On Friday, December 14, 2012 7:51:15 PM UTC-5, stathisp wrote:
> On Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 12:06 AM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>
> > wrote:
>> It could be intentional and determined, 
>> No, that equates free will with determinism. Intention means there is a 
>> teleological agent who is experiencing that they are causing the process to 
>> occur, regardless of the public correlation to other sub-personal and 
>> super-personal levels of causality. Intention is personal and it runs 
>> inside to outside.
>  That "there is a teleological agent who is experiencing that they are 
> causing the process to occur, regardless of the public correlation to other 
> sub-personal and super-personal levels of causality" is entirely consistent 
> with with the physical processes being either determined or random. 

Yes, the physical process is determined by the teleological agent, either 
the top level down, or the bottom level up. I don't know about 
random...maybe in the circumstances that are presented to the agents.

> I feel that I am such a teleological agent, but this feeling gives me no 
> clue as to what is happening in my brain. 

Your brain is carrying out your instructions. That is what is happening in 
the brain. And you are carrying out the instructions of collections of sub 
persons. That is what is happening in the brain also. Both.

> This is why, for most of human history, people did not in fact have any 
> idea as to what was happening in their brains.

And yet, they built civilization even without that knowledge. The human 
brain is nothing but the vehicle for a human experience. Without us, it is 
a worthless glob of tissue.

>> intentional and random, 
>> No. That equates doing something 'on purpose' with doing something 'by 
>> accident'. Our entire legal system is devoted to enforcing judgments, 
>> including the death penalty, based on the assumption that the two are 
>> mutually exclusive in principle. That doesn't make it a scientific fact, 
>> but it should be a hint that if science has no idea why it is an 
>> anthropological universal to consider it this way, then there must be more 
>> to it.
> You can do something on purpose even though the decision is driven by 
> probabilistic processes. 

There may not be any such thing as a probabilistic process. That is an 
analysis from a statistical perspective, not an ontological understanding. 
Flipping a coin has a 50/50 probability of heads, but there is an actual 
coin flipping with an actual outcome. That is the concrete reality. The 
observation of how frequent certain outcomes we care about occurs is not a 
force in the universe, it has no effects, it is just an understanding that 
we have about the reality.

> The legal system is based on the assumption that the person understands 
> what they are doing and could do otherwise. This is, as I keep saying, 
> entirely consistent with either a deterministic or probabilistic 
> explanation for brain activity. 

You aren't getting that the brain is a facade. It is a representation. It's 
reality derives solely from its relevance to our lives, and the lives of 
other participants in the universe on many many levels.

> If I am charged with a crime and I prove that I was sleepwalking at the 
> time I am likely to get off, because I was not aware of what I was doing 
> and because such behaviour is not affected by fear of punishment, either 
> for me or for other potential perpetrators who may learn of my punishment. 
> The judge does not care if my sleepwalking is caused by deterministic or 
> probabilistic processes in my brain, he only cares about the end result on 
> my behaviour.

Yes, what happens in the brain is only important if it undermines your 
ability to exercise sensible intentions.

> If I am charged with a crime and it turns out I knew it was wrong but did 
> it anyway because I didn't care and thought I could get away with it I am 
> likely to be punished. The punishment will be a deterrent to me in future 
> and to other potential perpetrators. The judge, jury and general public 
> neither know nor care if this deterrence operates through deterministic or 
> probabilistic brain processes, or for that matter even if it operates 
> through magical spiritual processes.

Right. That's why I said nobody cares about what the brain does. 

>> unintentional and determined or unintentional and random.
>> They are identical. Determined (as in pre-determined by event or law) is 
>> always unintentional and random is virtually synonymous with unintentional. 
>> You could intentionally do something that seems random to you, but that's 
>> pretty shaky - unlikely really given human psychology. To the contrary, as 
>> psychologists in the 20th century found out, random responses can often 
>> reveal more about the psyche than intentional descriptions.
> Intentional means I do something because I want to do it, and if I didn't 
> want to do it I wouldn't have done it. This is entirely consistent with the 
> decision being driven by either deterministic or probabilistic brain 
> physics.

No it isn't, because brain physics has to do with neurotransmitters and 
cells, not people, places, and things. Brain physics has no capacity to be 
'about' anything except itself, just as our lives can only be about our 
lives and not the function of our brain.


> -- 
> Stathis Papaioannou

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