On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 4:27 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> We have the feeling of control over what we do because we can't predict
>> exactly what we are going to do.
> No. We have the feeling of control over what we do, period. There is no
> because. Participation is fundamental private physics. Irreducible. No
> energy, not substance, no function, form, or data is beneath it.

In order to have a feeling of control we must be able to say to ourselves:

"I have decided to do A but if I want to I could decide to do B instead."

It's not that this causes the feeling of control; rather, this *is*
the feeling of control. If you can't say this then you feel you have
no choice, as happens sometimes in schizophrenia with passivity
phenomena and command hallucinations.

>> As I keep trying to explain, this has no bearing on whether our actions
>> are determined or not. There is no logical connection between the two
>> concepts.
> If you are right, then you can't say that you 'keep trying' to do anything.
> Your feeling that you keep trying is an illusion. You just don't know what
> you are going to say, so you imagine that you keep trying. That's what you
> are telling me. With a straight face. Instead of constructing an argument
> from logical expectations, I suggest experimenting with an empirical
> inventory. Why deny that you are actually present?

Am I denying that I am actually present (whatever that means)? Am I
denying that I am conscious? Am I denying that I am doing what I do
because I want to do it, and that if I didn't want to do it I would do
something else?

>> Suppose someone demonstrates to you that they can reliably predict every
>> decision you make. You deliberately try to thwart them by making erratic
>> decisions but they still get it right. This might be disturbing for you, but
>> do you think the strong feeling of free will that you have would suddenly
>> disappear?
> There's no question that the feeling of personal free will is overstated,
> but that has nothing to do with the ontology of will. We may have to balance
> the needs and agendas of a trillion sub-persons, and a trillion
> super-persons, but that doesn't mean that our own personal will doesn't
> contribute to the overall preference. Why is the personal will so special
> that physics has to make it the only thing in the universe which isn't real?
> I can make your brain change just by writing these words, so why can't you
> change your own brain by thinking?

I'm trying to understand your intuition that you have free will. You
have been saying, as far as I can tell, that this intuition is proof
that you do, in fact, have free will. Further, you have been saying
that this intuition is proof that your actions are not determined,
since you having free will entails that your actions are not
determined. So I wonder what you would say if an omniscient being in a
thought experiment demonstrated to you that it could predict your
every move. Would your intuition that you have free will remain, or
would it suddenly vanish? If the intuition remained would you say on
reflection that your intuition was wrong or would you maintain, as the
compatibilists like Daniel Dennett do, that you still have free will?

Stathis Papaioannou

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