Re: Personal goal system was: IA vs. AI

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Tue, 10 Aug 1999 14:08:39 -0500

If you define "free will" as actions that are not caused by any external force or lower level of physical reduction, then there's obviously no such thing. If you use the same definition of "reduce" as in "The Adapted Mind" (thank you, Paul Hughes!) and say that a higher level does not reduce to a lower one unless there's an identity of pattern, not just causation of pattern, then there might be free will.

If you use my definition of free will, then details of low-level physics have nothing to do with it, nor does free will have a direct physical basis any more than flowers are made of flower atoms; free will is a cognitive abstraction used to define the basic unit of attributed moral responsibility.

           Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Running on BeOS           Typing in Dvorak          Programming with Patterns
Voting for Libertarians Heading for Singularity There Is A Better Way