This chapter endeavors to evidence how all doctrines and arguments so far conceived which are antagonistic to the reality of our having free will are either unjustifiable or, else, how they do not address what this treatise specifies by free will—thereby leaving the ontological position that we are endowed with free will (as free will shall be herein demarcated) devoid of justifiable alternatives.
In the absence of doctrines and arguments that either negate the possibility of free will or else present justifiable alternatives to it, the ontological position that we are endowed with free will just as we are aware of being shall then be concluded to be of unfalsified certainty.
11.1. What Free Will Shall Signify in This Treatise
This section will demarcate what the term free will shall intend in this and subsequent chapters. To do so with minimal ambiguity, the following here explicitly stated understandings shall be utilized:
In keeping with the general usage of terms, any activity that a person partakes of which is or was consciously intended will be deemed a voluntary act—whereas activities that a person partakes of which are not consciously intended will be deemed involuntary acts. Furthermore, voluntary acts will likewise be deemed volitional—i.e., pertaining to the given consciousness’s volition, i.e. to its will. Therefore, actions taken that are or were consciously intended—hence, intended by the respective eidem—will then be here equated to actions resultant of the eidem’s own will (in contrast to, for example, the possible will of the eidem's unconscious mind). Rephrased, an eidem’s will shall in this work be equated to an eidem’s intentional activities—be these activities physiologically overt (such as in intentionally moving one’s hand) or psychologically covert (such as in intentionally pondering whether one should move one’s hand).
Secondly, and also in keeping with common usage, let a constraint be here understood to signify one or more limits or boundaries that bar—i.e., obstruct, either by overwhelmingly impeding or outright preventing—the enactment of activity, irrespective of the activity’s type (e.g., again, be the activity physiologically overt or psychologically covert).
Then—also in keeping with common usage—let freedom in the term’s most general sense be here explicitly understood to signify “the absence of constraints”, such that “the freedom to do X” will equate to “the absence of constraints to do X”.
Given these understandings, whenever one’s will (i.e., one’s voluntary activities) as an eidem is not barred by constraints (i.e., by limits or boundaries which obstruct) one as eidem shall then be deemed endowed with what shall be here expressed in generalized terms as volitional freedom.
11.1.1 General Types of Volitional Freedom
When understood as defined in §11.1, volitional freedom can then take on the following forms:
22.214.171.124. Implementational Freedom: The Freedom to Implement One’s Intentions
If an eidem is not barred (by constraints of any type) from actively fulfilling the telos or teloi the eidem actively holds, then the eidem will in such cases have the freedom to do what it intends to do, what it is thereby motivated by its actively held intents to voluntarily do, and, therefore, what it wills to do.
Let any such volitional freedom be here termed implementational freedom.
As one example, if I intend to walk into a store once I’ve parked my car in the store’s parking lot and can thereby walk into the store, I shall then hold implementational freedom as regards my walking into the store—for my intentionally (hence voluntarily; hence willfully) walking into the store would not have been barred by any constraint.
Furthering this example, my implementational freedom to walk into the store does not then necessitate that I as an eidem engage in any deliberation (i.e., in any choice making) between competing alternatives while I so walk. I could, for example, have simply parked my car and proceeded to walk into the store without spending time in any way deliberating whether or how or when I should so walk into the store.
The occurrence of implementational freedom shall hence not necessitate that choice making takes place during the span of time in which implementational freedom is realized.
When this variant of volitional freedom is further addressed in strict relation to choices made, implementational freedom can furthermore take one of two disparate forms:
126.96.36.199.1. Choice-Making Implementational-Freedom
Let choice-making implementational-freedom be understood as the implementational freedom required to make choices.
When an eidem makes a choice from out of two or more alternative possibilities of which the eidem is aware, the very making of the choice can only be actualized were the eidem to have the implementational freedom to make the given choice. In other words, this choice-making implementational freedom—i.e., the freedom to implement one’s making of a choice in accordance with one’s intentions—will thereby be entailed in the very act of making a choice whenever a made choice results (irrespective of the choice's metaphysical properties).
Were an eidem to be coerced in such a manner that the eidem becomes barred from making a choice that the eidem might have otherwise made, the eidem’s choice-making implementational-freedom would then become in due measure restricted by the constraint of the said coercion—this such that the eidem’s available options would then become reduced to those which the eidem is not barred from choosing due to the said coercion.
Whether or not such will be possible, were the coercion involved to be so extreme as to not allow the eidem any available options save one, the eidem would then no longer be involved in choice making via deliberation. Rather, the eidem will then be so completely constrained as to allow the eidem only one course of action. In such a situation, then, the eidem’s choice-making implementational-freedom would be completely absent—for the eidem would here not be capable of making any choice whatsoever.
Choice-making implementation-freedom can at present be theorized to possibly occur in the complete absence of what shall be addressed in §188.8.131.52 as decisional freedom.
184.108.40.206.2. Choice-Fulfillment Implementational-Freedom
Let choice-fulfillment implementational-freedom be understood as that implementational freedom to bring one’s made choices to fruition—such that one’s choices, once made, then become fulfilled as one intended them to be fulfilled when one made these choices. Here, then, will be the freedom to implement one’s choices, once made, such that what one has chosen to be (this via one’s choice-making implementational-freedom) ends up occurring as one has decided that it should occur (this via the made choice in question).
If one chose to spend the evening exercising at a gym rather than seeing a movie, one then had choice-making implementational-freedom in so choosing. Notwithstanding, this will not necessitate that one will then also have the choice-fulfillment implementational-freedom required to exercise later in the evening as one has chosen to do. It could, for one example, be the case that one unfortunately experiences a sprained muscle that prevents one from exercising later in the day—this after one had previously chosen to so engage in exercise.
As with choice-making implementational freedom, choice-fulfillment implementational freedom can likewise be theorized to possibly occur in the complete absence of what §220.127.116.11 will address as decisional freedom.
18.104.22.168. Decisional Freedom: The Metaphysical Freedom to Choose in Non-Omnidetermined Manners
Whenever we choose one of two or more alternatives, we will make our choice intentionally in manners devoid of constraints which bar us from making the choice we end up making—for we would otherwise not be able to make the given choice. The process of making choices during times of deliberation shall, again, thereby always entail our choice-making implementational-freedom—i.e., the implementational freedom to select the one possibility we as eidems want to choose.
Notwithstanding, that species of volitional freedom herein termed decisional freedom shall hold a unique character in respect to that generalized species of volitional freedom termed choice-making implementational freedom.
Hence, the freedom addressed in decisional freedom will not strictly address the implementation of an eidem’s intentions in choice making but, instead, will directly address the absence of metaphysical constraints in an eidem’s ability to so choose any one of the two or more alternatives the eidem is aware of.
In accordance with the definition for free will provided in §8.1.1, what is here termed decisional freedom shall then consist of the ontic ability to have chosen otherwise than what one has previously chosen, to choose otherwise than what one is currently choosing, and to choose otherwise than what one will choose—this in any situation in which deliberation takes place. And, for simplicity of expression, this same understanding can be alternatively expressed as, “the ability to choose (else stated, to decide) otherwise in a selfsame situation.”
Here, then, is stipulated the metaphysical freedom (the lack of metaphysical constraints) to decide upon any one of the two or more competing alternatives one is aware of such that, relative to any made decision, the eidem could have chosen a different alternative than the one alternative the eidem ends up choosing—thereby entailing that the eidem’s made choices are not omnidetermined by past occurrences.
For clarity, were our made choices to in fact be omnidetermined by past occurrences—something that conceivably might yet occur within a semideterminate world (such as could possibly be maintained in a cosmos of theological fatalism—but see §11.6.2 below)—we then would necessarily only choose that which we as eidems are omnidetermined to choose—thereby granting us as eidems no metaphysical freedom in our decisions. This theoretical absence of metaphysical freedom regarding which choices we end up making would, however, in no way dispel our having choice-making implementational-freedom in the choices we make. Neither would this lack of metaphysical freedom dispel our then either having or not having the choice-fulfillment implementational-freedom required to bring to fruition that possibility which we were, in this hypothetical, omnidetermined—and, hence, in no way metaphysically free—to select.
11.1.2. Two Resulting Senses of Free Will
Given the differences between implementational freedom and decisional freedom, the following two understandings of free will can obtain:
22.214.171.124. Implementationally Free Will: Free Will as Strict Implementational Freedom Devoid of Decisional Freedom
Were the possibility of decisional freedom to be rejected, what would nevertheless remain is the eidem’s often available implementational freedom to both choose as one intends and to bring to fruition one’s made choices as one intends.
In such a scenario, the eidem’s volitional freedom, when present, shall take the strict form of implementational freedom (i.e., the absence of constraints to do as the eidem intends and hence wills) in respect to what the eidem is omnideterministically motivated to do—here very much including by the eidem’s intents—and, hence, will in no way include any metaphysical freedom to decide otherwise in a selfsame situation.
Compatibilism—a doctrine specifying that free will is compatible with, what in this treatise is termed, omnideterminism—will, for example, maintain just such an understanding of what the term free will signifies. 
That mentioned, because omnideterminism has been evidenced an erroneous stance in Chapter 10, and because compatibilism as just described entails the occurrence of omnideterminism, compatibilism as just described will be here likewise deemed an erroneous stance.
[Volume II of this work shall present a different type of compatibility between free will and a causal world to be termed retro-compatibilism—such that retrocompatibilism will not entail omnideterminism.]
126.96.36.199. Decisionally Free Will: Free Will as Decisional-Freedom-Resultant Outcomes
In contrast to the understanding of free will provided in §188.8.131.52 will be an understanding of free will as necessarily consisting of outcomes directly resultant of decisional freedom that obtains whenever the eidem holds choice-making implementational freedom.
Here, an eidem will be deemed metaphysical free to choose any one of the two or more alternative possibilities the eidem is momentarily aware of—this in the timespan of, and in due measure to the degree of, the eidem’s choice-making implementational-freedom.
At times, the eidem might have the choice-fulfillment implementational-freedom to bring its made choices to fruition and, at other times, the eidem might not. Nevertheless, regardless of whether this choice-fulfillment implementational-freedom occurs, the eidem’s made choice will here remain an outcome resultant of the eidem’s decisional freedom in deliberations, wherein the eidem is endowed with choice-making implementational-freedom in respect to two or more alternative possibilities of which the eidem is momentarily aware of and furthermore holds the metaphysical freedom to decide upon.
Of note, at times a choice the eidem made at some former time via the eidem’s (here assumed) decisional freedom might now be in the process of becoming fulfilled by the eidem (given the eidem’s choice-fulfillment implementational-freedom to so fulfill) in manners devoid of any deliberations being currently entertained by the eidem. This would not dispel that the eidem’s current behaviors and their outcomes—all of which, in this scenario, transpire in the absence of deliberations—are nevertheless an aspect of the eidem’s former decisional freedom and, hence, former deliberation. Therefore, in this scenario, the eidem shall presently engage in implementational freedom (for one here freely brings about what one intends) without in any way presently engaging in decisional freedom (i.e., without currently making any choices) while the eidem’s current activities were nevertheless previously chosen via the eidem’s former decisional freedom. In other words, an eidem’s present, decision-devoid, volitional behaviors could yet have been formerly chosen by the eidem via its decisionally free will such that these present, non-deliberational activities are yet an aspect of the eidem’s decisionally free will (being the present fulfilment of formerlly made choices for which the eidem had metaphysical freedom to choose).
Views which uphold an incompatibility between free will and what this treatise terms omnideterminism will maintain such an understanding of what the term free will signifies. (Maybe it is important to here explicitly state that such incompatibilism between free will and omnideterminism will not, however, imply an incompatibility between free will and semideterminism.) [As will be further addressed in later portions of this chapter, because they will all necessarily be intentional, all instances of decisionally free will shall be telosially determined, this in semideterminate manners.]
Decisionally free will shall then be equivalent to what is traditionally termed incompatibilist (i.e., what this treatise understands as non-omnideterministic, aka semideterministic)—or, else termed, (metaphysically (rather than politically)) libertarian—free will.
11.1.3. This Chapter’s Focus on Decisionally Free Will
Volitional freedom of any kind can well be addressed with the term free will by anyone who so desires—this regardless of whether one is intending by the latter term’s usage to address strict implementational freedom devoid of decisional freedom or, else, decisional freedom and all that it would thereby imply.
That said, to the authors knowledge, most, if not all, arguments against the reality of free will address what has herein been termed decisionally free will—with the occurrence of, what this treatise has specified as, implementationally free will being to the author’s knowledge largely, if not wholly, uncontested.
Additionally, the term free will (including its verbal and adjectival variants) is found to be more phonetically pleasant than that of decisionally free will—thereby making the reading of this and subsequent chapters less cumbersome than they would otherwise be via use of free will rather than decisionally free will.
Due to these reasons, this chapter will henceforth strictly reserve the term free will to address decisionally free will, aka incompatibilist (or else libertarian) free will. Free will thus understood shall then be entailed in any decisional freedom we might have—such that we shall hold free will whenever we are endowed with decisional freedom. Because of this, the phrase freely willed choices shall be interchangeable with that of decisionally free choices in this work.
184.108.40.206. Regarding the Distinction Between Narrow Free Will and Wide Free Will
Given that in this work the term free will shall always address behaviors stemming from decisional freedom, it bares note that in later portions of this chapter and of this work in general—for the sake of an improved clarification—a distinction between the narrow sense of free will (aka narrow free will) and the wide sense of free will (aka wide free will) shall be made—with both these forms mandating, and being pivoted on, the occurrence of decisional freedom.
In the narrow sense of free will, free will shall strictly occur when the agent momentarily holds decisional freedom for which one of two or more alternatives is to be selected.
In the wide sense of free will—as it was briefly alluded to in §220.127.116.11—free will shall consist of all voluntary activities which either a) consist of narrow free will or, else, b) are directly enacted in the absence of a present decisional freedom but which are nevertheless voluntary behaviors enacted via ones choice-fulfillment implementational-freedom to satisfy the fulfillment of one’s formerly made decisionally free choices.
For example, in narrow free will, one can be deliberating with decisional freedom on whether one should mow the lawn or change one’s car oil on one’s spare time in a given day, and shall proceed to make a choice as eidem. In the wide sense of free will, having previously so chosen to mow the lawn, one will then proceed to mow the lawn in manners not involving deliberations—and, hence, decisional freedom—regarding how to best so mow. Here, instead, will strictly occur the choice-fulfillment implementational freedom to implement the former decisionally free choice to mow the lawn. Hence, in this hypothetical, one does not hold any narrow free will while actively mowing the lawn, for in the given example no choice-making occurs during the activity of mowing the lawn. Despite this, one will nevertheless yet hold wide free will in so mowing the lawn: though, in this hypothetical, one is not actively involved in the process of choice-making while mowing the lawn, one is nevertheless actively fulfilling in voluntary manners a decisionally free choice one has previously made—and can thereby be said to be exercising one’s (wide) free will in currently mowing the lawn despite not engaging in any decisions (this, again, granting the implementational freedom to so mow).
In other words, whereas narrow free will—which will be this chapter’s primary focus—shall strictly concern the voluntarily enactment of a made choice which is directly enacted by an eidem via its decisional freedom, wide free will shall concern not only this but also all voluntary behaviors which are enacted by the eidem as unthought of, reflexive means of fulfilling the choice the respective eidem previously made via its narrow free will (this such that the unconscious mind, rather than the eidem, can be said to determine which of multiple activities best accommodates the fulfillment of what the respective eidem has previous chosen via decisional freedom—and such that the eidem reflexively assents to these activities on account of their remaining aligned to the eidem’s actively held telos or teloi).
For the time being, however, unless otherwise noted, let the phrase free will as it shall be used in this chapter be strictly understood to convey the narrow sense of free will.
11.1.4. Conceivable Subspecies of Free Will
This and subsequent chapters will, again, henceforth concern themselves with decisionally free will. Three general types of such have so far been historically conceived.  The three types can be categorized as follows: a) non-causal theories of free will and b) causal theories of free will, with the latter consisting of either i) event-causal theories of free will or ii) agent-causal theories of free will.
18.104.22.168. Non-Causal Theories of Free Will
Non-causal theories of free will shall uphold the following basic requirement: The choice made is an outcome that is not caused by anything or anyone—i.e., is a causally negadeterministic (and, hence, a non-genesial) outcome.
It is here understood that the outcome of a made choice is nevertheless interpreted to occur after the process of deliberation (i.e., the process of choice making), such that the made decision terminates the process of choice making of which it is an outcome of.
Because there is here a temporal relation between the made choice and the process of deliberation of which the former is an outcome—such that the former occurs after the latter and the latter before the former—and because this temporal relation between the made choice and the process of choice making necessitates that a change takes place from the process of choice making to the outcome of a made choice, the following obtains: the outcome of a made choice cannot be explained via any species of change-independent determinacy.
Because all those here concerned can only conceive of two species of change-dependent determinacies—those of genesial determinacy and of telosial determinacy—and because only genesial determinacy consists of a temporal differentiation between the determinant and that determined, the following obtains: the only determinacy type that can conceivably account for the outcome of a made choice will be that of genesial determinacy—i.e., that of causality—wherein the made choice is generated by one or more factors from out of the process of choice making.
Then, because any individual upholding a non-causal theory of free will shall deny that the outcome of a made choice is genesially determined (this by one or more factors involved in the process of choice making) while, at the same time and in the same way, being able to only account for the outcome of a made choice via genesial determinacy, the following obtains: non-causal theories of free will shall be here found either self-contradictory or else devoid of any explanatory power.
Due to this, non-causal theories of free will shall in this treatise be deemed either erroneous (if self-contradictory) or else enquiry-terminating (if merely devoid of any explanatory power)—and will on this count not be further addressed in this work.
22.214.171.124. Causal Theories of Free Will
Causal theories of free will shall uphold the following basic requirement: The choice made is an outcome resulting from one or more causes that are not omnideterminate—i.e., from one or more causes that are traditionally termed nondeterminate and which this treatise classifies as semideterminate.
These types of theories will either explicitly or implicitly address an agent; minimally, either by denying that free will is agent-causal or else affirming it to be so.
What the term agent refers to in these contexts is often, if not always, ill-defined.
To ameliorate this, here will first be given an explicit presentation of two referents which the term agent can hold: in overview, that of ourselves as eidems or, else, of ourselves as total selves.
First, and in review of Chapter 6 and Chapter 7, an eidem (a first-person point of view, aka a first-person point of apprehension) will necessarily hold three strata of awareness: an autoawareness of the eidemic protocept which apprehends, an autoawareness of the eidemic protocept’s mesocepts which are its means of apprehension, and an alloawareness of allocepts which are thereby apprehended by the eidemic protocept—such that the eidemic protocept and its mesocepts (both of which are autological cognita) will nevertheless be deemed by the respective protocept as separate from all allocepts (be these allocepts either physio- or phaino-perceptual or, else, purely senceptual); else expressed, with allocepts being cognita that the eidemic protocept will sense to be other than itself as eidem (with the eidem, again, consisting of everything which the eidemic protocept autoceives: namely, itself as eidemic protocept and its mesocepts).
It will thereby be the eidemic protocept (i.e., the apprehension-endowed autoawareness which is the integral, core aspect of an eidem) which is the first-person point addressed in the phrase “a first-person point of apprehension”—for it is only the protocept which apprehends.
This leads to a subtle but important differentiation: While an eidem will necessarily consist in part of mesocepts—and will thereby always be aware of some set of allocepts—a protocept could (this contingent on the metaphysical position hypothesized) be currently postulated to in principle possibly occur independently as pure autological awareness, such that it could occur in the absence of all allocepts and, therefore, of all mesocepts [This latter metaphysical scenario will be enquired into in later portions of this work with greater clarity, and will be there addressed as a possible interpretation of—for one example—the Indian notion of Moksha and, specific to Buddhism, of Nirvana. A general overview of such interpretations is provided in §126.96.36.199’s bracketed note.]
Rewording the aforementioned for improved clarity, the pivotal difference between an eidem and an eidemic protocept will be as follows: The eidem will necessarily always consist of an eidemic protocept that is aware of allocepts (i.e., of something that is other than itself)—an eidem will thus always occur in a dualistic relation to that which it is not of which it is aware—and this because the eidem will always be a conflux of an eidemic protocept and its mesocepts, with these mesocepts necessitating the apprehension of allocepts. In contrast, when addressing a protocept of itself, this duality between autocepts and allocepts need not be necessitated in principle—allowing for the metaphysical possibility of pure autological awareness. [This subtle but important difference will become more prominent in later portions of this work, including those addressing notions of selfhood and those addressing possible ultimate teloi.]
Hence, for the current purposes at hand, were we as eidems to in fact be the agents which thereby cause our made choices, it would then strictly be that aspect of ourselves as eidems which is the eidemic protocept—and not the mesocepts which we as protocepts are autoaware of (nor, for that matter, the allocepts which we as mesocept-endowed protocepts thereby apprehend)—which would be consciously aware of a) our alternative possibilities, b) our actively deliberating between these, and c) our then deciding upon one of these possibilities at the expense of the others.
Furthermore, and as was addressed in Chapter 7, the term consciousness (such as in the phrase, "the contents of consciousness") can only either validly refence a protologic consciousness (which strictly consists of the first-person eidemic protocept) or an eidemic consciousnesses (which simultaneously consists of the first-person eidemic protocept, its mesocepts, and all allocepts thereby apprehended by the protocept). Nevertheless, when we for example express, “I (needless to add, consciously) chose X,” we will not intend to specify our mesocepts nor our allocepts as playing a causal role in the made choice of X. For example, though I might utilize my physiological sight to apprehend possible alternatives and their various aspects, I will not interpret the physio-sight which I autoceive myself as protocept to be endowed with as in itself playing a causal role in a choice which I as eidem make between, in this case, the two or more visually physioceived alternatives. Nor will I interpret any physiological percept which I as protocept alloceive via my mesocept of physiological sight—for example, the physio-percepts of a tall tree and of an adjacent short tree—to of themselves play a causal role as percepts in the choice I as an eidem make between the two or more physioceived alternatives. Instead, when we express, “I chose X,” we will intuitively reference ourselves strictly as protologic consciousnesses—hence, as eidemic protocepts—as being that which intentionally (and, hence, volitionally, i.e., willfully) generated the given made choice.
Therefore, were we to refer to ourselves as eidems when specifying ourselves as the causal agents of free will, we then would always be implicitly addressing ourselves as protologic consciousnesses—i.e., as eidemic protocepts—such that the mesocepts which we hold as eidemic protocepts (via which allocepts are necessarily apprehended), as well as all allocepts thereby apprehended, would be excluded from that which holds the causal agency to choose between the alternatives that we as eidems are aware of.
Because in most, if not all, literature on the matter of free will, the agent is addressed as that which holds awareness of alternative possibilities (among other mental events), it is to be understood that all agent-causal theories of free will shall then reference what in this treatise has been specified as the eidem (and, more technically, the respective eidem’s protocept) as that which causes the outcome of a made choice.
This understanding of an agent as an eidem (by which, again, is understood a unified autological conflux of the eidemic protocept and its mesocepts) shall then stand in contrast to the understanding of an agent as an eidem’s total self.
In the latter case, the corporeal agent addresses shall include an eidem’s total mind (to include all unconscious processes of mind) and the eidem’s total physiological body (of which the eidem is aware in numerous ways). [Later portions of this work will present a derived, relatively in-depth anatomy of an eidem’s total selfhood. For now, however, let it suffice that there is a difference between oneself as an eidem (and, more specifically, as an eidemic protocept) and oneself as a total selfhood minimally comprised of all aspects of one’s mind and physiological body (with these implicitly understood to pertain to the respective eidem in question), aspects of one’s total self as an eidem which in various ways perpetually inform the given eidem.]
In succinct summation, then, we can either address a person’s protologically conscious self as agent or, else, a total person in general as agent—where the former entails a given eidem and the latter entails an eidem’s total self.
Then, the effect of a made choice resulting from (decisionally) free will can either hold as its cause the eidem in question—this being pivotal to what is traditionally termed agent-causal free will—or, otherwise, will hold as its cause certain aspects of an eidem’s total self’s agency of which the eidem is aware (to include cognized reasons and felt emotions) but will fully exclude the eidem itself from the causal process of generating a decision—this being pivotal to what is traditionally termed event-causal free will.
In short, agent-causal free will shall address the causal agency of the eidem whereas event-causal free will shall address the causal agency of various aspects of a total person such that the eidem itself is excluded from the causation.
In keeping with traditional interpretations, the term agent in relation to (decisionally) free will shall then in this chapter henceforth strictly specify any kentron solely constituted of a protocept and its mesocepts—with eidems being an unfalsifiedly certain example of such a kentron.
An appraisal of event-causal theories of free will follows—which intends to give satisfactory reasons for why this chapter and remaining treatise shall only address agent-causal free will.
188.8.131.52.1. Event-Causal Theories of Free Will
All event-causal theories of free will—if for no other reason, then due to being opposed to agent-causal theories of free will—will uphold the ontic occurrence of a total self’s (decisionally) free will in which the respective agent plays no causal role (with the agent, again, being specified as that which holds first-person awareness of alternative possibilities, among other mental events).
The hypothesis that a person—i.e., an eidem’s total self—engages in free will via the effect of a made choice strictly resulting from one or more agent-involving mental events as the said effect’s semideterminate causes—such that the given agent (in this case, the person’s eidem) does not of itself cause the said effect—entails that the given agent of itself neither originates the made choice nor is in control of which choice is made.
For emphasis, in this hypothetical the agent will be aware of alternative possibilities, of an active deliberation between these, and of a resulting made choice—but will itself play no role in genesially determining, i.e. causing, the choice which is made.
The agent’s actively held intentions will in this hypothetical then be deemed “agent-involving mental events”. These, then, can be here held to telosially determine—never the agent (more technically, the agential protocept) itself, but—other agent-involving mental events which together genesially determine the outcome of a made choice.
In so conceiving, it will never be the agent’s will, aka volition, which genesially determines which alternative best fulfills the teloi that the agent actively holds and is simultaneously telosially determined by. The genesial determinant of made choices will instead be the will of an agent’s total self such that the agent itself shall be fully excluded from this volition.
Because it will not be the agent’s will which causes the free-will-resultant made choice, and because—as was expressed in §11.1—only those activities which are willed by the eidem shall be the voluntary activities of a given person (all other activities of a person, such as a person’s heartbeat, being involuntary), this hypothetical culminates in the following position: all aspects of a person’s (decisionally) free will shall then be entirely involuntary.
To appraise all aspects of a person's free will as involuntary, this without exception, not only runs counter to our common understanding of our own experiences (both of ourselves and of how we relate to others) but also suffers from the following complication: If we as eidemic protocepts do not cause the decisions we autoceive ourselves to make (i.e., to generate, and thereby cause), then new categories of involuntary action will need to be devised for the sake of consistency—for example, such as a trichotomy between a) involuntary behaviors we are consciously aware of engaging in that are in line with what we (here, falsely) sense ourselves as eidems to intend (e.g., what we sense to be our willfully standing up from a chair), b) involuntary behaviors we are consciously aware of engaging in that are however not in line with what we (here, falsely) sense ourselves as eidems to intend (e.g., slips of the tongue), and c) involuntary behaviors we are not consciously aware of engaging in (e.g., our digestive processes). With that being briefly addressed, it however remains the case that, even if such a reclassification of involuntary behaviors could be satisfactorily procured, the following two logical conundrums would yet remain:
Firstly, on what logical grounds are we as eidems to then ever be held in any way accountable for anything we do when none of what we do is in any way willed by us as eidems—thereby, when absolutely all we sense ourselves to do as eidems is in fact not done by us as eidems—therefore entailing that we as eidems are powerless to enact, alter, or stop any behavior which we as total selves engage in due to being fully excluded from these behaviors’ generation?
Secondly, and maybe more importantly, on what logical grounds could it then be concluded that a freely willed choice was in no way agent-caused? To better express this, consider a scenario wherein a choice was freely willed by a person, in part or in whole, due to a certain reason X of which the eidem was aware which, of itself as cognized reason, was a cause in the made choice (this, again, at the full exclusion of the eidem itself as a causal factor in the made choice). For it to have been free will, reason X could not have been either a closed cause nor a tychistic cause and, hence, could only have been a poietic cause of the effected decision. As a poietic cause, reason X would then a) have been semideterministically determined by one or more teloi and b) have been in some way aware of two or more alternative possibilities in relation to the said teloi’s fulfillment between which it selected one. This would in turn entail that reason X would have in and of itself held awareness of possible outcomes between which it intentionally chose. Even in granting this, for reason X to then hold awareness of givens other than itself, it would then be logically required to consist of that which apprehends cognita (i.e., a protocept) and its means of apprehending cognita (i.e., mesocepts)—thereby then entailing that the given eidem’s cognized reason X must itself be a mesocept-endowed protocept and, thereby, an agent. Yet, this would then entail that the given freely willed choice was necessarily caused by the agency of reason X as agent (among possible other non-eidemic agents). This, in turn, would then directly contradict the position that this instance of free will was not agent-caused.
Hence, entertaining this section’s hypothesis of an occurrent free will that is in no way agent-caused will, then, not only be contradictory to our everyday experiences but will also present what in this treatise is found to be rationally insurmountable challenges to our understanding of ourselves.
Due to this, event-causal theories of free will—all of which specify the occurrence of free will in manners that are in no way caused by agents, i.e. by mesocept-endowed protocepts that thereby apprehend allocepts—shall in this treatise be deemed either erroneous (if found to be logically contradictory) or else enquiry-terminating (for no further line of meaningful enquiry into optimal certainties regarding any aspect of ontology can currently be appraised, this at least by the author of this work, were any event-causal theory of free will to in fact be sound.).
Because event-causal theories of free will are found either erroneous or else enquiry-terminating, such theories will not be further addressed in this work.
11.1.5. This Chapter’s Strict Focus on Agent-Causal Free Will
With both non-causal theories of free will and event-causal theories of free will being here disregarded for the reasons aforementioned—namely, for their being either self-contradictory or enquiry-terminating in this philosophy’s search for optimal certainties—the only conceivable option remaining will be that of agent-causal theories of free will. It will be this interpretation of free will—wherein we as eidemic agents cause the choices we as eidems sense ourselves to make—that this chapter will intend to validate.
11.1.6. This Treatise’ Basic Requirements for Agent-Causal Free Will
The agent-causal free will which this chapter will address shall be demarcated as necessarily consisting of the following, here explicitly stated, four requirements—all of which shall be mandated of the eidem as agent [but see the bracketed note at the end of this section for alternative forms of agency]:
1. The agent in question will need to be awareness endowed. The agent will minimally need to be in some way aware of two or more mutually exclusive, competing possibilities—i.e., of two or more alloceptual alternatives—regarding what could be; this such that each of the two or more mutually exclusive possibilities will be an individual allocept of the respective agent. Otherwise expressed, the agent will need to be endowed with a protocept (which apprehends) and mesocepts (means of apprehension) via which the allocepts of alternative possibilities are apprehended by the given agent. In the absence of this requirement, the agent could not be aware of alloceptual alternatives, and therefore could not be capable of choosing between such.
2. The agent in question will need to experience an autological compulsion to select one of the two or more alternatives it is aware of—irrespective of the degree, if any, to which this autological compulsion to choose is influenced by allological factors. In the absence of this requirement, the agent could be aware of alternatives without holding any need or want to select one among them—thereby not engaging in the activity of choosing between the alternatives it is aware of.
3. The agent in question will need to in some way deliberate to some extent on the alternatives it is aware of. More precisely, the agent will to some extent, however minimal, estimate and contrast the possible repercussions of the alternatives it is aware of in relation to these alternatives’ capacity to fulfill some telos or teloi—this, a) such that during this time span the agent experiences two or more contradicting inclinations, with each such inclination oriented toward one of the alternatives deliberated upon; b) such that during this time span the agent to some extent doubts each of these inclinations being the best means toward the actively held telos or teloi, thereby resulting in some degree of uncertainty as to which alternative to select; and c) such that during this time span there therefore occurs an indecision regarding which of these deliberated upon alternatives is best. Regardless of its intensity, this deliberation, then, could range from being subtle, being for example performed in strictly senceptual manners, to being relatively blatant, such that it takes perceptual (phainoceptual or physioceptual) forms (e.g., involving words of one’s internal monologue or involving words spoken out loud). But, again, regardless of its degree or form, some meaningful deliberation will need to unfold—this as deliberation has just been described. If no such deliberation is given to alternatives by the agent, it will then be possible that the agent might not of itself determine which alternative is selected; for example, in such a case the selected alternative could well be an outcome fully generated by the given agent’s strongest, if not singular, unconscious impulse to which the agent reflexively assents (were the agent to be endowed with an unconsciousness, as will be addressed as being the case for, minimally, ourselves as human eidems), rather than being an outcome genesially determined by the agent itself.
4. The agent in question will then need to be a poietic cause that genesially determines that effect which consists of one selected possibility among the two or more alternatives the agent is aware of, feels an autological compulsion to choose between, and deliberates upon. This fourth requirement will be constituted of the following three, here explicitly stated, sub-requirements:
4.1. In review, the agent will, due to its autological compulsion, need to select between the two or more deliberated upon alternatives of which it is in some way aware such that it generates a decision, aka a made choice. In terms of determinacy, this requirement will necessitate that the selected alternative will be a genesial outcome, i.e. an effect, which the addressed agent genesially determined, i.e. caused—hence signifying that the addressed agent will be the cause of the selected alternative as effect. In the absence of this requirement, the selected alternative, if any, would not be a genesial outcome of the agent as genesial determinant—such that the absence of this requirement would negate the possibility that it is the agent which of itself voluntarily brings about the given outcome.
4.2. Whatever selection the agent ends up making, the agent will need to have been able to select otherwise. In terms of cause types, this requirement will entail that the agent will at such junctures be an open, rather than closed, cause of the selected alternative as effect. In the absence of this, the agent could not effect any choice other than the one choice it would be omnidetermined to end up genesially determining, thereby signifying that the agent is a closed cause to the choices it makes—hence signifying that the agent cannot enact an ability to choose otherwise in a selfsame situation.
4.3. Lastly expressed in explicit terms, the agent’s open causation of a selected alternative as effect will need to be influenced by that for the sake of which the selection is made—i.e., will need to be to some extent telosially determined, this in semideterminate manners, by one or more teloi—and thereby be telosational. In terms of open cause types, this requirement will then entail that the agent is a poietic, rather than a tychistic, cause of the selected alternative as effect. Informally expressed, because an agent’s unintentional decision is no decision of the agent whatsoever, for decisions to result from deliberations, the decisions will need to be intentionally brought about. The decision will hence be telosational—hence to some extent telosially determined by one or more teloi (with intents being an example of these) which are actively held by the agent.
This fourth stipulated requirement will then specify that the agent as poietic cause generates the given effect in manners not omnidetermined by previous causes (be these previous causes deemed events or otherwise). Because of this, the free-will-enacting agent will then in this sense be the terminating origin, and hence the terminating source, of the made choice as effect. Additionally, the aforementioned fourth requirement will also signify that it will thereby be the agent as poietic cause which controls which of the two or more alternatives is effected as a made choice. In short, a free-will-enacting agent shall both a) be the terminating causal origin, or source, of the made choice as effect and b) be in control of which alternative is genesially determined.
[It might bare note that numerous complexities to this basic demarcation of a human’s free will shall be specified in later portions of Volume I. As a terse preview of these complexities, the free will of a human eidem shall be deemed capable of being semideterministically influenced by unconscious agencies of the respective eidem’s total mind—with one’s conscience as just one example, among many, of such agencies which can occur in a sane mind—unconscious agencies of a human eidem’s mind that will themselves be deemed endowed with some capacity of awareness and free will. This will be presented in Volume I in what will be address as an eidem-inclusive bundle theory of mind—such that an individual’s total mind will be considered in large part constituted of a generally unified bundle of otherwise individual, psychical, awareness-and-free-will-endowed agencies; a total sum of otherwise individuated agencies that unconsciously interact and from which the eidem itself will be appraised to be constitutionally determined—this such that the free-will-endowed eidem is a unified conscious being constituted of a, here unified, subset of otherwise unconscious agencies of the respective mind. As one extrapolation of this proposal, it will be offered that the eidem will disunify into these constituent unconscious agencies during sleep and will reunify into an eidem upon awakening from sleep (with REM dream experiences being specified as a somnio-eidem’s somnio-conscious awareness). Also, in further succinct preview, Volume II of this work will in part address these unconscious agencies of a human’s mind to themselves be constitutionally (rather than genesially) determined by the operations pertaining to the physiological central nervous system of the respective human—operations which can in turn be affected via formational determinacy by the freely willed choices of the given mind’s agencies, very much including those choices made by the agency of the eidem, i.e. of the conscious self.]
11.2. Differentiating Free Will from the Freedom to Implement One’s Made Choices
First will be provided four examples, all of which grant the reality of (decisionally) free will in choice making, wherein the differentiation between free will in choice making and the implementational freedom to fulfill one’s then made choices can become discerned with relative clarity:
A human who, via their free will, chooses to jump onto the moon from their location on Earth a) will have had free will in their ability to have chosen otherwise (e.g., to jump onto a chair instead) during their given selfsame situation of deliberation and b) will however not have the implementational freedom required to fulfill their made choice—this due to remaining subjected to various constraints that are beyond their control (such as that of gravity) which bar (either by overwhelmingly impeding or else outright preventing) their freely willed choice (that of jumping onto the moon) from being implemented.
A human who is incarcerated in a maximum-security prison who, via their free will, chooses to find a means of successfully escaping the prison a) will have had free will in their ability to have chosen otherwise (e.g., to serve out their sentence instead) during their given selfsame situation of deliberation and b) will however (in due measure to the security of the prison) not have the implementational freedom required to fulfill their made choice—this due to remaining subjected to various constraints that are beyond their control (such as that of security guards’ behaviors) which bar (either by overwhelmingly impeding or else outright preventing) their freely willed choice (that of finding a means of escape) from being implemented.
A human consciously experiencing sleep paralysis upon partial awakening who, via their free will, chooses to speak a) will have had free will in their ability to have chosen otherwise (e.g., to remain silent instead) during their given selfsame situation of deliberation and b) will however not have the implementational freedom required to fulfill their choice—this due to remaining subjected to various constraints that are beyond their control (such as the activities of the person’s unconscious mind) which bar (either by overwhelmingly impeding or else outright preventing) their freely willed choice (that of speaking) from being implemented.
A human addicted to a drug who, via their free will, chooses to no longer take the drug a) will have had free will in their ability to have chosen otherwise (e.g., to continue taking the drug) during their given selfsame situation of deliberation and b) will however (in due measure to the strength of their addiction) not have the implementational freedom required to fulfill their choice—this due to remaining subjected to various constraints that are beyond their control (such as overpowering unconscious desires to once again take the drug) which bar (either by overwhelmingly impeding or else outright preventing) their freely willed choice (that of no longer taking the drug) from being implemented.
In each of the just mentioned four examples, notwithstanding the person’s lack of freedom to implement their made choice, the person nevertheless does enact their free will in making their given choice.
Hence, as these examples illustrate—although we normally find that the vast majority of our made choices do end up being implemented by us; and although our implementation of our made choices will necessarily be contingent on our first making choices—our ability as eidems to choose otherwise in a selfsame situation (i.e., our free will) shall not necessarily equate to our ability as eidems to implement the choices we thereby make (i.e., will not necessarily equate to our having the implementational freedom required to bring about that outcome which we have chosen).
Therefore—were our free will to be real—our free will shall then be deemed a necessary but insufficient factor for our implementing the choices which we make.
As an example of this, while a free-will-endowed person who is a drug addict cannot ever break the addiction if the person always chooses to remain an addict to the drug, the person may or may not be successful in breaking the addiction if the person were to choose to break the addiction on repeated occasions—here granting that on one such occasion of choosing to no longer take the drug the person will find themselves endowed with sufficient implementational freedom to carry out this choice. The agent’s freely willing to no longer be an addict will, in and of itself, then be a necessary but insufficient factor in the agent’s no longer being an addict.
Because of the aforementioned, the reality of free will shall be deemed a topic different from our freedom to implement that which we have freely chosen.
This chapter, again, will then strictly concern itself with the ontic standing of our free will—hence, with the ontic standing of our own ability to choose otherwise in a selfsame situation.
11.3. Differentiating Attributive Responsibility from Moral Responsibility
It is to be further understood that an eidem’s moral responsibility will not necessarily be correlated with the eidem’s enactment of free will.
The following subsections intend to illustrate this point via examples. For these, the following shall apply:
Let it be assumed that all mentioned choices made by the eidem in question do become implemented by the said eidem.
Let it be understood that an eidem’s attributive responsibility for X will equate to X being an outcome which the eidem intentionally brought about. Then, because all freely willed choices made by an eidem will be intentionally brought about by the eidem, the eidem will then hold attributive responsibility for all of its freely willed choices. Conversely, were an outcome X to be contradictory to what an eidem intends—such as can occur where an outcome is contradictory to what an eidem decides upon (e.g., deciding to say “up” and in fact stating “down”)—then this eidem would not be attributively responsible for X, for X would here not have been intended by the eidem. [Also important to later portions of this work, an eidem can well hold attributive responsibility for outcomes the eidem did not hold decisional freedom to choose, this granting that the outcome was nevertheless intended by the eidem. For example, in intending to go outside, an eidem intentionally opens a door without in any way deliberating on whether the door should be opened; the eidem will hold attributive responsibility for the outcome of the door being now open on account of its own volitions, for the eidem so intended it to be, despite not having engaged in freely willed choices regarding the matter. In short, while a freely willed decision will necessitate one’s attributive responsibility for the choice made, one’s attributive responsibility for X will not be necessarily contingent on one having deliberated whether or not X should be.]
Lastly, let it be understood that an eidem’s moral responsibility for X will equate to the eidem being answerable for the goodness or badness of X.
11.3.1. An Eidem’s Possible Moral Responsibility in Absence of Its Attributive Responsibility
It is to be first acknowledged that the only type of eidem which could be fully responsible attributively for what it is as a total self would be a self-generated, nonembedded, free-will-endowed eidem. Because such would be a self-generated nonembedded (poietic) cause, and because, as per §9.3.2, self-generated nonembedded causes are inadmissible as possibility of what is or can be ontic, it is then concluded that no eidem which does or can occur can be fully responsible attributively for what it is as a total self.
Then, despite our not being wholly responsible attributively as eidems for what we are as total selves at any given juncture, we as eidems can yet be morally responsible for what we as total selves do—this even when what we as total selves do is not intended by us as eidems. The following example is offered as one illustration of this:
If I as a total self do X in manners fully conformant to my intentions as an eidem, then I as an eidem will necessarily be attributively responsible for X—and will likely thereby be held morally responsible for X (but see §11.3.2 for possible exceptions). However, if I as a total self do X in manners fully unintended by myself as an eidem, then I as an eidem will necessarily not be attributively responsible for X (for X would then necessarily not be an outcome which I as eidem intended)—although I as an eidem might nevertheless yet be morally responsible for X on grounds of being morally responsible for what my total self (my total mind, including its unconscious aspects, and my body) does.
Exemplifying this more concretely: If I were to walk past your coffee table, to in the process intentionally knock over a delicate vase with the aim of breaking it, and were the vase to break, I as eidem would then be attributively responsible for the vase’s breakage and would be aware of myself as eidem to so be attributively responsible with unfalsified certainty—this irrespective of what your evaluation of the situation might be. In this just specified case, I as an eidem can well be deemed morally responsible for the broken vase due to my attributive responsibility as an eidem for the occurrence. More importantly for this example, on the other hand, if I as an eidem were to accidentally—hence unintentionally—knock over a poorly placed vase on your coffee table while walking past the table, you might hold me as an eidem morally responsible for the vase’s breakage or you might not (this dependent on your assessments of the situation, including of my intentions, hence attributive responsibility, as an eidem)—but, regardless, I as eidem (rather than as a total self) would not have willfully broken your vase. I as an eidem would hence not be attributively responsible for its breakage—and I as an eidem would be aware of this with unfalsified certainty.
In this example’s latter scenario, I as an eidem (in contrast to me as a total self) might nevertheless yet be held morally responsible by you (and, for that matter, by my own self as an eidem) for something that was not a consequence of my own intention as an eidem and, hence, for something I as an eidem was not attributively responsible for. I as an eidem may thereby be obliged to pay you for the vase which I accidentally broke via the activities of my total self (via my total mind’s and body’s activities that were not intended by me as an eidem).
As this example illustrates, our accidentally (hence, unintentionally) doing something then exemplifies one instance in which we as eidems can be answerable for the goodness or badness of what was done despite what was done not being an effect which we as eidems intentionally brought about. In other words, we as eidems can at times be morally responsible for outcomes which we as eidems were in no way attributively responsible for and, therefore, could not have freely willed.
Other, more philosophically complex, examples can include those in which one eidem is held morally responsible for the behavior of other eidems—such as parents’ moral responsibility for their child’s behaviors, or a company’s boss being moral responsibility for the activities of the sum of eidem-endowed total selves which constitute the respective company. Here, again, the addressed eidem can at times be held morally responsible for some specific behavior or activity without being attributively responsible for said behavior or activity.
In sum, in all such cases, an eidem’s moral responsibility for some occurrence can be validly maintained in the absence of the eidem’s attributive responsibility for said occurrence. Because the enactment of free will shall necessarily be intentional, and because we can only be attributively responsible for that which we intended, this in turn entails that we can at times be morally responsible for outcomes we as agents (i.e., as eidems) did not freely will.
This will then culminate in the unfalsified certainty that, were free will to be real, an eidem can at times be held morally responsible for outcomes that the eidem did not freely will via its choice making between alternative possibilities.
11.3.2. An Eidem’s Possible Lack of Moral Responsibility Despite Its Attributive Responsibility
It is conceivable that in certain circumstances an eidem could have freely willed—and thereby be attributively responsible for—an occurrence and yet not be morally responsible for said occurrence.
The following are offered as two examples of this.
In cases where an eidem’s made choice will not deserve any moral judgment, the eidem will be attributively responsible for some occurrence without also being morally responsible for the said occurrence.
Illustrating this more concretely: Were I to choose of my own free will as an eidem that I comb my hair after I brush my teeth rather than before I brush my teeth; and were there to be no differentiable, either beneficial or detrimental, moral repercussions associated with either alternative; I then would factually be attributively responsible for the outcome of combing my hair after I brush my teeth without holding any moral responsibility for this particular outcome—for neither I nor any other would find my made choice to be in any way either better or worse than its alternative, thus signifying that I should be neither praised nor blamed for the choice I made.
Alternatively, in at least some cases where an eidem is aggressively coerced into making a choice, it is conceivable that the eidem can be attributively responsible for the choice made without being morally responsible for said choice.
Consider, for example, the following hypothetical—wherein shall be held that it is a moral wrong to insult a stranger:
I am the summoned subject of a tyrannical and mad king who, simply for his own amusement, informs me upon my arrival to his citadel that a) either i) I insult a greatly starved, and thereby physically weakened, stranger that also stands before the king in my presence or ii) I beat this same starved stranger until the stranger becomes unconscious or, else, b) the king will insure that everyone I’ve grown close to will be brutally raped and tortured till they die. Granting that I have no reason to doubt the veracity of the king’s imposition, my first-order choice between alternative (a) and alternative (b) might be considered so coercive as to virtually grant me no choice (i.e., no choice-making implementational freedom) whatsoever, allowing me only one viable option: that of choosing alternative (a). In then granting this, I nevertheless am in no way coerced in my choosing between alternative (a.i) and (a.ii)—for, other than a potential harm to my conscience, neither alternative possess any significant negative repercussions to my personhood—and I happen to be capable of successfully implementing either alternative. I, in being indifferent to which alternative I presume would please this mad king most, then freely choose what I take to be the lesser of the two wrongs—and I thereby proceed to insult the stranger.
Given my alternatives, do I or others then find me culpable for the wrong of having insulted this stranger in front of the king?
While the answer to this question will be contingent on numerous variables (such as, for example, the given stranger’s, and others, degree of empathy for the conundrum into which I was placed through no fault of my own), it is fair to presume that everyone (including the stranger) will be aware that at least the second-order choice I made was freely made by me, was thereby an outcome I intentionally brought about, and, hence, was an outcome I am attributively responsible for. Furthermore, given that I have a generally goodhearted nature, it is also likely fair to presume that everyone (including the given stranger) will nevertheless neither find me blameworthy for my resulting transgression nor praiseworthy for so choosing it over its alternative (considering this outcome the only decent option to be had given the circumstances I was in).
If so, this case illustrates how an eidem which is attributively responsible for an outcome commonly deemed a moral wrong—that of insulting a perfect stranger—might neither be blameworthy nor praiseworthy for said outcome, and, hence, how this eidem might not be morally responsible for an outcome it is nevertheless attributively responsible for.
In summation, as these and like cases can evidence, an eidem’s attributive responsibility for some occurrence will not always mandate the eidem’s moral responsibility for said occurrence.
It is then concluded an unfalsified certainty that an agent’s attributive responsibility for X—including that which obtains due to the agent’s freely willed choice(s) that X occurs—will not necessitate the agent’s moral responsibility for X.
11.3.3. Resulting Significance
In here granting the reality of free will, although in most cases an eidem shall not be morally responsible for that which it does not freely choose and shall be morally responsible for that which it does freely choose, as evidenced in §11.3.1 and §11.3.2, this relation does not always hold. There can be found scenarios in which an eidem is held morally responsible for that which it did not freely choose and, conversely, in which an eidem is not held morally responsible by anyone for that which it did freely choose.
Because of these exceptions, the reality of free will shall be considered a topic different from that of moral responsibility.
This treatise will hence not evaluate the reality of free will based on the occurrence of moral responsibility or the lack thereof.
[Subsequent portions of this work will address the very notions of good and bad—on which moral responsibility is in large part contingent—as themselves being in large part contingent on the general reality of free will. In so evaluating, the reality of free will in general shall be found to be a necessary but insufficient factor for the occurrence of good or bad intended outcomes—and, as a derivative of this, for moral responsibility whenever it might occur.]
11.4. Unfalsified Certainties Regarding Our Awareness of Our Own Free Will
Relative to all those here concerned, at least the following two unfalsified certainties can be presently upheld concerning our awareness of our own free will:
11.4.1. Our Awareness of Having Had Free Will on Account of Regret
It is unfalsifiedly certain to those here concerned that we can remember times in our lives when we have been aware of two or more mutually exclusive possible courses which we to some extent deliberated upon and between which we felt an autological compulsion to choose; this so as to generate—i.e., to genesially determine, and thereby cause the effect of—a made choice. It is likewise unfalsifiedly certain to us that the choices we made during these events were felt by us to be intentional.
It will furthermore be unfalsifiedly certain to those here concerned that for at least one such event in our lives, we can now feel regret for the choices we sense ourselves to have then made—such that we take for granted that we then had the ability to choose differently than we did and, furthermore, that we should not have chosen that which we did end up choosing.
It is thereby concluded an unfalsified certainty to all those here concerned that our sensing of regret for such former event(s) then entails our awareness of us having had the ability to choose otherwise than what we chose in the given selfsame situation(s) we regret, thereby entailing our awareness of having then had free will as eidems.
11.4.2. Our Awareness of Having Free Will in Any Real-time Deliberation
It is unfalsifiedly certain to those here concerned that in any present deliberation or past deliberation of which we are now cognizant, we hold, or else recall having held, immediate awareness of two or more mutually exclusive possible courses between which we feel, or else felt, an autological compulsion to choose; this so as to generate—i.e., to genesially determine, and thereby cause the effect of—a made choice. It is likewise unfalsifiedly certain to us that in all such cases of deliberation the choice we are about to make, or else have made, is, or was, felt by us to be intentional.
It will furthermore be unfalsifiedly certain to those here concerned that during these choice-making event(s), we autologically sense, or else remember autologically sensing, ourselves capable of selecting any one of the two or more alternatives which we entertain, or else entertained, during our deliberation.
Therefore, it is concluded as unfalsifiedly certain to all those here concerned that, when we engage in the process of choice making, we autologically sense ourselves able to choose otherwise than whatever one choice we will end up making—in other words, that we at such times autoceive ourselves as eidemic protocepts to be endowed with free will.
11.4.3. Resulting Significance
Our awareness of being endowed with free will, although unfalsifiedly certain to us as an occurrent awareness, is in this case not sufficient to demonstrate that we in fact are endowed with the free will we autoceive ourselves to hold. We might for example have false memories of our past decisions—or, even in granting a semideterminate cosmos, we might nevertheless as eidems be omnidetermined during any present moment of deliberation to autosense ourselves able to choose any alternative we are aware of, this while simultaneously being likewise omnidetermined to make the one choice we end up making. Our unfalsifiedly certain awareness of our own free will can in this case thereby nevertheless yet be an illusory awareness.
Sections 11.4.1 and 11.4.2 do, however, evidence our direct awareness of being endowed with that notion of free will which was demarcated in §11.1 and whose ontic occurrence this chapter shall try to substantiate.
11.5. On the Exclusion of the Inconceivable in Lists of Collectively Exhaustive Possibilities
What has so far been tacitly maintained in this work will now be explicitly stated for improved stringency of argument: In short, despite our ability to conceive that there might ontically occur givens which are so far inconceivable to us, the category of inconceivable possibilities will be excluded from lists of collectively exhaustive possibilities—this so as to allow for further enquiries into optimum certainties that do not terminate in states of unresolvable inconclusivity. Expressing the just mentioned in greater detail:
This work has and will continue to make use of lists of possibilities that are believed to be collectively exhaustive. These lists attempt to identify a full spectrum of what is conceivable by all those here concerned in relation to some given parameters. These lists’ status of being collectively exhaustive will be deemed of unfalsified certainty where appropriate—and, as such, can thus be at any time falsified via the provision of some valid, as of yet not included category that anyone here concerned might conceive of.
In theory, to any such collectively exhaustive list could be added a category specifying “that which validly is or can be ontic within the parameters specified but yet remains inconceivable to all those here concerned in practice, if not also in principle”. For simplicity of expression, let such category be more succinctly specified as “the category of inconceivable possibilities”.
Because, once admitted, the category of inconceivable possibilities will then be entertained as a viable ontic possibility, and because this category cannot be in any way analyzed on account of the very inconceivability concerned, this category will then preclude the realization of the intended tasks for which any collectively exhaustive list might be employed.
If the intent of a collectively exhaustive list of conceivable possibilities is to discern which, if any, of the listings are ontically viable with optimal certainty, because inconceivable possibilities are unanalyzable by entailment of being inconceivable, the inclusion of this category would then only result in inconclusivity regarding what can and cannot be ontically viable. And this very inconclusivity will then in turn preclude further satisfactory enquiries into the issue of what can and cannot be ontic.
As one example of this, in addressing the collectively exhaustive list of all determinacy types that can be derived from the conditions of being determined and of being nondetermined as specified in §8.2, in addition to the three conceivable possibilities of omnideterminacy, negadeterminacy, and semideterminacy could be appended the category of “inconceivable determinacy types”. So doing would then in turn result in the category of “causes that are of an inconceivable determinacy type” appended to §9.2. Which would then further result in the category of “an inconceivable causal nature of the cosmos” being appended to §10.2.
So doing, however, would only result in our inability to conclude whether the nature of the cosmos is one of causal semideterminism or else one of an inconceivable form of causation. And because an inconceivable form of causation would be wholly impossible to directly analyze, while yet being accepted as a valid possibility of what is or can be ontic, this would render all further enquiries into the ontic nature of causation that seek optimal certainty moot—very much including the issue of free will which this chapter addresses.
In review, because including the category of inconceivable possibilities within lists of collectively exhaustive possibilities will result in dead-ends of enquiry, and because such dead-ends of enquiry would terminate this treatise wherever they might be found, the category of inconceivable possibilities has been, and will continue to be, excluded from all lists of collectively exhaustive, conceivable possibilities—this so as to not terminate this work’s enquiries in states of unresolvable inconclusivity.
This exclusion will then very much apply to §11.6’s list of what are believed to be collectively exhaustive doctrine- and argument-types that suppose us to not be endowed with free will.
11.6. Arguments Against the Ontic Occurrence of Our Free Will
In respect to the issue of free will, conceivable options will bifurcate into either a) that of us in fact having free will just as we are autoaware of having (as free will has been defined in §11.1) or, else, b) that of us not having free will but instead only being endowed with an illusory autoawareness of it.
Possibility (b)’s validity will be contingent on either doctrines or arguments that logically contradict the possibility of our free will as eidems or, else, doctrines or arguments that present justifiable alternatives to our having free will as eidems. Were all such conceivable doctrines and arguments to however be found either unjustifiable or else oriented at notions of free will other than that demarcation of free will provided in §11.1, possibility (a) would then present itself as the only justifiable ontological scenario available in respect to our having free will as free will was defined in §11.1. And, were it to be so found, possibility (a) would then become an unfalsified certainty by default.
Here will be analyzed what is currently believed by the author to be all doctrine- and argument-types presently discernable by anyone here concerned which, as doctrines or arguments, endeavor to either negate or else provide justifiable alternatives to our having free will as eidems.
It will hence be currently deemed an unfalsified certainty that the subsections to be here specified will constitute a collectively exhaustive list of conceivable types of doctrines and arguments against our having free will.
11.6.1. Of Doctrines Entailing Universal Changelessness
Any doctrine which entails that all aspects of the past, present, and future are ontically fixed, and thereby ontically changeless, this without exception, shall be herein coined a doctrine of universal changelessness.
Universal changelessness shall be incompatible with the occurrence of free will as it has been herein defined. If we were to dwell in a cosmos of universal changelessness, what we once chose, presently choose, and will choose in the future would then all be existentially fixed in a timeless manner—such that what we as eidems would then illusorily experience as the temporal course of events could only take one possible, perfectly static form. Given universal changelessness, nothing of our past, present, or future could ever be otherwise than what is timelessly established in a perfectly changeless manner—thereby, for one example, signifying that no aspect of our past (to include our past decisions) could ever have been different. Universal changelessness thereby affirms that our awareness of being endowed with free will is illusional.
All doctrines of universal changelessness can be concluded unjustifiable via the following:
First, no doctrine of universal changelessness has to date ever been established with unfalsified certainty, such that it comes to lack the justifiable alternative of a changing cosmos. Secondly, as was demonstrated in §10.3, we hold an unfalsified certainty that change ontically occurs within the cosmos—minimally, within ourselves as eidems—and, hence, that the cosmos’s form, in part if not in whole, is in a process of change. This epistemic certainty of ontically occurring change in the cosmos will directly contradict any less than epistemically certain doctrine of universal changelessness: Because the less than epistemically certain doctrine of universal changelessness holds a changing cosmos as a justifiable alternative but the epistemically certain changing cosmos mandates that universal changelessness is not a justifiable alternative, it will then be concluded unfalsifiedly certain that the cosmos is not one of universal changelessness.
Because it is thereby established with unfalsified certainty that universal changelessness is erroneous, no doctrine that entails universal changelessness can then negate our having free will—nor, for that matter, can such a doctrine then present a justifiable alternative to our having free will: The unfalsified certainty that universal changelessness is erroneous entails that universal changelessness cannot be substantiated via error-free reasoning (this while minimally accounting for the epistemic certainty that changes ontically occur in the cosmos). Because of this, universal changelessness can only be an unjustifiable alternative to our being endowed with free will (this as unjustifiable alternatives have been defined in §1.1.12).
Two doctrines of universal changelessness—those of causal negadeterminism and of causal omnideterminism—have already been addressed and discredited in Chapter 10.
Other doctrines of universal changelessness can be offered. Section 184.108.40.206 will next directly address one such additional instance deemed to be of prominent importance.
220.127.116.11. Of Logical Fatalism
It can be upheld that all propositions about the future, irrespective of the present or past refence point from which the future is appraised, have an eternally established truth-value. This presumption will for example maintain that the proposition, “it will rain at the location I am currently at on the twenty-sixth day of March in the year 3042” can either be true or false in an already established manner. This just specified doctrine can philosophically be addressed as that of logical fatalism.
Logical fatalism will entail a cosmos wherein all future events—irrespective of reference point from which the future is appraised—are existentially fixed and thereby unchangeable. That all future events are already established in unchangeable manners, and this regardless of the reference point from which the future is appraised, entails that all events pertaining to (what we would then illusorily experience to be) our past and our present are equally fixed and unchangeable—thereby entailing that logical fatalism is a doctrine of universal changelessness.
As a doctrine of universal changelessness, per the argument provided in §11.6.1, the doctrine of logical fatalism is concluded to be erroneous. Because it is erroneous, it cannot serve as a justifiable alternative to our having free will.
11.6.2. Of Theological Fatalism
Here will be hypothesized that an omnipotent and omniscient, singular, nonembedded cause—to be here tentatively termed God—genesially determines all aspects of the cosmos while holding a perfect and, hence, infallible awareness of everything that transpires. In short, were God as just hypothesized to be ontically occurrent and thereby real, we would not have free will on grounds that everything of our past, present, and future (fully including all our past, present, and future decisions) is completely caused by and completely known to God in manners utterly unalterable by us, thereby nullifying our metaphysical freedom to make different choices in any selfsame situation. This position is commonly termed theological fatalism.
As an omnipotent and omniscient, nonembedded, singular cause that genesially determines all aspects of the cosmos without exception, as per §9.2, God could then only either be a closed cause, a tychistic cause, or a poietic cause.
Were God to be a closed cause, God as cause could then only be completely fixed ontically in all aspects of what God is and of what God does. Because God is here deemed the omnipotent singular cause to the entirety of the cosmos as effect or as sum of effects, the entirety of the cosmos would then be omnideterministically generated by an entirely fixed and immutable (and nonembedded) cause. This, in turn, will entail that the cosmos shall be one of causal omnideterminism. Because causal omnideterminism is a doctrine of universal changelessness, and because all doctrines of universal changelessness have been evidenced erroneous in §11.6.1, the possibility of God being a closed cause will in turn be concluded erroneous.
Were God to be a tychistic cause, God as cause could then only generate random effects in completely nontelosational (hence, nonintentional) manners, signifying that the cosmos we inhabit was, is, and will be constituted of purely unintended, random effects. Because we hold an unfalsified certainty that the cosmos we inhabit is not purely constituted of unintended and random effects (as is evidenced by those outcomes which at least some living beings intentionally bring about as well as by any measure of structure or order of which we are in any way aware), we can then conclude with unfalsified certainty that the reality we inhabit is not genesially determined in full by an omnipotent, nonembedded, tychistic cause.
Hence, God (were such hypothesized being to ontically occur) by default could only be a poietic cause that intentionally (hence, telosationally) generates all aspects of the reality we inhabit. (Maybe needless to add, because such a poietic cause is deemed omniscient and to hold awareness of allocepts in the form of, minimally, alternative possibilities it then intentionally selects among, God when thus conceived will then necessarily be comprised of, minimally, a protocept and its mesocepts—and would thereby necessarily be an agent.)
To evidence that God as here hypothesized (as a nonembedded, omnipotent, omniscient, poietic cause that thereby determines all aspects of the cosmos we inhabit with infallible knowledge of all occurrences) is not a justifiable alternative to our having free will, this very notion will need to be evidenced erroneous.
The following two subsections endeavor to evidence this by showing the self-contradiction of an omnipotent poietic cause and that of an omniscient poietic cause.
18.104.22.168. The Self-Contradiction of an Omnipotent Poietic Cause
Premise 1: Because an actively held telos—e.g., a goal, aim, intent, or purpose—telosially determines the respective poietic cause to generate effects which best fulfill the said telos, if a poietic cause is able to fulfill an actively held telos via its generation of effects, then the poietic cause will necessarily so fulfill the actively held telos—this, again, due to the telos it actively holds telosially determining the poietic cause to so fulfill.
Premise 2: If a so deemed omnipotent poietic cause (which, as per premise 1, is telosially determined to fulfill all its actively held teloi) were to be incapable of so fulfilling all its actively held teloi, then the given cause could not in fact be all-powerful and thereby omnipotent—this due to its lack of ability to fulfill all the actively held teloi it is thereby telosially determined by. Hence, an omnipotent poietic cause will necessarily fulfill all its actively held teloi in order to satisfy the condition of so being omnipotent.
Premise 3: A poietic cause will entail an open cause perpetually being telosially determined by one or more teloi in its generation of effects—this for as long as it so remains a poietic cause.
Conclusion 1: If a so deemed omnipotent poietic cause fulfills all actively held teloi it is telosially determined by—as will be required given the validity of premises 1 and 2—this so deemed omnipotent poietic cause will then be perfectly devoid of actively held teloi it has yet to fulfill. Were this to be so, it could then not in fact be a poietic cause, for it would then not be in any way telosially determined by teloi.
Conclusion 2: If, on the other hand, a so deemed omnipotent poietic cause will be perpetually telosially determined by actively held teloi for as long as it so remains a poietic cause, i.e. will persist to intentionally cause effects—this as will be required given the validity of premise 3—then it will not fulfill all actively held teloi it is telosially determined by while so being a poietic cause, this despite intending to so fulfill its actively held teloi. Were this to be so, it could then not be all-powerful and hence omnipotent—for it would then be forever telosially determined by at least one actively held telos it has not yet been able to fulfill despite being telosially determined by said telos to so fulfill.
Conclusion 3: The notion of an omnipotent poietic cause thereby results in the following contradiction: An omnipotent poietic cause, at the same time and in the same respect, both a) will not be subject to any telosial determinacy and, thereby, to any teloi it has not yet been able to fulfill (this so as to satisfy the condition of its being omnipotent) and b) will be subject to telosial determinacy and, thereby, to teloi it has not yet been able to fulfill (this so as to satisfy the condition of its being a poietic cause).
Due to the culminating contradiction specified in this argument’s third conclusion, the notion of an omnipotent poietic cause can only be deemed erroneous—and so cannot serve as a justifiable alternative to our being endowed with free will.
22.214.171.124. The Self-Contradiction of an Omniscient Poietic Cause
Premise 1: An omniscient poietic cause will necessarily hold a perfect, and hence infallible, awareness of all (past, present, future, and timeless or eternal) occurrences.
Premise 2: A poietic cause will entail an open cause of effects that, as an open cause, is in some way telosially determined—such that the open cause, in any applicable selfsame situation, holds the ability to cause one of two or more effects other than that effect it will end up causing, this to optimally satisfy the one or more teloi it actively holds.
Conclusion 1: If a so deemed omniscient poietic cause will hold an infallible awareness of all (past, present, future, and timeless or eternal) occurrences, then the so deemed omniscient poietic cause will necessarily hold an infallible awareness of all effects it itself has caused, is causing (in the present or, else, timelessly or eternally), and will cause—such that, at any juncture of its so being omniscient, all effects it has yet to cause for all time yet to come are infallibly discernable to itself prior to the occurrence of said causation.
Conclusion 2: If all effects which a so deemed omniscient poietic cause has yet to cause are infallibly discernable to itself prior to the occurrence of said causation, then the so deemed omniscient poietic cause will not hold the ability to cause any effects other than those which it is infallibly aware will result—thereby contradicting its being endowed with the ability to cause one of two or more effects other than that effect it will end up causing (i.e., contradicting its in fact being a poietic cause of effects).
Conclusion 3: If a so deemed omniscient poietic cause will hold the ability to cause one of two or more effects other than that effect it will end up causing, then the so deemed omniscient poietic cause will not hold a perfect, and hence infallible, awareness of what effect it will end up causing—thereby contradicting its being omniscient (i.e., of its having a perfect, and hence infallible, awareness of all (past, present, future, and timeless or eternal) occurrences).
Conclusion 4: The notion of an omniscient poietic cause thereby results in the following contradiction: An omniscient poietic cause, at the same time and in the same respect, both a) will not be able to cause one of two or more effects other than that effect it will end up causing (this as is entailed by its omniscience regarding all occurrences) and b) will be able to cause one of two or more effects other than that effect it will end up causing (this as is entailed by its being a poietic cause).
Due to the culminating contradiction specified in this argument’s fourth conclusion, the notion of an omniscient poietic cause can only be deemed erroneous—and so cannot serve as a justifiable alternative to our being endowed with free will.
126.96.36.199. Resulting Significance
In summation, God—strictly when interpreted as an omnipotent, omniscient, nonembedded, cause (i.e., genesial determinant)—can neither be a closed cause, a tychistic cause, nor a poietic cause. Because it is an unfalsified certainty that no one here concerned can envision a different type of cause in relation to omnideterminacy, negadeterminacy, and semideterminacy, it then becomes an unfalsified certainty that God cannot be a cause (i.e., a genesial determinant)—and, therefore, that God (when strictly interpreted as an omnipotent and omniscient nonembedded cause) can only be a fallacious notion.
Due to this, it is concluded that the doctrine of theological fatalism cannot be deemed a justifiable alternative to our having free will.
[That mentioned, to presumptively address some of the possible concerns of those who lean toward theism, here will be presented a terse overview of an existential possibility which this work will eventually make significant use of—a metaphysical possibility consistent with the arguments presented in this philosophy which, in at least certain respects, will parallel the Aristotelian notion of an unmoved mover.
In an exceedingly brief portrayal, as just one interpretation of this possibility’s pivotal aspects, and with many of this possibility’s complexities for now overlooked, this metaphysical possibility will consist of the following: the yet to be actualized, globally applicable, ultimate telostasis (here meaning, the ultimate end-state of our intending) that when realized takes the form of a pure protoceptual autoawareness (which is therefore devoid of all allocepts and, hence, all mesocepts) which—among its other attributes—is completely nondualistic (hence in no way defined by anything other—be this other physioceptual, phainoceptual, or purely senceptual), entirely limitless (hence entirely devoid of any boundaries or constraints and, thus, absolutely free in all respects), and divinely simple (i.e., devoid of any parts or facets)—an ultimate telostasis whose realization would furthermore result in the wantless and timeless bliss of infinite protoceptual being which is thereby perfectly devoid of suffering—that, in its yet to be realized form, serves as the ultimate and ever-present telos to the cosmos and all aspects therein.
This referent—to be later formally termed the apeiroson (a contraction of the prefix apeiro- (“boundless”), the Doric Ancient Greek ὠσία (ōsía, “being” or “essence”), and the Ancient Greek suffix -ον (-on, the ending of neuter nouns))—when addressed as the ultimate telosial determinant, will be a globally occurrent and ever-present actuality of the cosmos. Concurrently, as the only real, immutable, ultimate end-state of all protocept-endowed beings that nevertheless has yet to be realized, the apeiroson will then be a potential that perpetually awaits to be actualized by all coexistent sentient beings. Otherwise expressed, the apeiroson will simultaneously be a cosmic actuality, when addressed as an ultimate telos, and a cosmic potentiality, this when addressed as the only real ultimate telostasis of sentience. In its form as the ultimate cosmic telos, it will then either directly or indirectly telosially determine all (causation-resultant) changes within the cosmos (via complexities to be primarily addressed in Volume II)—for emphasis, this including both psychical and physical changes—and, as such, it will be the pivotal reason a universal physical reality occurs. When furthermore addressed as the real, cosmically fixed, ultimate telostasis that endlessly awaits to be actualized (this by free-will-endowed beings), the apeiroson is likewise perfected being (else stated, perfect being) and remains perfectly unmoved as perfect being for all time—this irrespective of the choices which eidems might make (hence, regardless of whether these made choices are either avenues toward the apeiroson’s realization as telostasis or, else, avenues that stand in opposition to its realization as telostasis).
As such, for the just mentioned reasons among others, it is estimated that the apeiroson can at the very least be juxtaposed with certain interpretations of the Abrahamic, monotheistic God (this, as will be touched upon shortly, in conjunction with other possible soteriological concepts)—such that, in certain caveated interpretations of it, the apeiroson could be addressed as omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnibenevolent.
In next presumptively addressing possible concerns of those who lean toward atheism, the just specified ultimate telos and ultimate telostasis will, however, of logical necessarily be neither a mind nor an eidem—in short, it cannot be an agent (as agent was defined in §188.8.131.52)—for the latter will necessarily be bounded by allocepts (rather than being perfectly devoid of boundaries or limits) and shall thereby necessitate a duality between protoceptual being and alloceptual givens (rather than being perfectly nondual). Therefore, the apeiroson—either as ultimate telos or as ultimate telostasis—cannot be logically deemed a deity or, else stated, a god (colloquially expressed, a god with a small “g”); this where deities, or gods, if at all occurrent, are understood to necessarily take the form of (typically, incorporeal) eidems, if not of (typically, incorporeal) eidem-endowed total selves—with the latter minimally consisting of eidem-endowed minds. Instead—as will be better articulated in Volume II—the realized telostasis of the apeiroson could well be technically expressed to be the obtained state of a nonhyperbolic perfectly objective awareness: this being a state of awareness that is logically impossible for any eidem to obtain but which an eidem can nevertheless progress toward or further itself from (such as with the psychological objectivity of views and judgments which is traditionally valued in, as just three examples, the empirical sciences, journalism, and judicial processes).
For emphasis, the apeiroson will again not be a global cause (i.e., a genesial determinant) but, instead, will either directly or indirectly be a global telos (i.e., a telosial determinant).
Further mentioned for those theistically inclined—although the apeiroson cannot be a deity by logical necessity—and while it can in certain interpretations be potentially associated with certain Western notions including, for one example, the Judaic notion of G-d (such as, potentially, when G-d is interpreted as the Ein Sof) or, as another possible example, the basic tenets maintained by the Neoplatonic notion of “the One”—the apeiroson can by the same properties be potentially associated with the Eastern notions of Brahman (the ultimate cosmic self which is constituted of pure witness-consciousness) and of Nirvana (the state of absolute bliss which can be obtained by the non-self which we all ultimately are). In this latter comparison to the notions of Brahman and Nirvana, subtleties in how one interprets the pivotal aspect of the apeiroson—namely, in brief, that of being pure and absolute protoceptual being—will affect how one then interprets the apeiroson in relation to these two Eastern concepts: Would one deem protoceptual being (exemplified by the unfalsifiedly certain ontic occurrence of oneself as protocept—i.e., as that autoaware aspect of oneself which apprehends all allocepts via its mesocepts) to be the constant, core aspect of all individual selves and, when so interpreted, to thereby be the underlying and permanent true self of all sentience? Or, alternatively, would one deem strict protoceptual being (including that aspect of oneself which strictly is the protocept) to not constitute I-ness—i.e., selfhood when thus understood—in any way, this on grounds that for I-ness to occur it will necessarily be bound by the non-I-ness it is alloaware of and, thereby, on grounds that I-ness can only be delimited by allocepts and, therefore, be dualistically situated in relation to other (something that cannot apply to a purely protoceptual state of being which, therefore, can only be perfectly devoid of all I-ness and, therefore, when so interpreted, of all selfhood)? In this comparison of the apeiroson to the two notions of Brahman and Nirvana, deeming the former expressed stance to be valid would signify that one would associate the possibility of the apeiroson’s reality to that of Brahman’s metaphysical reality; conversely, deeming the latter expressed stance to be valid would signify that one would associate the possibility of the apeiroson’s reality to that of Nirvana’s metaphysical reality; yet, regardless of what perspective one settles on—laconically, either that protoceptual being is the true self of pure consciousness (Atman) or that it is that non-self which attaches to a bundle of impermanent allological cognita it falsely deems to be its permanent total self (Anatman)—the metaphysical possibility of infinite and purely protoceptual being as one’s real and ultimate telostasis would nevertheless remain unaltered.
Terse as it has here been, let this informal and general introduction to the more spiritual interpretations of this metaphysical possibility of the apeiroson for now suffice.
Also worthy of mention, in an overview equally applicable to those theistically minded and those atheistically minded: This specified metaphysical possibility—that of the apeiroson—when considered together with its collectively exhaustive alternatives, shall then be pivotal to this philosophy’s eventual evaluation of objectivity—both physical objectivity (including its aspects of space, causality, and time) and psychical objectivity (i.e., the impartiality of views and judgments which an eidem can either hold more of or hold less of, but which an eidem can never obtain in absolute form—this, again, while being an eidem)—as well as being pivotal to this philosophy’s appraisals of value theory, very much including the subject of metaethics (and of what is often referred to as the philosophical problem of evil).
In review, the notion of an omnipotent and omniscient poietic cause shall in this work be concluded a self-contradictory and, therefore, erroneous concept. Notwithstanding, this work will attempt to validate the ontic standing of the apeiroson via its rationally cogent explanatory power—including via comparison to the deficits of explanatory power presented by its collectively exhaustive alternatives. Of note, this work will not be able to evidence with unfalsified certainty that the alternative here specified as the apeiroson depicts that which is ontically certain; instead, this work will only endeavor to rationally evidence the overwhelming plausibility that this proposed ultimate cosmic telos and telostasis is ontically certain. Albeit inadvertently, this then mandates that belief in the apeiroson’s being the ultimate cosmic telos and telostasis—rather than belief in the reality of any one of its alternatives—can only remain a matter of one’s freely willed choice of belief between a collectively exhaustive set of alternatives.
This collectively exhaustive set of alternatives will be formally introduced in Chapter 14—such that any viable alternative must satisfy certain conditions that Chapter 13 will first evidence to be requisite of any free will. In terse preview, these alternatives will consist of five possible to fathom syntelostasis scenarios—a syntelostasis relative to an elemental and innate telosial aspect of our free will that affects all our choices. None of these five syntelostasis alternatives can be evidenced to hold an unfalsifiedly certain ontic standing, but it will be unfalsifiedly certain that one of these five scenarios references that which is of ontic certainty—thereby mandating that, regardless of which scenario might depict what is metaphysically real, the other four scenarios will then necessarily be fictitious constructs, thereby false, and thereby wrong. These mutually exclusive syntelostasis alternatives will, in summation, consist of a) an obtained absolute nonbeing, b) an obtained absolute preservation of one’s total self, c) an obtained absolute control over everything alloceptual, d) an obtained absolute protoceptual being (i.e., the apeiroson), and e) the scenario in which all the aforementioned scenarios (including that of nonbeing) are erroneous views.]
11.6.3. Of Luck, Part I: Randomly Made Choices
Given the nonreality of universal changelessness, the following ontological argument can be proposed: If nothing prior to the choice making can account for the agent’s choosing one way rather than another between available alternatives, then the choice made will be randomly generated by the agent—will be, in this sense, a matter of luck—and, if the choice is to be randomly generated by the agent, then the agent does not have free will in what is chosen.
In review of §11.4, we as eidems hold an awareness of being endowed with free will—illusional though this awareness might be. This entails our awareness of intentionally, hence of telosationally, making our choices with the ability to choose otherwise in a selfsame situation—such that our choices can always be in part explained by the goals or aims (i.e., by the teloi) we hold in mind, teloi which telosially determine (i.e., which telosially set limits or boundaries to) our generation of the made choice as effect. And this further entails that we are aware of our choices not being randomly generated by us as open causes.
Furthermore, in review of §184.108.40.206, telosial determinacy will occur concurrently with the genesial determinacy which it determines. Hence, were we to be the poietic causes—i.e., the telosially determined open causes—of said effects, while we would be significantly determined by the teloi we actively hold in the choices we make, there could yet be nothing prior to the process of choice making that would account for the choice which ends up being made.
If nothing prior to the choice making accounts for our choosing one way rather than another—i.e., were we to in fact be open causes—and were our awareness of being telosially determined to be illusory, then we as agents would by default then be the tychistic causes of our made choices.
Were we to be tychistic causes of our made choices, then all our resulting choices would ontically be randomly caused by us as eidems—hence being caused by us for no telosial reason whatsoever—hence being caused in an utterly unintentional manner. One entailment of our being tychistic causes of our made choices would then be that we as eidems would not be able to successfully progress via our decisions toward the longer-term goals we are nevertheless aware of holding.
However, because it is unfalsifiedly certain to all those here concerned that we typically can and do progress toward the longer-term goals which we hold via our making of choices during times of deliberation, we can then conclude with unfalsified certainty that we are ontically endowed with intentionality during our making of choices—i.e., that our choices are telosially determined by our teloi—this just as we are autoaware of whenever we autoceive ourselves to make a choice.
This just specified unfalsified certainty will in turn necessitate that any opposition to us holding free will as eidems on account of us randomly causing our made choices will be an unjustifiable alternative to us being endowed with free will.
11.6.4. Of Luck, Part II: Different Possible Worlds
In close relation to §11.6.3, the following general argument can be brought against free will: If one’s choice making is undetermined, then there will be nothing to account for why one would choose some alternative A rather than some other alternative B. This, then, will result in an unexplainable difference between the decision one makes in the actual world and an alternative decision one makes in some possible world—here understanding the actual world and the given possible world to be identical up to the time of the made choice. Because the difference between the actual world and the possible world(s) in which different alternatives are chosen would be unexplainable, this would result in the made choice either being fully undetermined (i.e., negadeterminate) or else randomly (i.e. tychistically) caused—hence nullifying any sense or control and responsibility on the part of the agent for the made choice, whose generation, here, will strictly be a matter of luck.
In review, the free will this chapter and treatise addresses is not undetermined in the sense of being negadeterministic; instead, as a decisionally free act that is thereby not metaphysically constrained to strictly one outcome—i.e., that is not omnideterminate—the free will herein addressed will necessarily be determined by the agent as the poietic genesial determinant (i.e., as the telosially determined open cause) of the freely made choice. Explicitly reaffirmed, as a poietic cause to the effect of a made choice, the agent’s causation of the made choice then minimally necessitates two simultaneously occurring determinacies: a) the telosial determinacy upon the agent as cause which the agent’s actively held set of teloi entails and b) the genesial determinacy, aka causation, of the made choice as effect by the telosially determined agent itself. As such, the made choice will neither be negadeterminate nor tychistically caused—nor, for that matter, will the made choice result from an omnideterminate cause. Instead, the made choice will, again, result from a telosially determined, semideterminate, genesial determinant—i.e., from the agent as a poietic cause.
While subsequent chapters of this treatise intend to address at the very least the most immediate concerns of such poietic causation, it will nevertheless remain necessitated that with every freely willed decision, one of two or more different possible worlds shall transmute into the actual world. In greater detail, what remains one of two or more possible worlds during the span of choice making will transmute into the actual world at the time a choice is made by the deliberating agent—this irrespective of a) the degree of difference between the future potential worlds which the agent entertains as alternatives to choose among and b) the effectiveness of the choice that is made (i.e., the degree to which the made choice as immediate effect becomes fulfilled via implementation, this if the made choice is in any way satisfactorily implemented).
In summation, given the reality of decisional freedom in the choices we make, the actual world’s future shall necessarily change with each made choice enacted by each of all coexisting, free-will-endowed agents in the cosmos—entailing a cosmos that undergoes perpetual flux. Again, these free-will-emergent changes will not be the outcome of either negadeterminate or tychistic causes but, instead, of poietic causes. These changes will thereby not be undetermined. Instead, they will be determined by semideterminate causes which are themselves telosially determined by one or more teloi—which, as poietic causes, will thereby hold both control over and, minimally, attributive responsibility (if not also moral responsibility) for the one alternative selected during choice making and, hence, for the immediate possible world which then becomes an aspect of the global actual world as a result of the choice made.
Differences between the actual world and any possible world wherein a different choice was made will thereby be explainable by the poietic causation of agents which, thus, determine aspects of the actual world.
[The potential concern of what then stabilizes and universalizes the objective world for one and all despite the constant changes which the cosmos undergoes due to the free will of all coexisting agents shall be addressed in Volume II of this work—again, this via the yet to be addressed principle of retro-compatibilism.]
Hence, it is unfalsifiedly certain that were the act of making a choice to be one of poietic causation, the made choice would then neither be undetermined (i.e., negadetermined) nor randomly determined (i.e., tychistically caused)—thereby entailing both the agent’s control of and (at minimum, attributive) responsibility for the choice which is made and, concurrently, falsifying the notion that the choice made is strictly a matter of luck.
11.6.5. Of Luck, Part III: Decisions Comprised of Factors That Are Outside of Our Control
Ontological arguments can take the following form: If our decisions are influenced by factors outside of our control, then our decisions are influenced by factors that luckily happen to be, and we thereby have no free will in what we decide; our decisions are influenced by a) mental factors that are outside of our control and by b) dispositions inherent to our being that are outside of our control; therefore, we have no free will.
All those here concerned can experientially obtain the following unfalsified certainty: in any choice making we have engaged in, we held no control over a) which two or more alternatives we were initially aware of, with these being constituent mental factors of our choice making, nor b) of our autological compulsion, when present, to choose between alternatives, this being a disposition inherent to our nature as eidemic protocepts.
Expressing this in greater detail:
At junctures of choice making, we as eidems do not determine the initial alternatives we are aware of between which we feel compelled to choose; rather, these alternatives are as immediately present to our protoawareness as would be any physiocept; and, as with our physiocepts, their so being present to our protoawareness will be beyond our control as eidems. [It can be safely assumed that, if these alternatives are not presented to us by others, they then strictly result from the workings of our own unconscious mind’s agencies.]
As to our compulsion to choose between the alternatives of which we are aware, for greater accuracy, let it first be observed that during any juncture of choice making we could be faced with two general types of alternatives: Firstly, and necessarily, we will be faced with alternatives of which we are in some way alloaware—such as the alternatives of divulging a proposition or else keeping it private, which, as cognized alternative courses of action, stand apart from us as protocepts which are cognizant of these two alternative possible courses. Let all alternatives of which we are alloaware be more succinctly termed alloalternatives. Secondly, we at times can also hold a protoawareness of alternatives courses regarding what we as protocepts can do in relation to these alloalternatives: namely, we could either choose between alloalternatives and thereby select which one course we intend to pursue or, else, we could instead opt to abstain from choosing between these alloalternatives and thereby let things develop as they will on their own [here, arguably, allowing our unconscious mind’s agencies to make the choice between alloalternatives for us, such that we as eidems here willfully proceed in conformity to our most prominent subconscious impulse, whatever it might be]. These latter two alternatives will typically not stand apart from us as protocepts during real-time deliberations—but will instead be protologically cognized by us as eidemic protocepts. Then, let these latter two alternatives be more succinctly termed protoalternatives.
Hence—among the many possibilities that can manifest, and in general—whenever we are faced with alloalternatives, if we at such juncture also happen to be aware of protoalternatives, we will then be invariably compelled autologically to engage in one protoalternative at expense of the other, and to thereby choose it: either choosing to choose between alloalternatives or, else, choosing to not choose between alloalternatives. If we do choose to choose between alloalternatives, then we will be further autologically compelled to so choose one alloalternative over the other(s). Conversely, if we happen to not be aware of protoalternatives at a time of choice making between alloalternatives, we will then feel a strict autological compulsion to choose between the alloalternatives we are alloaware of.
Importantly, despite the possible complexities to the just mentioned, in all conceivable cases of choice making our inevitable, autological compulsion to choose between the alternatives we are in any way aware of—be they alloalternatives or protoalternatives—will be a disposition inherent to our being as eidemic protocepts which will be beyond our control.
Hence, our being endowed with free will—i.e., our being poietic causes to the effects of made choices—does not become logically nullified by the occurrence of initial alternatives of which we are aware and have no control over as eidems, nor by the occurrence of our autological compulsion to choose between alternatives as eidems, which we also have no control over—with neither of these thereby being of our own making as eidems. To the contrary: it can be concluded that these two factors that are beyond our control as eidems will be requisite aspects of any enactment of free will by us as eidems.
We can then affirm that the specific alternatives (whether they strictly consist of alloalternatives or also of protoalternatives) available to us to choose from is a matter of luck, and further affirm that our being endowed with an autological compulsion to choose between them is likewise a matter of luck—yet this shall of itself in no way detract from our being poietic causes to the effects of made choices, hence from our being endowed with free will during times of deliberation. (We, for example, can deem ourselves lucky to not have faced harder choices in life than the ones we’ve so far faced, despite the choices we’ve so far made having nevertheless consisted of our freely willed decisions.)
In a like manner, any given choice we make can be haphazardly (and hence luckily) influenced by mental factors such as our momentary mood, our environment, or the particular alloceptual thoughts (to include alloceptual reasons) that happen to come to mind; as well as by our luck in being dispositionally endowed with the intelligence types we innately possess (such as due to our genotypic makeup). These factors that are beyond our control will not, however, in any way logically negate our ability to poietically cause the effect of a made choice given the total sum of cognita we are aware of during the deliberation—the two or more alternatives we are aware of included.
Because this section’s ontological argument against the possibility of free will in no way undermines the occurrence of free will as it has been defined in this treatise (in short, as the ability to choose otherwise in a selfsame situation), the just expressed ontological argument against free will shall at best concern an understanding of free will which is not specified in this work—thereby leaving this work’s understanding of free will uncontested.
11.6.6. Of the Impossibility of Ultimate Moral Responsibility
Ontological arguments against free will can also be made to the following effect:
Fredrick Nietzsche can be interpreted as having made the argument that, for us as conscious agents to be endowed with free will, we would need to be ultimately morally responsible for our actions and, for this to so be, we would need to have fully caused all aspects of who we are at any instance of the given choice making. In other words, we as eidemic protocepts would need to be fully responsible attributively for who we are as total selves. To have so completely genesially determined all aspects of who we currently are, we would then need to have once been self-generated nonembedded causes which in turn fully generated our present state as an embedded poietic cause. As per §9.3.2, the notion of self-generated nonembedded causes can only be inadmissible as a possibility of what is or can be ontic on grounds of being self-contradictory. Because of the impossibility of so being, we then are concluded to lack free will.
Alternatively, for Galen Strawson, free will is deemed to require ultimate moral responsibility, and for the latter to obtain there would need to be an infinite regress of choices we’ve made regarding who we currently are as choice makers that have all come to fruition; the impossibility of such infinite regress then dispels the possibility of our ultimate moral responsibility, and hence of our free will, in any instantiation of choice making we might engage in.
In review of §11.1, what this work addresses by free will is simply and strictly the attribute of being an awareness-endowed poietic cause to effects taking the form of a made choice.
Hence, as this work defines free will, if at time t an embedded, poietic cause generates a made choice that has thereby been selected by the said cause between the alternatives it is aware of, the referenced poietic cause as kentron will then have engaged in free will at time t.
This will hold irrespective of the poietic cause’s degree of moral responsibility, or lack thereof, for the made choice it effects. Likewise, it will hold irrespective of the degree—if any—to which the poietic cause is attributively responsible for its own present state of embedded being (such as via choices it previously made as an embedded cause which then led to its current state of being as an embedded cause).
Because this section’s ontological arguments against the possibility of free will makes use of a definition of free will that is discordant to the definition which this treatise makes use of, the just expressed category of ontological arguments against free will shall concern an understanding of free will which is not addressed in this work—thereby leaving this work’s understanding of free will's occurrence uncontested.
11.6.7. Of Probability
As is presented by Derk Pereboom, arguments against free will can take the following form: were our free will in any given situation to be probabilistic, this would of itself raise grave doubts as to the possibility of us being endowed with free will. Exemplifying this using the terminology so far proposed in this work, were our telosially determined, openly causal choice making as eidems between two alternatives, A and B, to result in our choosing A rather than B with a probability of .40 during the given selfsame situation, then, given a hypothetical scenario in which this selfsame situation could be repeated to a sufficient degree, we would choose A rather than B 40% of the time—and this outcome in which what we choose can be precisely measured with objectively probability would of itself be sufficient to question the notion of our having free will.
Firstly, that no such probabilistic outcome should occur were free will to be real could only be conformant to the notion that free will entails tychistic causation, rather than poietic causation—this being a position that, for reasons aforementioned in this chapter, is here found unjustifiable.
Furthermore, beyond the generalities of an eidem being more likely, less likely, or similarly likely to select a possibility over its alternatives by some vague appraisal, it is currently deemed an unfalsified certainty that no one here concerned can devise an accurate means of specifying the precise objective probability of any given poietically caused choice during any given selfsame situation of deliberation.
Additionally, as regards predictability, it is to be understood that even if a given alternative A in a deliberation between alternatives A and B were to hold a .999 objective probability of being chosen during a given selfsame situation, this would not preclude the agent from choosing alternative B in the given selfsame situation, such that the agent’s choosing alternative B will hold the converse probability of .001. Here tentatively assuming that selfsame situations could in fact be somehow repeated in the actual world, in any one of these repeating selfsame situations, then, although the agent’s resulting choice could be hypothesized to hold a constant objective probability of being chosen prior to the agent’s made choice, this objective probability will however not be able to establish with epistemic certainty which choice shall in fact result.
That preliminarily mentioned, because it is unfalsifiedly certain that we are not tychistic causes to the effects of made choices (this due to our choices being intentional), we can then only conclude that the outcome of our choice making will in principle be subject to probabilities—although in practice we can in the vast majority of cases only remain ignorant of a) the precise probabilities that might be involved and b) the alternative which will in fact be selected.
In short, that our poietically caused choices are subject to probabilities in principle does not provoke any self-contradiction in respect to the reality of our being endowed with free will—this as free will has been herein defined—but instead is to be fully expected. That our choices are subject to probabilities therefore neither negates our having decisional freedom during times of deliberation nor does it provide a justifiable alternative to our so having.
11.6.8. Of Frankfurt Style Cases (and the Principle of Alternative Possibilities)
As general background, the principle of alternative possibilities in essence stipulates that one will be morally responsible for what one has done only if one could have done otherwise. Reworded via this chapter's terminology, it states that one could only be answerable for the goodness or badness of some action A—and, hence, that one can only either be praised or blamed for A—were one to have had the decisional freedom to choose A (necessarily, this among two or more alternative possibilities).
Frankfurt-style cases intend to evidence that moral responsibility can be had in violation of the principle of alternative possibilities, and this, typically, so as to justify that one can be morally responsible were the cosmos to be one of causal omnideterminism and, consequently, were one to not hold decisional freedom (i.e., were one to not be able to choose otherwise than what one ends up choosing).
Secondly, as §11.3.1 has evidenced, we can at times hold morally responsibility for accidental acts which we thereby did not intend as eidems, acts we as eidems hence did not choose to perform—and, hence, acts for which we as eidems had no opportunity to have done otherwise. Due to the importance of this point, following is a more in-depth example of such:
Consider that a person who is experienced in ball-catching can be praised (or blamed) for having caught (or let fall) a ball in a sports match, this despite the eidem’s lack of immediate deliberations between alternatives—hence, despite the act of catching (or letting fall) the ball not resulting from the eidem’s immediate decisional freedom (by which free will has been defined in this chapter) and, consequently, despite the respective eidem not having been able to do otherwise that what they ended up doing.
Philosophical hypotheticals can be numerous; let us here first assume that the eidem in question reflexively intends to catch the ball as a subset of their more long-term intent of having their team win the sports match (rather than, for example, being in any way uncertain of whether or not their team should win the game and, thereby, or whether or not they should then catch the ball).
In seeing the ball approaching, the eidem will then not deliberate between alternatives as to whether the ball should be caught.
Furthermore, due to the time constraints in successfully catching the ball once it’s seen approaching, given that the eidem intends to catch the ball, the eidem will likely not spend any time engaging in deliberations between alternatives regarding the best bodily posture to hold in order to so catch, in how they best angle their hand to so catch, or in how their fingers will best make first contact with the ball and then safeguard it. All these behaviors, among others, though fully voluntary, can—and typically do—occur in the absence of consciously appraised alternative possibilities between which the agent consciously chooses. Typically, these voluntary and hence intentional behaviors will all be fully reflexive, hence not consciously thought of, hence not chosen via one’s narrow free will as eidem. Because of this, the agent (i.e., the eidem) which intentionally engages in these unthought-of behaviors will have had no power to produce an outcome other than that which results—here, either that of ending up catching the ball or of accidentally letting it fall. Then, because no conscious choice-making occurs in a) whether the ball should be caught and b) how to best proceed in catching the ball, the given eidem could then not have done otherwise in respect to what they end up doing.
Given this, the audience’s admiration for (or admonition of) the given agent’s prowess (or lack thereof) in catching the ball (or in accidentally letting it fall) will then, in this case, not be contingent on the agent having engaged in freely willed choices in relation to a) whether the ball should be caught or b) how to best catch it. Therefore, the praising or disparaging the audience gives the eidem will not be contingent on the eidem’s ability to have done otherwise than what they end up doing.
Notwithstanding this lack of narrow free will, often enough, an eidem will be praised for successfully catching a ball and will be disparaged for unintentionally letting the same ball fall to the ground (especially, for example, were this act to determine the outcome of the game)—entailing the eidem’s moral responsibility (i.e., the eidem’s praise- or blame-worthiness) for the resulting act despite the eidem having had no opportunity to do otherwise than what they end up doing.
The complexities to this just mentioned example can be numerous, including a) in accounting for the many ways an eidem’s activities interact with those of its unconscious mind which, then, results in the activities of the given eidem’s total self (i.e., of the total person in question) either catching or not catching the ball and b) the many choices the eidem took prior to this event (such as during former practice sessions) which could have influenced the outcome of the current event. Despite such complexities, it nevertheless remains the case that an eidem can be held morally responsible for the outcome of an event despite the given eidem’s inability to do otherwise throughout the span of this event—with this inability being again due to not having been aware of alternative courses of action between which the eidem could then have deliberated between.
(Of additional note, the eidem’s inability to do otherwise than what it ends up doing will not necessitate that the agent did not act freely. Assume, for example, that an eidem made the decisionally free choice to play in a sports match for the sake of helping their team win the sports match. The eidem, hence, would at that former juncture have utilized their narrow free will in whether to play in the game. Once this choice to play was made by the eidem, the then chosen telos of playing in the game to assist their team in winning would have likely remained constant for the eidem throughout the course of the game. In then granting that no alternatives were present to the agent to consciously deliberate between when they witnessed the ball approaching them, they then would have acted via their choice-fulfilment implementational freedom to fulfill the formerly chosen telos of helping their team win. Next, further assuming that the agent had no significant constraints in their attempts to catch the ball, the agent will then have acted freely—i.e., will have voluntarily acted in manners devoid of significant constraints on what they intended to accomplish—and this despite not having had any immediate choice regarding how to act. Moreover, in granting that the eidem freely acted so as best fulfill a previously chosen telos, the eidem would have here then engaged in the wide sense of their free will.)
Due to this and similar possible examples—including those provided in §11.3.1—and in keeping with what Frankfurt-style cases in large part intend to evidence, it will then be upheld as unfalsified certainty that the principle of alternative possibilities does not hold in all possible circumstances—this even if the principle of alternative possibilities can yet be deemed a good rule of thumb in most cases.
Lastly addressed, among the other nuanced arguments which can be brought against Frankfurt-style cases will be the following: all such cases will fail to establish a lack of free will—i.e., a lack of decisional freedom wherein the agent can thereby choose otherwise in a selfsame situation.
As a general background, consider the following description of Frankfurt-style cases given by Kadri Vihvelin in Section 2 of The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article entitled “Arguments for Incompatibilism”:
There were two steps to the thought experiment. In the first step [Frankfurt] invited you to imagine a person, Jones, who has free will, and who acts freely and who satisfies all the conditions you think necessary and sufficient for moral responsibility. You may imagine Jones [...] faced with a choice to speak or be silent, to try to rescue the child or go for help, to resign his chairmanship or to lie, and to imagine that Jones deliberates and decides, for his own reasons, in favor of one of his contemplated alternatives, and then successfully acts on his decision. In the second step you are invited to add to the story the existence of a powerful being, Black, who takes a great interest in what Jones does, including how he deliberates and decides. You may fill in the details however you like, but you must imagine that Black has the power to interfere with Jones in a way that ensures that Jones does exactly what Black wants him to do. And you must also imagine that Black is paying very close attention and is prepared to intervene instantly, should it be necessary, to stop Jones from doing something Black doesn’t want him to do. But, as it turns out, it wasn’t necessary. By lucky co-incidence, Jones did exactly what Black wanted him to do. (He even deliberated and decided the way Black wanted him to deliberate and decide.) So Black remained on the sidelines and only watched.
Because Black never laid a finger on Jones, or interfered in any way, it seems that Jones is as morally responsible in the second step of the story as he is in the first step. But it also seems that the existence of the powerful Black suffices to make it the case that Jones is unable to do otherwise (or, as Frankfurt put it, that he lacks “alternate possibilities”.)
For simplicity in the following arguments, suppose that Jones only has two alternatives to choose from: let us term these alternative 1 and alternative 2. Further suppose that Black intends that Jones will enact alternative 2.
Firstly, were Frankfurt-style cases to presuppose a causally omnideterminate cosmos, they would then presume the conclusion of a causally omnideterminate cosmos wherein moral responsibility can obtain in the very premise of the argument, this without evidencing the validity of the premise—and these cases would thereby then engage in circular reasoning. In part because of this, to be effective, all Frankfurt-style cases will need to first grant that Jones is endowed with free will in his choice making (hence, as per §11.1, that Jones is endowed with decisional freedom to choose otherwise that what he ends up choosing)—and that this necessarily holds in the absence of Black’s intervention(s). The following observations, then, will be made while granting that Jones’ decision is one of free will—this as free will was specified in §11.1.
At principal issue in this discussion will be how Black can accurately predict within a cosmos that is not causally omnideterministic which of the two alternatives Jones will decide upon—this prior to Jones’ freely willed decision wherein Jones as eidem is engaged in the deliberative process of choice making. And this so that no equivocation occurs between a) the deliberative activities of Jones as eidem while engaged in choice making and b) the activities of Jones as a total self to fulfill the said decision, which can only occur subsequent to the eidem having made its decision. To clarify via a more in-depth analysis:
If Jones as eidem is engaged in the process of choice making, the given eidem will necessarily deliberate to some extent between the two alternatives it is here aware of during a time span of indecision, thereby to some degree consciously appraising (senceptually if not also perceptually) each alternative’s benefits, costs, and, possibly, its likely risks; this while momentarily doubting each alternative as being the optimal option to choose—thereby, again, resulting in the eidem’s momentary indecision as to which alternative should be put into practice.
Importantly, while to any degree so deliberating, Jones as eidem will then necessarily entertain a plurality of contradicting and dynamic inclinations toward selecting one of the two alternatives available to Jones during the deliberation. Otherwise, no deliberation would occur—for the matter of what should be enacted would then be already settled in the form of a singular and unrivaled inclination held by the eidem (a singular and unrivaled inclination that might have originated from Jones unconscious mind to which Jones as eidem would then reflexively assent without a moment’s thought).
In other words, were Jones as eidem to at time t hold only a single inclination of what should be enacted, then Jones as eidem could not hold any ability of choosing between two or more alternative possibilities at time t—this, again, because no degree of conscious deliberation between alternative possibilities could happen at time t were Jones as eidem to so strictly hold only one inclination of what should be enacted.
It is thereby only when Jones as eidem momentarily experiences a plurality of contradicting inclinations (which can fluctuate in strength) that Jones as eidem holds any potential ability to choose one such inclination of what should be actualized at the expense of the other(s).
Also, as an important preliminary observation, Jones as eidem cannot enact the alternative Jones as eidem comes to choose in the absence of his total self’s accordant behaviors (again, with the total self including all unconscious aspects of mind). It will only be Jones as a total self (of which Jones as eidem is only one part of) which can then fulfill the decision Jones as eidem eventually makes (and, thereby, brings about as the effect of a made choice). Hence, it is only after a decision is made by the eidem (terminating the eidem’s deliberations and, therefore, its indecisiveness) that the eidem’s total self—under normal circumstances—will then commence in behaving in manners suitable to implementing the decision which the eidem made, and this in attempts to fulfill it. Therefore, it is to be understood that in normal circumstances, when a settled inclination of what should be enacted by the eidem’s total self is obtained (this as a direct outcome of the eidem’s deliberations) and the total self begins to act toward this chosen end, a decision will have necessarily already been made by the eidem.
Because of the just mentioned, the appraisal of Jones’ inclination as to what should be enacted cannot possibly be obtained during the time span of Jones’ deliberations—deliberations which Jones as eidem engages in during the act of choice making—this in a cosmos that is not causally omnideterministic and wherein decisional freedom obtains during Jones’ deliberational activities: During such a deliberation, a plurality of consciously experienced, contradicting inclinations will necessarily co-occur as an entailed aspect of the momentarily occurring indecision; and which such inclination is to be pursued by the total self can only remain impossible to establish prior to the decision taken by the eidem, this were there to be decisional freedom during the eidem’s deliberation.
Instead, Jones’ inclination regarding what should be enacted can only pertain to what Jones as a total self endeavors to put into effect, and this only after Jones as eidem has made a decision regarding what his total self should do (a decision which, again, equates to the obtainment of a settled inclination regarding what should be enacted by the total self). What then remains to be done so as to actualize the choice’s fulfillment is Jones’ total self’s implementation of the decision made by Jones as eidem. Granting Jones’ choice-fulfillment implementational freedom as eidem in enacting his now made decision via his total self, it will only be after the choice is made by the eidem that Jones’ settled inclination can become in any way apparent to anyone (to Jones very much included). And it will only be at this juncture, where Jones as eidem has already made a choice, that Jones as a total self will start his attempts to put the decision made by Jones as eidem into practice.
Hence, it can only be at this precise juncture—after the conscious decision is made by the eidem and before the total self fulfills it—that Black can in any way discern what Jones is inclined to do. Only here, then, can Black then potentially intervene in Jones’ disposition to actualize alternative 1—this were Jones as an eidem to not have instead chosen alternative 2. This, again, because before this juncture (here granting that Jones had been engaging in decisional-freedom-endowed deliberations regarding what should be) Jones as eidem didn’t have a held onto disposition of what should be actualized. Otherwise expressed, before Jones as eidem concluded his deliberations with a made choice regarding what should be actualized, Jones—as both an eidem and as a total self—was experiencing indecision in regard to whether a disposition to fulfill alternative 1 is preferable to a disposition to fulfill alternative 2 or vice versa.
In the case that Jones as eidem in fact chose alternative 1, Black’s intervention could then conceivably occur by means such as that of a) coercing or brainwashing Jones as eidem (as agent, aka as consciousness) into changing his initially made decision on alternative 1 so that Jones as eidem, of his own subsequent volitions, then changes his mind and seeks to actualize alternative 2; b) by affecting Jones’ total self in manners unknown to Jones as eidem in ways that alters Jones constitution as a total self—i.e., as a total mind and body, here fully including the respective eidem—this so that Jones as total self then changes its initially decided upon course and ends up actualizing what Black wants Jones to actualize (e.g., by underhandedly giving Jones a potion, by subliminally hypnotizing Jones, or via the activation of a previously implanted mechanism within Jones brain); or, otherwise, c) by in some way taking over the behaviors of Jones’—here, eidem-excluded—total self so that the total self actualizes alternative 2 contra the will of Jones as eidem (such that, as with slips of the tongue or sleep paralysis, the eidem’s total self acts in manners discord to what the eidem actively intends). Yet, irrespective of how this intervention is hypothesized to occur, Jones will in all conceivable cases have nevertheless initially made a freely willed choice on an alternative—this on account of the decisional freedom involved—a freely willed choice that Black could have no means of predicting with 100% accuracy.
In overview—again, baring Jones’ activities as an eidem being causally omnideterminate—if Jones as eidem engages in decisional-freedom-endowed deliberations between alternatives 1 and 2 (such that the optimal benefit of each alternative is doubted by the eidem in a period of indecision), then Black will hold no conceivable means of predicting with 100% accuracy what alternative Jones as eidem will in fact select, this throughout the entire timespan of Jones’ deliberation (hence, this prior to the moment of a made choice). Because of this, Black’s conditional intervention can then only occur either at the very moment Jones as eidem has chosen alternative 1 over alternative 2, or, else, subsequent to this choice. Black’s potential intervention—while conceivably guaranteeing that Jones as a total self will inevitably enact alternative 2 just in case Jones as eidem initially chooses alternative 1—will then in no way negate the reality of Jones as eidem having had initially chosen an alternative via free will between two or more alternative possibilities. This in turn will entail that whatever alternative was initially chosen by Jones as eidem, Jones as eidem could have chosen otherwise via his decisional freedom during the span of the deliberation—and this in manners Black holds no control over. And, as was specified in §11.1, the latter will be the entirety of what is required for an eidem’s free will in choice making to obtain—all this holding irrespective of the total self’s consequent behaviors.
In a summation of this section: Causal omnideterminism has already been evidenced false in this treatise with unfalsified certainty, and so Frankfurt-style cases cannot be herein used to substantiate causal omnideterminism’s validity by evidencing that the principle of alternative possibilities does not always hold. That said, and in agreement with what Frankfurt-style cases in part seek to evidence, an agent’s moral responsibility for a particular act A will not necessitate that A was directly chosen by the eidem as agent (this, necessarily, from alternative possibilities). And lastly, Frankfurt-style cases do nothing to undermine the validity of our being endowed as agents with free will (hence, with a decisional freedom entailing that we as eidems could in practice choose otherwise than what we end up choosing in times of deliberation)—and this irrespective of the moral responsibility we might hold, or the lack thereof, for what we as eidems choose; and likewise irrespective of what, despite of our choices as eidems, we as total selves might in fact end up doing.
In short, all Frankfurt-style cases currently known to the author leave free will, as it has been herein defined, wholly uncontested.
11.6.9. Of Manipulation and Design Arguments
Placing Frankfurt-style case aside, there are also a variety of manipulation and design arguments in philosophical literature. To the author’s best current awareness, despite their many differences and nuances, all these will intend to argue for the reality of, what in this treatise has been specified as, causal omnideterminism.
Rather than here engaging in a relatively in-depth appraisal for these many varying scenarios—this as was previously done for Frankfurt-style cases—the following will instead by simply upheld:
In both Chapter 10 and in §11.6.1, the possibility of causal omnideterminism has been evidenced an unjustifiable alternative—and this with unfalsified certainty—in respect to what is in fact ontic. Therefore, any inference that we are not endowed with a free will capacity which, as inference, is derived from any manipulation or design argument entertaining the ontic certainty of causal omnideterminism can only be concluded erroneous by default.
11.7. Concerning Empirical Data
For clarity, “empirical” will here be strictly understood as “pertaining to, derived from, or testable by observations made using the physiological senses or using instruments which extend the senses”. So understood, then, “empirical data” as the phrasing is herein utilized will not encapsulate any phainocepts, sencepts, or autocepts—but will solely address physiocepts, if not being additionally limited strictly to those human exo-physiocepts obtained via the physiological senses of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.
While it will not be tenable to in this chapter engage in thorough discussions of all empirical and, more specifically, scientific data regarding free will, the following is nevertheless deemed to generally hold in respect to all such data:
One of two outcomes could conceivably result from empirical data associated with the issue of free will: Either 1) this data will definitively contradict any capacity of free will upheld by any theory of free will, thereby conclusively negating our capacity to have free will as eidems or, otherwise, 2) this data will not so definitively contradict, in which case it will not conclusively negate our capacity to have free will as eidems, thereby at the very least yet allowing for the possibility of our so being endowed—here very much granting that the free will capacity affirmed does not contradict the established empirical data obtained via the scientific method.
Outcome (1) has not yet been (if it could ever be) obtained.
To date, only outcome (2) has become manifest. Because this empirical data is not conclusive in terms of whether or not we can hold any capacity of free will as agents, the data’s interpretations can then easily become subject to confirmation biases—such that those who uphold an ontology wherein we lack free will shall interpret the data in support of this just mentioned ontology and those who uphold our being endowed with free will shall interpret the data in contrary manners. For the former category of individuals, use of such empirical data to support our lack of free will so as to (either explicitly or implicitly) further support an underlying ontological position which disallows the possibility of free will shall, invariantly, presuppose the logical validity of the given, underlying, free-will-antagonistic, ontological position maintained.
To the author’s best current awareness, the former portions of §11.6 have either directly or indirectly addressed all presently conceivable free-will-antagonistic ontologies and, furthermore, has successfully shown how all such ontologies can only be presently concluded erroneous given the list of unfalsified certainties so far evidenced within this work (commencing with the reality of our being as eidems). Because of this, any confirmation bias of data interpretation toward a currently known, free-will-antagonistic ontological position will, here tersely expressed, equate to a confirmation bias toward an invalid position. Hence, were it to in fact be ontically certain that we lack free will, this would then require a coherent free-will-devoid ontology which is so far unconceived by humans—one which will thereby conform in noncontradictory manners to the unfalsified certainties previously presented within this treatise (including that of a cosmos endowed with at least some measure of ontically occurring change on account of the unfalsifiedly certain changes that we as eidems undergo).
In review, the position that we are devoid of any capacity of free will as agents, and that scientific data supports this, will at the current juncture be deemed a belief in want of a conceivable, consistent, ontological worldview which previous portions of §11.6 have not either directly or indirectly addressed. In the absence of such an ontological worldview, no coherent appraisals regarding ontic certainties can be made. Hence were it to in fact be ontically certain that we lack free will capacity, this would thereby terminate all possible further enquiries into optimal certainties regarding that which is ontic.
On the other hand, the position that we are endowed with a capacity for some form of free will as agents is at the present juncture not contradicted by scientific data—with the caveat that one’s understanding of free will shall need to conform to established empirical data obtained via scientific research.
With that mentioned, the following two subsections will address in relatively brief manners empirical, if not also scientific, data that has often been used to support the stance that we lack free will.
11.7.1. Of the Readiness Potential
The readiness potential is a slow buildup of electrical potential in the scalp that has been widely interpreted to indicate preparation for voluntary movement and which, furthermore, has been at times used to argue that we (as eidems) lack free will on account of our brains decide before we do.
To better address the readiness potential, an overview of this philosophy’s overall model of free will shall first be provided:
As later portions of this work will better illustrate, the model of free will this treatise espouses affirms that some—if not most—of our intentionally performed, hence voluntary, hence deliberate (here in the strict sense of “voluntary” and “intentional”—this then being more generalized than the narrower meaning of “deliberational”) behaviors in our day-to-day life will result in the absence of momentary decisional freedom on our part as eidems—and will thereby not be deliberated upon by us as eidems. Because these activities are nevertheless intended by us as eidems, we as eidems shall then be attributively responsible for them (this being a separate issue from our also being morally responsible for them, despite the two types of responsibility often being intimately intwined). Notwithstanding, because we as eidems hold no immediate decisional freedom in their production, we as eidems will then not have freely willed them—this in the narrow sense of free will which is being presently addressed in this chapter.
As example, in a typical conversation, we hold no decisional freedom for most words we intentionally use to express ourselves (most all words we verbalize will manifest in the absence of any indecision on our parts as eidems between two or more alternative words from which we as eidems feel compelled to choose and shall thereby deliberate between). Nor do we typically hold decisional freedom for the majority of precise movements of body we engage in to attain some goal we as eidems actively hold (for example, while typing this sentence for the sake of conveying a concept, I am not deliberating between alternative ways to move my fingers on the keyboard but, instead, am simply typing what I will in mostly fluid, reflexive manners).
These and other fully voluntary behaviors we engage in will thereby not be effects directly caused by us as eidems via our narrow free will—for we as eidems shall not here experience indecision between which of two or more alternatives should be enacted, but shall instead fluidly act. It then stands to reason that these non-consciously-decided-upon yet fully voluntary behaviors will instead be directly effected by aspects of our unconscious mind in manners we are thereby not conscious of as eidems—this such that our unconscious minds figure out, and thereby decide on, what means are best to fulfill the telos or teloi we pursue as eidems (and, most always, as total psyches: comprised of both conscious mind and unconscious mind), and this prior to our actively engaging in these activities as eidems. As this philosophy shall uphold for all brain-endowed corporeal beings, in acknowledging a correlation (which is to be deemed fully produced by change-independent determinacy types) between the activities of mind (to include both the unconscious mind and the conscious mind) and the activities of brain, it is then to be expected that many, if not most, of our voluntary behaviors as eidems will exhibit brain states that occur before we are consciously aware as eidems of the voluntary behaviors we are engaging in.
With that general outlook in mind, and as was specified in §11.1.6, for (narrow) free will to necessarily (and not only possibly) obtain, it will not be sufficient that we as eidems reflexively select among one of two or more alternatives in voluntary manners; for, in so reflexively doing, we might merely be unthinkingly assenting to our strongest, if not singular, unconscious impulse regarding which alternative is to be preferred; an unconscious impulse which we as eidems therefore did not poietically cause but which, instead, shall in this philosophy be deemed to have been poietically caused by unconscious agencies of mind, this prior to our actions as eidems of voluntarily conscious choice—an antecedently made unconscious decision to which we consciously assent in reflexive manners which will thereby hold correlate brain states that precede the conscious act of choice which we as eidems reflexively engage in.
The model of free will this work espouses thereby affirms that as one condition for decisional freedom (necessarily, in choice making) to obtain for us eidems, we as eidems shall instead need to experience a momentary indecision during deliberations in which we as eidems to some extent doubt the optimality of each alternative we as eidems are aware of; a consciously occurring indecision which we as eidems typically terminate via our eidemic executive power to decide upon one alternative at expense of all others—thereby poietically causing as eidems the effect of a made choice. It therefore stands to reason that only in choices resulting from indecision-endowed deliberations as just specified shall the eidem’s act of choice making necessarily be contemporaneous to respective brain states. In all other voluntary behaviors which we as eidems engage in, including at least the vast majority of those choices we reflexively make in the absence of indecision, it is to be anticipated that certain brain states correlating to our unconscious minds’ activities regarding what will occur shall precede—rather than being contemporaneous with—our conscious activities as eidems.
This is to be appraised in conjunction with an understanding of mind-brain correlations [which are to be addressed in detail within Volume II] wherein all these correlations occur via change-independent determinacy types—hence, determinacy types wherein the determinant and that determined occur contemporaneously—this rather than requiring a temporal differentiation between determinant and that determined, which is itself found only in genesial determinacy (and in telosial determinacy as a genesial-determinacy-dependent type of change-dependent determinacy). Hence, in this work’s model, no aspect of the brain shall genesially determine (i.e., cause) any aspect of mind, nor vice versa. Instead, the constituents of one’s central nervous system (and their operations) shall constitutionally determine one’s total psyche (the totality of both conscious mind and unconscious mind)—and, conversely, one’s total psyche (to include oneself as eidem) shall to various extents formationally determine the constituents of one’s central nervous system and its operations.
With that generalized background provided, the following observation will first be made:
In a cosmos wherein ontic change occurs—and, hence, one that is semideterministic—even if we as conscious beings, as eidems, were to in no way be endowed with free will at any time, if our unconscious minds were to always decide what we as eidems shall choose prior to our choice-making as eidems (thereby always holding preceding brain states that determine what we as eidems end up deciding—this irrespective of circumstance), this would yet facilitate an ontically occurring narrow free will that pertains to the agency of our unconscious minds—unconscious minds which, here, are somewhat arbitrarily divided from ourselves as conscious minds (i.e., as eidems) in at least so far as only the former is here deemed endowed with free will capacity. And this would yet specify a cosmos in which free will occurs (albeit, in this arbitrary appraisal, strictly via the agency of the unconscious mind)—such that we as total selves are yet endowed with free will.
There however is no significant evidence of which the author is currently aware of via which to establish such a sharp ontological divide between the unconscious mind and consciousness—with all evidence instead pointing toward an intimate interplay between the two, such that, for example, what is conscious can later become unconscious (e.g., memories of the eidem’s past experiences stored within the unconscious mind) and what is unconscious perpetually affects consciousness (as just one example among many that is relatively well known, such as can occur with subliminal messages’ influence of what we consciously experience).
Having so expressed, what next follows are terse appraisals of some of the more recent publications regarding the readiness potential:
A readiness potential study by Uri Maoz et al. published in 2019 found that, while the readiness potential was evident for arbitrary decisions (defined in the paper as “decisions that are meaningless (i.e., purposeless and unreasoned) and devoid of consequences”), it was however absent from deliberate decisions (defined in the paper as “decisions that are meaningful (i.e., purposeful and reasoned) and bearing consequences”). The distinction made by the authors of the just specified study loosely aligns to the distinction made in this chapter between reflexively made decisions (wherein no conscious indecision takes place) and decisions made as an outcome of deliberations wherein conscious indecision momentarily occurs (and, hence, wherein one as eidem to some extent momentarily doubts each available alternative being the optimal means of fulfilling the same, actively held telos or teloi). Addressed in greater detail: Reflexive decisions, wherein no duration of indecision occurs, could either be arbitrary (such that we as eidems reflexively assent to an alternative being enacted without being aware a) of the purpose (i.e., the telosial reason) it optimally serves, b) of the non-telosial, extenuating reasons for why it was selected over any other alternative, and c) the likely consequences of the selection as contrasted to the likely consequences of its alternatives) or, else, reflexive decisions could be deliberate (such that we as eidems here reflexively assent to an alternative being enacted while all the while holding some awareness a) of the purpose (i.e., the telosial reason) it optimally serves, b) of the non-telosial extenuating reasons for why it was selected over its alternatives, and c) the likely consequences of the selection as contrasted to the likely consequences of its alternatives). By comparison, all decisions that result from deliberations wherein some measure of indecision momentarily occurs which, as indecision, is terminated by the eidem’s choice shall necessarily fall into the category the study specified as deliberate decisions. Hence, while all deliberative decisions will be deliberate decisions, not all deliberate decisions will be deliberative decisions.
The methodology employed by the scientific study concerned appears to have compared what in this work is specified as reflexive decision-making that is arbitrary with (not merely deliberate, but) deliberative decision-making. This study’s findings that the latter category of decisions does not exhibit a significant readiness potential is then in keeping with this work’s model of free will—such that while the model expects the occurrence of some brain state(s) which temporally precede the eidem’s enactment of a choice and which govern the choice the eidem will make whenever the eidem engages in reflexive decisions (with these brain states depicting some of the workings of the unconscious mind—and this irrespective of whether the reflexive decision is either arbitrary or deliberate), the eidem’s engagement in deliberative (and not merely deliberate) decisions is expected to be contemporaneous to those physical activities of the brain which together constitute (more technically, constitutively determine) the eidem’s occurrence and its behaviors (here tentatively assuming that such eidem-constituting brain states—i.e., brain states upon which the occurrence of eidemic consciousness is grounded—do in fact occur despite not having been yet objectively discerned).
J. Blignaut and D. van den Heever more recently published a study in 2021 indicating that the readiness potential can be found to manifest for deliberate (not to be confused with what this work describes as deliberative) decisions. In this study, twenty-nine participants (seven female and twenty-two male, all between the ages of 21 and 28)—which were either directly exposed to violent crimes (defined by the study as assault or sexual assault) or who had close relative that were so exposed—were given 10 seconds to decide which one of two people should be convicted (this in one grouping of participants) and which one of two people should be acquitted (this in a second grouping of participants).
To better address the finding of this study, let us first briefly entertain the following hypothetical. You are offered two alternatives between which you must choose: either a) you and all those you care about shall from here on out experience insufferable degrees of unending pain both physically and psychologically that results in abysmal depressions, despair, and lack of health or, otherwise, b) you and all those you care about shall from here on out experience utterly comfortable states of varying but unending happiness wherein both the quality and quantity of awareness pertaining to all those concerned is in no way diminished but is instead increased. Despite you holding a technical choice in which of the two alternatives is to become enacted, the nature of the two alternatives is such that—for at least the vast majority of humans—only one alternative will be in any way viable (as an optimal means of fulfilling the telos or teloi one holds as a total psyche—i.e., as a totality of both eidem, i.e. of conscious mind, and all aspects of unconscious mind). Stated otherwise [and as will be expounded upon in later portions of this work], despite one here having a technical choice in the matter, in this and similar scenarios one will have no practical choice whatsoever. The telos or teloi by which one is here telosially determined as a total psyche will, in this scenario, so telosially determine oneself as a total psyche (fully including oneself as eidem) such that only alternative (b) can be in any way feasible to oneself, with alternative (a) needing to be chosen against. This maybe extreme hypothetical is given to illustrate the viable possibility of technical choices which we might be presented with as eidems for which our unconscious mind might decide upon the proper alternative to be chosen before we as eidems do—such that we as eidems will then readily assent to our unconscious mind’s made decision without any compulsions, and this because we as eidems have no reasons whatsoever to intend otherwise. In the scenario that, here, one’s unconscious mind will choose alternative (b) before one as eidem is aware of so choosing, this will then be one instance of decisions on the part of the eidem that are both reflexive and deliberate (which, again, are to be differentiated from deliberative decisions—wherein one as eidem holds a momentary indecision due to momentarily doubting the optimality of each alternative one is aware of, a momentary indecision one as eidem then terminates via the choice one makes as eidem).
Having presented this exaggerated example, the publication of J. Blignaut and D. van den Heever gives the following one example of choice-making that was used in the study:
Participants were asked to choose between convicting/acquitting either a man accused of attempted rape or a woman accused of murder in self-defense.
It stand to reason that—for many if not most people which were themselves either directly or indirectly exposed to criminal violence—this just specified technical choice will present little if any choice in practice: for, for most such people, it is likely that the intent to rape will be reflexively deemed an inexcusable wrong in any circumstance due to its intentionality of gaining pleasure by doing harm to the rapee, whereas the killing of an assailant in self-defense will be reflexively deemed exculpatory, this on account of often being the only means of self-preservation available to the assaulted individual. If so, then this just specified technical choice will not significantly differ from the hypothetical choice previously provided between unending suffering and unending happiness—in so far as both technical choices can well result in decisions that are both reflexive and deliberate on the part of the eidem (i.e., decisions one as eidem reflexively makes by assenting to one’s strongest, if not singular, unconscious impetus while all the while holding awareness as eidem of the purpose, the other (non-telosial) reasons, and the consequences of the alternative one as eidem reflexively assents to choosing in contrast to those alternatives one thereby chooses against).
Because of this, both the aforementioned studies are then found congruent to this treatise’ model of free will—and in no way contradict the reality of the eidem’s free will capacity.
Yet, maybe more importantly still in arguments upholding that the readiness potential evidences our lack of free will as conscious beings (i.e., as eidems), is an article by A. Schurger et al., published in 2021, which exposes numerous unresolved, outstanding questions endemic to such research. Otherwise appraised, the article gives evidence of multiple confounding variables in our interpretations of the readiness potential research which, to date, have not been accounted for. In short, without these unanswered questions being properly addressed, it will not be possible to accurately appraise the significance of research—be it past, present, or future—regarding the readiness potential in reference to our free will capacity.
11.7.2. Of Lack of Control Over Physiological Actions or Mental Activities
The narrow free will this chapter addresses entails the eidem’s immediate control over which one of two or more alternatives is chosen by it. This association between narrow free will and the eidem’s control can at times become generalized by some in such manner that it becomes believed the eidem’s free will, were it to be real, would then necessitate the eidem’s control over its total self—to include over all aspects of its unconscious mind’s activities and bodily actions.
Tourette’s syndrome, alien hand syndrome, sleep paralysis, and the relatively common occurrence of slips of the tongue, among numerous other instances, can all illustrate how the volitions of an eidem can be separate from and discordant to the volitions of its total self—such that the eidem does not hold control over its total self, hence neither holding control over its own mental activities nor over its bodily actions.
This observation is then taken by many to signify that the eidem’s free will is then illusory.
Yet, in so appraising and concluding, a category mistake is made: the eidem’s absence of ontological constraints in choosing which of two or more alternatives best satisfies its actively held telos or teloi, i.e. the eidem’s free will, is erroneously conflated with a necessary conformity of the eidem’s total self with that which the eidem wills and hence intends—to include what the eidem chooses to be implemented by its total self. In other words, an eidem’s control over which alternative it selects to be implemented is here mistakenly equivocated with an eidem’s control over the physiological actions of its body and the mental activities of its total psyche.
As was partly addressed in §11.2, while it is often the case that in a relatively healthy psyche the behaviors of a total self will be accordant to the intentions of the respective eidem—including to the choices the eidem makes—this typical normality does not then translate into a necessary accordance between the eidem’s freely willed choices (of which the eidem has direct control over) and the eidem’s total self. As one common enough example of this, the alcoholic eidem’s first made choice to no longer drink alcohol will likely be overridden by the desires of the alcoholic’s unconscious mind—which will typically drive the eidem to once again drink alcohol so as to appease the wants of its total psyche. Notwithstanding, the given eidem nevertheless engaged in a choice in so choosing to no longer drink alcohol, a choice the respective eidem was in full control over given the reality of its free will, a choice devoid of which the person would continue to drink alcohol in unabated manners without any remorse on the part of the eidem. Hence, that the alcoholic’s unconscious mind does not abide to the choice the eidem takes in no way contradicts the reality of the choice the eidem took. And, indeed, it will typically only be via such repeated choices that the alcoholic can eventually cease to drink alcohol.
Again, that the alcoholic eidem persists in drinking alcohol after having made a choice to no longer so drink does not nullify the reality of the eidem’s made choice to not so drink. Furthermore, were this made choice to not have been omnideterminately caused but, instead, poietically caused by the eidem, it shall then be a freely willed choice—and this irrespective of how the alcoholic’s unconscious mind then responds to the choice made by the eidem.
Then, to equate the eidem’s activity of choice-making with the resulting outcome produced by the eidem’s total self is to equivocate between two, at times drastically different—though often enough convergent—aspects of a total self.
In overview, an eidem’s narrow free will shall necessitate—if not also being strictly limited to—the eidem’s control over that choice the eidem makes as a consequence of conscious deliberations between alternatives. Normally, in a relatively psychologically healthy individual, this made choice will then be congruent to the subsequent actions the total self takes, this so as to fulfill the choice made by the eidem. However, a lack of such congruency (to whatever measure this lack of congruency might occur) will neither contradict nor otherwise dispel the eidem’s ability to poietically cause decisions whenever alternatives are available to it. In other words, an eidem’s narrow free will can well occur in the absence of congruency between what the eidem wills and what its total self does.
Therefore, an eidem’s lack of control over the physiological actions or mental activities of its total self—regardless of the extent to which this might occur—will not falsify an otherwise presently unfalsified certainty that the eidem per se has the capacity to engage in narrow free will.
11.8. Concerning an Intelligible Ontology Consisting of Agent-Causal Free Will
The general complaint can be made that no cogent, thoroughly explained ontology consisting of agent-causal free will is currently available. Even when tentatively assuming the verity of this affirmation, given the accuracy of conclusions so far obtained in this work, it nevertheless remains the case that the eidem’s capacity of narrow free will as it has been delineated within this chapter will be found devoid of currently justifiable alternatives. Furthermore—and unlike the inconceivability by anyone here concerned of a free-will-devoid ontology which has not yet been addressed in §11.6—ontologies which incorporate the occurrence of free will are conceivable by us (e.g., as can, for one example, be said of some form of idealism in general), this irrespective of how detailed these currently conceivable ontologies might be.
Here, then, will be a choice between a) upholding the currently unfalsified certainty of the eidem’s capacity for free will and working toward an intelligible, thorough ontology that incorporates this just mentioned unfalsified certainty or b) forsaking this unfalsified certainty in preference of ontological positions which, via the unfalsified certainties of previous chapters, have been currently demonstrated unjustifiable (e.g., such as the position of causal omnideterminism).
This treatise will hence choose alternative (a). In so doing, it will endeavor to accumulate further certainties of optimal strength that are in keeping with all unfalsified certainties so far obtained—this with the aim of arriving at an intelligible and thorough ontology which consists of agent-causal free will.
11.9. The Unfalsified Certainty of Our Capacity for Free Will
First explicitly mentioned in overview: Free will, as it has been herein defined, is not the power of an unconditional implementational freedom to actualize whatever want one might have as as eidem—be this in reference to the makeup of one’s own total self or, otherwise, in reference to the external world. Rather, it is strictly limited to the eidem’s executive power to choose which one of two or more alternatives should be enacted by the respective eidem’s total self—i.e., to poietically cause the effect of a consciously made choice—this strictly during times when the eidem experiences indecision between two or more possible outcomes—and this irrespective of what outcome in fact ends up being actualized by the eidem’s total self.
To some, the ontic certainty of such free will’s occurrence may at first glance appear inconsequential; however, the reality of such free will occurring in the world shall have, by all reasonable accounts, significant implications as regards the world’s ontology.
That said, the following culminating arguments are presented in favor of our being endowed with free will:
Firstly, were any of the following conceivable scenarios to be upheld, then—due to the author’s limitations of cognition—all further enquiries of this treatise into optimal certainties regarding what is ontic will at this juncture terminate:
- That free will is causally negadeterminate (with this scenario having been addressed in §220.127.116.11).
- That free will is event-causal and, hence, is in no way agent-causal (with this scenario having been addressed in §18.104.22.168.1).
- That a list of collectively exhaustive possibilities can be valid only were it to include the category of inconceivable possibilities (with this scenario having been addressed in §11.5).
- That we conclude free will to not be possible in the cosmos despite this requiring us to entertain a currently inconceivable ontology’s accurate mapping of what is ontic (with this possibility having been addressed in §11.7).
While anyone can freely choose to uphold any of the just mentioned possibilities, to the author’s best current awareness, none of the four scenarios can serve as a justifiable alternative—hence, as was specified in §1.1.11, as a subjective alternative which can be justified via experience, via error-free reasoning, or via a combination of both—this to our being endowed with the agent-causal free will delineated in 11.1.6. Scenarios (1) and (2) are believed to have been evidenced less than justifiable in §22.214.171.124 and §126.96.36.199.1, respectively. Scenario (3) appears to necessarily be self-refuting; for, were it to be valid, then a collectively exhaustive listing of possible laws of thought would need to include possible laws of thought which are inconceivable to all those here concerned—this so as to be a valid, collectively exhaustive listing of laws of thought—but so doing would then entail that error-free reasoning would become impossible to establish: for it would then be ontically possible that error-free reasoning only occurs via laws of thought which are inconceivable to all those here concerned, rather than those we can conceive of (with the latter including the principles of noncontradiction and of dialetheism), and this would thereby undermine that the very affirmation made can be itself established as being valid. Lastly here specified, scenario (4) appears self-refuting due to the impossibility of entertaining an ontological understanding of what is that, as ontology, is impossible for one to conceive of.
Granting the briefly expressed reasons for why the aforementioned four positions cannot be validly maintained, the following set of premises currently believed to be unfalsifiedly certain is then presented:
- Section 11.6 provides a collectively exhaustive list of all currently existent doctrines and arguments which might in any way challenge the reality of free will (this as free will has been defined in §11.1)
- All doctrines and arguments listed in §11.6 either:
- have been successfully evidenced unjustifiable (given the validity of all previous unfalsified certainties addressed in this work), or
- have been successfully shown to address notions of free will other than that understanding of free will which this work addresses (thereby leaving this work’s understanding of free will uncontested).
- To date, no empirical data contradicts the ontic occurrence of free will as it has been demarcated in §11.1.
Given that each of these three premises is unfalsifiedly certain, the following culminating unfalsified certainty results:
It is an unfalsified, and hence fallibly epistemic, certainty that we as eidems are endowed with a capacity for free will as §11.1.6 demarcates the term free will and as §11.4 evidences all those here concerned to be autoaware of being endowed with.
11.10. Concluding Remarks
The stance that we as agents are endowed with free will can well be deemed highly controversial. Because of this, it is to be anticipated that many readers will, rightfully so, endeavor to falsify this chapter’s present unfalsified certainty of our being endowed with free will.
Any future challenge to this, presently maintained, fallible epistemic certainty of our being endowed with a free will capacity could in principle do one of three things:
- It could, via epistemic certainties not yet obtained in this work, definitively negate the possibility of us being endowed with free will—in which case subsequent portions of this work will likewise be definitively negated, for the vast majority of subsequent sections will be founded upon the reality of our free will capacity as eidems.
- It could present one or more justifiable alternatives to our being endowed with free will (this, again, as free will is defined within this treatise)—in which case this chapter’s culminating conclusion, as well as subsequent portions of this work, will necessarily then all become less than epistemically certain: then becoming only psychological certainties regarding viable possibilities of what is in fact ontically certain, this to those who so maintain them.
- Lastly, any such future challenge to the presently stated unfalsified certainty of our being endowed with a free will capacity as eidems could, upon subsequent counterarguments, be in turn evidenced unjustifiable—in which case the presently maintained unfalsified certainty of our having free will would persist in so being maintained despite all such future challenges; and, in so persisting to be validly maintained, it would then continue to present a fallible epistemic certainty of what is ontically certain.
Outcome (1) has yet to be produced—if it is at all possible to bring about given this work’s previous unfalsified certainties. The obtainment of outcome (2), were it to occur, would weaken the strength of the current chapter’s conclusion, as well as this treatise’ remaining portions, to the status of psychological certainties but—in the absence of outcome (1) being actualized—outcome (2)’s realization will nevertheless not negate the possibility that the remaining conclusions of this treatise accurately depict that which is ontically certain. And, maybe needless to add, the result of outcome (3) would leave the concluding unfalsified certainty of this chapter unaffected—thereby facilitating the possibility that other yet to be deemed unfalsified certainties are in fact so.
The concluding unfalsified certainty of this chapter—namely, that all those here concerned are endowed with a free will ability—is doubtlessly the weakest unfalsified certainty so far presented in this work, this due to the many nuances and complexities required to so establish it. Notwithstanding—barring future errors of reasoning and the like, and in the absence of outcome (1)’s actualization—this work’s integrity will remain intact given either scenario (2) or scenario (3): with scenario (2) presenting our being endowed with a free will ability as a viable possibility regarding what is ontically certain and with scenario (3), again, establishing this ability of free will to be an epistemic (though yet fallible) certainty.
Till the time either scenario (1) or scenario (2) is brought about—and, thereby, till the time that scenario (3) is invalidated—this philosophy will persist in maintaining that our being endowed with the capacity for free will as eidems (this during times of conscious indecision wherein we as eidems deliberate what should be) is unfalsifiedly, and hence epistemically, certain.
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