Bruno, Thanks to your lucid explanation I begin to glimpse the beauty of comp. Please check my reasoning here. If materialism is correct, the brain can be compared to a computer which contains the programming for higher order languages (e.g. word processors, spreadsheets, paintbrush etc.) but requires an external input to implement the creative potential of those languages. For a computer the input is man; for the brain the input might be God, chance, spirits or what have you. Comp, however is already itself a higher language per se with the potential capacity to manipulate and implement higher order languages within itself and without external input. Since the brain could have developed higher order languages through five million years of evolution, it can be credited with the faculties of consciousness and decision-making. But free will is precluded by its basic material composition; its decisions are predetermined. Whereas comp, not being material, could also process consciousness, and understand decision-making AND have the ability to decide freely among alternatives and act accordingly. marty a.
----- Original Message ----- From: Bruno Marchal To: email@example.com Sent: Saturday, March 13, 2010 6:37 AM Subject: Re: Free will: Wrong entry. On 12 Mar 2010, at 21:53, m.a. wrote: I agree with you that quantum indeterminacy doesn't affect (free) will: "Quantum mechanics is local and deterministic, and explains why it seems indeterministic to the 99,9999...% of the observers." (3/12/2010 7:58 AM), which is why I feel that your use of the words "ability" and "develop" when you say: "the ability of a person to develop personal goals and to satisfy them in absence of coercion" (above) can as easily refer to completely determined processes which introspection identfies as voluntary a split second afterwards ... as it can anything else. m.a. Are you thinking to Libet's experiences? Anyway, if Libet's experiences has been repeated and confirmed (which is quite plausible). It would demolish only a pseudo-mystic conception of free-will where a 'substantial soul' would somehow influence the brain, or why not, directly the arms, ... or the spoon. Some materialist used Mechanism, not to for formulating or solving, the mind body problem, but for eliminating the mind and its attributes. Mental things does not really exists, only matter. And so no free will, nor even consciousness for the most extremists. The general mistake here (imo) consists in believing that reducing higher order epistemological notion to lower order notions eliminates the importance or the existence of the higher order notions. Or more generally, that representing an unknown field in a known field, eliminates the unknown field. It may eliminate it from the primitive ontology, but this does not mean it is eliminate from the appearances or from the experiences. If that was true a materialist eliminativist would never take a pain killer. And if we are (apparently material) machine, then, if we are digital machine, we are immaterial or abstract, or higher order, machine or number. The whole coupling consciousness/realties emerge, and thus is reduced, to the additive and multiplicative structure of numbers. This does not make disappear neither consciousness, nor the first person (singular and plural) material perception of matter. Free will is just very hard to define. It needs consciousness, it implies a partial control of the self with respect to its most probable "macro-histories" (macro = above its comp substitution level). George Orwell said that freedom is the right to say that 2+2 = 4. I would say that free will is the will to say that 2+2 = 4. Bruno http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/ -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to everything-l...@googlegroups.com. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en. -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to everything-l...@googlegroups.com. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.