On 6/2/2012 11:45 AM, John Mikes wrote:
Did ANYBODY so far - among those ~100(+?) posts (so far erased in this discussion) *I D E N T I F Y* */_free will_/*?

I've tried to identify two meanings: One, which I consider unproblematic, is the social and legal attribute of decisions which are not coerced. The other is the folk meaning attributing decisions to a spirit or soul which can initiate physical events but which is independent of all prior physical events.

Brent


I red about a /_'relatively'_/ free will, (= among (given) choices) as well as 'totally freely chosen' decisions etc. etc. - none of them too impressive. I tried to substantiate several time that we live in a steadily evolving state of cognition and consider (observe?) as of yesterday more than earlier, consequently (by induction) there is more to the "world" than our today-s position. Whatever we know - either consciously, or not knowingly: subconsciously adds to our decision making and by tomorrow we may be able to draw different conclusions.
(When I wrote my reply up to this point, my mailbox induced Brian's post:)
-------------------------------
/_"*The capacity*_ (which can be defined) *_of an agent_* (which can be defined) *_to be able_* (which can be defined) *_to choose_* (which can be defined) *_when_* (which can be defined) *_presented_* (which can be defined) *_with a choice_* (which can be defined).//Certainly not meaningless. - Brian Tenneson"/
/---------------------------------------------------/
(emphasis of the ID words by me) - and I reflect:
It certainly IS not meaningless and IS an identification, however not of a *_FREE_* will. It is a decision between "given" choices. "Tomorrow" more info may be given to us and our today's choice may be overridden. What I consider a *_"free will"_* is independent of the 'choices' we *_G E T_* and is solely formatted by our (pesonal? inside?) mindset (call it will?). We, however, are part of a more extended (expanded?) world, I like to call it 'Everything' (an infinite complexity of so far(?) unknowable content) and all of its influences (may) contribute to our 'decisionmaking' although we may not know about either the nature of most of those influences, nor that we ARE responding to them.
Brent Meeker (if it really came from YOUR post <ha ha>):
*/" Can existing practice be justified on a purely utilitarian basis?" /*
Of course it can, in the 'purely utilitarian sense'. Just do not mix such into a theoretical aspect and don't call it (rational?) truth. (Let me stay out of discussing Max Velman's position. I appreciate his scientific base - however different from my agnostic views).
John M
*//*
*

//*
On Sat, Jun 2, 2012 at 1:53 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi <use...@rudnyi.ru <mailto:use...@rudnyi.ru>> wrote:

    On 01.06.2012 20:48 meekerdb said the following:

        On 6/1/2012 8:59 AM, John Clark wrote:


                Believers in 'contra causal free will' suppose that it did not,
                that

            my 'soul' or 'spirit' initiated the physical process without any
            determinative physical antecedent.


            A belief that was enormously popular during the dark ages and led
            to a thousand years of philosophical dead ends; not surprising
            really, confusion is inevitable if you insist on trying to make
            sense out of gibberish.


        So you think the existence of soul or spirit is not just false but
        incomprehensible. I disagree since there are experiments (e.g.
        healing prayer, NDE tests) that could have provided evidence for
        these extra-physical phenomena. By their null result they provide
        evidence against them. But on your view there cannot be evidence for
        or against because the concept cannot be given any meaning, much less
        an operational meaning that can be tested.


    From Understanding Consciousness by Max Velmans:

    p. 300 "To make matters worse, there are four distinct ways in which 
body/brain and
    mind/consciousness might in principle, enter into casual relationship. 
There might
    be physical causes of physical states, physical causes of mental states, 
mental
    causes of mental states, and mental causes of physical states. Establishing 
which
    forms of causation are effective in practice has clear implication for 
understanding
    the aetiology and proper treatment of illness and disease.

    Within conventional medicine, physical -> physical is taken for granted.
    Consequently, the proper treatment for physical disorders is assumed to be 
some from
    of physical intervention. Psychiatry takes the efficacy of physical -> 
mental
    causation for granted, along with the assumption that the proper treatment 
for
    psychological disorders may involve psychoactive drugs, neurosurgery and so 
on. Many
    forms of psychotherapy take mental -> mental causation for granted, and 
assume that
    psychological disorders can be alleviated by means of 'talking cures', 
guided
    imagery, hypnosis and other form of mental intervention. Psychosomatic 
medicine
    assumes that mental -> physical causation can be effective 
('psychogenesis').
    Consequently, under some circumstances, a physical disorder (for example, 
hysterical
    paralysis) may require a mental (psychotherapeutic) intervention. Given the
    extensive evidence for all these causal interactions (cf. Velmans, 1996a), 
how we to
    make sense of them?"

    Velmans, M. 1996a: The Science of Consciousness: Psychological, 
Neuropsychological
    and Clinical Reviews, London: Routledge.

    Evgenii

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