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Description of Free Will

Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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6/27/2014 6:39:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I'm just wondering if this (long winded) description if free will is something that is agreeable even by the compatibilists out there:

BCF = Big Contingent Fact. I.e. All contingent facts, including atom locations, speeds, direction, chemical composition. All contingent information of that world (the proposition of everything.

For a world (w1), with a BCF, then after a "choice event" the BCF will have changed to yield BCF* (I.e. The contingent facts have all changed to yield a new set, or simply the world has changed)

Given this, if free will exists, then it is logically possible for a world (w2) to exist with exactly the same BCF that after the same "choice event", the BCF will have changed to yield BCF**

BCF** is different to BCF*

This is just a long winded way of saying that for any decision made, it is logically possible for me to have made a different decision, all things equal, except in modal form.

Thoughts?
Raisor
Posts: 4,461
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6/27/2014 8:15:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
That is a description of what free will might be, it isn't an argument that it exists.

But I'm not sure what you are trying to put forward.
Wocambs
Posts: 1,505
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6/27/2014 8:15:14 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/27/2014 6:39:58 PM, Envisage wrote:
I'm just wondering if this (long winded) description if free will is something that is agreeable even by the compatibilists out there:

BCF = Big Contingent Fact. I.e. All contingent facts, including atom locations, speeds, direction, chemical composition. All contingent information of that world (the proposition of everything.

For a world (w1), with a BCF, then after a "choice event" the BCF will have changed to yield BCF* (I.e. The contingent facts have all changed to yield a new set, or simply the world has changed)

Given this, if free will exists, then it is logically possible for a world (w2) to exist with exactly the same BCF that after the same "choice event", the BCF will have changed to yield BCF**

BCF** is different to BCF*

This is just a long winded way of saying that for any decision made, it is logically possible for me to have made a different decision, all things equal, except in modal form.

Thoughts?

How could it be logically possible for you to make a different decision with all things being equal? That would be a self-contradiction. Agent X decided to do A, therefore he could not have decided to do B without not being Agent X unless his decision to do B is contingent on something other than Agent X's decision-making process, i.e. all things are not equal.
Raisor
Posts: 4,461
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6/27/2014 8:24:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I also don't see what is novel about this formulation. It seems to just say a choice is free if the contingent facts impacted by that choice are logically possible.

But of course a determinist would say that there is only one set of facts that is continently possible.
sdavio
Posts: 1,798
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6/28/2014 12:01:13 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I said this in the other thread, but if you could have equally chosen something else all being the same, then it is nonsense to ascribe that choice to the person as an agent, since what you are describing is truly random.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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6/28/2014 4:50:20 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/27/2014 8:24:25 PM, Raisor wrote:
I also don't see what is novel about this formulation. It seems to just say a choice is free if the contingent facts impacted by that choice are logically possible.

It wasn't really meant to be novel, it was mostly aimed at deterministic compatiblists. But now I look at that formulation it seems that if I determinism is true, then by that reasoning we have free will... It only works assuming indeterminism.

Actually something just clicked in my brain... Gonna scribble some stuff down. Watch this space.

But of course a determinist would say that there is only one set of facts that is continently possible.
GOD-vs-ITSELF
Posts: 274
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6/28/2014 1:38:31 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/28/2014 4:50:20 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 6/27/2014 8:24:25 PM, Raisor wrote:
I also don't see what is novel about this formulation. It seems to just say a choice is free if the contingent facts impacted by that choice are logically possible.

It wasn't really meant to be novel, it was mostly aimed at deterministic compatiblists. But now I look at that formulation it seems that if I determinism is true, then by that reasoning we have free will... It only works assuming indeterminism.

Actually something just clicked in my brain... Gonna scribble some stuff down. Watch this space.

But of course a determinist would say that there is only one set of facts that is continently possible.

I suppose if there were two robots, compatiblist and determinist. The determinist would be the intellectually honest one, while the compatiblist could say if it was programmed differently, then it wouldn't make the same choices, and claim free will on the basis of identity.
If You Believe In Free Will, Then Don't Picture A Hippo For One Minute. Starting NOW