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Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
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Belindi
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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by Belindi » February 6th, 2019, 6:58 am

Jan Sand wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 10:13 pm
Whether or not a mushroom enjoys fresh air is probably quite difficult to discern. I have never seen any indication tha Sigmund Freud attempted to psychoanalyze a mushroom since mushrooms are merely fruiting bodies and the whole creature is some sort of massive underground structure. Nevertheless it presents an interesting challenge to an adventurous psychologist - especially in the area of free will.
As a human baby shows objective signs of thriving so do mushrooms. We need criteria in order to know anything . Enjoyment can on occasion be morbid , as in 'morbid appetite', but enjoyment is necessary although not sufficient for thriving.So although enjoyment is not a sufficient criterion for thriving it's necessary.

it's a truism that Morbid appetite is what drives powerful men who despite being clever are also death dealers who have been and will be the immediate cause of death and destruction. The overarching moral criterion is life and degrees of life. Enjoyment marks the summit of life.

It's very enjoyable to look at nature and understand how the things and events of nature are caused things and events. Arguably men alone of all the animals can do this.

Eduk
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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by Eduk » February 6th, 2019, 7:07 am

I'm a little confused @Belindi you are saying that mushrooms enjoy growing (or thriving as you put it)? Your reason for believing this is?
Personally I would say a brain (or something with similar function) is necessary (but not sufficient) for enjoyment. And personally this seems like a very obvious thing to believe. Like if I said I believe objects fall when dropped.
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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by Belindi » February 6th, 2019, 7:10 am

Eduk, I think I added some material to my post after you posted yours and before I read your post.

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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by Jan Sand » February 6th, 2019, 7:45 am

When I introduced the topic of extra human psychology here I had no idea it might arouse further interest in in the rather arcane area of mushroom psychology. Of course, whales and dolphins and cockatoo mentalities have been studied and crows are renown for their equivalent intellect to chimpanzees and very young humans. It is acknowledged that plants can react to environmental challenges and communicate dangers to a degree to each other with, as far as we know, not the slightest hint of a central nervous system. The mushrooms we are familiar with are only the reproductive organs, not the whole creature and although many young humans seem more responsive to the logics of their reproductive organs rather than their brains even Freud never presumed to psychoanalyze mere human sexual organs and even he indicated that a cigar is most frequently just a cigar. Nevertheless, adventurous human sexual practices can, at times utilize either sexual organs or cigars somewhat interchangeably. To return to the topic, as far as I know, the free will of a mushroom lies somewhat beyond the philosophies or theologies insofar as their relationship to sin is concerned. No matter how many disorderly mushrooms may be taken into custody their ethical behaviors seem unaffected.

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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by Belindi » February 6th, 2019, 8:58 am

Mushrooms' enjoying themselves is an eccentric idea.That's why I allied enjoyment to thriving. Maybe I'm Romanticising. But when the spring shows itself in beautiful nature it's hard not to feel that everything is enjoying itself.

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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by Belindi » February 6th, 2019, 9:03 am

Mushrooms' enjoying themselves is an eccentric idea.That's why I allied enjoyment to thriving. Maybe I'm Romanticising. But when the spring shows itself in beautiful nature it's hard not to feel that everything is enjoying itself.

The mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of intricate unseen nets of other organs. a Romantic Determinist or scientific pantheist is not snobbish about central nervous systems.

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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by Eduk » February 6th, 2019, 9:20 am

But when the spring shows itself in beautiful nature it's hard not to feel that everything is enjoying itself.
Sure, but to use modern parlance, I literally am being non-literal when I think a plant is 'happy'.
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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by JosephM » February 6th, 2019, 1:32 pm

I think it's fine if one comes to suppose that even a plant could be happy, or miserable.
Even when considering the state of other people, we must , to a degree , infer what state they are in.

Although I do tend to think that my mind would differ significantly from that of a plant, I cannot say ,with any certainty, if they have emotions at all
But they could have them. And we may all be better off attributing such things , than denying them.

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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by Belindi » February 6th, 2019, 1:33 pm

Eduk wrote:
February 6th, 2019, 9:20 am
But when the spring shows itself in beautiful nature it's hard not to feel that everything is enjoying itself.
Sure, but to use modern parlance, I literally am being non-literal when I think a plant is 'happy'.
There are layers of meaning in most of what we say, except when we are instructing on the best way to iron a cotton shirt, and so on, then it's literal meaning all the way down.

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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by Jan Sand » February 6th, 2019, 1:59 pm

Analogies can be deceiving. The human and probably most other animal systems have resources for rewarding and punishing a nervous system to teach it to behave properly by releasing special chemicals for pleasure and by inducing pain reactions.. The average uneducated mushroom probably has no concept of pain or pleasure but a mushroom that has at least attained an undergraduate degree in a reputable institution might have be able to attain minimum hormone reactions. Of course, a mushroom with a PhD has a much better emotional education but has difficult times expressing them. It has been rumored that some of the more sophisticated mushrooms have attained leading roles in Hollywood but none, as far as I know, have been offered prominent parts in Batman films. That's why Batman always wears a mask.

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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by Belindi » February 6th, 2019, 2:33 pm

Difference of degree is the same as difference of kind as far as nature is concerned: men categorise and measure . Sentience is a salient leap in kinds because nature has established common feeling among sentient kinds.

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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by Jan Sand » February 6th, 2019, 2:49 pm

Of course, it depends upon how you parse sentiences. Animals that recognize themselves in mirrors like elephants and dolphins seem to me as easily distinguishable and at my advanced age I can only barely recognize my mirror image

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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by Belindi » February 6th, 2019, 5:10 pm

Jan Sand wrote:
Of course, it depends upon how you parse sentiences
I meant physical sensations and emotions. I wonder if intimations of self necessitate a special sort of cerebral development.Maybe the mirror has to be present before the elephant can feel that he is himself. The still water of the pond had to be already there in Narcissus's environment.

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Halc
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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by Halc » February 7th, 2019, 9:14 pm

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.

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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by Jan Sand » February 7th, 2019, 11:50 pm

This is a very personal speculation in my suspicion that we live in a five dimensional world, Each dimension requires a measurement to gain precision location. One dimension. a line. Can provide location with one measurement. Two dimensions require two measurements, etc. Although there are theoretical analyses thar indicate we may live in an eleven dimensional continuum, for practical purposes most of us deal with our concept with four dimensions where time measurements have to be considered for the precise location of something. If we lived in a five dimensional continuum, the measurement of probability has to be considered and each of is may wobble in our progression through life in a fifth dimensional line of probabilitywhere most things are pretty much the same but individuals may notice some odd differences in reality since the fife dimensional reality permits small differences. In my life I have notices small changes in places where things have been in the past and it can be attributed to actual four dimensional reconstruction over time so thee is no way to confirm my supposition of a five dimensional world but the suspicion remains.

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