On 18 January 2014 15:42, Russell Standish <li...@hpcoders.com.au> wrote:

> Irrational acts would be those where no such analysis took place -
> such as acting on a hunch, or going by gut instinct, or just going
> beserk.
>

But something caused that person to perform that action. Maybe Instinct or
unconscious processing, or their normal brain processes breaking down under
intolerable pressure, or something else in that vein. I don't see that any
of these can meaningfully be called free will, though.

For example, say I'm going for a walk through a park in the evening and I
see something moving in the bushes, and I automatically react by being
afraid, even though I don't know what it is. That reaction could be called
irrational, but examined more deeply it's rational to the extent that an
instinctive fear reaction to the possibility of danger has served my
ancestors well throughout evolutionary time. I doubt that any actions could
be found that weren't either rational in that deeper sense, or that were an
outcome of something going wrong in the brain (due to drugs, psychological
stress or a tumour, say). Going berserk, for example, could be considered,
if not rational, at least as the semi-preditable outcome of the pressures
on an individual coupled with their upbringing.

None of these seem meaningfully like free will to me. The best one could do
in the sense of acting irrationally would be to act at random, say by
deciding to act on the result of a coin toss (or a quantum event, if we're
being pernicketty)

>
> Surprisingly, perhaps, such acts sometimes deliver payoffs to the actor.
>

Yes, for example, in cases where doing something is better than doing
nothing.

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