Gilles Kuhn: sorry i am a bit late
Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Birric, Dali, Gilles and TR :)
Gaya Ethaniel: np :)
Gilles Kuhn: hello to all
TR Amat: I blame the fnords. :)
Birric Forcella: hmmmm
Birric Forcella: hi
Gilles Kuhn: blame my old pc and my spanish internet connection tr .....
Gaya Ethaniel: ah ...
Gilles Kuhn: so let resume our last week conversation about free will
TR Amat: Freecycle often has people giving away perfectly workable PCs...
Gaya Ethaniel: ok :)
Gilles Kuhn: there was various point raised
TR Amat: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fnord
Gaya Ethaniel: Freecycle is a UK thing though right ...?
TR Amat: Freecycle is in US & UK.
Gaya Ethaniel: ok ... unfortunately not accessible for Gilles :) :(
Gilles Kuhn: one was the debate between birric and me about the question of the absoluteness or the relativeness of the concept of free will
Gaya Ethaniel listens.
TR Amat: Birric put up some very interesting arguments.
Gilles Kuhn: other was about the validity of empirical science in philosophical debate
Gilles Kuhn: and there were others various question raised
Gaya Ethaniel: Yes I remember, current limitations of empirical science.
Gilles Kuhn: so what shall we focus on the ground is open
Birric Forcella: If we have a lull in the topic, maybe you could indulge me with something. Last night I was at a discussion at Socrates Café of free will. Practically everybody defended free will, and I kept challenging them on the fundamental problems. However, each example and argument they brought was actually a point in favor of determinism. It seemed like they just had switched the labels. However, I somehow got the feeling that they thought that somehow they were describing simething "free." So I was wondering if we could discuss exactly where and how free will is supposed to operate. What exactly is it? I think most people are not clear about that.
Gilles Kuhn: ok birric
Birric Forcella: Let's make a very easy case. You decide to take action A or B. Somewhere somehow in your brain there must be a physical representation of the action that then will cascade down to your actual deed, But let's say at the moment of decision, all it mens is that some electron has the state of A or of B. Now Free Will would mean that you could "freely" put it into either A or B - meaning there would be absolutely NO natural cause for that (QM effects are natural causes). How exactly does it happen, and when, and where, and why?
TR Amat: Free will as a practical thing, rather than an absolute?
Gilles Kuhn: but you say they argued in favor of free will using determinism as an argument in favr of it thats curious
Birric Forcella: I would like to know what it is - and what people think it is
TR Amat: If you can't predict the decision, in practice, how relevant is that?
Gilles Kuhn: i dont agree with your last birric actually i think that electron and lower level of explanation are irrelevant to the debate
Birric Forcella: No, they said: "There is free will - this is why - and for instance the argument then was - "well, I was born, and then one thing formed after another and that is my self and that is why I did this act" - and I pointed out that that clearly states a cause for their act
Gilles Kuhn: at my opinion the argument point that can make empirical science is at the neuronal level
TR Amat: Is it relevant whether you can predict things from inside the system?
Gaya Ethaniel: For me, it ranges from selecting a particular action from a range of options. Also the decision can at times transcend certain limitations or preferences if needs to be.
Birric Forcella: Thre were lost of similarly incoherent arguments. LIke I pointed out that of there is free will, even god cannot know a cause for it. But then even the atheists started telling me that the idea of god implies omniscience. Somehow they couldn't get the idea that if god knows the cause of an action it is not free
Gaya Ethaniel: Not a reaction or reflex but a considered choice ...
Gilles Kuhn: i agree with tr argument if something is not predictable by any of know instance then we can speak about free will
Gaya Ethaniel: Hello stevenaia :)
Gilles Kuhn: but indeed birric your point is very clear you want ontological free will but for me all ontological argument is senseless
stevenaia Michinaga: hi Gaya
Birric Forcella: Whay does unpredictability imply non-determinacy
Birric Forcella: Unpredictability - like in chaos, can even exist alongside of strict causation
TR Amat: If you cannt effectively model and predict behaviour does that imply anything about free will?
Gilles Kuhn: determinacy in a impossible to know way is only a metaphysical argument so at my opinion a valueless one
Gilles Kuhn: i think so tr because of the very notion of the concept of free
Birric Forcella: I can't see how you can claim free will unless it's ontological - that is also the only way in which the Libet experiments make sense - no matter how you interpret them
TR Amat: Quantum mechanics doesn't allow you to talk about causation, for example. Past and future are equal at the quantum level, so, all you have is connection not causation. Don't you need an "arrow of time" yp have causation?
Gilles Kuhn: well for me ontological argument are absurd because unknowable they are noumenal and so away from ourcapacity of knowing
Birric Forcella: How can the notion of the concept of free will be anything but ontological?
Gilles Kuhn: if it is so birric then we have a concept that is meaningless
TR Amat: Do you need causation to talk about determinism?
Gaya Ethaniel: stevenaia, we are talking about free will based on readings of two texts - please see http://philosophical-seminar.wikia.com/
Gilles Kuhn: steve take a seat and be welcome
Birric Forcella: TR, that was my point all along. As long as the cause is natural (including QR) the action is clearly NOT free. Even an arrow of time makes no different - it's a question of how strong the connection is, not in which direction it goes
stevenaia Michinaga: :) I am looking up the big words, won't be here long enough to get comfy, thanks
Birric Forcella: So, if in your brain you make an electron be in state A or B - how exactly do you do it
Birric Forcella: ???
stevenaia Michinaga: thx
Gilles Kuhn: right birric but your notion of nature science and causation is realist in an extreme sense and i dont think scientific realism has any worth
Birric Forcella: Well, then in your view, Gilles - how do you do it?
Birric Forcella: If you want to claim it, you must have some coherent way to at least explain it
Gilles Kuhn: btw i think that next text i propose will be on that problem i e scientific realism and causation
stevenaia Michinaga: awww, light reading :)
Gilles Kuhn: for me science is only a technical tool not a thing you use to determine truth
Gaya Ethaniel: :)
Birric Forcella: Well, Gilles - are you saying there are uncaused events? That is all I am asking?
Birric Forcella: If there are uncaused events, then the fundamental laws of physics are violated in our brain in a massive way every day - and that in billions of people worldwide
Gilles Kuhn: i think that causation is only a concept a human one and too that causation as hume pointed out is beyond our epistemic capacity
TR Amat: If we can't trace the connections between events, are they uncaused/unconnected for practical purposes?
Birric Forcella: I'm simply asking if there are uncaused events - but I can make it more precise
Birric Forcella: If you have an uncaused event, then energy to effect that event entered the universe ex nihilo.
Birric Forcella: So do you believe in the creation of energy ex nihilo?
Gilles Kuhn: yes birric as i said you assume a scientific ontological realist stance for me its a stance that is totally unproved and unsustainable we are no more in laplace time
Birric Forcella: What good is your science if you can't asnwer that
Gilles Kuhn: birric i repeat your paradigm of science is totally different of mine
TR Amat: On average energy is conserved. Also, conservation is about a locally closed system - there is still plenty of 'wiggle room'.
Birric Forcella: Well, Gilles, you might just as well argue in favor of creation then
Gilles Kuhn: for me science s relative and a technical tool you see science as giving truth : ontological one ; i think that is naive
Birric Forcella: What difference does "wiggle room" make? If it's uncaused it can't come out of the wiggle room
Gilles Kuhn: oh please is not because i criticize science birric that i accept even less rational things like creation or theology
TR Amat: As science has developed through the 20thC the "grand net of causality" is something that has acquired a lot of holes.
Birric Forcella: You accept creation and theology?
Gilles Kuhn: causality is a very problematic concept
Gilles Kuhn: no birric for me they are children tale
Birric Forcella: TR, it's not about QM or such - it's about the NATURALNESS of events. Either they comply with natural laws (even if they are QM random) or they don't - the claims for Free will say they don't
TR Amat: Science has proved to world well in various local areas - if you try and use a given science outside those bounds it ceases to work usefully. Look how you have to shift to biology from chemistry once you deal with living things.
Gilles Kuhn: but is not the problem i speak of science which for me is a technical tool not a thing that can give us ontological truth if that btw has any sense at all
TR Amat: The "wiggle room" may be quite natural, and give enough scope to allow effective free will.
Gilles Kuhn: and birric natural event what the hell is natural and not ?
Birric Forcella: Well, then epistemologically - what exactly IS free will - if it does not violate logic AND whatever you accept as the bases of science
Gilles Kuhn: nature as you use it is a concept too
TR Amat: Science has proved to work well*
Gilles Kuhn: as i explained for me free will is relative to another epistemic subject and depend of the capacity to predict or not your decision
Birric Forcella: Nature as I use it is the concept that there are NO unnatural things. All I am asking you is to show me that Free Will is natural and NOT supernatural.
Gilles Kuhn: it is definitely not an ontological or absolute definition which btw are for me impossible fo epistemological reason
Birric Forcella: I seem to have fallen through the same looking glass as yesterday
Gilles Kuhn: no you take nature as an absolute which it is not because we cannot absolutely know it
TR Amat: Is the world as described by science a unified enough thing that there is no free will?
Birric Forcella: Why exactly does the inability to predict your decision make that decision free?
Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Storm :)
Storm Nordwind waves
Gilles Kuhn: because if you cannot know the cause of it then you cannot claim it to be unfree
Birric Forcella: You are simply evading the question.
Gaya Ethaniel: It doesn't prove existence of freewill but it doesn't disprove either I think.
Birric Forcella: Why would you think that inside your brain the laws of nature break down?
TR Amat: Are you saying that prediction by those within the system and free will are not connected?
Gilles Kuhn: no i'm not evading it i only claim it is a metaphysic question if you take them to absolute ground and that metaphysic is unknowable almost by definition remember kant antinomy of pure reason....
Birric Forcella: Gilles, that is the same claim as for the Flying Spaghetti Monster - you can't prove it doesn't exist
Birric Forcella: Of course the burden is on you to prove that it is free
Gilles Kuhn: i have never said the brain is not natural birric i only try to remember you that science is a relative thing and cannot address ontological things
Birric Forcella: If you make the claim that in your brain the Easter Bunny lives, the burden of proof is on YOU. And that is exactly the claim you are making
Gilles Kuhn: look birric you just dont understand the point
Birric Forcella: Science is relative to what? On what basis would you say that science breaks down?
TR Amat: If you re claiming that there is no free will because the operation of the brain is totally deterministic, don't you need to prove that?
Gilles Kuhn: you claim that there are natural laws and that you can use it in a philosophical debate so please demonstrate that (good luck)
Birric Forcella: No, TR, I don't need to prove that - because there is not a single case ever anywhere where the laws of nature have been suspended. So if you claim that for the brain - YOU have to prove it
Gilles Kuhn: birric show me a natural law where are they written in stone ???
TR Amat: I'm not claiming that the operation of the brain might not be deterministic, if you are outside the universe, and have immense computation ability, but, I'm far from sure it is deterministic in a "local" fashion.
Birric Forcella: Well, the law of conservation of energy is about the most fundamental one in physics - you are claiming it is violated in your brain
Gilles Kuhn: what you call laws birric are only scientific theories
TR Amat: Energy is only conserved on average.
Birric Forcella: In fact, if energy is not conserved then matter is not conserved either - because both are the same
Gilles Kuhn: and sorry but history of science as showed them to be very very relative
Gaya Ethaniel mutters .... wittgenstein ...
TR Amat: Matter and energy fluctate, but, on average, within the universe, entropy seems to increase.
Birric Forcella: This is . . . well, I'm in a congregation of flat-earthers . . .
Gilles Kuhn: birric but you are naive you believe in the truth of scientific theories !!!
TR Amat: Entropy is often taken as the definition of the "arrow of time".
TR Amat: Scientific theories are current best guesses, based on the info we have. :)
Gaya Ethaniel: Indeed :)
Birric Forcella: TR - energy is conserved on average according to very very strong iron-clad laws. There is nothing to assume that they don't apply in our brain. Anyway, Free Will is not the calim that we do RANDOM acts - but the claims for free will are that it is highly structured and decisions can persist for a long time
TR Amat: I'm pretty sure that we will develop better theories, in time.
Gilles Kuhn: scientific theories birric were historically all proved wrong ; even the fact that the earth is round in fact it is more irregular shapd than a sphere ......
Birric Forcella: Apparently, Gilles, you are clueless about scientific theories
Gilles Kuhn: lol birric
Birric Forcella: Scientific theories are not inventions that can be suspended at will or through some pomo mechanism
Gilles Kuhn: have you read kuhn ?
TR Amat: But, the brain is sufficiently complex, and seems to exhibit emergent behaviour, that we can't currently explain.
Gilles Kuhn: look birric the majority of scientific theories were falsified
Birric Forcella: Scientific theories are in keeping with what we know about reality - but they narrow down - they don't change. Because our theories always overdetermine reality. So when we find something new our theories adapt to that.
Birric Forcella: No, Gilles, you are completely wrong.
Gilles Kuhn: have you read repeat "the structure of scientific revolutions " by thomas kuhn?
Birric Forcella: In fact scientific theories are refined, not falsified.
Gilles Kuhn: oh yes that classical defence of realist that say the theory are refined sorry but thats ridiculous
Birric Forcella: A scientific theory is exactly such a thing that explains all we know about reality. When we have new data, then the theories get NARROWED - only idiots think they get falsified
Gilles Kuhn: look lets take the classical example
TR Amat: Newtonian physics is often quite good enough, though Einstein is arguably more 'correct'.
Birric Forcella: Einstein did NOT falsify Newton - only some Kuhnian pomo could think such idiocies
Gilles Kuhn: nice to hear karl popper was an idiot
Gilles Kuhn: it falsified totally newton
Birric Forcella: It merely refined it
Birric Forcella: No, of course it did not
TR Amat: Interesting disagreement.
Gilles Kuhn: newton was claiming basically that mass attired each other einstein claimed that mass warped the space around them thats is totally different
Birric Forcella: Newton was completely in keeping with what was known then - Only if nature itself had changed from Newton to Einstein, then Newton would be falsified
TR Amat: And, we still don't understand what gives objects mass.
Birric Forcella: But you are simply evading my question about Free Will
Gilles Kuhn: and for newton space and time was absolute for einstein they are relative more different its difficult dont you think?
Birric Forcella: HOW exactly are you proposing your free will moves some electron from state A to state B
TR Amat: If we need new scientific theories to explain how the brain operates - which seems likely - does that impact on 'free will'?
Birric Forcella: Next you are going to tell me that Queer Theory overrides physics
Gilles Kuhn: because birric as i just demonstrated science is a relative thing that is not giving us truth but technical tools and so we cannot use electron or wathever scientific fauna to argue about a metaphysic problem such as free will
TR Amat: Electrons are quite capable of being in both state A and state B at the same time?
Birric Forcella: TR, now scientific theories are very unlikely to show that the operation of the brain is supernatural - which is the claim for free will
Gilles Kuhn: birric thats not the problem at all
Birric Forcella: All I am asking is if you think that the operation of the brain is according to natural laws or not
TR Amat: You claim free will is supernatural. Why?
Gilles Kuhn: natural laws are a fantasy of yours birric
TR Amat: I don't claim free will is anything outside physics/chemistry/biochemistry/cybernetics/<insert theory of brain>.
Birric Forcella: You demonstrated no such thing, Gilles, as all pomos, you merely claimed that. But I will now keep my mouth shut. Basically this is a rerun from yesterday - only you are more adept at avoiding the issue
Gilles Kuhn: next week i will propose a text on philosophy of science i think....
Gilles Kuhn: pomos ???????
Gaya Ethaniel: postmodernists I think ...
Gaya Ethaniel: or not?
Birric Forcella: Post-Modernists
Gilles Kuhn: my mouth shut lol birric no one managed that .....
TR Amat: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PoMo
Birric Forcella: Never mind. You answered my question well enough.
Gaya Ethaniel: English terms I guess ... they do that.
Gilles Kuhn: in your restricted polemic mind perhaps
TR Amat: I have big doubts about Post-Modernism...
Gaya Ethaniel: I'd be very interested to read something on philosophy of science.
Gilles Kuhn: i am not a post modernist i remember having a violent argument with derrida which is btrw a idiot.....
Gaya Ethaniel: It will make some of what's discussed here clearer for me ... :)
TR Amat: I didn't know that post-modernist generally took a position on free will.
Gilles Kuhn: but i am sorry the value of science is limited for various reason one of them the very history of science
Birric Forcella: [14:21] Gilles Kuhn: natural laws are a fantasy of yours birric <-- That's the essence of POMO
Gilles Kuhn: (about derrida its an idiot but he can dance rock in a very funny way....)
Birric Forcella: BTW, Gilles, the only polemic so far came from you. All I did was ask for a clarification - which did not happen
Gilles Kuhn: yes natural law are a fantasy of XIX century
TR Amat: Natural laws are out best guess based on all evidence about how the world works.
Gaya Ethaniel: Well I don't agree with your definition of 'natural' laws that governs conscious decisions Birric ...
Gilles Kuhn: it did happen the problem birric you want absolute response and i'm not a theologian.....
TR Amat: They are a general short-cut way of referring to "current scientic theories".
Birric Forcella: Well, Gaya, then could you explain what your idea is?
Gilles Kuhn: that we know will be eventually replaced by others tr.....
Birric Forcella: I've heard a lot of heat, but no light
TR Amat: Illumination would be nice. :)
Gaya Ethaniel: I lean more on what we have discussed re: Kant, some of conscious decisions are not limited to physical world.
Gilles Kuhn: look you mention qm often have you heard of the epr paradox birric?
Birric Forcella: Well, if what we know will be replaced - why try?
Gaya Ethaniel: ?
Gilles Kuhn: right gaya but my point is that the physical world knowledge we have are relative and not absolute at all
Birric Forcella: Okay, Gaya, so you would say that a free will impetus appears out of nothing - from outside this physical world?
Gaya Ethaniel: Yes Gilles and also limited ...
Gilles Kuhn: basically the epr demonstrate as do the bell inequalities that qm
TR Amat: We work with the "natural laws" that we have got, because they are the best tools we have.
Birric Forcella: Gilles, I am a specialist on EPR
Gilles Kuhn: that qm and reltivity are contradictory
Birric Forcella: And on Bell's Inequality
Gilles Kuhn: good for you birric ! ;-)
Gaya Ethaniel: Well, I wouldn't start talking about this physical world and another that is separate etc.
Birric Forcella: Oh brother
Gilles Kuhn: so as the hour is coming to a close next time shall we discuss epr?
Birric Forcella: Alright. Gaya at least game me an honest answer
Gaya Ethaniel: My perception for example is limited to this physical world how it works [your natural laws Birric?] but I don't believe my conscious decisions are bound by the physical world.
Gilles Kuhn: i will try to lure pema to give a talk about it at the end he is a physicist TR Amat: Though, it is generally thought (I think) that Penrose was wrong about quantum effects like that being significant in the brain.
Birric Forcella: How does a free action come into being, Gaya?
Gilles Kuhn: indeed tr
Gaya Ethaniel: What exactly are you asking though ... a scientific proof Birric?
Gaya Ethaniel: The two papers didn't satisfy me on that question ...
Gilles Kuhn: confusion of level of explanation i think
Birric Forcella: No, your philosophical position, Gaya. If you claim free will, you must somehow know what it is supposed to be
Gilles Kuhn: i gave my def birric
TR Amat: Do you think that emergent behaviour is relevant to free will?
Birric Forcella: I have no problem if you say that natural law is violated. After all, the religious claim it all the time
Gilles Kuhn: :: capacity of prediction or not by another epistemical subject
Birric Forcella: I'm just trying to figure out how you define free will if natural law is NOT violated
Gaya Ethaniel: I said early on ... [13:48] Gaya Ethaniel: For me, it ranges from selecting a particular action from a range of options. Also the decision can at times transcend certain limitations or preferences if needs to be. [13:48] Gaya Ethaniel: Not a reaction or reflex but a considered choice ...
Gilles Kuhn: you are as religious as religious guy birric and your pope is robespierre......
Gilles Kuhn: correction your prophet : he is dead .....
TR Amat: Free will as a practical matter rather than as an absolute?
Birric Forcella: Gaya, that is another semantic use of the world "selecting" or choice. It's like saying a database "selects" an answer from millions of entries. However, it does not really make a choice - it is clearly predetermined by the query which answer it will chose
Gaya Ethaniel: hm ... every life situations I face I select from a database?
Gilles Kuhn: right so next week epr ladies, robots gentlefox and men ?
Birric Forcella: It's the same with a river. It is clearly predetermined which leve water will "choose." It's not a choice. the claim for free will is the same as saying that rivers sometimes go out of their bed and flow over mountains
TR Amat: If it is not possible to calculate the results of stimulii in the brain, within the universe, then isn't that effectively free will?
Gilles Kuhn: agreed tr
Gilles Kuhn: and please epr or not epr next week?
Birric Forcella: No, TR, that would be random acts - not free will
TR Amat: No violation of any natural laws are required to support that point of view.
Gaya Ethaniel: I don't see myself as a river that is conditioned by the physical world only Birric ... sorry I can't use fancy words but my position just is different.
Birric Forcella: Fee will does NOT mean that you choose randomly - it means that you are the uncaused author of your purposeful acts
Gilles Kuhn: hell uncaused let come back to aristoteles ......
TR Amat: I don't see "free will" as a platonic absolute, I'm afraid...
Birric Forcella: Well, if you call it "free" it must be uncaused
Birric Forcella: If it has a cause, it is not free
Birric Forcella: You are merely playing word games - as all pomos
Gilles Kuhn: nor do i and if you dont respond to epr or not i will decide myself without your free will taken in account .....
Gilles Kuhn: gosh you believe in cause and you state of the art science is laplace birric....
Birric Forcella: What do yu want me to respond to epr? I don't even see how it is relevant for free will
TR Amat: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plato
Birric Forcella: Neither Bohr nor Einstein said that natural laws are violated anywhere
TR Amat: To the best of my knowledge I'm not a post-modernist. :)
Birric Forcella: They merely differed over the interpretation of data
Gilles Kuhn: yes because you believe in the absolute epistemic value of science birric which is quite a naive position i am afraid
Gaya Ethaniel: Birric - [14:35] Gaya Ethaniel: hm ... every life situations I face I select from a database?
Gaya Ethaniel: What database is this?
Birric Forcella: Neither Einstein or Bohr ever said that if you put something in - there is freedom in the outcome - at most randomness
Gilles Kuhn: its not about violation of so call natural law is about the sheer possibility of knowing them birric
TR Amat: EPR sounds interesting. :)
Gilles Kuhn: right epr and bell inequalities it is then
Birric Forcella: Gaya, I said that you are using the word "choose" in a different way. A query does not "choose" actually from a database.
Birric Forcella: Never mind - you misunderstood my point
Gilles Kuhn: will contact pema and try to have bicemont too
Gilles Kuhn: bricemont
Gaya Ethaniel: Yes would be nice to have Pema here one week :)
Birric Forcella: Sure you can know natural laws - you completely misunderstand what it is you can't know
Gilles Kuhn: and now i have to go bye all
Gaya Ethaniel: Good night everyone :)
TR Amat: Bye, Giles.
Birric Forcella: Natural laws are the things that will always be the same in every experiment
TR Amat: Bye, Giles.
Birric Forcella: Natural laws are the things that will always be the same in every experiment
Birric Forcella: And natural laws are the things that will bite you in the butt even if you do not believe in them
Birric Forcella: Bye
Gaya Ethaniel: See you next week!