Defense of Freewill Against Determinism

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

ughaibu
 
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 12:49 pm
@fast,
fast wrote:
I certainly don't mean to change the focus of this discussion, but do you have it in your mind that laws of nature 1) antedate people or 2) do not antedate people?

I'm thinking 1 is the answer, but I suspect that you think 2 is the answer. I think this is relevant because I think your understanding of laws of nature is different than others.
What on Earth could possibly give you the idea that I think 2?????
 
fast
 
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 01:33 pm
@ughaibu,
Let me back up. Why do you think determinism is a thesis?
 
fast
 
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 03:56 pm
Ughaibu asked, “What is a Causal Law?,” and Kennethamy responded, “It is a universal statement of a regularity between two kinds of things, but which says that the regularity is not accidental, but that there is an explanation of the regularity.”

I want to highlight and distinguish between two very distinct things: 1) the regularity and 2) the statement (of the regularity). The regularity was discovered. The statement was not.

Whether or not Laws are created or discovered isn’t near as important as the distinction between that which is discovered and that which is invented.

Kennethamy’s usage of the term “Law” indicates that he thinks laws are invented. After all, he certainly doesn’t think that the factual regularities that exist in nature are the laws. He says, “[A Causal Law] is a universal statement of a regularity … .”

What does Ughaibu think? He says, “Determinism is a thesis about laws of nature, and laws of nature are not "statements" and they are independent of explanations.” How do we make sense of this?

My understanding is that there are regularities in nature that are discovered. Once they are discovered, something is created (statements of sorts) that convey to others what is discovered. What is invented may one day be known as a principle, and if such principles stand the test of time (and scrutiny), they become known as law.

But (and through it all), it behooves us to not lose sight of what was discovered versus what was subsequently invented.

I don’t know why Ughaibu thinks that laws of nature is what’s discovered (since laws are invented), but he is nevertheless making a distinction where the laws of nature (in this case) is what is discovered, and what he thinks is invented is determinism, and we know this because he says determinism is a thesis. Does anyone know why?

PS: Is “Laws of nature” ambiguous such that it can refer to either the reguarities found in nature or the laws that describe the regularities?
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 05:48 pm
@fast,
fast wrote:
PS: Is “Laws of nature” ambiguous such that it can refer to either the reguarities found in nature or the laws that describe the regularities?

As far as I understand it, there is a difference between prescriptive and descriptive laws. Unlike prescriptive laws which codify and enforce how things ought to be, descriptive laws describe how things are. Descriptive laws are discovered, while prescriptive laws are invented. Laws of nature are descriptive, not prescriptive, laws.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 06:32 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
Laws of nature are descriptive, not prescriptive, laws.
I just gave you the standard definition of determinism, from that definition it should be clear that laws of nature are not descriptions. There is disagreement among philosophers as to whether or not there are laws of nature, and if there are, what manner of thing they are. Think about it, how the hell could determinism make sense if it was a claim about descriptions?!?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 06:47 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:

fast wrote:
PS: Is “Laws of nature” ambiguous such that it can refer to either the reguarities found in nature or the laws that describe the regularities?

As far as I understand it, there is a difference between prescriptive and descriptive laws. Unlike prescriptive laws which codify and enforce how things ought to be, descriptive laws describe how things are. Descriptive laws are discovered, while prescriptive laws are invented. Laws of nature are descriptive, not prescriptive, laws.



The problem is that the notion of "prescriptive law" seems to be ambiguous. In one sense it refers only to man-made laws like the law of trespass, or the law of negligence or criminal law. But the term is also applied to scientific laws which describe (or so as not to beg any questions) supposed to describe what are called, "causal necessities" such as that heating metal causes metal to expand. And here, the view is that the strict Humean view that such a statement describe only a regularity, namely that the heating of metal is regularly followed by the expansion of the metal, is too weak to describe the relation between the heating of the metal and the expansion of the metal. That although it it is true that the heating is regularly followed by the expansion, to say this is not enough to describe what is really going on. There is a sense in which the expansion not only does regularly follow the heating, but that it must do so. Not in the logical sense of "must" which is logical necessity, but in a different physical sense of "must" which is the "must" of physical necessity. It is not simply an accident or a coincidence that the expansion follows the heating, but a sense in which (in normal circumstances) the expansion must follow the heating. And this "must" is not merely something located in the mind where Hume located it as a kind of subjective expectation, but rather is something located in the world and is objective. It is really this ambiguity in the meaning of "prescriptive law" which comes to the forefront here. The law which is "prescriptive" is not in the sense of laws invented by man to keep order among men, but prescriptions discovered by scientists, between cause and effect.
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 07:18 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

Zetherin wrote:
Laws of nature are descriptive, not prescriptive, laws.
I just gave you the standard definition of determinism, from that definition it should be clear that laws of nature are not descriptions. There is disagreement among philosophers as to whether or not there are laws of nature, and if there are, what manner of thing they are. Think about it, how the hell could determinism make sense if it was a claim about descriptions?!?
So I guess it's important to focus on semantics. I'm usually too busy pondering the concepts to worry about what you call it.

Necessitarianism. That's what you call the most extreme denial of free will. It's not causal determinism because it doesn't address the issue of cause. It's the outcome of considering an objective view of actual events.

Prior to an event we imagine a nest of possibilities. Post event, there is only one actuality.

A causal determinist might imagine that given all the variables in a situation and knowing the undeniable structure of events in time and space, we could accurately predict the actuality that will follow. That seems reasonable. We obviously lack the ability gather all pertinent variables and to this date still lack a complete understanding of how one actual event comes into being. We don't know how moments in time are bound together.

What we do know is that meaning requires contiguity past to future. They say Einstein was fascinated that the ways of the universe are comprehensible. But if they weren't how would we know? We can only be aware of that which makes some sense.

And that is the foundation of the idea of physical law and cause.... that we are aware of meaning in events.

One view is that the mind itself is the organizer. The mind produces experience by placing "stuff" in a context of time and space and physical law. That's how we know about physical law.. it's coming from us. That's why we're so confident that we can predict the future.

Necessitarianism starts with recognition that a state of events exists now. It isn't possible that any part of the universal set of present events is meaningless... or rather... if there are meaningless events, there's no way we could be aware of it. So of the events that we experience, we can say they must be meaningful.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 07:53 pm
@kennethamy,
I'm not understanding where the ambiguity lies.

When scientists say that something must happen, in cases of physical necessity, what has this to do with prescriptive laws? Why do you say that what the scientist discovers is called a prescriptive, not descriptive, law? I'll reread, maybe I'm missing something.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 07:57 pm
@ughaibu,
What are laws of nature, then? Whether they exist or not is another issue, but what are you under the impression a law of nature is supposed to be? I thought laws of nature were descriptions of physical necessities in the world.
 
Night Ripper
 
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 08:05 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
What are laws of nature, then?


That depends on who you ask, a regularist or necessitarian. Most people mean laws in the necessitarian sense, that they are magical rules the universe must obey, must conform itself to. That's theology in disguise.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 08:09 pm
@Night Ripper,
Yes, I remember when you posted that article a few months ago (one regarding the regularist and necessitarian views of the laws of nature), and I have since researched the regularity theory in more depth. And, thus far, I believe I would call myself a regularist. Though, I am not entirely sure.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 08:56 pm
@Arjuna,
Arjuna wrote:
Necessitarianism. That's what you call the most extreme denial of free will.
Necessitarianism is a stance about laws of nature, it is not a stance about free will, it is not even a stance about determinism.
Arjuna wrote:
It's not causal determinism because it doesn't address the issue of cause.
Cause is independent of determinism: In most of what follows, I will speak simply of determinism, rather than of causal determinism. This follows recent philosophical practice of sharply distinguishing views and theories of what causation is from any conclusions about the success or failure of determinism (cf. Earman, 1986; an exception is Mellor 1994). For the most part this disengagement of the two concepts is appropriate. But as we will see later, the notion of cause/effect is not so easily disengaged from much of what matters to us about determinism.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/determinism-causal/
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 09:00 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
I thought laws of nature were descriptions of physical necessities in the world.
These are laws of science, and obviously laws of science are independent of determinism, because determinism is a metaphysical thesis, and the nature of the world doesn't change every time that scientists agree (if they do) about how to most effectively describe things.
 
north
 
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 09:26 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

Zetherin wrote:
I thought laws of nature were descriptions of physical necessities in the world.


Quote:
These are laws of science, and obviously laws of science are independent of determinism, because determinism is a metaphysical thesis, and the nature of the world doesn't change every time that scientists agree (if they do) about how to most effectively describe things.


so what then is the basis of the metaphysical thesis on determinism , if not based on science ? ( science being knowledge )
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 09:35 pm
@north,
north wrote:
so what then is the basis of the metaphysical thesis on determinism , if not based on science ? ( science being knowledge )
I dont know of any good reason to suppose that determinism is true.
 
north
 
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 09:46 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

north wrote:
so what then is the basis of the metaphysical thesis on determinism , if not based on science ? ( science being knowledge )
I dont know of any good reason to suppose that determinism is true.


neither do I

determinism is a sort of primitive point of view

I always go back to instinct

why ? because instinct is reactive , therefore determined , in thought and behavior , in the most essential primitivitism

understand me ?
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 10:04 pm
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 10:12 pm
Speaking in a Scientific approach on the actual facts that go on on your decision making... Wink


 
north
 
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 10:30 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

Speaking in a Scientific approach on the actual facts that go on on your decision making... Wink

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6S9OidmNZM[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQ4nwTTmcgs&feature=related[/youtube]


interesting

but this does NOT lead to determinism at all
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 10:54 pm

 
 

 
Copyright © 2020 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 11/28/2020 at 08:35:59