Science-Based Discussion Of Free Will. Synopsis: Free Will: The capacity of mental intent to influence physical behavior. Classical mechanics makes a person’s mental aspects causally inert, thereby eliminating meaningful free will.
Each mental aspect is embedded in the mind, or stream of consciousness, of an experiencing agent.
Each physical aspect is specified by assigning mathematical properties to space-time points.
This talk will compare the status of “free will” in two different physical theories:
Believed to be true until the end of the 19th century.
Only physically described properties enter into the causal dynamics!
Mental properties do not enter into the description of the causal structure!
During the twentieth century, classical mechanics was found to be incompatible with a growing mass of empirical data, and was replaced by quantum mechanics.
Quantum Mechanics includesthe knowledge of the observers and their knowledge-acquiring actions!
Epistemological aspects are rationally incorporated into the causal dynamics!
Mental intentions influence physical behavior!
The quantum state of a system,
evolving according to the Schroedinger equation,
almost never corresponds into any possible experience of the kind we know!
In QM the mental and physical structures are usually wildly different!
One needs a process that will take the evolving quantum state to a state compatible with the empirical data.
Mental process help close the causal gap!
Mental processes, by helping to choose the state S, affect the physical dynamics by influencing the quantum jumps!
Thus we have “Free Will”!
QM gives a rationally coherent dynamical structure that integrates the epistemological and ontological aspects of nature into a single dynamical scheme!
It is often asserted that Quantum Mechanics is not relevant to consciousness, because the neural correlates of our conscious thoughts are macroscopic brain processes, and macroscopic processes are said to be described by Classical Mechanics.
A. Precludes, a priori, the possibility that the patient’s conscious understanding, per se, can influence his behavior.
B. Requires that the causal effects of, say, spoken words be deduced purely from the mechanical effects of the physical vibrations that constitute the physical description of the spoken words.
Is there any good reason for a rational scientist or philosopher to restrict his theorizing about mind-brain connection by imposing the highly restrictive mechanistic conditions imposed by the known-to-be-false classical physics,
Insteadof basing his theorizing on the empirically validatedquantum psycho-physical dynamics, which allows a person’s mental processes to influence his physical behavior, in accordance with the accumulated evidence of everyday life?