I read with interest this thread, and was disappointed to see it move to other grounds.
NicoL wrote: ↑
January 25th, 2019, 10:10 am
Modern fundamental physics indicates that the universe is indeterminate and probabilistic at its most fundamental level.
I don't think physics has demonstrated this. It says it is subjectively unpredictable, but there are many different valid interpretations, and some of them (notably Bohmian mechanics) are entirely hard-deterministic.
In light of the above, does the question of incompatibilism still stand? If determinism is false and probabilism assumes its place, is there still a contradiction between the following two assertions:
(P) The actualization of one possible event probabilifies the actualization of all other possible events that can occur in the world, with a different probability assigned to each such outcome.
(FW) There are entities that have significant control over their actions, beyond what (P) dictates.
I never found those in conflict, but that doesn't mean that the assertions follow. For the FW thing to be the case, one must be able to demonstrate agency over seeming random events: I can consistently will the cat to be dead or alive before I measure it, or some such act.
Otherwise, the will is subject to dice rolling instead of deterministic physics, which sounds just as not-free. You sort of recognize this problem in your last post on the first page.
NicoL wrote: ↑
January 25th, 2019, 4:55 pm
I understand free will along the following lines:
(FWD) Free will is an agent's ability to choose and enact a different action than the one that would be causally necessitated in a predetermined universe.
This sound like a dualistic presumption to me: Said agent is not a product of universe over which it exercises agency. If it was, that universe would causally necessitate its actions.
But I contrast this with a later post:
NicoL wrote: ↑
January 28th, 2019, 6:21 am
Felix wrote: ↑
January 26th, 2019, 6:20 pm
In general, exponents of free will place the action of the will outside the domain of the physical phenomena studied by science, which makes your premise irrelevant.
I don't know if your above statement is true or false, but I'm not sure that free will necessarily needs to be considered separate from the natural world.
The suggestion here is that the will is part of nature, but not subject to natural law. This seems contradictory.
Is it logically impossible for free will to be an emergent property of physical objects (persons), that endows them with the ability to initiate uncaused causes?
Physics has no problem with uncaused causes, but again, none has ever been demonstrated as being due to an act of will. I seemingly cannot will an atom to decay at time X and not some other time.
Why in the world would one want to base their actions on initiated causal chains. That sounds like a fast track to being unfit and meeting a quick death. Suppose I wanted to exercise free will in when to cross the street. I'd still like to base my decision on detection of gaps in the traffic rather than starting a new causal chain and crossing at a random moment. I can think of no decision that would benefit from such methods.