I know this has been discussed before, but I have read Sam Harris' book Free Will and Michael Shermer's book The Believing Brain, and I must say that I agree with both authors. Studies show that our brains make a decision on an unconscious level three tenths of a second and sometimes more before we even consciously know we're going to act. To take a short quote from Shermer's book: "The neural activity that precedes the intention to act is inaccessible to our conscious mind, so we experience a sense of free will. But it is an illusion, caused by the fact that we cannot identify the cause of the awareness of our intention to act".

Tags: Free, Harris, Michael, Sam, Shermer, Will

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 but the how energy should theoretically relate to mass.

Again, you are misunderstanding language itself.  It addresses how energy (that exists) relates to mass (that exists)...and it's verified based by a posteriori knowledge. But like I said, apriori knowledge also addresses what "exists"

"To say that everything mentioned in physics must physically exist is a fallacy of names."

I never said anything about "must", but rather that it addresses what "exists". It could be a mistake that X exists in physics (science is never absolute), but it still is addressing "existence". And yes, this is everything in physics (otherwise it's not physics - physics doesn't make claims about non-existence or non-physicalness).

The claim "brains exist" is a claim on existence (and a correct claim at that). There doesn't need to be one object called "brains". 

But we aren't talking about what exists, but rather what is addressing existence (e.g. if X is true, X exists) . If it happens that we are a brain in a jar, the sun might not exist...but the claim "the sun exists" is a claim on existence none-the-less. If how we perceive reality is true, then the sun exists. 

Also, you seem to think only "things" that are objects exist. This isn't the case. Configurations exist, properties exist, states exist, qualities exist, relationships exist, elements exist, quantities exist, motion exists, gravity exists, the universe exists, behavior exists, and so on. Our words and symbols (e.g. in physics) are used to describe all of these different things that exist...not just "objects". The orbit of the Earth around the sun exists. It takes a specific trajectory (that we use mathematics and our understanding of general relativity to determine). Such orbit "exists". And all of these things are physical manifestations. 

If every event in the universe has a cause, determinism "exists". If some acausal events happen, determinism doesn't exist (but rather indeterminism exists). Determinism and indeterminism are addressing ontology (what exists). These are the only two possibilities.

I'd also suggest causes exist (even though correlation doesn't imply causation, and we never actually see a cause, there is much evidence for the existence of causality). Our very scientific method is based on this understanding. These aren't claims that transcend materialism or physicalism.

Laterz. :)

An ontology as big as all outdoors may be difficult to defend. It would appear to imply that anything which can be thought of without contradiction has existence. This conjures up a whole host of things you might not want.

Ontology is just the study of existence. It doesn't mean something actually exists, just that X is a claim on existence. God exists IS an ontological claim (even though we are all, I assume, atheists here).

Some existence claims have more evidence than others. Or you can use model logic and address multiple existence "possibilities". For example, the universe is either deterministic (meaning entirely causal) or indeterministic (meaning some acausal events). We can address the ontological claim of "free will" within the ontological framework of both of those possibilities (and conclude that free will is incoherent in both).

We can say, if the universe is deterministic, free will has these problems. And if the universe is indeterministic, free will also contends with these other problems. Regardless, both determinism and indeterminism address an ontological state of the universe, even if it is true that only one actually does "exist".

When you speak of someone's ontology, you mean the things he or she considers to exist. Ontology as a subject does mean the study of existence, but the other use is also common.

Possible worlds is a semantics for modal logic, but is not an ontology as such. For example, you could say it was possible that Germany won WWII, that is, one possible world is one in which Germany won, but no one seriously entertains the notion that such a world exists. There are such ideas in physics now.

There are such ideas in physics now.

Those "many worlds" ideologies are ontological (about "what exists")...regardless if they are actually true (if a many worlds interpretation of QM is true for example).

When addressing model logic, we are addressing "ontological possibilities". For example, in a true ontological dichotomy, either A exists or B exists (one or the other). Regardless, we are addressing the possibilities of existence. It may be that A doesn't but B does, or B doesn't but A does....but one of these "exists".

The initial claim that brought up this whole discussion was that determinism wasn't about "existence". I'm saying it is indeed an ontological claim. That if, for example, Bohmian mechanics happens to be correct, then so does "determinism". The word would describe  properties that would indeed "exist".

In Quine's words, such a bloated ontology is a slum of possibilities and a breeding ground for disorderly elements.

Ontology is just the study of existence. It doesn't mean something actually exists, just that X is a claim on existence.

A claim on existence that doesn't really claim anything exists seems rather an empty notion. We already have the term hypothesis, which would serve adequately.

Or you can use model logic and address multiple existence "possibilities"

The subject is called modal logic because it allows two  modes to logical statements—possibility or necessity.

Whether the terms deterministic or indeterministic are to be included in ontology properties of the universe is open to serious question. Properties are generally considered a different type than objects and consequently not open to assertions of existence or non-existence. That is, prior to the discussion of properties a frame of reference must be established that tells what kind of things are under consideration.

On just the practical level the universe may manifest processes that are determined along with others that are not. It need not be all one way or the other, but processes are not objects that exist, but events that occur.

In Quine's words, such a bloated ontology is a slum of possibilities and a breeding ground for disorderly elements.

Quine is addressing the assumption that because "Pegasus" is meaningful it implies there is an actual object of Pegasus.  He's addressing "Wymans ontology" - (a fictional character) who thinks that the referent "Pegasus" is an "object". Quine relies on variables for non-actualized words, but those variables are part of Quine's "ontology". And of course the claim that "Pegasus does not exist" is also an ontological claim.

claim on existence that doesn't really claim anything exists seems rather an empty notion. We already have the term hypothesis, which would serve adequately.

Who said it doesn't claim anything exists? A "hypotheses" often IS an ontological claim (though I can also hypothesize about epistemology as well).

Properties are generally considered a different type than objects and consequently not open to assertions of existence or non-existence. That is, prior to the discussion of properties a frame of reference must be established that tells what kind of things are under consideration.

It is simply untrue that properties are not open to assertions of existence or non-existence. It matters not that a frame of reference may be needed. (BTW "existence" itself is often considered a "property")

On just the practical level the universe may manifest processes that are determined along with others that are not.

That's not what determinism means. If some events are not "determined" by a cause, then the universe is indeterministic.

It need not be all one way or the other, but processes are not objects that exist, but events that occur.

In physics, it needs to be either one way or another. Either all events are causal or they are not. If some are not, the universe, in both physics and philosophy, is said to be "indeterministic" - not deterministic. You can't have a universe that is both deterministic and indeterministic without changing the semantics of these words. If you want to say a subset of the universe can be deterministic while another subset of the universe is indeterministic, that is okay I suppose - as long as you clarify your "sets".

It is simply untrue that properties are not open to assertions of existence or non-existence. It matters not that a frame of reference may be needed. (BTW "existence" itself is often considered a "property")

Kant settled the question of whether existence can be a predicate in the negative a long time ago. The only philosophers/theologians who want to revive existence as a predicate are those who wish to breathe new life into the ontological argument for the existence of God.

If existence is a predicate, then so is non-existence. The question then becomes what example exists of an object which non-exists?

Kant settled the question of whether existence can be a predicate in the negative a long time ago.

Who said it could of a "negative"? 

The only philosophers/theologians who want to revive existence as a predicate are those who wish to breathe new life into the ontological argument for the existence of God.

Existence can be a property without such property being applied to everything (e.g. god). In other words, the claim that god holds the "property" of existence can simply be wrong. A claim of existence isn't evidence that such existence is true (like I already said).

If existence is a predicate, then so is non-existence. The question then becomes what example exists of an object which non-exists?

We would say roundness doesn't exist for a 6 sided block, not that "non-roundness exists" for it.  Likewise we would say that X object doesn't exist, not that non-existence exists for X object. Like I said, I never said negatives "exist"...that's something you have mistakenly concluded.

Who said it could of a "negative"?

This sentence is ungrammatical and makes no sense.

We would say roundness doesn't exist for a 6 sided block, not that "non-roundness exists" for it.  Likewise we would say that X object doesn't exist, not that non-existence exists for X object. Like I said, I never said negatives "exist"...that's something you have mistakenly concluded.

This would seem to prevent the chemist from saying that carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas. In attempting to distinguish positive and negative properties and to provide positive properties with existence, you will get into enormous trouble.

This sentence is ungrammatical and makes no sense.

In other words, I never said anything about existence being predicate in the negative.

This would seem to prevent the chemist from saying that carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas. In attempting to distinguish positive and negative properties and to provide positive properties with existence, you will get into enormous trouble.

Colorless and oderless means that those properties (color and oder) do not exist as properties for it, not that non-color and non-oder "exists" as properties for it. It's the same as saying roundness doesn't exist for a 6 sided box (as I already said). There is a difference between properties not existing for something and non-properties (or the absence of properties) "existing" for something. 

In other words, I never said anything about existence being predicate in the negative.

Another syntactically defective sentence. Please explain what you mean.

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