Talk:Free will

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Former featured article Free will is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on December 21, 2004.
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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Free will:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Cleanup : According to Tesseract2 (talk · contribs), since September 2010 "There is excess information - links and briefer summaries are needed"
  • Expand : *Lead
  • Other : *Balance of religious material okay? Mention the argument from free will in the article?
    • Seek external peer review and feedback
    • Diagram accurate?
    • Beyond this article:
      • Work on subarticles such as free will in theology
      • A page on Wikiquote might be appropriate
      • Disambiguation suggestion: the 1993 film "Free Willy"
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Draft for new introduction[edit]

Have at it.


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External links modified[edit]

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Rewriting the Article in the Light of New Empirical Evidence[edit]

The evidence is not really new, but this article was not updated.

The following "joke" outlines scenarios relevant for the concept of "Free Will". In principle, voluntary acts require neuronal activity for intent (in average .8 sec). Reacts require much shorter neuronal activity (in average .2 sec). See Mental chronometry, Benjamin Libet and Bereitschaftspotential. The most of the references in these articles could be used and elaborated on. Also, everybody can test major points of this "joke" in a cafe, for example. The test is quite simple: Ask your friend to tell you which hand to lift...

Since Libet's findings started to trickle out -
there was a lot of nonsense about our free will...
What??? My free will is useless? I'll give it up!
Here, my friend, take it - and tell me what to do...
Now, how could I - give up something I did not have?!
Damir Ibrisimovic
22nd May 2011

Reacts are automatic and executed on external or internal cue (within .2 sec in average). This could be shortened to practical zero, as in starting the sprinter's race.

Every act requires .8 sec in average with .5 sec of neuronal activity, to override an instinctive react(.2 sec).

Also, René Descartes noticed a slight delay as people were overriding their instinctive reactions with willed deliberate voluntary acts. This is exactly the same delay Benjamin Libet researched. This also calls for "readiness potential" to be renamed into neuronal activity required for intent.

I think that is enough to modify the article. I will invite other editors to help with the reviewing and editing.

Other articles (like Benjamin Libet) are also impacted and will probably need editing.


React and Act Example:

The Necker cube and Rubin vase can be perceived in more than one way.

The ambiguous graphics have one meaning that is visual react (.2 sec or less). Another meaning needs to be intended (.5 sec or more).

The proposed changes at Talk:Free Will and Free Will need a teamwork. As yet there is no response. If there is no response within 24 hours, the call for interested editors will be made at project pages.
I have invited editors from three major projects. As yet, there are no responses. After three days, I will start editing myself. Maybe then we will have interested editors...
Please add your thoughts below.

Guidance[edit]

Each change should be proposed, discussed and accepted at Talk:Free Will.

The changes to article Free Will should not be implemented while drafting is in progress.

When the proposed draft is completed the main article will be overwritten.

Weight of Evidence[edit]

The scientific evidence is peer reviewed and has priority over other types of "evidence".

Speculative "evidence" without a support of empirical evidence should be treated as speculation. For example, hard determinism is not supported by empirical evidence. And that weakens speculative evidence.

Let me just note that any changes to this article need to be consistent with WP:MEDRS. In particular that means that the article should not contain "original research", per WP:OR. Best regards, Looie496 (talk) 13:19, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
Welcome Looie496 and thank you for your comment. Maybe you could help me with drafting the article.
As for "original research", my "Joke" only combines several independent pieces of research: Mental chronometry, Benjamin Libet and Bereitschaftspotential.
Furthermore, my "joke" is so simple to test that everybody can confirm each detail of the "Joke".
Please, let me know what you think.
Enjoy the day, Damir Ibrisimovic (talk) 22:58, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
I came here from the note at WT:NEURO, and I would like to continue on Looie's point about WP:NOR (and WP:V). I've read the talk page comments about the putative new evidence, and there is something that I cannot find: a citation to a source about this. Such a source would need to satisfy the requirements of WP:RS and WP:MEDRS if this page were to cite it, and we cannot add new material of this sort without citing a source. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:39, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
Thank you Tryptofish,
The sources are temporarily only outlined at three mentioned articles and I will cite them later.
Meanwhile, would you help me with drafting?
Enjoy the day, Damir Ibrisimovic (talk) 22:58, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
I realize that you are a relatively new editor here – and welcome to Wikipedia! – but that's not the way that things work here. I'm not going to support any drafting or revision that is unable to cite published reliable sources, as Wikipedia defines reliable sources. The relevant policies and guidelines are at WP:NOR, WP:V, WP:RS, and WP:MEDRS. It's very important that you understand all of them. I see at your user talk page that you already have an invitation to the "Teahouse". I strongly recommend that you go there, and some experienced editors there will be happy to help you understand those policies and guidelines, and how they apply to this content. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:06, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
Dear Triptofish,
Please, let me know about what do you think "me being original". I do need to have a "clear picture". If I'm "original" then there is no point in continuing drafting...
Enjoy the day,Damir Ibrisimovic (talk) 02:50, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
Of course, it is nothing personal about you, just a matter of sourcing. If you can cite sourcing for the proposed draft material that complies with the policies and guidelines that I listed, then it will be appropriate to continue drafting new content. (You can see what I mean by looking at how the references are cited on this page.) But if you cannot, then I would indeed recommend not going any further with the drafting effort. And if what I am trying to say here is unclear, please feel free to ask at the Teahouse. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:29, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

The Empirical Evidence[edit]

The empirical evidence supports two major categories - acts and reacts.

The evidence supporting reacts can be found in Benjamin Libet and BereitschaftspotentialBenjamin Libet and Bereitschaftspotential

The evidence supporting voluntary acts can be found in Benjamin Libet and Bereitschaftspotential.

The combined evidence offers unique insight on Free Will:

Reacts are executed within (.2 sec or less) - habitual reacts.

Acts veto reacts with intent (.5 sec or less).

Acts can be activated only if there is an alternative to habitual reacts. If there is no alternative — the other meaning can be willed (.8 sec or more). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Damir Ibrisimovic (talkcontribs) 06:50, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

Please copy the applicable citations here. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:32, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
Benjamin Libet "Mind Time" - "The Temporal Factor In Consciousness" Harvard University Press; Cambridge Massachusetts; London, England 2004. Book presents consciousness and chronology of different neuronal events including "Readiness Potential". — Preceding unsigned comment added by Damir Ibrisimovic (talkcontribs) 04:27, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. Here is a link to selections from that book: [1]. It seems to me that this page already covers Libet's ideas about the readiness potential at Free will#Neurophilosophy, and there is already more detailed coverage of the topic at Neuroscience of free will, which gives Libet quite a lot of prominence, as well as covering how other subsequent authorities have disagreed with Libet. Consequently, I'm not clear on what more we could add to this page, without giving undue weight. --Tryptofish (talk) 16:42, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
As far as I can see you are doing original research based on a limited selection of primary sources. Limited even in the context of those of us who say that Free Will is real, the evidence base is more sophisticated than that and growing as a body of knowledge. However it needs to get into third party sources to include in Wikipedia ----Snowded TALK 05:55, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
Dear Snowded,
You are welcome to be the "third party. (I cannot turn myself into a third party.
Enjoy the day, Damir Ibrisimovic (talk) 06:18, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
That's not what "third party" means in this context. There are three kinds of sources: a primary orfirst-party source is itself original research, written by the people putting forth the claims of that research. A secondary or second-party source is some kind of commentary on that first-party source, like say a news report about the fact that the research happened, or a journal's review of the research's quality. A third-party source is something like an encyclopedia, that compiles information from multiple sources and does not itself put forward any claims, or say anything about those claims itself, but rather reports on the kinds of things other people are saying about those claims.
Snowded is saying that you can't just take claims from a bunch of primary sources and have the encyclopedia here say things about them, because the encyclopedia is itself a third-party source that is supposed to sum up what other parties are saying about the original research, and that would be a second-party kind of claim to make, which is unbefitting a third-party encyclopedia. It would technically be acceptable but a lot more difficult and contentious to find a well-weighted selection of secondary sources commenting on the original research to which we can source the encyclopedia's own third-party claims. But it's much more straightforward to just find another (usually more specialized) reputable third-party source that says that people generally say whatever about whatever whoever is saying, and then repeat that here, cited to that other third party source. --Pfhorrest (talk) 06:53, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

A Different Approach[edit]

I have started this approach with a different view -- a view where empirical evidence obliterates speculative "evidence".

I must admit that empirical evidence is much more important to me than speculative "evidence".

This is contrary to Wikipedia's "egalitarian" approach -- in which every evidence (speculative or empirical) is weighted equally.

I have, therefore, decided to abandon my further contributions.

If there is an editor interested in including my research results -- I'll be happy to help.

Enjoy the day, Damir Ibrisimovic (talk) 05:43, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

Speculative "Evidence" -- vs -- Empirical Evidenca[edit]

The speculative "evidence" is based on guesses about what might be an imagined "empirical evidence". However, the imagined "evidence" is rarely supported by empirical evidence.

The empirical evidence is directly supported by hard data that is peer-reviewed by our peers.

These facts challenge directly the speculative evidence.

Without the challenge, there is no difference between "speculative" and empirical evidence. But ---sooner rather than later--- empirical evidence prevails and one or more speculative "evidence" has to be abandoned...

I'll take the role of Don Quixote and declare a "war" on windmills. If you know where the battlefield is, please let me know...

Enjoy the day, Damir Ibrisimovic (talk) 05:16, 24 June 2017 (UTC)