Monday, November 14, 2022

Sean Carroll on Whether Free Will Violates the Law (the laws of physics, that is)

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Behavior, Brain, History of Science, Nature of Science

Ed Hessler

In the description for Sean Carroll's discussion of free will, the two positions many scientists and philosophers of science take is laid out in the following way.

"Debates about the existence of free will have traditionally been fought by two competing camps: those who believe in free will and those who don’t because they believe the Universe is deterministic. "Determinism is the thesis that every event — from when a volcano erupts to what cereal you buy at the supermarket — is a theoretically predictable result of the long chain of events that came before it. Free will, it was long thought, cannot exist in a world where all events are already causally determined.

"But free will and determinism aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.

I don't read a lot about free will/determinism but it is easy to find debates and positions on the Web but enough to know that being a compatibilist is often used as evidence of some missing/unused/denied reasoning power in light of the evidence. In those circles Dr. Carroll I've seen him described as one.

In a short Big Think video (6 m 43 s) Carroll discusses free will vs. determinism, determinism, the biggest mistake in the free will debate, libertarian free will, compatibilist free will, objection to compatibilism, and the experience of free will. 

The discussion may be viewed here where there is a link to the video transcript, below that a short bio of Dr. Sean Carroll, and links to more Big Think stories on free will. You might want to scan the comments, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment