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Free will and Nueroscience

Pfalcon1318
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3/28/2015 12:04:55 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I've noticed that, frequently, there will be a determinist that claims that because "our brains make decisions for us", we are not free. Setting aside the fact that a definition for "free" is never offered, is there anyone who has seen this kind of argument and can explain what it's supposed to mean?

I find that there is a serious issue of personal identity here. What does it mean for my brain to make a decision, and how does that differ from me making a decision? I suppose the idea of subconscious action could be used, but I have yet to see subconscious activity used within such arguments (if they can be called that).

Anyone got any thoughts?
Fkkize
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3/28/2015 7:05:23 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Neuroscience is often critiziced by philosophers for their language used, e.g., neurons 'fireing' 'signals' and for assigning mental states directly to one brain areal, e.g., anxiety comes from the amygdala. In reality this is much more complicated.
If someone is to claim that it really is the brain, as the biological organ, making the decission then she is probably a reductive materialist of some sort, which I don't regard as a tenable position.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Pfalcon1318
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3/28/2015 11:10:27 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/28/2015 7:05:23 AM, Fkkize wrote:
Neuroscience is often critiziced by philosophers for their language used, e.g., neurons 'fireing' 'signals' and for assigning mental states directly to one brain areal, e.g., anxiety comes from the amygdala. In reality this is much more complicated.
If someone is to claim that it really is the brain, as the biological organ, making the decission then she is probably a reductive materialist of some sort, which I don't regard as a tenable position.

Does that have to do with it's failure to explain qualia?
Fkkize
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3/28/2015 11:18:32 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/28/2015 11:10:27 AM, Pfalcon1318 wrote:

Does that have to do with it's failure to explain qualia?

Spot-on.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Pfalcon1318
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3/28/2015 11:39:28 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/28/2015 11:18:32 AM, Fkkize wrote:

Spot-on.

So, presumably, you would say there is some way in which a "mind" exists as categorically distinct from the brain? Whether as an emergent phenomenon or else an independent substance?

I'm pretty sure those are the only options left.
Fkkize
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3/28/2015 12:23:42 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/28/2015 11:39:28 AM, Pfalcon1318 wrote:
So, presumably, you would say there is some way in which a "mind" exists as categorically distinct from the brain? Whether as an emergent phenomenon or else an independent substance?

I'm pretty sure those are the only options left.

Not exactly, I think without a brain there can be no mind.
I hold that there are physical and mental properties of the underlying physical substance.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
PetersSmith
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3/28/2015 12:28:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/28/2015 12:04:55 AM, Pfalcon1318 wrote:
I've noticed that, frequently, there will be a determinist that claims that because "our brains make decisions for us", we are not free. Setting aside the fact that a definition for "free" is never offered, is there anyone who has seen this kind of argument and can explain what it's supposed to mean?

I find that there is a serious issue of personal identity here. What does it mean for my brain to make a decision, and how does that differ from me making a decision? I suppose the idea of subconscious action could be used, but I have yet to see subconscious activity used within such arguments (if they can be called that).

Anyone got any thoughts?

You ever heard of a guy named B.F. Skinner? He believed that free will is an illusion and that any human action is the result of the consequences of the same action. If the consequences are bad, there is a high chance that the action will not be repeated; however if the consequences are good, the actions that led to it will become more probable.
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Pfalcon1318
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3/28/2015 12:57:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/28/2015 12:23:42 PM, Fkkize wrote:

Not exactly, I think without a brain there can be no mind.
I hold that there are physical and mental properties of the underlying physical substance.

I suppose the question was worded strangely, but I get what you're saying.
Pfalcon1318
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3/28/2015 1:00:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/28/2015 12:28:05 PM, PetersSmith wrote:

You ever heard of a guy named B.F. Skinner? He believed that free will is an illusion and that any human action is the result of the consequences of the same action. If the consequences are bad, there is a high chance that the action will not be repeated; however if the consequences are good, the actions that led to it will become more probable.

I haven't heard of Skinner, but I don't think that position really makes much sense. It doesn't explain why the action is initially taken. That is, for the first time that an action A is taken, since there is no previous instance of A for there to be any consequences of. As such, there is no probability to ascribe to it (unless you're going to try to assign a prior probability - good luck with that).

Perhaps he has some work that explains why he holds free will to be an illusion?
Pfalcon1318
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3/28/2015 1:03:20 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/28/2015 1:00:34 PM, Pfalcon1318 wrote:
At 3/28/2015 12:28:05 PM, PetersSmith wrote:

You ever heard of a guy named B.F. Skinner? He believed that free will is an illusion and that any human action is the result of the consequences of the same action. If the consequences are bad, there is a high chance that the action will not be repeated; however if the consequences are good, the actions that led to it will become more probable.

I haven't heard of Skinner, but I don't think that position really makes much sense. It doesn't explain why the action is initially taken. That is, for the first time that an action A is taken, since there is no previous instance of A for there to be any consequences of. As such, there is no probability to ascribe to it (unless you're going to try to assign a prior probability - good luck with that).

Perhaps he has some work that explains why he holds free will to be an illusion?

Edit:

That is, for the first time that an action A is taken, since there is no previous instance of A for there to be any consequences of, there is no way that the previous consequences of it can make A more or less probable.
Fkkize
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3/28/2015 1:05:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/28/2015 12:28:05 PM, PetersSmith wrote:
You ever heard of a guy named B.F. Skinner? He believed that free will is an illusion and that any human action is the result of the consequences of the same action. If the consequences are bad, there is a high chance that the action will not be repeated; however if the consequences are good, the actions that led to it will become more probable.

What does one behaviorist say to another when they meet on the street?
"You're fine. How am I?"
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Pfalcon1318
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3/28/2015 1:11:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/28/2015 1:05:36 PM, Fkkize wrote:

What does one behaviorist say to another when they meet on the street?
"You're fine. How am I?"

Nice.
NoMagic
Posts: 507
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3/28/2015 5:51:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/28/2015 12:04:55 AM, Pfalcon1318 wrote:
I've noticed that, frequently, there will be a determinist that claims that because "our brains make decisions for us", we are not free. Setting aside the fact that a definition for "free" is never offered, is there anyone who has seen this kind of argument and can explain what it's supposed to mean?

I find that there is a serious issue of personal identity here. What does it mean for my brain to make a decision, and how does that differ from me making a decision? I suppose the idea of subconscious action could be used, but I have yet to see subconscious activity used within such arguments (if they can be called that).

Anyone got any thoughts?

As a hard determinist, I think the difference is in the notion that you, the being, is free to make choices. Where a determinists thinks, your choice isn't free. It is governed by things you don't choose. If your choice is governed by things the individual doesn't choose, then the individual isn't free to make choices.
I think good examples of this are preferences. One doesn't choose a preference. A person doesn't say, "I'm going to prefer blondes." That would be free choice. Instead a person says, "I prefer blondes." Noting the later isn't a free choice. Now the same person approaches a blond over a brunette. The "choice" (not really a choice) is due to the preference, the preference isn't chosen by the individual, no free choice.
You also mentioned the "self." There is no self. There is no single you. You are a committee of competing desires. This is also fairly easy to notice. I offer you a piece of cake, part of you wants to eat it, part doesn't. You wish to stay faithful to your spouse, yet you wish to sleep with other people. You want to diet, but you still eat to much food. You freeze your credit card in ice (to avoid use), because you cannot control your spending (the desire to use the card). If there was only one you, a self, you should only have one opinion. Yet much of our lives are torn between two or more desires, suggesting no single unified opinion or perspective.
No free will. No self. Not what I would consider preferable, but this appears to be the case.
Pfalcon1318
Posts: 44
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3/29/2015 1:16:05 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/28/2015 5:51:31 PM, NoMagic wrote:

As a hard determinist, I think the difference is in the notion that you, the being, is free to make choices. Where a determinists thinks, your choice isn't free. It is governed by things you don't choose. If your choice is governed by things the individual doesn't choose, then the individual isn't free to make choices.
I think good examples of this are preferences. One doesn't choose a preference. A person doesn't say, "I'm going to prefer blondes." That would be free choice. Instead a person says, "I prefer blondes." Noting the later isn't a free choice. Now the same person approaches a blond over a brunette. The "choice" (not really a choice) is due to the preference, the preference isn't chosen by the individual, no free choice.
You also mentioned the "self." There is no self. There is no single you. You are a committee of competing desires. This is also fairly easy to notice. I offer you a piece of cake, part of you wants to eat it, part doesn't. You wish to stay faithful to your spouse, yet you wish to sleep with other people. You want to diet, but you still eat to much food. You freeze your credit card in ice (to avoid use), because you cannot control your spending (the desire to use the card). If there was only one you, a self, you should only have one opinion. Yet much of our lives are torn between two or more desires, suggesting no single unified opinion or perspective.
No free will. No self. Not what I would consider preferable, but this appears to be the case.

You seem to be taking the same route that Sam Harris did, in his book on free will. It is neither reasonable nor convincing. This is akin to arguing that because we are subject to gravity, we don't have free will. Only an irrational person would subscribe to such a position. You're going to have to provide a more convincing argument than: "We don't freely choose our preferences, therefore we can't freely choose anything".

If I prefer blondes, this is not a sufficient condition for my approaching the blonde I see standing in line for movie tickets, for example. At best, it could be a necessary condition for my approaching her, but necessary conditions aren't enough to explain causal relationships. Further, can I not act in a way which runs counter to my preferences? Am I required by my preference for blondes to actually pursue only blondes? Why specifically pursue the blonde in line for movie tickets over the blonde at the register? All of this under the assumption that your initial conditional is true, which I see no reason to believe it is.

Then there is this claim that "There is no single you. You are a committee of competing desires". How does having competing desires lead to the conclusion that there is no self? That's a blatant non-sequitur.

As for the self and desires.... That's also a non-sequitur.
NoMagic
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3/29/2015 4:27:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/29/2015 1:16:05 AM, Pfalcon1318 wrote:
At 3/28/2015 5:51:31 PM, NoMagic wrote:

As a hard determinist, I think the difference is in the notion that you, the being, is free to make choices. Where a determinists thinks, your choice isn't free. It is governed by things you don't choose. If your choice is governed by things the individual doesn't choose, then the individual isn't free to make choices.
I think good examples of this are preferences. One doesn't choose a preference. A person doesn't say, "I'm going to prefer blondes." That would be free choice. Instead a person says, "I prefer blondes." Noting the later isn't a free choice. Now the same person approaches a blond over a brunette. The "choice" (not really a choice) is due to the preference, the preference isn't chosen by the individual, no free choice.
You also mentioned the "self." There is no self. There is no single you. You are a committee of competing desires. This is also fairly easy to notice. I offer you a piece of cake, part of you wants to eat it, part doesn't. You wish to stay faithful to your spouse, yet you wish to sleep with other people. You want to diet, but you still eat to much food. You freeze your credit card in ice (to avoid use), because you cannot control your spending (the desire to use the card). If there was only one you, a self, you should only have one opinion. Yet much of our lives are torn between two or more desires, suggesting no single unified opinion or perspective.
No free will. No self. Not what I would consider preferable, but this appears to be the case.

You seem to be taking the same route that Sam Harris did, in his book on free will. It is neither reasonable nor convincing. This is akin to arguing that because we are subject to gravity, we don't have free will. Only an irrational person would subscribe to such a position. You're going to have to provide a more convincing argument than: "We don't freely choose our preferences, therefore we can't freely choose anything".

If I prefer blondes, this is not a sufficient condition for my approaching the blonde I see standing in line for movie tickets, for example. At best, it could be a necessary condition for my approaching her, but necessary conditions aren't enough to explain causal relationships. Further, can I not act in a way which runs counter to my preferences? Am I required by my preference for blondes to actually pursue only blondes? Why specifically pursue the blonde in line for movie tickets over the blonde at the register? All of this under the assumption that your initial conditional is true, which I see no reason to believe it is.

Then there is this claim that "There is no single you. You are a committee of competing desires". How does having competing desires lead to the conclusion that there is no self? That's a blatant non-sequitur.

As for the self and desires.... That's also a non-sequitur.

I've read three books on free will, including Harris'. His take is reasonable and correct. It is also in alignment with the consensus of those in the field. A quote from "Who's In Charge? Free will and the science of the brain," "neuroscientist have accepted that brain is a probabilistically determined system."
Free Will is the notion that a person is free to make choices. If you spend a little bit of time thinking about how you make choices and your own behavior, free will becomes something that cannot exist. Your behavior is consistent, that consistency needs to be grounded in something. And thus the behavior isn't free. Even if you believe in the magic of a soul, your soul is either programmed with your preferences, or controlled in someway to maintain your preferences. Either way, you aren't in control. You aren't free from your preferences. And your preferences aren't chosen.
The brain is one of those areas where most of the general public have completely wrong. In the neuroscience field, the evidence all points to a determined system, and the evidence also points to a brain that is governed by a committee and not a single perspective.
I've offered this challenge to all those who I discuss free will with. Not once has anyone even attempted the challenge. Maybe you will be the first.
I'll grant you any magic of your choosing. You don't have to show the magic to be real. You can use any magic you fabricate. The challenge, "Explain how someone CAN have free will." The stipulations: you can use magic to explain free will, your explanation must map to what we observe in human behavior. That's about it. You seem confident you have free will. So confident that you've dismissed the education of a neuroscientist and all his years of experience in the field, Sam Harris's. Since you have a stronger grasp than neuroscientist in this, I'm confident you can explain free will. So let's hear it.
Goya
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3/29/2015 6:15:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/28/2015 12:28:05 PM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 3/28/2015 12:04:55 AM, Pfalcon1318 wrote:
I've noticed that, frequently, there will be a determinist that claims that because "our brains make decisions for us", we are not free. Setting aside the fact that a definition for "free" is never offered, is there anyone who has seen this kind of argument and can explain what it's supposed to mean?

I find that there is a serious issue of personal identity here. What does it mean for my brain to make a decision, and how does that differ from me making a decision? I suppose the idea of subconscious action could be used, but I have yet to see subconscious activity used within such arguments (if they can be called that).

Anyone got any thoughts?

You ever heard of a guy named B.F. Skinner? He believed that free will is an illusion and that any human action is the result of the consequences of the same action. If the consequences are bad, there is a high chance that the action will not be repeated; however if the consequences are good, the actions that led to it will become more probable.

This relies on the assumption that behaviorism is true, and in the case of human beings, it is clear that psychology has more to say than the S-R model.
Pfalcon1318
Posts: 44
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3/29/2015 11:20:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/29/2015 4:27:11 PM, NoMagic wrote:
I've read three books on free will, including Harris'. His take is reasonable and correct. It is also in alignment with the consensus of those in the field. A quote from "Who's In Charge? Free will and the science of the brain," "neuroscientist have accepted that brain is a probabilistically determined system."
Free Will is the notion that a person is free to make choices. If you spend a little bit of time thinking about how you make choices and your own behavior, free will becomes something that cannot exist. Your behavior is consistent, that consistency needs to be grounded in something. And thus the behavior isn't free. Even if you believe in the magic of a soul, your soul is either programmed with your preferences, or controlled in someway to maintain your preferences. Either way, you aren't in control. You aren't free from your preferences. And your preferences aren't chosen.
The brain is one of those areas where most of the general public have completely wrong. In the neuroscience field, the evidence all points to a determined system, and the evidence also points to a brain that is governed by a committee and not a single perspective.
I've offered this challenge to all those who I discuss free will with. Not once has anyone even attempted the challenge. Maybe you will be the first.
I'll grant you any magic of your choosing. You don't have to show the magic to be real. You can use any magic you fabricate. The challenge, "Explain how someone CAN have free will." The stipulations: you can use magic to explain free will, your explanation must map to what we observe in human behavior. That's about it. You seem confident you have free will. So confident that you've dismissed the education of a neuroscientist and all his years of experience in the field, Sam Harris's. Since you have a stronger grasp than neuroscientist in this, I'm confident you can explain free will. So let's hear it.

1). Consensus does not equal truth. That is argumentum ad populum. Simply because many people believe something doesn't mean it is true. The fact that they are experts in the field doesn't change this. Galileo and Copernicus was a member of the minority, but now we consider them to be correct.

2) I have made no claims that I understand neuroscience better than neuroscientists. However, there is no reason to suspect that neuroscientists are correct simply because they are neuroscientists. They can still be incorrect, even in their own field.

Additionally, I have not once claimed that we do have free will. I just don't think the Neuroscience Objection to free will is at all convincing.

3) Per the general libertarian definition of free will, someone can be said to have free will if the following conditions apply:

I. There exist alternatives to the action they in fact took.
II. The action that they took is uncoerced.
III. They are free of disorders which necessitate the action.

If those conditions apply, the person would have made a free choice.

So, even if I do act in accordance with my preferences, this doesn't imply that I could not have acted differently.

4) Consistent does not mean determined. If I regularly (consistently) wear dark clothing simply because I prefer it to light clothing, does this mean that I cannot instead wear light clothing? Or, in relation to your example of preference for blondes: Can I not instead try to date a brunette or even a red-head?

5) Exactly what neuroscientific evidence is it that points to a "committee of governance" over action? Additionally, what evidence is it that points to a determined system?
Fkkize
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3/30/2015 3:25:16 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I'll grant you any magic of your choosing. You don't have to show the magic to be real. You can use any magic you fabricate.

The fact that you think of magic as the only alternative to hard determinism indicates that you are not well on the topic.

Also Sam Harris.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
NoMagic
Posts: 507
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3/30/2015 6:56:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/30/2015 3:25:16 AM, Fkkize wrote:
I'll grant you any magic of your choosing. You don't have to show the magic to be real. You can use any magic you fabricate.

The fact that you think of magic as the only alternative to hard determinism indicates that you are not well on the topic.


Also Sam Harris.

Me granting magic doesn't mean that is what I see as the only alternative. If you actually read what I said, I don't even think magic grants free will. Which is why I grant it.

But, you have my ears. Can you explain free will? Can you explain how it can work, magic or no magic, you choose?
NoMagic
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3/31/2015 9:00:21 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/29/2015 11:20:43 PM, Pfalcon1318 wrote:
At 3/29/2015 4:27:11 PM, NoMagic wrote:
I've read three books on free will, including Harris'. His take is reasonable and correct. It is also in alignment with the consensus of those in the field. A quote from "Who's In Charge? Free will and the science of the brain," "neuroscientist have accepted that brain is a probabilistically determined system."
Free Will is the notion that a person is free to make choices. If you spend a little bit of time thinking about how you make choices and your own behavior, free will becomes something that cannot exist. Your behavior is consistent, that consistency needs to be grounded in something. And thus the behavior isn't free. Even if you believe in the magic of a soul, your soul is either programmed with your preferences, or controlled in someway to maintain your preferences. Either way, you aren't in control. You aren't free from your preferences. And your preferences aren't chosen.
The brain is one of those areas where most of the general public have completely wrong. In the neuroscience field, the evidence all points to a determined system, and the evidence also points to a brain that is governed by a committee and not a single perspective.
I've offered this challenge to all those who I discuss free will with. Not once has anyone even attempted the challenge. Maybe you will be the first.
I'll grant you any magic of your choosing. You don't have to show the magic to be real. You can use any magic you fabricate. The challenge, "Explain how someone CAN have free will." The stipulations: you can use magic to explain free will, your explanation must map to what we observe in human behavior. That's about it. You seem confident you have free will. So confident that you've dismissed the education of a neuroscientist and all his years of experience in the field, Sam Harris's. Since you have a stronger grasp than neuroscientist in this, I'm confident you can explain free will. So let's hear it.

1). Consensus does not equal truth. That is argumentum ad populum. Simply because many people believe something doesn't mean it is true. The fact that they are experts in the field doesn't change this. Galileo and Copernicus was a member of the minority, but now we consider them to be correct.

A scientific consensus is highly reliable. Certainly more reliable than lay public understanding on any subject. My conclusion is two fold. Before I read any books on free will, I gave it up because it cannot be explained and doesn't make sense in the world we see. Then I read the books, I read what the experts in the field had to say. One of the books even argued for free will, while citing all the evidence that undermines it. In the end, the book for, was only a redefinition of free will. The neuroscientist author, who wished to keep some form of free will (not the publics version) the best he could do was a redefinition. That doesn't bold well for those who wish to believe in free will.

2) I have made no claims that I understand neuroscience better than neuroscientists. However, there is no reason to suspect that neuroscientists are correct simply because they are neuroscientists. They can still be incorrect, even in their own field.

You have dismissed the body of evidence from neuroscience, the neuroscientist's conclusions based on the evidence. Yes you have basically claimed you know more on free will then those who study the brain. Some can be incorrect. It is unlikely an entire field (meaning high majority) are incorrect. And once again, for me, this isn't only based on the consensus of the field, there is no evidence for free will, and there is no explanation of how someone can have it. The free will side is incredibly weak, it truly has nothing, and the determinism side is incredibly strong, with loads of evidence.

Additionally, I have not once claimed that we do have free will. I just don't think the Neuroscience Objection to free will is at all convincing.

I generally think emotion creeps in here. Free will strikes at our very core. How we perceive ourselves is in question. How we perceive others, blaming them, rewarding them, is in question. I think most object for emotional reasons, not scientific reasons. Not sure if you fall into that category, but most seem to.

3) Per the general libertarian definition of free will, someone can be said to have free will if the following conditions apply:

I. There exist alternatives to the action they in fact took.
II. The action that they took is uncoerced.
III. They are free of disorders which necessitate the action.

If those conditions apply, the person would have made a free choice.

That is a far to simple description of the topic. You have to think deeper. Under that definition we should remove the word "free." I will give you, that definition fits the term "will." But, it doesn't fit "free."
Number 3, "free of disorders" this seems to acknowledge a mental disorder, removes free will. And guess what, that removes everyone's free will. What is a mental disorder? A condition of the brain. What governs my behavior? The condition of my brain. This is the thinking deeper portion. Mental disorder or not, we all are subjected to the material brain. That is your will, but it isn't free. Your brain is a function of your genes. You are your genes, "disordered" or only "less disordered."

So, even if I do act in accordance with my preferences, this doesn't imply that I could not have acted differently.

Yes it does. Over simplified example. Only for illustration. Preference A, blondes, preference strength, 6.5 (1-10), Preference B, desires to believe in free will, preference strength, 9.7. Not all preferences are equals.
Man sees blond and brunette girls at a table. Man would approach blond first, but wants, due to preference B, to believe he is making the choice. Choose to approach brunette. Was this a free choice. No. It was governed by the stronger preference. Making a choice doesn't grant you free will.

4) Consistent does not mean determined. If I regularly (consistently) wear dark clothing simply because I prefer it to light clothing, does this mean that I cannot instead wear light clothing? Or, in relation to your example of preference for blondes: Can I not instead try to date a brunette or even a red-head?

Last sentence is way to simple of an understanding. It actually represents a very limited understanding of the topic. No worth addressing.

Consistent behavior means your behavior must be grounded or attached to something. Your personality traits remain fairly consistent over your life time. How do you explain this? Why are you, consistently you? Where is this behavior grounded? What is it attached to? This requires an explanation. Now I have one from a determinists view. I'll let you offer one from someone who thinks they have free will. How is it that you have a consistent personality?

5) Exactly what neuroscientific evidence is it that points to a "committee of governance" over action? Additionally, what evidence is it that points to a determined system?

All of it, evidence of a determined system.
1st, drugs, injury, disease of the material brain alters behavior, pointing to a material system
2nd Vast amounts of evidence, marketing, priming, gender related traits (greater violence in males), test that show subconscious choices before known consciously, magnetic fields alter perception, read some neuroscience articles or books. Its all there. Much evidence.

I also noticed you didn't attempt the challenge. Really wish someday some one would give it a try.

http://exploringthemind.com...

http://www.nature.com...
Pfalcon1318
Posts: 44
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3/31/2015 11:44:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/31/2015 9:00:21 PM, NoMagic wrote:
A scientific consensus is highly reliable. Certainly more reliable than lay public understanding on any subject. My conclusion is two fold. Before I read any books on free will, I gave it up because it cannot be explained and doesn't make sense in the world we see. Then I read the books, I read what the experts in the field had to say. One of the books even argued for free will, while citing all the evidence that undermines it. In the end, the book for, was only a redefinition of free will. The neuroscientist author, who wished to keep some form of free will (not the publics version) the best he could do was a redefinition. That doesn't bold well for those who wish to believe in free will.

Scientific consensus can be predicated on incorrect assumptions. To deny that would be to argue that science is, somehow, infallible, which seems to be magic to me. Humans are fallible. Science is the an effort on the part of humans. Hence, science is fallible. Further, the very heart of science is explaining and predicting, so it would make sense that scientists try to construct a model of human decision making that is predictable. The "publics version" of free will is simply that we do certain things by choice, not because of the conjunction of antecedent events and the laws of nature.

You have dismissed the body of evidence from neuroscience, the neuroscientist's conclusions based on the evidence. Yes you have basically claimed you know more on free will then those who study the brain. Some can be incorrect. It is unlikely an entire field (meaning high majority) are incorrect. And once again, for me, this isn't only based on the consensus of the field, there is no evidence for free will, and there is no explanation of how someone can have it. The free will side is incredibly weak, it truly has nothing, and the determinism side is incredibly strong, with loads of evidence.

Again, astronomists of old were incorrect about the orbit of planets, and the organization thereof. It is not a stretch to think that we still have a ways to go in terms of accurately describing the world. Even scientists would agree that we can only do the best we can with what we have.


I generally think emotion creeps in here. Free will strikes at our very core. How we perceive ourselves is in question. How we perceive others, blaming them, rewarding them, is in question. I think most object for emotional reasons, not scientific reasons. Not sure if you fall into that category, but most seem to.

Um...ok? Not really worth a response.

3) Per the general libertarian definition of free will, someone can be said to have free will if the following conditions apply:

That is a far to simple description of the topic. You have to think deeper. Under that definition we should remove the word "free." I will give you, that definition fits the term "will." But, it doesn't fit "free."
Number 3, "free of disorders" this seems to acknowledge a mental disorder, removes free will. And guess what, that removes everyone's free will. What is a mental disorder? A condition of the brain. What governs my behavior? The condition of my brain. This is the thinking deeper portion. Mental disorder or not, we all are subjected to the material brain. That is your will, but it isn't free. Your brain is a function of your genes. You are your genes, "disordered" or only "less disordered."


You asked me to explain how free will would work. You are trying to redefine a term that is presented in a specific context. This is what libertarians mean by free will. As I said earlier, arguing against some stronger form of free will (more accurately called Maximal Autonomy) is not going to work. Simply because I can't choose my preferences does not mean I can't choose to act in accordance with them or not.

Yes it does. Over simplified example. Only for illustration. Preference A, blondes, preference strength, 6.5 (1-10), Preference B, desires to believe in free will, preference strength, 9.7. Not all preferences are equals.
Man sees blond and brunette girls at a table. Man would approach blond first, but wants, due to preference B, to believe he is making the choice. Choose to approach brunette. Was this a free choice. No. It was governed by the stronger preference. Making a choice doesn't grant you free will.

Yeah, you're going to have to use a better example then. It's so oversimplified, I can't even see the point of it. To say that "preferences govern our actions" is to say "we act how we want", which would support a libertarian perspective on human action.

4) Consistent does not mean determined. If I regularly (consistently) wear dark clothing simply because I prefer it to light clothing, does this mean that I cannot instead wear light clothing? Or, in relation to your example of preference for blondes: Can I not instead try to date a brunette or even a red-head?

Consistent behavior means your behavior must be grounded or attached to something. Your personality traits remain fairly consistent over your life time. How do you explain this? Why are you, consistently you? Where is this behavior grounded? What is it attached to? This requires an explanation. Now I have one from a determinists view. I'll let you offer one from someone who thinks they have free will. How is it that you have a consistent personality?

What does this have to do with free will? I would grant that there is some degree to which certain traits are the result of our physiology. However, what I do not hold is that my wearing a white shirt over a gray one is the result of the conjunction of the laws of nature and antecedent events, which determinists do hold.

Depression, for example, can be the result of physiological make-up. You seem to be thinking that libertarians hold that we can act with absolutely no regard for physical limitations or barriers, which is not what libertarians hold. Rather, libertarians, generally, hold that our actions are not necessitated by the laws of nature combined with antecedent events.

All of it, evidence of a determined system.
1st, drugs, injury, disease of the material brain alters behavior, pointing to a material system
2nd Vast amounts of evidence, marketing, priming, gender related traits (greater violence in males), test that show subconscious choices before known consciously, magnetic fields alter perception, read some neuroscience articles or books. Its all there. Much evidence.

Again, you aren't addressing the libertarian view. I will grant that certain physical transformations add new barriers to choices of actions, similar to how gravity prevents me from flying or my mortality prevents me from jumping from the Empire State Building and surviving. This is not really an argument against libertarian free will.


I also noticed you didn't attempt the challenge. Really wish someday some one would give it a try.

I've already done your challenge. I offered a way that one can be said to have free will. If you are asking for a process by which free will actually works, there are a number of theories one could appeal to. However, it is on the determinist to establish reasons for a movie from status quo.

Also, being able to predict a button press (when only two button presses are available) after setting particular requirements (that you have to wait a certain amount of time before pressing the button), and asking someone to tell you when the decided to push the button doesn't equate to an experiment in favor of determinism. I don't know when I decided to wear a white shirt, but I do know that I did in fact decide to wear a white shirt. Again, you will have to explain to me how it is that my wearing a white shirt is necessitated by the conjunction of the laws of nature and antecedent events.
Garbanza
Posts: 1,997
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4/1/2015 4:22:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Yeah, it's confusing because suppose you chose to grow jasmine in your garden because of some childhood experience that you've totally suppressed. That's still you choosing, even though you don't understand why. Unconscious processes are still part of the "you" in relation to free will. Possibly, if there was some cultural tabboo against jasmine, it would override your unconscious desire and you wouldn't grow it. You can't help wanting to conform to cultural norms. That's just who you are. But even so, that's still "you" making the choice.

We have this experience of "self" which is largely illusory. It makes a difference if you mean free will in relation to that subjective self or in relation to the human organism as a whole.
UndeniableReality
Posts: 1,897
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4/1/2015 5:04:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/28/2015 7:05:23 AM, Fkkize wrote:
Neuroscience is often critiziced by philosophers for their language used, e.g., neurons 'fireing' 'signals' and for assigning mental states directly to one brain areal, e.g., anxiety comes from the amygdala. In reality this is much more complicated.
If someone is to claim that it really is the brain, as the biological organ, making the decission then she is probably a reductive materialist of some sort, which I don't regard as a tenable position.

Don't you meant that philosophers are often criticized by neuroscientists for those reasons? What kind of neuroscientist would ever say that "anxiety comes from the amygdala"?
NoMagic
Posts: 507
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4/1/2015 8:44:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/31/2015 11:44:51 PM, Pfalcon1318 wrote:
At 3/31/2015 9:00:21 PM, NoMagic wrote:
A scientific consensus is highly reliable. Certainly more reliable than lay public understanding on any subject. My conclusion is two fold. Before I read any books on free will, I gave it up because it cannot be explained and doesn't make sense in the world we see. Then I read the books, I read what the experts in the field had to say. One of the books even argued for free will, while citing all the evidence that undermines it. In the end, the book for, was only a redefinition of free will. The neuroscientist author, who wished to keep some form of free will (not the publics version) the best he could do was a redefinition. That doesn't bold well for those who wish to believe in free will.

Scientific consensus can be predicated on incorrect assumptions. To deny that would be to argue that science is, somehow, infallible, which seems to be magic to me. Humans are fallible. Science is the an effort on the part of humans. Hence, science is fallible. Further, the very heart of science is explaining and predicting, so it would make sense that scientists try to construct a model of human decision making that is predictable. The "publics version" of free will is simply that we do certain things by choice, not because of the conjunction of antecedent events and the laws of nature.

You have dismissed the body of evidence from neuroscience, the neuroscientist's conclusions based on the evidence. Yes you have basically claimed you know more on free will then those who study the brain. Some can be incorrect. It is unlikely an entire field (meaning high majority) are incorrect. And once again, for me, this isn't only based on the consensus of the

Again, astronomists of old were incorrect about the orbit of planets, and the organization thereof. It is not a stretch to think that we still have a ways to go in terms of accurately describing the world. Even scientists would agree that we can only do the best we can with what we have.


I generally think emotion creeps in here. Free will strikes at our very core. How we perceive ourselves is in question. How we perceive others, blaming them, rewarding them, is in question. I think most object for emotional reasons, not scientific reasons. Not sure if you fall into that category, but most seem to.

Um...ok? Not really worth a response.

3) Per the general libertarian definition of free will, someone can be said to have free will if the following conditions apply:

That is a far to simple description of the topic. You have to think deeper. Under that definition we should remove the word "free." I will give you, that definition fits the term "will." But, it doesn't fit "free."
Number 3, "free of disorders" this seems to acknowledge a mental disorder, removes free will. And guess what, that removes everyone's free will. What is a mental disorder? A condition of the brain. What governs my behavior? The condition of my brain. This is the thinking deeper portion. Mental disorder or not, we all are subjected to the material brain. That is your will, but it isn't free. Your brain is a function of your genes. You are your genes, "disordered" or only "less disordered."


You asked me to explain how free will would work. You are trying to redefine a term that is presented in a specific context. This is what libertarians mean by free will. As I said earlier, arguing against some stronger form of free will (more accurately called Maximal Autonomy) is not going to work. Simply because I can't choose my preferences does not mean I can't choose to act in accordance with them or not.

Yes it does. Over simplified example. Only for illustration. Preference A, blondes, preference strength, 6.5 (1-10), Preference B, desires to believe in free will, preference strength, 9.7. Not all preferences are equals.
Man sees blond and brunette girls at a table. Man would approach blond first, but wants, due to preference B, to believe he is making the choice. Choose to approach brunette. Was this a free choice. No. It was governed by the stronger preference. Making a choice doesn't grant you free will.

Yeah, you're going to have to use a better example then. It's so oversimplified, I can't even see the point of it. To say that "preferences govern our actions" is to say "we act how we want", which would support a libertarian perspective on human action.

4) Consistent does not mean determined. If I regularly (consistently) wear dark clothing simply because I prefer it to light clothing, does this mean that I cannot instead wear light clothing? Or, in relation to your example of preference for blondes: Can I not instead try to date a brunette or even a red-head?

Consistent behavior means your behavior must be grounded or attached to something. Your personality traits remain fairly consistent over your life time. How do you explain this? Why are you, consistently you? Where is this behavior grounded? What is it attached to? This requires an explanation. Now I have one from a determinists view. I'll let you offer one from someone who thinks they have free will. How is it that you have a consistent personality?

What does this have to do with free will? I would grant that there is some degree to which certain traits are the result of our physiology. However, what I do not hold is that my wearing a white shirt over a gray one is the result of the conjunction of the laws of nature and antecedent events, which determinists do hold.

Depression, for example, can be the result of physiological make-up. You seem to be thinking that libertarians hold that we can act with absolutely no regard for physical limitations or barriers, which is not what libertarians hold. Rather, libertarians, generally, hold that our actions are not necessitated by the laws of nature combined with antecedent events.

All of it, evidence of a determined system.
1st, drugs, injury, disease of the material brain alters behavior, pointing to a material system
2nd Vast amounts of evidence, marketing, priming, gender related traits (greater violence in males), test that show subconscious choices before known consciously, magnetic fields alter perception, read some ne




I've already done your challenge. I offered a way that one can be said to have free will

If it was there, it must have been wrong or really weak, because I didn't even notice.

I'm going to end my side of the conversation. You don't have a strong enough grasp of the subject to have an enjoyable discussion about it. If you have any desire to learn about free will (I don't think you do) than I would suggest you read a few books. At least then, you would be in a place to have the discussion.
It is to foolish to think, all those neuroscientist who do the experiments, who look at the data, who's lives revolve around the reactions in the brain, they all have gotten it wrong, and you, who has done no experiments, who has read no books, who has read no studies, who can't explain free will (no you didn't meet my challenge) you are the one who is correct.
When it comes to the educated or the ignorant, I side with the educated all the time.
You began by asking "your thoughts." I gave you mine because I thought you were interested. You aren't. And I'm not interested in continuing the conversation with someone who is several grade levels behind on the subject.
Pfalcon1318
Posts: 44
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4/2/2015 2:05:20 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/1/2015 8:44:24 PM, NoMagic wrote:
I'm going to end my side of the conversation. You don't have a strong enough grasp of the subject to have an enjoyable discussion about it. If you have any desire to learn about free will (I don't think you do) than I would suggest you read a few books. At least then, you would be in a place to have the discussion.
It is to foolish to think, all those neuroscientist who do the experiments, who look at the data, who's lives revolve around the reactions in the brain, they all have gotten it wrong, and you, who has done no experiments, who has read no books, who has read no studies, who can't explain free will (no you didn't meet my challenge) you are the one who is correct.
When it comes to the educated or the ignorant, I side with the educated all the time.
You began by asking "your thoughts." I gave you mine because I thought you were interested. You aren't. And I'm not interested in continuing the conversation with someone who is several grade levels behind on the subject.

Whatever you say, dude. You can't establish the truth of determinism any more than libertarians can establish the truth of free will.

Trying to garner my level of understanding of a subject based on a very elementary discussion is, at best, unwise. What you have essentially done is called me ignorant because i don't support your position.... I'd rather be ignorant than have no basis for my belief. I don't believe in either determinism or free will, I am agnostic on both, however, determinists don't really have much to go on.
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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4/2/2015 8:12:49 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/1/2015 5:04:45 PM, UndeniableReality wrote:

Don't you meant that philosophers are often criticized by neuroscientists for those reasons?

No, I meant exatly what I wrote. I don't even know how these reasons would apply vice versa.

What kind of neuroscientist would ever say that "anxiety comes from the amygdala"?

Maybe this was an oversimplified example.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
UndeniableReality
Posts: 1,897
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4/2/2015 8:24:06 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/2/2015 8:12:49 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 4/1/2015 5:04:45 PM, UndeniableReality wrote:

Don't you meant that philosophers are often criticized by neuroscientists for those reasons?

No, I meant exatly what I wrote. I don't even know how these reasons would apply vice versa.

What kind of neuroscientist would ever say that "anxiety comes from the amygdala"?

Maybe this was an oversimplified example.

Interesting. I'm much more familiar with neuroscientists criticizing philosophers for misusing and misunderstanding terms and concepts from neuroscience when discussing philosophy of mind.