30 April 2008

Tight Fit

picture by stringberd
I was actually slightly relieved to discover that apparently we don't have free will.

It explained my mysterious choice last Saturday of the chocolate brown / lime green colour-ways for my new Orca triathlon top - I just couldn't help myself: Evidently while my conscious mind was carefully examining each top in turn, assessing it for smoothness of micro-fabric, breathablility and rigidity around the abdomen, my unconscious mind was was leaning back in the best seats of the Cartesian Theatre with a box of epiphenomenal popcorn bellowing "Chocolate? CHOCOLATE?? I WANT!"

Unfortunately my amagdyla has no idea what size I am, so that decision was entirely to the cortex... and I'm going to have to to return the top this Saturday as I have come to the conclusion that it makes my belly look round.

"Don't be silly, darling", said Mrs Botogol, "what do you expect from lycra, and anyway your.....well yes, maybe a bigger size would be more streamlined.... and actually - were they all that colour?"


Old Fogey said...

I’m not sure if science comes into this free will business. I purchase a chocolate coloured lycra suit and this action follows of from my intention to buy it. I then believe I bought it of my own free will. In which case I have, so long as you would say the same thing if you bought it yourself. We both know what we mean.

Botogol said...

I think the question is about consciousness: was my decision the output of a conscious mental process, transparent to myself, it was the decision made unconsciously, by some 'automatic' part of my brain?

my brain made me do it.

Old Fogey said...

Brain and consciousness are not different things. If they were we'd be in the Cartesian Theatre. They are the same thing seen under different aspects. The brain is how that scientist over there describes and explains what is going on in among the neurons and electrics of your brain when you make your decision - third person perspective. You act from the first person perspective; you decide you like it (urgh!), you intend to buy it and you do. Your brain doesn't make you, though you might like to fool yourself into believing it did if, embarrased later by your choice, you want to excuse yourself of the responsibility for having bought it. You can't get out of it. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Unwilling Participant said...

We have to believe in free will: we have no choice.

Old Fogey said...

Anonymous - you have it in a nutshell

Botogol said...

UP: :-)

OF: Well, yes and know. I don't think that the brain is the same thing as consiousness, because clearly it's possible to have one (ie a brain) without the other. VIZ animals, or babies.

I think that if free will means anything at all it means that decisions are made at a conscious level. Decisions that are
- made unconsciously
- and are predictable by 3rd parties

don't seem to fit the defintion.