Talk:Dilemma of determinism/Archive 5

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Archive 1 Archive 3 Archive 4 Archive 5

Snowded's critique

Snowded has decided to elaborate upon his actions in reverting the proposed text as follows:

"If we look at the edits you replace a good lede summary of the dilemma with a "roughly as follows" definition by one author. The language is unencyclopaedic and the function of lede is to summarise, you then proceed to add commentary to that definition which extends into the wider area of free will - something that has been explicitly rejected by other editors manny times. You then add your own commentary (essay writing again) in the paragraph "Underlying the dilemma ....". Finally you add extensive commentary on Russell's take on Hume when all that is needed is the existing reference to Hume's position. Again you are extended the article as Russell is concerned with Hume's attitude to responsibility - this is the attempt to extend the article to the question of moral responsibility which has again been rejected by other editors."

It is a forward step that an attempted rationale has been presented. However, what does it say?

Snowded argues that the proposed text deletes a perfectly good lead paragraph and 'extends into the wider area of free will - something that has been explicitly rejected by other editors many times'. He then complains about the proposed paragraph beginning:

"Underlying the dilemma are two arguments about the relationship between the concepts of free will and determinism."

as an 'essay' of mine that introduces 'free will'. This proposed text is a minor rewording of a line from the now-present lead paragraph originally contributed by Pfhorrest:

"The argument for the dilemma combines two arguments about the relationship between the concepts of free will and determinism."

and the remainder of this original paragraph still appears in its entirety and is not replaced by the proposed text, which is only an addition. So the lead has not been replaced and, obviously enough, the topic of free will already is introduced in the present lead that Snowded endorses, and it does not originate with the proposed text. Apparently not needless-to-say, the lead sentence mentions in bold type the standard argument against free will which clearly brings up the concept of 'free will', and is a redirect from Standard argument against free will.

Snowded also says that the proposed text adds commentary extending the discussion to 'moral responsibility', which, he says, is a topic rejected by other editors. First, all mention of the words 'moral responsibility' is restricted to a footnote that does not go into this topic at all, but simply links the WP article moral responsibility. Second, the 'other editors' on this Talk page refers to the only other editor, Pfhorrest, who explicitly endorsed a much more extended reference to 'moral responsibility'; Pfhorrest says: "I do like the addition of the James material about how the titular dilemma is relevant to moral responsibility, BTW." Despite this positive remark, Snowded subsequently removed all reference to both James and to moral responsibility, upon his own recognizance, and in contradiction to published literature on the subject of the 'dilemma', notably James, and Fischer, and Russell.

Snowded's commentary should have been Talk-page accompaniment at the time of his reversion, not an afterthought following his campaign of derision and threats. It is clear that Snowded's objections fall into two categorizes: the incorrect and the trivial. Neither warrants reversion of the proposal, and his delay in providing a critique is possibly understandable in view of its lack of substance. Brews ohare (talk) 17:31, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

FWIW in retrospect I don't really like the digression to moral responsibility any more because that is the start of a tangent to broader topics of free will beyond the scope of this one narrow subject. Moral responsibility is a major reason why anyone cares about free will in general, but this article is not about free will in general, it's about one very specific argument against free will.
This is not to say that any mention of moral responsibility must be kept out of the article, only that it must be something mentioned incidentally in discussion of this article's narrow subject (e.g. in a quote from a source describing the dilemma), and not a digression into why anyone is concerned about free will in general.
Also FWIW I haven't been super busy with life any more for a while (though coincidentally today just started getting super busy again), I've just been sick and tired of arguing to no end here. I do feel bad for avoiding an argument, but I just don't have the energy to keep trying to make the same point over and over in a million different ways over a million repeated objections that always miss the whole point in the same ways. --Pfhorrest (talk)
Pfhorrest: We have discussed many things, and do not agree on some of them. However, this particular matter is pretty simple, separate from these, and doesn't require much of your limited energy. The question is simply whether the proposed change to this version by adding a description of the 'standard argument' à la Fischer and Doyle helps clarify what the 'standard argument' is.
As for moral responsibility. it is only linked in a footnote and is not discussed, about as little as can be said short of saying nothing at all.
If this is not the correct venue for this explanation of the 'standard argument', then perhaps the present redirect from Standard argument against free will should be removed and this article separated from the Dilemma of determinism. That separation would allow the work by James, and Fischer, and Russell, and the many authors these writers discuss, to be explained at length and in a more useful and engaging manner. Can you find the energy to comment? Brews ohare (talk) 05:02, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Brews it should be very clear to you by now, over a broad range of articles, that you are not getting support for your various attempts to expand the scope of several articles. To carry on doing so when you have zero support is perverse and disruptive behaviour. I strongly suggest you take a break and think about this before you continue ----Snowded TALK 11:06, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Your critique above has been thoroughly demolished, leaving you nowhere to stand, and so you make no attempt at defense: only bluster and propaganda. The present thread is an amazingly clear example of specious reverting, and evasion of responsibility and subversion of the safeguards for the mission of WP. Tut, tut. Brews ohare (talk) 14:52, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────A proposed draft for a new article on Standard argument against free will to replace the present redirect to 'dilemma' can be found here. It is, of course, a work in progress, and many other versions of the standard argument have to be examined. Brews ohare (talk) 15:54, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

That would be a POV fork. This article was originally titled "standard argument against free will" and is still about that same topic. We don't need another article about the same topic. --Pfhorrest (talk) 06:00, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
How can the material found here be considered a fork when you will not allow it to be presented in Dilemma of determinism?? Either the topics are the same or they are different, they can't be both. Actually, I think they are different, as the 'standard argument' is a syllogism, not a 'dilemma'. The 'dilemma' from that standpoint is simply which of two possible premises in the syllogism one prefers, but the conclusion (the QED) is the same either way, and the conclusion is the point of the 'standard argument', not the dilemma. Brews ohare (talk) 06:07, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
It's clearly a fork Brews. Having not got your way here you plan to create another article with a different name on the same subject. I can't see the community taking to that sort of behaviour ----Snowded TALK 06:27, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Snowded, again you avoid the issue entirely to state that you personally see clearly an extended exposition of the 'standard argument' is a fork, and the clarity of your vision requires no elucidation. However, there is the problem you don't see, that a syllogism is distinct from a subset of its premises, as any whole is separate from a subset of its individual parts. There is also this: you refuse to allow a very brief summary of the syllogism known as the 'standard argument' to be presented. Brews ohare (talk) 13:34, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
I have suggested several times on this Talk page that the discussion return to a consideration of what the sources say, Hume, James, Russell, Fischer, Doyle, rather than editor opinions and tirades. So far that return to sensible WP policy has been ignored, and instead the 'clarity' of individual editor opinion is raised to the level of a principle beyond dispute. Brews ohare (talk) 14:02, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Its not just me Brews, Pfhorrest| thinks so to. You do not have agreement to this and it is doubtful if anyone has the energy to keep repeating the same points to you. Two things will happen if you attempt this. Firstly it will be nominated for deletion, secondly your behaviour will be taken to Arbcom enforcement. End of message. I'm tempted to get it reviewed now ----Snowded TALK 06:21, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Pfhorrest has not engaged substantively of late due to other preoccupations. Neither of you has made any effort to explain why, on one hand, you refuse to allow the 'standard argument' to be summarized in 'dilemma' as proposed in this short summary, nor why a more extensive treatment should not appear separately under its own article. It is perfectly clear that the published literature does so. There is no assessment from either you or Pfhorrest on this matter, and no attention at all paid to sources. How is the 'standard argument' to be handled in 'dilemma'? At the moment it isn't, even though 'dilemma' is a redirect from Standard argument against free will.
Instead of helping to construct a useful presentation of the 'standard argument', Snowded, you simply threaten Arbcom enforcement. Enforcement of what? Of suppression of discussion of sources and, in its place, enforcement of bluster, threats, and fiat? My intention is to craft a useful guide to published literature on the 'standard argument'. It's no skin off your nose to move this process away from turf wars, bullying, and peacockery. Brews ohare (talk) 14:47, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
We have all 'engaged with you' Brews over multiple articles but you never listen, you just go on and on and on. That is a behavioural issue not a content one ----Snowded TALK 15:17, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Correct wording but wrong application: the behavioral issue is refusal by yourself to consider sources, and to instead sprinkle red herrings about to avoid constructive activity. You talk of listening? How about reading sources? Brews ohare (talk) 16:40, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Deletion of Berofsky reference

On two occasions now (1,2) Snowded has removed the reference to Bernard Berofsky (2012). "Internal-external distinction". Nature's Challenge to Free Will. Oxford University Press. pp. 89–92. ISBN 0199640017. 

Snowded's first one-line edit summary complained remove unencyclopaedic addition, we simply don't say things like "an extended discussion can be ", a reference to placing the words "an extended discussion can be found in Berofsky" in front of the citation. Snowded's second one-line edit summary complained inserting your study notes is not what an encyclopaedia is about, apparently a snide suggestion that Berofsky is no interest here. In any event, Snowded made no effort to examine the pertinence of Berofsky to the text.

Is Berofsky relevant? The text describes a hypothetical situation described by Fischer where an agent is free to decide what they want to do, but their exercise of their decision can be preempted by a deus ex machina in the form (for example) of a computer chip imbedded in their brain controlled by some remote authority.

The Berofsky source is directly concerned with such examples and their relation, not to imaginary future-world scenarios, but to real-world interventions in our abilities to perform, such as addiction, mental illness, and so forth. As such, it is a useful application of Fischer's imaginary scenario and Berofsky adds useful commentary, and refers to Fischer's discussion.

Seemingly, Snowded feels that footnotes that assist the reader to find commentary expanding the text are not 'encyclopedic in nature'; from Snowded's viewpoint, the purpose of a footnote in WP is not to provide guidance to the literature on a subject, but narrowly aimed to provide authority for an assertion. That view is not a common understanding of the purpose of WP, nor of other encyclopedias.

There is no reason to delete this source, nevermind for Snowded's reasons. Brews ohare (talk) 15:21, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

There being no response from Snowded, I have reintroduced the Berofsky reference. Brews ohare (talk) 15:58, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Material is already referenced - my edit summary was very clear. Our role is not provide your personal reading lists and study notes ----Snowded TALK 18:14, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Snowded: Where do you find these crazy ideas? Your remark "already referenced " has no bearing here. The point is not to provide an authority supporting the remark. Rather, Berofsky serves the purpose of providing further discussion of these Frankfurter-type examples. This role has been presented in my presentation just above your non-reply. Providing additional detail is commonly done in encyclopedias by referring the reader to a source where more is provided. What on Earth is your phony "personal reading list" description about? Completely inappropriate! Brews ohare (talk) 21:30, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
You are writing personal essays and adding personal notes Brews. This has been pointed out to you in multiple discussions over multiple articles, but you don't listen and then fall back to frustrated invective. I've put too much time into dealing with you in the past, now you get short responses ----Snowded TALK 00:06, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
Your opinion that I am " writing personal essays and adding personal notes Brews" is simply that, your (baseless) opinion. There is no invective above - just the simple observation that "providing additional detail is commonly done in encyclopedias by referring the reader to a source where more is provided." That's what's going on here. Brews ohare (talk) 06:13, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
"crazy ideas" "phoney" (try reading what you write) Otherwise lets see if any other editors support you. I've taken part in two many exercises in which you just repeat the same point time and time again ----Snowded TALK 06:51, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
"Providing additional detail is commonly done in encyclopedias by referring the reader to a source where more is provided." That's what Berofsky does. Brews ohare (talk) 16:49, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
See previous comment----Snowded TALK 19:54, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
I see that your approach here is to ignore the obvious point and focus upon your view that you don't need to respond to the argument "Providing additional detail is commonly done in encyclopedias by referring the reader to a source where more is provided. That's what Berofsky does." This statement is, of course, incontrovertible as a glance at this reference shows. You are avoiding discussion of the value of this source to readers, and instead thumbing your nose. That silliness goes beyond the insult to myself that is your entire intention. Brews ohare (talk) 22:21, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
See policy on tendentious editors. As the wider policy states, you may have the best of intentions but your editing is disruptive. There is more than enough evidence of your failure to understand this policy over multiple articles and over years. I suspect that if/when it goes to ANI you may even face an indefinite ban over all articles, not just those related to Physics (to which you are currently subject) ----Snowded TALK 06:22, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Of course, it is hard to argue over what might be. It does seem from my standpoint that the tendentious editor is you. I have actually proposed real sourced useful additions and some new articles (some ultimately successful) but all of these related to philosophy have met unbridled scorn and derision from yourself , supported by nothing of substance, just pique. Who is trying to build an encyclopedia here? Who is following WP policy? Who is basing discussion upon sources, rather than personal opinion? Who is actually discussing Berofsky here? Not you. Brews ohare (talk) 07:08, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

You have persistently proposed what you consider real sourced and useful additions. Those have been consistently rejected by several editors. However you will not let go, but go on and on and on and on. Read the policy it really is very clear ----Snowded TALK 21:35, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
Snowded: Instead of generalities about my constant rejections, as you see it, and your proclivity for seeing every contribution as having identical flaws, why not undertake to examine this matter of including a footnote to Berofsky on its own merits. This footnote has not been mentioned before and has met objection only by you. How does this footnote seem so different to you from others in this article? You seem to feel that one source in this connection suffices, but some other assertions have many attached sources. Berofsky doesn't simply repeat what Pereboom says - he goes into other aspects. Why do you think of this as just some background "study notes" of interest to me alone, and unworthy of WP? Why do you want to avoid answering such a simple question, and resort instead to generalities you have collected elsewhere that are not applicable to this example insertion? Why take a blanket approach that does not fit instead of simply saying why Berofsky is not suitable in this context? Why? Brews ohare (talk) 23:26, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
I have wasted far too much time in two many in terminal discussions with you Brews to indulge you any further. You give no reason for choosing that from many other possible references, and the material is already sourced. If you would pay attention to how wikipedia is edited rather than insisting on your own idiosyncratic essay writing and student notes you might get somewhere. Otherwise this is a behavioural issue not a content one.----Snowded TALK 06:32, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Well, I hoped for a bit more from you. Snowded, although it was a hope against hope. That adding a mere citation of Berofsky, a noted author, should be considered a symptom of "idiosyncratic essay writing" and "student notes" is a self-parody of yourself I cannot imagine rendering in a manner more eloquently ridiculous. Brews ohare (talk) 16:17, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

Snowded's reasons & an invitation

In a discussion on Project philosophy, Snowded you have finally put forth a cogent thought process:

"You think it [Snowded's repeated reversion of a simple citation] is nonsensical, but that is your opinion. I think its is yet another example of you adding your own commentary to a section that is already properly referenced. You might want to consider that a fair amount of the material relates to subjects that are reasonably well established, Dilemma of Determinism is one. Its a known subject well defined. Making it into a general and somewhat eclectic discussion of determinism (which is what you are trying to do) is both unnecessary and a mistake."

This new apologia rests upon the so-far unexplored examination of the Berofsky citation and the topic to which it is attached. Should Frankfurt-type examples be raised at all, as done by Fischer and by Perebloom (who refers to Zagebski's The dilemma of freedom and foreknowledge)? If the answer is yes, then Berofsky should be included. If the answer is no, probably we need a more general formulation of the 'dilemma'?

Snowded, a distaste for involvement may be behind your delay in putting forth this position, because it can lead to discussion of sources, not just polemics. Are you prepared to do that? Brews ohare (talk) 17:37, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

That expansion of the article has already been rejected Brews. Sorry I have no diastase for involvement with editors who listen, You do not fall into that category ----Snowded TALK 18:01, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Snowded: The proposed discussion could lead either way: to expansion or to contraction. Your reluctance to engage has nothing to do with my ability to listen to you, but everything to do with your hesitation, whatever its origins. Perhaps your reluctance would be lessened if you saw interpreting sources and fashioning summaries as a comparison and evolution of views, rather than as one-upmanship? Brews ohare (talk) 18:33, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Brews, its a general rule that people ascribe motivations to others based on how they would react. You have not listened to any editor who disagreed with you on any article in physics (net result a block) or philosophy (net result no progress and leading towards a possible block). It really is that simple. ----Snowded TALK 18:37, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Look, Snowded, our past engagements have sometimes led to better WP articles. Why could this one not turn out positively? There is no definitive difference between us here. Accommodation is possible. Your notion of disagreement is flawed. It is not necessarily impasse. Brews ohare (talk) 19:52, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Come up with a suggestion to improve the article and I will engage. This idea has been rejected by the two editors who have engaged. You need to learn to accept rejection and move on otherwise it is impossible to work with you. ----Snowded TALK 08:30, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
OK, I'll do that. See new thread below indicating the framing of this subject is contrary to four different sources. Brews ohare (talk) 15:16, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Sources for lead paragraph

The subject of this article, dilemma of determinism is presented in its lead paragraph, which is presently unsourced. The first paragraph reads:

"The dilemma of determinism or standard argument against free will is an argument that there exists a dilemma between determinism and its negation, indeterminism, in that both are purported to undermine the possibility of free will. The argument for the dilemma combines two arguments about the relationship between the concepts of free will and determinism. One argument claims that strict determination of our actions would mean they were completely necessitated by past events beyond our present control, and that this would be logically incompatible with the concept of free will. The other argument claims that any indetermination of our actions would merely mean they were at least partly random, offering no more control, and that this would also be logically incompatible with the concept of free will."

The introduction continues with two more paragraphs, also unsourced, that use this framework.

The second section of the article, History of the argument provides the main sourcing of the article, but poses the dilemma in a different manner, beginning with a broader formulation ('fate' vs. 'personal autonomy') that predates the use of the term 'dilemma'. The question naturally arises as to whether the topic is properly framed by the introduction, and what sources support whatever framework is suggested.

The most famous usage of the term 'dilemma of determinism' is William James' talk with that title. That formulation was summarized by John Martin Fischer as The dilemma of determinism. It is not the dilemma described in the introduction of this article, as both of these authors focus upon the dilemma of moral responsibility, a topic not mentioned in the framework of WP's version of the Dilemma of determinism. Another formulation that uses the term 'dilemma' is that of Paul Russell, in his work on David Hume. In Freedom and Moral Sentiment: Hume's Way of Naturalizing Responsibility the subject is again moral responsibility, and the issue is not that of the introduction, but how Hume approached the question of responsibility by analysis of the notion of causation. A fourth source that uses the term 'dilemma' is Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski's The Dilemma of Freedom and Foreknowledge, a work again focused upon moral responsibility, and considers a theological approach (among others), that of 'determinism' in the form of God's foreknowledge, rather than scientists' foreknowledge based upon 'laws of nature'.

In my opinion, based upon these four sources that actually use the term 'dilemma of determinism' in a context of moral responsibility facing determinism, rather than the framework of the introduction, this introduction is not only unsourced, but is on the wrong footing (far more narrowly focused than these sources), and fails to introduce the topic in an historically accurate setting. Brews ohare (talk) 14:59, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Should sources be discovered that happen to adopt the narrow interpretation of the 'dilemma' as a conflict between very specific (and far from universally accepted) formulations of 'determinism', 'indeterminism' and 'free will', according to WP:NPOV, the introduction still should not be confined to this narrow focus. Brews ohare (talk) 16:16, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

So help me out here. How is this different from the changes you have been proposing which have already been rejected by myself and one other? Specifically the emphasis on moral responsibility that you wanted was not accepted. A quick read of this says that you are simply repeating a previous proposal. Happy to be proved wrong but you will need to summarise the differences ----Snowded TALK 08:40, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Please address the issue: the present introduction is unsourced and is contrary to the four sources mentioned here. At best it is a parochial view. Brews ohare (talk) 13:54, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Those issues were addressed before, you are simply not listening. ----Snowded TALK 16:56, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Snowded: The issue has not been addressed before that there is no sourcing for this version of the introduction. The article has seen several different intros, and some of them had sources and referred to the issue of moral responsibility, but the present version does none of that. This version was written by Pfhorrest, and has no sourcing. Moreover, it is not the version of the dilemma found in the four sources that I have been able to find that directly refer to a 'dilemma of determinism'. So the conclusion remains: there is no sourcing and the view presented not only is unsubstantiated, but is not that of known sources. No amount of protest by yourself that somehow this matter has been settled can hide the plain and open fact that THERE IS NO SOURCING, and also the fact that THIS INTRO CONFLICTS WITH KNOWN SOURCES THAT USE THE TERM 'DILEMMA OF DETERMINISM'. Brews ohare (talk) 17:11, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
You raised this before Brews and it was rejected by other editors. You are trying to shift the subject of the article to anything which mentions the term. This is disruptive editing. If no editor supports you I will remove the tags again and if you carry on make that long anticipated ANI report ----Snowded TALK 18:49, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
To be very specific Brews there are two questions (i) can the article be improved to which the answer is probably yes, although it is a minor article about a specific issue in the history of Philosophy. Then (ii) should the article be extended into a wider discussion of determinism with an emphasis on the moral issue. You are conflating the two questions and your changes in effect take the second option which has been rejected. ----Snowded TALK 19:01, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Snowded: Surely one question is: Should the intro be sourced? Yes. And a second question is: Should the article reflect what is said in those sources? Yes again. Of course, these changes would improve the article, but beyond that, sources are a requirement of WP. There is nothing here along the lines of extending the article, unless the sources discussing 'dilemma of determinism' suggest that should be done. Of course, what you are worried about is that the sources all talk about moral responsibility as a key part of the dilemma, and right now the WP article doesn't do this. A change to bring the article into compliance with sources is not optional, so that change has to be made. Compliance with sources is not optional; it is necessary whether you like it or not, and whether Pfhorrest likes it or not. Brews ohare (talk) 20:24, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

The problem, Brews, is that you keep bringing in sources talking about material not relevant to the subject of the article, or which you misinterpret to be talking about something not relevant to the subject of the article. Just because you can show that someone reliable said something does not mean that we need to be reporting on that in this article. There are a lot of reliably sourcable facts which could, but shouldn't, be put into any given article.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Pfhorrest (talkcontribs) --02:10, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Pfhorrest: My approach is not to suggest talking about material irrelevant to the subject, or talking about any other material for that matter, but to request sources for the assertions of the introduction. Right now, there are zero sources. In fact, I have been unable to find any source that says the dilemma of determinism is as it is described in the Introduction. Not Hume, not James, not Fischer, not Russell, not Strawson. All these authors drag in 'moral responsibility' as part of the dilemma. If there are other sources that actually do define the matter as suggested, they should be cited, and cited in context. Brews ohare (talk) 17:37, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Its been around for a long time Brews, lots of sources will reference it, that doesn't mean they should be here as has been pointed out to you several times. You are again attacking or imputing false motives to editors who disagree with you. Further continuously raising exactly the same issue under different headings after it as already been rejected is tendentious behaviour which can result in topic bans and/or blocks. Those two failures to follow policy are behaviour issues that justify an ANI report on this article alone. The fact that those behaviours have been repeated over multiple philosophy articles and that you have been banned for that behaviour from all Physics articles by Arbcom should be telling you something. I am really reluctant to make a formal report on an editor who, while severely disruptive is obviously well intentioned but you making it difficult to see any other route forward----Snowded TALK 05:59, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Snowded: There are some wires crossed here. The 'dilemma of determinism' is a topic. Its meaning needs to be established by reputable sources. The article Dilemma of determinism cites no source in the introduction and so proposes the topic 'dilemma of determinism' without a reputable source. The four reputable sources I have dug up (so far as I know the only ones) do not agree with the introduction. That is unsatisfactory. How can this simple observation lead you to such polemics about disruption, tendentious editing and all that?? Such frothing at the mouth is simply ducking the obvious deficiency of an unsourced introduction that is not supported by four available sources. Killing the messenger won't make these unfortunate facts go away. Brews ohare (talk) 06:52, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
You interpret those sources to be in conflict with the current lede. I'm too tired of this to go over all of your latest proposals in detail again but we've discussed Fischer before at least and it's clear you misunderstand what he's saying and want to use him to include material which is not on topic for this article. Fischer is on topic for this article, but what you think he's talking about is not, and I suspect that's true of most of the others as well. --Pfhorrest (talk) 08:34, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Pfhorrest: I appreciate your taking an interest here. The interpretation of sources is worth discussing. However, the first issue is that the introduction has zero sources. The next question is which sources actually do discuss the 'dilemma' using the term 'dilemma of determinism'. And the last question is how they define the topic. Your response above omits several of these points, and surmises further, without the politeness of support or specifics, that I have misinterpreted Fischer, and Williams, Russell, and Zagzebski as well.
From some of my formulation of the 'dilemma' and of the Standard argument against free will, you are well aware that quotes from Fischer, Russell and James do support the view that they see the 'dilemma' as incorporating 'moral responsibility'. I suggest that your contrary views be similarly supported. Brews ohare (talk) 16:50, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Brews, per Pfhorrest I'm too tired of this to go over all of your latest proposals in detail again. Other editors are not required to engage with someone who simply ignores what has been said. I have reversed your tags as you have not had any support for your view in over a month. End of story ----Snowded TALK 17:02, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
There is nothing 'to go over'. The introduction is unsupported by any sources, not even a single solitary source that uses the term 'dilemma of determinism'. Simple, eh? Brews ohare (talk) 17:06, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
I've indicated where some sources would be helpful in a subsequent thread. Brews ohare (talk) 17:41, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Templates added

The last section of this article is simply a string of quotes with no narrative. Therefore a quotefarm template has been added.

The introduction is entirely unsourced and parochial in content, as explained on this Talk page here, so a 'too few opinions' template has been added. Perhaps a Template:POV-lead would be better? Brews ohare (talk) 14:13, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Snowded removed these templates with the in-line edit summary: Discussion has been going on for a month and you have ZERO support, now please stop this disruption. He refers to Talk page discussion, but not discussion of these templates. It is arguable that extended Talk page discussion indicates the controversial nature of the Introduction. However, Snowded prefers to believe that his personal view is correct. His personal view is not so much that the Introduction is correct, a matter he has not discussed, but rather that brews-ohare is disruptive, a matter he brings up over and over again. Brews ohare (talk) 17:50, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Let's look for sources

There being either unreasoned resistance or complete apathy in fixing this article, let's see if there are in fact some sources that support the view of the dilemma proposed in the Intro to the article. One possibility is Freedom, Responsibility, and Determinism: A Philosophical Dialogue, p. 10. Here 'Professor Goldfarb' identifies the 'dilemma of determinism' as follows: Freewill is not supported either by determinism, which rules out alternative possibilities, or by some form of indeterminism that allows for some undetermined human decisions and actions. If one considers this to be a factual statement, and to exhaust all possibilities, it is a 'dilemma' for freewill supporters. (p. 9)

I think this comes very close to the Intro of the article, although it is much less specific about what indeterminism means. This formulation does not directly involve moral responsibility, but instead addresses free will. That approach leaves out the threads that connect free will to moral responsibility, and so it is a simpler discussion. "Freedom of action is necessary for moral responsibility, even if it is not sufficient."1

Another possibility is The Philosopher At The End Of The Universe: Philosophy Explained Through Science Fiction Films. It takes the standard argument against free will (not stated explicitly in Dilemma of determinism despite attempts to include it) in the form:

" P1: If our actions, choices and decisions are caused, they are not free
P2: If our actions, choices and decisions are not caused, then they still are not free
P3: Our actions, choices and decisions are either caused or they are not caused
  C: Either way, our actions, choices and decisions are not free
This puts the believer in free will in a spot of bother. The trouble takes the form of what is known as a dilemma...You're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't."

So the dilemma is set up for the select group of those who want to believe in free will and also accept the third premise of the syllogism and are then "damned if they accept the first premise and damned if they accept the second." Of course, that group excludes many famous philosophers who do not accept third premise, and so are faced with a different dilemma: Can we persuade those who accept the syllogism that one or more of the premises are wrong, or must we accept that no persuasion or evidence will work?

Again, this source focuses upon 'actions, choices and decisions' and doesn't get into the relation of these matters to moral responsibility. Fischer uses a very similar formulation, but does include moral responsibility.

So some sources can be found if you look for them. However, it may be noted that James,1 Fischer,1 Russell,12 Zagebski,1 Strawson1 all do bring in the aspect of moral responsibility. So leaving this aspect out of the introduction is an incomplete presentation of the dilemma.

Also, the view that there is a dilemma here is denied by many, who say in various ways that the statement of the dilemma is not factual, or not exhaustive of the possibilities, or both, a long historical argument that begins before Plutarch and includes Hume and Kant and James and Pinker and Strawson and others. Their arguments are not just about definitions and semantics, but involve conceptions of reality that make the dilemma a misconception altogether, for example, refusing the reduction of psychology to physiology. In particular, Strawson is concerned that "this is not merely a matter of abstract, theoretical controversy. On the contrary, this is an issue ... with relevance to our attitude to life."1 Such critiques of the dilemma (pro or con) are as important to an article about the dilemma as the statement of the 'free will' and the 'moral responsibility' variations of the dilemma. Brews ohare (talk) 22:42, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

RfC: Changing redirect of 'standard argument' to its own page

Comments are invited upon changing the existing redirect from Standard argument against free will that switches a reader to Dilemma of determinism and replacing this redirect with a new stand-alone article. At the moment, the redirect to 'dilemma' does not provide sufficient explanation of this argument, and there is resistance from Snowded and Pfhorrest to expanding this topic within 'dilemma'. Brews ohare (talk) 18:11, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Comments on a separate article

Snowded objects to a new article on the basis that this draft of a stand-alone article is a WP:Cfork of Dilemma of determinism. Of course, there is some overlap, because the 'standard argument' is a syllogism involving three premises and a conclusion, and the 'dilemma' is an argument over two of these premises. In simple terms, the 'dilemma' is a sub-topic of the 'standard argument', an argument over only a part of the total syllogism. The empirical premise of the syllogism, the premise left out of the 'dilemma', is actually the argument with the longest historical roots, going back to David Hume, Immanuel Kant and William James.
Both topics involve considerable literature, and it seems a clear exposition of both would be served by two articles.
If there is to be continued objection from Snowded, that would be most constructive if it dealt with the content of the proposed article. Snowded might explain why this content is should be excluded from Dilemma of determinism, and regardless of that omission, still be considered as a WP:Cfork of 'dilemma' where this content should not appear because it strays too far off-topic. Brews ohare (talk) 18:11, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose for the reasons expressed above ----Snowded TALK 23:25, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
Snowded: Can you identify your objections with a brief summary, or some links, or do you mean to say that I have summarized your objections accurately immediately above? Brews ohare (talk) 04:39, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
Todate you have yet to summarise anyone's objections accurately Brews. Not only that you have been over indulged in your extended essays in the above sections. My objections (and I sure those of Pfhorrest) are as we state above, repeatedly) ----Snowded TALK 05:35, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
Your unwillingness to detail your objections isn't helpful to those wanting your assessment of this draft of a new stand-alone article, which has yet to be critiqued. Of course, some of your comments on other issues may be pertinent here, but must we sort through them all and judge for ourselves which are relevant and which are not? The quality of your appraisal of a brief description of the 'standard argument' for inclusion in 'dilemma' is not encouraging, and it is not applicable to this RfC concerning a draft of a separate article. Brews ohare (talk) 15:36, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
Discussion has already taken place, There is no obligation on editors to constantly repeat the same points to an intransigent editor who does not listen ----Snowded TALK 06:01, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
Snowded: For those editors with an interest in your position(??), you could help by making their job easier than sifting through ancient threads on tangential topics for something concrete that could be germane to implementing a particular draft article. Brews ohare (talk) 16:47, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
  • oppose. All I see is a POVFORK. As that notes
"The most blatant POV forks are those which insert consensus-dodging content under a title that should clearly be made a redirect to an existing article; in some cases, editors have even converted existing redirects into content forks"
which clearly applies here. There is consensus against the content's inclusion, as detailed above. Trying to make an existing redirect into a new article with the rejected content is a POV fork and disruptive editing.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 18:45, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Before yourself, the only contributor here has been Snowded. Like him, you see 'clearly' but are unwilling to detail any support for your 'vision'. Rather than cursorily 'oppose' you might try to be helpful in commenting upon the material included in the proposed article, and whether (in detail) the present Dilemma of determinism in fact covers this ground. It does not, in my opinion. As an example, the premise that 'either causal determinism is true, or indeterminism is true' is not one of the two 'horns' of the 'dilemma' as envisioned by Fischer, although it is a profound issue with deep philosophical roots and a long history, going back all the way to the ancient Greeks. Brews ohare (talk) 17:05, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
No not ony Snowded: [1]. With two editors making their views clear there was already consensus against you before you started this RfC. Your decision to ignore that consensus and proceed on regardless is simply refusing to get the point.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 18:54, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
I am aware of Pfhorrest's remark which predates the present much more complete presentation. Given Pfhorrest's usual approach which is to present a cogent argument, I expect that when he has the time he will make a contribution of substance here. In the meantime, you could do the same, and provide some helpful critique to improve this proposal. In particular, the present Dilemma of determinism does not cover the same ground, so we don't have a WP:Cfork. Brews ohare (talk) 22:07, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment. (I was asked to comment because I originally moved the article to the current title.) It may be reasonable to move the article back to Standard argument against free will, but I don't see how these are different topics. What extra premise does the standard argument posit that distinguishes it from the dilemma? Is this distinction made in the literature or did you invent it yourself? Vesal (talk) 12:03, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
Vesal: Thanks for your attention. The dilemma is often referred to as having two 'horns': the 'deterministic' horn and the 'indeterministic' horn. These are two of the three premises of the standard argument, as presented by Fischer, for example. The third premise, that 'either causal determinism is true, or indeterminism is true' and the conclusion that 'therefore there is no free will' form a syllogism. The 'dilemma' formulation is based upon consternation over which of the two premises viewed as 'horns' to choose. But from the viewpoint of the 'standard argument', it is hardly a dilemma: it is just a matter of comparing various definitions of 'free will', 'determinism' and 'indeterminism'. The third premise, that 'either causal determinism is true, or indeterminism is true' is not part of the 'dilemma', although it is in fact the more profound issue and the one with deepest philosophical roots and longest history. Many authors using the 'dilemma' approach seem to take this statement as an obvious truth, or discuss it by implication, rather than directly. On this basis, if instead of two articles there should be but one, it should be under the header 'standard argument against free will' as this is the more complete and more lucid statement of the issues. I hope the proposed article adequately presents these answers to your question. Brews ohare (talk) 22:30, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment. I agree with Vesal that the article should be moved back to Standard argument against free will. That free will is on trial should be emphasized by the title. The bulk of the article is a historical review of a standard topic in courses on metaphysics, ethics, and theology.
If I understand Brews ohare correctly, then I agree with him, and most philosophers, that the trilemma argument issues from the metaphysical blunder (however politely rephrased) of globalizing the hypotheses or facts of lawful determinism (God's knowledge, or physical laws), indeterminism of particulars (of empirical cases, or QM), and free will (of God and man), then insisting on eliminating any other of the three with non-contradiction. Philosophers and secondary/tertiary sources mention something along this line. Our article skips this NPOV detail to the confusion of poor freshmen readers seeking quick advice. For example, see HERE, much of which is paraphrased by us.
Dilemma of Determinism is mentioned in the literature only in reference to the William James talk. I see no reason why a separate article dealing exclusively with the talk and its secondary literature cannot be added for more specialized inquirers. BlueMist (talk) 01:13, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
BlueMist: I support your view that the better article topic is Standard argument against free will. As you point out, the 'dilemma' focuses attention on two of three postulates needed to arrive at non-existence of free will, and tends to assume the third (and most debatable) without discussion. Thus, the more general topic along these lines is the 'standard argument'. If an article on the 'dilemma' still seems worthwhile once the general 'standard argument' article is settled upon, there is no problem adding one, although it would not resemble the present article.
So let's go back and make a new article on the 'standard argument'. I have proposed a possible version of such an article, which could serve as a beginning for development. Brews ohare (talk) 16:42, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

William James

I read the paper by William James and it seems to be mainly a critique of soft determinism. The two horns that the determinist faces, he writes, are pessimism and subjectivism. This has really no direct relationship to the argument discussed in this article. In order to avoid confusion, I suggest moving this article back to its previous title, and William James should be completely removed from this article. His dilemma could be covered in our article on compatibilism, where this very paper is already cited. Vesal (talk) 19:41, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Vesal: I'd agree that James' dilemma is not that posed in the Intro. A different way to look at the matter is that the topic Dilemma of determinism appears with a variety of usages in the published works, and the framing of it as it now is presented is too narrow to cover the topic in its entirety. If a complete coverage is aimed for, the framing of the topic must be widened. If a narrow treatment is sought, why? After all, the narrow posing could be treated as one of several in a broader article. What say you? Brews ohare (talk) 20:23, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
I'd add that the lack of sources identifying the 'dilemma' as presently posed is still to be fixed. To my knowledge there is no direct statement by any author that the 'dilemma' is as stated in Dilemma of determinism. A more broadly conceived article could engage more clearly in separating various versions of the dilemma. Brews ohare (talk) 20:37, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
I would recommend a narrow focus because attempting a wider scope will run into issues of original research and synthesis based on primary sources. And personally, I am more interested in the idea behind the topic and how one would respond to it. At its best, this argument is a challenge to the commonplace agent-causal view of free will. Simon Blackburn put it most vividly for me in his book Think: Is the human soul governed by certain fixed, say spiritual, laws or does it operate by random fits and starts? I would like to see how people have answered this question rather than fifteen different variations on the same argument. Vesal (talk) 14:45, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
Vesal: Thanks for this summary. A vivid and succinct statement of the issue of the 'dilemma' would be a very desirable aspect of a good introduction. To get this Intro straight and vivid is a challenge to WP editors: to actually craft an introduction that can include the views of various sources on this subject, rather than proposing a narrowly framed intro that forcibly excludes many philosophers, many of whom have views more significant than those actually included. At present this goal is impeded by making the subject of the intro all about a diversion, presenting what Strawson has called "merely a matter of abstract, theoretical controversy [... without] relevance to our attitude to life." What you describe as the 'challenge to the agent-causal view of free will' is the basic issue, which is a larger subject. (Perhaps you do not agree that the real subject is deeper than presented in the present 'dilemma' article?)
An adequate framework for the Intro need not be verbatim from some source (although that would be a plus), but as a WP article on this topic, it should encompass the full range of sources on the 'dilemma'. Perhaps no source addresses the topic in full generality but, within an appropriate framework set up in the Intro, they all (including James) will fit in as one or another facet of the big picture.
William James does attempt to discuss the big picture within an everyday common vocabulary, but his view of determinism is a bit dated. Still, he has posed the issue, and says that he will choose to believe in a world-view that includes a moral sense over any 'scientific' view that excludes it.
Further comments??? Brews ohare (talk) 17:12, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

Citations needed

I've indicated with Template:Citation needed where some sources would be useful.

In the first paragraph, these include a source supporting the claim that the dilemma consists in a conflict between "determinism and its negation, indeterminism". Another requests that a source be provided for the particular formulations of determinism and indeterminism used here, topics whose interpretation often runs to pages in encyclopedias. Personally, I find this version of the dilemma vastly oversimplified, and even within that simplification, very narrowly focused.

In the second paragraph, another cn requests a source for the claims about the either/or relation between determinism and randomness. This might be an empirical claim or a logical claim based upon particular definitions: it isn't clear.

The remaining cn’s are in the last paragraph and suggest that sources be provided that tie the mentioned standard views upon free will directly to the 'dilemma of determinism'. Personally, I believe this paragraph to be a digression on positionsug about free will, which are not in fact directly tied to the dilemma by any author.

If these sources are provided, it would go a long way to substantiate what is presently simply unsourced opinion. Brews ohare (talk) 17:28, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Even if these sources are provided, they support only a specific view of the dilemma, and ignore entirely the topic of moral responsibility tied into the dilemma by James, by Russell, by Fischer, and many other philosophers. As such, the article suffers from narrow mindedness, perhaps a violation of WP:NPOV. Brews ohare (talk) 17:35, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Recently Snowded removed these citation requests apparently under the misapprehension that Intros are exempt from sourcing requirements. There is no such policy, although there could be a basis for one when the body of the article takes up the same issues and does provide sources there. In the present case that is not so, and citations are necessary, the more so as there is doubt that the Intro is an accurate introduction to the terminology dilemma of determinism. This doubt is reinforced by the observation that the history section, the section with actual sources, employs a completely different interpretation of the phrase 'dilemma of determinism', namely the conflict identified by William James between 'fate' in some form and 'personal autonomy'.

Accordingly, and as is usually done with unsourced assertions, these Template:Citation needed requests have been reintroduced in the hope that some sources supporting the assertions of the Intro can be located. Brews ohare (talk) 16:51, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Lede summarises the article and does not have to be referenced. You also seem to by wikilawyering trying to introduce your rejected edits using citations and notes. Again, if no editor backs you up on this, they get reversed ----Snowded TALK 20:46, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Snowded: Your remark Lede summarises the article and does not have to be referenced. does not appear in WP policy or guidelines so far as I know. According to WP:WHYCITE: "sources are required for material that is challenged or likely to be challenged – if reliable sources cannot be found for challenged material, it is likely to be removed from the article." I would take it that the introductory section of Dilemma of determinism can be removed if no sources are provided.
As noted in the immediately preceding remark that you ignore, your objection to sources would make sense provided the rest of the article has the appropriate sources cited in a more detailed discussion of the points raised in the lead material. However, again as per the above ignored comment, there is in fact no subsequent discussion of the framework proposed in the introduction. In fact, the introduction is not in keeping with about six published works on the subject of the dilemma, all of which put the 'dilemma of determinism' in a different context. The Introduction also is contrary to the views that actually are cited in the history section.
Snowded, you continue to avoid confronting the difficulties with the article to instead chastise me for pointing them out. Tsk, tsk! You again confuse adding citations to sources to support assertions in WP text with some kind of unwarranted digression from the topic. Although footnotes to supplement material in the text is perfectly appropriate under some circumstances, that is not the issue here. Sources are required here simply to back up what (without sources) amount to only a personal interpretation of what the dilemma is about. Brews ohare (talk) 21:51, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

This citation-needed attack is somewhat exaggerated, but I agree with some of the tags: The second paragraph seems like completely original commentary to me. Also, please note that this article started life as part of Doyle's self-promotion campaign where he copied articles from his site over to Wikipedia. It seems that people have removed all reference to his work but still kept his material, and this included original wording such as "Van Inwagen dramatized his understanding..." Leaving aside the history, the body of this article is largely a bunch of quotations, so while I do not support everything that Brews is doing, I also do not think this article needs to be defended as if it were a featured article. Vesal (talk) 15:05, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

Vesal: I take your comment as an exhortation to actually look at sources instead of repeating personal prejudices as to what is the topic here and squelching discussion of sourced opinion. Bravo!! Hope you will help out. Brews ohare (talk) 17:16, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

Relation of the 'dilemma' to the 'standard argument'

As it stands, Dilemma of determinism is unclear about what 'standard argument' is and what is the connection. As this article is a redirect from 'standard argument' that argument should be presented. An additional paragraph that explains the connection is as follows:

The 'dilemma' is connected to the standard argument against free will. That argument can be phrased as a syllogism with three premises and a conclusion:[1]
P1: If our actions, choices and decisions are caused, they are not free
P2: If our actions, choices and decisions are not caused, then they still are not free
P3: Our actions, choices and decisions are either caused or they are not caused
 C: Either way, our actions, choices and decisions are not free
This syllogism then sets up a 'dilemma' for the select group of those who (i) want to believe in free will, and also (ii) accept the third premise of the syllogism. This group finds itself "in a spot of bother. The trouble takes the form of what is known as a dilemma...You're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't."[1] Specifically, this group is 'damned' if they accept the first premise and 'damned' if they accept the second. In this formulation, the forced alternatives one must choose between are sometimes referred to as the 'horns of the dilemma', the 'horns' being the first two of the three postulates of the standard argument against free will.
[1] Mark Rowlands (2012). The Philosopher At The End Of The Universe: Philosophy Explained Through Science Fiction Films. Random House. p. 144. ISBN 1448116678. 

Any comments? Brews ohare (talk) 17:52, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Comments on the connection

  • This formulation is similar to the two versions given by Fischer, but he includes 'moral responsibility' in his. The 'standard argument' is not the same as the 'dilemma' because it points out that three premises are needed to reach the conclusion, while the 'dilemma' is between two of the three, the third not being stated clearly and separately, a decision made so as to arrive at only two choices as required by the definition of a 'dilemma'. Hence a complete statement of the 'standard argument' is needed. Brews ohare (talk) 18:11, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
  • The article on incompatibilism has the metaphysics correctly laid out, and we should stay with that. There are three incompatible premises of three [im]possible worlds. In my humble opinion, Fischer's emphasis on the dilemma misrepresents both the nature of the William James address and the equal metaphysical status of each of the three incompatible premises. Therefore, our focus should be switched away from dilemma and back to freedom of will. Free will is the one which actually does some work in ethics — in being necessary for moral responsibility in some ethical formulations. BlueMist (talk) 02:33, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
  • I still do not understand this distinction between "standard argument" and "dilemma". For any dilemma, it is assumed that the horns are jointly exhaustive, and for any dilemma, one may raise the objection that it poses a false dichotomy. This does not make the assumption implicit or somehow unstated. This is precisely what it means to be a dilemma. Vesal (talk) 14:37, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
Vesal: I agree with you about the nature of a 'dilemma' as a choice between two unpleasant and jointly exhaustive alternatives. And I agree that a rejoinder is bound to include the charge of a 'false dichotomy'. However, that is not the only response against this dilemma. As pointed out by Rowlands, and just above by BlueMist, the 'dilemma' is made a choice between two of three premises by making the third premise only implicit, and thereby avoiding its consideration. It may or may not be a 'false dichotomy', but it is definitely a forced dilemma manufactured by burying the third premise out of sight. That also is the main difference between the 'dilemma' as posed in this article and the 'standard argument'. The 'standard argument' states the third premise explicitly so that it becomes part of the discussion. I wonder if you can see matters that way? Brews ohare (talk) 16:31, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
Vesal: I'd like to add that IMO the topic of 'dilemma' actually is a deeper and more fundamental topic than the 'standard argument' if it is posed correctly as a conflict of two intuitions: that of 'fate' or 'karma' or 'nature' and that of personal autonomy in decision making. From the standpoint of our intuitions, the 'standard argument' is simply one attempt to formalize this conflict in an axiomatic manner, and the conflict itself remains as a deeper concern than any such axiomatization, just as the utility of various geometries is subsidiary to the actual layout of the universe. The 'standard argument' fits in somewhat along the lines of a linguistic framework as proposed by Rudolf Carnap. Perhaps you agree???? Brews ohare (talk) 17:24, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
There is no logical dilemma among the three suggested possibilities, unless a false dichotomy is fabricated.
One can argue that in a 100% deterministic world free will (or chance) is impossible. This is the usual incompatibilism argument. For example, see van Inwagen, 1975. This argument needs no unrelated dilemma to make its case.
One can also argue that an entirely different self-contained world of 100% chance makes free will impossible. This would be true for the first second of the Big Bang, or for worlds entirely at the lowest, very simplest quantum level.
However, the two possible worlds, as above, do not make a dichotomy where there are only two logical alternatives to consider. There are infinitely many other worlds, including the actual naked eye world which we always see, where all three alternatives are intermixed, in partial compatibility.
Ideally, we should relay the case against free will as has been historically stated. As long as the metaphysics are explicitly possible and the argument is valid (see van Inwagen's intro), the source is acceptable. BlueMist (talk) 01:42, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
BlueMist: I am unsure that we actually agree completely about what is wrong with the present article on the 'dilemma'. Perhaps you could comment upon the following formulation?
The two premises that are considered as the 'dilemma' (either chance or causal determinism) as presented in this article can be boiled down to one: that 'the laws of nature' contradict 'free will', whether these laws are probabilistic or deterministic being a matter for further discussion. Then, as BlueMist has noted, there is no dilemma, and the 'standard argument' can be simplified to two postulates and a conclusion. That boiling down of government of events by 'either chance or causal determinism' to simply government by the 'laws of nature' covers BlueMist's observation that there is a continuum of possibilities between pure chance and complete predictability, as exemplified by the contrast between various forms of natural laws.
There remains a need for an empirical premise such as: "every event is governed by a 'law of nature'". Although claiming empirical validity, this premise is not verifiable, being an extrapolation well beyond the reach of any observations. However, this premise along with the first (about incompatibility of the 'laws' with 'free will') allows the conclusion, as before, that there is no place for free will.
It is the empirical premise that is the most important in criticizing the present article, as the first premise is simply one of usage and definitions (selecting what is 'free will' and what constitutes a 'law of nature'), an academic consideration of terminology and usage that is a preoccupation of many philosophers. The question of fact is the empirical one, the blanket applicability of the 'laws of nature', and that is where the present article falls down by giving its validity no consideration at all, despite widespread debate in the literature and, of course, in theology.
BlueMist, you have considered the consolidation into one of the two premises of the dilemma. But you haven't gone into the last issue about the validity of the empirical premise. Perhaps you could comment further? Brews ohare (talk) 16:10, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Brews ohare, Empirical premises, drawn as 'laws of nature', are dubious for philosophical purposes. Laws of nature do not only include Newton's or Schroedinger's physical formulations. For applicability to a construct like freewill, Psychology or anything from Philosophy of Mind also needs to be considered. There is no accepted or valid scientific reason why the mind should be fully deterministic or random, nor that it should be completely free of those constraints and potentialities.
Take a look at Ted Sider's outline of the van Inwagen argument HERE. The metaphysics laid explicit is an Aristotelian reformulation of Newton. Prominent is a God's-eye-perspective of time and space, rather than Newton's inertial frame. An inertial frame is arbitrary for practical reasons, but it is not eternally fixed. The origin of the frame moves with the observer or instrument, as one would expect in a Heraclitean/Galilean description of motion. This reformulation is essential to make the dichotomy of the argument valid. BlueMist (talk) 22:37, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
BlueMist: I agree that the term 'laws of nature' can be generalized to include laws not yet established, and of different form. And further, the entire scientific enterprise may be unable to encompass said 'laws of nature' - laws of the mind perhaps among them. (I think these are your main points, right?) From a philosophical viewpoint we need not speculate about what form future laws of nature may adopt. At this point in our understanding it suffices to point out the subject-object problem.
As for the 'Dilemma' , as posed in this article, it is discredited very easily as an irresponsible truncation of the standard argument, burying one essential hypothesis. A responsible presentation of 'Dilemma' at a minimum would be explicitly developed as a form of the 'standard argument' that emphasizes a very special version of two of its premises. A more basic approach to the 'Dilemma' would be based even more generally than upon the 'standard argument'. Is that how you see it? Brews ohare (talk) 00:12, 16 December 2013 (UTC)


I suggest posting this draft article as a replacement for the existing redirect of Standard argument against free will, not as the ultimate form of such an article, but as a beginning point for development. There is a majority opinion here that some article should be placed under this header. I think that Snowded will immediately propose its deletion, and I hope that when that happens a focused consideration of what this article should be will result. Brews ohare (talk) 19:05, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

I have made this replacement. Brews ohare (talk) 19:23, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
And I have undone it. That was the subject of the RfC above which although still open has no editors agreeing so the consensus is against you. Doing it anyway against that consensus is disruptive. Further doing it by copy and paste is the incorrect procedure – the proper procedure is to delete the redirect and move the draft article. As a non-trivial and contended move it would need a RM, but that is moot given the already open RfC on the same subject.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 19:43, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Well, John, congratulations in assisting with this article and advancing the state of WP without making a single constructive remark. Brews ohare (talk) 20:02, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
If he hadn't I would have. You have got to stop these unilateral edits which you know will be opposed. If it is agreed to have a separate article (stage I) then there is a question as to content (Stage II). One can agree to the first, but still reject your formulation for the second. Given that your edits in respect of determinism have generally been rejected by other editors you should have the common sense to get consensus before making a change. ----Snowded TALK 23:50, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I expect this bureaucratic approach from you and Blackburne inasmuch as neither of you has made any attempt to approach content, and have no such intentions, it appears. Brews ohare (talk) 00:17, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Its a minor article Brews, if someone wants to improve it fine, but you want to make it a general discussion of free will and determinism based on your personal interpretation of the field. Attempts were made by Pfhorrest to engage you in improving the article but you simply carried on asserting your original opinion and ignored him. We now have some other editors involved so try and do this in stages. ----Snowded TALK 00:34, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Your assessment is not based upon any factual discussion of content, and is simply your 'gut' feeling, which is worthless all by itself. Brews ohare (talk) 01:35, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
There was extensive factual discussion of content in the many, oh so many threads you have opened on this Brews. You just didn't like it and ignored it. ----Snowded TALK 10:40, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
There has been discussion of content on this page, Snowded, but no thanks to you or to Blackburne. You may notice that while this article about the 'standard argument' is completely sourced and summarizes about half a dozen perspectives, the perspective of dilemma of determinism remains completely unsourced and is simply a parochial opinion. Nonetheless, I have suggested two sources that do explain this parochial view, but they have not been added to the article, and the very many famous sources that present different perspectives remain excluded from the article. So, Snowded, all is not fine with this unsourced parochial article, and attempts to fix it are constantly interrupted by your personal campaign to suppress any attempts to fix things, regardless of the merits, regardless of sources, which BTW, you disdain to discuss. Brews ohare (talk) 15:50, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Proposed deletion of controversial statements

Several assertions in the introduction of this article have been flagged for some time as requiring supporting citations. In fact, it appears from published sources that these statements cannot be supported, but present a parochial view of the subject dilemma of determinism, and also fail to connect this topic with the standard argument against free will, which presently is redirected to dilemma of determinism. It is therefore proposed that this introduction be rewritten.

In principle the introduction should express views that are in fact supported by reference to published sources, and should include widely recognized sources such as the seminal article by William James that popularized this designation of the topic. But at a minimum, Wikipedia editors' unsupported opinions that frame the subject as a claustrophobic academic exercise in semantics should be sourced, and supplemented by a presentation of the wider issues that the subject raises. Brews ohare (talk) 15:06, 21 January 2014 (UTC)