Does anyone believe in free will? If so how would it work, obviously in a completely material world it doesn't make sense but even in a spiritual world view I fail to see how it would work. Surely to have a will you need to have a personality, identity or set of values in order for the decision not to be random and if you have one of the above then then the means by which you excercise your free will is set before you come to making any decision. Right? RIGHT?!
The "illusion" of free will is subjectively indistinguishable from the reality of free will, so it's a false distinction. Checkmate, determinists.
>obviously in a completely material world it doesn't make sense but even in a spiritual world view I fail to see how it would work
The word "spiritual" has too much religious baggage to be used in this context. Try dualist or idealist instead.
>Surely to have a will you need to have a personality, identity or set of values in order for the decision not to be random
Not really. There just needs to be consciousness.
>the means by which you excercise your free will is set before you come to making any decision
I don't see how that follows.
>Not really. There just needs to be consciousness.
No, there has to be a will, that is different to a conciousness, a conciousness can be entirely responsive.
>I don't see how that follows.
If you have an personality or set of values then those, being set before the decision is made, make the decision. I think a will must be made up of preferences so it even if decision making exists outside of the material world it is still determined by those prefences.
if two things are subjectively indistinguishable it doesn't mean they are the same. For humanity UV and IR light are subjectively indistinguishable, that doesn't make them one of the same.
>UV and IR light are subjectively indistinguishable
No based on the knowledge your subject got from reading, you know they are different.
Therefore they are not indistinguisable.
Free will and the illusion of it however, are the same.
Which itself only means that we either call free will the illusion of free will wrongly or we call the illusion of free will free will wrongly.
What needs to be said is that because what you conseive as the illusion of free will would seem the same as free will itself (however you say it is) then youre not missing out on anything.
>A mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems.
Widely attributed to Erdős, this actually originates with Alfréd Rényi.
Define free will for me would you.
Im always curious as to how you folks conceptualize what free will is.
All I know is that we say people make choices because there isn't a consistent pattern with how they make choices that we can map out. The word choice implies two or more possible outcomes, from which one or more of the outcomes can be selected, the act of selection being the process that leads to that outcomes occuring.
Now I dont know what it means for this selection to be "free" or not.
>work in cubicle next to kook who has spent 20 years researching this
>show him OP
>says OP is smart and phrased the question unusually perspicaciously
>declines to post recommendations
Look into personalism, the anthropology of subjectivity and personhood (G.G. Harris, "Concepts of Individual, Self, and Person in Description and Analysis," American Anthropologist 1989), Rousseau and successors on tabula rasa personhood, Hume and successors on consciousness, transcendental ego especially Kantian, Nietzsche's critique of cogito and transcendental ego in Human All Too Human (I think), Carithers et al. eds. _The Category of the Person_ (much related stuff here - rise of individualised [as opposed to communal/"porous"/etc.] "self" as historical phenomenon rather than simple categorical condition of consciousness)
trying to think of other things
Self/individual as narrative ("the story we tell ourselves about ourselves" common quote but can't remember original writer), related to transcendental ego (single point tethering "surrounding" narrative, also related to Hume-y ideas (narrative is only arbitrarily consistent, self doesn't exist at all), but developed most interestingly by more recent thinkers (Heidegger; Ricoeur?) with respect for dual aspect of narrative - look into Heidegger and his successors on whether Being/Becoming etc. entails dissolution of individual into a mere roiling "process," Ricoeur's later (?) stuff which has more respect for narrativity as entailing some kind of emergent consistency
>there has to be a will, that is different to a conciousness
Well, duh. But consciousness is a necessary condition for will to exist, whereas those other things are not.
>If you have an personality or set of values then those, being set before the decision is made, make the decision. I think a will must be made up of preferences so it even if decision making exists outside of the material world it is still determined by those prefences.
Things like personalities, sets of values and preferences are complicated psychological constructs. A willed action is something much more fundamental, which, while it may be conditioned by those things, does not require them.
Freud and Freudians also interesting. Read article recently on post-Freud Freudians "smuggling" Cartesian (convenient placeholder term) subject "back into" Freud's structural/topographical model of the mind where Freud never actually used the term. Supposedly Freud described the structural model and then just left it at that - it was his successors who instinctively tried to pin the locus of transcendental/ordering subjectivity on the aggregate process, or on the ego in particular, etc.
Whether free will exists or not is irrelevant because we do not and probably never will have enough information where a lack of free will should impact our law or decision-making.
Meaning that the argument that with all information it is possible to know all courses of action(and thus there would be no free will) doesn't really have any bearing when no being can possibly possess that information.
Even if I recognize that free will doesn't exist(and it most certainly doesn't exist), it does exist in a practical sense.
Meaning the argument that is frequently used by those supporting no free will.
>Criminals do not have free will because nobody has free will. Thus, there are no criminals, only victims of circumstance. Thus, punishment and imprisonment are unacceptable and rehabilitation is the only acceptable method.
That argument. It makes the logical argument that criminals should not be punished because they never had the "free will" to not commit the crime. But for some reason this argument assumes that criminals have no free will, but lawmakers and normal citizens do have some measure of control. The argument isn't logical because it pardons all behavior under the pretense that free will does not exist. Thus, the people who make these laws or choose to execute criminals do not have the free will to resist their opinions/urges any more than the criminal who commits a crime, according to their own "no free will" argument).
Same with decision-making where even if we have no free will and our "choice" dilemma is all possible to predict with perfect information, it can't really have any real impact on our dilemma because we will never be working with perfect information.
In other words, it doesn't matter if we don't have free will because we will never have perfect information which is necessary in order to logically account for a lack of free will.
Punishment and imprisonment is a form of rehabilitation, and it discourages other civilians from committing crime. They may be not ideal, but they're still perfectly acceptable, even if there's no such thing as free will.
The question of the punitive systems 'efficacy' is beside the point. In the absence of free will--or more precisely, if hard determinism is true--how would the threat of imprisonment or other punishment deter crime? Events will transpire as they will--crime will be committed, or not--regardless.
If there was no 'free will', would you be asking the question?
who says that? I've only ever seen it touted as an argument of why the claim that there is no free will is irresponsible, never from someone actually claiming there is no free will.
Someone actually intellegent making that claim though would concede that the law makers etc. are all acting without free will but that laws come as a response to enviroment. Originally people would have been upset by a loved one being murdered and so would naturally take steps to prevent that from happening in the future.
I don't know what free will 'is', thats the question I'm asking, what would free will look like. I can't even imagine it.
Can you answer the question then. What are the mechanics of free will? How does a conciousness with free will come to a decision if it isn't determined by their motivations/ values?
>who says that?
Lots of people. Google "Free will criminology". They commonly argue from a perspective of the criminal being unable to commit crime since they have no free will and ignore everything else as an argument to overhaul the criminal justice system to do away with "revenge" punishment as they see it. To them, since free will doesn't exist, having a crime committed against you should cause no anger or desire for reprisal since the individual never had a choice to not commit the crime. Thus, punishment is considered undesirable since it doesn't "fix" anything. They have no free will, so they are the equivalent of a natural disaster, as the argument goes.
I just find it odd that they make the argument that the criminal cannot help themselves due to free will, but compel others to overhaul the justice system or change their behavior because the natural impulse for revenge and punishment towards those who have wronged us is somehow exempt from the free will argument. It doesn't make any sense because from a practical standpoint, we don't have the technology to rehabilitate everyone. We may never have that technology or capability. This system also does nothing to discourage people from just taking revenge, murdering the criminal who did a disservice to them, and then just going through rehabilitation themselves.
Anyways, this isn't really a part of the philosophical question and has more to do with the practicality of trying to implement a lack of free will into law and decision making. Believe it or not, there are people who support entirely abolishing punishment in our justice system and use a lack of free will as a basis for their argument.