Posted: Aug 21, 2017 2:25 pm
by GrahamH
Isn't free will about the assumption that "I act because I will it"? Absent knowledge of just what it means to have intentional thoughts and how they are caused to form it seems that our thoughts cause our actions. If we could probe deeply into a causal mechanism to trace the genesis of every thought it would probably be clear that we don't actually originate any of this from within a subjective mind and that therefore we act for reasons other than will but that experience of intentional thoughts goes along with many actions. We could think of will as self prediction. Anticipation of what we are about to do (for reasons too complex to sense or comprehend).
This seems to pose problems in making meaningful distinctions between free and unfree willed actions. If we can trace some explicit coercion by another person we can call that unfree. If our self prediction is wrong and we act contrary to what we think we wanted to do we might rationalise that as unfree action.