On Tue, Apr 12, 2005 at 09:45:49AM -0700, "Hal Finney" wrote:
> The question of free will has generated an enormous
> amount of philosophical literature.  I'd suggest reading
> at least the first part of this page on "Compatibilism",
> http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/compatibilism/.  Compatibilism is the
> doctrine that free will is compatible with determinism.  Probably the
> most well known advocacy of compatibilism is Daniel Dennett'e 1984 book
> Elbow Room.  From the page above:
> > Compatibilism offers a solution to the free will problem. This
> > philosophical problem concerns a disputed incompatibility between free
> > will and determinism. Compatibilism is the thesis that free will is
> > compatible with determinism. Because free will is taken to be a necessary
> > condition of moral responsibility, compatibilism is sometimes expressed
> > in terms of a compatibility between moral responsibility and determinism.
> >

"Moral" responsibility is nothing more than a pre-legal version of
legal responsibility. It has nothing to do with free-will.

Also we live in a nondeterministic world. With compatibilism, we need
to ask why. With incompatibalism, we merely need to ask why free-will
is necessary for consciousness.

The whole debate you quote from Dennett seems quaint and out of date...


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