Monday, February 17, 2014

Typhoid mary and free will

typhoid Mary, notorious spreader of disease, didn't believe she was contagious, threat to others, insisted on continuing to work food service.

Free will at Ilion:

Ilion, there is no question that it is nearly impossible to not feel that you have free will. So, in our everyday lives, no one is a full-fledged determinist. I have never stated anything contrary to that. But feeling that one has free will is not the same thing as actually having it (in something more than the ordinary meaning of making choices and having the mental capacity to understand the consequences of those "choices"). 

What we can do on an intellectual level is reason from the law of causality that applies to everything else and then apply that law to ourselves. 

We can "deduce" determinism, but can we notice it through our experiences? Only in a very limited way, if at all. But that's not a very strong argument for free will. 

 planks length said...

In a determinist universe, there ought to be no prisons... in fact, no law. After all, no one would be responsible for his actions. How could we possibly call anyone guilty of a wrongdoing, if there is only "doing"?

 Nick J said...

Strange reasoning, planks length. Lack of libertarian free will doesn't mean that person (rapist, murderer, armed robber) didn't commit the act. They can still be held as dangerous to society, just as those who commit terrible things but are found "not guilty by reason of insanity" are locked up if they remain insane and their insanity makes them a threat to others.

Also as to whether criminals have a defense in their lack of free will, I've tried to argue in the past that this suggests that each person is a passive observer of his own actions which I don't think is the case, even without free will. I think we're still responsible for our actions, our actions defining in a sense who we are. But these are just ideas of mine.

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