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06/04/2015

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Also, Neil, you're ignoring my argument that the "polling data" does not support what you think it does. I have made prediction about a mouse being in my bedroom (libertarianism in the brain), and all your polling data is based on observations taken outside of the bedroom (physics in the world outside of the brain). My point all along is that your polling data has nothing to do with the hypothesis in question. You cannot cogently derive inductive conclusions about physics in the brain from measurements without.

Marcus, I don't *call* these events luck: I have an *account* of luck, which doesn't require that lucky events be random. Indeed, a lucky event can have a probability of 1, on my account. Again, my account is completely agnostic on the physics - I'm just not in the business of offering an interpretation of (these) physical phenomena - which is why I am not adding epicycles to it when I say that I can embrace your physics.

I think we're talking past each other, and I think we can both see that's it's not productive. I will bow out now: plenty of things in Gregg's paper to talk about.

Neil: I'll bow out too, but add that I think how compelling your account of luck is will depend on empirical facts. Anti-relativists had accounts of space and time. They just didn't look plausible given the facts.

Anyone want to talk about my paper now (only joking ;)?

Paul, you write: "Your paper raises objections to utilitarian deterrence theory. Those cut no ice against a negative-retributivist deterrence approach, which requires responsibility for punishment, and limits the amount of punishment to the lesser of (a) what is proportional to that responsibility, or (b) what is required for (b1) deterrence and/or (b2) justice among crime:punishment correspondences."

To the extent such account get their justification for punishment from the notion of basic desert and are backwards-looking, they are incompatible with free will skepticism. My comments about utilitarian deterrence theories were not meant to address them since they were already excluded. While your (b1) is forwards-looking and therefore consistent with free will skepticism (but not my preferred way of justifying and determining sanctions), (a) is inconsistent with the rejection of basic desert moral responsibility and so too many be (b2) (although I'm not exactly sure what b2 means)

Marcus, I tried earlier to suggest that quantum involvement with bio-systems are indeed consistent with types of phenomena that are replicated at those system levels as credibly beneficial to those systems. But that is not adequate for supporting the thesis that quantum involvement with particular tokens of mental phenomena yields (i) rational control and (ii) noncausal grounds of control in which (i) and (ii) are control-related. And, it is insufficient to describe brain/mental processes as of a type that might be taken to be descriptively rational and at the same time indeterministic--that correlation is insufficient to show that there is any meaningful relationship between them even if they are constantly conjoined. (Evolution might just have jokingly associated the two for all we know.) And even if we could show such type-and-token correlations in that way, they would only be significant if we could show correlated divergences from that as well--types and tokens of brain/mental behavior that lacked rational control *and* indeterminism. Otherwise no asymmetric free will claim could be made at all: rational and non-rational behavior would be equally correlated with indeterminism. This is just another more tortured way to state the metaphysical basis for my zombie argument btw.

So: what is the control that is both non-causal and only rational? This is the classic bugbear for libertarianism, and frankly using privileged realms for its defense--brains or mousy rooms--seems strained in its strategy at best, or another warehousing for anthropomorphism at worst.

That said, I think your bid to think "out of the box" and creatively makes us all a bit better just from the challenge, no matter who's right.

There is "pubic health" in the html version - I'm afraid I haven't checked the PDF. I'm also curious where your ethical principle of respect for autonomy fits in with, for example, Mele's thoughts about autonomy and free will under libertarianism and compatibilism. If autonomy requires full MR, should we respect it? The other ethical argument about autonomy is in those cases where a criminal has pushed for an "ordinary" prison sentence as opposed to indefinite quarantine at the pleasure of the treating psychiatrists.

Hi David, thanks for your comments. The kind of autonomy I am discussing in my paper has more to do with liberty and freedom from constraint and/or paternalistic measures. Free will skepticism is perfectly consistent with such autonomy. (BTW, free will skepticism is also consistent with the kind of autonomy discussed by compatibilists--we just deny that it is enough to justify basic desert moral responsibility.)

Izzy and Alan: I'm going to bow out now out of respect to Gregg. But let me quickly address some of your concerns.

Neuroscientists have studied the impact of quantum mechanics on cognition a little bit, but not much--and while many still doubt whether QM has any measurable effects on cognition, this is rapidly changing. As I explain below, there is a great deal of cutting edge work that suggests that QM *does* play critics roles in cognition. Indeed, if you think about for just a moment, it would be astounding if the brain did not harness quantum effects. Computer scientists are looking to develop quantum computing precisely because it *vastly* increases processing power. Given the the spectacular things the brain accomplishes, it would be very surprising if evolution *didn't* into this incredible reservoir of processing power.

In any case, there is actually a lot of emerging research that QM may have very important effects on cognition, explaining (1) certain normal patterns of human reasoning, (2) the human ability to outperform computers on certain types of tasks, and (3) distinctly human patterns of irrationality. Here are just a few works to this effect off the top of my head:

Http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00138/abstract

Http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3990050

Http://www.socsci.uci.edu/~jstruebl/papers/Trueblood_CogSci2014.pdf

Http://www.insidescience.org/content/quantum-math-could-explain-irrational-reasoning/1961

Finally, and I cannot emphasize this enough, my own model does not identify free will with quantum effects per se. On the contrary, my model explains normal, merely chancy quantum phenomena as the result of peer-to-peer networking in a higher reference frame. This purely chancy indeterminacy is not free will, but rather a part of our universe's physical "code". Libertarian free will on my account is *non*-random indeterminacy nested within normal indeterminacy that cannot be predicted by *any* equation or probability function, which is precisely why I say (in response to Neil) it is not luck: it is non-random choice relative to each individual emerging from consciousness reading the holographic, peer-to-peer networked code of the universe ex nihilo.

Gregg,
Thanks for your comments. A quick explanation of (b2) by examples: if the penalty for murder is 25 years in prison, the penalty for attempted murder shouldn't be 30. If the penalty for grand theft auto is 5 years, the penalty for stealing a multi-billion dollar pension fund shouldn't be a mere fine. Even if, for whatever reason, it turned out to that small penalties very effectively deter the greater crime from each pair, while large penalties barely deter the lesser crime.

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