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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/14/21 in Posts

  1. I have the book and have read it through. I'm not sure I am completely satisfied with the level of detail reached. Nor do I believe there is quite enough of an integration/reconciliation (this is in reference to the article) with a persistent dichotmously and disparagingly labelled "material world" (label used not in reference to the article). An undecided mind is still roving over the possibilities... narrowing in on the choice, the freedom from being wholly determined I would assume must extend continuously until it has been made. Whatever choice is, if one is ever definitively made and if it is of only a choice of one of many alternatives, then the alternatives I assume must somehow be eliminated in the process, thrown out of consideration, until literally only one remains. I suppose rather than looking at this process empirically as merely refining one's ideas of about freedom of choice, we could simply use it to define the moment of choice. A free choice has been made, by definition, once the factors present to make it free, are all in the past. This freedom shrinks (if one could assign a magnitude) as one approaches the choice, and simultaneously becomes 0 as it is made. That does not mean one can not make another choice, quickly countermanding the previous... but that is a further choice, not an extension of the first, nor an illustration that the first choice was or was not free. There may be a "deciding one has chosen" factor which shuts the freedom down, at least for that choice, or for some temporary period afterward... to avoid endless dithering in the mind. I do like your softening of classical determinism, and your reflections about genuine contingency, with processes which (like QM) exhibit multiple outcome causality. I think it is a sort of multiple outcome causality which for any particular starting identity of the universe and itself, would exhibit a probability function (if it were possible to repeat reality) in the Hilbert space of all choices and actions, which would typify free will. It has enough identity (the probability function is specific... maybe you'll choose Italian Food over Thai 80% of the time) so that it is not purely random, but it also is not wholly determined. Here's an aside: Of course if we shrink free will, or the free aspect thereof, i.e. if we restrict it ONLY to the choice to focus... well we have a different story. Once you make the choice to focus or not everything else would be determined... and so then alternative futures are all about the randomness with which you choose to focus. IF you so happen to be such that you choose to focus 100 percent of the time you'd be deterministic. If you so happened to be such that you choose to focus 0 percent of the time you'd be deterministic. If you so happened to be such that in each and every particular context you always made the same decision to be focused or not, say 100% whenever you are in a car and 0% whenever you are on a boat, you would be deterministic. There has to be some appreciable number of contexts, realities in the moment, at which point you could choose to be focused or you could also choose not to be in focus, that alternative futures are even possible. If follows, that in accordance with Objectivism, your ability to choose to go out of focus is crucial to your having fee will. [As you can likely see I am not of the view that free will must be so restricted]
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