On Monday, March 18, 2013 12:25:47 PM UTC-4, Bruno Marchal wrote:
>
>
> On 15 Mar 2013, at 18:22, meekerdb wrote:
>
>  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.
>
>
1. Why would there be any such conclusion? Why would an incomplete 
computation invite some kind of experience of having 'decided' something?

2. The example is a straw man of free will. Try this. You're walking down a 
road and spot a fork in the road far ahead. You trudge off the road instead 
to see what's going on in another direction. 

>   
>  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. 
>
>
> ?
> I agree but that makes free-will independent of the feeling. With my 
> definition of free will, it is real,even if not felt, as the machine have 
> the real possibility to hesitate between subgoals and make choice 
> hesitantly, knowing partially the consequences.
>

Free will can only mean that you use your feelings to determine your 
actions. They are part of the action. If you feel strongly about something, 
that feeling translates directly into the intensity if not the 
effectiveness of the action. There is no computation which translates the 
degree of clarity of a logical decision into any kind of visceral power to 
enforce that decision. Computations have no killer instinct, no emotional 
intention.
 

>
>
>
> 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. 
>
>
> OK. Although I think that free-will is more typical for decision taking 
> more time, and more self-controversial, like the decision to drink some 
> beer before driving a plane with passengers ...
>

The tennis is a more complex example. You are talking about subconscious 
responses to entrained activity. You are acting on instinct on the personal 
level but there is presumably still free will on the sub-personal level.
 

>
>
>
>
> 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.
>
>
> I agree. But I think that free-will is more than a feeling. It is a real 
> possibility of reflected choice. Indeed it has nothing to so with 
> determinacy or randomness.
>

I'll take that. I would go further than 'choice' as that still assumes a 
passive stance. Free will is not only reactive, but creative.

Craig
 

>
> Bruno
>
>
>
> Brent
>  
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