Free Willism vs. Free Will

Thu, 19 May 1994 09:27:28 CDT

D. Rindos writes that even if we do not 't

>choose to have free will (if free will is determined), the presence of
>free will as a trait in the cultural system should be expected to lead to
>situation in which free will APPEARS to be actually existing and
>functioning! [I think this argument is kind of cute!! :{) ].
I agree that the argument is cute, but would like to recommend against
using "free will" as shorthand for *belief in* free will ("free
willism"?). On C. Pate's relating free will to the concept of
randomness: I believe it was Rindos himself who just posted a superb
explanation, using a coin flip or die roll as an example, of why
randomness is a method we use for modeling ignorance, not a feature
inherent in the phenomena we are trying to model. Randomness as a
statistical idea is a serious attempt to proceed in the face of what
is, in some cases, irreducible ignorance about what is determinative,
or the values taken by determinative variables; free willism, by
contrast, elevates ignorance about the determination of our own
behavior to a necessity as well as a virtue. --B. Graber