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myst77

how does objectivism hing on free will?

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From what I have heard the is a scientific consensus  that free will doesn't exist, many point to this as a huge proof of  the falseness objectivism. 

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There is far from a scientific consensus on this matter. There is not even a scientific consensus on what free will means. There is of course increasing study of human consciousness and even concepts like volition and willpower are being used more often in cognitive psychology.

But anyways, to Rand, at the level of philosophy one does not pronounce a priori the contents of science. The philosopher does take the fundamental facts of direct perception into account, that is, that one can directly perceive one's control over the ability to focus and direct ones awareness. This is essentially what she posits "free will" to entail. How this actually works at the level of science is for observation and experimentation to figure out. One does not make something "not exist" by explaining it, that is the fallacy of "rewriting reality."

For the scientist to say "free will is magical and acausal, or would have to be in order to exist" and then proceed to show that since that obviously isn't the case, then our choices must all be an illusion, etc., is an example of a scientist irresponsibly philosophizing (and an example of "rewriting reality.")

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4 minutes ago, 2046 said:

There is far from a scientific consensus on this matter. There is not even a scientific consensus on what free will means. There is of course increasing study of human consciousness and even concepts like volition and willpower are being used more often in cognitive psychology.

But anyways, to Rand, at the level of philosophy one does not pronounce a priori the contents of science. The philosopher does take the fundamental facts of direct perception into account, that is, that one can directly perceive one's control over the ability to focus and direct ones awareness. This is essentially what she posits "free will" to entail. How this actually works at the level of science is for observation and experimentation to figure out. One does not make something "not exist" by explaining it, that is the fallacy of "rewriting reality."

For the scientist to say "free will is magical and acausal, or would have to be in order to exist" and then proceed to show that since that obviously isn't the case, then our choices must all be an illusion, etc., is an example of a scientist irresponsibly philosophizing (and an example of "rewriting reality.")

thanks for clarification but the sake of better understanding ayn rand's Philosophy what would be her definition of free will and how does it play into her Philosophy

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Also chapter 2 of Piekoff's OPAR has a somewhat lengthy discussion of volition and causality.

Also definition would be something like, at its most basic level is a choice, a primary choice: the choice to attain a state of active mental alertness of reality, or to not do so.

Edited by 2046

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Free will is simply having the ability to choose (or refrain from) an action that is possible for you to perform.  Determinism and coercion are the usual arguments against free will, used primarily to escape moral accountability.

Contrary to popular fiction, resistance isn't futile.

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14 hours ago, myst77 said:

From what I have heard the is a scientific consensus  that free will doesn't exist, many point to this as a huge proof of  the falseness objectivism. 

Science can't establish that we don't have free will, because determinism is self refuting. If our conclusions were determined by the laws of physics, then we could never say whether or not any of our beliefs were true, only that these were the beliefs that had been forced on us by the relevant physical laws (just as the opposite beliefs had been forced on those who disagree with us by the same laws). But this would also apply to the belief in determinism, rendering it self refuting.

I recommend reading Dr. Binswanger's senior thesis, which is available for free online, for an elaboration of this argument.

https://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.1/45195/26114938-MIT.pdf?sequence=2

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Whether or not determinism is a consensus among scientists (i.e. empirical scientists as we have understood the term in recent centuries) is beside the point, because the question belongs to philosophy of mind. None of the sciences is tasked with answering this question any more than interior design or Spanish cooking is.

What is the evidence that such a consensus holds among scientists anyway?

I wonder how many Objectivists are aware that debbil Kant was using the argument about the self-excludingness of determinism long before anybody heard of Nathaniel Branden. It's in part 3 of the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. I've even seen Epicurus cited to that effect (by the late Ted Keer in one of the O-forums, though I never checked it myself).

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There is so much not a scientific consensus about free will that there is not even a suggestion of a sensible procedure for experimentally testing the claim.

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21 hours ago, Reidy said:

I wonder how many Objectivists are aware that debbil Kant was using the argument about the self-excludingness of determinism long before anybody heard of Nathaniel Branden. It's in part 3 of the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals.

I'm not a Kant scholar, but I don't think Kant is making the same argument as Branden in that passage. He's just saying that a rational being has to regard itself as free (i.e., that it's a kind of "category"), not that determinism commits the fallacy of self exclusion.

Here's the footnote he uses to explain the point: "I follow this route - that of assuming freedom, sufficiently for our purpose, only as laid down by rational beings merely in idea as a ground for their actions - so that I need not be bound to prove freedom in its theoretical respect as well. For even if the latter is left unsettled, still the same laws hold for a being that cannot act otherwise than under the idea of its own freedom as would bind a being that was actually free."

I agree that it's an interesting similarity, though.

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On 5/10/2018 at 11:58 PM, myst77 said:

thanks for clarification but the sake of better understanding ayn rand's Philosophy what would be her definition of free will and how does it play into her Philosophy

http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/free_will.html

No guessing or inferring from others needed!

Also think logically, by definition "scientists" couldn't come to ANY conclusions, let alone the "conclusion" that free will doesn't exist, without the existence of free will. To do any type of science, let alone to come to any conclusions as a result of it, first requires the existence of free will.

Edited by EC

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