d63 wrote:I think one of the problems here is that we keep speaking in terms of “Free Will”. The problem is that given the discoveries of neuroscience, we have no choice but to admit that the biological infrastructure plays a major role in the actions of consciousness.
However, all hope is not lost if we think of it in terms, rather, of participation. It may well be that chaotics are the last bastion of hope for a PARTICIPTING self in that the self may be a cumulative effect, or emergent property, of the different aspects of the physiological infrastructure that, through a kind of momentum, becomes more than the sum of its parts and engages in a non-linear feedback loop between it, the physiological infrastructure, and the environment. The question isn’t whether Free Will exists in any pure sense. It’s one of whether consciousness, as we experience it every moment of our lives, participates, or if it is just some kind of free rider and illusion.
I also think what may play a role in this is something gotten at by Sartre, beginning with Transcendence of the Ego and further developed up into Being and Nothingness. What may well play a role in the coherence and consistency of our experience of self is that, as a consciousness, we are a something that emerges out of nothingness into something. We are always a point at some point between point A and point B. And as this emergence, we are always a particular point in space and time.
To give you an idea of what I’m getting at: in the movie The Sixth Day, the antagonists, after being killed, were repeatedly cloned and the clones were implanted with their own memories up till that time. Now for all practical purposes, this would seem to be a science based reincarnation of the individual, of bringing back the dead. But I would argue that this is not so certain since there would a disruption in the perceiving thing: that particular point in space in time.
Now you take this and the notion of the self as emergent property engaged in a non-linear feedback loop with the non-conscious objects that surround it, both out and in, and I think you have a reasonable model for the nature of consciousness and a participating self.
d63 wrote:Causa Sui, as pleasant as the word may feel to repeat, is really beside the point -in fact, not necessary. All that is required is for numerous variables to come together, become more than the sum of those variables, and participate in conscious acts. None of it has to be self causing. It only has to break free, to some extent or other, of the causal relationships that led to it. It may well be the product of systems described by complexity theory. In fact, there is every reason to believe that the self (the participating one) may be fractal in nature.
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