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(H9) The Free Will Disproof of Computationalism1

Selmer Bringsjord
Philosophy of AI

Here's how ``The Dilemma" is modified so as to target the Person Building Project:

1.
If determinism is true, then no one ever has power over any state of affairs.
2.
If indeterminism is true, then, unless iterative agent causation (a concept to be explained - see below for a start) is true, no one ever has power over any state of affairs.
3.
Either determinism or indeterminism is true.
4.
Unless iterative agent causation is true, no one ever has power over any state of affairs. (1, 2, 3)
5.
If no one ever has power over any state of affairs, then no one is ever morally responsible for anything that happens.
6.
Someone is morally responsible for something that happens.
7.
It's not the case that no one ever has power over any state of affairs. (5, 6)
8.
Iterative agent causation is true. (7, 4)
9.
If iterative agent causation is true, then the thesis that persons are automata, central to the Person Building Project, is false.
10.
The Person Building Project is doomed. (8, 9)

(Def)
Iterative agent causation is the thesis that the special relation (agent causation) sometimes obtains between a person s and an event p and is such that if s agent-causes p, then
1.
s is a person;
2.
p is a state of affairs;
3.
there is no state of affairs q other than p which event-caused p to obtain;
4.
s agent causes the event [s agent-causes p];
5.
and there is no q such that p = [s agent-causes q] and
6.
s decides to agent-causes p.

Here's how the above argument can be symbolized to reveal formal validity:

1.
D $\rightarrow \neg$P
2.
I $\rightarrow$ ($\neg$IAC $\rightarrow \neg$ P)
3.
D $\vee$ I
4.
${.\dot{\;}.}\: \neg$IAC $\rightarrow \neg$ P
5.
$\neg$P $\rightarrow \neg$M
6.
M
7.
${.\dot{\;}.}\: \neg \neg$P
8.
${.\dot{\;}.}$ IAC
9.
IAC $\rightarrow \neg$ PBP
10.
${.\dot{\;}.}\neg$ PBP



 
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Selmer Bringsjord
2000-11-09