5 responses to “Free will is the new god.

  1. ‘There is no evidence for free will’?

    What about all the evidence that conscious thoughts do affect behaviour? Such as this paper by Baumeister et al:


    I saw John Bargh, the pioneer of automaticity, introduce Baumeister at the SPSP this year, and basically agree with this paper.

    • Adam K. Fetterman

      “‘There is no evidence for free will’? ”
      I did not indicate that there wasn’t. That is a quote from Jerry Coyne. However, I have not found any “convincing” evidence myself.

      While I’m familiar with a LOT of Baumeister’s work, I have not read that one, so I can’t speak to it directly. I will read it shortly though. Unfortunately, I missed when Bargh introduced him, I was at a different symposium, so I can’t speak to what he said. I’m guessing it was nuanced, depending on the framing of the paper you indicate and what other people have told me.

  2. Adam K. Fetterman

    I was unable to get access to the Baumeister paper you linked. What I gleaned from the abstract is that he and his authors assert that all human behavior is the function of an interaction of conscious and unconscious processes. Perhaps. However, even given this assumption, if all behavior has unconscious (determined?) elements, then it cannot be “free” will.

  3. Adam K. Fetterman

    Also, I don’t equate consciousness with free will or unconsciousness with determinism. I would be more likely to think consciousness and unconsciousness are both parts of determinism.

  4. The conception of free will is logically incoherent. And such logical incoherency stems a much farther reach that physicalism. Free will is logically impossible in both a deterministic universe or an indeterministic universe. It is also logically impossible for any nonphysical systems postulated. The causal/acausal dichotomy logically stems to any system that has events.

    ‘Trick Slattery

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