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Towards Implementing Free-Will

Edmonds, Bruce (2000) Towards Implementing Free-Will. [Conference Paper] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Some practical criteria for free-will are suggested where free-will is a matter of degree. It is argued that these are more appropriate than some extremely idealised conceptions. Thus although the paper takes lessons from philosophy it avoids idealistic approaches as irrelevant. A mechanism for allowing an agent to meet these criteria is suggested: that of facilitating the gradual emergence of free-will in the brain via an internal evolutionary process. This meets the requirement that not only must the choice of action be free but also choice in the method of choice, and choice in the method of choice of the method of choice etc. This is directly analogous to the emergence of life from non-life. Such an emergence of indeterminism with respect to the conditions of the agent fits well with the `Machiavellian Intelligence Hypothesis' which posits that our intelligence evolved (at least partially) to enable us to deal with social complexity and modelling `arms races'. There is a clear evolutionary advantage in being internally coherent in seeking to fulfil ones goals and unpredictable by ones peers. To fully achieve this vision several other aspects of cognition are necessary: open-ended strategy development; the meta-evolution of the evolutionary process; the facility to anticipate the results of strategies; and the situating of this process in a society of competitive peers. Finally the requirement that reports of the deliberations that lead to actions need to be socially acceptable leads to the suggestion that the language that the strategies are developed within be subject to a normative process in parallel with the development of free-will. An appendix outlines a philosophical position in support of my position.

Item Type:Conference Paper
Keywords:free will, determinism, philosophy, evolutionary computation, co-evolution, anticipation, choice, emergence, society, social intelligence
Subjects:Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
Computer Science > Artificial Intelligence
Philosophy > Philosophy of Mind
ID Code:558
Deposited By:Edmonds, Dr Bruce
Deposited On:23 Mar 2000
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54

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