A free will, a relatively free will, or an unfree will?

Free will = power + love.
All good beings have it.

Lezama Lima, author of Paradiso, for instance among Surrealists and Dadaists consider Finnegan’s Wake not English but a lingual dialect not to confound the reader but to illuminate by primordial commonality of all tongues.’

The hebrephenic quality may be a purposeful attempt to draw on this idea by Joyce.

‘From Neobaroque to Modern’, Lezana Limo

At this, point a charge of derailing an interesting forum must be countered, and re-associating this detour de force may be called for.

How is the question of the freedom of the will related to dis-associative linguistic interpretation? TYhe point of increasing irrelevance can not be avoided by most , not aware of the importance of Finnigan’s Wake, by some, considred the most valuable book of the 20th century’s modernism. How does this fair with intelligebility, literality?

To James, i think icould say with faire confidence, that it is mini,ally illustrative of the definitional analysis of meaning theory. The Hermaunatic
quality trumps the one expoused by literal sigification of meaning, inter alia. The need to fill in missing elements is working along with the communicator to get the idea across, a challenge increasingly requisite, in theis new brave world of multi ethnic, lingual challenges. The idea to expect a linear, straight one dimensional, analytic of logical expression, does not coincide well with the world of broken aphorisms, mirrored and re-reflected visions of a new evolving aesthetic. Meaning has to be willed as at once constrained by the reciver’s expectation,
as well as his participation of interpretation. The will is bound to respect the nature and capacity of the receiver-reader. A universal capacity needs to be considered as the most likely interpretation, while at the same time trying to satisfy the most esoteric and unique point of view.

Schopenhauer’s Wille (will) is Kant’s Ding an sich (thing in itself / thing as such).

The German existentialism as Heidegger’s Existenzphilosophie (existential philosophy) was the basis for the French; when Sartre started his philosophical career he was a Heideggerian, thus a scholar of the German existentialism as Heidegger’s Existenzphilosophie (existential philosophy); and when the WW2 was over (!) Sartre became more and more communistic, because it was opportune (!) at that time. Sartre failed at last.

There is no reason for being so pessimistic, Orbie. And by the way: relatively free will means both detmerminism and indeterminism. So the human life is not as much determined as you think. It is determined by causality - of course (!) - but not by spirituality (thinking etc.). The indetermination is an island in the infinte ocean of the determination.

It is not true that the will can no longer be a representation, and the lobby of the deconstructivists is not capable of changing this fact. The deconstructivism is just another expression of the nihilism.

There is fate (destiny), of course, but there is chance (opportunity) too. There is determination, of course, but there is indetermination too.


The reader may kick or kiss the writer … but should never work with the writer.

Yes. One could also say: “as a result of the nihilism”, because it has to do with culture, especially with the civilisation of a culture.

Please explain that sentence, because I don’t konw why you used the term “anti psychiatry” in it.

What duality do you mean?

Probably not - at least not as fast as it is wished-for - into “the lightness of new art forms”. What do you think?

With good reason.

Let’s have a first interim result for the question: “Do human beings have a free will, a relatively free will, or an unfree will?”:

Free will: 1 => 17%.
Relatively free wil: 4 => 67%.
Unfree will: 1 => 17%.

Please vote!

I can’t think of a use of the word ‘free’ in ordinary speech that doesn’t immediately convey a contextual meaning which is indisputable amoung the people who hear the word used.

A philosophical use, on the other hand, always raises a dispute over the meaning of the word… because it is put to a strange use.

Take the statements: He is free to walk. He has some free time. Are you free Friday? I was free of remorse. They moved about freely. Those tickets are free. It is the freedom of the press. We want to be free. Etc.

In any of these instances we don’t need to digress into defining what the word ‘free’ means in order to understand its use, in order to use the information of the statement in association with the context it is in and make it meaningful.

Now take the statements: He has free will. Consciousness is radically free. The mind is free of causation. His coices are free. Etc.

In the first and second the word is used as a characteristic of something that can’t have that characteristic, namely, a ‘will’ or a ‘consciousness’.

Can you exchange the word ‘will’ and ‘consiousness’ with any of the pronouns used in the first instances above, and still give the uses of the word the same immediacy of meaning?

Can you create an example and act out an instance of a ‘free will’ or a ‘free consciousness’?

So you walk around and raise your left arm… to demonstrate. But what is the difference between the interpretation of that act as a case of one of the first instances, and as a case of the second? There is no difference; the ‘will is free’ is an event that is indistinguishable from ‘he is free to walk’. The anthropomorphization of the ‘will’ in such a statement is superfluous because the meaning is rooted in the immediacy of human behavior anyway.

The comprehension of what we call the ‘will’ is a result of that accidental self awareness that occurred in man that originated the feeling of subjectivity. Self awareness, this is ‘me’ and that is the world… naturally results in a false division between the event and the awareness of the event. Man experiences himself as doing things and that experience creates the feeling of being separate from that doing or that deed. The concept of the subject originates as a contingency to that five millisecond rule, you might say. The feeling of being in control of one’s actions leads him to believe he possesses something ‘free’ of causality, and he calls this center his transcendent ‘will’.

Now he talks about it philosophically, wondering if this ‘will’ is some stuff or some kind of thing. He gives this will characteristics like ‘brave’, or ‘broken’ or ‘strong’ or ‘determined’ or ‘ambitious’, etc. He calls it a ‘process’ or an ‘organization’.

In this thread it is necessary to use the most comprehensive and strongest meaning of the word “free”. The reason is just the biggest possible avoidance of the use of the word “free” in ordinary speech - in order to get a philosophical result, if it is possible, and I think that it is possible.

May I have an example?

Actually, the most comprehensive and strongest meaning of “free” are not only not the same thing, they are both not our optimal choices. The most comprehensive definition would be the one including and/or incorporating the most possible definitions of “free,” which would make it an actually flimsy definition. The strongest meaning of the word 'free" would denote complete freedom, something we know no human possesses. So, it is best you or somebody else express your definition of the word and the rest of us can decide whether it is applicable or not.

Yes, you may. :slight_smile:

Imagine you have the will to be free from causality. To be free from causality is impossible. Imagine a child in the phase that Freud called the “Trotzphase” (“defiant phase”), thus a child between two and four years old; many adults are of the opinion that such a child would do anything what the strong will of this child wants to do, if the parents allowed it; but the truth is that, if the parents allowed everything, the will of this child would at last fail because of the causality (perhaps this child would fall into a fountain, hit by a car, straving to death, … and os on). Or imagine those adult humans who are destroying our planet. One can have the impression that they do what they want / what they will. But they are going to be stopped by nature itself, by causality.

The most comprehensive and strongest meaning of the word “free” and the most comprehensive and strongest meaning of the word “unfree” give us the sure hint that the will can merely be a relatively free will.

joelvelasco.net/teaching/hum9/va … eewill.pdf

As far as a short essay on what the freewill/determinism debate is about… this one will give you the most for your money in the shortest words possible.

Being unable to avoid falling off a cliff does not necessarily mean one doesn’t have freewill, if by freewill we mean: the ability to make a choice, not whether or not one has choice. There is a difference.

Inwagen puts it nicely: if I am in a room and unaware that the door is locked, it may be that I make a choice to stay in the room even though I have no choice about whether to stay in the room.

Analogous to this is our relationship to causality. The things we don’t know we can’t and won’t be able to do are irrelevant to whether or not we are practicing ‘freewill’ when we make choices. I’m not saying we are… only that your example or ‘proof’ that there is no freewill because of causality is really missing this point.

The complete freedom is impossible, and I used the example of the causality to make that clear. No living being, thus also no human being, is free from causality. If humans were free from causality, then they would live as they want (=> will) to live, or, for example, remain young, never be ill, never die, … and so on, thus they would live in a so-called “paradise” with no causality or a causality that depends on huamn beings.

Humans are relatively free when they make choices. Some choices show (them often afterwards) that humans are unfree, many choices show (them often afterwards) that humans are relatively unfree / relatively free, and some choices show (them often afterwards) that hmans are free. A free will is not possible; an unfree will can be disproved by living beings, especially - and in a relatively high degree - by human beings; so the conclusion for human beings can merely be that they have a relatively free will.

I think we are agreeing but I can’t be sure.

You can put a nice spin on this by granting for the sake of argument the reverse of this; that all human beings are free from causality.

Supposing this were true, it would also mean that the world was entirely indeterminate in a causal sense as well. Since because human beings, their bodies and their actions, interact physically with the world, supposing that these things aren’t causally interacting with the world is the same as saying inanimate objects don’t interact causally, either. There is no fundamental difference between the movement of a rock and the movement of a human being. And, the fact that the command ‘lift arm’ precedes conscious effort to lift the arm, every time, the relation and contiguity of ideas is the same as the relation and contiguity of bodies. The thought is part of the ‘set’ of actions.

But the spin makes a redundancy. Either pure indeterminacy means every event just happens to spontaneously occur without any relationship to the events around it, and everything is free…or, pure determinism doesn’t prevent the possibility of freewill in the phenomenological sense of its being an operating illusion that comes with self awareness. Imagine how different experience would be like if we weren’t capable of feeling like we are making free choices. There would be a fundamental change in everything structuring experience.

The capacity of the body to act increases its awareness and its power or control over its movement. That operating feeling and coordinating effort of being in ‘command’ of one’s body and thoughts… that is the extent of the capacity to make choices even when one doesn’t have them.

The feeling of freewill comes with the package and is an indispensable part of the program. If it doesn’t really exist, the illusion would still be working for intelligent, self aware beings like ourselves.

So, in either case, to be what we are is to necessarily involve the feeling of freewill; essentially, the capacity to control movement, coordinate effort and direct actions and/or thoughts.

When we act intentionally we are engaged in that Sartrean intention/act/end ensemble that is a movement toward a future state which doesn’t yet exist and in some weird French phenomenological existentialistic way all this transcends causality… precedes causality, as it were.

Existence, or in our case, active, goal oriented behavior, precedes our essence and can’t be called truly determined. Or determined, but not observably so… which kinda makes it irrelevant in practice, anyway.

The child’s “free will” here still isn’t “unchecked,” even if it is left to roam free by the child’s parents. His will is still dictated by genetic predisposition, hunger, thirst, fear, desire, and demanding bodily functions. Since a true free will would be unhindered by such burdens, the child doesn’t need parental control to check his fully free will.

This is neither particularly comprehensive nor particularly strong. All degrees of will are “relatively free” so that definition tells us nothing about how free somebody’s free will.

Analogously that sounds as if driving a car makes you do what the car does. It degrades gets old and stops working [age, illness], and yet you wouldn’t say that the driver is affected by any of that.

Ontology; There must be degrees to causality where there are degrees of separation.
Ontology; there must be choices where there is more than one causal line.

Again, this really tells us nothing. All it says is we do not have the two extremes of “free will” and “unfree will” and all we have left is what is in between…which is pretty much every type of “relatively free will” we can have. If we really want to analyze how “free” our wills can be, as well as the possible variations, we need to do better than the all-inclusive “relatively free will.”

Are there any compatibilists in this thread? All compatibilists raise your hand.


And I think that “relatively free” is relatively compatible with compatiblist (actually the same thing).

But where is the arguing and hatred in that? :confused:

So relatively free means, for you, being at least able to act according to one’s motives, but not necessarily being able to choose one’s motives? This is the typical Humean compatibilism.

Or do you have some kind of immanent or transeunt agent causation in mind… so that Joe can be said to be acting on his brain when his brain makes his arm move? If not, wouldn’t hard determinism be the only other option?