Le 28-juil.-12, à 18:46, John Clark a écrit :
On Sat, Jul 28, 2012 Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> You goal does not seem in discussing ideas, but in mocking people.
That is not true, my goal has two parts:
1) Figuring out what you mean by "free will".
Free-will is an informal term use in many informal setting. religious
people defined it often by the ability to choose consciously between
doing bad things or not, and people from the law can invoke it as a
general precondition for making sense of the responsibility idea. In
cognitive science we can at least approximate it in different ways, and
basically, with computationalism it is the ability to make choice in
absence of complete information, and knowledge of that incomplete
feature. The "Free" prefix is just an emphasis, and I don't take it
too much seriously. It can be mean things like absence of coercion.
2) Figuring out if what you say about "free will" is true.
We cannot know truth, but can propose hypotheses and definition, and
then reason from there.
I have never completed the first goal, so it's a bit maddening when
you keep claiming over and over and over that sometime in the
unspecified past you provided a marvelous exact self consistent
definition of "free will" that makes everything clear and that for
some unspecified reason, or perhaps for no reason at all, I am
I never said that such a definition makes everything clear, nor do I
have said it was marvelous, nor even self-consistent. I did say that
you ignore it, for reason which eludes me, but which I guess is a lack
of interest in the corresponding mundane notions, which is the object
of many studies, books, debate, etc.
>The onoly question is in solving problem. To say "free will" is noise
just hides problems.
Before I can solve a problem I need to know what the problem is and I
don't, and you don't know either.
You just seem to be unaware of all the questions in the foundation of
the cognitive science. May be you could read tthe book by Micahel Tye:
"eight problems on consciousness". Free will is one of them. It is
clear and quite readable. Of course the author is not aware that comp
is incompatible with physicalism.
> You really talk like a pseudo-priest having answers to all
Wow, calling a guy who doesn't like religion religious! Never heard
that one before, at least not before the sixth grade.
If you don't believe in some fundamental reality, then we are just
wasting time when discussing with you, given that this list is devoted
in the search of a theory of everything. If you believe in some
fundamental reality, then you are religious in the larger (non
necessarily christian) sense that I have already given.
In the fundamental science, those who pretend not doing religion are
the most religious, but probably they are not aware of this.
Are you aware that the belief in a primitive physical reality is
religious? Physicalism *is* religious (theological, metaphysical,
partially irrational, ...)?
> It is not random at all in the third person perspective.
Fine. In this context I don't know what "the third person
perspective" means but that is information I don't need to have to be
able to say, "if its not random, that is to say if it didn't happen
for no reason then it must have happened for a reason and if it
happened for a reason then it's deterministic".
See Quentin's answer.
> It is relatively random in the first person perspective, like the
first person indeterminacy,
So all you're saying is that in this thing you like to call "first
person indeterminacy" the outcome of the simple multiplication problem
74* 836 is indeterminate until you finish the calculation.
Not at all. I said the contrary. The first person indeterminacy has
nothing to do with free will. In "Conscience et Mécanisme" I even use
it to explain that free will has nothing to do with absolute
determinacy or indeterminacy. But the Turing notion of uncomputability
can be used in this case, as I did (after Good and Popper, and others
to be sure). Free-will, or will, is acknowledged *relative*
Well it's not deep but at least its true that you don't know what the
result of a calculation will be until you finish the calculation.
>> As to "free will" I have no opinion, first you're going to have to
explain what those ASCII characters mean.
I don't understand your question so can provide no answer.
In the human fundamental sense, most of the time we don't have
definition, but still can have a good personal understanding of them.
That is part of the difficulty of the subject. We can't define
consciousness, but we can agree that we are all conscious, and that we
can't define it, nor prove it to someone else, etc. You miss the
> You just recall my definition, and you accept it makes sense.
Good God not that again! Stop with this mysterious marvelous strictly
logical definition of Free Will that you claim to have provided at
some unspecified time in the past, it's really getting old. Until you
have something new and much much much better stop saying I'm ignoring
your marvelous new definition of the "Free Will" noise.
If you have a better theory than the old one, or if you have a problem
with the definition, just say so, and propose yourself better. You
cannot say "I don't know what is free-will, yet I do criticize the
definition you give". That is just inconsistent.
>> I accept "will" because I know for a fact that somethings I want
to do and other things I do not.
Which shows that we are close, and that you are interested only in
> You seem to know a lo of things
I know what I want but I don't know what something that didn't happen
for a reason AND didn't happen for no reason means,
You come back on the inconsistent definition of free will, that we both
agree make no sense. So why do you reject the one I gave, and reason
from that. I can say the same with all concept of religion. You seem to
consider only the inconsistent or fairy tales definition, to
extrapolate that the more general, and less contextual definition does
not make sense. This is just ridiculous and unscientific in the
and I don't know what the "free will" noise means let alone if its
true that people have it. And you don't know either.
On the contrary, with the definition I gave, all "sufficiently rich"
(Löbian) machine have it, and can prove that they have it. It is not a
big deal, but the proof is not trivial, as it relies on Theoretical
>>I neither accept nor reject "free will" because I don't know what
those ASCII characters mean and despite your protests to the contrary
it's now pretty clear to me that you don't either.
I gave a definition. As I said, if you reject it, it means that you
give sense to free-will, but then explain to us what you mean by it. If
not, just take the definition provided.
> The ability to act in the state of being aware lacking complete
A computer can be programed with knowledge of induction, statistics,
and heuristic rules of thumb and act without complete information and
produce good (although not perfect) results. So according to your
definition even today computers like Watson and Siri have free will,
although at their deepest level they are deterministic and operate by
very simple rules involving just 0 and 1.
> Cantor continuum is not gibberish
I assume you mean the continuum hypothesis, if so then I agree it's
not gibberish to say there exists a set that has a cardinality larger
than the integers but smaller than the real numbers, in fact it might
even be true. The reason I know it's not gibberish is that such a set
either exists or it does not.
In which model of what theory? (I am not set realist, only
> but I don't see why this wopuld imply that we can use the excluded
middle on such hard set theoretical proposition.
So you think you can bring clarity to the confusing imprecise vague
mishmash of things called "philosophy" by introducing something, like
free will, that doesn't exist AND doesn't not exist. I really don't
think that will bring illumination.
I am not using that conception of free-will. Actually I don't use the
notion of "free-will" at all in the proof that physics is derivable
from numbers. I have no clue to what you are alluding too. here I was
just saying that I am not applying the excluded middle outside comp and
> You are perhaps confusing "I will never prove that 1≠ 0", which
needs faith and is religious, with "1≠0", which is a simple theorem
I well understand the difference, but your meaning of "religious"
seems to cover a awful lot of ground, including "I will never be able
to stop loving pizza".
>>As I've said before for something to be meaningful you need
contrast, so please provide me with an example of something that is
0 ≠ 1.
But you don't believe in the law of the excluded middle so if "0 ≠ 1"
is untrue that does not mean that that 0=1, so I don't know what 0 ≠ 1
I don't believe in the law of the excluded middle when applied on
arbitrary set notions, but I do believe in it (= accept it in the
axioms) when handling arithmetical propositions. As I was saying, and I
am no more sure you take the time to read the post before answering.
And yet even though its meaning is far from clear you still believe
that 0 ≠ 1, so you must be religious, in fact you must be the Pope of
the 0 ≠ 1 church, or at least a Cardinal.
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at