On 6/19/2012 7:37 PM, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
On Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 3:22 AM, meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
I don't see that as contrary to compatibilism which holds that 'free will'
is compatible with determinism (but not that determinism is necessarily
true). Of course an otherwise deterministic intelligence may make a random
choice as part of a rational strategy. Does libertarian free will *require*
that some actions be random?
These are the possibilities:
determinism true, free will true
determinism true, free will false
determinism false, free will true
determinism false, free will false
Now, I would say that if something is not determined, it is random.
You can think of unusual cases and they still fit into the determined
or random categories. For example, if my decisions depend on my brain
solving the halting program, I would say that is still determined,
even if it is not computable. I don't think invoking the spiritual
realm or exotic physics changes the dichotomy, although maybe the
argument comes down to semantics. In any case, the non-compatibilists
like Craig Weinberg won't be satisfied with *any* explanation of how
people make decisions: not antecedent cause, not retroactive
causation, not randomness, not manipulation by a spiritual force. It's
I don't think random and determined are mutually exclusive, or at least not a clear
analysis. Suppose we could monitor a person's physical state at a very low level (e.g.
molecular) and we found that the same state did not result in the same action. Off hand
we might to tempted to say that then it must be random. But suppose that we also observe
that it is always directed toward satisfying stated objectives of that person. So the
actions are random in the sense of not fully determined, yet they may be statistically
determined to fall in a few narrow categories. I think this is not only consistent with
'free will' in the social/legal/responsible sense, it exemplifies the concept. It shows
some consistency of purpose and values we refer to as 'character' that is primarily
internal to the person.
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