< 1 2 3 4 >  Last ›
 
   
 

is science on the brink of disproving free will?

 
nv
 
Avatar
 
 
nv
Total Posts:  7998
Joined  29-04-2005
 
 
 
13 February 2015 14:03
 
jwh - 12 February 2015 07:06 PM

what might be forthcoming from brain science or any science that might disprove free will?

I don’t see the issue of free will as being answerable to science, but is more a concept associated with religion, philosophy and psychology. Many people seem to view free will—or at least something akin to free will—as being essential within criminal justice systems as well as everyday kinds of thoughts and behaviors. Others don’t.

 
 
Gregoryhhh
 
Avatar
 
 
Gregoryhhh
Total Posts:  2008
Joined  31-08-2014
 
 
 
13 February 2015 22:33
 
envy me - 13 February 2015 01:03 PM
jwh - 12 February 2015 07:06 PM

what might be forthcoming from brain science or any science that might disprove free will?

I don’t see the issue of free will as being answerable to science, but is more a concept associated with religion, philosophy and psychology. Many people seem to view free will—or at least something akin to free will—as being essential within criminal justice systems as well as everyday kinds of thoughts and behaviors. Others don’t.

Here’s away to connect free will very scientifically, with consciousness apart from religion, philosophy and psychology - A massive dose of Psilocybin (in a controlled environment).

Here’s an excerpt from the abstract:
At the 14-month follow-up, 58% and 67%, respectively, of volunteers rated the psilocybin-occasioned experience as being among the five most personally meaningful and among the five most spiritually significant experiences of their lives; 64% indicated that the experience increased well-being or life satisfaction; 58% met criteria for having had a ‘complete’ mystical experience.  When administered under supportive conditions, psilocybin occasioned experiences similar to spontaneously occurring mystical experiences that, at 14-month follow-up, were considered by volunteers to be among the most personally meaningful and spiritually significant of their lives.

http://www.pubfacts.com/detail/18593735/Mystical-type-experiences-occasioned-by-psilocybin-mediate-the-attribution-of-personal-meaning-and-s
gregory

Post Scriptum: Some people do not qualify due to mental health concerns. But these people don’t seem to be applying for the treatment.

[ Edited: 13 February 2015 22:40 by Gregoryhhh]
 
 
Poldano
 
Avatar
 
 
Poldano
Total Posts:  3333
Joined  26-01-2010
 
 
 
14 February 2015 00:14
 
GAD - 12 February 2015 11:58 PM
jwh - 12 February 2015 07:06 PM

what might be forthcoming from brain science or any science that might disprove free will?

Free will has already been disproved simply by virtue of never having been proven in the first place.

Absence of evidence is evidence of absence?

Of course, evidence has to do with inductive logic. Proof usually has to do with deductive logic.

Although, once, with some misgivings, I asserted that evolution was proven to be true. I could not in that context (a public assembly) take the time to make the case for different kinds of logic and different kinds of proof/evidence appropriate to each. In a way, I made a choice to beg forgiveness rather than ask permission. Was that evidence for free will, or was I fated to do exactly that from the birth of the universe? I’ll never know.

 
 
GAD
 
Avatar
 
 
GAD
Total Posts:  17531
Joined  15-02-2008
 
 
 
14 February 2015 02:15
 
Poldano - 13 February 2015 11:14 PM
GAD - 12 February 2015 11:58 PM
jwh - 12 February 2015 07:06 PM

what might be forthcoming from brain science or any science that might disprove free will?

Free will has already been disproved simply by virtue of never having been proven in the first place.

Absence of evidence is evidence of absence?

Of course, evidence has to do with inductive logic. Proof usually has to do with deductive logic.

Although, once, with some misgivings, I asserted that evolution was proven to be true. I could not in that context (a public assembly) take the time to make the case for different kinds of logic and different kinds of proof/evidence appropriate to each. In a way, I made a choice to beg forgiveness rather than ask permission. Was that evidence for free will, or was I fated to do exactly that from the birth of the universe? I’ll never know.

Like god, freewill is a human invention and presupposition. That the totality of human knowledge today not only has not proved them, but stands against, is far greater evidence then just absence of evidence.

 
 
Poldano
 
Avatar
 
 
Poldano
Total Posts:  3333
Joined  26-01-2010
 
 
 
14 February 2015 05:15
 
GAD - 14 February 2015 01:15 AM
Poldano - 13 February 2015 11:14 PM
GAD - 12 February 2015 11:58 PM
jwh - 12 February 2015 07:06 PM

what might be forthcoming from brain science or any science that might disprove free will?

Free will has already been disproved simply by virtue of never having been proven in the first place.

Absence of evidence is evidence of absence?

Of course, evidence has to do with inductive logic. Proof usually has to do with deductive logic.

Although, once, with some misgivings, I asserted that evolution was proven to be true. I could not in that context (a public assembly) take the time to make the case for different kinds of logic and different kinds of proof/evidence appropriate to each. In a way, I made a choice to beg forgiveness rather than ask permission. Was that evidence for free will, or was I fated to do exactly that from the birth of the universe? I’ll never know.

Like god, freewill is a human invention and presupposition. That the totality of human knowledge today not only has not proved them, but stands against, is far greater evidence then just absence of evidence.

Determinism is also a human invention, as is causality. The fact that they correspond well with the parts of reality that are most easily understandable is beside the point.

 
 
GAD
 
Avatar
 
 
GAD
Total Posts:  17531
Joined  15-02-2008
 
 
 
14 February 2015 05:48
 
Poldano - 14 February 2015 04:15 AM
GAD - 14 February 2015 01:15 AM
Poldano - 13 February 2015 11:14 PM
GAD - 12 February 2015 11:58 PM
jwh - 12 February 2015 07:06 PM

what might be forthcoming from brain science or any science that might disprove free will?

Free will has already been disproved simply by virtue of never having been proven in the first place.

Absence of evidence is evidence of absence?

Of course, evidence has to do with inductive logic. Proof usually has to do with deductive logic.

Although, once, with some misgivings, I asserted that evolution was proven to be true. I could not in that context (a public assembly) take the time to make the case for different kinds of logic and different kinds of proof/evidence appropriate to each. In a way, I made a choice to beg forgiveness rather than ask permission. Was that evidence for free will, or was I fated to do exactly that from the birth of the universe? I’ll never know.

Like god, freewill is a human invention and presupposition. That the totality of human knowledge today not only has not proved them, but stands against, is far greater evidence then just absence of evidence.

Determinism is also a human invention, as is causality. The fact that they correspond well with the parts of reality that are most easily understandable is beside the point.

They are based on empirical data and I think that is the point.

 
 
Gregoryhhh
 
Avatar
 
 
Gregoryhhh
Total Posts:  2008
Joined  31-08-2014
 
 
 
14 February 2015 14:44
 

Free Will - I have never defined for myself “free will” -  When i was a Christian, it was defined for me, and of course i had free will.
(defining as per The Oxford)
Free:  “Not under the control or in the power of another; able to act or be done as one wishes:
Will: Expressing desire, consent, or willingness:

Well, in regards to expressing desire, consent, or willingness - i am not certainly not under the control, or in the power of another, but i am also certainly not able to “always” act or do as i wish, hell, sometimes i cant even think what i wish to think, or feel what it is i wish to feel, or do the doing i would like to see me doing. Free Will? - of course not.
gregory

Post Scriptum: What is it with the religionists who preach free will, yet happily admit they are under the control and power of their “God” ? They probably call that a mystery of God- I call it fucking stupid that they are under control and say they have free will. i found myself laughing at that - it’s laughable, it’s peculiar , and certainly it is i g n o r a n t. How do they explain that - perhaps by changing the definition of “free”? or “will”? Oh i’m sure it’s some message from the hinterlands beyond the borderland between reason and the far side of nonsense.

[ Edited: 14 February 2015 14:53 by Gregoryhhh]
 
 
Poldano
 
Avatar
 
 
Poldano
Total Posts:  3333
Joined  26-01-2010
 
 
 
15 February 2015 01:43
 
GAD - 14 February 2015 04:48 AM

They are based on empirical data and I think that is the point.

Which empirical data preceded notions of causality?

Which empirical data preceded the notion of determinism?

Hint: Aristotle talked about causality 2500 years ago. He wasn’t the only one to do so.

My point of view is that determinism and causality are useful rules of thumb that are valid a vast majority of the time, but not all the time. Free will as theologically interpreted is true none of the time, but a restatement of it to account for the improbable but physically possible is a useful rule of thumb. In long sequences of causes and effects, the probability that the most likely outcome of each intermediate cause results in the eventual most likely outcome, is going to be less than the least likely intermediate outcome. Moreover, except in completely controlled experiments, it is not possible to make the sum of probabilities of all known outcomes come out to 1, because it is not possible to identify all known outcomes.

The difficulty in identifying all known outcomes of long chains of causes and effects leaves sufficient probability space for some notion of free will to be useful. Moral decision making seems to be a likely candidate for such a space, because it happens in a highly chaotic (in the classical physics sense) process involving knowledge and perception, with a measurable and significant probability of errors in perception, judgment, and execution.

[ Edited: 15 February 2015 01:48 by Poldano]
 
 
GAD
 
Avatar
 
 
GAD
Total Posts:  17531
Joined  15-02-2008
 
 
 
15 February 2015 03:39
 
Poldano - 15 February 2015 12:43 AM
GAD - 14 February 2015 04:48 AM

They are based on empirical data and I think that is the point.

Which empirical data preceded notions of causality?

Which empirical data preceded the notion of determinism?

Hint: Aristotle talked about causality 2500 years ago. He wasn’t the only one to do so.

My point of view is that determinism and causality are useful rules of thumb that are valid a vast majority of the time, but not all the time. Free will as theologically interpreted is true none of the time, but a restatement of it to account for the improbable but physically possible is a useful rule of thumb. In long sequences of causes and effects, the probability that the most likely outcome of each intermediate cause results in the eventual most likely outcome, is going to be less than the least likely intermediate outcome. Moreover, except in completely controlled experiments, it is not possible to make the sum of probabilities of all known outcomes come out to 1, because it is not possible to identify all known outcomes.

The difficulty in identifying all known outcomes of long chains of causes and effects leaves sufficient probability space for some notion of free will to be useful. Moral decision making seems to be a likely candidate for such a space, because it happens in a highly chaotic (in the classical physics sense) process involving knowledge and perception, with a measurable and significant probability of errors in perception, judgment, and execution.

Go ahead, prove your point, show a violation of determinism or causality (hint subject made up projections that only exist in your mind don’t count for shit).

 
 
Twissel
 
Avatar
 
 
Twissel
Total Posts:  2735
Joined  19-01-2015
 
 
 
15 February 2015 07:20
 

Daniel Denett has a theory of Free Will which does not contradict determinism. It’s a pretty weak free will, though.

 
 
Poldano
 
Avatar
 
 
Poldano
Total Posts:  3333
Joined  26-01-2010
 
 
 
17 February 2015 01:46
 
GAD - 15 February 2015 02:39 AM
Poldano - 15 February 2015 12:43 AM
GAD - 14 February 2015 04:48 AM

They are based on empirical data and I think that is the point.

Which empirical data preceded notions of causality?

Which empirical data preceded the notion of determinism?

Hint: Aristotle talked about causality 2500 years ago. He wasn’t the only one to do so.

My point of view is that determinism and causality are useful rules of thumb that are valid a vast majority of the time, but not all the time. Free will as theologically interpreted is true none of the time, but a restatement of it to account for the improbable but physically possible is a useful rule of thumb. In long sequences of causes and effects, the probability that the most likely outcome of each intermediate cause results in the eventual most likely outcome, is going to be less than the least likely intermediate outcome. Moreover, except in completely controlled experiments, it is not possible to make the sum of probabilities of all known outcomes come out to 1, because it is not possible to identify all known outcomes.

The difficulty in identifying all known outcomes of long chains of causes and effects leaves sufficient probability space for some notion of free will to be useful. Moral decision making seems to be a likely candidate for such a space, because it happens in a highly chaotic (in the classical physics sense) process involving knowledge and perception, with a measurable and significant probability of errors in perception, judgment, and execution.

Go ahead, prove your point, show a violation of determinism or causality (hint subject made up projections that only exist in your mind don’t count for shit).

Quantum mechanics and chaos theory.

The philosophical position of Adequate Determinism says that the uncertainties deriving therefrom are adequately resolved by the probabilistic principle of Regression to the Mean. That position is sufficient to do good hard science, and to make near-certain judgments for simple dynamic phenomena. It is not sufficient for concluding that all outcomes can be predicted with adequate precision and accuracy in all matters. It is very close to what I have called statistical determinism.

For example, we can very accurately predict the time in which a given mass of liquid water, at a given temperature, in given atmospheric conditions, and with a given rate of heat input, will turn into water vapor, within an error band determined by the precision and accuracy of the measurements of the starting conditions. We are very bad at determining which particular molecule of water will be the last to become vaporous. The effects of heat were described in classical physics terms as statistical mechanics, in the 19th century.

Quantum mechanics came along soon after that, and determined that some assumptions of hard determinism could not be verified. Later in the 20th century, chaos theory showed that it was theoretically impossible to measure initial conditions with sufficient precision and accuracy to predict the outcomes of dynamic systems described by mathematics that admitted divergent solutions. Neither of these actually disproved hard determinism in the deductive sense, they just showed the limitations of its utility. Theories framed as rigidly deterministic remain useful, as long as the error band computed around the outcomes properly reflects the underlying mathematics. In some conditions, the error band diverges (becomes larger) as time from initial conditions increases, which makes computation beyond some limit ineffective at predicting a usefully precise and accurate outcome. In other conditions, the error band does not diverge at all, or does not diverge sufficiently to render the predicted outcomes useful.

Experimental science bases itself on measurements derived from conditions with non-divergent error bands. These are the kinds of observations wherein regression to the mean is an appropriate assumption. The prediction of divergence in the theoretical mathematics, and the verification of that diversion in experiments designed to observe it, are both evidence for the correctness of the deterministic theory, and evidence for the limitations of the deterministic assumption in actuality.

I referred to Aristotle specifically because I know you have little respect for any ideas that happened along before about 1600, or perhaps later. The ancient Greeks are the first people I know of to articulate the notion of determinism that we still use. They are also the first to abstract Euclidean Geometry as true in the world. Kant (1724-1804 CE, but known mainly as a philosopher so similarly dismissed by you as irrelevant) wrote that Euclidean Geometry was true both as observed fact and as logical necessity (synthetic a priori). Evidently, Plato also thought the same thing (Theaetetus). Riemann (1826-1866 CE) developed non-Euclidean geometries that showed that Euclidean geometry was not the only possible axiomatic geometry. The work of Einstein later showed that Euclidean geometry was not exactly true of the universe we live in, but was only a useful approximation to local geometries that were determined by physical properties (mass, speed of light).

Kant was fully disproved with respect to geometry being necessarily (axiomatically) true in actuality, which in turn made all other axiomatic systems that are assumed to be necessarily true in actuality subject to questioning. I question the applicability of determinism to actuality in exactly the same way that people before me questioned the applicability of Euclidean geometry. From my interpretation of the available evidence, I cannot see that deterministic causality is a necessary axiomatic assumption that is true in actuality. Instead, I see it as a useful approximation, much the same way that Euclidean Geometry is. Deterministic causality seems to me to be more basic to cognition than geometry, and so its cognitive roots should go deeper, and should be expected to be harder to see.

Determinism is much more applicable to actuality than Free Will is, but unless it is an axiomatic necessity for physical reality, it cannot be used to entirely refute Free Will axiomatically. This leaves some possible space for Free Will theories to be applicable. The relative applicabilities of Determinism and Free Will become subject to empirical investigation, just as the relative applicabilities of Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries are. I don’t know of any way to proceed in such an investigation but by assuming determinism, and measuring the extent to which it is useful statistically. This seems to me to be an infinite task, in all likelihood, but even if not infinite, one which we have barely begun.

[ Edited: 17 February 2015 01:52 by Poldano]
 
 
GAD
 
Avatar
 
 
GAD
Total Posts:  17531
Joined  15-02-2008
 
 
 
17 February 2015 13:48
 
Poldano - 17 February 2015 12:46 AM
GAD - 15 February 2015 02:39 AM
Poldano - 15 February 2015 12:43 AM
GAD - 14 February 2015 04:48 AM

They are based on empirical data and I think that is the point.

Which empirical data preceded notions of causality?

Which empirical data preceded the notion of determinism?

Hint: Aristotle talked about causality 2500 years ago. He wasn’t the only one to do so.

My point of view is that determinism and causality are useful rules of thumb that are valid a vast majority of the time, but not all the time. Free will as theologically interpreted is true none of the time, but a restatement of it to account for the improbable but physically possible is a useful rule of thumb. In long sequences of causes and effects, the probability that the most likely outcome of each intermediate cause results in the eventual most likely outcome, is going to be less than the least likely intermediate outcome. Moreover, except in completely controlled experiments, it is not possible to make the sum of probabilities of all known outcomes come out to 1, because it is not possible to identify all known outcomes.

The difficulty in identifying all known outcomes of long chains of causes and effects leaves sufficient probability space for some notion of free will to be useful. Moral decision making seems to be a likely candidate for such a space, because it happens in a highly chaotic (in the classical physics sense) process involving knowledge and perception, with a measurable and significant probability of errors in perception, judgment, and execution.

Go ahead, prove your point, show a violation of determinism or causality (hint subject made up projections that only exist in your mind don’t count for shit).

Quantum mechanics and chaos theory.

The philosophical position of Adequate Determinism says that the uncertainties deriving therefrom are adequately resolved by the probabilistic principle of Regression to the Mean. That position is sufficient to do good hard science, and to make near-certain judgments for simple dynamic phenomena. It is not sufficient for concluding that all outcomes can be predicted with adequate precision and accuracy in all matters. It is very close to what I have called statistical determinism.

For example, we can very accurately predict the time in which a given mass of liquid water, at a given temperature, in given atmospheric conditions, and with a given rate of heat input, will turn into water vapor, within an error band determined by the precision and accuracy of the measurements of the starting conditions. We are very bad at determining which particular molecule of water will be the last to become vaporous. The effects of heat were described in classical physics terms as statistical mechanics, in the 19th century.

Quantum mechanics came along soon after that, and determined that some assumptions of hard determinism could not be verified. Later in the 20th century, chaos theory showed that it was theoretically impossible to measure initial conditions with sufficient precision and accuracy to predict the outcomes of dynamic systems described by mathematics that admitted divergent solutions. Neither of these actually disproved hard determinism in the deductive sense, they just showed the limitations of its utility. Theories framed as rigidly deterministic remain useful, as long as the error band computed around the outcomes properly reflects the underlying mathematics. In some conditions, the error band diverges (becomes larger) as time from initial conditions increases, which makes computation beyond some limit ineffective at predicting a usefully precise and accurate outcome. In other conditions, the error band does not diverge at all, or does not diverge sufficiently to render the predicted outcomes useful.

Experimental science bases itself on measurements derived from conditions with non-divergent error bands. These are the kinds of observations wherein regression to the mean is an appropriate assumption. The prediction of divergence in the theoretical mathematics, and the verification of that diversion in experiments designed to observe it, are both evidence for the correctness of the deterministic theory, and evidence for the limitations of the deterministic assumption in actuality.

I referred to Aristotle specifically because I know you have little respect for any ideas that happened along before about 1600, or perhaps later. The ancient Greeks are the first people I know of to articulate the notion of determinism that we still use. They are also the first to abstract Euclidean Geometry as true in the world. Kant (1724-1804 CE, but known mainly as a philosopher so similarly dismissed by you as irrelevant) wrote that Euclidean Geometry was true both as observed fact and as logical necessity (synthetic a priori). Evidently, Plato also thought the same thing (Theaetetus). Riemann (1826-1866 CE) developed non-Euclidean geometries that showed that Euclidean geometry was not the only possible axiomatic geometry. The work of Einstein later showed that Euclidean geometry was not exactly true of the universe we live in, but was only a useful approximation to local geometries that were determined by physical properties (mass, speed of light).

Kant was fully disproved with respect to geometry being necessarily (axiomatically) true in actuality, which in turn made all other axiomatic systems that are assumed to be necessarily true in actuality subject to questioning. I question the applicability of determinism to actuality in exactly the same way that people before me questioned the applicability of Euclidean geometry. From my interpretation of the available evidence, I cannot see that deterministic causality is a necessary axiomatic assumption that is true in actuality. Instead, I see it as a useful approximation, much the same way that Euclidean Geometry is. Deterministic causality seems to me to be more basic to cognition than geometry, and so its cognitive roots should go deeper, and should be expected to be harder to see.

Determinism is much more applicable to actuality than Free Will is, but unless it is an axiomatic necessity for physical reality, it cannot be used to entirely refute Free Will axiomatically. This leaves some possible space for Free Will theories to be applicable. The relative applicabilities of Determinism and Free Will become subject to empirical investigation, just as the relative applicabilities of Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries are. I don’t know of any way to proceed in such an investigation but by assuming determinism, and measuring the extent to which it is useful statistically. This seems to me to be an infinite task, in all likelihood, but even if not infinite, one which we have barely begun.

Nice song and dance but you did not show a single violation of determinism or causality….

 
 
nv
 
Avatar
 
 
nv
Total Posts:  7998
Joined  29-04-2005
 
 
 
17 February 2015 16:48
 
GAD, to Poldano - 17 February 2015 12:48 PM

Nice song and dance but you did not show a single violation of determinism or causality….

How about this melody?

The issues of mental causation, consciousness, and free will have vexed philosophers since Plato. In this book, Peter Tse examines these unresolved issues from a neuroscientific perspective. In contrast with philosophers who use logic rather than data to argue whether mental causation or consciousness can exist given unproven first assumptions, Tse proposes that we instead listen to what neurons have to say. Because the brain must already embody a solution to the mind—body problem, why not focus on how the brain actually realizes mental causation?

Tse draws on exciting recent neuroscientific data concerning how informational causation is realized in physical causation at the level of NMDA receptors, synapses, dendrites, neurons, and neuronal circuits. He argues that a particular kind of strong free will and “downward” mental causation are realized in rapid synaptic plasticity. Recent neurophysiological breakthroughs reveal that neurons function as criterial assessors of their inputs, which then change the criteria that will make other neurons fire in the future. Such informational causation cannot change the physical basis of information realized in the present, but it can change the physical basis of information that may be realized in the immediate future. This gets around the standard argument against free will centered on the impossibility of self-causation. Tse explores the ways that mental causation and qualia might be realized in this kind of neuronal and associated information-processing architecture, and considers the psychological and philosophical implications of having such an architecture realized in our brains.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Neural-Basis-Free-Will/dp/0262019108/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

 
 
Poldano
 
Avatar
 
 
Poldano
Total Posts:  3333
Joined  26-01-2010
 
 
 
18 February 2015 00:16
 
GAD - 17 February 2015 12:48 PM

Nice song and dance but you did not show a single violation of determinism or causality….

I don’t have to disprove determinism or causality. I only have to show evidence that it’s an axiomatic formalism that might not be applicable to all reality. Science cannot disprove an axiomatic formalism. Causality has been shown to be applicable to some aspects of all reality because we go to great lengths to find some causality in every phenomenon. That’s how we explain things, and we won’t stop until we get an explanation.

Statistical methods are one example of such explanation. We can find some causality in pure randomness, simply by characterizing its regularity. Unstable atomic nuclei decay according to very precise statistical rules. Nonetheless, there is only a probability that a particular nucleus will decay. To my way of thinking, framing any law probabilistically is a limitation of hard determinism, even if that probability is very precisely calculated.

Determinism is an assumption behind the human drive for explanation. I am sure it was arrived at inductively, I am also fairly certain that it is hard-wired in our neurology. It came about through the inductive process of biological evolution. The fact that it was arrived at inductively, and is an element of our biology, does not make it axiomatically true of all reality. It does make it almost certain to be useful, and indeed we find it to be indispensable. Nonetheless, our existing notions of it might be improvable.

I am trying to understand the difference between hard determinism and fatalism. A total absence of free will seems to be required for fatalism. If fatalism is different from determinism, then some degree of free will must be possible.

 
 
Poldano
 
Avatar
 
 
Poldano
Total Posts:  3333
Joined  26-01-2010
 
 
 
18 February 2015 00:18
 
envy me - 17 February 2015 03:48 PM
GAD, to Poldano - 17 February 2015 12:48 PM

Nice song and dance but you did not show a single violation of determinism or causality….

How about this melody?

The issues of mental causation, consciousness, and free will have vexed philosophers since Plato. In this book, Peter Tse examines these unresolved issues from a neuroscientific perspective. In contrast with philosophers who use logic rather than data to argue whether mental causation or consciousness can exist given unproven first assumptions, Tse proposes that we instead listen to what neurons have to say. Because the brain must already embody a solution to the mind—body problem, why not focus on how the brain actually realizes mental causation?

Tse draws on exciting recent neuroscientific data concerning how informational causation is realized in physical causation at the level of NMDA receptors, synapses, dendrites, neurons, and neuronal circuits. He argues that a particular kind of strong free will and “downward” mental causation are realized in rapid synaptic plasticity. Recent neurophysiological breakthroughs reveal that neurons function as criterial assessors of their inputs, which then change the criteria that will make other neurons fire in the future. Such informational causation cannot change the physical basis of information realized in the present, but it can change the physical basis of information that may be realized in the immediate future. This gets around the standard argument against free will centered on the impossibility of self-causation. Tse explores the ways that mental causation and qualia might be realized in this kind of neuronal and associated information-processing architecture, and considers the psychological and philosophical implications of having such an architecture realized in our brains.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Neural-Basis-Free-Will/dp/0262019108/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

Thanks for the reference.

That appears to be very much in line with what I’m saying.

 
 
 < 1 2 3 4 >  Last ›