Christopher Hitchens once averred that you don't.  Religionists claim that it is divinely endowed. Others claim that all are freelancers subject to subornation by others. Your thoughts?

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What about conflicted will in which an individual wants two contradictory things at the same time—the stuff of which many narratives are made.

If that question was for me it does not change my perspective.. Under strict determinism the feelings of conflict were inevitable and could not have been any other way.

On the other hand if the actor lacks full control of his thoughts he lacks free will.

On the other hand if the actor lacks full control of his thoughts he lacks free will.

Why is that?

Free insofar is not free.....attenuated is not free.....restricted is not free....

You equate freedom with absolute liberty from any restrictions whatever?

Then freedom does not exist and has never existed and is a meaningless concept.

Freedom is not the same as free will. And I do not think minor and necessary infringements of liberty eviscerate human rights. Civilization with its competing interests must of necessity curtail our liberty to insure it.

OK, so you meant free will when you used the word 'free.' So there is no free will unless it is absolute and unrestricted?

You still have not explained:

On the other hand if the actor lacks full control of his thoughts he lacks free will.

I am not exactly sure what you are referring to. Proponents of free will conceive a world of consciousness in which they are in control of their thoughts and actions. It is not so. There is an experiment in which it is demonstrated that subjects have decided before they are even aware of their answer. If decisions are made on an unconscious level surely the notion of free will is invalid.

And yes free will is only free if it is free of extraneous causation.

As long as we are talking about conscious or unconscious levels of decisions lets not minimize that dang old endocrine system of ours. Nothing like an imbalance to mitigate perception and action. As a lifelong sufferer of clinical depression i know whereof i speak. Constrictions and barriers do exist. 

I suppose that response of yours Christopher elucidates another invalidation of free will....change our brain chemistry even to a small degree and see thoughts and feelings altered and we are helpless to prevent it.

  Mr. Rosenberg, Not necessarily just brain chemistry, but physical chemistry in general. It's a subtle but salient point. When you are sick, or even just slightly "off" you're usually not thinking the same way and maybe the robustness of your thought-to-action isn't there. Not that i'm equating thought-to-action as free will but just as a manifestation of it. Emotion and mood plays a major role in our behaviour. Chemistry plays a major role in our emotions and moods. Social structure and the memes populating it is where free will is directed. But it looks like to me there are "degrees" of free.

To your other point we may be helpless to prevent it, but thanks to the science most of the people on this site subscribe to, we can to a large degree control it.

I suffered, not from depression, but from anxiety and a consequent tendency toward obsessive-compulsive behavior.  SSRI medication, I am convinced, helped me to view my own thoughts and actions in a more objective, rational way and to a certain extent to change them.  The medication, I believe, gave me more free will than I had before.



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