Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Free Will is Analytically Impossible
So, the five answers: yes, no, I don't know, I don't care, and wrong question. Y/N/?/¯\_(ツ)_/¯/X
At first I found a strong sign of X on the libertarianism vs. determinism question when it turned out their consequences were identical. I've since found determinism isn't predictable and now it's time to show libertarianism is impossible. Mainly for perspective on how conflicted the original question was.
Either I can decide to pursue what I want, or I can't. Either I can choose what I want or I can't. These are mainly straightforward empirical questions - I would notice if I couldn't pursue the strategy I wanted, like I notice I don't control what I like or don't like. (Minimal control, anyway.) However, it doesn't matter, because either way free will is impossible.
Though I control my actions, my best action is determined/predicted by what I want. If it were not so determined, I would not be free - I would be doing something other than what I decide to do. Thus, I cannot be free either way.
In theory I could control what I want, but based on what? Look at the words - I would be able to want whatever I want. If I could fully control my wants, then how I arranged them would have to be determined by some not-me factor. The thing which I use to decide how I arrange things under my control is, by definition, my preferences. Having total control over my preferences is impossible, because there would be nothing to decide their disposition with.
Empirically, the 'want' part of the brain can be damaged, producing caricature vulcans. These folk don't make decisions, because there's no ought from is. Ultimately, to change what I want, I have to have some core value to use as a fulcrum to lever around the values lower in the hierarchy. (Or shallower in the onion.)
Hence, the desire for 'free will' is an evopsych thing, not a philosophy thing. It's about not being in physical chains. It's about my values not being overridden by someone else's. Not being in logical/causal chains is impossible.
at 1:37 PM