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

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In what type of world is free will possible, if at all?

Why is free will a widely discussed, established concept? Does this concept emerge from religious / spiritual doctrine? Why is there so much interest in this topic? If a neural-network based AI ...
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3answers
101 views

Metaphysically, what does it mean to “make a decision”?

In the freewill debate, a difference is made between metaphysical/libertarian free will, i.e. where an agent is free to choose among many possible outcomes, and the eventual outcome is caused by the ...
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1answer
58 views

Who came up with many worlds theory based on free will

The idea is that under 'normal' conditions we do not get uncertainty principle since inanimate things do not make choices or 'observe' and work purely under deterministic principles, but the moment ...
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3answers
60 views

Physical laws and free will

I was just watching this video about reconciling free will and physical laws. The video begins with the following premises It is possible for a human being to create a machine that, given the intial ...
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3answers
168 views

Does anti-discrimination contradict free will?

Does anti-discrimination imposed by laws, or as a universally held position and imposed by society, contradict the idea of free will? Take for example: In a business context, choosing to not ...
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3answers
49 views

Why do people mix up physical indeterminism as related to free will?

if reality has code that makes you do X, or code that runs a random number generator and then makes you do X and Y, you don't have more free will in the second case. the random number generator used ...
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2answers
87 views

Movies on philosophy similar to “Waking Life”? [closed]

The movie "Waking Life" is a philosophical masterpiece: a quasi non-narrative psychedelic dreamscape exploring the very nature of both existence and non-existence in unpredecented depth. In a ...
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2answers
131 views

Can a version of the philosophical zombie concept be used to argue for libertarian freewill?

Philosophical Zombies are a thought experiment that is used to argue for dualism and against functionalism. The argument goes something like this: A purely functionalist account of the mind fails ...
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2answers
52 views

Is debate about free will futile?

I don't know very much about the positions on free will that important philosophers have expressed, so here's my question: One could argue if we discuss the topic "Do we have free will", the "hidden" ...
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1answer
26 views

Why are these IFs 'not the same as saying you could have chosen a peach'?

Source: p 50, What Does It All Mean? A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy (1987) by Prof. Thomas Nagel   When you say you could have had a peach instead of chocolate cake, part of what you ...
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1answer
140 views

Does having free will presuppose consciousness?

Philosophical zombies may lack a consciousness, but does this preclude the ability to have a free will? Why does consciousness matter, for agency, if at all, if determinism is real? (I've framed the ...
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3answers
137 views

Free Will and Intelligence

What is the relation between free will and intelligence. I'll identify free will with conscious mind and wonder what their relation is. Obviously there is free will without intelligence. Just have a ...
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1answer
44 views

On the Objections to Compatibilism

I was reading An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding by David Hume, specifically the section titled On Liberty and Necessity (both parts). Hume reconciles liberty with metaphysical necessity by an ...
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2answers
66 views

Rudolf Carnap's opinion about free will

I know that the logical positivists thought that many old philosophical questions are meaningless, but I never found a source on the internet about their position on free will. So what was their ...
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1answer
39 views

Does Epictetus State “Only One Cause Motivates Us”, Or “One Cause More than Others”?

1. Question: From Epictetus, Discourses, 1.11, (Perseus English Link): Is Epictetus implying there is only ever just one cause for our actions? Or, is Epictetus arguing there is one cause which ...
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0answers
26 views

Are we actually in control? [closed]

Do we really have control of our own lives? Are we making our own decisions? Is there even free will? Or is everything an illusion? Has everything been decided? Does fate, destiny or whatever exist?
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1answer
31 views

J. J. Thomson: A Defense of Abortion - When is it permissible to kill?

WORK SOURCE: http://spot.colorado.edu/~heathwoo/Phil160,Fall02/thomson.htm (This is a homework assignment) According to Thomson, if another person is about to cause your death, then: A. It ...
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2answers
94 views

What is the connection between conscious mind and Gödel's incompleteness in a mathematical universe?

Assume that our universe is a mathematical one, similar to the one that Tegmark proposed (see here). In contrast to what I read there, let's assume that the axioms upon we build the universe are such ...
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4answers
215 views

How does Quantum Mechanics affect the modern account of free will and determinism?

In the edition of Feb/Mar 2016 of the Philosophy Now Magazine says: Under Feel Free to Differ it says: [...] Determinism itself comes in different flavours. Hard determinism of the most ...
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1answer
59 views

Can being lame and repose in a chair not imply Compatibilism?

Source: p 83, Philosophy: A Complete Introduction (2012) by Prof Sharon Kaye (MA PhD in Philosophy, U. Toronto) Likewise, if I tie you to a chair, we say that you are unfree because there is an ...
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1answer
43 views

In which sense Wittgenstein criticizes Schopenhauer's WILL?

In the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, the section 6.53 may be treated as "a criticism of Schopenhauer's Will". As far as I understood there is also another concept involved: the russellian idea that ...
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1answer
57 views

How does free will relate to external determination? [closed]

Many believe free will is having the ability to make your own choices without outside influence. But everything you see, hear and smell is an outside influence. Every lesson learnt through past ...
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1answer
85 views

What counters are there to Spinoza's argument that acts of free will create infinite regress?

My 16-to-21-year-old self was very preoccupied with free will. When I was 21 years old I rejected the notion as ill-defined as both my reason and my inner experience told me that my will was caused ...
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5answers
111 views

How do freewill compatibilists define insanity?

Compatabilism is one approach to the problem of freewill in a casually closed world: How to reconcile freewill with a casually determined world (in particular one that follows the laws of physics)? ...
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3answers
88 views

Free will in the face of determinism? [duplicate]

If an entity existed such as Laplace's demon, that could know with precision the current state of the universe and - using the laws of physics - could tell you your future with certainty, would you ...
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6answers
235 views

Is the theory of evolution a good basis for an argument against freewill?

In the theory of evolution, humans do not occupy any privileged status compared to other living beings, they are at one end of a continuous (although not necessarily monotone) spectrum of creatures. ...
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2answers
57 views

How does eating precede cooking? If influencing the past is useless, then what is the problem?

Source: pp 116-117 , Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy (1 ed, 1999) by Simon Blackburn   What about the asymmetry between past and future? If they are symmetrical in God's eyes, why ...
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72 views

'metaphysical asymmetry between past and future' : Meaning?

Source: pp 114-115, Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy (1 ed, 1999) by Simon Blackburn. See page 15 of 18. Please advise if I should reproduce two pictures omitted below (which I omitted ...
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12 views

Why is 'interventionist choice' an illusion? How could thoughts about time passage prove illusion?

Source: pp 113-114, Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy (1 ed, 1999) by Simon Blackburn   But perhaps the line of thought bears a different interpretation. Fatalism is usually thought ...
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15 views

How is 'Deliberate Stance' connected to causation and the scientific worldview?

Source: p 109, Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy (1 ed, 1999) by Simon Blackburn   Some thinkers like to say that there are two perspectives on all of this. There is the ...
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9 views

How do “interpersonal reactions” 'depend upon some lingering affection for interventionist freedom'?

Source: Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy (1 ed, 1999) by Simon Blackburn [p 100:] [...] revised revised compatibilist definition: [I use capitalisation instead of Blackburn's ...
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7 views

What does this mean: 'God-given correlation between an event being “mental” and the event being under my free control'?

Source: p 89, Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy (1 ed, 1999) by Simon Blackburn   Look again at the dilemma of determinism. How does a ghost or soul inside the machine escape the ...
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2answers
85 views

Can strong omnipotence be decomposed into logically possible and logically impossible aspects?

A lot of debate in the "omnipotent being" or "omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent, etc." being debate revolves around the definition of the terms. I consider the "strong form" of ...
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187 views

How can we let go of one (the Self) and not the other (Free Will)? [duplicate]

I am under the impression that in western culture, it is quite common to conceive the Self as an illusion — probably as an import from eastern religions, and in particular from Buddhism, and in ...
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2answers
137 views

Why do modern materialists tend to favor determinism?

There seems to be no logical link between matter and determinism (or ideal and indeterminism for that matter). And libertarian free will was first articulated by a materialist, Epicurus, and is ...
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2answers
84 views

How do compatibilists handle brainwashing?

Compatabilism is one approach to the problem of freewill in a casually closed world. If a person is free to choose among several possible courses of action, doesn't this violate the laws of causality? ...
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1answer
58 views

Can a materialist accept indeterminism? Can a reductionist?

The usual argument against it is that if behavior of matter is not fully determined by its state then it has to be determined by something else, ergo dualism. This begs the question however, unless we ...
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227 views

How do defenders of libertarian freewill define the boundaries of what is constrained by the laws of physics and what isn't?

Libertarian freewill is the position that we have some measure of metaphysical freewill. Per this position, a free agent at a given point in time is able to freely select a course of action among ...
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2answers
143 views

Is Conway-Kochen's “free will” theorem about quantum measurements an argument for panpsychism?

Conway and Kochen have proved a theorem about free will (no to be confused with the related Kochen–Specker theorem, which rules out hidden variables), which states that if we have a type of ...
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2answers
130 views

Is the B-theory of time compatible with libertarian free will?

As I understand the B-theory of time it says that we can talk about things happening in time just by using tenseless sentences — which for me implies that the past, present and future are equally real....
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6answers
1k views

What are some replies to the deterministic argument against free will?

This question is about the following famous argument (*) against free will: If determinism is true, the will is not free. If indeterminism is true, our will would just be a result of chance ...
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1answer
89 views

Why Does Camus Maintain That Men Can't Have Freedom Under An All-Powerful God?

I am quoting here something from The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus: The problem of 'freedom as such' has no meaning. For it is linked in quite a different way with the problem of God. The ...
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7answers
190 views

Does the logical tautology “what will happen, will happen” imply the impossibility of free will?

The statement what will happen, will happen is true by definition (right?). But to me that also implies that as long as time is linear, the future is predetermined (and hence there is no free ...
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2answers
126 views

How far does Nietzsche's skepticism of causality go?

On page 21 of Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, I found the following quote: Suppose someone sees through the boorish naivete of this famous concept of "free will" and manages to get it out of his ...
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2answers
173 views

Kant's distinction of freedom as transcendental idea and as practical concept: What is the benefit?

Prompted by the current discussion about Kant’s concept of causality of freedom Can Free Will Exist In A Causal Material World? I would like to understand the scope and the difference of the two ...
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3answers
172 views

What are some counterarguments to Schopenhauer's refutation of free will?

The following slogan often attributed to Schopenhauer "A man can do as he will, but not will as he will" [so there is no free will] — quoted by Albert Einstein in "Mein Weltbild" (1931) has ...
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208 views

Can Free Will Exist In A Causal Material World?

India's leading daily, The Times of India can easily put other contenders of the same bracket (like the widely-praised The Sun) to shame. Today, scanning the lifestyle section, I came across the ...
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101 views

Is there evidence for existence of destiny as opposed to free will?

Is there any evidence for the existence of some kind of "destiny"? And if not: What about the "free will", its very much the opposite of destiny. Lets assume, our brain really is "only" an input-...
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83 views

Free Will in Psychiatry

I have a conundrum: If a psychiatric patient who cannot distinguish between dream and reality believes that each night a stranger comes and cuts their arm off, and subsequently asks for their real arm ...
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42 views

Does determinism speak for the predetermination of every single event?

I was wondering if determinism is claiming that every single event is predetermined or not. I say every single event isn't, but maybe major events are. Major events as in events that can only take ...