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Mental Causality and human free will Juleon Schins Delft University of Technology The Netherlands.

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Presentation on theme: "Mental Causality and human free will Juleon Schins Delft University of Technology The Netherlands."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mental Causality and human free will Juleon Schins Delft University of Technology The Netherlands

2 Intuitive conditions for free will 1. There must exist a personal self capable of determining originally the future evolution of a material body 2. This original determination should not conflict with physical laws

3 Standard argument against free will Criticism: how can a neurologist exclude that one is measuring the conscious experience of having acted? Electrodes measuring action respond before electrodes measuring ones conscious experience of willing that action

4 Classical causality

5 Modern causality ? Straightforward philosophical interpretation of quantum impredictability: causality is (i) transcendent and (ii) hylemorphic Quantum mechanics marks the end of phenomenic causality

6 Quantum-hylemorphic causality choice physical laws material reality

7 Positive evidence in favour of a non- material self, source of mental causality The moral judgement The intentional judgement The mathematical judgement

8 Economical policy: free market versus government interference Political organisation: federation versus union, direct versus indirect elections Religion: no god, one god, many gods Philosophy: the world exists (not), the world is (not) knowable Evolutionary diversification

9 The moral judgement Every biologically normal human judges that (s)he has absolute personal rights This claim of personal rights is verifiably universal This claim has no added value for evolutionary survival Darwinism (variation and selection are sufficient principles for the birth and diversification of all life) is not able to account for the universality of this claim

10 The mathematical judgement Kurt Gödel proved in 1931 that (i) derivation (or procedure) and truth judgement are fundamentally different concepts: A B (ii) every consistent axiomatic system contains true but undecidable statements (not derivable from the axioms) Ergo: mathematical truth is not an intrinsic property of axiomatic systems, but a transcendent one

11 The mathematical judgement All humans can (if they wish) understand Gödels argument The human mathematical truth judgement is not processive (deductive) Deductive causality = material causality = physical lawfulness The human mathematical truth judgement has a non-material origin

12 The intentional judgement First order intentionality: the ability to have intentions Second order intentionality: the ability to conceive that others have intentions Third order intentionality: the ability to conceive that others conceive that thirds have intentions

13 n th order intentionality Peter knows that John knows that Angie knows that Clara knows… … that Jack tries to get hold of mums legacy

14 Past time (millions of years) 7006005004003002001000 1 2 3 4 Order of intentionality chimpanzees primates mammals birds reptiles amphibians fish insects plants bacteria humans ? ?

15 Non-quantitative lawfulness The three mentioned judgements (moral, mathematical, intentional) are not examples of human behaviour conflicting with physical laws, but examples of behaviour that cannot be explained by them Yet the regularity, the universality displayed by these examples points to a non-quantitative law, describing its proper object (by definition non- material)

16 Conclusion We have seen that a principle is operative in nature that cannot be described by quantitative laws this principle is the causal source of moral, intentional, and mathematical judgments Does this prove mental causality? Yes. Does mental causality prove free will? No. However, it satisfies all the philosophical conditions for free will


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