On Sun, Jul 22, 2012 at 6:27 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

> 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.

True. Unicorns and Harry Potter are unreal but the words refer to
something, just something that does not happen to exist; but "free will"
refers to nothing. Fiction is not gibberish, but free will is, it would
need to become much more substantial before it could rise to the level of

> 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).

Is it really true that you don't see this? And I don't give a damn if its
"compatibilist" or "incompatibilist" (whatever the hell that means), we
have been debating this for months and in all that time you have not
provided one clear example of something that neither did nor did not happen
for a reason, and yet you ask me to believe you're puzzled why I don't
accept all your verbiage about the "free will" noise. I find your lack of
understanding incomprehensible, and that word has a meaning.

> > 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.

Obviously we don't know what the result of a calculation will be until we
finish the calculation, and thanks to Turing we've known for 75 years that
in general there is no way to know if the calculation will ever even be
finished, so for both reasons we have a feeling of uncertainty about what
we will do next, a feeling that the unpredictable external environment only
emphasizes. So regarding the "free will" noise, can you think of one thing
that Popper or Good or any other philosopher has added to this that was
worth more than a bucket of warm spit?

  John K Clark

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