for questions concerning the freedom of choice of rational agents (often as opposed to determinism)

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1k views

Can someone be an atheist and subscribe to substance dualism at the same time?

I consider myself to be firmly in the atheist camp. None of the arguments for the existence of a higher being or prime mover convince me, let alone attempts at proving the existence of the old God of ...
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2answers
45 views

fMRI prediction on decision making and implications on taking credit

First some context. There's a well known study, which has been replicated and conclusive about the results, that shows that some decision are made some seconds before the person is conscious about ...
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1answer
45 views

Precedent for the idea of superluminal choice

What might happen were the speed of light to be exceeded is a subject of hot debate in the philosophy of modern physics. Therefore, this is of interest to philosophy. The most straight-forward way I ...
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4answers
52 views

“The” before “future” means we believe in hard determinism?

English speakers put the definite article "the" before the word "future" when they refer to the future (no pun intended). For example: In the future, everyone will have access to clean water. ...
3
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3answers
104 views

Trouble understanding Chomsky's answers on the free will question

Now, I don't think there's any scientific grasp, any hint of an idea, as to how to explain free will. Suppose somebody argues that free will is an illusion. Okay. This could be the case, but I ...
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2answers
43 views

Free Will and Rational Thought - Kant

According to http://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/history/ Kant believed in both determinism and rational thought. Kant subsumed causality and determinism under his idea of Pure Reason. ...
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3answers
134 views

Regarding free choice in a deterministic universe

Why can't free will or free choice exist in a 'totally' deterministic universe? What I mean by a 'deterministic universe' at least 'locally' is one where if you had 'enough' information regarding some ...
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1answer
46 views

Allegory of the Cave Free Will [closed]

Does the prisoner in the cave in Plato's allegory in The Republic have free will?
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0answers
11 views

About A.I. systems and the possibility of one controlling a robot

If an advanced robotic system was controlled by an A.I. system 'inside' it which had the ability to change itself , rewrite and/or reconfigure various information packages ( or programming) within ...
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3answers
110 views

Does artificial intelligence necessarily mean a system can somehow “freely” vary its own behaviour?

If an artificial intelligence system existed in a robot and it was able to constantly reprogram and reconfigure itself in any way without disrupting its necessary functions, and without even partly ...
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3answers
44 views

If intelligence maximizes future freedom of action, then are intelligent agents free?

Alex Wissner posits that there is an equation for intelligence: F = T ∇ Sτ or: intelligence is a force, F, that acts so as to maximize future freedom of action. It acts to maximize future ...
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2answers
68 views

Is there freedom in determinism?

I'm contemplating the idea that regardless of whether or not there is randomness involved in physics, the universe is still pretty much deterministic in the way of our actions being defined by ...
2
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1answer
90 views

Is free will a third option aside from chance and necessity?

The determinism dilemma is that if our actions are predetermined they are not free, and if they are random they are not willed, either way there is no free will. Even if will causation is a mixture of ...
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2answers
90 views

Does the existence of ethics(as a set of rules) imply lack of empathy in humans?

Suppose we would have enough empathy to understand each other in any circumstance. Wouldn't all the discussion of any problem resolve to free will(of the participants of the problem) only? Would, in ...
2
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1answer
48 views

If deduction does not exist in regards to the free will, is omniscience possible with omnipotence?

As the argument goes: If God is omniscient, he must already know how he is going to intervene to change the course of history using his omnipotence. But that means he can't change his mind about ...
0
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1answer
128 views

How does free will defense of God's benevolence work?

The purpose of the defense is to show that omniscient, omnipotent and benevolent God is consistent with the existence of evil in creation. The most popular version of the defense is due to Alvin ...
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0answers
52 views

Counter-arguments for the Frankfurt cases

I am looking for critique or good counter-arguments specifically for the Frankfurt cases. The Frankfurt cases are in turn: counterexamples to the "principle of alternative possibilities", or ...
3
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4answers
107 views

Does the concept of infinity mean we have already 'been'?

A memory that frequently inhabits my consciousness is that of a lesson taught by my religious education teacher in senior school. He likened the conditions and occurrences that resulted in the ...
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3answers
85 views

Is a person responsible for his choices? [closed]

If a person is influenced by his culture/environment, how can he be responsible for his choices? As our choices are determined by the past actions that affected us in some way.
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0answers
31 views

Plz Answer this question that i have asked [duplicate]

Socrates (or, rather Plato, through the voice of Socrates) leads us to the conclusion in the dialog Protagoras (see this for example) that our actions are entirely determined by our beliefs of what is ...
3
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1answer
73 views

Who were the first philosophers against free will?

I know David Hume in the 18th century had a critical position against the traditional view of free will or at least he is cited as a compatibilist. I wonder who were the first compatibilists and also ...
3
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3answers
149 views

Why are Free Will discussions always framed as a question of “free will” rather than “free choice” (of action)?

In debates or discussion regarding the question of whether or not human beings (or any other being) has the ability to decide for themselves what to do, the term invariably used is free will. However, ...
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2answers
1k views

What was Socrates/Plato's view on free-will?

Socrates (or, rather Plato, through the voice of Socrates) leads us to the conclusion in the dialog Protagoras (see this for example) that our actions are entirely determined by our beliefs of what is ...
3
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1answer
53 views

Was Kant successful in establishing the autonomy of the will?

Was Kant successful in establishing the autonomy of the will, and hence the authority of moral demands over us? Kant appeared not to recognize the gap existing between the law of an autonomous ...
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2answers
65 views

Is there a consistent definition of free will? [duplicate]

See also: What is a mathematical description of free will? Is free will reconcilable with a purely physical world? What is the difference between free-will and randomness and or non-determinism? ...
4
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0answers
112 views

Is there a third way, distinct from determinism and randomness? [closed]

The idea of free-will is often invoked to resolve some apparent philosophical problems, for example problems of assigning personal morality under determinism and the problem of evil. It seems to me ...
3
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2answers
217 views

What is a mathematical description of free will?

This is following in the line of this question asking what the difference between free-will and randomness/indeterminism is: What is the difference between free-will and randomness and or ...
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5answers
220 views

Is World Deterministic?

I think that all the events of the world are just the results of the application of the rules of nature on the previous situation of the world. Our thoughts or efforts are also completely ...
3
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1answer
70 views

How can we have responsibility in the Stoic's deterministic universe?

I read the following in Anthony Kenny's 'A New History of Philosophy' book. It is a paraphrase from Chrysippus the Stoic philosopher Nothing can escape Nature's laws, but despite the determinism of ...
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1answer
77 views

Was Augustine intentionally ambiguous? (Regarding free will)

So many scholars have written about St. Augustine and his views on free will, but there is little consensus to be formed from their literature. According to John Rist: There is still no consensus ...
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2answers
114 views

Sartrian Freedom Compatible with Determinism?

In Being and Nothingness, Sartre talks about how humans are "condemned to be free". But I was wondering if, because Sartre's philosophy is phenomenological ontology, what this really amounts to is ...
2
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1answer
2k views

What is the difference between intension and intention?

What is the difference between intention and intension? If one intends to do something is this intent part of the concept of intension?
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2answers
213 views

Free will thought experiment: what will I be thinking of exactly 5 minutes from now?

I have the subjective experience of free will but also observe the following: it does not seem to be possible to plan ahead and make a willful decision as to what one's exact thoughts shall be in 5 ...
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3answers
86 views

Why we think that we thinking by ourselves, independent and free [closed]

If anything thats every been created depends on its creator. Take computers for example where they think math but its us that programmed them. Then why do we feel that we think by ourselves, is it ...
4
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1answer
110 views

Introduction to understanding behaviour

I am trying to find good references that explain why human agents behave the way they do (and if possible more specifically when dealing with choices, or even tastes if you like). I know from ...
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3answers
236 views

Quantum Mechanics and Free Will

From my understanding, a Mixed Quantum State defines the set of all probable outcomes for a system, but isn't there still only one outcome determined through the succession of factors leading up to it ...
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1answer
58 views

Are materialism and methodological individualism compatible?

One of the fundamental principles of the Austrian school of economics, particularly the kind promoted by Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard, is methodological individualism, according to which the ...
3
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1answer
83 views

What would falsify compatibilism?

I'm trying to figure out whether compatibilism (SEP, Wikipedia) is falsifiable, a metaphysic, or something else. One way to get at this is to take a Popperian approach, and ask whether any ...
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4answers
194 views

Has there ever been a society without the assumption of free will?

Has there ever been a society that didn't assume that people have free will (and thus, not punished them [directly])? Could a society exist, that didn't take that assumption of free will?
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4answers
416 views

Are actually random events causeless?

Radium atoms decay by emitting alpha particles at random. Are these events without cause? Of course one may take a closer look at radium nuclei to determine a possible reason why they decay; for ...
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3answers
251 views

How does Plantinga's defense of free will align with omniscience

I've been reading about Plantinga's defense of free will and I can see how omnipotence is aligned with the existence of evil. What evades me, is how he resolves the conflict between foreknowledge and ...
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5answers
230 views

Does the presence of free-will allow for the possibility of evil in a world with a benevolent God?

The Problem of Evil is to understand how God can allow evil in the world if He is omni-benevolent (all-good), as someone who is all-good would not knowingly allow evil to occur where they could ...
6
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1answer
93 views

Philosophical assessment of Wegner's “The Illusion of Conscious Will”

It has now been a decade since the publication of Daniel Wegner's The Illusion of Conscious Will. I read it when it was released but have not followed subsequent debate and developments. I would be ...
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1answer
909 views

Existentialism and the absensce of free will

One of the most famous doctrines of existentialism formulated by Jean Paul Sartre is that we are absolutely free. Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible ...
3
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2answers
180 views

Can nihilists reject Kantian necessitation without also rejecting free will?

To me, the rejection of free will seems so useless that it is not even worth seriously considering. However, the existence of free will does seem to necessitate a normative standard by which certain ...
4
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1answer
193 views

Are your actions for every type of determinism determined before your birth?

We had this little discussion in class. Are your actions for every type of determinism determined before your birth? We're discussing traditional theories, so Quantum Mechanics aren't relevant (yet). ...
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12answers
971 views

Does punishment from god contradict the idea of free will?

In various religions it is often preached that god has given humans free will. But at the same time those religions preach that there is punishment for sinning. Assuming a god does exist, and god ...
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4answers
205 views

Why do we uphold the concept of “morality”? [closed]

Why do we need morality? What purpose does the concept serve?
3
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6answers
359 views

Are we actually in control of what we want?

Are we really in control of what we want? What might be the most significant philosophical theories or works discussing this problem?
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1answer
2k views

What did Acton mean by saying “absolute power corrupts absolutely”?

John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton said that "[p]ower tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." What did he mean by this? How might power compel evil or restrict free will?