Compatibilist views on free will: some apparent inconsistencies in approach

Discuss philosophical concepts and moral issues.
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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:38 pm

[quote=""subsymbolic""]
ruby sparks;672881 wrote:
ruby sparks;672879 wrote:The intentional stance clearly follows the laws of logic.
Does it? In what ways? What sort of logic? Surely you're not saying it's infallible?

To me it's a decent strategy. Perhaps better to say 'pretty useful capacity'. Can go awry.
What job do you think rationality is doing in the theory. I don't deny that we can screw up in applying it, but the whole point is that assumes rationality - that we act, on our beliefs to bring about our desires. For IS 'the laws of logic are the laws of thought.

I'm also clear that rationality is physically impossible, but that is what is assumed to apply the IS. You don't assume rationality then the IS fails.

I'll say it again, you will not find any beliefs in the brain and the brain certainly doesn't use any conceptualised processing strategies. It's non conceptual content all the way through.

You say it's a pretty useful strategy, now try to predict or explain behaviour in real time using any other available strategy. I think you are taking the only game in town for granted.[/QUOTE]

Good point. Assumes rationality. There's a potential quagmire all of its own.

I don't believe it's the only game in town. Or let me put it this way, it's a developing game. There is room for change. For example, it is possible (despite your analogy with blue and red pens, if I understand it right) to form the basic belief 'I do not have free will'. Where that goes is a slightly separate issue. But it changes something. New information has entered the system. The machine realises it's probably just a non-freewill machine.

Regarding the supposed irreducability of what we call mental properties....that's an explanatory limit only, as I understand it, not an actual limit. In the end, everything reduces to the physical, imo. You might ask me what 'physical' is. I might say 'everything'. :)
Last edited by ruby sparks on Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Hermit
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Post by Hermit » Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:42 pm

[quote=""subsymbolic""]
Hermit;672867 wrote:
subsymbolic;672864 wrote:
Hermit;672860 wrote:That would make for a non-oppressive environment rather than a free will of the sort Dennett conceives of. In post #1 he postulates that free will renders a person morally competent (2:57). I don't see that happening by virtue, so to speak, of a self being free to act within the map of the external world.
You need to listen more carefully.


He's not claiming that free will renders a person morally competent. He's claiming that convincing a person they are not free willed causes them to be less likely to exercise those parts of themselves that are freewilled and thus turns off their moral competence. This is because he thinks what you believe changes how you act. If you have been convinced that you are morally responsible for your actions then why bother trying to control what you do?

Then there's a logical problem: he's talking about a negation. You seem to derive the obverse case. Perhaps you can explain how you achieved that?
Um, yeah. "By telling him he didn't have free will she pretty much turned his free will off and turned him into a morally incompetent person" in no way implies that free will enables moral competence. For your next trick I expect you to argue that the obverse of night is not day.
I guess that night and day exhausts the dilemma. Dennett states that:
By telling him he didn't have freewill, she pretty much turned his freewill off and turned him into a morally incompetent person
which is a long way from the claim you make:
he postulates that free will renders a person morally competent
Do you think that exhausts all the possibilities? Is freewill the sufficient condition for being moral? It's certainly necessary, but sufficient. I don't think so.

It's more like:

he removed all of his blood making him dead

and

he postulates that blood renders a person alive.

It's necessary, but not sufficient. Get it?[/QUOTE]OK, my mistake. Freewill is a necessary, though not necessarily sufficient prerequisite for being moral. Got it at last.

Now, back to the bit where Dennett says: "By telling him he didn't have freewill, she pretty much turned his freewill off and turned him into a morally incompetent person" Whence the moral competence that is turned off by telling the patient that he didn't have freewill?

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:51 pm

[quote=""subsymbolic""]For IS 'the laws of logic are the laws of thought.
[/quote]

Now that sounds like a big claim.

With 'For IS' as a caveat or qualifier, it might be ok, imo.

"I'm also clear that rationality is physically impossible, but that is what is assumed to apply the IS. You don't assume rationality then the IS fails."


Indeed. What does it fail as? An explanation? I'm fine with that. A process? If we are using an assumption that is actually impossible, I'm not surprised it has limits.
Last edited by ruby sparks on Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

plebian
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Post by plebian » Mon Jun 05, 2017 3:01 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
ruby sparks;672879 wrote:The intentional stance clearly follows the laws of logic.
Does it? In what ways? What sort of logic? Surely you're not saying it's infallible?

To me it's a decent strategy. Perhaps better to say 'pretty useful capacity'. Can go awry. Can logic go awry?[/QUOTE]
I think you have missed koyaanisqatsi's argument completely. Pity because it gets at the root of the issue you are arguing. Copernicus asked a similar question a few days ago or maybe weeks. I'm in America so time has gone all Trump on me. But the learning robot's freedom was an interesting question.

Anyway, I am mostly seeing you say your amp goes to eleven at this point. I don't see an actual argument any more. A compatibalist, I'd think, would point to that navigation feature that koyaanisqatsi has been talking about, and suggest that the freedom to choose from a list of possible options concerning outcomes is indistinguishable from any meaningful definition of freewill.

plebian
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Post by plebian » Mon Jun 05, 2017 3:05 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
subsymbolic;672884 wrote:
ruby sparks;672881 wrote:
ruby sparks;672879 wrote:The intentional stance clearly follows the laws of logic.
Does it? In what ways? What sort of logic? Surely you're not saying it's infallible?

To me it's a decent strategy. Perhaps better to say 'pretty useful capacity'. Can go awry.
What job do you think rationality is doing in the theory. I don't deny that we can screw up in applying it, but the whole point is that assumes rationality - that we act, on our beliefs to bring about our desires. For IS 'the laws of logic are the laws of thought.

I'm also clear that rationality is physically impossible, but that is what is assumed to apply the IS. You don't assume rationality then the IS fails.

I'll say it again, you will not find any beliefs in the brain and the brain certainly doesn't use any conceptualised processing strategies. It's non conceptual content all the way through.

You say it's a pretty useful strategy, now try to predict or explain behaviour in real time using any other available strategy. I think you are taking the only game in town for granted.
Good point. Assumes rationality. There's a potential quagmire all of its own.

I don't believe it's the only game in town. Or let me put it this way, it's a developing game. There is room for change. For example, it is possible (despite your analogy with blue and red pens, if I understand it right) to form the basic belief 'I do not have free will'. Where that goes is a slightly separate issue. But it changes something. New information has entered the system. The machine realises it's probably just a non-freewill machine.

Regarding the supposed irreducability of what we call mental properties....that's an explanatory limit only, as I understand it, not an actual limit. In the end, everything reduces to the physical, imo. You might ask me what 'physical' is. I might say 'everything'. :) [/QUOTE]

Did Vonnegut's breakfast of champions come in the mail yet?

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Post by ruby sparks » Mon Jun 05, 2017 3:09 pm

[quote=""plebian""]Did Vonnegut's breakfast of champions come in the mail yet?[/quote]

Yes, I've started it and so far I'm really enjoying it. To be honest, my fiction-reading habits are intermittent and it has been, until now, a very very busy few months. So it's sitting on my table awaiting my re-engagement. :)

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Post by plebian » Mon Jun 05, 2017 3:12 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
plebian;672891 wrote:Did Vonnegut's breakfast of champions come in the mail yet?
Yes, I've started it and so far I'm really enjoying it. To be honest, my fiction-reading habits are intermittent and it has been, until now, a very very busy few months. So it's sitting on my table awaiting my re-engagement. :) [/QUOTE]

Vonnegut was one of our great moral philosophers.

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:30 pm

[quote=""plebian""]I think you have missed koyaanisqatsi's argument completely. Pity because it gets at the root of the issue you are arguing. [/quote]

koy didn't seem to say anything much I would disagree with.

Did he say 'freedom to choose'? I must have missed that bit. I might have said apparent freedom to choose.

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:42 pm

[quote=""plebian""]I don't see an actual argument any more.[/quote]

If you are only interested in utility, I can see why you might say that. I'd still disagree that it's the case, but I could see why you would say it.

And if you hear me saying my amp goes up to 11....hm...not sure why. But, in any case, can I hear you saying 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'? :)

The differences, in either utility or consequences might be subtle, but that doesn't mean there wouldn't be any.

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Post by subsymbolic » Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:48 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
subsymbolic;672884 wrote:For IS 'the laws of logic are the laws of thought.
Now that sounds like a big claim.

With 'For IS' as a caveat or qualifier, it might be ok, imo.

"I'm also clear that rationality is physically impossible, but that is what is assumed to apply the IS. You don't assume rationality then the IS fails."


Indeed. What does it fail as? An explanation? I'm fine with that. A process? If we are using an assumption that is actually impossible, I'm not surprised it has limits.[/QUOTE]

It fails as in it simply doesn't happen. However, it is in that language of propositional attitudes that intentional systems theory is the only persuasive account of, (for example, I've never once heard Stephen Stich mentioned here except by me, and he's an eliminativist) we came to see ourselves as ourselves. Most of what you'd call psychology is based upon the assumption that we act on our beliefs to bring about our desires and so on.

So perhaps you might want to think about what you want to replace it with...

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Post by ruby sparks » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:01 pm

[quote=""subsymbolic""]So perhaps you might want to think about what you want to replace it with...[/quote]


Since I've answered that hypothetical question about half a dozen times, at least, during the thread, let me ask you one. What do you propose to replace sense of self with?

ETA: Sorry, I thought you were referring to replacing a sense of freewill.

If you were talking about IS, what makes you think I want to replace it?
Last edited by ruby sparks on Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by ruby sparks » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:14 pm

[quote=""subsymbolic""]It fails as in it simply doesn't happen.[/quote]

I seriously doubt that's the only way the IS fails. It doesn't always generates correct predictions or attribute the correct beliefs, for starters.
Last edited by ruby sparks on Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.

plebian
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Post by plebian » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:32 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
subsymbolic;672901 wrote:It fails as in it simply doesn't happen.
I seriously doubt that's the only way the IS fails. It doesn't always generates correct predictions or attribute the correct beliefs, for starters.[/QUOTE]

It doesn't attribute any beliefs. It's a method for attributing beliefs. Paraphrasing because it's been a while, but 'you figure out what beliefs the system ought to have based on its experience and what you expect it wants"

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Post by plebian » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:33 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
plebian;672890 wrote:I don't see an actual argument any more.
If you are only interested in utility, I can see why you might say that. I'd still disagree that it's the case, but I could see why you would say it.

And if you hear me saying my amp goes up to 11....hm...not sure why. But, in any case, can I hear you saying 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'? :)

The differences, in either utility or consequences might be subtle, but that doesn't mean there wouldn't be any.[/QUOTE]

I'd like to see an argument that demonstrates value without utility.

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Post by ruby sparks » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:57 pm

[quote=""plebian""]I'd like to see an argument that demonstrates value without utility.[/quote]

Why would you like to see that?

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Post by ruby sparks » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:58 pm

[quote=""plebian""]It doesn't attribute any beliefs. It's a method for attributing beliefs.[/quote]

In which no beliefs get attributed? That's not much of a method then.
Last edited by ruby sparks on Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by subsymbolic » Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:35 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
plebian;672910 wrote:It doesn't attribute any beliefs. It's a method for attributing beliefs.
In which no beliefs get attributed? That's not much of a method then.[/QUOTE]

I think he's pointing out what happens when it fails.

It's hard not to think you are doing this deliberately. We have done this so many times and you have bumped into Dennett's work enough to be clear about what folk psychology is, the relation of this to IST and precisely what it is and how it works.

Are you saying that you don't understand what folk psychology, propositional attitude talk, intentional systems theory and the intentional, design and physical stances are and how they are related. Because that would Seem unlikely to me at this stage. Yet what you are saying is hard to understand if you do.

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Post by ruby sparks » Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:40 pm

How can 'it's a method for attributing beliefs' be a description of IS when it fails?

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Post by ruby sparks » Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:44 pm

[quote=""subsymbolic""]It's hard not to think you are doing this deliberately.[/quote]

Good example of IS failing?

I was not doing 'it' deliberately.

plebian
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Post by plebian » Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:44 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
plebian;672911 wrote:I'd like to see an argument that demonstrates value without utility.
Why would you like to see that?[/QUOTE]

because I agree with Hume that reason is a slave to the passions and I'd like to see a good counter-argument.

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Post by plebian » Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:45 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
subsymbolic;672918 wrote:It's hard not to think you are doing this deliberately.
Good example of IS failing?

I was not doing 'it' deliberately.[/QUOTE]

An example of using the IS and failing to accurately predict.

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:46 pm

[quote=""plebian""]
ruby sparks;672913 wrote:
plebian;672911 wrote:I'd like to see an argument that demonstrates value without utility.
Why would you like to see that?
because I agree with Hume that reason is a slave to the passions and I'd like to see a good counter-argument.[/QUOTE]

Ok. But what did that have to do with the post of mine you quoted? That's what I was wondering.

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Post by ruby sparks » Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:48 pm

[quote=""plebian""]
ruby sparks;672920 wrote:
subsymbolic;672918 wrote:It's hard not to think you are doing this deliberately.
Good example of IS failing?

I was not doing 'it' deliberately.
An example of using the IS and failing to accurately predict.[/QUOTE]

Sorry, I'm confused. Who or what......failed using IS...

plebian
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Post by plebian » Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:50 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
plebian;672922 wrote:
ruby sparks;672920 wrote:
subsymbolic;672918 wrote:It's hard not to think you are doing this deliberately.
Good example of IS failing?

I was not doing 'it' deliberately.
An example of using the IS and failing to accurately predict.
Sorry, I'm confused. Who or what......failed using IS...[/QUOTE]

whoever employs the strategy

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:52 pm

[quote=""plebian""]
ruby sparks;672924 wrote:
plebian;672922 wrote:
ruby sparks;672920 wrote:
Good example of IS failing?

I was not doing 'it' deliberately.
An example of using the IS and failing to accurately predict.
Sorry, I'm confused. Who or what......failed using IS...
whoever employs the strategy[/QUOTE]

Sorry, were you asking for an example....or pointing one out. You said example.

Also, when you said 'It doesn't attribute any beliefs. It's a method for attributing beliefs', were you in fact pointing out what happens when IS fails, or describing IS? I assumed the latter. It's just that I have yet again been accused of 'doing something deliberately' by someone who not long ago called me a liar.

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