Galen Strawson describing his four level view of free will, ends up describing it as a proof of a problem between free-will and determinism, whereas it is the solution IMHO.
- If I am responsible for my decisions and actions, then that responsibility is somehow related to what I am, the set of resources available to me to make my decision.
- But if that’s the case then I need to have responsibility for what I am. (Because, if what I am were purely pre-determined or randomly defined externally, then that external decided resource would be the basis of any decision I make. I couldn’t be held responsible for either me or my decisions.)
- But if I am taking responsibility for what I am, I must have previously been making decisions towards being / becoming what I am (and knowing what I should need to be).
- But if that’s the case …. those decisions were based on what I am (was) … etc.
Sounds like infinite regress – well Duh ! Yes, but no.
It’s a Hofstadter strange-loop, a generator, iterating on each cycle, the very basis of evolving morality, evolving anything. Freedom evolves to give us elbow room as Dennett puts it.
All the usual stuff – Libet et al. Actually, not a bad edition of In our Time, the panel coming down on the idea that free-will is NOT incompatible with determinism. They are both real. There is a “wholist” holistic view needed of the person making any decision – whole of physiology and system physiognomy (including whole of nervous system, endocrine, etc …), and whole of evolved life, both species and individual “mind”. No homunculus or ghost-in-the-machine representing my mind, just the whole me.
Frustrating that Melvin never seems to join up the dots or gets past the naive stance of either / or. Getting there, though.