>
> "Seeing conscious deliberations as maximally irreducible has some 
> relevance for the issue of free will. Consider for example the requirement 
> for autonomy: to be free, one must certainly be independent from 
> constraints outside one's deliberating consciousness. These include both 
> environmental constraints, such as limitations that force us to a 
> particular choice or that impede our own choice, and unconscious, 'alien' 
> constraints that, while generated somewhere within our brain, affect our 
> actions largely outside the control of the conscious self. Given the 
> definition of a complex, a conscious choice is necessarily autonomous, as 
> it is made intrinsically.
>
> The requirement for understanding implies that, to be free, a choice must 
> be based on a concept of what is at stake - for example, one can freely 
> choose between right and wrong only if one has a notion of which actions 
> are right and which are wrong under some circumstances. According to IIT, a 
> complex can be held responsible for a certain choice only if it has a 
> mechanism implementing the corresponding causal concept, in this case the 
> backward component of the concept. For example, I must have a concept 
> corresponding to the distinction between right and wrong (IF certain sets 
> of past states occur, THEN certain sets of future actions/omissions are 
> right/wrong) to be responsible for that choice - that concept is a 
> maximally irreducible cause for my action. Similar considerations apply to 
> the requirements for self-control, since the forward component of concepts 
> within a quale ensures control.
>
> The requirement for irreducibility implies that a choice can only be free 
> if it cannot be ascribed to anything less than myself - I am the only 
> entity that can be said to be responsible for my choice. That is, when 
> asking who is responsible for the choice, the answer should be 'me', 
> meaning all the circuits underlying my present conscious experience, and 
> nothing less than that. IIT indicates that each experience is a maximally 
> integrated conceptual structure generated by a complex, and therefore what 
> it will choose given a particular present state cannot be ascribed to 
> anything less than the full structure, with all its concepts (recall the 
> light-blink example of a previous note). This structure is supremely causal 
> to account for the choice in that it is maximally irreducible - anything 
> less won't do, anything more won't matter. Furthermore, the choice happens 
> at the macro-level at which ΦMIP is maximized, meaning that our conscious 
> choices are not an illusion supervening upon micro-level events that are 
> the true causes, as is often assumed. Indeed, the macro-level exists only 
> if it has more causal power than the micro-level, which it then supersedes. 
> Thus, each choice is a choice of the whole complex, not reducible to a 
> number of choices made within nearly independent modules, each in a limited 
> context, or to choices made by micro-elements. Therefore a choice is the 
> freer, the more it is conscious: more consciousness, more freedom. 
> Moreover, a bit paradoxically, a choice is the freer, the more it is 
> determined (intrinsically). This is one fundamental sense in which the key 
> notion of alternative possibilities - the feeling that one could have acted 
> otherwise, which is essential to the feeling if being responsible for one's 
> action, is captured by a large integrated conceptual structure: such a 
> structure implies a very large number of counterfactuals (alternative 
> possibilities) that are under the control of the agent (they are part of 
> his consciousness). In other words, a conscious choice is one in which a 
> large number of highly informative concepts that make up my perceptions, 
> thoughts, beliefs, desires, feelings, memories, and character, all concur 
> in determining a choice in the integrated 'tribunal' of consciousness. Note 
> however that, even though every conscious choice involves a large number of 
> counterfactuals, it is still useful to distinguish between 'deep' and 
> 'shallow' conscious decisions, based on how many concepts are directly 
> involved in determining the choice here and now. At one extreme, the 
> decision to request a divorce or not is likely to involve simultaneously 
> many different concepts within the complex, so it is deep. At the other 
> extreme, the decision to flex one's finger or not during an experiment on 
> free will depends on just a small number of concepts (do I feel the urge or 
> not), so it is shallow. This is because the previous conscious decision to 
> participate in an experiment on free will has had the consequence of fixing 
> most variables within the main complex, so the only variable that is left 
> free to vary is the 'urge' to act.
>
> In this view, freedom requires first and foremost irreducibility, meaning 
> that a choice cannot be ascribed to anything external, or anything less, 
> than the agent. However, indeterminism also plays a role, though not the 
> usual role of reducing responsibility by substituting it with chance. 
> Recall that if a complex generates maximal integrated information at a 
> macro-scale in space or time (say neurons instead of subatomic particles, 
> and over hundreds of milliseconds), this means that: i) the system is most 
> determined, in an informational/causal sense, at that macro-scale than at 
> any micro-scale; but ii) it is also necessarily under-determined, because 
> the macro-level can be more informative/causal than the micro-level only if 
> there is some indeterminacy. Given that our own consciousness appears to 
> flow at a macro spatio-temporal level, some degree of indeterminism is a 
> given (in line with both physical sources of indeterminacy and the simple 
> fact that the environment is unpredictable). But IIT does not consider 
> indeterminism as a drop of randomness that instills some arbitrariness into 
> a preordained cascade of mechanisms, thus decreasing their causative 
> powers. Rather, in this view indeterminism provides a backdrop of ultimate 
> unpredictability against which macro-level, integrated mechanisms fight to 
> increase understanding and control - a fight for increasing the causative 
> powers of consciousness, and the more these increase, the more freedom 
> increases. But since this is a battle against a backdrop of indeterminism, 
> its results are never completely predictable. In other words, freedom of 
> will is a fight in which order (integrated information) tries to minimize 
> disorder (lack of constraints) by taking into account as many constraints 
> (knowledge) as possible. A bit like building a society or a civilization 
> out of relative chaos, or a bit like evolution creating macro-order out of 
> micro-level disorder, thus increasing complexity. But as with societies, 
> civilizations, and evolution, what will actually occur can never be 
> predicted exactly before it happens, and micro-fluctuations - a queen and a 
> squire falling in love, two lizards separated from the mainland after a 
> flood - may initiate an extraordinary turn of events that nobody could 
> predict, not even the universe itself."

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