> -----Original Message-----
> From: Brent Meeker [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
> Sent: Wednesday, 24 October 2001 12:06 p.m.
> To: Charles Goodwin
> Cc: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
> Subject: RE: ODP: Free will/consciousness/ineffabili
> My intuition doesn't tell me whether or not I would have a 'feeling' of
> free will if I were aware of my subconscious decision processes; but it's
> pretty clear that I could be completely un-conscious and still behave with
> 'free will'; whatever it is.
My suggestion is that it's lack of knowledge of these subconscious processes which
gives you a feeling of free will. If you don't
know what a feeling of free will means (hence the quotes?) I'd suggest it's the
feeling that you reached a decision uninfluenced by
anything external to yourself. However if you could follow all the subconscious
processes (you couldn't of course, by definition
your consciousness isn't aware of them) then you'd see that what felt like an
'uninfluenced' decision was actually the result of
past numerous influences, which had caused your brain to have a particular
Yes, presumably you *could* be unconscious and have free will, in the sense that your
actions couldn't be predicted accurately by
some other agent. (Try to swat a fly and you will see what I mean!)
> What if your subconscious decision processes became known to you *after*
> you had made your decision and 'felt' that free will. Would you feel
> something different then?
I don't see what you mean. You'd probably feel different from how you felt when you
made your decision whether you became aware of
the subconscious processes or not. If you DID become "aware" of the s.p.s it could
only be as the result of years of laboriously
tracing through neural connections inside some map that someone made of your brain
while you were making the decision. (And
presumably more years of tracing through previous maps of your brain which showed how
various events in the past caused it to be
configured the way it was at the time, if you want a FULL understanding.) I'm not sure
that you could ever become "aware" of all
this in any realistic sense of the word. Perhaps a super-intelligent alien could
apprehend the processes in your brain "at a glance"
and see what was going on, and THEY would feel that your decision was an inevitable
consequence of how your brain was configured,
but YOU couldn't.