On 31 Jul 2012, at 13:37, R AM wrote:

On Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 1:19 PM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
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?

I agree with Russell's answer. If the information was complete (with respect to what is relevant), then there would be no choice at all. I would know
that right I will make a cup of coffee, or perhaps not, instead of
hesitating about it.

Then, the less we know, the freer is our will?

The less we know about the local future. A bit like we would no go to the movie if we are told the end of the story (except that in a non interacting movie we are not free, but the pleasure of the movie originates in part from the fact that we can somehow identify our free will with the hero's one, by a sort of projection).

When making decisions, what we want is to make the right decision. And
therefore, we need as much information as possible. The best situation
is when we have so much knowledge that there is no alternative. That's
the best situation (not the worst)!

I agree with you. Free will is not a gift. Like consciousness it can be very disagreeable at times. Nevertheless, it can make you surviving when lacking knowledge, by accelerating the decision process, and then it allows and encourage dreaming on alternatives. Free will is rarely needs when there is a right decision, but when there are many more or less similar (in advantages/disadvantages) alternatives. Typically, free-will will be used by people when they do the wrong decision, knowingly, by self-selfishness, like when coming back to smoking, or when raping someone knowing that it is bad. That is why some people sometimes define free-will by the ability to do bad things knowingly, but I use the term in a slightly more general sense.



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