On Tuesday, March 26, 2013 8:50:38 AM UTC-4, stathisp wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 26, 2013 at 10:31 PM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>> 
> wrote: 
> >> I also have a very simple and straightforward idea of free will: I 
> >> exercise my free will when I make a choice without being coerced. I 
> >> never said that the laws of physics deny the possibility of free will, 
> >> but free will is impossible if you define it in such a way as to be 
> >> incompatible with the laws of physics or even with logic. 
> > 
> > 
> > Since free will has physical effects in our body and in the world, if it 
> > violates the laws of physics then by definition those laws of physics 
> are 
> > incomplete. 
> Free will is a supervenient phenomenon without separate causal power 
> of its own. 

What specifically does it supervene on and why? 

I agree that *human* free will supervenes on human qualities of 
consciousness, and those qualities correlate to public bodies, but that 
doesn't mean that the functioning of those cellular and molecular bodies 
don't themselves supervene on sub-human forms of free will as a causal 
power. I think that this free will (motive) is not only a separate causal 
power, it is causality itself, and that really no other possibility is 

> There are many other examples of such phenomena in the 
> world. Evolution causes the giraffe's neck to grow longer, but 
> evolution is not a separate physical force that stretches the animal's 
> tissues. The giraffe's neck grows longer over time due to the dumb 
> laws of physics, and evolution is a high level description of the 
> behaviour of some of these laws, without any separate causal power of 
> its own. 

Sure, but nobody feels like they are consciously making themselves grow 
taller. The fact that there are examples of things not being what they 
might appear to be is not an argument against the fact that often times, 
our survival depends on things being exactly what they appear to be. Of 
course, that wouldn't be true without free will. Without that it wouldn't 
matter if our experience looked like Donkey Kong because all of our actions 
would be determined involuntarily based on unconscious computations and our 
body would execute its survival programs externally in the environment 
exactly as it executes them internally as digestion, respiration, 
circulation, etc. 

> > Logic has nothing to do with it since there is nothing logical 
> > about free will, aka sensory-motor participation. There is no logical 
> source 
> > for it, or plausible function that it could serve. 
> But if you define free will as neither determined nor random it makes 
> it logically impossible. 

No, it just makes the particular logic that you have arbitrarily chosen to 
worship inadequate to address free will. Free will is the parent of both 
determinism and randomness, and those qualities can only be defined in 
contradistinction to intentionality. Logically impossible can only be 
defined in contradistinction to 'logically possible', otherwise it it just 
"nature". Had we no intentional free will, we would not be able to conceive 
of intention or unintention, it would simply be nature that we are embedded 
in and subsumed by. You keep repeating the same objection and you keep 
ignoring my answer to it. Logic itself supervenes on free will. I don't 
have to be logical if I don't want to be. I can be emotional or 
sentimental, artistic, intuitive, political, etc.

> > What about your assertion that "I make a choice..." do you think is 
> > supported by physics? What is I? Is it a field? Is it neurochemical? Can 
> it 
> > be built out of Tinkertoys? Can Tinkertoys make intentional choices? 
> "I" am a higher level phenomenon built of complex biochemical processes. 

Without free will, "I" can only be an epiphenomenon. What physical laws 
support 'levels'? You have a biochemical process, and it is complex - so 
what? The immune system is complex; self-healing tissue is complex. What is 
this magical 'level' where this metaphysical phenomenon which nonetheless 
is fully supported by physics appears?


> -- 
> Stathis Papaioannou 

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