So you think you have free will

I don't see how you are going to get libertarian free will out of this.

~~ Paul
Well, I haven't mentioned that. But if the meaning is that person A could have made a different choice, then yes, I think they could have done, and the base of that is finally this same indeterminacy/agency in nature. I am not of course saying that they could have made any choice, as there are many conditionals.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
Well, I haven't mentioned that. But if the meaning is that person A could have made a different choice, then yes, I think they could have done, and the base of that is finally this same indeterminacy/agency in nature. I am not of course saying that they could have made any choice, as there are many conditionals.
If the state of affairs is the same, then the only way I see a person making a different choice is by flipping a coin.

~~ Paul
 
If the state of affairs is the same, then the only way I see a person making a different choice is by flipping a coin.

~~ Paul
Well, that's an ideological stance. In my view, if the state of affairs is the same, then a pivot of open-ness exists in the universe, even with the heaviest action of conditionals, and they could have chosen differently. And this is also an ideological, or if you prefer, philosophical stance. I don't think there is anything about prior conditions that would *force* me to turn left as opposed to right, when leaving a chair, or anything that would *force* a radioactive nucleus to decompose at a given moment.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
Well, that's an ideological stance. In my view, if the state of affairs is the same, then a pivot of open-ness exists in the universe, even with the heaviest action of conditionals, and they could have chosen differently. And this is also an ideological, or if you prefer, philosophical stance. I don't think there is anything about prior conditions that would *force* me to turn left as opposed to right, when leaving a chair, or anything that would *force* a radioactive nucleus to decompose at a given moment.
Events such as beta decay appear to be random, so they have nothing to do with this issue.

I have no idea what you mean by a "pivot of open-ness" and how it allows me to choose differently in a way that is not a coin flip.

~~ Paul
 
Events such as beta decay appear to be random, so they have nothing to do with this issue.

I have no idea what you mean by a "pivot of open-ness" and how it allows me to choose differently in a way that is not a coin flip.

~~ Paul
I would say that decay events illustrate the irreducible aspect of open-ness. There is absolutely no way of predicting them. They are, if you will, the "bare" possibility of different paths. Does it decay now? Does it decay later?

I can equally well say that I have no idea "how" what you are calling randomness causes a beta particle to decay at an unpredictable moment, other than to say "it's just random," which is tautological. I think that in both instances (how randomness behaves "randomly" and how agency behaves "agentically")...these are both phantom "hows"...neither refer to mechanisms that can actually exist) The point being, it reduces to a metaphysical primitive imo, which can be assigned a materialist notion or a nonmaterialist notion (as I do).
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
I would say that decay events illustrate the irreducible aspect of open-ness. There is absolutely no way of predicting them. They are, if you will, the "bare" possibility of different paths. Does it decay now? Does it decay later?
That's what we call random.

I can equally well say that I have no idea "how" what you are calling randomness causes a beta particle to decay at an unpredictable moment, other than to say "it's just random," which is tautological. I think that in both instances (how randomness behaves "randomly" and how agency behaves "agentically")...these are both phantom "hows"...neither refer to mechanisms that can actually exist) The point being, it reduces to a metaphysical primitive imo, which can be assigned a materialist notion or a nonmaterialist notion (as I do).
It's random with some probability distribution that we can determine. Random is not tautological, because random means not deterministic. It is simply one half of the determined/not-determined dichotomy. You are suggesting that we don't have a dichotomy. It would be nice to hear a whiff of a hint about what the third possibility is.

~~ Paul
 
That's just nomenclature. Not explanation. You are the one who is demanding a "how" of agency. The same should be applied to the way you are using 'random." It does not have an "explanation" in my opinion.

It's random with some probability distribution that we can determine. Random is not tautological, because random means not deterministic. It is simply one half of the determined/not-determined dichotomy. You are suggesting that we don't have a dichotomy. It would be nice to hear a whiff of a hint about what the third possibility is.
Again, that's just nomenclature, because that doesn't tell me how, in practice, a radiocative nucleus goes about being "not deterministic." And, as I said, this is the same boat for how an agent goes about the business of irreducible agency.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
Again, that's just nomenclature, because that doesn't tell me how, in practice, a radiocative nucleus goes about being "not deterministic." And, as I said, this is the same boat for how an agent goes about the business of irreducible agency.
It is nondeterministic because the time at which a beta decay occurs is not determined by anything in the past. It occurs at an arbitrary point in time, within some probability distribution, with no priors having anything to do with the point in time. It goes about being "not deterministic" by virtue of not being determined by prior events. There is nothing more to say, because there are no preceding events to describe.

We have events determined by priors. We have events not determined by priors. Some folks propose that we have a third kind of event. Can they give a hint of how something can be neither "determined by prior events" nor "not determined by prior events"?

~~ Paul
 
It is nondeterministic because the time at which a beta decay occurs is not determined by anything in the past. It occurs at an arbitrary point in time, within some probability distribution, with no priors having anything to do with the point in time. It goes about being "not deterministic" by virtue of not being determined by prior events. There is nothing more to say, because there are no preceding events to describe.
Yes Paul, but "how" does it do that with no priors?..and that is exactly the same question you are asking of agency. And just as with agency it cannot be answered, so with randomness (on the materialist standpoint) it cannot be answered either. The above is a description only (and that is the very reason why there is "no more to say"). I can give an equally worthwhile description in terms of agency. But it is not explanation, again because I don't think there is one.
We have events determined by priors. We have events not determined by priors. Some folks propose that we have a third kind of event. Can they give a hint of how something can be neither "determined by prior events" nor "not determined by prior events"?
I don't see a need for a third category. The events not determined by priors are the action of agency.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
Yes Paul, but "how" does it do that with no priors?..and that is exactly the same question you are asking of agency. And just as with agency it cannot be answered, so with randomness (on the materialist standpoint) it cannot be answered either. The above is a description only (and that is the very reason why there is "no more to say"). I can give an equally worthwhile description in terms of agency. But it is not explanation, again because I don't think there is one.
There is no how for random events because there is no cause. On the other hand, you are presumably not suggesting that the agent makes free decisions with no cause, If there were no cause, then the decisions would have nothing to do with my state of affairs, my desires, or my needs. They would be arbitrary. There is only one way that something can come out if there is no cause: stochastically. That is of no consolation to the libertarian.

I agree that in some ways these two things are similar. However, no one is asking the stochastic event to have some relation to a personal agent that supposedly has free will. Once we require that relation, then the question of agency becomes more complex than that of randomness. And it certainly is not the same thing.

I'm also willing to believe that some processes we now think are stochastic will turn out to be deterministic. But I wouldn't bet on it.

I don't see a need for a third category. The events not determined by priors are the action of agency.
Then the agent is making arbitrary decisions.

~~ Paul
 
There is no how for random events because there is no cause. On the other hand, you are presumably not suggesting that the agent makes free decisions with no cause, If there were no cause, then the decisions would have nothing to do with my state of affairs, my desires, or my needs. They would be arbitrary. There is only one way that something can come out if there is no cause: stochastically. That is of no consolation to the libertarian.
I don't know if I'm a Libertarian or not. What I'm suggesting is that agency is required to pivot events. Without conditionals, i.e. complicated minds and predisposing factors, they will simply pivot, because that is the action reduced to its lowest common denominator. With conditionals, and hence minds, disposing factors will bias the pivot.

I agree that in some ways these two things are similar. However, no one is asking the stochastic event to have some relation to a personal agent that supposedly has free will. Once we require that relation, then the question of agency becomes more complex than that of randomness. And it certainly is not the same thing.
"Stoachatic" is another one of those synonyms for indeterminacy and randomly occuring happenings. Also, a personal agent...not sure what you mean by that. Do you mean a person? If so, then, imo, that is agency hugely complicated via biasing conditionals. Still, I'd maintain that a pivot remains, and that nothing can "force" me to turn left as opposed to right when I stand up out of a chair. And...I think it's the same thing that can't coerce a radioactive nucleus to decay at any given moment, and prevents any prediction for when it will.

I'm also willing to believe that some processes we now think are stochastic will turn out to be deterministic. But I wouldn't bet on it.
That's conceivable. So is the reverse, of course.

Then the agent is making arbitrary decisions.
The "decision" *is* arbitrary if there are no conditionals (e.g. radionuclear decay). It isn't if there are.

~~ Paul[/quote]
 
My claim is that determinism and randomness exhaust the logical possibilities. But, by all means, as I have said multiple times, discard the framework of the natural sciences. Now please explain how an agent can make a decision that won't sound as if it is predetermined or arbitrary, or whatever words you want to use to describe those logical possibilities.
I said that determinism / randomness is not a logical but metaphysics dichotomy. I can also say that free / not free exhaust all logical possibilities, which is trivially true.

An agent is influenced by deterministic and random factors, but not determined by them. Over and out.
 
Brilliant study telling us nothing new. Your mind is influenced by your body doesnt mean that it controls it so the title of the thread goes bye bye.
At the same time let's talk about people who fast (I am one of them). What biochemical factors do influence them to fast??
 
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