Nov 5, 2022

Does free will violate the laws of physics? | Sean Carroll

Posted by in categories: physics, space

Sean Carroll: We might solve free will one day. But here’s why I doubt it.

Up next, The great free will debate ►

Debates about the existence of free will have traditionally been fought by two competing camps: those who believe in free will and those who don’t because they believe the Universe is deterministic.

Determinism is the thesis that every event — from when a volcano erupts to what cereal you buy at the supermarket — is a theoretically predictable result of the long chain of events that came before it. Free will, it was long thought, cannot exist in a world where all events are already causally determined.

But free will and determinism aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. As physicist Sean Carroll told Big Think, the compatibilist conception of free will argues that it makes sense to conceptualize ourselves as able to make free decisions, regardless of whether the Universe is deterministic or indeterministic.

Why? The main argument centers on the phenomenon of emergence.

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