plebian;672931 wrote:Hmm. I'm more along the American pragmatism lines. Some people I work with have even accused me of straight up instrumentalism. But I don't remember what the context was at the moment and it's hard enough to get back and figure it out on my phone that it will have to wait a bit. I'll remember though.
I have a lot of time for that sort of thing (apologies for lumping stuff together) but it's not really me. If the sun doesn't in fact go around the earth, or we are descended from an ape, and so on (those are just historical examples) I'd like to understand that sort of thing, in a way that goes beyond pragmatism.
I don't speak for the school of thought but my feeling is that no matter how hard you look, you will never find anything beyond pragmatism in terms of physical understanding because it isn't there.
But, even only on the general topic of consequences, there is some literature out there, from various studies, which suggests that the strength of peoples' beliefs in free will affects their behaviour.
yes but we already know that belief is causal. Now all we need to do is figure out what a belief is.
And on the general topic of utility, for all we know there could be greater utility obtained from weakening beliefs in free will.
Utilitarianism and instrumentalism are not the same thing. Utilitarianism is normative.
What I mean is, there is more to my position, even for someone like you, to consider. It's more than just the same amp being recalibrated to have an 11. There are real consequences to consider.
Also, I don't buy the 'only game in town' thing in the sense that it seems to be being used here, to support compatibilism (and by implication rule out incompatibilism or afreewillism). It may, possibly, be the only game in town, or one description of the only sort of game (I'd prefer this because really at the end of the day it's a model and all models are imperfect) but even if it were, there is surely room for change within that. Incompatibilism is a 'thing'. It's a position, a belief, based on a response to new information entering the system. It can't be waved away with talk of it not being possible, nor indeed practical.
hmm. On my phone this may be too much to reply to but you have a lot of different issues going on there. By "the only game in town" subsymbolic is referring to the point that there is no alternative to the intentional stance as a way of interacting with other humans. We cannot not use it. That presents some logical problems if we are trying to undermine it as an ontological position if the new ontological position doesn't offer a way to reinterpret the same information.
You mention new information entering the system. If you remove agency from the system, you remove the boundaries that agency establishes, however fuzzy. At that point, you've got another logical puzzle regarding the methods you use to establish boundaries.
For me personally, freewill is undefinable outside of a strategy using agency as a principle. What I take from that is that the boundaries we choose will determine the identities we use and there is no there there beyond that. We must define the system we are concerned with and our definitions and identities must be consistent within those systems. Because the system under consideration is a choice in an agency based framework there are potential recursive errors built in to any purely physical description of mental activities that involve decisions and choices. The way incompatiblists seem to address that is to deny the existence of decisions and choices but that only hides the recursive errors, it doesn't eliminate them. Does that make sense?
I have, in my time, been around quite a few philosophy subforums at different secular fora, and this one seems slightly unusual in being doggedly compatibilist, on the whole (or at least in terms of the most frequent contributors). Incompatibilism and/or afreewillism, if floated elsewhere, does not seem to generate the same sorts of, um, resistance. Is that just because people here have thunk about it more, or that incompatibilists 'just don't understand' compatibilism? I don't think so, at the end of the day.
Well, I don't think we can model a model of a model to eliminate recursive errors by pretending one of the models is real.