On 6/15/2012 11:00 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:


On 15 Jun 2012, at 18:17, meekerdb wrote:

On 6/15/2012 8:43 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 14 Jun 2012, at 18:21, John Clark wrote:

On Mon, Jun 4, 2012 Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com <mailto:whatsons...@gmail.com>> wrote:

    > I don't understand how we can change the judicial system if we don't have 
free
    will. All we can do is exist and watch to see whether we end up being 
compelled
    to change it or not by forces outside of our control.


And so it goes, one group screams cries and jumps up and down insisting that we do have free will and another group is just as insistent that we do not. But neither group can stop yelling for one second to ask what "free will" is supposed to mean. I humbly suggest that we first decide what "free will" is, and only then would it be fruitful to debate the question of whether people have this interesting property or not; until then it's just a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

OK. Perhaps we should always make at least precise if we talk about compatibilist free will (c-free-will) or non comptatibilist free will (nc-free-will). People defending nc-free-will should say so.

In comp, c-free-will is rather easy to define, and even a variety of ways, and computer science theorem justifies a role, and plausibly a "darwinian selectable role" for some of the possible definitions.

About nc-free-will, I have not any idea (yet?) about what it could mean. I tend to agree with John on this.

It seems pretty clear. It's an ability to make decisions in a spirit realm and have them implemented in the physical realm.

OK. In the spirit realm I get an headache, and decide to take an aspirin.



That entails that physics is not closed, i.e. some physical events happen for a purpose but without an antecedent physical cause.

How can you know that. It is like invoking the spirit each time we were wrong on a level of complexity.
I think I see what you try to conceive, though. Nice try.



This not meaningless because with sufficient experimental resolution it could 
be tested.

How? Machines cannot know their level of substitution. Spirits might be arithmetical cyber pirates.

I don't think it's required that a brain be able to know itself; only that other brains and machines be able to know it at the required level.





If we could follow in detail the workings of a subject's brain and we found that there were physically uncaused events that led to actions and decisions and these events almost always contributed to the realization of express plans, values, and desires of the subject then we would have say that was evidence for nc-free-will.

I see your point, so you are right, in some sense. It is a bit far stretched in the comp setting, but it makes sense. But at the meta-level you need now to provide a theory of those spirits, and how they manage to influence the physical happening, etc.

I don't think physics is causally open in this way, so, until there is evidence it is, I see no reason to worry about formulating a theory of the spirit realm. Others however have formed theories, also know as religions, and some of those have even been experimentally tested. So far the evidence has gone against them. But it's good to keep an open mind and think about how theories might be tested.

For a c-compatibilist, you will will have to explain how the spirit itself is a c or not c free will entity, unless you use "spirit" as a gap explanation meaning that we can't ask about that by definition.

Yes, I take it that's John point. Either the spirit actions are determined by antecedent spirit states or they are not, and hence random, and we're back to where we started. But first, we're not quite back to where we started, we'd have evidence for a spirit realm, which is why people like to believe in free-will; dualism goes with various religious ideas of an afterlife. Second, the spirit might be inherently purposeful the way QM is inherently random. Metaphysically the question is whether events can be both non-deterministic and non-random. Is there a third category of "purposeful" or "teleological"; or are those just higher level appearances.


Machines cannot distinguish 'spirit' for 'more complex than me'.

But does that prevent a machine from testing whether a different machine which is not more complex is nomologically closed. Are you saying that if a machine (brain) seemed to be nomologically open and purposeful we should not regard it as evidence for a spirit realm but instead say that our level of test resolution was not fine enough?

Brent


Bruno





Brent

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