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The notion that determinism means people are not responsible for their actions arises from a confused notion of "responsibility." Suppose a car engine is broken. To get it working again, you have to find out which part is responsible for the problem, and repair or replace that part. We don't say: "Because the engine works deterministically, ...


4

Seems like no one brought up Frankfurt and hierarchical compatabilism. First-order desires: Desires that are directed on objects or states of affiarrs. We desire things like being healthy, well informed, and being paid Second-order desires: Self-conscious beings are not only aware of the first-order desire, but can have desires about those desires. A smoker ...


3

We need to start with definitions and a common understanding what the words mean. I like the introduction of the Wikipedia article "Coincidence": A coincidence is a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances that have no apparent causal connection with one another. The perception of remarkable coincidences may lead to supernatural, occult, ...


2

Compatibilists assume the truth in some sense of determinism and the truth in some sense of freedom. Their view is not 'independent of whether or not determinism is true'. Compatibilism assumes the truth of determinism but aims to persuade us that the truth of determinism is compatible with the reality of freedom - which here means free will. This looks to ...


2

As I understand the principle — and I put it that way because the worldview is not one I share, for logical and philosophical reasons — the compatibalist position relocates 'choice' to be a property of mechanisms. In other words, a switch, a flipped coin, or a computer circuit are all capable of 'choosing' because they can be in this state or that state, and ...


2

To start, we can't really know nature. We only know what we perceive of nature due to our fragile and largely inexact senses (so, our knowledge of nature is highly biased). See the concepts of noumenon and thing-in-itself: http://www.philosophypages.com/dy/t.htm#thing Then, regarding what we can know (the opposite: phenomenon and thing-as-it-appears), we DO ...


2

In the strict sense of the word it may be. As there are many events that coincide from the proverbial "end" of the cosmos unto the ends of this earth. Or so I presume. So yes and no. I suppose it may depend on the circumstances and what may have lead to them (insert context here). In the case of the cheese sandwich that would seem to resemble the ...


2

The recovering ex-engineer weighs in: Coincidence furnishes an unacceptable basis for running a factory where the cost of downtime is of order ~$1500/minute. In this context, the job of the engineer is to eliminate in no uncertain terms the influence of random chance i.e., coincidence in the functioning of an engineered system. Even non-engineer humans ...


2

There are a few different directions to go on this. The person suffering can study philosophy further and learn to distinguish the implications of propositions more precisely (e.g. come to understand how analytic philosophers' discussions of the problem of free will don't align with popular conceptions of the inefficacy of our actions, or come to understand ...


2

If the 'element' you speak of 'arises independently from anything before it', it cannot simultaneously 'arise out of a will'. You actually specify a cause; the 'thought [which] triggers a set of particles or atoms inside your brain'. When you state, "It just appears, like the Big Bang. Some of its characteristics might be determined when it comes into ...


2

Free will is a vague and difficult notion, requiring at least, I believe, a working definition of time. Good luck with that! But while I'm not sure I follow your argument, it seems to me that neither case is a promising description of free will. Free will requires purposes and limits for "traction." Chess has a purpose and subsidiary purposes ...


1

Disbelief in free will is a category error. Humans don't exist in physics, they are just lumps of chemistry that we have a conceptual shorthand for. And so obviously the same with free will - it doesn't exist at the fundamental level of (at least broadly deterministic physics (see black hole three body problem for evidence the universe is not fully ...


1

Your comments "I do not believe in anything until it has strong and concrete evidence, especially experimental evidence" and "I believe in B-theory because it is a physical fact about the universe and it has experimental evidence (general/special relativity" Do not agree with: "A-theorists are aware of these criticisms, and there are ...


1

In Spinoza's Ethics the world is seen as fully deterministic and agency is a matter of perspective: People think they make choice and act on the world (i.e. they see themselves as having agency), but in the grand scheme of things (from Nature's perspective) they just put in actuality what previous events set them to do anyway. It is to say, we think we ...


1

The Stoic position would be to reject premise 2. Someone may be in conscious control of their actions as the determining factors of their decisions are "internal rather than external", even if their own internal range of choices is narrowly conceived. The causal physical/chemical workings of my brain and that relationship to the biological system ...


1

Apologies, our discussion of what you mean has been cut short. So here is my best shot. You write: In order for a person to be in conscious control over their decisions, they must be able to decide what to decide (otherwise, the decision becomes involuntary... But you said in the deleted discussion that you are not proposing a chain of meta-decisions ...


1

The infinite regress argument does not work because it stops after two steps. "They must be able to decide what to decide what to decide" is not valid English grammar for a reason. You have said that they must decide what to decide, and that's the end of it. Task: Decide what to decide. Result: What to eat. Task: Decide what to eat. Result: Pizza.


1

Nietzsche was initially a follower of Schopenhauer who had a very dour view of life. Pessimistic religions view life on earth as 'fallen', and Schopenhauer took this kind of view, with the only salvation being (faith in) the denial/suppression of will. Individuality inheres indeed primarily in the intellect; ... But it inheres also in the will, inasmuch as ...


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If we assume determinism to be true, whatever answers you arrive at to this question were the ones you were always going to arrive at. My current view is that if you are capable of concerning yourself about the impacts of a belief in determinism on ethics, you are very likely to be the kind of agent who will at various times continue to feel like there are ...


1

"Is everything just coincidence? Doesn't fate exist?" Physics answer: Assuming all things are explained by natural phenomenon (no deity, deities, or other supernatural figure(s) unbound by causation tipping the scales), there's really only two possibilities: If the universe is (effectively) deterministic (all interactions of energy and matter ...


1

Is everything just coincidence? Yes. No. Maybe. It depends on your particular philosophical (more specifically metaphysical) inclination. Here are some interesting related concepts: synchronicity, a concept introduced by Carl Jung to describe 'circumstances that appear meaningfully related yet lack a causal connection'; pareidolia, the phenomenon of '...


1

Nothing implies causal determinism. It is just a theoretical idea. Principle of sufficient reason has nothing to do with determinism. While determinism assumes that prior events only are both sufficient and necessary reasons for everything, the principle does not make that assumption. Determinism assumes that prior events sufficiently determine their effects ...


1

The statistical concept of random (lack of pattern, unpredictability) does not make any distinction between truly random (unintentional) and pseudo-random (intentional). The philosophical concept of random refers to the source of the value. A truly random value comes from a stochastic process that no-one controls. A pseudo-random value is deliberately ...


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Short Answer First, note that science is not a monolithic entity. Second, technically speaking, the role of statistical certainty in using models to determine what constitutes reality is the heart of a primary metaphysical debate in the philosophy of science: realism vs. instrumentalism. The most prominent example of this in practical science is in quantum ...


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As with every part of mathematics applied in natural sciences one can embrace the point of view of instrumentalism. When investigating some natural phenomena (which I call the target system and denote it by T) scientist constructs a mathematical model M together with some sort of interpretation of that model I:M->T such that the pair (M,I) adequately ...


1

Physicists disagree, never mind metaphysicists. The current standard understanding of quantum theory is that nature is inherently uncertain and probabilistic, so a second rerun would be almost certain to differ in detail, up to quite large scales inherited from the uncertainties inherent in the Big Bang and still visible across the night sky. However some ...


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Two aspects of free will: Predictability of our brain computation: Our future behaviour can be computed all the way to our death, so in theory, someone can really look at us from the side, knowing what we will do next. In practice however, except for experiments with artificial brains inside artificial worlds, this is not, and will never be possible, due to ...


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