Determinism-Free Will as Duck-Rabbit

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Re: Determinism-Free Will as Duck-Rabbit

Postby WW_III_ANGRY » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:19 pm

anon wrote:
WW_III_ANGRY wrote:
Dan~ wrote:A superior form of justice would cure bad will and it would be seen as a disease.
Genes, experiences, education, etc. These could all be rewritten or done over until the will is better.

The Will is a form and a compound. It is not an essence and it has no essence.
Will only exists when worlds diverge. Will requires the world and the body.


Everything has an essence :)

Ok, WW3, let's start here, in case it leads to something fruitful. Explain what you mean by "everything has an essence". Examples will probably help.


Definition of ESSENCE
1
a : the permanent as contrasted with the accidental element of being b : the individual, real, or ultimate nature of a thing especially as opposed to its existence <a painting that captures the essence of the land> c : the properties or attributes by means of which something can be placed in its proper class or identified as being what it is

Thus all things, including abstract concepts, have an essence.
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Re: Determinism-Free Will as Duck-Rabbit

Postby anon » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:29 pm

WW_III_ANGRY wrote:
anon wrote:
WW_III_ANGRY wrote:Everything has an essence :)

Ok, WW3, let's start here, in case it leads to something fruitful. Explain what you mean by "everything has an essence". Examples will probably help.


Definition of ESSENCE
1
a : the permanent as contrasted with the accidental element of being b : the individual, real, or ultimate nature of a thing especially as opposed to its existence <a painting that captures the essence of the land> c : the properties or attributes by means of which something can be placed in its proper class or identified as being what it is

Thus all things, including abstract concepts, have an essence.

Ok, so what is the essence of "the will"? Just exploring here. I don't have a particular point yet.
"Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries, and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries." - Blaise Pascal

"The bombs we plant in each other are ticking away." - Edward Yang

"To a fly that likes the smell of putrid / Meat the fragrance of sandalwood is foul. / Beings who discard Nirvana / Covet coarse Samsara's realm." - Saraha
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Re: Determinism-Free Will as Duck-Rabbit

Postby WW_III_ANGRY » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:44 pm

anon wrote:Ok, so what is the essence of "the will"? Just exploring here. I don't have a particular point yet.

Lets just say its: mental powers manifested as wishing, choosing, desiring, or intending b : a disposition to act according to principles or ends
from websters.
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Re: Determinism-Free Will as Duck-Rabbit

Postby phyllo » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:26 pm

But I think it's strange to not, then, call choice an illusion. I understand that you are calling a certain category of determinism "choice", but that's not what nearly anyone means when they use the word.
That's because you are looking back and saying you had no choice. If you look ahead, then you have a choice. And I don't think that most people use your definition of the word 'choice' - most people use it to mean a set of options.

As for the rock analogy, I prefer a water analogy. Water will flow down a slope according to the laws of physics. Let's assume that water is a conscious being. At any point in time, it has a choice of which direction to flow. It always chooses the path of least resistance. It doesn't 'know' what the the path of least resistance is until it arrives a specific location. In fact it doesn't 'know' what the path of least resistance is until after it has taken the path and is looking backwards - saying "oh, so that was the the easiest way".
Scale that up to the level of a human being who has a decision processing brain which is the result of literally millions of experiences. At any point in time, the human is presented with a set of choices. The decision between those choices is much more complex than the 'decision' that water has to make but none the less it is just as driven by past history/experience.
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Re: Determinism-Free Will as Duck-Rabbit

Postby Only_Humean » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:50 pm

anon wrote:
Only_Humean wrote:"He did that of his own free will" is not describing the operations of an acausal soul, nor is it describing a deterministic process of conditioned response to stimulus, but talking about something non-physical - the context in which we are to judge his actions. But philosophers see a noun and assume there's some Thing to be said about it, because they spend so long analysing simple propositions.

O_H, would you say you're saying the same thing as Flannel Jesus?


Not really, as the bolded text highlights. But I'm sympathetic to his explanation, insofar as I don't believe anything supernatural is going on.
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Re: Determinism-Free Will as Duck-Rabbit

Postby anon » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:31 pm

phyllo wrote:
But I think it's strange to not, then, call choice an illusion. I understand that you are calling a certain category of determinism "choice", but that's not what nearly anyone means when they use the word.
That's because you are looking back and saying you had no choice. If you look ahead, then you have a choice. And I don't think that most people use your definition of the word 'choice' - most people use it to mean a set of options.

But without choice there are no options. I don't get this at all. If it is true that "The law of universal causation ... may be enunciated as follows: ... given the state of the whole universe ... every previous and subsequent event can theoretically be determined" then there is no philosophical difference between looking forwards or looking backwards. From a deterministic perspective, all is determined - there is no choice. Though "choice" sounds more acceptable and less supernatural than "free" will, from the determinist's point of view, it is equally wrong. There is no wiggle room at all.

As for the rock analogy, I prefer a water analogy. Water will flow down a slope according to the laws of physics. Let's assume that water is a conscious being. At any point in time, it has a choice of which direction to flow. It always chooses the path of least resistance. It doesn't 'know' what the the path of least resistance is until it arrives a specific location. In fact it doesn't 'know' what the path of least resistance is until after it has taken the path and is looking backwards - saying "oh, so that was the the easiest way".
Scale that up to the level of a human being who has a decision processing brain which is the result of literally millions of experiences. At any point in time, the human is presented with a set of choices. The decision between those choices is much more complex than the 'decision' that water has to make but none the less it is just as driven by past history/experience.

This is just a description of determinism that plays fast and loose with the meaning of the word "choice".
"Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries, and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries." - Blaise Pascal

"The bombs we plant in each other are ticking away." - Edward Yang

"To a fly that likes the smell of putrid / Meat the fragrance of sandalwood is foul. / Beings who discard Nirvana / Covet coarse Samsara's realm." - Saraha
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Re: Determinism-Free Will as Duck-Rabbit

Postby anon » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:35 pm

Only_Humean wrote:
anon wrote:
Only_Humean wrote:"He did that of his own free will" is not describing the operations of an acausal soul, nor is it describing a deterministic process of conditioned response to stimulus, but talking about something non-physical - the context in which we are to judge his actions. But philosophers see a noun and assume there's some Thing to be said about it, because they spend so long analysing simple propositions.

O_H, would you say you're saying the same thing as Flannel Jesus?


Not really, as the bolded text highlights. But I'm sympathetic to his explanation, insofar as I don't believe anything supernatural is going on.

Only_Humean, I apologize but I think I'm being a little bit dense. Can you explain further? What does "of his own free will" as "the context in which we are to judge his actions" mean, if it's referring to neither physical determinism (conditioned response to stimuli) nor semantics (per Flannel Jesus)? Are you just saying that we can still judge people even if their course in life is completely predetermined?
"Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries, and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries." - Blaise Pascal

"The bombs we plant in each other are ticking away." - Edward Yang

"To a fly that likes the smell of putrid / Meat the fragrance of sandalwood is foul. / Beings who discard Nirvana / Covet coarse Samsara's realm." - Saraha
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Re: Determinism-Free Will as Duck-Rabbit

Postby anon » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:39 pm

WW_III_ANGRY wrote:
anon wrote:Ok, so what is the essence of "the will"? Just exploring here. I don't have a particular point yet.

Lets just say its: mental powers manifested as wishing, choosing, desiring, or intending b : a disposition to act according to principles or ends
from websters.

I think there is so much semantic variety in this thread that I have to rethink how to approach this. If I find time at some point I might come up with a multiple choice "test" (not really a test) that clarifies certain positions which are or are not compatible with certain other positions. But that might be too much for me, in which case I guess I'd just drop it. Seems like we're talking past each other. I just don't understand your approach to this.
"Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries, and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries." - Blaise Pascal

"The bombs we plant in each other are ticking away." - Edward Yang

"To a fly that likes the smell of putrid / Meat the fragrance of sandalwood is foul. / Beings who discard Nirvana / Covet coarse Samsara's realm." - Saraha
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