On 3/15/2013 7:16 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
You're walking down a road and spot a fork in the road far ahead. You know of advantages and disadvantages to both paths so you arn't sure if you will go right or left, you haven't finished the calculation yet, you haven't decided yet. Once you get to the fork you find yourself on the left path and retroactively conclude that you must have "decided" to go left.

Yes. That's what I mean by free will. Roughly speaking. Except that I decided consciously before acting. If not, it is like randomness, or unconscious decision, and that is not free will. Free-will is when I want to go the left, and decide accordingly to go to the left, and nobody coerce me to not go to the left. It is not much different than will + freedom.

That seems to me just and explanation of a certain *feeling* of a feeling of freedom and of will. If you find yourself on the left path without having consciously thought "I'll take the left." then you miss the feeling of will. But it may just be that your conscious thoughts are lagging a little. When you're playing a game, say tennis, and you hit the ball to the left you may have done so without conscious consideration yet it was just the right shot and so was what you "willed" to win which you realize on reflection. You have a feeling of freedom so long as you are not coerced or limited by something you can consciously consider; that's essentially all the feeling of freedom is, not being able to think of anything that is restricting or coercing you from taking an action. Since you can't be directly aware of deterministic or random processes in your brain, whether they are random or deterministic has no bearing on the freedom+will feeling.


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