durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC)
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(You haven't read the whole exchange? What's wrong with you? )
Then you just define choice in a way that it's impossible to choose in a determinitic universe... per definition.
But the way my program chooses stocks or deep blue chooses to accept Kasparov's draw offer or I choose to eat toast is just as good.
Edit: And the challenge for the determinists is to come up with a meaningful concept of choice within their deterministic universe that isn't somehow a butchering of the basic concept of choosing (as in concepts that lead to rocks "choosing" to fall).
Thus, if you want to have a philosophical discussion of compatibilism, you must first come up with a mutually agreed upon definition of free will. I think madnak wants to use a pragmatic definition of free will, but since this is a debate about metaphysics, I doubt that will actually capture the disagreement between the two views.
I've been using his definition of 'choice' the entire time and been arguing that 'choice' in that sense doesn't exist in a deterministic system. My arguments on this topic have been entirely conceptual: analyzing what it means to "select from a range of options." I have argued that it's only really a 'range' when you could, in the actual world, choose either of the disjuncts. But, in a deterministic system you can't do that: you could only ever choose one of them. Thus, it's not selecting from a 'range' since it was only the selection of the one you were determined to select. I don't think that this is 'choice' as defined by Madnak...QED.
Show me a compatibilist who accepts a definition of "choice" that includes temporal possibility, and I'll shut up.
But I think the compatibilists are using a definition of choice that doesn't require the possibility (in some cases, not even the counterfactual possibility) of doing otherwise.
The compatibilists are saying that choice (picking one course of action REGARDLESS of whether other courses of action are possible) is compatible with determinism. And durka is claiming that they are being incoherent and illogical because choice (picking one of multiple temporally possible courses of action) is inconsistent with determinism. His whole argument is to equivocate on the meaning of the terms, and then criticize the compatibilists because his definition of the term (not theirs) is incompatible with determinism.
Most of the other compatibilists have probably left this thread by now, but I'd be willing to bet a lot that their definitions of choice are much closer to the former than to the latter. Using the same definition of choice that compatibilists use, durka's arguments do not hold. It is only by applying a different definition of choice that durka can make his claim. And since his claim is that the compatibilist position is internally contradictory, that is a wholly disingenuous approach.
The compatibilists do not claim that temporal possibility is consistent with non-random determinism. Yet this is the position the libertarians are arguing against. So if they aren't playing language games, then what they are doing is picking at straw men.
Except that in this case, the person defining God as the ground of all being is the one redefining the term. The dictionary defines choice as selection, and selection as picking out a course of action. It shouldn't be necessary to say that the definition "picking out a course of action" applies regardless of whether the other courses of action are temporally possible; if a definition doesn't include a particular stipulation, then that stipulation is generally considered not to apply to the definition. The libertarians here are trying to insert an additional stipulation (that alternative courses of action were temporally possible) to the actual definition of the term. And it took hundreds of posts of wrangling for them to even admit that.
There are other ways to resolve the dictionary definition of choice (by looking up the definitions of the definitions), but all of them resolve to a general definition that includes no stipulation about temporal possibility (and often no stipulation about possibility at all). The stipulation simply doesn't exist in any accepted definition of choice. It is a stipulation that has been arbitrarily added to the definition by the libertarians.
However, since the argument is that the compatibilist position is internally inconsistent, we should be using the compatibilist definition of choice regardless of the fact that it's the accepted general definition.
You aren't using my definition of choice unless you're using my definitions of "select" and "option." I already defined "option" for Matt R., I can't find the exact post but it was something like "a course of action that has been considered." I also broke down the definition of "option" for you, to the extent of further breaking down the definition of "can" including in the definition of option, and demonstrating that there is no mention of possibility in either of them. Even when I was arguing with Jib, I claimed that when ordinary people use the word "choice," they are referencing COUNTERFACTUAL possibility and not any kind of "possibility in the actual world" - you can see that all the way toward the beginning of the thread, look for the ice cream discussion. You never actually asked about my definition of "select," you just inserted your own temporally-loaded version of the term into it.
Funny how no dictionary I can locate mentions anything of the kind in any definition of "range!" It mentions "possible" in the general sense, and that's the end of it. But you are only pushing the problem back anyhow - it's the definition of "range" used by me, NOT the definition fabricated by you, that is relevant to your claim. And at no time in my life have I ever used the term in a way that includes possibilities of any kind other than the counterfactual and the epistemic. (The latter is what I consider relevant in choices, and I've acknowledged that even a computer chess program makes choices if it "knows" which moves are legal. Since I'm explicitly using a definition that applies to computer programs on personal computers, HOW did you figure that I was using a definition that included your wonky notions of possibility?)
In my view, the important claim for the imcompatibilist is not that there are no possible definitions (even common or dominant definitions) of "free will" that are compatible with determinism, but that all such definitions will not be able to ground moral responsibility and thus most moral claims. That would seem to be a debate about concepts.
I'm absolutely NOT equivocating. Stop that. Stop setting up straw men. I'm taking YOUR definition of 'choice' and attempting to argue that what it means to 'select from a range of options' is inconsistent with a deterministic system. No equivocation has taken place.
2) it's a descriptive question and we're doing normative metaphysics and philosophy of language. Leave the former for the linguists and anthropologists and we're doing the latter: philosophy.
3) yes, I think that I can...but who cares? This is about how people should use language and not how they actually do.
That's not equivocating and philosophy of language is NOT done by just looking at dictionaries or how 'normal' people use pre-theoretic language.
1. An n-tuple is "a systematic series of actions directed to some end"
2. An n-tuple is "a continuous action, operation, or series of changes taking place in a definite manner"
3a. An n-tuple is "the summons, mandate, or writ by which a defendant or thing is brought before court for litigation."
3b. An n-tuple is "the whole course of the proceedings in an action at law."
4. An n-tuple is "photomechanical or photoengraving methods collectively."
5. An n-tuple is "a natural outgrowth, projection, or appendage"
6. An n-tuple is "the action of going forward or on."
7. An n-tuple is "the condition of being carried on."
8. An n-tuple is "course or lapse, as of time."
9. An n-tuple is "conk" (a head or a blow to the head)
None of these definitions actually put the concept of "n-tuple" in a meaningful juxtaposition with "process."
There is no sense in which an n-tuple is "selection" through a "cognitive" "process."
LOL primes. Because primes have everything to do with this entire conversation.
The claims that I see justified on the basis of this indeterministic choice include "medication is pointless, kids with behavior problems only behave that way because they choose to," "there's no such thing as rehabilitating criminals, they only do what they do because that's what they choose, and you can't change what a person's going to choose," "we shouldn't study environmental effects on human action because human action is a matter of free will, not science," and "you freely chose not to believe in Christ, so it's just for you to go to hell," among others.
That makes it sound political, but in reality it's more personal. Suffice it to say, I tend to get angry about certain things relating to the free will debate, and what I perceive as the attempt to hijack language is one of them.
And there is a political component. The term "free will" is so bogged down by metaphysical detritus now that it's not worth fighting for. But "choice" is different - it's still a clean, functional term. Libertarians are free to believe that choice is associated with particular forms of possibility without trying to redefine the term in such a way. The term "choice" has plenty of room to be broad enough to encompass both determinist and indeterminist metaphysics, and the libertarians want to narrow it in order to shut out those who would rather not have to reference indeterminism every time they use the word "choice."
Right now, when I use the term "free will" people (libertarian or otherwise) assume I'm talking about indeterminism. But when I use the term "choice," people don't make that assumption. And the libertarians are pushing to change that.
That would just depend on the definitions of what constitutes "moral responsibility."
Some Christian theologians define moral responsibility on the basis of God's judgment of the indeterministic elements of our actions (this is basically the position of Jibninjas) - by that definition, determinism does contradict moral responsibility.
On the other side, some people define moral responsibility solely based on empirical human behavior. And by that definition, you'd have a very hard time claiming that determinism contradicts responsibility.
Something tells me that most compatibilists define responsibility in such a way that it fits determinism.
What puts an n-tuple in a meaningful juxtaposition with "process" is an arrangement of information corresponding to "a systematic series of actions directed to some end."
There's nothing about an n-tuple that implies such an arrangement of information, but there's nothing about an n-tuple that prevents it, either.
I'm using primes because the goal is to have a lot of information stored in the number. Large prime over large prime is a good way to ensure that a rational number contains lots of information - any large number will work so long as there is no common factor (simplifying the fraction and reducing the information content), but the easiest way I know to avoid common factors is to use primes.
I guess we can just say "long non-repeating decimal sequence" or even plain old "a rational number with a large information content" if you don't like primes.
A word is a tool that facilitates human interactions. It is a container for sets of criteria, that's all it is. If one of the criteria in the "box" is not temporal possibility, then the word doesn't reference temporal possibility. End of story.
I emphatically believe that there is no platonic "meaning" associated with words.
But discussing which use of the word yields maximum happiness would take us far afield, and my opinion should be clear based on my response to Original Position. Regardless, that's clearly not how you look at language.
But philosophically, I agree. On the other hand, durka maintains that compatibilists are contradicting themselves, and I have a problem with that philosophical claim.
An arrangement of information is not a process! (Let me remind you of what you said: "How do you respond to the view that a process is just a particular arrangement of information?")
Do you really believe that going here brings any value to the conversation?
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