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Author Topic: Is The Free Will Just an Elaborate ...Illusion ?  (Read 19480 times)

Offline Supercryptid

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Re: Is The Free Will Just an Elaborate ...Illusion ?
« Reply #75 on: 26/11/2013 20:49:38 »
I do agree that we need to consolidate this whole immaterial argument into one thread. Having it spread out over several different ones is just sloppy. Heck, I'm considering giving up on the whole thing because nobody is making any real progress in any direction despite the massive number of responses that we've thrown at each other.
« Last Edit: 26/11/2013 20:51:55 by Supercryptid »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: Is The Free Will Just an Elaborate ...Illusion ?
« Reply #76 on: 26/11/2013 21:51:28 »
I do agree that we need to consolidate this whole immaterial argument into one thread. Having it spread out over several different ones is just sloppy. Heck, I'm considering giving up on the whole thing because nobody is making any real progress in any direction despite the massive number of responses that we've thrown at each other.
[/quote]

Right : we are not pretending to try  though to solve these big issues ,we are just exchanging thoughts about them : i did get learn a lot from the insights of people here that did lead me to unexpected sources and ideas,you have no idea  .
Just try to do the same then ,also by checking my displayed sources and material all over these threads , especially on the consciousness thread .

So, all these discussions are just supposed to be a starting point in one's own research on the matter .
Good luck with your own re-search and journey .
Thanks, appreciate indeed .
Take care .
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Is The Free Will Just an Elaborate ...Illusion ?
« Reply #77 on: 26/11/2013 23:07:18 »
The difference between less conscious animals and more conscious animals, is that humans or chimps go back and evaluate the outcome of their responses ..... A lizard has a lot less flexibility in that respect and probably just runs the exact same program over and over.

I think the underlying suggestion that cold-blooded animals are less able to reflect, learn or solve problems, lacks evidence, though you may have some.  There is considerable evidence of the ability of octopi to solve problems and to learn from the actions of humans, and ants on the march seem at least as intelligent as human crowds.

You need to map the idea of learning, reflection, or whatever, into the space of the physical capability of the animal you are studying. Hence you can't dismiss dogs as "intellectually unable to use tools" because they simply don't have the anatomical ability to manipulate a prosthetic device, nor any need to count beyond about six - though their understanding of differential calculus is way beyond that of most humans. So I guess your lizard is a bit restricted in its range of potential responses and prior life experiences from which to draw analogies that you might recognise. But he might consider growing a new tail or walking on the ceiling as experiences and responses which are way beyond your ken or ability!
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: Is The Free Will Just an Elaborate ...Illusion ?
« Reply #78 on: 26/11/2013 23:59:22 »

I think the underlying suggestion that cold-blooded animals are less able to reflect, learn or solve problems, lacks evidence, though you may have some.  There is considerable evidence of the ability of octopi to solve problems and to learn from the actions of humans, and ants on the march seem at least as intelligent as human crowds.

You need to map the idea of learning, reflection, or whatever, into the space of the physical capability of the animal you are studying. Hence you can't dismiss dogs as "intellectually unable to use tools" because they simply don't have the anatomical ability to manipulate a prosthetic device, nor any need to count beyond about six - though their understanding of differential calculus is way beyond that of most humans. So I guess your lizard is a bit restricted in its range of potential responses and prior life experiences from which to draw analogies that you might recognise. But he might consider growing a new tail or walking on the ceiling as experiences and responses which are way beyond your ken or ability!

I would agree with that. And it seems unlikely that learning or problem solving just popped into existence with homo sapiens.
I once watched an ant circle a dead bug on a picnic table, and push it off the edge. It made the long trek down to where the dead bug landed and hauled it away. Maybe they do that all the time, I don't know, but it seemed rather clever.

This month's issue of Scientific American has an article about face recognition by wasps. (Wasps can recognize faces. They didn't write an article about face recognition.) Anyway, it says  that paper wasps "can perceive and memorize one anothers unique facial markings and are able to use information to distinguish individuals during subsequent interactions, much as humans navigate their social environment by learning and remembering the faces of family, friends and colleagues" and "can at times even learn to tell human faces apart." The article also says wasps don't respond to facial features separately, but perceive and process the face as whole.
"The occurrence of face specialization in both humans and wasps suggests that this mechanism could be more wide spread in the animal kingdom than previously thought."
 

Offline AndroidNeox

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Re: Is The Free Will Just an Elaborate ...Illusion ?
« Reply #79 on: 09/12/2013 20:32:10 »
Personally, I must take the position that, until I find a self-consistent definition of "free will" I'll have to doubt its existence.

I'm not exactly sure I know what you mean by self consistent, but its a puzzling concept, regardless. I like Patricia Churchlands description of it:

 "A rigid philosophical tradition claims that no choice is free unless it is uncaused;that is, unless the"will" is exercised independently of all causal influences - in a causal vacuum."
Churchland's description perfectly sets up my problem with "free will" definitions. How does one make a free choice?

The choice must be based on the the nature of the individual. Where does that nature come from? It comes from inheritance, environment, and random chance; all of which are outside factors.

If choice is causal then it must be dependent upon factors that predate, or at least are external to, the individual. If choice is not causal then it's outside of the individual's control.
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Is The Free Will Just an Elaborate ...Illusion ?
« Reply #80 on: 10/12/2013 20:54:01 »
...(Prior note :
This thread was just inspired by dlorde's relative explanations of the maths of chaos to me ,that's all .
So, i just wanted to hear his own opinion on the subject of free will ,since he said that free will can exist even within a deterministic universe .
Stuff like that .)
Uh-huh. Usually when people want my opinion on something they ask me. If they create a thread for the purpose, they let me know. Just sayin'.

But as you derailed your own thread to bang on about materialism in science, I wonder whether you're still interested.

If you are still interested, we need to define what we're talking about. I have yet to hear a coherent non-compatibilist definition for free will, so please give a clear and unambiguous definition or explanation of precisely what you mean by 'free will', and I'll give a detailed response.

 

Offline Ethos_

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Re: Is The Free Will Just an Elaborate ...Illusion ?
« Reply #81 on: 10/12/2013 21:18:22 »
I do agree that we need to consolidate this whole immaterial argument into one thread. Having it spread out over several different ones is just sloppy. Heck, I'm considering giving up on the whole thing because nobody is making any real progress in any direction despite the massive number of responses that we've thrown at each other.
And the reason for that dilemma revolves around the eminent fact that the subject matter in these threads is more about philosophy, and or faith, than it is about science. I suggest we offer a philosophy category at NSF and move these threads to that location.
« Last Edit: 10/12/2013 21:40:28 by Ethos_ »
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Is The Free Will Just an Elaborate ...Illusion ?
« Reply #82 on: 10/12/2013 22:02:33 »
There are many intriguing scientific aspects to free will and consciousness, and we could discuss them, if certain individuals didn't derail every thread they enter to bloviate about their personal obsessions...

It seems to me that only firm moderation can manage that kind of thing.
 

Offline Ethos_

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Re: Is The Free Will Just an Elaborate ...Illusion ?
« Reply #83 on: 10/12/2013 22:09:07 »
There are many intriguing scientific aspects to free will and consciousness, and we could discuss them, if certain individuals didn't derail every thread they enter to bloviate about their personal obsessions...

It seems to me that only firm moderation can manage that kind of thing.
Agreed...................we patiently wait!!!!!!!!!!
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: Is The Free Will Just an Elaborate ...Illusion ?
« Reply #84 on: 06/02/2014 00:11:34 »
Some neurologists say that the big questions or the hard problem of consciousness or free will may be solved by answering the easy ones, and when I see articles like this, I tend to agree. If it doesn't explain free will, it does seem to explain why we feel as though we have it. It also demonstrates top-down control, something that critics of reductionist neuroscience say is missing.

Pinpointing the brain's arbitrator: Reliability weighed before brain centers given control
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140205133254.htm

"With the results from those tests in hand, the researchers were able to compare the fMRI data and choices made by the subjects against several computational models they constructed to account for behavior. The model that most accurately matched the experimental data involved the two brain systems making separate predictions about which action to take in a given situation. Receiving signals from those systems, the arbitrator kept track of the reliability of the predictions by measuring the difference between the predicted and actual outcomes for each system. It then used those reliability estimates to determine how much control each system should exert over the individual's behavior. In this model, the arbitrator ensures that the system making the most reliable predictions at any moment exerts the greatest degree of control over behavior.

'What we're showing is the existence of higher-level control in the human brain,' says Sang Wan Lee, lead author of the new study and a postdoctoral scholar in neuroscience at Caltech. 'The arbitrator is basically making decisions about decisions.'"
 

Offline Ethos_

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Re: Is The Free Will Just an Elaborate ...Illusion ?
« Reply #85 on: 06/02/2014 01:32:00 »


'What we're showing is the existence of higher-level control in the human brain,' says Sang Wan Lee, lead author of the new study and a postdoctoral scholar in neuroscience at Caltech. 'The arbitrator is basically making decisions about decisions.'"[/size]
What I found very interesting was the observation that habitual behavior was more or less the default mode for this decision making. And only when more goal directed behavior was recognized as necessary was the arbitrator given authority over this default mode. Curious what complex beings we humans are......................?
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Is The Free Will Just an Elaborate ...Illusion ?
« Reply #86 on: 06/02/2014 16:06:20 »
It seems to me that we tend to become consciously aware of the decision-making process (rather than just its results) when such arbitration is necessary. When the options are very closely matched in estimated suitability, or neither appears sufficiently reliable to enable a good choice, additional resources must be recruited to supply additional information to weigh on either side, or to increase the apparent reliability of an option. The more additional resources are needed, or the wider the mental net is cast for more information, the more widespread the neural activation and the more consciously aware we become of it.

I find this most noticeable when there is a trivial choice to be made, about which I have no preference, or where my preference is balanced by some other (often social) constraint, and yet there is pressure (often social) to make a definite choice (e.g. "Chocolate or strawberry?" or "Would you like the last biscuit?"). In these situations, instead of becoming aware of responding with an obvious answer (e.g. "No" to, "Do you take sugar?"), I become aware of casting around for some new data to enable an acceptable choice, and thinking, "this ought to be really easy - but it's not..."

An interesting take on free will I heard recently:

"If you do what you do because of the way you are, then to change what you do you must change the way you are, but to change the way you are you must change what you do, and you do what you do because of the way you are..."
« Last Edit: 06/02/2014 16:10:20 by dlorde »
 

Offline Ethos_

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Re: Is The Free Will Just an Elaborate ...Illusion ?
« Reply #87 on: 06/02/2014 17:38:37 »



I find this most noticeable when there is a trivial choice to be made, about which I have no preference, or where my preference is balanced by some other (often social) constraint, and yet there is pressure (often social) to make a definite choice (e.g. "Chocolate or strawberry?"
This is the conflict of choice we all face isn't it, to abide by the social norm or to make our decision based upon individual preference. Causes one to consider the difference between the personal aim and the hive mentality. Are we as a society evolving toward a hive structure when social aims become dominant in our thought processes? And if so, will we ultimately grow into a social structure similar to a very advanced bee hive or ant colony? Will the individual cease to exist as we move closer to the domination of the hive?
Quote from: delorde
An interesting take on free will I heard recently:

"If you do what you do because of the way you are, then to change what you do you must change the way you are, but to change the way you are you must change what you do, and you do what you do because of the way you are..."
Indeed, sounds very deterministic to me and quite logical IMO.
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Is The Free Will Just an Elaborate ...Illusion ?
« Reply #88 on: 06/02/2014 18:02:13 »
... Are we as a society evolving toward a hive structure when social aims become dominant in our thought processes? And if so, will we ultimately grow into a social structure similar to a very advanced bee hive or ant colony? Will the individual cease to exist as we move closer to the domination of the hive?
I don't think so - we have too great a variation in individual traits and abilities, and a strong (and sometimes labile) drive towards multiple group affiliation at multiple levels (family, friends, team, interests, beliefs, age group, town, county, country, etc).

Quote
Quote from: dlorde
An interesting take on free will I heard recently:

"If you do what you do because of the way you are, then to change what you do you must change the way you are, but to change the way you are you must change what you do, and you do what you do because of the way you are..."
Indeed, sounds very deterministic to me and quite logical IMO.
It becomes tricky if the way you are means you can change what you do, i.e. you're the sort of person who can change the way you are - including a (one-time) change to being the sort of person who can't change the way you are.

This exposes a flaw in that kind of thinking about the problem - that there is a self-referential complication; for example, there are the many traits and behaviours that make up the sort of person you are, which may or may not be changeable, and there are also the traits that (may) make you the sort of person who can change those many traits and behaviours (or not).
« Last Edit: 06/02/2014 19:00:28 by dlorde »
 

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Re: Is The Free Will Just an Elaborate ...Illusion ?
« Reply #88 on: 06/02/2014 18:02:13 »

 

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