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Current Essay Contest


Contest Partners: Fetzer Franklin Fund, and The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation

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Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest
December 24, 2019 - April 24, 2020
Contest Partners: Fetzer Franklin Fund, and The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation
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What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
Sponsored by the Fetzer Franklin Fund and The Peter & Patricia Gruber Foundation
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Wandering Towards a Goal
How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?
December 2, 2016 to March 3, 2017
Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fund.
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Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
Contest Partners: Nanotronics Imaging, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, and The John Templeton Foundation
Media Partner: Scientific American

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How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
Contest Partners: Jaan Tallinn, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, The John Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American
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It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
Contest Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American
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Questioning the Foundations
Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?
May 24 - August 31, 2012
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, SubMeta, and Scientific American
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Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American
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What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
May - October 2009
Contest Partners: Astrid and Bruce McWilliams
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The Nature of Time
August - December 2008
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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

PRASAD DIVATE: on 6/19/20 at 4:08am UTC, wrote Dear Steven ,I have example regarding free will,suppose there is a sheep...

Steve Agnew: on 5/23/20 at 18:06pm UTC, wrote Brock's essay on free will is really quite good and well referenced....

Lachlan Cresswell: on 5/18/20 at 4:26am UTC, wrote Dear Steven Some years ago I cut off my thumb. I can still lift my finger...

Vladimir Fedorov: on 5/17/20 at 6:43am UTC, wrote Dear Steven, I greatly appreciated your work. I am very glad that you are...

Satyavarapu Gupta: on 5/6/20 at 9:48am UTC, wrote Dear Steven R Brock, Thank you for presenting a smooth flowing essay on...

Steven Brock: on 4/25/20 at 14:59pm UTC, wrote Essay Abstract Free will is reconceived in terms of degree of...


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FQXi FORUM
September 17, 2021

CATEGORY: Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest (2019-2020) [back]
TOPIC: Mind-forg’d Manacles and Somewhat Free Will by Steven R Brock [refresh]
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Author Steven R Brock wrote on Apr. 25, 2020 @ 14:59 GMT
Essay Abstract

Free will is reconceived in terms of degree of unpredictability rather than absolute opposition to determinism. So conceived, it retains its traditional expected character: unpredictable choices which in retrospect reflect individual traits and justify moral responsibility. This “somewhat free will” is explained in terms of counterpredictive strategies, restrictions on computability by embedded agents, and self-referential interaction between the unconscious and conscious mind. Libet’s finger moving experiment, widely regarded as the strongest such evidence against conscious will, is reconsidered and appears consistent with this view of free will.

Author Bio

Telluride Association Program T.S. Kuhn/Philosophy of Science Princeton University 1966 B.M.(music composition) Texas Tech University 1972 M.S.(mathematics, with electrical engineering and computer science) Texas Tech University 1974 Thesis: Computer-assisted information theoretic analysis of Palestrina masses J.D. with honors University of Michigan 1977

Download Essay PDF File

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on May. 6, 2020 @ 09:48 GMT
Dear Steven R Brock,

Thank you for presenting a smooth flowing essay on free will. Can you please tell me what is the difference between Consciousness , free will and some what freewill?

By the I hope you can get sometime to have a critical look at my essay "A properly deciding, Computing and Predicting new theory’s Philosophy"

Best Regards

=snp

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Vladimir Nikolaevich Fedorov wrote on May. 17, 2020 @ 06:43 GMT
Dear Steven,

I greatly appreciated your work. I am very glad that you are not thinking in abstract patterns.

While the discussion lasted, I wrote an article: “Practical guidance on calculating resonant frequencies at four levels of diagnosis and inactivation of COVID-19 coronavirus”, due to the high relevance of this topic. The work is based on the practical solution of problems in quantum mechanics, presented in the essay FQXi 2019-2020 “Universal quantum laws of the universe to solve the problems of unsolvability, computability and unpredictability”.

I hope that my modest results of work will provide you with information for thought.

Warm Regards, `

Vladimir

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Lachlan Cresswell wrote on May. 18, 2020 @ 04:26 GMT
Dear Steven

Some years ago I cut off my thumb. I can still lift my finger but I find it difficult to grasp things. Maybe it's dementia!

Liked your essay!

Lockie Cresswell

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Steve Agnew wrote on May. 23, 2020 @ 18:06 GMT
Brock's essay on free will is really quite good and well referenced. Basically his elaborate Turing model is just a restatement of the Book of Life conundrum. In a determinate universe, a Book of Life exists and with free will, a person looks up a future choice and then chooses differently, which means there is no determinism after all.

I really liked that word neurophenomenology. Using such a word is a key tell that this essay reduces to a simple phrase. That is, free choice either exists or does not exist, but the moral outcome is the same.

What Brock does not mention at all is the free choice between two equivalent outcomes, for example, the free choice of free choice. In other words, Brock's free choice between two equivalent outcomes clearly cannot be conscious because reason can only equivocate, not decide. However, the conscious mind does decide and reasons it was because the free choice made no difference.

This free choice is then necessarily unpredictable but still subject to quantum phase noise as is all neuron action potentials. In fact, free choice is what makes consciousness the hard problem that many say that consciousness is. While people argue endlessly about the nature of consciousness, people either freely choose to believe in free choice or freely choose to believe in the illusion of free choice. Since either free choice results in the same moral outcomes, there is no difference, just disagreement.

Consciousness is then simply a result of making free choices between otherwise equivalent outcomes.

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PRASAD RAMESH DIVATE wrote on Jun. 19, 2020 @ 04:08 GMT
Dear Steven ,I have example regarding free will,suppose there is a sheep who is moving in a circular way whose neck is bounded by thread to a rod which is at center of circular way , the movement of sheep is his free will but still he is bounded it is his destiny! This is relation between free will and destiny!! Thanks Steven, regards, prasad Divate

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