Re: Free will

On 2010-05-27 02:15:33 -0400, His kennyness said:

So by your definition what we take to be a free-will choice must have no cause, meaning it must follow from some form of roll of the dice, which is not at all what anyone takes free will to be.

I agree with you - when people say they have free will they don't mean that when faced with a moral choice some physical process just rolls some metaphorical dice. They mean that something inherent in them, unconstrained and undetermined, causes that moral choice.

There are (at least) two kinds of philosophical non-determinism: randomness, and extra-physical cause.

People who believe in free will have traditionally believed in extra-physical cause. Only those who want to rescue the concept of free will from extra-physical cause (i.e., not me) try to reinvent free will in terms of randomness.

I don't consider randomness free will, and I don't believe in extra-physical cause (e.g., souls). So If the universe is deterministic, there's no free will, and if it contains an element of inherent randomness, that alone is still not enough to give us free will.

warmest regards,


Raffael Cavallaro