RTL-freewillquantum-2

RTL-freewillquantum-2 - ANewDevelopment WernerHeisenberg,...

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A New Development Werner Heisenberg,  1901-1976 The fundamental laws  of quantum physics are  probabilistic Physics is not  deterministic!
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Arthur Eddington, 1882-1944  We’re composed of  matter that obeys  physical laws But the movement of  fundamental particles is  not deterministic So we can have free  will after all!
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So Epicurus Was Right! “If an atom were  always carried along by  natural necessary  force, nothing would be  up to us, since the  mind would be moved  in whichever way its  atoms were.”
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Determinist Objection n Yes, quantum physics is indeterministic  at the microscopic level n But it’s fairly deterministic at the level of  ordinary objects n Quantum effects mostly cancel each  other out at that level  n The motion of each particular particle is  uncertain, but not of an entire object
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Indeterminist Response n But some ordinary-size structures  can amplify quantum  indeterminism  n Example:  a Geiger counter n Another example:  the human  brain?
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Determinist Counter-Response n But do quantum events cause our  choices, or do our choices cause the  quantum events? n If quantum events cause our choices,  then we’re still being determined by  something outside our control. n If our choices cause quantum events,  how?  Aren’t we back to the spooky  unmeasurable soul-force?
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Spookiness Our Only Options? It’s often said that the tendency  of scientific thought in the past  500 years is more and more to  undermine the special status of  human beings …
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Copernicus and Galileo   Help!  Our  planet isn’t at  the center of  the universe!
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Charles Darwin   Help!  We’re  descended from  apes!
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Karl Marx    Help!  We’re  controlled by  economic  forces!
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Sigmund Freud    Help!  We’re  controlled by  our  subconscious!
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But Parallel Philosophical Trends  Have Been Reasserting  Our Special  Status   Immanuel Kant,  1724-1804
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But Parallel Philosophical Trends  Have Been Reasserting  Our Special  Status   G. W. F. Hegel,  1770-1831
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But Parallel Philosophical Trends Have  Been Reasserting  Our Special Status   Gottlob Frege,  1848-1925
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But Parallel Philosophical Trends Have  Been Reasserting  Our Special Status   Ludwig  Wittgenstein,  1889-1951
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But Parallel Philosophical Trends Have  Been Reasserting  Our Special Status   John McDowell,  b. 1942
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This note was uploaded on 11/08/2011 for the course PHIL 110 taught by Professor Markjones during the Winter '11 term at BYU.

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RTL-freewillquantum-2 - ANewDevelopment WernerHeisenberg,...

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