What Most People Fail to Understand about the Concept of Free Will

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
Not because of randomness or because they are chaotic. Indeterminate with respect to fundamentals because it isn't possible to establish what sorts of phenomena would emerge by looking at the fundamentals, because those phenomena emerge from organizational processes, not something to do with characteristics of the fundamentals.
I'm not sure I'd use the word indeterminate, but rather unpredictable. I know what you mean, but the word indeterminate sounds like indeterminism.

Here's an interesting question: Are any classes of macro phenomena a result of randomness? That is, would different randomness produce different classes of macro phenomena, or only variants on the existing classes?

~~ Paul
 
A libertarian free decision cannot be solely a first cause. If it were, then it would have nothing to do with the context of the decision; it would not address the topic at hand. There have to be inputs to a decision or the decision is arbitrary. The agent attends to a particular situation, evaluates it, and makes a free decision. I don't think it's reasonable to assume that entire process is a first cause with no antecedent subcomponents.

So, indeed, I am having trouble perceiving that "how" isn't the right question. Perhaps I just have to go with the flow.

~~ Paul
This assumes a hard separation, in the organism at least, of cosmic principle, by gnosis and action. As if, when acting in holistic structures completely constellated by and comprising itself, and as the one and only operant power of said structures, it cannot also know what informs its action. Very unlikely, to say the least.

(although the purpose of the President Module notion was to show that , if one insists on using a mechanical analogy then, even there, the choice module can be reduced to a very simple structure of indeterminate factor influenced by input weightings).
 
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We're talking about libertarian free will, which is, by definition, incompatible with determinism. I'm fine with an agent producing decisions deterministically with some coin flipping tossed in for good measure. But that is not what libertarians are looking for. I think Kai's presentation makes it clear that he is proposing something free in the libertarian sense. It should be obvious now that I am unable to imagine how that might work.

~~ Paul
I guess I am really confused. I was reading the Wikipedia article on this to hopefully clarify, but after reading this...

Metaphysical libertarianism is one philosophical view point under that of incompatibilism. Libertarianism holds onto a concept of free will that requires the agent to be able to take more than one possible course of action under a given set of circumstances.

Accounts of libertarianism subdivide into non-physical theories and physical or naturalistic theories. Non-physical theories hold that the events in the brain that lead to the performance of actions do not have an entirely physical explanation, and consequently the world is not closed under physics. Such interactionist dualists believe that some non-physical mind, will, or soul overrides physical causality.

Explanations of libertarianism that do not involve dispensing with physicalism require physical indeterminism, such as probabilistic subatomic particle behavior
...I am even more confused. I just don't really get it. If one requires that for something to be free, it must not be the result of either random or determined processes, then the only thing that would be free would be pure consciousness itself, where there are no qualities, since any qualities end up being a constraint of some sort.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
...I am even more confused. I just don't really get it. If one requires that for something to be free, it must not be the result of either random or determined processes, then the only thing that would be free would be pure consciousness itself, where there are no qualities, since any qualities end up being a constraint of some sort.
People here and in other conversations I've had are proposing that an agent has a means of making a decision that is not wholly determined or random. Some are even skeptical that there is anything truly random.

~~ Paul
 
Determined by anything. If the decision is determined, regardless of how deeply buried it is in some agent, then it's deterministic.

~~ Paul
Then to me, based on the definition of libertarian free will that you have presented, this doesn't make any sense.

If I were trying to decide something arbitrary for example, such as choosing X or choosing Y, and I were to weigh the different choices with all the possible implications of that decision, and then I choose X, would a proponent of libertarian free will really say that my deliberation had no determining influence on my choice?
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
If I were trying to decide something arbitrary for example, such as choosing X or choosing Y, and I were to weigh the different choices with all the possible implications of that decision, and then I choose X, would a proponent of libertarian free will really say that my deliberation had no determining influence on my choice?
No. I think they would say that some or all of the deliberation was free and/or the final choice was free, but that the deliberation certainly affects the outcome. Kai appears to be saying something like this with his Presidential decision, but I don't understand exactly how the analogy works.

~~ Paul
 
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