Defense of Freewill Against Determinism

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fast
 
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 08:12 am
Causal laws (and natural laws) were around long before there were people to make statements about them, and if we say that a causal law is a statement (or description) or that a natural law is a description (or a statement), then what we really mean (instead) is that causal laws (and natural laws) are not statements at all but rather what those statements are about.

This doesn’t explain why we continue to say that they’re statements and descriptions while we continue to believe that they’re not statements and descriptions but rather what those statements and descriptions are about, but it does make for an interesting discussion, even if it does show that some of us haven’t kept our eye on the ball –the original issue.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 08:16 am
@fast,
fast wrote:
This doesn’t explain why we continue to say that they’re statements and descriptions while we continue to believe that they’re not statements and descriptions but rather what those statements and descriptions are about
One employs charity and assumes that posters mean what they have written, particularly posters who congratulate themselves on making the relevant distinction. And, according to Kennethamy, determinism is a claim about statements.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 08:33 am
@fast,
fast wrote:

Causal laws (and natural laws) were around long before there were people to make statements about them, and if we say that a causal law is a statement (or description) or that a natural law is a description (or a statement), then what we really mean (instead) is that causal laws (and natural laws) are not statements at all but rather what those statements are about.

This doesn’t explain why we continue to say that they’re statements and descriptions while we continue to believe that they’re not statements and descriptions but rather what those statements and descriptions are about, but it does make for an interesting discussion, even if it does show that some of us haven’t kept our eye on the ball –the original issue.



Who is it who continues to say they that the laws themselves are the statements which describe those laws? I certainly have never done so. Those who do so (and I would not be surprised to know that there are some, since philosophers say all sorts of silly things) are simply confused. Again, no big surprise.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 08:36 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
fast wrote:
Causal laws (and natural laws)
Who is it who continues to say they that the laws themselves are the statements which describe those laws?
Okay, if causal laws aren't scientific laws employed in Hempelian explanations, and they aren't laws of nature, what are causal laws? This question is for both of you, as this seems to be your pet term.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 08:38 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

fast wrote:
This doesn’t explain why we continue to say that they’re statements and descriptions while we continue to believe that they’re not statements and descriptions but rather what those statements and descriptions are about
One employs charity and assumes that posters mean what they have written, particularly posters who congratulate themselves on making the relevant distinction. And, according to Kennethamy, determinism is a claim about statements.


I do wish you would point to where I say that, instead of just saying that I say that. The philosophical theory of determinism is, of course, like all theories, depicted in language. How else? But what the theory is about is not linguistic. Germ theory is also couched in language, but germs are not linguistic entities. Are you perhaps confusing what I say about the theory of determinism with determinism itself? I would not be a bit surprised if that were so.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 08:42 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
I do wish you would point to where I say that, instead of just saying that I say that.
Why? It's not a very interesting point:
kennethamy wrote:
ughaibu wrote:
What is a "causal law"?
It is a universal statement. . . .
Perhaps now we can proceed?
ughaibu wrote:

kennethamy wrote:
fast wrote:
Causal laws (and natural laws)
Who is it who continues to say they that the laws themselves are the statements which describe those laws?
Okay, if causal laws aren't scientific laws employed in Hempelian explanations, and they aren't laws of nature, what are causal laws? This question is for both of you, as this seems to be your pet term.
 
fast
 
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 08:58 am
A causal law is a universal regularity that is both non-accidentical and explainable.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 09:04 am
@fast,
fast wrote:
A causal law is a universal regularity that is both non-accidentical and explainable.
In that case, any notion of determinism based on causal laws is irrelevant to the free will debate. Ontological determinism is defined in terms of laws of nature, you appear to be talking about epistemological determinism.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 09:08 am
@fast,
fast wrote:

A causal law is a universal regularity that is both non-accidentical and explainable.


And let's add that causal laws can be described by descriptions of causal laws, shall we. And if someone slips and calls descriptions of causal laws, causal laws, we'll give them a break, and not pounce on them as long as we know what they mean. This all seems to me to be a tempest in a teapot.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 09:10 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

fast wrote:
A causal law is a universal regularity that is both non-accidentical and explainable.
In that case, any notion of determinism based on causal laws is irrelevant to the free will debate. Ontological determinism is defined in terms of laws of nature, you appear to be talking about epistemological determinism.


I certainly agree with that first sentence. It is what I have always argued. But I don't understand your reason, if you gave a reason. What is epistemological determinism? Predictability?
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 09:16 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
What is epistemological determinism?
http://books.google.com/books?id=fJbOpqNNKqwC&pg=PA335&lpg=PA335&dq=%22epistemological+determinism%22&source=bl&ots=gEQKtU8mEq&sig=eIwrQf7V4YY5cCVXrBdEQoaPg2M&hl=en&ei=jXdATIbXC87Rca7OsbMP&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CCcQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%22epistemological%20determinism%22&f=false
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 09:21 am
@ughaibu,


Oh, cut it out.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 09:23 am
@kennethamy,
Is this your way of saying that you cant be bothered clicking a link which addresses your question, and does so with far more patience than I have?
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 09:29 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
ughaibu wrote:
In that case, any notion of determinism based on causal laws is irrelevant to the free will debate.
I certainly agree with that first sentence. It is what I have always argued.
Then it should have been obvious to you that on these threads we are talking about ontological determinism, as we wouldn't be having these discussions about an irrelevant notion of determinism. And your continued attempts to introduce a notion of determinism, which even you recognise as irrelevant, has been one of the constant impediments to any progress, on these threads. One can not deal with the denial position by pointing out that it's irrelevant to an irrelevancy. If you're not prepared to discuss the matter, what on Earth are you doing on the thread?
 
fast
 
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 09:53 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
And let's add that causal laws can be described by descriptions of causal laws, shall we. And if someone slips and calls descriptions of causal laws, causal laws, we'll give them a break, and not pounce on them as long as we know what they mean. This all seems to me to be a tempest in a teapot.

That would be the charitable, and respectable, thing to do.

 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 01:47 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

kennethamy wrote:
ughaibu wrote:
In that case, any notion of determinism based on causal laws is irrelevant to the free will debate.
I certainly agree with that first sentence. It is what I have always argued.
Then it should have been obvious to you that on these threads we are talking about ontological determinism, as we wouldn't be having these discussions about an irrelevant notion of determinism. And your continued attempts to introduce a notion of determinism, which even you recognise as irrelevant, has been one of the constant impediments to any progress, on these threads. One can not deal with the denial position by pointing out that it's irrelevant to an irrelevancy. If you're not prepared to discuss the matter, what on Earth are you doing on the thread?


What irrelevant version is that? Anyway, since the philosophical theory of determinism is that every event has some cause sufficient to produce it (and that's as ontological as you can get) and since I agree that has nothing to do with freedom of the will, since freedom is not inconsistent with causation, I suppose there is some agreement between us.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 01:51 pm
@fast,
fast wrote:

kennethamy wrote:
And let's add that causal laws can be described by descriptions of causal laws, shall we. And if someone slips and calls descriptions of causal laws, causal laws, we'll give them a break, and not pounce on them as long as we know what they mean. This all seems to me to be a tempest in a teapot.

That would be the charitable, and respectable, thing to do.




Yes, I think so too. U. has some bee in his bonnet buzzing around, but I still cannot figure out what it is.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 02:17 pm
@fast,
I asked who here is. So by saying "Who isn't?", you mean that everyone in this thread is under that confusion?
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 02:31 pm
There's so much clarification that's needed in regards to what ughaibu is saying here. He may in fact be onto something, but I still can't make out what he means, even though I've reread all his posts from the last five pages. That said, I don't think we should ignore him. And I say this because there seems to be a bias against him due to some history between him and other members. But we must let that go and focus on the issues.

So, is there anyone that can rephrase or explain what ughaibu's point is? Ughaibu, I would ask you to explain again, but not only would that annoy you (justifiably), but it probably wouldn't do us any good.

I'm just not grasping why determinism has nothing to do with causality, even though almost every source I can find says it does. Perhaps I am just slow, and that is why I want you all to assist me!
 
fast
 
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 02:35 pm
@ughaibu,
Quote:
[A]t all times the world has a definite state, given the state of the world at any time, then the state of the world at all other times is exactly specified by the given state in conjunction with unchanging laws of nature.

Does this usage of "specified" have anything to do with causation, and if so, does it specifically exclude all kinds of causes with the exception of physical causes?

That question may come across as being out of left field, but I'm just trying to find a connection (loose as it might be) with the philisophical theory of determinism that does having something to do with events being caused--but not necessarily physically caused--unless an invitation for dinner is a physical cause for going out to eat.
 
 

 
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