I am worried that some of what I have always believed to be my freely made decisions may actually result from physical processes in my brain which are either, on the one hand, completely random, or on the other hand, entirely deterministic (even if intractably complex). I don't think it is fair that I should be held accountable for such decisions! Can someone please explain how I can tell when I am exercising *genuine* free will, as opposed to this pseudo-free variety, which clearly I have no control over?

--Stathis Papaioannou

From: Pete Carlton <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: everything-list@eskimo.com
Subject: John Conway, "Free Will Theorem"
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 01:30:00 -0700


I recently attended a talk here in Berkeley, California given by John Conway (of 'Game of Life' fame), in which he discussed some of his results with Simon Kochen, extending the Kochen-Specker paradox. He presents this as the "Free Will Theorem", saying basically that particles must have as much "free will" as the experimenters who are deciding which directions to measure the |spin| of a spin-1 particle in.
--I would replace his words "free will" with "indeterminacy", but there is still an interesting paradox lurking there.

A good online writeup is here:

I wrote up my brief take on it, necessarily from a more philosophical angle, here:
http://homepage.mac.com/pmcarlton/iblog/C1074759898/E263558720/ index.html
and here:
http://homepage.mac.com/pmcarlton/iblog/C1074759898/E688049825/ index.html.

I have the intuition that a multiverse approach very readily dissolves his mystery, but am not quite sure how to formally work it out. I thought some people on this list might be interested, or have a ready answer in hand - in particular, I'd like to know if this 'paradox' really is a paradox in one or more of the multiverse conceptions discussed here.

thanks and best regards,

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