Can Machines Have Free Will? Analysis of the Concept of Free Will in Relation to the Psychophysical Problem
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The goal of this thesis is to analyse the notion of free will from the perspectives of various stances in the philosophy of mind. It employs an approach quite different than the more standard one, in which philosophers try to answer the question “do we have free will?” directly. The first chapter of this thesis contains an analysis of the compatibilism/incompatibilism debate – the question “is free will compatible with the determinism?” Showing that the answer to this question means something different for compatibilists and incompatibilists and the fact that it also depends on (sometimes not explicitly stated) assumptions about the mind that a researcher has, provides a rationale for the approach chosen in this thesis. The subsequent chapters contain discussions about the relation between free will and dualism, materialism and transcendental idealism. The considerations about free will in dualistic stances serve as a background for the two final chapters, which contain the most important conclusions of the thesis. In the third chapter I discuss the relation between free will and materialism with a focus on whether it is sensible to talk about free will in the context of eliminative materialism. To do that, I go more in depth into the analysis of how artificial neural networks process information. In the last chapter, devoted to transcendental idealism, I present a solution to the free will problem (and Kant’s third antinomy of reason) that incorporates eliminative materialism on the empirical level.
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