Thursday, June 5, 2008

More notes on Free Will

Free Will and Consciousness -- emergent properties. Yeah, best understood as emergent properties. But, yeah, doesn't help that people regularly mistake for Free Will things that are strictly and demonstratively deterministic on outer causes. Just admit this from the start, say what we are most interested in is studying Free Will as an emergent property, and define it as the mixture of (A) capriciousness and (B) obedience to the consequences of internal moral state. (Definition of "moral state" -- ask them some questions about optimal prescriptive ethics, ask them about the implied actions based on those prescriptive ethics. Just ask them -- and record the answers. Get them to talk about optimal prescriptive ethics and the implied actions. Nobody is philosophic enough to lie to deceive here -- the tremendous urge to avoid cognitive dissonance prevents answering completely falsely.) Last note: consider the hierarchy of desires, goals, wants, needs (with automatically satisfied impulses on the bottom of the hierarchy). Free Will presupposes this hierarchy. Yeah, just figure out the least amount of free will I need for my arguments, knowing I can easily demonstrate the immense difficulty of proving away that small amount of free will.

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