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Re: [xmca] Hello Other Brain, how are you?

Hi Andy,

This thread went on to discuss Mabel's situation with her research.  I
found the original question about Free Will interesting.  I think it
was Patricia Churland here at UCSD who once made the point in a
lecture that Free Will == quantum indeterminacy not only is a cop out,
but is quite nonsensical.  Her basic point was that quantum
indeterminacy is fundamentally about randomness (arbitrariness), so
that any notion of Free Will that ties itself to arbitrariness
essentially argues that acts of free will are arbitrary acts.  While
this may seem to make sense, free will == arbitrary acts is not what
is meant by having the capacity to choose.  Freedom of choice is about
"legible" choices, there being sense to a choice from among a set of
alternatives.  This is quite different from getting up in the morning
and just randomly "doing" all they long (which is rather closer to
madness than free will).

Basically, quantum indeterminacy == arbitrary behavior is not choice,
therefore not free will.


2009/11/13 Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>:
> The pubic broadcaster in Oz, the ABC, is a great institution really, and
> "All In The Mind" is one of my favourite programs, but sometimes some of
> these guys really get under my skin. Today they were interviewing Michael
> Gazzaniga, and he started off the program talking about this strange
> illusion we have that we think of each other as persons when really we are
> just brains, a kind of quirky but conforting illusion.
> The thing that intrigued me was when, about 20 minutes into the interview,
> the ABC interviewer asked him: "What about Free Will and personal
> responsibility?" and suddenly he brought "society" into his 100%
> physiological picture. More to say that personal responsibility (and
> therefore Free Will) were concepts only relevant to society and really
> nothing to do with brains, apologising like crazy for the awful "dualism"
> which of course he is dead against - it is *all* physiology after all.
> I have a\observed that when John R Searle is confronted with the problem of
> a natural biological system "appearing to" enjoy free will, he resorts to
> quantum indeterminacy, which to me is nothing more than a quick change of
> subject hoping that you will forget the question and he can carry on.
> Do people think that Free Will is in this sense the Achilles Heel of
> neurodeterminism or neurological monoism, or whatever you want to call it?
> Andy
> --
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Andy Blunden http://www.erythrospress.com/
> Classics in Activity Theory: Hegel, Leontyev, Meshcheryakov, Ilyenkov $20 ea
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