Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The death of free will?

PhiDiP - Thursday, Oct. 15

This week is the final installment of our Quantum Mechanics series, which is culminating in our discussion about free will. Does QM guarantee that free will is possible, or does it simply not apply? Do some digging on your own, but here are a few resources to get you started:

This article from Scientific American has a good overview of a few different approaches, as well as some more in-depth links. Make sure to click the "Read next page" button until you get the whole article.

To give you fair warning, Dr. Doyle uses "chaotic" and "random" to mean the same thing, which we won't do anymore now that we've learned a little about chaos theory. But beyond that, this Harvard astrophysicist provides a nice, brief background on the subject. Browse some of the Free Will links in the left column to get more overview of free will in general.

From the physics media mogul Dr. Michio Kaku, this short video argues that quantum uncertainty allows free will to be possible.

A brief response to Dr. Kaku's video, where the author feels Dr. Kaku is oversimplifying the matter... It seems consensus on these matters is impossible, even amongst celebrated physicists!

This one doesn't address the type of free will we will generally be discussing, but it does have a brief treatment on Bell's theorem (which will be good to familiarize yourself with anyway). It also presents a new idea for testing that loophole in Bell's theorem!

See y'all Thursday!


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