An arguement for the trancedence of free will

  1. We are physical beings

  2. It is reasonable to think that i have freewill. Free choice is only possible if my choice is not the inevitable out come of a process.

  3. Physical change is a process with inevitable effects.

  4. If something is not a physical process then it is not by definition physical.

  5. In reference to **premise 3 **and 2, it follows that “Free Choice” cannot be the outcome of a physical process, and given premise 4 it therefore follows that the sufficient cause of my free-choice is not a physical process; if it is in fact true that i do have freewill.

Conclusion: I am more than a physical being if i have freewill. This is to say that the “intellectual source” of my choices is not itself a physical process.

Sorry for the mistake in the thread title. I meant to write Transcendence:frowning:

I rushed it.:frowning:

This may be tricky. What does the pronoun “We” refer to? If you mean “we” are physical beings in that we possess a physical body, I’d say you’re presupposing your conclusion here. If you mean we are physical things, then I’d say this premise contradicts your conclusion.

  1. It is reasonable to think that i have freewill. Free choice is only possible if my choice is not the inevitable out come of a process.

What is free-will? The compatibilist may say S is free with respect to some choice only if S is the cause of that choice. This understanding of free will is compatible with S being determined to cause that choice: the only thing that matters is that S causes it. This premise challenges the compatibilists who currently reign, there’d be a tough fight here. You’ve also got the hard incompatibilists like myself: free-will isn’t compatible with determinism or indeterminism. Your second sentence seems to indicate a choice is only free if there is indeterminacy in its causal history. If that’s the case, I’ll pose the luck objection, which I think suffices to defeat the theory you’re implicitly advocating.

  1. Physical change is a process with inevitable effects.

The reigning interpretation of Quantum Mechanics says causation is probabilistic. Now, given some initial conditions and laws of nature, some event might necessarily occur: it’d have a probability of 1.0 given its initial conditions and governing laws. But, there are numerous physical changes which are indeterminate. (Or so the current majority of relevant scientists think, who knows if that’ll change)

  1. If something is not a physical process then it is not by definition physical.

Hmm. This basket ball isn’t a physical process, neither is this lap top, or those rocks. But, of course they’re physical. Did you mean "if something is not in physical process then it is not by definition physical? If so, I’m totally down with that.

  1. In reference to **premise 3 **and 2, it follows that “Free Choice” cannot be the outcome of a physical process, and given premise 4 it therefore follows that the sufficient cause of my free-choice is not a physical process; if it is in fact true that i do have freewill.

I think I resist (5) on the basis of my objections so far. Although, I will say, it’s generally conceded that a libertarian free-will strongly implies dualism. However, you’ve got prominent libertarian advocates like Robert Kane who argues for libertarianism on the basis of neuroscience (well…partly, anyways).

I realized my objection to (1) is vague so I’ll try and tighten it up a little:

The pronoun we in (1) either refers to a physical object, a non-physical object, or refers to neither.

If it refers to a physical object, then (1) contradicts the conclusion.

If it refers to a non-physical object, then (1) presupposes the conclusion it’s intended to support.

If it refers to neither a physical nor a non-physical object, then (1) can neither be said to be true nor false. This is because we’re unsure of its truth-conditions: We can’t know whether it’s true that we are physical beings if we don’t know what ‘we’ refers to.

I say we are physical beings merely as an epistemological limitation before demonstration as being otherwise; not as an ontological fact. In other words, I begin with what I know in immediate experience, and then I demonstrate that something in my experience proves me to be more than just physical. Also, note, that I do not deny that I am physical in the conclusion, I only deny the idea that physical is everything I am.

I will move on to the other points you make once you have acknowledged what I have said here.

Thanks for your response.

Ok, sure. This sounds good to me :slight_smile:

All that we know from** immediate** experience is what we think, feel, perceive and decide. We **infer **the existence of physical objects from what we perceive…

  1. The idea that the physical is everythingI am overlooks the fact that the idea “I” itself is not physical!

  2. So if everything **I **am is physical - which is absurd - the idea “I” has a non-physical origin…

  3. … unless it can be demonstrated **how the physical produces the non-physical! **:slight_smile:

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