Determinism and free will .

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Emil, Sep 23, 2010.


Choose one.

  1. Metaphysical Libertarianism (free will, and no Determinism).

    11 vote(s)
  2. Hard Determinism (Determinism, and no free will).

    11 vote(s)
  3. Hard Indeterminism (No Determinism, and no free will either).

    2 vote(s)
  4. I can not choose between these.

    14 vote(s)
  1. Emil Valued Senior Member


    Before you vote please read the post.
    From Wikipedia, Determinism.

    From Wikipedia,Varieties of determinism
    Varieties of determinism

    From Wikipedia, Free will and determinism
    Free will and determinism

    For this article Wikipedia mentions following references and bibliography .
    And external links.

    "References and bibliography

    Daniel Dennett (2003) Freedom Evolves. Viking Penguin.
    John Earman (2007) "Aspects of Determinism in Modern Physics" in Butterfield, J., and Earman, J., eds., Philosophy of Physics, Part B. North Holland: 1369-1434.
    George Ellis (2005) "Physics and the Real World," Physics Today.
    Epstein J.M. (1999) "Agent Based Models and Generative Social Science," Complexity IV (5).
    -------- and Axtell R. (1996) Growing Artificial Societies — Social Science from the Bottom. MIT Press.
    Kenrick, D. T., Li, N. P., & Butner, J. (2003) "Dynamical evolutionary psychology: Individual decision rules and emergent social norms," Psychological Review 110: 3–28.
    Albert Messiah, Quantum Mechanics, English translation by G. M. Temmer of Mécanique Quantique, 1966, John Wiley and Sons, vol. I, chapter IV, section III.
    Nowak A., Vallacher R.R., Tesser A., Borkowski W., (2000) "Society of Self: The emergence of collective properties in self-structure," Psychological Review 107.
    Schimbera, Jürgen / Schimbera, Peter: Determination des Indeterminierten. Kritische Anmerkungen zur Determinismus- und Freiheitskontroverse. Verlag Dr. Kovac, Hamburg 23 September 2010, ISBN 978-3-8300-5099-5."

    I am closest to hard determinism.
    But I can not accept that I do not have free will.


    Last edited: Sep 24, 2010
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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    I'm really confused.:shrug:
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  5. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    How about determinism and free will?
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  7. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    Mod Note:


    If you're going to copy swathes of text like that, you are required to provide the source. Not only is this standard academic and journalistic procedure, it also avoids any nasty legal ramifications. What's more, particularly when you're posting definitions, this is of the utmost importance.

    You posted this at 11:34 am EST today. I'll give you 24 hours from that time to PM me indicating that you're ready to edit the original post and add your source notation.
    Until then, thread closed.

  8. Emil Valued Senior Member


    Is a theoretical option not practical.
    It is called Compatibilism.
    But they define free will as being not free.

    From Wikipedia.

    From Wikipedia.

    From Wikipedia.

  9. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    We are machines that work deterministically, but we can make our own decisions. Computers will be able to do the same thing given similar levels of complexity.
  10. Big Chiller Registered Senior Member

    I like the compatibilism idea best here though I can't decide on the choices but I refuse to believe in indeterminism. I believe in determinism however not causal determinism as that only leads to infinite regress. If what I believe in is not causal then perhaps it shouldn't be called determinism but it is not random either. Since I believe in non-causal determinism I don't think there's a conflict of quantum mechanics with my belief.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2010
  11. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Are not "determinism" and "decision" incompatible?
    How are you defining "decision"?
  12. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    I'm a hard determinist. The everyday physical world is clearly causal and I can't think of any particular reason to suppose that we aren't also.

    Free will is like red. It's something the brain creates because it's useful. There is no such thing as red; it's just an internal label the brain creates in order to quickly identify different EM frequencies. It's fast and useful, but it's not true. Free will is a short cut that enables us to navigate a complex social world, quickly and create stable social units.

    There are academics who subscribe that free will is compatible with determinism, which makes no sense to me. They talk about free will as an emergent property that becomes independent of its constituent parts (neurons, body, environment). They talk about "top-down" causality, where organisms and organ systems constrain the behavior of their constituent parts, like neurons, cells, molecules, atoms, etc.

    It must be bullcrap. I think the correct way to see it is that nothing is constraining anything. The mind cannot constrain the brain's neurons to do anything that they must not do; otherwise it would be breaking the laws of physics. Top-down causality is impossible. It's nonsense.

    I wouldn't say down-up causality is wrong, but a better way to look at it is that the top isn't constraining the bottom and the bottom isn't constraining the top. Rather, life and organisms can be seen as matter swirling through torrents, and momentarily getting stuck in loops. Our constituent molecules are being hurled around like eddies in a stream. Our molecules are stuck in a temporary dance. It's complex, yes, but also entirely deterministic. Nobody's constraining anybody and nobody is breaking any rules.
  13. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    There is no point in arguing about determinism if you are a determinist, as you must believe that every argument you make could not have been stated otherwise, and that your opponent will only come to agree with you if he is determined to do so.
  14. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    ^ But since a determinist can do no other, there is a point if they think there is a point.
    Furthermore, I doubt even a hard-determinist can escape the illusion of free-will that seems to be so pervasive, and which is possibly even a prerequisite for self-awareness.
  15. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Given that QM suggests that outcomes can be / are probabilistic rather than singular for a given set of input conditions at the quantum level... i.e. if you start with the same input, you might not get the same output... how do you reconcile this to your hard-deterministic view?
  16. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    I don't understand quantum mechanics or physics at the nanoscale. But that's fine, since I don't live there. I live in the middle--somewhere between the very tiny and the colossal--a place that's pretty easy to predict. But even if it weren't deterministic, but probabilistic, that could make thought all the more arbitrary. So where is the space for free will?
  17. Emil Valued Senior Member

    From Wikipedia
    Quantum mechanics and classical physics
  18. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member


    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    I'm not arguing for free-will, but just clarification on your position. Personally I'm in the "free-will is an illusion" because I understand things to be either deterministic or random (probabilistic).
    For free-will to exist, as I see it, would require an uncaused intervention, ensuring a certain outcome. And I can't see how this would happen.
  19. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Emil - I am capable of investigating wiki, thanks. And try to add something of your own rather than just posting from other sources.

    Further, if you read the above, it states that the idea of the universe being a single wave-function does not remove the probabilistic nature of the wave-funtcion:

    "Such a "wave function of everything" would carry the probabilities of not just the world we know, but every other possible world that could have evolved."
  20. Emil Valued Senior Member


    With my summary knowledge about QM,I am not able to deny determinism or defended In terms of QM.So I'm interested conclusions QM specialists.
    Wiki concludes:"...quantum mechanics can be said to be deterministic."
    If a specialist in QM has another opinion please a link, not only his opinion, so I can compare.

    My opinion about the main question.
    My logic, my reason says "hard determinism"-True
    My feelings, my senses say "free will"-True
    But "determinism" and "free will" are incompatible-True

    so ... so ... so ... I think that is when a artificial intelligence blow up or entering a infinite loop.
    I am curious if you solved this problem and how you solved.

  21. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    I guess then, the question is, does the quantum probabilistic nature of particles affect us at our scale? Physics are very different at the tiny scale than the medium scale. Can you imagine life if basketballs and cars and wives kept flipping in and out of existence and into different dimensions every second?

    People like to make a lot out of quantum weirdness, saying stuff like, well, maybe it's true AND not true (in reference to something mundane)! But that shit doesn't apply to our everyday lives. We're big, goddamnit!
  22. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    Granted. But that would make no difference to their arguments at all.
    I don't mind people arguing for determinism as long as they understand that it is pointless.

    My own belief is that we have a kernel of free will, but nowhere near as much as we imagine we have.
    That wasn't on the voting list.
  23. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    I tend to think that the concepts of determinism and free will are ill-formed.

    Free will is always constrained but within those constraints lies choice.

    I'm much more entertained by the notion of "instant destiny".

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