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# What is the External Indicator of Volition (choice)?

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A rock is orbiting around the sun.
It has taken the same path for thousands of years.
Suddenly it changes course.

That alone does not spark interest.
Some gravitational force from somewhere we don't see could cause it.

Then we point a laser striking it.
It changes course against away from the laser.
That is odd.
But we try it again.
It moves away from the laser again.
Without any visible propulsion system.

Then a laser is pointed in the path that the rock is traveling.
The rock will collide with the lazer.
But suddenly we see the rock move out of that path of the beam.
The laser does not hit it.

We try that again. It moves around the laser beam once again.

It seems to have a purpose.
Which means .... it avoids things.

Purpose is not simply direction, or just attraction.

Purposeful action avoids things too.

Can we at this point hypothesize that there is volition related to this?
Does there have to be life for there to be volition?
Could a computer exhibit volition?

So ... What is the tell tale "sign", the absolute "indicator" of volition?
That fact that something is choosing rather than simply reacting.

What particular observation would determine that one has witnessed volition?
What is the "control" in the controlled experiment?

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Are you wondering how you can tell that something else is volitional?

My best suggestion for now is to read De Anima by Aristotle, or part of it, or watch/read something about what he says.

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13 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

A rock is orbiting around the sun.
It has taken the same path for thousands of years.
Suddenly it changes course.

That alone does not spark interest.
Some gravitational force from somewhere we don't see could cause it.

Then we point a laser striking it.
It changes course against away from the laser.
That is odd.
But we try it again.
It moves away from the laser again.
Without any visible propulsion system.

Then a laser is pointed in the path that the rock is traveling.
The rock will collide with the lazer.
But suddenly we see the rock move out of that path of the beam.
The laser does not hit it.

We try that again. It moves around the laser beam once again.

It seems to have a purpose.
Which means .... it avoids things.

Purpose is not simply direction, or just attraction.

Purposeful action avoids things too.

Can we at this point hypothesize that there is volition related to this?
Does there have to be life for there to be volition?
Could a computer exhibit volition?

So ... What is the tell tale "sign", the absolute "indicator" of volition?
That fact that something is choosing rather than simply reacting.

What particular observation would determine that one has witnessed volition?
What is the "control" in the controlled experiment?

Volition is associated with free will, rather than mere "purposefulness".

Free will is a crucial concept not because it deals with "will", but because it posits that that will is "free".

What does "free" mean?  Free from what?

Certainly not entirely "free" from "reality".  That is impossible.

Certainly not entirely "free" from the "identity" of the entity exhibiting it.  Impossible.

Certainly not entirely "free" from the context surrounding the entity exhibiting it.  A non interacting thing unaware of its surroundings is "oblivious", not "free" in the intended sense.

"Free" includes "at least" being free from absolute determinism, in this sense:  the entity could have done otherwise ... hypothetically speaking.  Given the exact same entity and reality ... the same entire universe... same IDENTITY, the entity could do X or could do Y and does do X or does Y.  If we could turn back time, it would do different things... because we define it as being free from absolute determinism.

If we characterize or concretize the doing as choosing, we locate the freedom with "will", and therefore we define free will as requiring (at least) hypothetically, an entity which could have chosen otherwise, even keeping IDENTITY of all of reality the same, as the control...

of course we cannot actually set the universe back to the same moment in time to test this.  In fact, some might say wording the hypothetical in this way is incoherent.  But it is literally all we have which makes sense.

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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52 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

of course we cannot actually set the universe back to the same moment in time to test this.  In fact, some might say wording the hypothetical in this way is incoherent.  But it is literally all we have which makes sense.

Yes, I was trying to think of an experiment that would prove the existence of freewill and I could not and it seems like the explanation has to remain purely philosophical.

My survey of "De Anima by Aristotle" brought up the idea of the "unmoved mover" idea. I also recall, there was mention by Peikoff somewhere about volition being "cause". That we are causes.

But looking at a physical phenomenon, what would indicate that it has volition or freewill? It seems like "life" is a prerequisite. But ... even life is not enough as in a bacteria.

52 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Volition is associated with free will, rather than mere "purposefulness".

Fair enough. But would you agree that without any purposeful activity, it would be almost impossible to conclude that the "something" is volitional or not?

I understand what you mean by purposefulness not being enough. If someone completely unfamiliar with our current technology goes to an automated car factory, they could mistakenly conclude that the machines building the cars have volition.

Apparent decision making alone can be a "reaction" rather than volition.

But they could correctly conclude that "something" volitional is going on. In this case, a human designing, building the machine to do what it does. The factory itself is inanimate but not metaphysically-given. Some volitional causality is involved in the chain of events.

Edited by Easy Truth
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23 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

Yes, I was trying to think of an experiment that would prove the existence of freewill and I could not and it seems like the explanation has to remain purely philosophical.

My survey of "De Anima by Aristotle" brought up the idea of the "unmoved mover" idea. I also recall, there was mention by Peikoff somewhere about volition being "cause". That we are causes.

But looking at a physical phenomenon, what would indicate that it has volition or freewill? It seems like "life" is a prerequisite. But ... even life is not enough as in a bacteria.

Fair enough. But would you agree that without any purposeful activity, it would be almost impossible to conclude that the "something" is volitional or not?

I understand what you mean by purposefulness not being enough. If someone completely unfamiliar with our current technology goes to an automated car factory, they could mistakenly conclude that the machines building the cars have volition.

Apparent decision making alone can be a "reaction" rather than volition.

But they could correctly conclude that "something" volitional is going on. In this case, a human designing, building the machine to do what it does. The factory itself is inanimate but not metaphysically-given. Some volitional causality is involved in the chain of events.

Indeed, if we could design such an experiment we would no longer require philosophical argument to rebut the determinist philosophers!!

Causes, however are EVERYWHERE!  Interactions are not one way, as exemplified by Newton.   The mere fact that something is a cause does not exempt it from claims of determinism.  "First cause" is something which invokes the very idea of "choosiness" or non-determinism, for nothing which is determined could be called a "first cause", only a link in a causal chain.

With respect to "volitional" being purposeful, you are correct that it is one requirement, but purposefulness is not sufficient... free will is required.

A car programmed to follow certain rules, will not merely react to the external world, but it would be a deterministic prisoner to its own internal identity, including its programming.

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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3 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Causes, however are EVERYWHERE!  Interactions are not one way, as exemplified by Newton.   The mere fact that something is a cause does not exempt it from claims of determinism.  "First cause" is something which invokes the very idea of "choosiness" or non-determinism, for nothing which is determined could be called a "first cause", only a link in a causal chain.

All of the forms of causality I know of are the

• 4 Aristotelian,
• and then Emergence (I think emergence qualifies),
• and now freewill according to the following:

Here is Onkar Gate talking about a "different form" of causality (when you click you will go to it). Isn't he making an argument for an "unlinked first cause"?

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19 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

All of the forms of causality I know of are the

• 4 Aristotelian,
• and then Emergence (I think emergence qualifies),
• and now freewill according to the following:

Here is Onkar Gate talking about a "different form" of causality (when you click you will go to it). Isn't he making an argument for an "unlinked first cause"?

I'm not sure about what he thinks, but a first cause is not wholly determined by all the antecedent factors (including the identity of the actor), that does not mean choice is completely DEVOID of any antecedent factors, that would be untethered and arbitrary, i.e. random.

Choice should be free, but also dependent upon antecedent factors like context, and the identity of the chooser.  YOU chose to order Italian, not "a random universe" chose Italian food for you Monday night... and the universe had to have Italian food, and for you to know it, for that to ultimately be your choice.

There are linkages, but you could have chosen otherwise.

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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The OP was not about the following specific phenomena but they do illustrate the issue.
Here are objects that could be natural things, without volition associated with them.
What would tip the balance to bring about a conclusion that volition is at work here?

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7 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

The OP was not about the following specific phenomena but they do illustrate the issue.
Here are objects that could be natural things, without volition associated with them.
What would tip the balance to bring about a conclusion that volition is at work here?

You've been pranked son.  Someone, somewhere is laughing his @\$\$ off.

As for external evidence (not necessarily proof) of something, you need to define for yourself what the evidence must tend to show, i.e. you must formulate a specific definition of the "what" that something is, prior to being capable of assessing whether the data tends to show it.  Only once deciding what you mean by "free will" is it possible to judge whether external evidence tends to show it.

What do you mean by "free will"?

As to "Purposeful action" that is indicative of some kind of rule following, coupled with inputs from the environment, which are reflected in outward behavior which exhibit those rules.  Purposeful action can be devoid of free will, but it can also accompany it.

Sorry I missed this:

"Fair enough. But would you agree that without any purposeful activity, it would be almost impossible to conclude that the "something" is volitional or not?"

Yes, generally speaking apparently purposeless action is not evidence of volition.

IMHO

"Volition" implies some purpose or motivation (willed), and is "free" in the sense discussed - so volition is "free will" in that it is both free and willed.

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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On 5/9/2021 at 6:26 PM, Easy Truth said:

Some gravitational force from somewhere we don't see could cause it.

Then we point a laser striking it.
It changes course against away from the laser.
That is odd.

It's only odd because of the association with an inanimate object and the laser. You just said that some gravitational force could cause the rock to move suddenly. Therefore that force might affect the rock at the same moment you point the laser at it. Indeed the force might affect the rock every single time that you point the laser, fooling you into believing that your laser is causing the reaction. All you need to do is eliminate your faith in the rock's ability to sense the laser and move itself out of the way. That might be hard to do, however, due to the extraordinary and repeated association between the rock and the laser. But you could probably concoct some lab test to prove that you're mistaken. Maybe someone laced your drink with LSD.

As for your title question, some special feature of the brain might indicate the potential for, if not the existence of, volition. It's interesting to me, for example, that mirror neurons have been found in humans, primates and some birds. The mirror neuron fires when you act and when you see others performing that same act. It might provide a mental stimulus which allows for an introspective choice between mimicking and not mimicking. If you're a bird and you see another bird drinking from a fountain, it might stimulate a memory of drinking from the fountain, but since you're not thirsty, you are not physically stimulated to drink. Such a context might be the biological framework in which a volitional process is generated.

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1 hour ago, MisterSwig said:

As for your title question, some special feature of the brain might indicate the potential for, if not the existence of, volition. It's interesting to me, for example, that mirror neurons have been found in humans, primates and some birds. The mirror neuron fires when you act and when you see others performing that same act.

But automatic mirroring is an argument against being an initial cause. Isn't mimicking a reaction?

As an aside, I could see us (humans) looking into a mirror  for this first time in our lives and thinking it is a doorway into another world with it's own causes and effects. Eventually realizing "we are the cause" of what we see in the mirror.

1 hour ago, MisterSwig said:

It's only odd because of the association with an inanimate object and the laser. You just said that some gravitational force could cause the rock to move suddenly.

The analogy was in fact inspired by you when you said we would know a lion is aware when you yell at it or something. So I was thinking, if you point light at something and it moves, I would hypothesize that it is making choices. (unless I am on LSD)

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5 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

IMHO

"Volition" implies some purpose or motivation (willed), and is "free" in the sense discussed - so volition is "free will" in that it is both free and willed.

Looks good to me i.e. it makes sense.

5 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

You've been pranked son.  Someone, somewhere is laughing his @\$\$ off.

But in coming to that conclusion, are you also saying that it is not a "naturally occurring phenomenon" (non-volitional). As in, "someone" is making it happen.

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23 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Here is Onkar Gate talking about a "different form" of causality (when you click you will go to it). Isn't he making an argument for an "unlinked first cause"?

It sounds like he's saying that he just means another way of looking at it. The 4 causes can be translated as "the 4 explanations" or "the 4 answers to questions", and I don't think he's talking about causes in any other way. They are explanations for why things are the way they are. That's why you can think of it as looking at it another way. You need all the explanations for a sufficient explanation of why something is the way it is overall.

If you want another cause, it means another kind of explanation. Emergence isn't necessarily another type, it can fit under mechanical cause (ie it's the interaction of actual moving parts, in this case the interaction of perhaps neurons). Indeed, as SL clarifies, there is no "first cause" in this mechanical sense. The mechanical causes matter, but they are not the only causes (explanations) that need analysis.

This is why I think it is critical to get a good working idea of Aristotle. Rand is thoroughly Aristotelian in both style and inspiration, so very often anything you are unclear about will be illuminated.

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3 hours ago, Eiuol said:

This is why I think it is critical to get a good working idea of Aristotle. Rand is thoroughly Aristotelian in both style and inspiration, so very often anything you are unclear about will be illuminated.

There is a lot of information to sift through if one is going to gain an adequate grasp of Aristotle.
And if that is the only way to understand it, then Objectivism is dead.
Every time someone asks a question, I have to give them a bibliography to read?

Ain't gonna happen!

At some point, you have to be able to explain it, succinctly and understandably.

Regarding "explanation", isn't

Why X?
also mean
What is the cause of X?

Back to Onkar

"It just happened. It does not have antecedents that explain it"
https://youtu.be/5R8CuxbCpbo?t=1690

He says something to the effect of "We determine our action based on the fundamental power to orient my mind."

My understanding of Onkar is that it's almost like a habit that we form or choose to form, like gaining strength in a muscle.

I can see that those who now have a habit of focusing will have different conclusions that those who don't have the habit. (he emphasizes it is not the content of left or right, but the process of determining it ((my take)the habit))

Nevertheless, one can counter that with: the motive to create a habit of mind orientation, the motivation can have an antecedent cause.

Outside of the mind, we turn our head to focus on something.

The self determination that is being talked about is "turning your mind's eye" toward reality vs. ... not turning your eye (a little, or enough).

The only reading I get from his "explanation" is: Ignore the antecedents. It is an axiom. We start from here.

Ultimately "free will" is going to mean "free from antecedent factors".

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24 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

There is a lot of information to sift through if one is going to gain an adequate grasp of Aristotle.

Of course. You are asking a specific question, to be answered in ways that have already been done. And I know the difficulty of the question. You have the basic idea of what free will is, but if you want the deeper understanding, there is no reason not to go straight to the people who have already thought about this. I'm not even saying read hundreds of pages - if you look at the distinction about nutritive, vegetative, and intellectual, that should help a lot.

On 5/10/2021 at 11:29 AM, Easy Truth said:

My survey of "De Anima by Aristotle" brought up the idea of the "unmoved mover" idea. I also recall, there was mention by Peikoff somewhere about volition being "cause". That we are causes.

Just keep in mind that unmoved mover doesn't mean the origin of mechanical action in an entity. The unmoved mover is the idea along the lines that it is something that compels action - in the sense that seeing an apple if you are hungry causes you to move towards it. Or any animal for that matter. The apple is the unmoved mover. This is why one way to notice volition is knowing that something has sense organs, and that it moves towards something on its own. The apple isn't the only cause to be sure, but it is a cause, a reason why.

39 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

Regarding "explanation", isn't

Why X?
also mean
What is the cause of X?

Yes, but there are many kinds of causes that occur simultaneously.

41 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

"It just happened. It does not have antecedents that explain it"

"He was hungry so he ate an apple." compared to "He wanted to be healthy, so he ate an apple."

The hunger caused eating. Seeking health also caused eating. In the first way, there are antecedent factors (ie the presence of hunger). In the second way, there is no antecedent factor for choosing to be healthy besides your focus on that future state of living. The future "caused" eating. So that's called a final cause. Yet that might not be a good enough reason why to fully explain free will from all relevant angles.

Even if we lack the full explanation of free will, we can take for granted that we do in fact have free will, that it is not an illusion.

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3 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

There is a lot of information to sift through if one is going to gain an adequate grasp of Aristotle.
And if that is the only way to understand it, then Objectivism is dead.
Every time someone asks a question, I have to give them a bibliography to read?

Ain't gonna happen!

Ain't gonna happen, Jack

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13 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Nevertheless, one can counter that with: the motive to create a habit of mind orientation, the motivation can have an antecedent cause.

No one said "free will" pops into existence by virtue of itself, i.e.  that "free will" requires "free will" to will it into being.  That clearly would be a logical fallacy.

Once upon a time, there was no you, only a potential in your parents' DNA.

Then a sperm cell and an egg cell approached each other, neither each cell individually nor taken together as "a group of two cells", was YOU.... and neither each cell individually or taken together as "a group of two cells", properly exhibited "free will", so at this point in time there was no "your free will", it did not exist.

At some exact point in time there first exists "your free will", but since prior to that point, you did not possess any free will to cause the birth of your free will, your free will is not self made (not made by a self having free will).  In that sense your free will is born only of antecedent factors (short term), even though it depended ultimately upon the free will of your parents.

Once you have "free will", you have it.  It serves to inject a "first cause" which has no antecedent cause, among the many other antecedent causes which are guiding your choices, the resulting choice NOT being solely the result of antecedent causes.

Although free will is caused (evolution, biology, reproduction, your parents, zygote, fetus ---> you), that does not mean your specific choices themselves are entirely caused by those antecedent factors.  You cannot escape the fact that your free will was caused by antecedent factors at some point, but that you choose to eat Italian food today, is not wholly determined by any of those factors... even God could not have known your eventual choice.

So I would say "one cannot counter" with any argument about how "free will" is born or formed or maintained, before it IS, it simply is NOT, once it IS, it simply IS... and until death or mental injury (or disease) destroy it (as a faculty/phenomenon), it's not going away.

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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13 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Ultimately "free will" is going to mean "free from antecedent factors".

What do you think of this question which I posted previously in another thread, (to which I received no responses):

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14 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

There is a lot of information to sift through if one is going to gain an adequate grasp of Aristotle.
And if that is the only way to understand it, then Objectivism is dead.
Every time someone asks a question, I have to give them a bibliography to read?

Ain't gonna happen!

At some point, you have to be able to explain it, succinctly and understandably. . . .

ET, to learn something, it's better to read than to listen to podcasts.* The better we learn, the better we can explain in the organic weave of a conversation.

I am one who prefers to communicate and exchange views in written text (such as this, or in print). With text, we can go deeper, notice our contradictions better, find gaps in our reasoning better, and make links to further drill-down literature. The written published work I mentioned in the ancestral thread to this one, the portion of he chapter by Ghate, with all its excerpts from and citations of earlier Objectivist writings on free will, is succinct and understandable. At least it is that to participants here, such as you.

I do not agree that without adequate grasp of Aristotle "Objectivism is dead." Sure, for we endless scholars, we'll not find an adequate philosophy in what is set out in Galt's Speech without further study of philosophy and getting this new one set within them (and within some areas of psychology), and without filling its gaps and resolving its internal problems we notice by revisions or additions. Anyone with anything near the college-level interest in philosophy is in that boat.  But the idea that Rand's philosophy as presented therein, in merely Galt's Speech, would get nowhere in the minds and hearts of numerous readers without its further explication that has occurred in non-fiction writings (with various levels of philosophic sophistication) since then seems mighty dubious.

Edited by Boydstun
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ET, concerning your original question of this thread, I notice that if one is looking at various objects and their actions or behaviors or if one is interacting linguistically (as here or as in the Turing Test setup), one knows by one's thinking sort of looking that one has some freedom in directing that inquiry. Then too, one's bodily movements, the ones the medical folk would call voluntary, seem to straddle the external and the internal. One might know little about how one is directing from the brain to one's finger movements on the keyboard, but one has at once direct access to both (the internal) the directing thoughts and a sense of some freedom in bringing them together and (the intimate external) the movements of one's fingers and appearance of text on the screen. I wonder if determining whether some entirely external object has free will necessarily requires, by hook or crook, determining its likeness to oneself.

Edited by Boydstun
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23 minutes ago, Boydstun said:

I wonder if determining whether some entirely external object has free will necessarily requires, by hook or crook, determining its likeness to oneself.

This is very insightful.  I agree.

It might be that after eons of observation and study of brains (ours, animals, and possibly artificial ones), once unimaginable technological innovations which allow us to see the brain at work in real time in all its complexity have been achieved, we might be able to see or confirm the riddle of free free will from a third person perspective, only by determining and distilling (controlling and isolating) those aspect of some pattern in ourselves when we are actually engaged in the use of our "free will"... by hook or crook will require the teachings of millions of years of evolution exhibited by our vast and complex minds being what the brain is and does.

Whatever that is, whatever aspects, patterns, clues, it produces, will then be how we see and measure it in animals or machines we may wish to create.

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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To raise from automatized, perceptual associations - to conceptualization, that is the nature and purpose of free will and volition. Just that. Until that point, men function quite like the other higher animals. (Probably not as effectively).

"The higher organisms possess a much more potent form of consciousness [than the sensory pain-pleasure of lower organisms] : they possess the faculty of *retaining*sensations, which is the faculty of *perception*. A "perception" is a group of sensations automatically retained and integrated by the brain of a living organism, which gives it the ability to be aware, not of single stimuli, but of *entities*, of things. An animal is guided, not merely by immediate sensations, but by *percepts*. Its actions are not single, discrete, responses to single, separate stimuli, but are directed by an integrated awareness of the *perceptual* reality confronting it. It is able to grasp the perceptual concretes immediately present and it is able to form automatic perceptual associations, but it can go no further". p19 VoS

Man can, if he chooses. His faculty combines the involuntary sensations of lower species, the automatic perceptual "associations" of higher species ... with one more - the non-automatic, i.e. volitional, ability to gather his percepts into concepts.

"It is an actively sustained process of identifying one's impressions in conceptual terms, of integrating every event and every observation into a conceptual context, grasping relationships, differences, similarities in one's perceptual material and of abstracting them into new concepts, of drawing inferences, making deductions..."

(Automatic "associations" of sensations into percepts might be seen as an effortless dress rehearsal for what follows, making the entirely volitional concepts. Or - 'associations' of percepts).

Antecedent factors and forces may or may not impinge on men, the fact remains we have always the free will, the active choice, to 'deal' (etc.) with them - through one's thinking, then by one being the cause of ensuing actions out of one's concepts.

Edited by whYNOT
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On 5/12/2021 at 6:40 AM, StrictlyLogical said:

Whatever that is, whatever aspects, patterns, clues, it produces, will then be how we see and measure it in animals or machines we may wish to create.

Randomness is an element that we can put into a machine right now.
Obviously, not enough to say it has free will.

A robot would also need to be aware that it does not know some stuff.
Knowing that I don't know, or knowing "maybe I don't know", aware that "I can possibly not know" seems to be a fundamental necessary ingredient for freewill.

The power of refrainment...
The capability to refrain or "to avoid" can't be generated with randomness, it has to have goal direction.
And it also requires having "conflicting wills", or "conflicting goals".

So if we give the machine two or more tracks (maybe a long term goal track and a short term goal track) to follow and to compare (and select (i.e. choose)) the "alternatives" at regular intervals, it will change its mind (sometimes), so you can simulate "freedom from predestined actions".

Meaning mimic free will for an outsider, "generating alternatives".

Perhaps it would end up being a machine that can fool you into thinking it has free will.

Until and unless you eventually find out that it is not like you in a certain way. You have to do it before the terminators have taken over the world.

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19 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

Randomness is an element that we can put into a machine right now.
Obviously, not enough to say it has free will.

Currently we don't use QM to generate randomness.

Generally a computer would have to have a sort of deterministic will, if somehow freed, we could then say it was free will.

21 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

A robot would also need to be aware that it does not know some stuff.
Knowing that I don't know, or knowing "maybe I don't know", aware that "I can possibly not know" seems to be a fundamental necessary ingredient for freewill.

The power of refrainment...
The capability to refrain or "to avoid" can't be generated with randomness, it has to have goal direction.
And it also requires having "conflicting wills", or "conflicting goals".

So if we give the machine two or more tracks (maybe a long term goal track and a short term goal track) to follow and to compare (and select (i.e. choose)) the "alternatives" at regular intervals, it will change its mind (sometimes), so you can simulate "freedom from predestined actions".

Meaning mimic free will for an outsider, "generating alternatives".

Perhaps it would end up being a machine that can fool you into thinking it has free will.

Until and unless you eventually find out that it is not like you in a certain way. You have to do it before the terminators have taken over the world.

There is much you state here.  Deterministic thinking machines will be able to fool us into thinking they have free will only in the sense that it will mimic it.  We will know it does not have free will because we will know exactly how it works, and know that it is deterministic.  We wont really know how to create something with free will until we know how free will works, why it works in us.

We wont be able to understand how free will works until we scientifically study it, and in order to do that we must define its boundaries.

Be careful not to equate free will as such with human free will, there likely is a yet to be discovered "fundamental" or "minimum" unit of exhibited behavior that an animal or machine (or injured human being) can have which would qualify as a primitive building block a lowest end of the spectrum type of free will.

In this (as opposed to ethics and politics) I urge we approach the problem in the more effective manner, as scientists, not hero worshippers.

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1 hour ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Deterministic thinking machines will be able to fool us into thinking they have free will only in the sense that it will mimic it.  We will know it does not have free will because we will know exactly how it works, and know that it is deterministic.  We wont really know how to create something with free will until we know how free will works, why it works in us.

I don't understand, we won't really know how to create something with free until we know how free will works, but ... knowing how something works means it is deterministic.

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