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02/24/2012

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Thanks for sharing this, Thomas. Great read!

I enjoyed the interview but found one thing strange and that was the analogy of gasoline grades. We have these three grades that are dependent on definition but the one thing that we leave off is the idea of getting rid of the product altogether (this could save our energy problems as well, that is another matter). In other words, however we define and classify "free will," we are going to make sure we define it into existence, we are going to reproduce this term and concept in some way in normal social discourse; the idea of not doing so is taken off the table, imagining social discourse without the term is written out as a possibility. To me, that seems like the crux of Mele's structure instead of just a poor structure of the analogy.

It seems to me it is an inability to imagine social discourse and language and conceptions without the term; to imagine an analysis of human behavior where we simply leave off this muddled conception and find that we have still analyzed human behavior in all the important ways, that nothing is missing. Of course some of those important ways will line up with how some people were using the term to begin with, but nothing is necessarily lost in the transition into a clearer discourse.

We can imagine Genius Plato over here has just told us everything about the structure of human beings and their behaviors and their decisions that could possibly be known without ever uttering the term "free will." And some woman on the street walks up and says "Oh, so we do have free will after all." Genius Plato naturally responds, "Well . . . I stopped trying to clarify an answer to that long ago, I just told you everything you possibly could want to know, what more do you want?" Apparently an analysis of how society uses the term "free will", which for this term . . .

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