On Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 6:35 PM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

> On 13 Jun 2012, at 10:44, R AM wrote:
> I know that you and Bruno are compatibilists. I'm not attacking your
> notion of free will. I agree that free will is a social construct. I'm
> going even further: free will doesn't even deserve a name. Deep down, free
> will is not something people have, but just a social definition of under
> what conditions or situations we will be considered responsible (and
> punishable).
> You can do that. But  would *that* not be a reductionist view of reality?
No, because I'm just exposing a false belief.

> You are saying that free-will does not exist because it is a higher level
> description of complex aggregations of simple processes.

Not really, all I'm saying is that belief in free will is like belief in
flat earth: false. And this is not based on physical reality being
deterministic or random but on subjective experience:

- Introspection shows that most of our thoughts and decisions are
unconscious (try not to think on anything for 30 minutes and see what

- The idea of "I could have done otherwise" is silly. If you try to imagine
yourself in exactly the same conscious situation, you will have to conclude
that you would not have done otherwise (at least, not consciously).
Otherwise, you would already have done it.

Dan Dennett says most of these things much better than I could, here:


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