Posted: Nov 29, 2016 2:04 pm
by archibald
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?



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.