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Libet's experiments and free will

dylancatlow
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5/15/2014 9:16:40 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
...After subjects were invited to make freely-timed voluntary
movements of their right hands, an electrical brain wave
called the Bereitschaftspotential ("readiness-potential")
appeared over the motor areas of their left cerebral
hemispheres some 500 to 800 milliseconds (0.5-0.8 seconds)
before they were aware of intending to act, with muscular
electrical activity not appearing until its near-completion
another 0.2 seconds later. On the basis of these data, the
experimenters concluded that voluntary neural activity
appears to be preceded by physiological neural activity, and
that even though awareness of intent comes almost a second
after the onset of the neural activity in question, it is
interpreted by the subject as having come "first". In other
words, a voluntary act may begin well in advance of the
conscious intent to perform it, but the subject interprets
things the other way around.
Where does this leave free will? Right about where
causality would be if it were ever found that what we think
are "causes" actually occur after their "effects": in the OUT
basket. Could we really be so clueless that what we call our
"intentions" are just delusions that occur only after our
actions are first initiated by our subconscious minds,
perhaps under the rigid guidance of deterministic
mechanisms in light of which we amount to little more than
self-deluding automata? What could possibly be going on
here?
Let"s begin by taking a look at bodily movements in
general. A reflex is an automatic muscular reaction that does
not directly involve the brain. Because reflexes have a
protective function, speed is of the essence, and the resulting
movements are general enough that no conscious action is
required. An example is the patellar reflex, the familiar
medical "knee-jerk test" in which the tendon just below the
kneecap is tapped with a rubber hammer. In a healthy
patient, this causes a quick, unintended outward jerk of the
lower leg. Why? The tap of the hammer triggers sensory
nerve cells that send a message to the spinal cord.
Ordinarily, sensory stimuli travel up the spinal cord
to the brain for conscious processing, but not in this case.
Instead, the spinal cord responds directly to motor neurons
in the muscle, causing the muscle to contract and the lower
leg to kick out. Although the brain seems to exercise a
general one-way "gating effect" influencing reflexes
throughout the body, the sense-response loop or "reflex arc"
never gets far enough up the spinal cord for brain-based
conscious volition to specifically intervene. A particular
reflex can be surprising to one experiencing it for the first
time; the idea of being able to act (or react) without willing it
can be as hard to absorb as the idea of acting before willing it.
In contrast, a voluntary movement originates not with
the sensation of heat on a fingertip or a hammer to the knee,
but in the brain itself, the seat of consciousness. It has always
been assumed that voluntary acts are just what they appear
to be: actions resulting from, and therefore following,
causative volition. The chain of events is supposed to be as
follows: (1) We think about something we desire, possibly on
the basis of sensory input. (2) We form the goal of having it
and formulate a plan to get it, even if that plan consists of
only a simple body movement. (3) We execute the plan. (4)
We obtain or fail to obtain the desired object or state. Step 1
takes place in the cerebral cortex and hypothalamus (the
source of drives). Step 2 involves higher-order reasoning and
judgment occurring mainly in the frontal lobes. Step 3
involves those parts of the cerebral cortex specialized for
voluntary movement, including the primary motor cortex,
its associated premotor areas, and other motion-specific
neural aggregates. And step 4 feeds back into the limbic
system, which registers the satisfaction or frustration of the
original drive.
Now let"s have a closer look at the distinction
between a reflex and a voluntary act. A voluntary act is
purposeful and directed towards the completion of a task; a
reflex is merely a response to a stimulus. A voluntary act
performed in response to a stimulus can vary according to
the task being performed; a reflex obviously cannot (because
no task is involved). A voluntary act is "endogenous" or
internally generated; a reflex is externally stimulated. A
voluntary act can be adapted to various circumstances, and
its speed and accuracy improved through practice; a reflex is
relatively immutable. And because higher levels of the
motor system can dissociate the informational content of a
stimulus from its capacity to trigger a movement, the
information can be voluntarily processed and the movement
either permitted or interdicted. With a reflex, there is no
such opportunity.
However, the work of Libet et al introduces a new
degree of similarity to voluntary and reflex actions: both are
to some extent beneath awareness and therefore
"subconscious" in that sense of the term, which we shall
henceforth replace with "unconscious" to avoid Freudian
connotations. In the type of voluntary act studied by Libet
and his colleagues, conscious awareness is still technically in
control; it precedes the act itself by 0.2 seconds and can in
principle "veto" the movement even after the readiness-
potential has been initiated. But regarding this point of
initiation, one kind of act is no more voluntary than the
other. In neither case does the act begin with conscious
awareness of the intention to act. The main difference is that
while something belatedly purporting to be conscious intent
finally appears half a second or more after the beginning of
the so-called "voluntary" act, it never appears at all with the
reflex. Or if one prefers, the reflex lacks the volitive
equivalent of esprit de l"escalier.
How are these results to be interpreted? Libet himself
feels that since the 200 ms separating conscious intent from
muscular contraction is time enough to consciously veto or
permit the movement precipitated by the readiness
potential, free will remains intact. Thus, although we cannot
be held accountable for our apparently unconscious
impulses to act, we remain accountable for whether or not
we yield to them. However, others have more extreme
opinions. For example, C.M. Fisher (If There Were No Free
Will, 2001) speaks for many when he suggests that Libet"s
research points to a conclusion that "may be reached on the
basis of rather elementary observation"the behavior of
humans represents the electrochemical activity of the brain,
involuntary, devoid of will and wish. We are automatons."
While Fisher admits that this bleak impression may
somehow turn out to be incorrect, he holds it sufficiently
likely to be worth serious exploration.
But as regards the question of free will, neither of
these interpretations is entirely satisfactory. For while
neither Libet nor Fisher holds that the data alone decide the
issue, each nevertheless voices a bias regarding the existence
of free will, Libet"s being affirmative and Fisher"s negative.
Libet holds free will to be a matter of conscious clearance of
prior impulse; Fisher holds free will to be less likely than
servitude to deterministic brain chemistry, suggesting that
we get used to the idea that we are "automatons".

Continued below
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,255
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5/15/2014 9:18:12 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Thus,
each one (1) admits that the data are insufficient to decide
the free will issue, and (2) unabashedly proceeds to weigh in
on the issue anyway, trying to use the data to support his
personal opinion on the matter. And in each case, the
opinion posits a definite restriction on what most of the
human race considers "free will" to be.
In fact, there are other ways to explain the data. For
example, the subject may unconsciously choose a target
position for the circle and wait for the circle to reach this
position before "deciding" to act. In this case, the readiness
potential could be merely anticipatory, following the
unconscious choice of a target position.
Along much the same lines, the subject may choose a
task and formulate an appropriate general plan on a
combination of conscious and unconscious levels, delegating
certain parts of the execution of this plan, as well as details
of scheduling, to the unconscious mind. The unconscious
mind would then take responsibility for that which has been
delegated to it, executing various subtasks when appropriate
and "reminding" the conscious mind of its responsibility to
"intend" those acts just before committing them. The
conscious mind would automatically take these cues,
thereby reserving the right of final authorization and
selectively permitting or interdicting the associated
unconscious impulses.
The latter explanation incorporates several key
concepts. One such concept is the mind"s supposed ability to
delegate various responsibilities to conscious or unconscious
levels of processing, implying that the unconscious mind can
to some extent function autonomously, without benefit of
direct, step-by-step conscious oversight. Another is the
distinction between tasks and subtasks in goal-related
processing and behavior. This distinction permits the
distinction of an overall task-related decision, e.g. deciding
to perform a sequence of voluntary hand movements, from
constituent subtask-related decisions, e.g. deciding to
perform one of the hand movements in question.
Yet another such concept is higher-order
intentionality, or "intent to intend". For example, intending
to perform a sequence of voluntary hand movements
amounts to intending to intend to perform each of the hand
movements in the sequence, and where the latter (lower-
order) intentions are generated by the unconscious level of
processing, they can in turn be regarded as a unconscious
intentions to consciously intend to permit or veto the impulses
associated with the unconscious intentions themselves. We
thus have a kind of "volitional loop" involving two levels of
processing, and two levels of intentionality, instead of the
single level usually acknowledged"a multilevel control
loop in which the "higher" (conscious) level of volitional
processing is insulated from the noise and complexity
generated by the "lower", unconscious nuts-and-bolts level,
which thus functions to some extent autonomously.
Does this new explanation of volition as a multilevel
control loop have any weaknesses? One possible weakness is
the fact that because we associate control with
consciousness, the very idea of "unconscious volition" seems
semantically inconsistent. Relegating any part of a volitional
control function to a non-conscious level of mental
processing seems to contradict the premise that we possess
the freedom to control our actions.
However, a little reflection should reveal that the
horse of cognition is already long gone from the barn of
consciousness anyway. If the conscious mind, which has an
innate need to function within a well-defined conceptual
system in order to ensure its informational integrity, were
ever made responsible for the details of the complex,
tentative, rapid-fire neural dialogue that microscopically
relates one well-defined state of consciousness to its
successor, cognition would immediately break down like a
tired old jalopy. With a catastrophic "kapow!" from its
exhaust pipe and a sad sigh of defeat from beneath its hood,
it would forcibly retreat into the wakeless sleep of
unrealizability. One might as well demand that the output of
a computer never be acknowledged until the user has
accounted for each of the millions of logical operations by
means of which it was generated. Such a demand cannot be
met within the bounds of practicality.
The moral of this story should now be obvious.
Above, we cited an assumed chain of events comprising a
voluntary act. We can now refine that chain as follows. (1)
We think about something we desire, possibly on the basis
of sensory input. This step amounts to consciously setting
general parameters for a supertask or task sequence. (2) We
form the goal of possessing the object of desire and
formulate a plan to get it. This step amounts to consciously
defining the supertask using the parameters of step 1, and
automatically delegating as much of it as possible to the
unconscious mind. (3) We execute the plan. This step, which
may consist of numerous individual tasks or substeps, is
executed on a tentative basis by the unconscious mind,
which generates impulses that are subjected to conscious
oversight as they become sufficiently well-defined to emerge
into consciousness. (4) We obtain, or fail to obtain, the
desired object or state, at which point the limbic system
registers satisfaction or frustration.
Notice that at no point does anything come into being
without the involvement of the conscious mind. The
conscious mind chooses the overall task and clears or vetoes
each subtask as it emerges from the unconscious
background to which it was delegated under conscious
oversight. In interpreting the Libet experiment, we need
simply remember that when the subject consciously accepts
the task of generating a sequence of voluntary actions
(subtasks) over a given period of time, the entire future
contribution of the unconscious mind is automatically
requisitioned. At all times, the subject is doing just what he
or she has consciously agreed and decided to do, nothing
more and nothing less, but with the indispensable help of
unconscious faculties without which the conscious mind
could not function.
So the real value of the Libet experiment is not that it
answers the philosophical question of whether or not free
will exists, but merely that it provides data that clarify the
operation of free will on the assumption that it does exist by
elucidating the cerebral dynamics of volition.
What if the brains of experimental subjects, including
electrical potentials and conscious ideations, could be
monitored without their knowledge by means of a remote
scanning procedure, and the experiment were concealed to
make them unaware of it? Then they would not be known
by the experimenters to have agreed to a specific
experimental task, and some of their actions might appear
truly spontaneous. It would be interesting to see whether the
Bereitschaftspotential still precedes conscious intent in all
cases. But if so, could spontaneity be ascertained? It is hard
to see how a voluntary act of any kind could be certified as
"spontaneous" where responsibility for subtasks is
automatically delegated to the unconscious mind. Any such
act could be related to any purpose consciously adopted at
any time in the past, and even the subject may be unable to
identify the purpose in question. In principle, the
unconscious mind could be involved in a complex,
protracted, consciously-authorized sequence of sensorimotor
transactions in which the role of a given "spontaneous" act
may be quite inscrutable.
What would it take to decide the question of the
existence of free will?

Continued below
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,255
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5/15/2014 9:18:34 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Because the answer depends on
whether the universe evolves in a deterministic or
nondeterministic way, this is a metaphysical rather than a
merely psychological question. Indeed, answering this
question requires an understanding of not only psychology
and reality at large, but their logical interface"the
relationship of mind and reality. In other words, it requires a
comprehensive theory of reality uniting the subjective and
objective sides of existence. Within the overarching
framework of such a theory, psychological and neurological
phenomena could finally be interpreted in a way that
clarifies their deeper philosophical significance.

- The Art of Knowing
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,255
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5/15/2014 10:53:50 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/15/2014 10:13:17 AM, Objectivity wrote:
much confusion, much longevity, request tl;dr

More like 'I don't want to read it because that takes concentration.'
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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5/16/2014 1:24:53 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
It could be that consciousness causes the neural activity through the retro-causal effects of quantum mechanics (this is actually the view of Hameroff). So, it would seem as if the neural activity is causing the conscious experience, but really it would be the other way around.
Objectivity
Posts: 1,073
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5/16/2014 8:58:05 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/15/2014 10:53:50 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/15/2014 10:13:17 AM, Objectivity wrote:
much confusion, much longevity, request tl;dr

More like 'I don't want to read it because that takes concentration.'

And it takes times that I don't have. The topic seems interesting, but not enough to compel me to use up most of the time I have in a day for DDO.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,255
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5/16/2014 8:59:36 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/16/2014 8:58:05 AM, Objectivity wrote:
At 5/15/2014 10:53:50 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/15/2014 10:13:17 AM, Objectivity wrote:
much confusion, much longevity, request tl;dr

More like 'I don't want to read it because that takes concentration.'

And it takes times that I don't have. The topic seems interesting, but not enough to compel me to use up most of the time I have in a day for DDO.

This is the main bit:

The latter explanation incorporates several key
concepts. One such concept is the mind"s supposed ability to
delegate various responsibilities to conscious or unconscious
levels of processing, implying that the unconscious mind can
to some extent function autonomously, without benefit of
direct, step-by-step conscious oversight. Another is the
distinction between tasks and subtasks in goal-related
processing and behavior. This distinction permits the
distinction of an overall task-related decision, e.g. deciding
to perform a sequence of voluntary hand movements, from
constituent subtask-related decisions, e.g. deciding to
perform one of the hand movements in question.
Yet another such concept is higher-order
intentionality, or "intent to intend". For example, intending
to perform a sequence of voluntary hand movements
amounts to intending to intend to perform each of the hand
movements in the sequence, and where the latter (lower-
order) intentions are generated by the unconscious level of
processing, they can in turn be regarded as a unconscious
intentions to consciously intend to permit or veto the impulses
associated with the unconscious intentions themselves. We
thus have a kind of "volitional loop" involving two levels of
processing, and two levels of intentionality, instead of the
single level usually acknowledged"a multilevel control
loop in which the "higher" (conscious) level of volitional
processing is insulated from the noise and complexity
generated by the "lower", unconscious nuts-and-bolts level,
which thus functions to some extent autonomously.
Does this new explanation of volition as a multilevel
control loop have any weaknesses? One possible weakness is
the fact that because we associate control with
consciousness, the very idea of "unconscious volition" seems
semantically inconsistent. Relegating any part of a volitional
control function to a non-conscious level of mental
processing seems to contradict the premise that we possess
the freedom to control our actions.
However, a little reflection should reveal that the
horse of cognition is already long gone from the barn of
consciousness anyway. If the conscious mind, which has an
innate need to function within a well-defined conceptual
system in order to ensure its informational integrity, were
ever made responsible for the details of the complex,
tentative, rapid-fire neural dialogue that microscopically
relates one well-defined state of consciousness to its
successor, cognition would immediately break down like a
tired old jalopy. With a catastrophic "kapow!" from its
exhaust pipe and a sad sigh of defeat from beneath its hood,
it would forcibly retreat into the wakeless sleep of
unrealizability. One might as well demand that the output of
a computer never be acknowledged until the user has
accounted for each of the millions of logical operations by
means of which it was generated. Such a demand cannot be
met within the bounds of practicality.
n7
Posts: 1,360
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5/16/2014 11:02:12 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/16/2014 1:24:53 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
It could be that consciousness causes the neural activity through the retro-causal effects of quantum mechanics (this is actually the view of Hameroff). So, it would seem as if the neural activity is causing the conscious experience, but really it would be the other way around.

Yes, but that would seem like an ad hoc. Also quantum theories of the mind have a lot of problems and are rejected by pretty much every physicist and neuroscientist . They fail in a lot of their predictions.
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,255
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5/17/2014 9:07:15 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/16/2014 11:02:12 AM, n7 wrote:
At 5/16/2014 1:24:53 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
It could be that consciousness causes the neural activity through the retro-causal effects of quantum mechanics (this is actually the view of Hameroff). So, it would seem as if the neural activity is causing the conscious experience, but really it would be the other way around.

Yes, but that would seem like an ad hoc. Also quantum theories of the mind have a lot of problems and are rejected by pretty much every physicist and neuroscientist . They fail in a lot of their predictions.

Are you referring to psi effects?
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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5/19/2014 3:15:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I've said this before, but Libet's experiment generally has as much counterevidence as evidence:

https://www.youtube.com...
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
dylancatlow
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5/19/2014 3:17:28 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/19/2014 3:15:08 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
I've said this before, but Libet's experiment generally has as much counterevidence as evidence:

https://www.youtube.com...

Can you tl;dr?
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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5/19/2014 3:34:49 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/19/2014 3:17:28 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/19/2014 3:15:08 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
I've said this before, but Libet's experiment generally has as much counterevidence as evidence:

https://www.youtube.com...

Can you tl;dr?

1) Irony :P

2) Libet's experiment on re-enactments did not get the same results when corrected for more modern mechanisms for evaluating reaction times. That, and the lack of reliability for reaction times itself.

The actual paper is always a b*tch for me to find, but I've found a reference to it here:

http://www.consciousentities.com...

More exposition is found here:

http://www.consciousentities.com...
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,255
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5/19/2014 5:00:24 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/19/2014 3:34:49 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 5/19/2014 3:17:28 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/19/2014 3:15:08 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
I've said this before, but Libet's experiment generally has as much counterevidence as evidence:

https://www.youtube.com...

Can you tl;dr?

1) Irony :P

haha ikr.


2) Libet's experiment on re-enactments did not get the same results when corrected for more modern mechanisms for evaluating reaction times. That, and the lack of reliability for reaction times itself.

The actual paper is always a b*tch for me to find, but I've found a reference to it here:

http://www.consciousentities.com...

More exposition is found here:

http://www.consciousentities.com...

Thanks
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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5/19/2014 5:04:00 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/19/2014 5:00:24 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/19/2014 3:34:49 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 5/19/2014 3:17:28 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/19/2014 3:15:08 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
I've said this before, but Libet's experiment generally has as much counterevidence as evidence:

https://www.youtube.com...

Can you tl;dr?

1) Irony :P

haha ikr.


2) Libet's experiment on re-enactments did not get the same results when corrected for more modern mechanisms for evaluating reaction times. That, and the lack of reliability for reaction times itself.

The actual paper is always a b*tch for me to find, but I've found a reference to it here:

http://www.consciousentities.com...

More exposition is found here:

http://www.consciousentities.com...

Thanks

No problem :) It's a very interesting subject, in my opinion. Libet himself concludes in favour of free will, after all, and it is cool to see why.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
Wocambs
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8/9/2014 6:45:17 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/15/2014 9:18:12 AM, dylancatlow wrote:

Aren't you just restating what I learnt in Biology? 'So kids, when you're sitting in your chair, your cerebellum is making all kinds of tiny adjustments to maintain your posture'.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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8/9/2014 12:53:27 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/16/2014 11:02:12 AM, n7 wrote:
At 5/16/2014 1:24:53 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
It could be that consciousness causes the neural activity through the retro-causal effects of quantum mechanics (this is actually the view of Hameroff). So, it would seem as if the neural activity is causing the conscious experience, but really it would be the other way around.

Yes, but that would seem like an ad hoc.

Not at all. Retro-causal quantum effects have been proven to exist, it isn't some made up solution to the problem of the Libet experiments just to try to get around it.

Also quantum theories of the mind have a lot of problems and are rejected by pretty much every physicist and neuroscientist .

This is just flat out false. Take Roger Penrose for example (esteemed physicist who has worked with Stephen Hawking), he believes in Quantum Theories of mind. What about Max Tegmark? He believes Quantum Mechanics plays a huge role of the mind.

They fail in a lot of their predictions.

Such as?
dylancatlow
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8/9/2014 3:08:09 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/9/2014 6:45:17 AM, Wocambs wrote:
At 5/15/2014 9:18:12 AM, dylancatlow wrote:

Aren't you just restating what I learnt in Biology? 'So kids, when you're sitting in your chair, your cerebellum is making all kinds of tiny adjustments to maintain your posture'.

Well, considering that this has neither to do with Libet's experiments nor free will, I'd say they're pretty different. Our reflexes don't provide any support for the notion of free will in light of Libet's experiments. The point of the OP was to explain that free will would have to exist in conjunction with some degree of mental automation in order to function. Libet's experiments simply confirm this.

The key passage was:

For example, intending to perform a sequence of voluntary hand movements
amounts to intending to intend to perform each of the hand
movements in the sequence, and where the latter (lower-
order) intentions are generated by the unconscious level of
processing, they can in turn be regarded as a unconscious
intentions to consciously intend to permit or veto the impulses
associated with the unconscious intentions themselves. We
thus have a kind of "volitional loop" involving two levels of
processing, and two levels of intentionality, instead of the
single level usually acknowledged"a multilevel control
loop in which the "higher" (conscious) level of volitional
processing is insulated from the noise and complexity
generated by the "lower", unconscious nuts-and-bolts level,
which thus functions to some extent autonomously.
Jedi4
Posts: 330
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8/9/2014 3:53:54 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/9/2014 12:53:27 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/16/2014 11:02:12 AM, n7 wrote:
At 5/16/2014 1:24:53 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
It could be that consciousness causes the neural activity through the retro-causal effects of quantum mechanics (this is actually the view of Hameroff). So, it would seem as if the neural activity is causing the conscious experience, but really it would be the other way around.

Yes, but that would seem like an ad hoc.

Not at all. Retro-causal quantum effects have been proven to exist, it isn't some made up solution to the problem of the Libet experiments just to try to get around it.

Also quantum theories of the mind have a lot of problems and are rejected by pretty much every physicist and neuroscientist .

This is just flat out false. Take Roger Penrose for example (esteemed physicist who has worked with Stephen Hawking), he believes in Quantum Theories of mind. What about Max Tegmark? He believes Quantum Mechanics plays a huge role of the mind.

They fail in a lot of their predictions.

Such as?

Hey so you dont seem to now much about this topic.

The quantum mechanic of the mind fails the quantum mock test of the double slit experiment. The brain can be examined and projected on an apparatus. When doing this we fail see any quantum mechanic in our mirror tests.
Wocambs
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8/11/2014 8:10:01 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/9/2014 3:08:09 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
The point of the OP was to explain that free will would have to exist in conjunction with some degree of mental automation in order to function

What I was saying is that the 'unconscious' actions as part of conscious actions serve merely to facilitate those conscious actions.

We
thus have a kind of "volitional loop" involving two levels of
processing, and two levels of intentionality, instead of the
single level usually acknowledged"a multilevel control
loop in which the "higher" (conscious) level of volitional
processing is insulated from the noise and complexity
generated by the "lower", unconscious nuts-and-bolts level,
which thus functions to some extent autonomously

I don't understand how you can conceive of an 'unconscious intention', an intention being an idea, ideas being things imagined, imagination requiring consciousness.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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8/11/2014 11:14:31 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/9/2014 3:53:54 PM, Jedi4 wrote:
At 8/9/2014 12:53:27 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/16/2014 11:02:12 AM, n7 wrote:
At 5/16/2014 1:24:53 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
It could be that consciousness causes the neural activity through the retro-causal effects of quantum mechanics (this is actually the view of Hameroff). So, it would seem as if the neural activity is causing the conscious experience, but really it would be the other way around.

Yes, but that would seem like an ad hoc.

Not at all. Retro-causal quantum effects have been proven to exist, it isn't some made up solution to the problem of the Libet experiments just to try to get around it.

Also quantum theories of the mind have a lot of problems and are rejected by pretty much every physicist and neuroscientist .

This is just flat out false. Take Roger Penrose for example (esteemed physicist who has worked with Stephen Hawking), he believes in Quantum Theories of mind. What about Max Tegmark? He believes Quantum Mechanics plays a huge role of the mind.

They fail in a lot of their predictions.

Such as?

Hey so you dont seem to now much about this topic.

Ad hominem.


The quantum mechanic of the mind fails the quantum mock test of the double slit experiment.

How so?

The brain can be examined and projected on an apparatus. When doing this we fail see any quantum mechanic in our mirror tests.

Actually, wave-function collapse has been found in microtubules in the brain. So, Quantum Theories of mind are viable.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,255
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8/11/2014 11:18:04 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/11/2014 8:10:01 AM, Wocambs wrote:
At 8/9/2014 3:08:09 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
The point of the OP was to explain that free will would have to exist in conjunction with some degree of mental automation in order to function

What I was saying is that the 'unconscious' actions as part of conscious actions serve merely to facilitate those conscious actions.


...Except the existence of our reflexes doesn't allow us to explain Libet's experimental data in a way that keeps free will intact.

We
thus have a kind of "volitional loop" involving two levels of
processing, and two levels of intentionality, instead of the
single level usually acknowledged"a multilevel control
loop in which the "higher" (conscious) level of volitional
processing is insulated from the noise and complexity
generated by the "lower", unconscious nuts-and-bolts level,
which thus functions to some extent autonomously

I don't understand how you can conceive of an 'unconscious intention', an intention being an idea, ideas being things imagined, imagination requiring consciousness.

In this case, an unconscious intention means the option of moving our hand emerges from our unconscious mind into our conscious mind, presenting us with the choice of moving our hand (which is resolved by our free will). In other words, you can think of free will like an executive, and the unconscious intentions as his advisors who inform him of choices to make.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,255
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8/11/2014 11:23:42 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/9/2014 12:53:27 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/16/2014 11:02:12 AM, n7 wrote:
At 5/16/2014 1:24:53 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
It could be that consciousness causes the neural activity through the retro-causal effects of quantum mechanics (this is actually the view of Hameroff). So, it would seem as if the neural activity is causing the conscious experience, but really it would be the other way around.

Yes, but that would seem like an ad hoc.

Not at all. Retro-causal quantum effects have been proven to exist, it isn't some made up solution to the problem of the Libet experiments just to try to get around it.


Rational_Thinker is absolutely right about this. The existence of Psi effects are well documented and undeniable.