On Tue, Mar 05, 2013 at 03:53:13PM +0100, Bruno Marchal wrote:
> On 04 Mar 2013, at 20:16, meekerdb wrote:
> >On 3/4/2013 4:23 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
> >>
> >>On 03 Mar 2013, at 20:35, meekerdb wrote:
> >
> >Some randomness can be useful, if only to solve the problem of
> >Buridan's ass.
> I see what you mean, but some could argue that when you use a random
> device (like a coin) to make a decision, you abandon free will.
> Indeed you let a coin decide for you, when free will meant more that
> you are the one making the free decision.

That hinges on the self-other distinction. A random coin toss is not
considered free will, as you are subsuming your will to an external
agent (the coin). But when you make a decision due to a random firing
of a neuron (random because the synaptic junctions are
thermodynamically noisy), then that is _you_ making the decision, it
is _your_ free will.

> >But effective randomness is easy to come in the complex
> >environment of life.
> >
> >>On the contrary, deterministic free will make sense, because
> >>free will comes from a lack of self-determinacy, implying
> >>hesitation in front of different path, and self-indeterminacy
> >>follows logically from determinism and self-reference.
> >>
> >>First person indeterminacy can be used easily to convince
> >>oneself that indeterminacy cannot help for free will. Iterating
> >>a self-duplication can't provide free-will.

Why? That particular thought experiment proves that indeterminancy is
a fundamental feature of subjective life. Why shouldn't that be the
source of the indeterminism for solving Buridan ass type problems?

> >
> >As Dennett says deterministic free will is the only free will
> >worth having.
> I agree with him on that. My pint above illustrate that. Random
> choice are not really "free" choice.

Whereas, I don't really know what "deterministic free will" even
means. Probably a definitional thing.

> >Why would anyone want to make decisions that were not determined
> >by their learning and memories and values.

Of course, but that has nothing to do with free will :) Free will is
the ability to do something stupid, the ability to make decisions that
are not determined  learning, memories and values


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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