods)
Print view this post

Re: Free Will

#6484  Postby scott1328 » Feb 17, 2017 5:05 am

I was commenting on the choices archibald had. That is all. You are imputing meaning I did not intend.
User avatar
scott1328
 
Name: Some call me... Tim
Posts: 8038
Male

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Free Will

#6485  Postby romansh » Feb 17, 2017 5:17 am

scott1328 wrote:I was commenting on the choices archibald had. That is all. You are imputing meaning I did not intend.

cf
scott1328 wrote:
romansh wrote:
... he could not have done otherwise.

Au contraire. He could have ...

Imputing meaning?

Have I not been clear on what I mean by could not do otherwise?
"That's right!" shouted Vroomfondel, "we demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!"
User avatar
romansh
 
Posts: 2491

Country: BC Can (in the woods)
Print view this post

Re: Free Will

#6486  Postby scott1328 » Feb 17, 2017 5:42 am

Do you understand that could is the past tense of can?

Shall I phrase it thus "au contraire, he was able to have examined the..."?

I don't know how otherwise to refer to an ability a person had at a past time.
User avatar
scott1328
 
Name: Some call me... Tim
Posts: 8038
Male

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Free Will

#6487  Postby GrahamH » Feb 17, 2017 7:30 am

scott1328 wrote:Yes it is difficult to phrase counter factuals about options not chosen.

Nevertheless, presumably archibald is a reasonably normal human being with reasonably normal cognitive abilities, and an ability to read and comprehend the Fua,and also that another party was not coercing him to behave badly.

With those caveats in mind: archibald had available all that was needed to make a free choice to violate the fua on numerous occasions.

You too are free to choose to twist what I say to suit yourself.


Archibald might claim he was provoked (by me?), that because I didn't agree with him he felt compelled to keep arguing, which agitated him to an emotional state of insults and so on.

Another person would have handled it differently. On some other occasion Archibald would have handled it differently. If this occasion had been somehow different he would have made different choices. But on this occasion, in those precise circumstances, people made the choices they made. What's the point of of saying he could have done otherwise? Say he should have done otherwise, as guidance for the future. Say you would have done otherwise as a comparison.

You might say that's is what you meant, but then are in the free will topic and you used the phrase "to make a free choice"

I'd say it's similarly unhelpful for romansh to say "he could not have done otherwise". That seems as pointless as "he did what he did."
Why do you think that?
GrahamH
 
Posts: 18343

Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Free Will

#6488  Postby Cito di Pense » Feb 17, 2017 7:32 am

scott1328 wrote:Do you understand that could is the past tense of can?

Shall I phrase it thus "au contraire, he was able to have examined the..."?

I don't know how otherwise to refer to an ability a person had at a past time.


The auxiliary 'could' does not express time or tense. It expresses mood, a mood of potential or expectation. When you add the perfective tense (could have done, and so on) it's still an auxiliary expressing mood, but now, as we say, after the fact, which is where all our discussion is taking place. With or without the perfect tense, we're speculating about stuff that hasn't happened yet. "Otherwise" is a speculation. Perhaps romansh is twiddling a many-worlds scenario, even though he's stuck with this one that we have.

Reference for grammar:

@Carson-Newman University, Tennessee
http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/grammar_moods.html

Most Indo-European languages, in addition to verb tenses (which demonstrate time), have verb moods (which indicate a state of being or reality). For instance, the most common moods in English include the following:
The indicative (indicating a state of factuality and reality): "A cat sits on the stove." Most sentences in English are in the indicative mood. It simply states a fact of some sort, or describes what happens, or gives details about reality.
The imperative (indicating a state of command): "Give me back my money." One marker of the imperative is that frequently the subject does not appear in the sentence, but is only implied: "(You) Give me back my money."
The interrogative (indicating a state of questioning): "Will you leave me alone now?" One marker of the interrogative is that frequently the speaker inverts the subject-verb order by placing the helping verb first, before the subject: "Will you leave me alone?" instead of "You will leave me alone." Frequently the interrogative appears with requests for a course of action or requests for information.
The conditional (indicating a conditional state that will cause something else to happen): "The bomb might explode if I jiggle that switch." Also, "The bomb could explode if you jiggle that switch." The conditional is marked by the words might, could, and would. Frequently, a phrase in the conditional appears closely linked to a phrase in the subjunctive (see below) preceded by a subordinate conjunction like if.
Another, rarer mood is the subjunctive mood (indicating a hypothetical state, a state contrary to reality, such as a wish, a desire, or an imaginary situation). It is harder to explain the subjunctive. Five hundred years ago, English had a highly developed subjunctive mood. However, after the fourteenth century, speakers of English used the subjunctive less frequently. Today, the mood has practically vanished; modern speakers tend to use the conditional forms of "could" and "would" to indicate statements contrary to reality. The subjunctive only survives in a few, fossilized examples, which can be confusing.


GrahamH wrote:Say he should have done otherwise, as guidance for the future.


Even saying what one 'should' do is conditioned on the results one presumably wants.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
User avatar
Cito di Pense
 
Name: Ivar Poäng
Posts: 26259
Age: 7
Male

Country: The Heartland
Mongolia (mn)
Print view this post

Re: Free Will

#6489  Postby GrahamH » Feb 17, 2017 7:37 am

Cito di Pense wrote:Even saying what one 'should' do is conditioned on the results one presumably wants.



Of course. Isn't any discussion of responsibility for action about what one want to be the case?
Why do you think that?
GrahamH
 
Posts: 18343

Print view this post

Re: Free Will

#6490  Postby Cito di Pense » Feb 17, 2017 7:38 am

romansh wrote:
Have I not been clear on what I mean by could not do otherwise?


It makes a difference, too, whether this is in the first (or second or third) person. "Could have" expresses freedom, and "could not have" expresses lack thereof. Do you want to say, "It's more than a feeling..."? Rock on, romansh!
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
User avatar
Cito di Pense
 
Name: Ivar Poäng
Posts: 26259
Age: 7
Male

Country: The Heartland
Mongolia (mn)
Print view this post

Re: Free Will

#6491  Postby Cito di Pense » Feb 17, 2017 7:42 am

GrahamH wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:Even saying what one 'should' do is conditioned on the results one presumably wants.


Of course. Isn't any discussion of responsibility for action about what one want to be the case?


I still think you have to state that as part of the deal. Otherwise, it's just an abstraction of the way you think people operate. In general, responsibility leads to consideration of capacity, and in that case, it doesn't matter what we want, except to say that we want to treat people fairly based on their capacities, but it's very murky to work out why we might want that, and in some cases, such as occasionally here at RatSkep, it just isn't worth the bother.

I'm not interested in how your discussion with Archibald became so acrimonious. As I say, it's a stupid argument that cannot be resolved, because it's only about what people might want. Scott neither believes one could do otherwise nor does not believe one could do otherwise in the abstract. Only someone who wants something actually cares about 'otherwise', and you have to get to cases. People tend to want a lot more than they can get their hands on.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
User avatar
Cito di Pense
 
Name: Ivar Poäng
Posts: 26259
Age: 7
Male

Country: The Heartland
Mongolia (mn)
Print view this post

Re: Free Will

#6492  Postby archibald » Feb 17, 2017 8:14 am

I see that in my short absence, scott's mask has finally slipped off. :)
"It seems rather obvious that plants have free will. Don't know why that would be controversial."
(John Platko)
archibald
 
Posts: 9511
Male

Country: Northern Ireland
Print view this post

Re: Free Will

#6493  Postby Cito di Pense » Feb 17, 2017 9:50 am

archibald wrote:I see that in my short absence, scott's mask has finally slipped off. :)


Or you could look at it differently: When we say people have choices, we say more about ourselves than about them. We still don't know whether they have choices or not.

As Dennett pointed out, if you do have choices, don't disclose them, because that will reduce their effectiveness. His example was Rock-Paper-Scissors. If you want to cooperate with other people, your choices are severely reduced.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
User avatar
Cito di Pense
 
Name: Ivar Poäng
Posts: 26259
Age: 7
Male

Country: The Heartland
Mongolia (mn)
Print view this post

Re: Free Will

#6494  Postby GrahamH » Feb 17, 2017 10:13 am

Cito di Pense wrote:As Dennett pointed out, if you do have choices, don't disclose them, because that will reduce their effectiveness. His example was Rock-Paper-Scissors. If you want to cooperate with other people, your choices are severely reduced.


Where people are uncertain there may be tactical advantage.
Why do you think that?
GrahamH
 
Posts: 18343

Print view this post

Re: Free Will

#6495  Postby scott1328 » Feb 17, 2017 12:39 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
scott1328 wrote:Do you understand that could is the past tense of can?

Shall I phrase it thus "au contraire, he was able to have examined the..."?

I don't know how otherwise to refer to an ability a person had at a past time.


The auxiliary 'could' does not express time or tense. It expresses mood, a mood of potential or expectation. When you add the perfective tense (could have done, and so on) it's still an auxiliary expressing mood, but now, as we say, after the fact, which is where all our discussion is taking place. With or without the perfect tense, we're speculating about stuff that hasn't happened yet. "Otherwise" is a speculation. Perhaps romansh is twiddling a many-worlds scenario, even though he's stuck with this one that we have.

Reference for grammar:

@Carson-Newman University, Tennessee
http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/grammar_moods.html

Most Indo-European languages, in addition to verb tenses (which demonstrate time), have verb moods (which indicate a state of being or reality). For instance, the most common moods in English include the following:
The indicative (indicating a state of factuality and reality): "A cat sits on the stove." Most sentences in English are in the indicative mood. It simply states a fact of some sort, or describes what happens, or gives details about reality.
The imperative (indicating a state of command): "Give me back my money." One marker of the imperative is that frequently the subject does not appear in the sentence, but is only implied: "(You) Give me back my money."
The interrogative (indicating a state of questioning): "Will you leave me alone now?" One marker of the interrogative is that frequently the speaker inverts the subject-verb order by placing the helping verb first, before the subject: "Will you leave me alone?" instead of "You will leave me alone." Frequently the interrogative appears with requests for a course of action or requests for information.
The conditional (indicating a conditional state that will cause something else to happen): "The bomb might explode if I jiggle that switch." Also, "The bomb could explode if you jiggle that switch." The conditional is marked by the words might, could, and would. Frequently, a phrase in the conditional appears closely linked to a phrase in the subjunctive (see below) preceded by a subordinate conjunction like if.
Another, rarer mood is the subjunctive mood (indicating a hypothetical state, a state contrary to reality, such as a wish, a desire, or an imaginary situation). It is harder to explain the subjunctive. Five hundred years ago, English had a highly developed subjunctive mood. However, after the fourteenth century, speakers of English used the subjunctive less frequently. Today, the mood has practically vanished; modern speakers tend to use the conditional forms of "could" and "would" to indicate statements contrary to reality. The subjunctive only survives in a few, fossilized examples, which can be confusing.


GrahamH wrote:Say he should have done otherwise, as guidance for the future.


Even saying what one 'should' do is conditioned on the results one presumably wants.

Could is the correct past tense form for can. That it is also used as a modal for other purposes is unfortunate. For example:

Yesterday I could enjoy archibald's absence. Today I cannot.
Yesterday I was able to enjoy archibald's absence. Today I am not able to.

https://simple.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/can

Did you know, Cito, that "were" is the subjuntive form of "to be"? Shall we reinterpret everyone's usage of that word as a subjunctive statement expressing a desire or a wish, or a counterfactual?

Regardless, even if my meaning was unclear, I have clarified it now. I was describing a state of affairs in the past. I was not describing a metaphysical stance. Jesus titty fucking Christ.
User avatar
scott1328
 
Name: Some call me... Tim
Posts: 8038
Male

United States (us)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Free Will

#6496  Postby archibald » Feb 17, 2017 12:50 pm

Could everyone please just try to stay calm in here? :smug:
"It seems rather obvious that plants have free will. Don't know why that would be controversial."
(John Platko)
archibald
 
Posts: 9511
Male

Country: Northern Ireland
Print view this post

Re: Free Will

#6497  Postby DavidMcC » Feb 17, 2017 12:56 pm

archibald wrote:Could everyone please just try to stay calm in here? :smug:

Yeah, and maybe talk about free will instead of grammar! :roll:
May The Voice be with you!
DavidMcC
 
Name: David McCulloch
Posts: 14913
Age: 65
Male

Country: United Kigdom
United Kingdom (uk)
 
Birthday
Print view this post

Re: Free Will

#6498  Postby GrahamH » Feb 17, 2017 1:00 pm

scott1328 wrote:
Yesterday I was able to enjoy archibald's absence. Today I am not able to.


You can enjoy an absence of Archibald if you wish. Just be where he is not.
Why do you think that?
GrahamH
 
Posts: 18343

Print view this post

Re: Free Will

#6499  Postby archibald » Feb 17, 2017 1:02 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
archibald wrote:Could everyone please just try to stay calm in here? :smug:

Yeah, and maybe talk about free will instead of grammar! :roll:


Exactly.

Though in the absence of being able to clarify, I'm now I'm stuck with a mental image of Jesus titty fucking himself.

And the worst part is it's turning me on.
"It seems rather obvious that plants have free will. Don't know why that would be controversial."
(John Platko)
archibald
 
Posts: 9511
Male

Country: Northern Ireland
Print view this post

Re: Free Will

#6500  Postby DavidMcC » Feb 17, 2017 1:09 pm

archibald wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
archibald wrote:Could everyone please just try to stay calm in here? :smug:

Yeah, and maybe talk about free will instead of grammar! :roll:


Exactly.

Though in the absence of being able to clarify, I'm now I'm stuck with a mental image of Jesus titty fucking himself.

And the worst part is it's turning me on.

What us it with you, free will and Jesus?
Are you one of those people who associate the issue of free will with religious nuttery? If so, please remember that I use the phrase in a rational way, not a religious one.
May The Voice be with you!
DavidMcC
 
Name: David McCulloch
Posts: 14913
Age: 65
Male

Country: United Kigdom
United Kingdom (uk)
 
Birthday
Print view this post

PreviousNext

Return to Philosophy

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 5 guests