Le 21-juil.-12, à 17:29, John Clark a écrit :

On Sat, Jul 21, 2012  Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

>> so we end up making no choice at all or we make a choice based on nothing, in other words at random.

 > I don't believe we can make choice at random.
Fine, I don't think that's true but as far as this discussion goes it wouldn't matter if it was. If the choice was not random then it happened for a reason and was deterministic; and the "free will" noise is just as meaningless as it would be if choices were random.

Not for a compatibilist.

The fact that consciousness and free will can be justified or explained, in some way, in a deterministic framework, does not make those concepts referring to something unreal.

And yet very often people have great difficulty explaining, even to themselves, why they made the choice they did; so either there was no reason for the choice or there was but the conscious mind does not know what it was,

That is it.

those are the only two possibilities and neither elevates the "free will" noise even one Planck Length above pure gibberish.

It does not elevate the "incompatibilist" notion of free will above gibberish, but this we already agreed on. It just define free will for the compatibilist, and I don't see why you believe that this is gibberish (as opposed to incompatibilist free will).

> It is close. It has been defended by Popper, I.J. Good and some others, and it suits well mechanism.
This needs to be defended?? I admit that tautologies have the virtue of being true but I would have thought it would be embarrassing for two grown men, let alone two famous philosophers, to think that this childish observation deserves the millions of words they have churned out about it which all boils down to "we don't know what we don't know".   

The notion of "Knowledge" is the most difficult notion to define with some rigor, as Socrates, in the writing of Plato, makes clear when refuting or criticizing all attempts of definition of it given by Theaetetus. Then you are too quick to sum up the definition of free will by "we don't know what we don't know", for, as you admit yourself, the absence of knowledge, in this setting, is a consequence of Turing-like form of indeterminacy, which is not tautological, and that was my point that I share with Popper and Good. In the human sciences, a lot of notions seems "trivial", but are not. We just happen to have a very old biological brain which makes it appear trivial, but as AI researcher know well, this is not the case.



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