On 6/1/2012 7:56 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 31 May 2012, at 23:12, meekerdb wrote:

On 5/31/2012 1:41 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On May 31, 3:49 pm, John Clark<johnkcl...@gmail.com>  wrote:

There were reasons behind Lewis Carroll's writings and so what he wrote was
nonsense not gibberish; "I do six impossible things before breakfast" is
nonsense, "sdfgsaiywjevry66baq" is gibberish, as is "free will".
Except that sdfgsaiywjevry66baq is not in every dictionary of the
English language that exists, but free will is. It's not a term that
is looked up very often though probably, since everyone except you
knows exactly what it means already.

Sam Harris just wrote a short book titled "Free Will" and from the comments it has elicited it's apparent that there is very little agreement as to what it means. Sam, for example, rejects compatibilist free will (e.g. as defended by Daniel Dennett) because he says 'free will' decisions must be conscious decisions.

The idea that free will need consciousness and the idea of compatibilism seems compatible to me. Have you an idea why Sam find those ideas incompatible?

Because, almost all of our thinking, including making decisions, is unconscious. I think he implicitly relies on the fold idea of free will so, "How can I be the author of my decision if I didn't even think about it." He argues that we can't accept the unconscious working of our bodies as instantiating free will decisions because, he says, it would be absurd to accept the actions of bacteria in your body as representing your free will. Of course Sam rejects incompatibilist free will too and says free will is an illusion of an illusion.

Anyway, if you're interested you can read it yourself, it's only 66 pages.




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