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  1. #1

    Default Free will and free wont?

    I've been reading about advances in neuroscience and theorising about free will/autonomy and determinism. There have been experiments conducted and a lot of research into decision making as influenced by neurological patterns and performance.

    The neurological basis of decision making could give information permitting prediction of behaviour to almost absolute certainty, so this has given some cause for concern that the information which will be available will make human behaviour so predictable as to undermine free will or permit engineering of particular choices.

    On the upside of this there has been some suggestions that this information will instead of simply undermining freedom of agency will permit the development as a "free wont", that is that understanding of human beings as mechanisms that greater control can be exercised to prevent certain sorts of harmful behaviours, either ourselves or others, such as the smaller populations of chronic sexual or criminal offenders.

    What do you think? Is it too sinister?

  2. #2
    Senior Member The Great One's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I've been reading about advances in neuroscience and theorising about free will/autonomy and determinism. There have been experiments conducted and a lot of research into decision making as influenced by neurological patterns and performance.

    The neurological basis of decision making could give information permitting prediction of behaviour to almost absolute certainty, so this has given some cause for concern that the information which will be available will make human behaviour so predictable as to undermine free will or permit engineering of particular choices.

    On the upside of this there has been some suggestions that this information will instead of simply undermining freedom of agency will permit the development as a "free wont", that is that understanding of human beings as mechanisms that greater control can be exercised to prevent certain sorts of harmful behaviours, either ourselves or others, such as the smaller populations of chronic sexual or criminal offenders.

    What do you think? Is it too sinister?
    There's so many variables in psychology: personality, culture, religion, personal experience, etc. I would think that it would be very hard to come up with one "perfect system" that would completely nail down psychology and be able to predict human behavior every time perfectly with pin-point accuracy. I think MBTI and enneagram are pretty damn good, but they can never be 100% perfect every time.

  3. #3
    facettes de la petite mor Words of Ivory's Avatar
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    I think it will be never be possible to "predict behaviour to almost absolute certainty". Why? Because we humans are far more random and impulsive than we'd often like to admit.

    That said, social engineering is already a fairly well defined process, and it is consistently successful. It can only go so far though.

    I'd be interested in seeing some of this research.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    "Life calls out the meaning of pure jubilance,
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    Senior Member The Great One's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Words of Ivory View Post
    I think it will be never be possible to "predict behaviour to almost absolute certainty". Why? Because we humans are far more random and impulsive than we'd often like to admit.

    That said, social engineering is already a fairly well defined process, and it is consistently successful. It can only go so far though.

    I'd be interested in seeing some of this research.
    As would I, @Lark do you think that you could provide us with some links to this information?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Great One View Post
    As would I, @Lark do you think that you could provide us with some links to this information?
    The original research is all academic journal papers, although I've been reading a couple of books, predictable irrationality, the upside of irrationality, those are both by the same author and I was listening to a philosophy bites podcast on the topic of neuroscience and free will when I wrote that.

    The commentator on the podcast, philosophy bites is usually an interview with a different perspective or topic each time, was a neuroscientist but said that free will wasnt under threat for a number of reasons but mainly, from what I could tell, because it wasnt an exact science yet. Although the commentator and interviewer were both coming from the "free wont" angle anyway, in so far that it could result in a much more deterministic development of human beings and manipulation of choices but provided individuals were using it to exercise greater control and be less prone to the brain's autopiloting through affect or impulse wasnt it all good?

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    The only free man is one guided by pure reason, determined into action by his own will rather than being controlled by external causes.

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