First, the human behavior is often unpredictable, random. People often look stubborn. These are the "external manifestations" of the free will of humans. But all the other people could very well be some machines or puppets that are controlled by some external puppet masters. The actual reason why I am sure about the existence of the free will (and I mean my free will) is that I feel it. I know that many if not all of my decisions were done by me and not dictated by any external people or data or mechanisms. At least, I have eliminated all conceivable influences that could operate within the spacetime by mechanisms that at least remotely resemble those that I consider allowed by physics.That's right. I am convinced of my own free will in the same way that I am convinced of my consciousness.
This basic comment relies on my subjective perception, something that I cannot prove. I cannot prove that I am aware of myself, I am conscious, and I know that a given decision was really mine. Only I know it for sure.
This may not convince others. In fact, I am willing to believe that most people are not fully conscious, and do not have free will.
Now, does the quantum randomness play a role in the brain? You bet. Quantum randomness is everywhere and even if you applied decoherence and derived some effective classical equations of motion for the brain, they would have stochastic terms in them – which you could treat as classical stochastic terms, however (like the forces driving the Brownian motion).Yes. It is possible that all randomness is attributable to quantum mechanicsF100.
Motl even defends electrons having free will:
1) An agent in possession of free will is able to perform an action that was possible to predict by nobody but the agent itself. ...That's right, it sounds comical, but it is just as comical to say that humans do not have free will.
Conway and Kochen have proven that if we assume ..., then it follows that the elementary particles have a free will, too.
This is a "poetic" way of saying that the results of their measurements can't be predicted from the knowledge of any past or external data.
Now, if you think that the "free will of particles" sounds unusual if not comical, be sure that it sounds unusual or comical to me, Conway, and Kochen, too. It's simply not the kind of language we normally use – neither in everyday life nor in physics.
Finally, Lumo gets to the relationship between randomness and free will:
So Hossenfelder explicitly says things like:Lumo is right about this, but he is a little hard on Hossenfelder. She is just parroting what has become conventional wisdom. 100% of modern philosophers are also wrong on this point. Leading physics expositors are also wrong. The textbooks are strangely silent on the issue.If it is random, there is no agency to it, consequently there is no "will".... It's just plain idiocy for someone to say that one's decision isn't free just because it has a random aspect – it's free exactly because it has it. It's totally hypocritical to call for equations and use the authority of physics – while rejecting every single important principle that physics has discovered and believing that the Universe may be described by some non-relativistic, fundamentally non-quantum, superdeterministic theory (and certain people promote these adjectives explicitly).
It's unbelievable for one individual to accumulate all these stupidities at the same moment. But Ms Hossenfelder has managed to get this 0.00% score in correctness about these conceptual issues, anyway.
PHysics books do not explain consciousness or free will, and that is reasonable as there is very little relevant scientific data, but they ought to explain randomness. Many physicists apparently think that randomness implies a lack of free will, or the splitting of a parallel universe, or an intrinsic physical entity like energy or temperature, or even a superdeterministic illusion. Each of these four ideas is crazy. They are only mentioned seriously because randomness is a gigantic hole in modern physics education.
"Physics books do not explain consciousness or free will, and that is reasonable as there is very little relevant scientific data, but they ought to explain randomness. Many physicists apparently think that randomness implies a lack of free will, or the splitting of a parallel universe, or an intrinsic physical entity like energy or temperature, or even a superdeterministic illusion. Each of these four ideas is crazy."ReplyDelete
But they're crazy because they don't explain any of the strange objective phenomena we subjectively experience. Even cartoons, like Gravity Falls, mention the cryptic supernatural and scientists of the past recognized things mathematical physics never explained:
What is missing is the role of a greater will. This puts the entire "randomness" discussion into contention because we can't even define what we are talking about and inventing fictitious distributions obscures rather than illuminates the issue. We never leave room for God, besides chaotic sensitivity to initial conditions. Low-IQ people can't see the patterns. I consider most physicists brain-damaged and I'm entirely serious about that. They're clinically retarded when accounting for their right-hemisphere dysfunction. Let's put them in an MRI scanner and prove it!
Roger, this whole debate is confused by people conflating their subjective interpretations of free will with their objective interpretation of the universe. The universe is constrained by the laws of physics. Willpower is constrained by an inability to subjectively choose possible futures. Those possible futures only make sense relative to the subjective perspective of the human, not to the determinacy of the universe. It is incoherent to say that subjective free will is simultaneously constrained by a lack of control over the future and eliminated by the laws of nature. The subjective and objective definitions of "determined" are being conflated.ReplyDelete
It is much easier to think about this problem if you imagine what free will would be like for an artificially intelligent agent. You can quickly realize that the robot would necessarily maintain two separate descriptions of its own freedom of will - first, the subjective reference of willful action, and second, the objective phenomenon of willful action. Such an agent would have to understand that there is a sense in which it can control the future (the subjective sense) and there is a sense in which it cannot control the future (the objective sense). In the former sense, that control is relative to the subjective context, in the later sense, that control is relative to the objective, universal context. However, it was always an error to conflate subjective free will with the objective, universal context.
And if you go ask the average person, their definition of free will is more in line with the subjective definition of free will, not this universalized definition of free will that is somehow noncontingent on correlated causes. Noncontingent free will is simply incoherent.