Archive for July 25th, 2011

July 25, 2011

Agency and free will

by Neil Rickert

Recently, the blogosphere has had a number of posts asserting that we have no free will, and claiming to prove that.  One is tempted to ask whether the posters make this claim of their own free will (which they deny having), and if it is not made of their own free will one might wonder whether to take them seriously.  In one such post, Jerry Coyne asked “So why don’t computers have free will?”  In a comment to that post, I suggested that it was because computer systems are based on the “rational agent” model of behavior.  Here, I shall expand on that point.

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