On Friday, August 16, 2013 2:45:56 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote:
>  On 8/16/2013 11:01 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
> Nobody on Earth can fail to understand the difference between doing 
> something by accident and intentionally,
> Really?� Intentionally usually means with conscious forethought.� But 
> the Grey Walter and Libet experiments make it doubtful that consciousness 
> of intention precedes the decision.

Cognition is not necessary to discern the intentional from the 
unintentional. A salmon who swims upstream does so with more intent than a 
dead salmon floats downstream. Intention is more primitive than thought as 
thought itself is driven by the intention to influence your environment. 

The experiments that you mention do not make intention doubtful at all, 
they only suggest that intention exists at the sub-personal level as well. 
Breaking down events on the scale of an individual person to micro-events 
on which no individual exists is the first mistake. Because intention has 
everything to do with time and causality, we cannot assume that our naive 
experience of time holds true outside of our own perceptual frame. 

The presumption that intention is a complex computational sequence building 
up to a personal feeling of taking action voluntarily unnecessarily biases 
the bottom-up view. I think that what is actually going on is that time 
itself is a relativistic measure which extends from more fundamental 
sensory qualities of significance, rhythm, and memory. This means that 
personal time happens on a personally scaled inertial frame - just as c is 
a velocity which is infinite within any given inertial frame, our 
experience of exercising our will is roughly instantaneous. The exercise of 
will relates to our context, so seeking faster, sub-personal inertial 
frames for insight is like trying to measure the plot of a movie by 
analyzing the patterns of pixels on the screen. It does not illuminate the 
physics of will, it obscures it.

> Remember when nobody on Earth could doubt that the Sun traveled across the 
> dome of the sky and the Earth was flat.

The perception that the Earth is flat is more important that the knowledge 
that the Earth is round. The sophisticated view is useful for some 
purposes, but the native view is indispensable. With free will it is not 
enough to know that the world is round, we must know why it seems flat, and 
why the flat seeming and round seeming are both true in their own context.


> Brent

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