On 5/13/2012 9:21 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 12 May 2012, at 19:50, John Clark wrote:

On Sat, May 12, 2012 at 8:34 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be <mailto:marc...@ulb.ac.be>> wrote:

    > although machines can be said determined, they are not entirely
    determined from what they can know about themselves at the time
    they decide to act.

As I've said many many times, Turing proved in 1936 that in general there is no shortcut and the only way to know what a machine will do is to watch it and see, even the machine does not know what it will do until it does it.

Hi Bruno,

OK. That is the relative indeterminacy that we can use to give meaning to choice, responsibiliy, free will. Nothing to do with quantum, or with the comp first person indeterminacy.

Is the "relative indeterminacy" a uniform measure? No, it is context dependent.

The Turing indeterminacy is not an absolute indeterminacy.What the amchine will do or not is entirely determined by arithmetical truth. It is just that we, observing the machine, cannot know the result in advance. But the result is independent of us, and mathematically well defined.

This "cannot know the results in advance" is the SAT problem that I keep trying to get you to look at! All that verbiage about "independent of us" and "mathematically well defined" is rubbish and you know it! You are assuming something that you cannot actually do, pretending that you have access to infinite resources and still are "you". That is where your narrative breaks down.

    > It [free will] means the ability to chose among a set of future

So free will means the ability to choose and the ability to choose means you have free will, and round and round we go.

The ability to communicate a reasoning as to "why we did what we did" = "free will".

Right. The ability to choose is a good first approximation of free will. It is not exactly that, because you can choose by throwing a coin, and this wold be a case of choice without free will. So it is probably closer to the ability of making a responsible choice.

No amount of mental contortions can avoid the fact that you made the choice for a reason or you did not make the choice for a reason. You're a coo coo clock or a roulette wheel, there is no third alternative.

No problem with that.

    > Situation like that abounds in the laws, jurisprudence,

And that's why jurisprudence works so poorly and contains so many self contradictions.


But it is jurisprudence that actually solves otherwise intractable problems in the real world. The idea that we can create a world where all decisions are done in advance is a fatally flawed fantasy.

    > although he is determined, he can't be aware of the determination.

That's what Turing proved and I've been saying for months. So what are we arguing about?

To put light on free will, choice, responsibility, etc.

    > Free-will is a higher order relational notion, and it is
    totally unrelated to the determinacy question

Oh I'd forgotten, that's what we're arguing about.

You just it above: the ability of making non random choice, or of doing reasonable choice, or responsible choice, in absence of complete information, I would add.

    And more! :-D


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/ <http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/%7Emarchal/>



"Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed."
~ Francis Bacon

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