>Instead of so many "isms" and foregone conclusions, why not consider volition as a attribute of a certain type of physical thing that exists, or even combination of physical things?
I generally avoid 'isms' unless absolutely necessary. However in this case there are specific schools of thought not invented by me that go under those headings, so I need to respect that when discussing them. Otherwise people won't really know where I'm coming from. It's rather like if you want to discuss geology you talk about Jurassic, Triassic, Cretaceous periods etc. You don't say, hey, why bother with all those silly terms, let's just talk about *time*...;-) But of course, you should try and keep technical terms to a minimum, which is generally what I do.
"...why not consider volition as a attribute of a certain type of physical thing that exists, or even combination of physical things?"
Why not? Welll, the problem I have with this sort of statement is that it is very vague. It sort of says everything and nothing.
An "...attribute of a certain physical type of thing..." is, say, size. Are you saying consciousness is like size?
A "..combination of physical things..." is, say, soup. Are you saying consciousness is like soup?
See what I mean? What are you *really saying* with this? It's a kind of position which is compatible with almost anything. That is why it's a good idea to avoid this kind of thing in debates. And why scientists don't tend to talk in this kind of language.
Whereas if I say 'consciousness is reducible to electrical and chemical reactions in the brain' it's clear that I, prima facie at least, cannot also be a supporter of free will, as electrical and chemical reactions have not demonstrated anything like free will, no matter how complex we've made them. I always say that if consciousness is physical, *it must obey the laws of physics*. If it obeys the laws of physics (and chemistry) it is *not obeying your will*, any more than a rock 'wills' to roll down a hill or a clock 'wills' to strike on the hour. Therefore your 'self' is an illusion. This is a consistent position for the physicalist, and it is stated clearly.
>btw - Have you ever lost a loved one you don't want to give up? (Sorry, just speculating...)
Yes. Haven't we all? Where are you going with this 'speculating'?
(Edited by Daniel Barnes
on 7/11, 2:29pm)