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Peter Tse
Hanover NH USA
Prof. of Cognitive Neuroscience at Dartmouth
Recent Activity
That was my last post as December’s Flickers guest. I want to thank everyone for having me here, especially Thomas. I realize a lot of people were away for the holidays, so I will continue to check for and answer comments on my existing posts in January. I had hoped... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
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Ideas can drive people to reshape the world. Philosophy has played a crucial role throughout history in shaping the ideas that can reshape the world. This is as true now as it ever was, although it may seem that some philosophers in recent decades have taken refuge in purely academic... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
What makes a human capable of evil and a tiger not? Imagine that both a man and a tiger intend to kill one sister each. Say they are the uncle and pet, respectively, of identical twins. Let’s assume, after the killings, that both could have done otherwise in a metaphysically... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
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I have argued this month that the ultimate source of LFW is the human capacity to imagine virtually anything and then enact it. But how is this awesome engine of novelty and creativity, rooted in spontaneous and unprecedented recombinations of existing representations and operations, realized in the brain? Capacities that... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
Now for the way a Psychologist/Neuroscientist views self-formation. Here I will lay out in broad strokes the empirical view of what is known, and where we need to go from here to nail down the existence of a human capacity to change human character, and to determine how it might... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
There is an old regress argument against the possibility of self-forming acts that implies that we are not ultimately responsible for (the consequences of) how we choose to act. This is the regress whereby one would have to choose what kind of chooser to become on some grounds, which would... Continue reading
Posted Dec 26, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
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Accounts of free will that require supernatural or contra-causal interventions have given libertarianism a bad name, and violate basic assumptions of physicalism and science. For any naturalistic variant of LFW to exist, several necessary conditions must be met. First, indeterminism must be ontologically real, rather than just a matter of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
It seems most people have gone home for the holidays, which is good! I will continue posting a few things here in hopes of getting feedback from Flickers philosophers once people get back from spending time with family and friends. My goal in this post is to try to unstick... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
If the logic of the EA (given in the previous post) is valid, then only if either (i) or (ii) is incorrect, is there potentially room to develop a theory of MC. So any theory of MC that attempts to meet “Kim’s challenge” must explicitly state which premise, (i) and/or... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
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First, let me apologize for not answering people’s comments promptly. Now that my grant applications are done, I should be quicker to respond, and promise to respond to the many comments I have not responded to yet. There is a deeper, logically prior problem than the FW and MR problems,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
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Interventionist/Manipulationist models of causation (e.g. Pearl, 2000; Woodward, 2003) are rooted in the intuition that if some event A causes some event B, then one should be able to manipulate A in some way and see corresponding changes in B after changing A. If A is modeled as causing B,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
In the previous post I considered an alternative to the Kane-Balaguer strategy of trying to ground Libertarian free will (LFW) on undetermined torn decisions. Balaguer thinks that it is an open empirical question whether torn decisions are made in the brain in a way that is undetermined. I think my... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
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There are at least two kinds of FW demanded by incompatibilists. One is what Kane regards as freedom of action, and the other is what might be regarded as the freedom to choose one’s capacity to choose, or the capacity to develop one’s character in an intended way. This is... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
Some compatibilists, when addressing the Consequence argument, whether van Inwagen’s original version or its later 'boxy' variants, have tried to counter this argument by claiming or implying that an agent could change the past, or the laws. Charles Hermes wrote in a comment yesterday that compatibilists do not mean that... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
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Neither philosophers nor neuroscientists will be the first to solve how free will, consciousness or mental causation work in the brain, because the first to solve these problems was the intentionless, but inherently exploratory mechanism of evolution by natural selection. Our job, as scientists and philosophers, is to uncover how... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
Since this internet café here in Auckland is open 24 hours, I will take the opportunity to post a bit more, before getting on the terribly long haul back to Boston. As I mentioned in the past, I am a neuroscientist by training, but have tried harder than most neuroscientists... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
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Some initial thoughts on Constraints as a basis for Human Freedom I am in Auckland NZ at the moment, after a Neuroscience conference week, that was itself preceded by a week of camping amidst the stunning beauty of the South Island’s Fjordlands National Park. I brought my twelve year old... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
Dear Flickers community, it nice to be back. Let me begin by thanking Thomas for allowing me to post again on this wonderful forum. It is approaching a year since I last posted here. I enjoyed interacting with you all very much and found the interchanges both valuable and challenging.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
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Aug 30, 2013