And what does that mean? Talk about unintelligible! That's why I invoked a mysterious "book of everything" in which all that happens is written down, for all time. Shall I say that all events are effects of being written in that book? Where is the meaning of "effect"? The model is crucial, and one must have one in mind, or "effect" means no more than it would for that inaccessible book.It's a very general thesis, sometimes summarized as "all events without exception are effects".
Ah, but it will be part of the "underlying thesis" what is the general quality of those deterministic models! Ergo the importance of the Stanford reference to "natural law" that is so central to what I'm saying, as contrasted with, say, that book of everything.The component ideas (events and causal links) are "open to definition", as Weatherford says: so we can construct deterministic models in an infinite variety of ways, without losing the underlying thesis. Philosophers debate the underlying thesis.
That is true, you have discussed arguments about omnipotence and so forth. So forget about the issue of omnipotence, it has its own misimportation issues.Not at all. You may recall I've exercised my interest in theology on BAUT before now. Subtle thought is seldom entirely wasted.I will happily allow you to imagine that the brain is as much a part of the physical world as everything else that physics has been used on so successfully. I am not saying we have reason to think that physics cannot be used on the brain, or that it will not do the same kinds of things that physics does when used on other objects. What we cannot establish, however, is the converse logic: that everything the brain is doing will reveal itself to us by using the approach of analyzing objective data we can access from it. All we can do is apply that approach and see where it leads, and I've never advocated against that.Yes, that's all I'm saying here. The brain looks conventionally physical because we have a lot of success using conventional physics to predict its behaviour.
Certainly, I'm all for neuroscience. I am talking about the compatibilist argument that absence of coercion has to be the only form of free will that is worth having, and therefore worth analyzing, because it is the only form that can be demonstrated and given meaning to when one imagines that physics is something that it is not (i.e., that "natural laws" are to be taken literally, as opposed to the figurative version that works so well in physics). When one does not imagine that, then the problem of giving meaning to other forms of free will is a very vibrant and critical philosophical issue, perhaps the most difficult and important of all to us subjective beings.Indeed. And it is being used appropriately, in physical brains, which have demonstrable quantum behaviour at small scales but which tend to converge on classical behaviour at large scales. We're doing real science with appropriate methods and appropriate tools, making and checking predictions and finding out interesting things.
I also have never objected to the idea that compatibilist philosophy might be relevant to neuroscience. It might help you use the neuroscience to make ethical decisions, for example. I did not say that everything had to be misimported just because there was a rotten apple at the core of the package.That is a separate issue from the philosophy of determinism and free will. The two strands of reasoning converge only at the end, when we examine the results of the philosophical deliberations and the scientific investigations.
Did I put the phrase "according to the laws of nature" in the Stanford entry on determinism and compatibilism? Did I write in the implication that everything had to be either natural or supernatural into the mission statement of the Brights? No, I do not see that I am inventing this widespread misimportation problem.Of course it all looks like a mess if the physics and philosophy are stirred together promiscuously from the outset, but you're the only one doing that. You are insisting philosophers must import physical models, and then condemning them for doing so.