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David Brown


Registered: May 2009
Posts: 176

Philosophy of free will: Ludwik Fleck versus Wolfram versus traditional monotheism

I [Yahweh] have set before you life and death, blessing and curse: therefore choose life. – Deuteronomy 30:19
The notion of truth in its classical significance, as a value independent of the subject of cognition and of social forces, compels one to accept truth as an unobtainable ideal, and the history of science teaches us besides that we do not approach that ideal even asymptotically, for the development of science is not unidirectional and does not consist only in accumulating new pieces of evidence, but also in overthrowing the old ones. Thus classical theories of cognition ought to distinguish between: (1) the ideal, unobtainable truth, (2) the official ‘truths’ which ‘should’ somehow approach it, (3) illusions and mistakes. – Ludwik Fleck
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwik_Fleck .
For centuries there has been a debate about how apparent free will can be consistent with underlying laws in the universe. The phenomenon of computational irreducibility described in “A New Kind of Science” finally provides a scientifically based resolution of this apparent dichotomy. – Stephen Wolfram, “Quick takes on some ideas and discoveries in A New Kind of Science”
See http://www.wolframscience.com/refer...uick_takes.html .
The belief in free will is fundamental to Judaism, as are the concepts of reward and punishment based on ethical conduct.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will .
Is determinism true in terms of physics? Does free will exist as an agency apart from causality and randomness? Does the concept of free will have somewhat different meanings in theology, legal philosophy, and medical philosophy? What do the two words “free will” mean in terms of medicine? Is free will an emotional feeling or a philosophical question? Are many of the philosophical issues discussed by Kant highly relevant to medicine and biology?
What can I know? What ought I to do? What may I hope? – Immanuel Kant
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immanuel_Kant .
Make your own bible. – Emerson
Hypothesis 1. Among birds and mammals, free will is an emotional feeling of freedom with empowerment that acts a motivator, a spiritual strengthening, and a placebo cure.
Hypothesis 2. For a sick or injured patient, the patient’s free will in coping and in striving for recovery is important and sometimes essential.
Hypothesis 3. The theological tenet that free will is a gift from God has a counterpart in spiritual and placebo mechanisms within the human brain. These mechanisms promote a person’s feeling of freedom, empowerment, and inner security when the person uses belief in God or Higher Power to make choices, to perform actions, and to strive for improvements.
Is God a false hypothesis in physical science and a true hypothesis in placebo science? Is free will a concept more like transcendent love than thermodynamic reversibility? Are God and free will often a matter of politics?
Everything is politics. – Thomas Mann
Money is the mother’s milk of politics. – Jesse Unruh
Hell is Truth Seen Too Late. – Thomas Hobbes
We are very near to the time when no essential function will lack an artificial counterpart. – Hans Moravec
Are professional experts overly optimistic when their monetary gain requires optimism and overly silent when speaking up speaks against their monetary gain? Does every profession have its political club? Does politics protect and promote monetary power? Does money buy political power? Do astrologers have a tendency to promote astrology and to create jobs for astrologers?
Every thought-collective considers that the people who do not belong to it are incompetent. Practical applicability is not a touchstone, for due to the harmony of illusions even a false view is applicable. – Ludwik Fleck
In legal matters, do judges and lawyers define the concept of “free will”? Is free will a question of money and political power more than a question of science and philosophy?
To Thales the primary question is not what do we know but how do we know it. – Aristotle
In order to analyze the problem of free will, do we first need to agree on the meanings of causality, randomness, consciousness, volition, and the emotional feeling of freedom? Do we need to become experts on linguistics, psychology, anthropology, physics, and molecular neuroscience before we decide upon a scientific resolution of the problem of free will?
Do many people believe in free will, immortal souls, and God because they find such beliefs emotionally satisfying? Without free will, what would be the rational basis for praise, blame, and legal punishment? Without an immortal soul, how could a person’s life have a meaning that satisfies human hope beyond time and material decay? Without a belief in God, how could a person find a guarantee of virtue, justice, and hope for meaning in human life? Is free will much more a question of placebo than a question of philosophy? Is medicine a mixture of the natural sciences with ethics, economics, philosophy, and theological notions of God and free will?
Along with natural sciences, medical thinking recognizes causal relations … . We admit causal relationships, but the result is never proportional to the cause, nor is it always the same. … One cannot deduce anything in medicine, since an antagonistic reaction may occur. – Ludwik Fleck

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