If "free will" simply means "self-determination" then Jonathan is right, and to the extent we are self-determined we have free will. He says, "the only relevant question as to whether our will is free is whether our conscious minds (our selves) determine our actions."
But what about the sufferers of schizophrenia who Stathis Papaioannou referred to? They exercise self-determination, and their mental state is such that their actions, at least in some cases, are completely predictable. Do they have free will? Another example might be a self-aware computer of the future that would be programmed to have predictable actions as well as self-determination. Would it have free will? In both cases, the actions of the Self-Aware Organism are predictable, hence their will is not free. They are bound by their destiny. To have free will, the actions of a SAO cannot be completely predictable. To be free of complete predictability, at least some of the SAO's actions must ultimately depend on some kind of random event. At the most fundamental level, this must be quantum indeterminacy. Norman Samish ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ From: "Jonathan Colvin" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> This discussion is exhibiting the usual confusion about what free will means. The concept itself is incoherent as generally used (taken as meaning my actions are not determined). But then in this case they must be merely random (which is hardly an improvement), or we require recourse to a Descartian immaterial dualism, which merely pushes the problem back one level. The only sensible meaning of free will is *self-determination*. Once looked at in this manner, quantum indeterminacy is irrelevant. Our actions are determined by the state of our minds. Whether these states are random, chaotically deterministic, or predictably deterministic is irrelevant; the only relevant question as to whether our will is free is whether our conscious minds (our selves) determine our actions. In most circumstances, the answer is surely "yes", and so we have self-determination and hence free will. Sleepwalking, reflexes, etc. are examples of actions that are not consciously self-determined, and so are not examples of free will. Jonathan Colvin