On Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 11:08:29AM -0700, meekerdb wrote:
> On 7/30/2012 4:01 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
> >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.
> I'm not clear on why you emphasize incomplete information?  What
> would constitute complete information? and why how would that
> obviate 'free will'.  Is it coercive?

With complete information, a totally rational being makes optimal
choices, and has no free will, but always beats an irrational being.

Conversely, with incomplete information, a rational being will make a
wrong choice, or simply fail to make a choice at all, and so is
usually beaten by an irrational being.

This is where the idea that free will is the capability to act
irrationally (or as I put it "do something stupid") comes from. There
are definite evolutionary advantages to acting irrationally some of
the time (though not all the time :).


Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au

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