Gilles Kuhn: they have a very good temporal resolution
Gilles Kuhn: however their spatial resolution is terrible
Gilles Kuhn: and they measure difference of potential occurring as a result of the brain electrical activity more or less as a whole
Gilles Kuhn: so they differ a lot from more modern scanning device that have often splendid spatial resolution and terrible temporal one
Gilles Kuhn: with any luck next week i will propose as article an experience close to libett but using modern fmri
TR Amat: Don't some modern multiple electode EEGs have better ?
TR Amat: spatial resolution*
Gilles Kuhn: but for now let concentrate on libett result you can see that all temporal measure are on the hundreds or ten of millisecond range
Gilles Kuhn: not really tr there is two problems with eeg one is call the indirect problem and the other the direct one i will not in chat enter in tec detail but roughly that means that you cannot be certain of the origin of a signal you can have different option i e you can say it is possible he originated there but also there and there etc you see
Gilles Kuhn: so spatial resolution is not eeg strong point at all but libett used the big strong point ie the temporal resolution
TR Amat: Thanks.
Sartre Placebo: hey everyone
Gilles Kuhn: he used a phenomenon know as readiness potential that seems to precede voluntary action by 500 ms
Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Satre :)
Gilles Kuhn: and he tried to find a way (there is the rub)
Gilles Kuhn: to measure when the desire to perform an action is subjectively ressented by the subject
Gilles Kuhn: for that he created an ingenious clock device permitting a subject to pinpoint a temoporal moment to an accuracy of 20 ms ( ! )
Gilles Kuhn: (see fig 2 in the article)
Gilles Kuhn: so he asked subject to note when they felt the intention to perform a voluntary act a simple one
Gilles Kuhn: and then compared the subject subjective time of first conscious intention to act with the rp associated with effective action
Gilles Kuhn: and found that the rp preceded the time reported by the subject by 350 ms.....
Gilles Kuhn: so apparently there was a neural process preceding the conscious feeling "i want to do that"
Gilles Kuhn: some have argued that this was a demo of the unexistence of free will
Birric Forcella: How exactly?
Gilles Kuhn: (btw there is a kind of veto power even if rp are there the action can be vetoed by the subject i dont know if there was deep studies about the veto in itself)
Gilles Kuhn: well the lmost easy manner is to say that the conscious will is epiphenomenal that what count is the rp event whichever it is at the neural level
Melchizedek Blauvelt: /got to go (unexpected) see you next week all
Gilles Kuhn: bye malchi
TR Amat: Maybe free will isn't exercised consciously. :)
Birric Forcella: How can there be unconscious free will?
Quintessential Sorbet: well I would think that it hardly could be the other way round, that we would forst register conscious knowledge of an intention and only afterwards register something happpening in our brain. It sounds logical that something happens first and we can elaborate what it was only after that
Gilles Kuhn: and so that the conscious wish to act is only a product of the rp event and so that consciousness dont intervene in decision making in thsi case
TR Amat: Using free will, and knowing when you have used it are not necessarily the same thing?
TR Amat: I could see the perceptual process as being delayed...
Gilles Kuhn: i quite agree quint but that seems to bother a lot of people the idea that their brain produce the consciousness and if we take kant def of freedom to the letter that mean that we are essentially not free as our freedom depend of the natural laws even if they exprress themselves in the huuge complexity of the brain
Gilles Kuhn: thats a interesting point tr indeed the argument assume that free will is necessarily linked to subjective consciousness
Quintessential Sorbet: well....I guess Freud already rexognized that we have something that he called subconscioussness....We have a lot of intentions, but do not necessarily become consciouss of more than a fraction of all of them
TR Amat: I tend to be mostly inclided towars the "minds are things done by brains", but, just mostly. :)
Gilles Kuhn: so for example a somnanbul (sorry the people that walk in their sleep) is considered to not have free will
Birric Forcella: Free will would require some immaterial ghost in the machine. Unless the physical action comes AFTER the conscious action, there is NO proof for free will in any of this - even if you have the "feeling" that you veto something.
TR Amat: For survival purposes you have better be able to make effective decisions faster than 350ms.
Gilles Kuhn: well birric but i think the very concept of free will is polluted by dualism indeed
Gilles Kuhn: well tr reflex movement are faster but they are not "free" you do it period and you can stop to do it by will
Quintessential Sorbet: I haven't recall hearing any proper and unambiguous definition what conscioussness is either, so It's hard to say what is going on there really
Gilles Kuhn: for those who like sf remember the gom jabbar test in dune
TR Amat: I believe the evidence shows that almost all our actions are running off reflexes and prejudices, that were originally, painstakingly, but put in place by conscious learning.
Gilles Kuhn: well remember that we are speaking of very elemental mototr action like moving a bit your wrist etc
Birric Forcella: It's okay that most of our actions are quasi-automatic. The question is about those few where we feel we "author" our thoughts independently.
TR Amat: Consciousness is very powerful, and generalised, but very "expensive" - it is not suitable for day-to-day tasks.
Gilles Kuhn: so another problem is to know if we can extend this reasonning to more complex decision making like for example a ethic / moral one
Gilles Kuhn: and indeed if you had to be conscious of every motor action you perform you will become ravening mad
Gaya Ethaniel: :)
Quintessential Sorbet: true...I notice I am not aware of most of things that happen when I am driving a car even
Gilles Kuhn: a classical example of this is the people who learn to drive a car
TR Amat: So, you are probably talking about your RP being liked to a monitoring function, not a creative one?
Quintessential Sorbet: lol indeed Gilles
Gilles Kuhn: at the begin all action are done consciously and quite badly in general
TR Amat: I believe that literal driving-in-your-sleep is documented...
Gilles Kuhn: then with time the actions are automated you dont have to think about them and actually if you panic and think about them your performance are worst
Stewart Macpherson: Complements of Ambien.
Stewart Macpherson: i*
Gilles Kuhn: well tr thats not maxine workshop but i certainly dreamed of driving and performing various task in my dreams
Stewart Macpherson: Can I ask a question about the paper?
TR Amat: There is a further level of working: monitoring your driving with consciousness, but not interfereing unless needed.
Gilles Kuhn: actually there is a very amusing experiment that demonstrated that performing task in your mind only better your actual performance after while
Birric Forcella: Okay, so if there is a FIRST action/decision in every field - we have only pushed things a level back. Is that FIRST action free or not?
Gilles Kuhn: sure steward !
Quintessential Sorbet: maybe there both free and and less free actions and completely unvoluntary ones. Reflexes for example are totally autonomous from our will.
Quintessential Sorbet: The there are intentions and desires, that we are not consciously aware of
Gilles Kuhn: welll birric i think that the vetoing power is an interesting argument in that because if you can veto you are free a veto as wittgenstein showed in logic permit to do everithing
TR Amat: You can over-ride reflexes, I thought.
TR Amat: Like holding your hand somewhere it is hot.
Gilles Kuhn: yes tr for example you can force you hand to stay in too hot water if for example you really want that for whichever reason
Stewart Macpherson: Ok, look, this all seems to me to be a total non sequitur to the question of whether our wills are free. At most this shows that we aren't aware of how our will connects to Davidson-style reasons or, more generally, when deliberation will issue in an act of willing. But of course all that is perfectly consistent with any sort of agent-causal view, Frankfurtian-style compatiblist views, or whatever you like.
TR Amat: So, that makes reflexes useful short cuts. :)
Quintessential Sorbet: oh of course you can train yourself to do that, but you would still have a lot of reflexes and autonomous functions that you do not override. You can stop breathing for a moment for example, but most times you do that automatically, without resourcing any processor time from our *cognitive processor"
Gilles Kuhn: could you explain what a davidson style reasons are steward?
TR Amat: I'm assuming that the experiment is about trying to probe the process of choice.
Birric Forcella: I don't think you are free in your veto. Nothing shows that. In fact there are several easy ways of explaining the veto as determined just like the original action. Also, the veto time is so short, it is hardly enough to make a "free" reasoned decision - it MUST be automatic, and so not free
Stewart Macpherson: Well, you can think of a reason as an ordered pair of a belief and desire, or, better, n-tuples of beliefs and desires.
Gilles Kuhn: actually quint buddhist monk showed a remarkable capacity of overriding their body function which btw is interesting as they claim that their meditative technique permit themselves to control their own mind
Stewart Macpherson: For Davidson
TR Amat: I'm a bit concerned about back-rationalisations of causation.
Gilles Kuhn: well birric i think that you dont proof your point ok nothing show that but nothing show the reverse and the immediacy can be used as an argument in favour of free veto
Birric Forcella: The "veto" merely shows certain divisions in the self. Like a "lower" evil part and a higher "noble" part that does the veto. The whole thing smacks of Christian conscience. And clearly, it is as determined as the original action - in fact, you can conceptualize it as ONE single action which is merely experienced as a division in action-veto in order to make you feel good about yourself.
Gilles Kuhn: wow birric i dont think we can invoke complex subconscious culpability when speaking of a very simple motor action
TR Amat: The will being a composite of multiple causative agents?
Stewart Macpherson: I mean, Chisholm, e.g. could accept this in his agent-causal days. The action is caused by an agent for certain reasons. So could O'Conner: So long as those reasons actually are causally operative in the production of the action, why does it matter what we get wrong when our wills fire, as it were?
Gilles Kuhn: well if we are our brain that seems obvious tr
Quintessential Sorbet: Most of our intentions and desires are contradicting though, contradicting each other in practise. If you train an animal, you can seeit clearly how the oftentimes hesitate between two desires that contradict each other....
Birric Forcella: What meaning is there to free will if you are merely taking about very simple motor action?
Gilles Kuhn: well steward the problem is about the consciousness of the decsion process
Stewart Macpherson: Ok, good. Agreed. Then we agree that it's not an issue for freewill?
Gilles Kuhn: ah indeed birric but that libett experiment and i agree its so limited that i dont find it a good argument against free will
Stewart Macpherson: It's an interesting piece of psychology.
Stewart Macpherson: But, so far as I can tell, it has no upshot for the question as to whether our wills are free.
TR Amat: The experiment seems to say that conscious introspective perception lags behind choice.
Gilles Kuhn: but even you birric used it in a former seminar to make a point or two so i personally think that this experiment is interesting but has no philosophical consequences due to his limitation and too due to the fact he can be criticized in the very protocol
Dali Waverider: Quote of the Day from Professor Stephen Hawking "Why is it that people who are completely convinced that everything in life is pre-ordained and that people have absolutely no free will still look both ways before they cross the street?" Stephen Hawking
Birric Forcella: Well, my argument against free will has always been independent of Libet or similar things. I just found them a nice confirmation that the brain does things for you before you are aware of them. As I said, as long as the physical action does not follow the mental, my views are perfectly in place. I would have no problem if they were exactly at the same time
Quintessential Sorbet: I think it is clear that we do have a free will....the minute we can define who is the "we" who is excercizing it. Is it some emergently appearing level of conscioussness that is more than the sum of our neurons, or something else.
Gaya Ethaniel: ty for the quote Dali :)
TR Amat: The composite unified self is an interesting issue. :)
Gilles Kuhn: because i'm not at all convinced about the fact that the subjective report of the time by the subjects is genuine because of the fact hey are done a posteriori and because that ask for the subject to make 2 actions at the same time : notice a urge to act AND looking at the clock and noting the time the two of them can perfectly disrupt the time
Birric Forcella: Well, Quint, that is really NOT a definition of free will that you could defend. Becaue if it is "emergent" you would assume that it is a NATURAL process and thus determined by natural laws - and NOT free
TR Amat: It would be interesting to try and characterise whatver is exercising choice, whether you claim it is "free will", or otherwise. That might give you a better idea what is going on.
Birric Forcella: I think it is the brain that works and makes decisions in your best interest. It then creates the conscious impression that you "willed" it - which in a way you have. It's a very good setup.
Dali Waverider: Also please notice that the act of REPORTING intention precedes the action. Apples and apples...action and action. RP for the reporting with RP for the action would be an interesting comparision, if that could be produced. But it's not, so the design of the experiment is flawed
Quintessential Sorbet: hmmm
Gilles Kuhn: dali the reporting is done after the movement but so there is a need of remembering the time during the action process
Birric Forcella: There is always this impression that thinking is not an action. Thinking is acting with very small amounts of energy
Gilles Kuhn: agreed birric !
TR Amat: The more research I see, the more I think that a lot of the "heavy lifting" is done by the brain. But, I still feel that there are issues about choice that need further explaining.
Dali Waverider: and there is an associated delay
Gilles Kuhn: and then you can ask yourself what is the origin of my thinking is my thinking "free" like the old prussian song say
Gaya Ethaniel: This report to me tells me not much about freewill, what it is and if it does exists, where it comes from.
Quintessential Sorbet: Let's assume we have a cognitive self that is not reducible to it's constituents. When we say it would have free will, what would it be free from?
Gilles Kuhn: well if i manage to find the article for next week you will have a way more interesting things to see
TR Amat: Most of "what we are" seems to be constructed from our experiences. But, we seem to over-ride our expected behaviour, at least part of the time.
Gilles Kuhn: well i tend myself to define freedom has the fact not to be controlled or predicted by someone else
Gilles Kuhn: and yes my definition presupose the existence of conscious agent
TR Amat: The issue of having a consistent unified self has some major legal and civil liberties consequences.
Gilles Kuhn: actually its possible that in fact the question of free will reduce to the question of consciousness
Gilles Kuhn: oh yes tr !
TR Amat: Consistency seems to be far more of the significant social issue than consciousness.
Gaya Ethaniel: I didn't mean that the paper is boring Gilles ... :)
Birric Forcella: The conscious agent, in order to be free, would be have some ghostly immaterial thing which effectively exists outside the universe
Stewart Macpherson: Sorry, Internet issues.
Quintessential Sorbet: ok...with that definition we could still have free will, even if it would comply with natural laws....or could it. It would obey the natural laws, but since the emergent entity that constitutes our identity would be the smallest unit from which you could define what is our will, it would be free from other influences in practise
Quintessential Sorbet: With Gille's definition of when "will is free" I mean
Quintessential Sorbet: maybe =)
Gilles Kuhn: precisely quint my definition of free is relative not absolute
Gilles Kuhn: it is if i cannot know that i am not free then i am free
TR Amat: The simulation hypothesis has some interesting consequences from a dualist viewpoint: http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?hl=en&q=author:%22Bostrom%22+intitle:%22Are+you+living+in+a+computer+simulation%22+&um=1&ie=UTF-8&oi=scholarr
Stewart Macpherson: Anyway, I was claiming that the psychological data in the article are consistent with any extant theory of agency, save one like Descartes', where you do have introspective access to all this stuff.
Birric Forcella: Well, Free will, be definition, cannot have ANYTHING from the universe influencing its FREE component
Birric Forcella: So, unless your emergent process is supernaturally caused, it would NOT be free
TR Amat: If the brain is part of the simulation, but (part of) the mind is not, you reach a very interesting situation. :)
Gilles Kuhn: thats an absolute definition birric i dont go with that but the point is well taken but then you are dangerously close to metaphysical reasoning
Dali Waverider: [14:15] Gilles Kuhn: dali the reporting is done after the movement but so there is a need of remembering the time during the action process.
Stewart Macpherson: Birric: Well, there's just the will, and the question is whether it acts freely.
Stewart Macpherson: There's no "free" part.
Dali Waverider: Gilles see diagram at top of page 51. Report of intention (W) precedes EMG.
Stewart Macpherson: And presumably it can be influenced by reasons.
Stewart Macpherson: and remain free.
Gilles Kuhn: no report of intention is noted the report of intention is the time when you are conscious to wanting to do
Birric Forcella: I am trying to rule out free will - from a-priori reasoning as well as a-posteriori reasoning
Gilles Kuhn: you dont scream report ;-)
Quintessential Sorbet: well emergent consciousness means that the description of what conscious is and does cannot be reduced to it's constituents. Still all consciousnesses that we are aware of (empirically) are all tied to matter and bundles of neurons. Still you cannot build the emergent description from bottom up
Gilles Kuhn: you note only the time when you consciously wish to act is W at _200 ms
Gilles Kuhn: -200ms$
Gilles Kuhn: **
Dali Waverider: no. the only metric presented is then the intention is REPORTED. There is a fautly implicit assumption that the report is contemporaneous with the report.
Sartre Placebo: good night
Gilles Kuhn: no dali and actually its impossible because you will need at least 200 ms more to speak
Dali Waverider: that the report of the intention is instantaneous.
Quintessential Sorbet: So to me it seems the question of free will is a question how we define "free", "consciouss will"
Birric Forcella: Quint, the simple question is this: Under the exact same circumstances, could something ELSE emerge? Or are natural processes ALWAYS responsible for the WHOLE emergent process (that includes QM effects)
Dali Waverider: Gilles what does the W represent to you.
Gilles Kuhn: read the legend of figure 3 dali
TR Amat: Then there is some quite serious scientific research suggesting precognition might be real, and, if it is, and takes a real part in the cognitive process, that might say interesting things about this experiement. :)
Gilles Kuhn: subjective awareness of the wish to move dali and i quote fig 3 legend
Gilles Kuhn: and w is not indicating a report the report of time of w is done by the subject after all the process
Birric Forcella: For free will it is not relevant if the LATER form of the emerged process is not reducible to its earlier components - few things are - the question is HOW it came to pass
Birric Forcella: Sorry, tp'd myself inadvertently
Gaya Ethaniel: :) do we stink?
Quintessential Sorbet: Right Birric, well my view is that universe seems to contain contingent elements. It is simultaneously deterministic and indeterministic. So in that sense I would say yes, it could have produced a different result ....in a very fundamental metaphysical level. But I'm not sure if that view helps here. Does the idea that some of our decisions are arbitrary rather than determined make our will any free-er =)
Quintessential Sorbet: (apologies for my questionable English)
TR Amat: I sometimes type CTRL-ALT-H and go home when I'm trying to type CTRL-ALT-Y to set the Sun to midday. :)
Gilles Kuhn: but birric if nobody can predict or impeach me to do what i want and even if i am a causal natural process my subjective impressin of freedom is sufficient for me to claim i'm free
Birric Forcella: Well, there is a subtle point. Even if you invoke QM - did the emergent phenomena arise NATURALLY or not. If naturally, even if by QM, they are NOT free will
Gaya Ethaniel: Let's not complicate it by adding QM ...
Dali Waverider: sujective awarenes is REPORTED at W. Subjective awareness actually occurs sometime before that, as the brain and nervous system are not running at light speed. This experiment does not accurately state when the conscious wish takes place.
Stewart Macpherson: Anyway, the argument to me seems to be clearly invalid. However, the author is no hack, so I want to know how one might construe the argument validly.
Quintessential Sorbet: I understand what you mean Birric. Indeed, tha fact that we make some decision at random does not really address that question
Gilles Kuhn: well birric but that assume causal material reductionism ass well your position assume a lot of not evident premises
Birric Forcella: I understand that under QM the outcome may not always be the same (though very likely) - but do divergent outcomes arise NATURALLY (no free will) or by some independent authoring autonomous spirit (free will)
Gilles Kuhn: no dali it is not reported at w it is noted at w because w is the moment the subject become aware of his intention to act
Quintessential Sorbet: right...so we have two definitions for freedom. THe strong one (birric) and the weak one (Gilles)
TR Amat: Does free will mean that I can choose to do something stupid, unwise or dangerous, instead of what looks like the best choice for the situation?
Gilles Kuhn: and subsequently the subject report tha w was at this or this time
Quintessential Sorbet: Of course you can TR! I do that often
Dali Waverider: how does the experimenter know when the subject became aware?
Gilles Kuhn: the experimenter dont know he rely on post experiment subject report
TR Amat: Are issues of predictability involved in free will?
Dali Waverider: look it took a whole second to move the hand. How long do you think it takes to report that you are aware? 0 time? I think not.
Birric Forcella: TR just summarized my pleasure-based position. You CANNOT choose something stupid, unwise, or dangerous. The word "choice" there is misapplied. You MUST choose what you think is best for you.
Quintessential Sorbet: OH that could be a very good question TR? How much our visualization of consequences actually reduce the freedom of our will
Gilles Kuhn: and why some "non natural" instance (wathever that could be...) would be more free by def that a natural one birric
TR Amat: So, if I choose to throw a dice to decide what to do? :)
Gilles Kuhn: yes birric but best for you can be very complex as yourself explained in your presentation
Quintessential Sorbet: Birric, almost every day I choose something unwise and stupid because it brings me pleasure in short term even though I would be more happy in long term if I chose differently =)
Gilles Kuhn: best for you can even lead to saacrificial behaviour you know depend what you have thought as best beforehand
TR Amat: Chocolate cake... (for robots, of course! :)
Birric Forcella: It is not, Gilles. As my coming paper will show, even the non-natural (free will) has to choose according to pleasure, as AR stated above. I can clearly show that the actions/thoughts/positions of an individual are exactly the same under the free-will assumption as under the determinism assumption. The whole issue is actually moot
Quintessential Sorbet: yup TR!
Quintessential Sorbet: exactly what I had in mind
Gilles Kuhn: well birric but thats another subject
Quintessential Sorbet wants fattening chocolate cake now
Gilles Kuhn: and i disagree with you on that birric but let that for the future presentation of your coming paper
Stewart Macpherson: Birric: So you're assuming some sort of incompatiblism?
Birric Forcella: kool
TR Amat: I did read of some work on the idea of developing an "over monitor", to check actions and choices, at least every so often. If you could do that, I think that introduces some interesting questions about choice.
Quintessential Sorbet: indeed TR
Gilles Kuhn: btw i'm sorry but i will need to go soon and the hour of official seminar is pass feel free to continue to discuss (yes free lol) and i hope to see you all next week to resume the debate hopefully with a new article to fuel the debate
Gaya Ethaniel: Thanks Gilles and everyone :) Off to bed here too.
Quintessential Sorbet: thanks Gilles!
Dali Waverider: Thanks Gilles.
Gilles Kuhn: i thanks you all for your rich participations !
TR Amat: Exit, of your own free will. - (NOT) Dracula. :)
Gaya Ethaniel: lol see you soon again!