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30 votes

Who Bears the Burden of Proof Regarding Free Will: Advocates or Skeptics

The Burden of Proof isn't an absolute property. There's no experiment you can perform on a person, a brain, or a position to show that that thing has the burden of proof. The Burden of Proof is a ...
TKoL's user avatar
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26 votes

Who Bears the Burden of Proof Regarding Free Will: Advocates or Skeptics

Human beings work on a presumption of free will; few people (outside of certain psychological disorders) believe they have absolutely no control over their actions moment to moment. Therefore the ...
Ted Wrigley's user avatar
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20 votes
Accepted

Why is the question "Is there free will?", and not, “What is free will?"

I agree with you and the others that it's all a matter of definition. It seems possible here the most trivial reason may be the correct one: marketing. “Does free will exist?” sounds like a weighty ...
adam.baker's user avatar
14 votes

Does quantum superposition enable the possibility of free will?

The question assumes an incompatibilist view of free will, and then rests their notion of free will on the possibility of true quantum randomness. Two notes on that: Quantum mechanics may or may not ...
TKoL's user avatar
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11 votes

Does quantum superposition enable the possibility of free will?

No, quantum superposition isn't really a plausible explanation, since processes in the brain seem to be macroscopic (ie they involve combinations of neurons which collectively contain oodles of ...
Marco Ocram's user avatar
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11 votes
Accepted

Who Bears the Burden of Proof Regarding Free Will: Advocates or Skeptics

Honestly most of the answers here are absolute waffle. Here's the actual answer. Both of them. Burden of proof applies if you are making a claim. That's it. Sometimes people will emphasise the point ...
Blue_Crow's user avatar
  • 126
10 votes

'Free will' as a 'confused concept': Is Ned Block correct?

Determinism means that every event is completely determined by the previous event. The negation, indeterminism, therefore means that every event is incompletely determined (=there is probabilistic ...
Pertti Ruismäki's user avatar
10 votes

Is the existence of free will even important?

Personally I agree with you and have found the debate about free will to be pretty pointless. Yes I think we have free will, but in the end it seems to be just a debate about semantics. I would say ...
Lichtbringer's user avatar
10 votes

Why is the question "Is there free will?", and not, “What is free will?"

The concept of free will started on the subjective level: Most time, all of us feel to be humans with free will. Pressed to give a definition of free will most persons would say: I am sure that I made ...
Jo Wehler's user avatar
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9 votes

Is the existence of free will even important?

There are positive and negative consequences to coming to a belief that there is no free will, and to continuing to believe we have free will. Inasmuch as we might ever be able to decide the truth of ...
Futilitarian's user avatar
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8 votes
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Darwinian Free Will

1 begs the question. 2-6 are unnecessary because 1 assumes that there is free will (that which is not, gives not). 5 is false. Being able to spawn healthy offspring which grew to adulthood in five ...
g s's user avatar
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7 votes
Accepted

Does quantum superposition enable the possibility of free will?

I'm going to answer your question, but I'd also like to say some things regarding the nature of the question and how people's fascination with free will is more or less unfounded. In short, yes, it's ...
Joseph_Kopp's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

'I can consent to be coerced at a later time' Is this a logical paradox?

Social contract theory pictures politics like this, agreeing to certain functions being carried out by the state, and so necessarily to taxes that will fund them with coercion even for citizens who ...
CriglCragl's user avatar
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6 votes

Why use a concept of free will in reasoning if it's unproven?

Any and all logical arguments start with unfounded premises. What's needed for rigor is keeping your premises clear and, if it isn't obvious in context, conditioning your conclusions upon the premises ...
g s's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

What is the rigorous definition of free will?

The general problem is that we know intuitively what free well is, though as of right now we still don't seem to have a clue how it works. And without an understanding how it works we have a hard time ...
haxor789's user avatar
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6 votes

Is free will even experienced? If not, can this be evidence for epiphenomenalism?

A better argument against epiphenomenalism is that the human-influenced world becomes much harder to explain without free will. For instance, why would my fingers randomly type out this defense of ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
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6 votes

Dennett vs Sapolsky on free will: A clash over different claims?

Great question, well posed. Dennett is the clearest champion of Compatibilism about free-will. Many scientists take from the fact human actions must be reducible to atoms and the void, that we only ...
CriglCragl's user avatar
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6 votes

Who Bears the Burden of Proof Regarding Free Will: Advocates or Skeptics

In dealing with our world, we have developed pragmatic models of a) selfhood, b) agency c) a physical world d) other mind are agents, etc for a large suite of conventional worldview assumptions. ...
Dcleve's user avatar
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6 votes

What is the use in arguing for or against the existence of metaphysical things?

Here are the main assumption(s) that some ppl break with: (a) Crucially, the notion of proof here is unclear: we can formalize definitions of free will, add an accepted formal system and suitably ...
emesupap's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

What are philosophers doing when they are discussing free will?

The main thing is that, in much of the up-to-date debate, we start out with the concept/phrase "moral responsibility," and then relativize free will to that: "Free will is whatever ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Are there examples in the literature of rigorous mathematical models of libertarian free will that take the laws of physics into account?

Two cents. Libertarian free will is supposed to be a basic concept and process in libertarianism, not reduced to further mechanisms. This is simply the way it is. An exact mechanism would make it ...
Nikos M.'s user avatar
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5 votes

Why use a concept of free will in reasoning if it's unproven?

Your question embeds several invalid assumptions, which I will try to pull out and identify for you, as learning about them will assist you in your philosophical development. You presume that ...
Dcleve's user avatar
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5 votes

Is the existence of free will even important?

To start, not everyone sees free will as incompatible with determinism (e.g. the so-called compatibilism, etc). Personally, I think that free will arises due to incompleteness of our knowledge. If we ...
Yuri Zavorotny's user avatar
4 votes

Why use a concept of free will in reasoning if it's unproven?

It's not disproven either. When you examine philosophical discussions of free will, you find the pivotal issue is, defining your terms. And, it is basically impossible to get the different groups to ...
CriglCragl's user avatar
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4 votes

Are there examples in the literature of rigorous mathematical models of libertarian free will that take the laws of physics into account?

Conway and Kochen[??] have offered a so-called "free will theorem" (note: the following quote is the Wikipedia summary of their conclusion): The free will theorem of John H. Conway and ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
4 votes

'Free will' as a 'confused concept': Is Ned Block correct?

Free will is the idea that the will of a moral agent is the sole cause of the moral agents actions. This is confused because it arises within the general psychological effort to recognize and identify ...
SystemTheory's user avatar
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4 votes

'Free will' as a 'confused concept': Is Ned Block correct?

Block's error is to assert a false dichotomy -- that only randomness and determinism are possible modes of our world. We know several things -- that classical logic's law of the excluded middle is not ...
Dcleve's user avatar
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4 votes

'Free will' as a 'confused concept': Is Ned Block correct?

My question is whether Block is right in saying that there is 'something wrong with the concept' merely because it can't be squeezed into determinism or indeterminism. An initial instinct may be that ...
TKoL's user avatar
  • 3,511
4 votes

Is the existence of free will even important?

In the free will world, we posit that despite their circumstances, the agent can always choose the morally good option. He has the responsibility, duty, and obligation, to act good. And to improve his ...
kutschkem's user avatar
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