[ExI] Free Will

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Sun Dec 28 02:23:02 UTC 2008

At 08:09 PM 12/27/2008 -0500, Will Steinberg wrote:

>Do any of y'all believe in free will?

To repeat my post from last year:

...Surely what we mean by "free to choose"
does not mean *canned but distinctive*, although that's part of our
sense of individuality. And quite obviously it doesn't mean "random".
It seems to me to follow from our capacity to compute or model a
sheaf of possible consequences (accurately or not is beside the
point) of alternative actions we might take soon or even in the long
run. We constantly acquire new and slightly or even drastically
surprising information, compress it, use it to modify our working
models or hold it ready to do so if the data seems relevant to some
emergent situation. So we can be *surprised* by choices, and by our
assessments, and by our meta-assessments of how we're likely to feel
if we act in one of several open ways, and all of this combines the
overabundance of new information from a world larger than our mental
workspace and memory, and the unexpected outcome of computations
conducted by modules the inner working of which escape our conscious scrutiny.

Damien Broderick

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