[ExI] free will

Stuart LaForge avant at sollegro.com
Fri Nov 3 03:42:00 UTC 2023

On 2023-11-02 16:54, BillK via extropy-chat wrote:
> On Wed, 1 Nov 2023 at 20:46, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Sapolsky readily admits that his views are controversial.  :)
>> But he is not arguing against law and order. Punishments and
>> incentives are part of the drivers of behaviour.
>> He has published a book on the subject, reviewed here by Psychology 
>> today -
>> <https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/one-among-many/201709/sapolsky-free-will>
>> --------------------------------------
> Now there is another article about free will, with various researchers
> (including Sapolsky) discussing the problem.
> And Sapolsky has a new book out as well.
> <https://nautil.us/yes-we-have-free-will-no-we-absolutely-do-not-431904/>
> Quotes:
> Do we have free will? The question is ancient—and vexing.
> Everyone seems to have pondered it, and many seem quite certain of the
> answer, which is typically either “yes” or “absolutely not.”
> -------
> As Ismael told a lecture audience in Toronto recently, the puzzle of
> free will is the ultimate philosophical whack-a-mole.
> “When you tease out one thread of argument that’s supposed to lead to
> the conclusion that there is no free will … people say ‘No, no, that’s
> not what I meant by free will,’ or, ‘the problem’s not over there,
> it’s over here,” she told me. “And they give you a different argument,
> or they give you a different conception of free will. So every time
> you nail down one of them, you get something else coming up where
> people say, ‘no, no, the real argument is over here.’”
> -----------------------------

No. The argument against free will defines it as some sort of 
quasi-religious mystical homunculus separate from the brain. No serious 
compatibilist believes that free will is separate from the brain. The 
"free" in free will does not mean independent of the brain, instead it 
means not prohibited by forces outside of the brain. They define free 
will to be a straw man and then knock it down. You can't be against free 
will without being against freedom itself. Trying to convince people 
that they are unable to control themselves is something only aspiring 
tyrants would do.

Stuart LaForge

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