Re: Decision theory

From: Gale <>
Date: Thu, 07 Jan 1999 16:13:16 -0500

Higgo James wrote:
> I am no solipsist: I believe that lots of things exist, including a variety
> of components we commonly call a 'self' or 'atman'. What I am saying is
> that the free will paradox arises because of the false assumption that there
> exists an independent, unitary 'self'. This 'self' is actually a composite
> thing comprising, for example, a set of relationships with 'past'
> environments. What does it mean for this 'self' to 'choose'? What does it
> mean for my car to 'choose' to break down?

Well, we have something to proceed from. Perhaps another way of saying
I want to get at is, of what X can it be said "X decided Y" is
for at least some Y?

We seem to agree that it cannot be said of a car. But the 'self' you
describe does not seem to me to even be a physical object, so it is not
comparable to a car. I wonder if you would be willing to say this is a
when said of a physical person, John Doe? This thread is called
"decision theory"
and I'd like to know whether you think the thread is vacuous.

If the thread is not vacuous, then on what grounds does one (decide?)
"can-decide" is a property one is willing to attribute to some physical

Received on Thu Jan 07 1999 - 13:16:03 PST

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