It does not actually solve the mind-body problem, but rather tells you about an assortment of characters who are trying.
Check out his website, or an EconTalk interview of him.
Machines appear deterministic (until chaos, at least), while human minds do not. If you believe in the reductionist scientific program, then it should be possible to look at smaller and smaller scales until determinism disappears.
That is exactly what we see, of course. Mechanistic determinism disappears at the atomic level.
When you point this out to anti-free-will advocates, they say you are looking at randomness, not free will. You are supposed to recognize it as random because you cannot predict it.
Isn't that how you are supposed to recognize free will? The hallmark of free will is that someone else cannot predict the action.
One of Horgan's arguments is that the existence of free will is implied by the observation that some people have more of it than others. Okay, I accept that. But then he cites babies as having not very much free will.
No, I think toddlers have more free will than adults. Maybe not newborn babies, but by age 1.5, they make dozens of decisions a day, completely autonomously.
Horgan's main argument is that free will is essential for his entire outlook on life. He has figured out how to dispense with God and religion, but not free will.
Sabine Hossenfelder rips into one of the ideas that Horgan is pursuing:
I recently discovered panpsychism. That’s the idea that all matter – animate or inanimate – is conscious, we just happen to be somewhat more conscious than carrots. Panpsychism is the modern elan vital.A comment relates this to an ancient argument:
The particles in the standard model are classified by their properties, which are collectively called “quantum numbers.” The electron, for example, has an electric charge of -1 and it can have a spin of +1/2 or -1/2. ...
Now, if you want a particle to be conscious, your minimum expectation should be that the particle can change. It’s hard to have an inner life with only one thought. But if electrons could have thoughts, we’d long have seen this in particle collisions because it would change the number of particles produced in collisions.
In other words, electrons aren’t conscious, and neither are any other particles. It’s incompatible with data.
I think it's interesting to relate it to Galen's argument against atomism. He claimed that (i) atoms cannot be conscious, since they are unchanging, (ii) no combination of unconscious parts can be conscious, (iii) we are conscious. Therefore, we cannot be combinations of atoms.This issue drew a surprisingly large number of comments, with some defending panpsychism.
Some view consciousness and free will as mere illusions. I think that view degenerates into life being meaningless, but some intelligent folks say it anyway.
If you believe in consciousness and free will, it seems plausible to me that the quantum mechanics of electrons and other particles could play an essential role. Otherwise, consciousness and free will would have to arise in classical deterministic machines, and that is even harder to imagine. I think that Bee has fallen for a version of Galen's fallacy.
Update: Lubos Motl sides with panpsychism. His argument is that if there is human consciousness, and if we are all made of atoms, then those atoms must have tiny bits of whatever consciousness is.