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Has the Free Will Theorem of Conway and Kochen been taken seriously by the philosophical community; is compatibilism still considered a valid approach to free will?

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welcome! Do you think you could provide a little more context here? –  Joseph Weissman Jun 25 '11 at 15:12
    
Thank you for your considerate responses! –  Robert Haraway Jun 28 '11 at 15:42

2 Answers 2

up vote 15 down vote accepted

That theorem (overview) is often taken out of context. His suggestive naming of the behavior or elementary particles as "free will" irked a lot of people, especially as the connection to what we consider free will is phenomenally vague. It's almost akin to noting that Heisenberg Uncertainty suggests a lack of determinism (for the more quantum-mechanically literate, look into Bell's Theorem).

So the theorem is taken very seriously, but not necessarily having anything to do with what we consider free will.

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Mixedmath's answer is a good one. I'd also like to add this supplementary data from a physicist point of view. As Sheldon Goldstein said: "We point out that for stochastic models this conclusion is not correct, while for deterministic models it is not new."

http://math.rutgers.edu/~oldstein/papers/fwtGTTZ.pdf

Besides, even if you stick to the non-compatiblist world view there are other points to be made for freewill than just indeterminism. I've written a bastardised argument in my blog for a general target audience.

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Can you link directly to the argument in your blog? I don't think people on here are going to go to the effort to look for it. –  Muhd Nov 10 '11 at 4:24
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@Muhd I took the liberty to find Sina's argument and adjust the link –  artm Jan 19 '13 at 16:37

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