Hi William,

OK I found it on the net:

http://www.socialbehavior.uzh.ch/teaching/semsocialneurosciencespring09/Haynes_NatNeurosci_2008_ext.pdf

But my comment will consist in repeating what I am always saying about free will or free decision.

The existence of free acts has nothing to do with the fact that such acts are determined, in advance or not.
The article, relatively to what I try to convey preaches the chore.

Given that free will is a high level self-referential ability, it would be astonishing that the brain has not a lot of work to do, and this including the transformation of the will into act.

Given that mechanism is my working hypothesis, the will cannot, in no direct ways, influence any of my parts, say, at my substitution level. "I" am emerging from billions of amoebas (neuronal cells) which got the cables (axon), and without using drugs, I cannot interfere deliberately on this or that specific neurons.

Also, I don't know if you have read my papers, but I do not attach consciousness to a working brain, only to an abstract person, which lives really in Platonia, and uses "only" its local brain to manifest itself relatively to me with some high probability. But the consciousness itself is attached to infinities of computations (existing through elementary arithmetic, or combinators, etc.).

I mean, how, in the mechanist frame, a complex decision, like those based on the free will, could be done without the brain doing a vast set of relevant computations. That it can take 10 seconds is almost astonishing of brevity. In my life, the most "free-will" type of decision seems for asking years of brain processing :)

It is not astonishing that for local quick decision we are deluded on their exact relative timing, but then we are deluded on time in general.

Such kind "attack" on "free-will" criticizes just a sort of magical conception of the will. Not the one based explicitly on mechanist hypotheses. It is like the book by atheists saying that God does not exist, and then refers only to a notion of God, about which it is well known that scientific (modest, interrogative) reflexion has been banished since centuries.

The position I take on free will is called compatibilism in the literature. It is just self-determinacy, with "self" mainly defined by recursion equations in computer science (+ intensional nuances). Self- determinacy takes computational time, that is normal. You may elaborate if you feel I am missing something.

Bruno


On 13 Mar 2010, at 18:19, L.W. Sterritt wrote:

Bruno,

Would you comment on C.S.Soon et al, "Unconscious determinants of free decisions in the human brain," Nature Neuroscience, 11, 543 - 545 (2008) ? In this paper, the "split second" becomes 10 seconds. Sorry if this has been addressed before in this list.

William


On Mar 13, 2010, at 3:37 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:


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 .

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.

Reply via email to