On 9/2/2013 11:29 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote:


On Monday, September 2, 2013 2:11:05 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote:

    On 9/2/2013 7:34 AM, chris peck wrote:
    The study you're citing firstly claims the 60% of the variance they 
uncovered is
    explained by 'spontaneous' brain activity not 60% of all brain activity. 
More
    importantly, by spontaneous they just mean brain activity that has not been
    triggered by external stimuli:

    And how could they possibly know whether some brain event was triggered by 
a stored
    perception of you grandmother when you were five?� All they can say is it 
wasn't
    triggered by a *present* external stimuli.


Yes, that's true of course, but

1) 60% is a lot of stored perceptions triggering themselves for no reason.

First, by what standard is it known that 60% is too much? Second, the stored perceptions are triggering themselves (although that's what you'd like to believe). They are triggered by the brain activities preceding them, which in turn were triggered by prior activities, which in turn...and so on back till you were five and saw your grandmother. Third, suppose some of the activity was for no reason, i.e. quantum randomness.


2) The spontaneous activity is associated with behavioral changes. Kind of an odd thing for an archive of stored data to do independently of external stimuli.

First, you have no standard by which to judge it "odd". Second, there's no evidence it is independent of external stimuli - only of *present* external stimuli.


We should ask, at what point do *present* stimuli go dormant, and of how long, before they spontaneously (non-spontaneously) resurface as something that looks exactly like free will would look? We should not expect that free will can be proved to any greater extent than this.

This is just the compatibilist view. It's called "free" will just because it's too hard to trace all the causal contributions to the will.


Again, if we were dealing with something which we knew for a fact had no intention or creativity,

How could you ever know that? Only by being able to accurately predict all its actions. Which would imply "free will" = "unpredictable will".

then sure, what the study shows is only that we don't know where 60% of the activity is coming from, so maybe it is just housekeeping or scheduled tasks running, or whatever. Since we do have a sense that there is a difference between behavior that is intentional, accidental, coerced, and subconsciously driven, and that those categories are distinct,

We also have a sense that the Earth is flat and Sun orbits around it.

Brent

it would be absurdly unscientific and biased to rule out this rather large footprint in the brain as belonging to our own shoe.

Thanks,
Craig



    Brent

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