The Reality Report: Episode 120

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Episode 120

The fifth episode in a series discussing free will with Mark Taylor. We talk a little bit more about John Conway's "Game of Life" cellular automata, and the extent to which we can think of (fully deterministic) autonomous structures which emerge from it as having some sort of existence beyond mere blinking pixels. I talk about projection, based on "organismic bias", which leads Mark to then consider the difference between inanimate objects and living creatures. He suggests that we require a belief in our own free will in order to interact with the world around us. Sam Harris (incompatibilist) and Daniel Dennett (compatibilist) are invoked, particularly in relation to how ideas about free will should influence ethical and penal systems. The idea of treating everyone as "just a load of chemicals" brings us back to Life, where huge, intricate, self-regulating, emergent structures could be seen as "just a load of pixels", which appears to be missing the point. I then ask Mark about certain philosophers' suggestions that the issue of free will might be a "pseudoproblem".


Blogger Unknown said...

incompatible indeterminate...nuh problem

10 July 2018 at 01:58  

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