On Fri, Nov 19, 2010 at 8:32 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
>
> On 18 Nov 2010, at 07:31, Rex Allen wrote:
>> As for my definition of free will:
>>
>> "The ability to make choices that are neither random nor caused."
>>
>> Obviously there is no such ability, since "random" and "caused"
>> exhaust the possibilities.
>>
>> But some people believe in the existence of such an ability anyway.
>>
>> Why?  Well...either there's a reason that they do, or there isn't...
>
>
> Lol.
> I agree with you. With your definition of free will, it does not exist.

I think that if you question most people who believe in free will
closely, my definition is what their position boils down to.


> But your reasoning does not apply to free will in the sense I gave: the
> ability to choose among alternatives that *I* cannot predict in advance (so
> that *from my personal perspective* it is not entirely due to reason nor do
> to randomness).

So that is a good description of the subjective feeling of free will.
But if you question most people closely, this isn't what they mean by
“free will”.

They mean the ability to make choices that aren't random, but which
also aren't caused.

They have the further belief that since the choices aren't random or
caused, the chooser bears ultimate responsibility for them.

This further belief doesn't seem to follow from any particular chain
of reasoning.  It's just another belief that this kind of person has.

Silly, I know.


> When you say "random or not random", you are applying the third excluded
> middle which, although arguably true ontically, is provably wrong for most
> personal points of view.  We have p v ~p, but this does not entail Bp v B~p,
> for B used for almost any hypostasis (points of view).

I'd think that ontically is what matters in this particular case?

Why would I care about whether or why I or anyone else *seem* to have
free will from their personal points of view?

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