On 10 Aug 2012, at 00:23, Russell Standish wrote:

On Thu, Aug 09, 2012 at 08:55:03AM -0700, meekerdb wrote:
On 8/9/2012 12:06 AM, Russell Standish wrote:
IIUC, the delays in question are between when the brain plans
(possibly decides) (the action potential) to do a course of action,
and when the mind becomes consciously aware of the decision.

Why would a several second delay between these two events have any
implications on the existence or otherwise of free will?

I think it is that in the 'spirit' conception of mind, all thought
is conscious thought.  So if there is an unconscious physical
process that is causally connected to the decision that is evidence
against the 'spirits free will'.

Of course it has no implications for compatibilist 'free will'.

Brent


Interesting - it might explain what all the fuss is about.

Yes. Of course I agree with Brent here. To be clear.



Of course,
I don't know what is meant by "spirits free will", I'm guessing here it
has something to do with that ill-defined notion of soul.

I guess you allude to the non compatibilist notion of soul.
I usually define it by the first person (like in UDA or in AUDA). In UDA it is the owner of the personal diary, and in AUDA it is defined by the modality Bp & p. The soul is the heart of the person, so to speak. It has no name, like truth and God.

Soul is far more easier to define than free-will (for a compatibilist, or a (digital) mechanist).



It is plain to me that thoughts can be either conscious or
unconscious, and the conscious component is a strict minority of the
total.

This is not obvious for me, and I have to say that it is a point which is put in doubt by the salvia divinorum reports (including mine). When you dissociate the brain in parts, perhaps many parts, you realise that they might all be conscious. In fact the very idea of non- consciousness might be a construct of consciousness, and be realized by partial amnesia. I dunno. For the same reason I have stopped to believe that we can be unconscious during sleep. I think that we can only be amnesic-of-'previous-consciousness'.

Best,

Bruno




Cheers

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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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