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❶A study by Aaron Schurger and colleagues published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences PNAS [] challenged assumptions about the causal nature of the readiness potential itself and the "pre-movement buildup" of neural activity in general , casting doubt on conclusions drawn from studies such as Libet's [] and Fried's.

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An encyclopedia of philosophy articles written by professional philosophers.

Lewis stated the logical possibility that if the physical world were proved indeterministic this would provide an entry point to describe an action of a non-physical entity on physical reality. These events might affect brain activity, and could seemingly allow incompatibilist free will if the apparent indeterminacy of some mental processes for instance, subjective perceptions of control in conscious volition map to the underlying indeterminacy of the physical construct. This relationship, however, requires a causative role over probabilities that is questionable, [73] and it is far from established that brain activity responsible for human action can be affected by such events.

Secondarily, these incompatibilist models are dependent upon the relationship between action and conscious volition, as studied in the neuroscience of free will. It is evident that observation may disturb the outcome of the observation itself, rendering limited our ability to identify causality.

The agent is assumed power to intervene in the physical world. It is also required that the agent's causing of that event is not causally determined by prior events.

A number of problems have been identified with this view. Firstly, it is difficult to establish the reason for any given choice by the agent, which suggests they may be random or determined by luck without an underlying basis for the free will decision. Hard incompatibilism is the idea that free will cannot exist, whether the world is deterministic or not. Pereboom calls positions 3 and 4 soft determinism , position 1 a form of hard determinism , position 6 a form of classical libertarianism , and any position that includes having F as compatibilism.

John Locke denied that the phrase "free will" made any sense compare with theological noncognitivism , a similar stance on the existence of God. He also took the view that the truth of determinism was irrelevant. He believed that the defining feature of voluntary behavior was that individuals have the ability to postpone a decision long enough to reflect or deliberate upon the consequences of a choice: The contemporary philosopher Galen Strawson agrees with Locke that the truth or falsity of determinism is irrelevant to the problem.

According to Strawson, if one is responsible for what one does in a given situation, then one must be responsible for the way one is in certain mental respects. But it is impossible for one to be responsible for the way one is in any respect. At some point in the chain, there must have been an act of origination of a new causal chain. But this is impossible. Man cannot create himself or his mental states ex nihilo.

This argument entails that free will itself is absurd, but not that it is incompatible with determinism. Strawson calls his own view "pessimism" but it can be classified as hard incompatibilism. Causal determinism is the concept that events within a given paradigm are bound by causality in such a way that any state of an object or event is completely determined by prior states. Causal determinism proposes that there is an unbroken chain of prior occurrences stretching back to the origin of the universe.

Causal determinists believe that there is nothing uncaused or self-caused. The most common form of causal determinism is nomological determinism or scientific determinism , the notion that the past and the present dictate the future entirely and necessarily by rigid natural laws, that every occurrence results inevitably from prior events.

Quantum mechanics poses a serious challenge to this view. Fundamental debate continues over whether the physical universe is likely to be deterministic. Although the scientific method cannot be used to rule out indeterminism with respect to violations of causal closure , it can be used to identify indeterminism in natural law.

Interpretations of quantum mechanics at present are both deterministic and indeterministic , and are being constrained by ongoing experimentation. Destiny or fate is a predetermined course of events.

It may be conceived as a predetermined future, whether in general or of an individual. It is a concept based on the belief that there is a fixed natural order to the cosmos. Fate generally implies there is a set course that cannot be deviated from, and over which one has no control. Fate is related to determinism , but makes no specific claim of physical determinism.

Even with physical indeterminism an event could still be fated externally see for instance theological determinism. Destiny likewise is related to determinism, but makes no specific claim of physical determinism. Even with physical indeterminism an event could still be destined to occur. Destiny implies there is a set course that cannot be deviated from, but does not of itself make any claim with respect to the setting of that course i.

Free will if existent could be the mechanism by which that destined outcome is chosen determined to represent destiny. Discussion regarding destiny does not necessitate the existence of supernatural powers.

Logical determinism or determinateness is the notion that all propositions, whether about the past, present, or future, are either true or false. This creates a unique problem for free will given that propositions about the future already have a truth value in the present that is it is already determined as either true or false , and is referred to as the problem of future contingents.

Omniscience is the capacity to know everything that there is to know included in which are all future events , and is a property often attributed to a creator deity. Omniscience implies the existence of destiny. Some authors have claimed that free will cannot coexist with omniscience. In such a case, even if an individual could have influence over their lower level physical system, their choices in regard to this cannot be their own, as is the case with libertarian free will.

Omniscience features as an incompatible-properties argument for the existence of God , known as the argument from free will , and is closely related to other such arguments, for example the incompatibility of omnipotence with a good creator deity i. Predeterminism is the idea that all events are determined in advance. Predeterminism is frequently taken to mean that human actions cannot interfere with or have no bearing on the outcomes of a pre-determined course of events, and that one's destiny was established externally for example, exclusively by a creator deity.

The concept of predeterminism is often argued by invoking causal determinism , implying that there is an unbroken chain of prior occurrences stretching back to the origin of the universe. In the case of predeterminism, this chain of events has been pre-established, and human actions cannot interfere with the outcomes of this pre-established chain. Predeterminism can be used to mean such pre-established causal determinism, in which case it is categorised as a specific type of determinism.

The term predeterminism suggests not just a determining of all events, but the prior and deliberately conscious determining of all events therefore done, presumably, by a conscious being. While determinism usually refers to a naturalistically explainable causality of events, predeterminism seems by definition to suggest a person or a "someone" who is controlling or planning the causality of events before they occur and who then perhaps resides beyond the natural, causal universe.

Predestination asserts that a supremely powerful being has indeed fixed all events and outcomes in the universe in advance, and is a famous doctrine of the Calvinists in Christian theology. Predestination is often considered a form of hard theological determinism. Predeterminism has therefore been compared to fatalism.

Theological determinism is a form of determinism stating that all events that happen are pre-ordained, or predestined to happen, by a monotheistic deity , or that they are destined to occur given its omniscience. Two forms of theological determinism exist, here referenced as strong and weak theological determinism. There exist slight variations on the above categorisation. Some claim that theological determinism requires predestination of all events and outcomes by the divinity that is, they do not classify the weaker version as 'theological determinism' unless libertarian free will is assumed to be denied as a consequence , or that the weaker version does not constitute 'theological determinism' at all.

There are various implications for metaphysical libertarian free will as consequent of theological determinism and its philosophical interpretation. The basic argument for theological fatalism in the case of weak theological determinism is as follows:. This argument is very often accepted as a basis for theological incompatibilism: On the other hand, theological compatibilism must attempt to find problems with it. The formal version of the argument rests on a number of premises, many of which have received some degree of contention.

Theological compatibilist responses have included:. In the definition of compatibilism and incompatibilism , the literature often fails to distinguish between physical determinism and higher level forms of determinism predeterminism, theological determinism, etc. As such, hard determinism with respect to theological determinism or "Hard Theological Determinism" above might be classified as hard incompatibilism with respect to physical determinism if no claim was made regarding the internal causality or determinism of the universe , or even compatibilism if freedom from the constraint of determinism was not considered necessary for free will , if not hard determinism itself.

By the same principle, metaphysical libertarianism a form of incompatibilism with respect to physical determinism might be classified as compatibilism with respect to theological determinism if it was assumed such free will events were pre-ordained and therefore were destined to occur, but of which whose outcomes were not "predestined" or determined by God.

The idea of free will is one aspect of the mind-body problem , that is, consideration of the relation between mind for example, consciousness, memory, and judgment and body for example, the human brain and nervous system.

Philosophical models of mind are divided into physical and non-physical expositions. Cartesian dualism holds that the mind is a nonphysical substance, the seat of consciousness and intelligence, and is not identical with physical states of the brain or body.

It is suggested that although the two worlds do interact, each retains some measure of autonomy. Under cartesian dualism external mind is responsible for bodily action, although unconscious brain activity is often caused by external events for example, the instantaneous reaction to being burned. Stemming from Cartesian dualism, a formulation sometimes called interactionalist dualism suggests a two-way interaction, that some physical events cause some mental acts and some mental acts cause some physical events.

One modern vision of the possible separation of mind and body is the "three-world" formulation of Popper. Other forms of epistemological pluralist dualism include psychophysical parallelism and epiphenomenalism. Epistemological pluralism is one view in which the mind-body problem is not reducible to the concepts of the natural sciences. A contrasting approach is called physicalism. Physicalism is a philosophical theory holding that everything that exists is no more extensive than its physical properties ; that is, that there are no non-physical substances for example physically independent minds.

Physicalism can be reductive or non-reductive. Reductive physicalism is grounded in the idea that everything in the world can actually be reduced analytically to its fundamental physical, or material, basis. Alternatively, non-reductive physicalism asserts that mental properties form a separate ontological class to physical properties: Although one might suppose that mental states and neurological states are different in kind, that does not rule out the possibility that mental states are correlated with neurological states.

Non-reductive physicalism is therefore often categorised as property dualism rather than monism , yet other types of property dualism do not adhere to the causal reducibility of mental states see epiphenomenalism. Incompatibilism requires a distinction between the mental and the physical, being a commentary on the incompatibility of determined physical reality and one's presumably distinct experience of will. Secondarily, metaphysical libertarian free will must assert influence on physical reality, and where mind is responsible for such influence as opposed to ordinary system randomness , it must be distinct from body to accomplish this.

Both substance and property dualism offer such a distinction, and those particular models thereof that are not causally inert with respect to the physical world provide a basis for illustrating incompatibilist free will i. It has been noted that the laws of physics have yet to resolve the hard problem of consciousness: Does conscious volition impact the material world? Compatibilists maintain that determinism is compatible with free will.

They believe freedom can be present or absent in a situation for reasons that have nothing to do with metaphysics. For instance, courts of law make judgments about whether individuals are acting under their own free will under certain circumstances without bringing in metaphysics. Similarly, political liberty is a non-metaphysical concept. Compatibilists argue that determinism does not matter; though they disagree among themselves about what, in turn, does matter.

To be a compatibilist, one need not endorse any particular conception of free will, but only deny that determinism is at odds with free will. Although there are various impediments to exercising one's choices, free will does not imply freedom of action. Freedom of choice freedom to select one's will is logically separate from freedom to implement that choice freedom to enact one's will , although not all writers observe this distinction.

Some "modern compatibilists", such as Harry Frankfurt and Daniel Dennett , argue free will is simply freely choosing to do what constraints allow one to do. In other words, a coerced agent's choices can still be free if such coercion coincides with the agent's personal intentions and desires.

Most "classical compatibilists", such as Thomas Hobbes , claim that a person is acting on the person's own will only when it is the desire of that person to do the act, and also possible for the person to be able to do otherwise, if the person had decided to. Hobbes sometimes attributes such compatibilist freedom to each individual and not to some abstract notion of will , asserting, for example, that "no liberty can be inferred to the will, desire, or inclination, but the liberty of the man; which consisteth in this, that he finds no stop, in doing what he has the will, desire, or inclination to doe [ sic ].

It is the effect of the constitution and present state of our organs. Compatibilism often regards the agent free as virtue of their reason. The notion of levels of decision is presented in a different manner by Frankfurt. The idea is that an individual can have conflicting desires at a first-order level and also have a desire about the various first-order desires a second-order desire to the effect that one of the desires prevails over the others.

A person's will is identified with their effective first-order desire, that is, the one they act on, and this will is free if it was the desire the person wanted to act upon, that is, the person's second-order desire was effective. So, for example, there are "wanton addicts", "unwilling addicts" and "willing addicts".

All three groups may have the conflicting first-order desires to want to take the drug they are addicted to and to not want to take it. The first group, wanton addicts , have no second-order desire not to take the drug.

The second group, "unwilling addicts", have a second-order desire not to take the drug, while the third group, "willing addicts", have a second-order desire to take it.

According to Frankfurt, the members of the first group are devoid of will and therefore are no longer persons. The members of the second group freely desire not to take the drug, but their will is overcome by the addiction. Finally, the members of the third group willingly take the drug they are addicted to. Frankfurt's theory can ramify to any number of levels. Critics of the theory point out that there is no certainty that conflicts will not arise even at the higher-order levels of desire and preference.

In Elbow Room , Dennett presents an argument for a compatibilist theory of free will, which he further elaborated in the book Freedom Evolves. The only well-defined things are "expectations". The ability to do "otherwise" only makes sense when dealing with these expectations, and not with some unknown and unknowable future. According to Dennett, because individuals have the ability to act differently from what anyone expects, free will can exist.

Therefore, all of our actions are controlled by forces outside ourselves, or by random chance. In the philosophy of decision theory , a fundamental question is: From the standpoint of statistical outcomes, to what extent do the choices of a conscious being have the ability to influence the future? Newcomb's paradox and other philosophical problems pose questions about free will and predictable outcomes of choices. Compatibilist models of free will often consider deterministic relationships as discoverable in the physical world including the brain.

Cognitive naturalism [] is a physicalist approach to studying human cognition and consciousness in which the mind is simply part of nature, perhaps merely a feature of many very complex self-programming feedback systems for example, neural networks and cognitive robots , and so must be studied by the methods of empirical science, such as the behavioral and cognitive sciences i. Overall brain health, substance dependence , depression , and various personality disorders clearly influence mental activity, and their impact upon volition is also important.

The "will" is disconnected from the freedom to act. This situation is related to an abnormal production and distribution of dopamine in the brain. Compatibilist models adhere to models of mind in which mental activity such as deliberation can be reduced to physical activity without any change in physical outcome.

Although compatibilism is generally aligned to or is at least compatible with physicalism, some compatibilist models describe the natural occurrences of deterministic deliberation in the brain in terms of the first person perspective of the conscious agent performing the deliberation.

A description of "how conscious experience might affect brains" has been provided in which "the experience of conscious free will is the first-person perspective of the neural correlates of choosing. According to him, physical, psychological and rational restrictions can interfer at different levels of the causal chain that would naturally lead to action. Corrrespondingly, there can be physical restrictions to the body, psychological restrictions to the decision, and rational restrictions to the formation of reasons desires plus beliefs that should lead to what we would call a reasonable action.

The last two are usually called "restrictions of free will". The restriction at the level of reasons is particularly important, since it can be motivated by external reasons that are insufficiently conscious to the agent.

One example was the collective suicide leaded by Jim Jones. The suicidal agents were not conscious that their free will have been manipulated by external, even if ungrounded, reasons. Some philosophers' views are difficult to categorize as either compatibilist or incompatibilist, hard determinist or libertarian.

For example, Ted Honderich holds the view that "determinism is true, compatibilism and incompatibilism are both false" and the real problem lies elsewhere. Honderich maintains that determinism is true because quantum phenomena are not events or things that can be located in space and time, but are abstract entities.

Further, even if they were micro-level events, they do not seem to have any relevance to how the world is at the macroscopic level. He maintains that incompatibilism is false because, even if indeterminism is true, incompatibilists have not provided, and cannot provide, an adequate account of origination. He rejects compatibilism because it, like incompatibilism, assumes a single, fundamental notion of freedom.

There are really two notions of freedom: Both notions are required to explain freedom of will and responsibility. Both determinism and indeterminism are threats to such freedom. To abandon these notions of freedom would be to abandon moral responsibility. On the one side, we have our intuitions; on the other, the scientific facts.

The "new" problem is how to resolve this conflict. David Hume discussed the possibility that the entire debate about free will is nothing more than a merely "verbal" issue. He suggested that it might be accounted for by "a false sensation or seeming experience" a velleity , which is associated with many of our actions when we perform them. On reflection, we realize that they were necessary and determined all along.

Arthur Schopenhauer put the puzzle of free will and moral responsibility in these terms:. But a posteriori , through experience, he finds to his astonishment that he is not free, but subjected to necessity, that in spite of all his resolutions and reflections he does not change his conduct, and that from the beginning of his life to the end of it, he must carry out the very character which he himself condemns In his essay On the Freedom of the Will , Schopenhauer stated, "You can do what you will, but in any given moment of your life you can will only one definite thing and absolutely nothing other than that one thing.

However, will [urging, craving, striving, wanting, and desiring] as noumenon is free. Rudolf Steiner , who collaborated in a complete edition of Arthur Schopenhauer's work, [] wrote The Philosophy of Freedom , which focuses on the problem of free will. Steiner — initially divides this into the two aspects of freedom: The controllable and uncontrollable aspects of decision making thereby are made logically separable, as pointed out in the introduction.

This separation of will from action has a very long history, going back at least as far as Stoicism and the teachings of Chrysippus — BCE , who separated external antecedent causes from the internal disposition receiving this cause.

Steiner then argues that inner freedom is achieved when we bridge the gap between our sensory impressions, which reflect the outer appearance of the world, and our thoughts, which give us access to the inner nature of the world.

Acknowledging the many influences on our choice, he points to the impact of our becoming aware of just these determinants. Outer freedom is attained by permeating our deeds with moral imagination. Steiner aims to show that these two aspects of inner and outer freedom are integral to one another, and that true freedom is only achieved when they are united.

William James ' views were ambivalent. While he believed in free will on "ethical grounds", he did not believe that there was evidence for it on scientific grounds, nor did his own introspections support it.

Moreover, he did not accept incompatibilism as formulated below; he did not believe that the indeterminism of human actions was a prerequisite of moral responsibility. In his work Pragmatism , he wrote that "instinct and utility between them can safely be trusted to carry on the social business of punishment and praise" regardless of metaphysical theories. It was his position that causality was a mental construct used to explain the repeated association of events, and that one must examine more closely the relation between things regularly succeeding one another descriptions of regularity in nature and things that result in other things things that cause or necessitate other things.

This empiricist view was often denied by trying to prove the so-called apriority of causal law i. In the s Immanuel Kant suggested at a minimum our decision processes with moral implications lie outside the reach of everyday causality, and lie outside the rules governing material objects. Freeman introduces what he calls "circular causality" to "allow for the contribution of self-organizing dynamics", the "formation of macroscopic population dynamics that shapes the patterns of activity of the contributing individuals", applicable to "interactions between neurons and neural masses Thirteenth century philosopher Thomas Aquinas viewed humans as pre-programmed by virtue of being human to seek certain goals, but able to choose between routes to achieve these goals our Aristotelian telos.

His view has been associated with both compatibilism and libertarianism. In facing choices, he argued that humans are governed by intellect , will , and passions. The will is "the primary mover of all the powers of the soul Free will is an "appetitive power", that is, not a cognitive power of intellect the term "appetite" from Aquinas's definition "includes all forms of internal inclination". Now counsel is terminated, first, by the judgment of reason; secondly, by the acceptation of the appetite [that is, the free-will].

A compatibilist interpretation of Aquinas's view is defended thus: But it does not of necessity belong to liberty that what is free should be the first cause of itself, as neither for one thing to be cause of another need it be the first cause. God, therefore, is the first cause, Who moves causes both natural and voluntary. And just as by moving natural causes He does not prevent their acts being natural, so by moving voluntary causes He does not deprive their actions of being voluntary: Historically, most of the philosophical effort invested in resolving the dilemma has taken the form of close examination of definitions and ambiguities in the concepts designated by "free", "freedom", "will", "choice" and so forth.

Defining 'free will' often revolves around the meaning of phrases like "ability to do otherwise" or "alternative possibilities".

This emphasis upon words has led some philosophers to claim the problem is merely verbal and thus a pseudo-problem. The problem of free will has been identified in ancient Greek philosophical literature. The notion of compatibilist free will has been attributed to both Aristotle fourth century BCE and Epictetus 1st century CE ; "it was the fact that nothing hindered us from doing or choosing something that made us have control over them".

The term "free will" liberum arbitrium was introduced by Christian philosophy 4th century CE. It has traditionally meant until the Enlightenment proposed its own meanings lack of necessity in human will, [] so that "the will is free" meant "the will does not have to be such as it is".

This requirement was universally embraced by both incompatibilists and compatibilists. Science has contributed to the free will problem in at least three ways. First, physics has addressed the question whether nature is deterministic, which is viewed as crucial by incompatibilists compatibilists, however, view it as irrelevant.

Second, although free will can be defined in various ways, all of them involve aspects of the way people make decisions and initiate actions, which have been studied extensively by neuroscientists. Some of the experimental observations are widely viewed as implying that free will does not exist or is an illusion but many philosophers see this as a misunderstanding. Third, psychologists have studied the beliefs that the majority of ordinary people hold about free will and its role in assigning moral responsibility.

Modern science, on the other hand, is a mixture of deterministic and stochastic theories. Current physical theories cannot resolve the question of whether determinism is true of the world, being very far from a potential Theory of Everything , and open to many different interpretations.

Assuming that an indeterministic interpretation of quantum mechanics is correct, one may still object that such indeterminism is for all practical purposes confined to microscopic phenomena.

For instance, some hardware random number generators work by amplifying quantum effects into practically usable signals. A more significant question is whether the indeterminism of quantum mechanics allows for the traditional idea of free will based on a perception of free will.

If a person's action is, however, only a result of complete quantum randomness, and mental processes as experienced have no influence on the probabilistic outcomes such as volition , [26] According to many interpretations, non-determinism enables free will to exist, [] while others assert the opposite because the action was not controllable by the physical being who claims to possess the free will.

Like physicists, biologists have frequently addressed questions related to free will. One of the most heated debates in biology is that of " nature versus nurture ", concerning the relative importance of genetics and biology as compared to culture and environment in human behavior. Steven Pinker 's view is that fear of determinism in the context of "genetics" and "evolution" is a mistake, that it is "a confusion of explanation with exculpation ".

Responsibility does not require that behavior be uncaused, as long as behavior responds to praise and blame. It has become possible to study the living brain , and researchers can now watch the brain's decision-making process at work. To determine when subjects felt the intention to move, he asked them to watch the second hand of a clock. After making a movement, the volunteer reported the time on the clock when they first felt the conscious intention to move; this became known as Libet's W time.

Libet found that the unconscious brain activity of the readiness potential leading up to subjects' movements began approximately half a second before the subject was aware of a conscious intention to move. These studies of the timing between actions and the conscious decision bear upon the role of the brain in understanding free will. A subject's declaration of intention to move a finger appears after the brain has begun to implement the action, suggesting to some that unconsciously the brain has made the decision before the conscious mental act to do so.

Some believe the implication is that free will was not involved in the decision and is an illusion. The first of these experiments reported the brain registered activity related to the move about 0. The bearing of these results upon notions of free will appears complex. Some argue that placing the question of free will in the context of motor control is too narrow. The objection is that the time scales involved in motor control are very short, and motor control involves a great deal of unconscious action, with much physical movement entirely unconscious.

On that basis " Benjamin Libet 's results are quoted [] in favor of epiphenomenalism, but he believes subjects still have a "conscious veto", since the readiness potential does not invariably lead to an action. In Freedom Evolves , Daniel Dennett argues that a no-free-will conclusion is based on dubious assumptions about the location of consciousness, as well as questioning the accuracy and interpretation of Libet's results. According to their suggestion, man has relative freedom, i.

Others have argued that data such as the Bereitschaftspotential undermine epiphenomenalism for the same reason, that such experiments rely on a subject reporting the point in time at which a conscious experience occurs, thus relying on the subject to be able to consciously perform an action. That ability would seem to be at odds with early epiphenomenalism, which according to Huxley is the broad claim that consciousness is "completely without any power… as the steam-whistle which accompanies the work of a locomotive engine is without influence upon its machinery".

A study by Aaron Schurger and colleagues published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences PNAS [] challenged assumptions about the causal nature of the readiness potential itself and the "pre-movement buildup" of neural activity in general , casting doubt on conclusions drawn from studies such as Libet's [] and Fried's.

It has been shown that in several brain-related conditions, individuals cannot entirely control their own actions, though the existence of such conditions does not directly refute the existence of free will. Neuroscientific studies are valuable tools in developing models of how humans experience free will.

For example, people with Tourette syndrome and related tic disorders make involuntary movements and utterances called tics despite the fact that they would prefer not to do so when it is socially inappropriate. Tics are described as semi-voluntary or unvoluntary , [] because they are not strictly involuntary: Tics are experienced as irresistible and must eventually be expressed.

The control exerted from seconds to hours at a time may merely postpone and exacerbate the ultimate expression of the tic. In alien hand syndrome , the afflicted individual's limb will produce unintentional movements without the will of the person.

The affected limb effectively demonstrates 'a will of its own. This phenomenon corresponds with an impairment in the premotor mechanism manifested temporally by the appearance of the readiness potential see section on the Neuroscience of Free Will above recordable on the scalp several hundred milliseconds before the overt appearance of a spontaneous willed movement.

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging with specialized multivariate analyses to study the temporal dimension in the activation of the cortical network associated with voluntary movement in human subjects, an anterior-to-posterior sequential activation process beginning in the supplementary motor area on the medial surface of the frontal lobe and progressing to the primary motor cortex and then to parietal cortex has been observed.

In particular, the supplementary motor complex on the medial surface of the frontal lobe appears to activate prior to primary motor cortex presumably in associated with a preparatory pre-movement process.

In a recent study using functional magnetic resonance imaging , alien movements were characterized by a relatively isolated activation of the primary motor cortex contralateral to the alien hand, while voluntary movements of the same body part included the concomitant activation of motor association cortex associated with the premotor process.

The standard neurological explanation is that the felt will reported by the speaking left hemisphere does not correspond with the actions performed by the non-speaking right hemisphere, thus suggesting that the two hemispheres may have independent senses of will.

In addition, one of the most important "first rank" diagnostic symptoms of schizophrenia is the patient's delusion of being controlled by an external force. This is sometimes likened to being a robot controlled by someone else. Although the neural mechanisms of schizophrenia are not yet clear, one influential hypothesis is that there is a breakdown in brain systems that compare motor commands with the feedback received from the body known as proprioception , leading to attendant hallucinations and delusions of control.

Experimental psychology 's contributions to the free will debate have come primarily through social psychologist Daniel Wegner 's work on conscious will.

In his book, The Illusion of Conscious Will [] Wegner summarizes what he believes is empirical evidence supporting the view that human perception of conscious control is an illusion. Wegner summarizes some empirical evidence that may suggest that the perception of conscious control is open to modification or even manipulation.

Wegner observes that one event is inferred to have caused a second event when two requirements are met:. For example, if a person hears an explosion and sees a tree fall down that person is likely to infer that the explosion caused the tree to fall over. However, if the explosion occurs after the tree falls down that is, the first requirement is not met , or rather than an explosion, the person hears the ring of a telephone that is, the second requirement is not met , then that person is not likely to infer that either noise caused the tree to fall down.

Wegner has applied this principle to the inferences people make about their own conscious will. People typically experience a thought that is consistent with a behavior, and then they observe themselves performing this behavior. As a result, people infer that their thoughts must have caused the observed behavior.

However, Wegner has been able to manipulate people's thoughts and behaviors so as to conform to or violate the two requirements for causal inference. For instance, priming subjects with information about an effect increases the probability that a person falsely believes is the cause.

Although many interpret this work as a blow against the argument for free will, both psychologists [] [] and philosophers [] [] have criticized Wegner's theories. Emily Pronin has argued that the subjective experience of free will is supported by the introspection illusion.

This is the tendency for people to trust the reliability of their own introspections while distrusting the introspections of other people. The theory implies that people will more readily attribute free will to themselves rather than others. This prediction has been confirmed by three of Pronin and Kugler's experiments. When college students were asked about personal decisions in their own and their roommate's lives, they regarded their own choices as less predictable.

Staff at a restaurant described their co-workers' lives as more determined having fewer future possibilities than their own lives. When weighing up the influence of different factors on behavior, students gave desires and intentions the strongest weight for their own behavior, but rated personality traits as most predictive of other people.

Psychologists have shown that reducing a person's belief in free will makes them less helpful and more aggressive. Caveats have, however, been identified in studying a subject's awareness of mental events, in that the process of introspection itself may alter the experience. Miles contradicts the idea that free will has prosocial benefits, recognizing that many distinguished minds have already brought up the negative effects that such a belief would ensure.

Miles analyzed the methods of popular studies and concluded that such research purported to be examining associations between behavior and disbelief in free will are actually examining the associations between behavior and belief in fatalism. While evidence of the negative effects of a belief in fatalism is legitimate, the research fails to study the effects of belief on free will which they claim to discuss. This occurrence is due to an incorrect understanding and implication that fatalism accompanies determinism.

Fatalism is distinguished by the idea that decisions lack effect on the future because everything is determined. Conversely, determinism is the belief that everything operates under cause and effect; every action determines a reaction. Determinism, therefore emphasizes the importance and responsibility one has in decision making as every choice will have an accompanying effect.

Ultimately, the point of this research is to encourage accurate knowledge of the free will debate when conducting and evaluating such studies in experimental psychology. Regardless of the validity of, or benefit of, belief in free will, it may be beneficial to understand where the idea comes from. One contribution is randomness. This misconception applies both when considering oneself and others. Another contribution is choice. The specificity of the amount of choice is important, as too little or too great a degree of choice may negatively influence belief.

It is also likely that the associative relationship between level of choice and perception of free will is influentially bidirectional. In recent years, free will belief in individuals has been analysed with respect to traits in social behaviour. In general the concept of free will researched to date in this context has been that of the incompatibilist, or more specifically, the libertarian, that is freedom from determinism.

Whether people naturally adhere to an incompatibilist model of free will has been questioned in the research. Studies indicate that peoples' belief in free will is inconsistent. Emily Pronin and Matthew Kugler found that people believe they have more free will than others. Studies also reveal a correlation between the likelihood of accepting a deterministic model of mind and personality type. For example, Adam Feltz and Edward Cokely found that people of an extrovert personality type are more likely to dissociate belief in determinism from belief in moral responsibility.

Roy Baumeister and colleagues reviewed literature on the psychological effects of a belief or disbelief in free will. The first part of their analysis which the only relevant part to this section was not meant to discover the types of free will that actually exist.

The researchers instead sought to identify what people believe, how many people believed it, and the effects of those beliefs. Baumeister found that most people tend to believe in a sort of "naive compatibilistic free will".

The researchers also found that people consider acts more "free" when they involve a person opposing external forces, planning, or making random actions. More than a half of surveyed people were US Americans. Baumeister and colleagues found that provoking disbelief in free will seems to cause various negative effects. The authors concluded, in their paper, that it is belief in determinism that causes those negative effects. Having participants read articles that simply "disprove free will" is unlikely to increase their understanding of determinism, or the compatibilistic free will that it still permits.

In other words, "provoking disbelief in free will" probably causes a belief in fatalism. Fatalism, then, may be what threatens people's sense of self-efficacy. Lay people should not confuse fatalism with determinism, and yet even professional philosophers occasionally confuse the two.

It is thus likely that the negative consequences below can be accounted for by participants developing a belief in fatalism when experiments attack belief in "free will". Some studies have been conducted indicating that people react strongly to the way in which mental determinism is described, when reconciling it with moral responsibility. Eddy Nahmias has noted that when people's actions are framed with respect to their beliefs and desires rather than their neurological underpinnings , they are more likely to dissociate determinism from moral responsibility.

Various social behavioural traits have been correlated with the belief in deterministic models of mind, some of which involved the experimental subjection of individuals to libertarian and deterministic perspectives.

After researchers provoked volunteers to disbelieve in free will, participants lied, cheated, and stole more. Kathleen Vohs has found that those whose belief in free will had been eroded were more likely to cheat. Baumeister and colleagues also note that volunteers disbelieving in free will are less capable of counterfactual thinking. Along similar lines, Tyler Stillman has found that belief in free will predicts better job performance.

The six orthodox astika schools of thought in Hindu philosophy do not agree with each other entirely on the question of free will.

For the Samkhya , for instance, matter is without any freedom, and soul lacks any ability to control the unfolding of matter. The only real freedom kaivalya consists in realizing the ultimate separateness of matter and self.

The metaphysics of the Nyaya and Vaisheshika schools strongly suggest a belief in determinism, but do not seem to make explicit claims about determinism or free will. A quotation from Swami Vivekananda , a Vedantist , offers a good example of the worry about free will in the Hindu tradition.

Therefore we see at once that there cannot be any such thing as free-will; the very words are a contradiction, because will is what we know, and everything that we know is within our universe, and everything within our universe is moulded by conditions of time, space and causality. To acquire freedom we have to get beyond the limitations of this universe; it cannot be found here. However, the preceding quote has often been misinterpreted as Vivekananda implying that everything is predetermined.

But it is the strong man who stands up and says I will make my own fate. Buddhism accepts both freedom and determinism or something similar to it , but in spite of its focus towards the human agency, rejects the western concept of a total agent from external sources. It preaches a middle doctrine, named pratitya-samutpada in Sanskrit , often translated as "inter-dependent arising". This theory is also called "Conditioned Genesis" or " Dependent Origination ".

It teaches that every volition is a conditioned action as a result of ignorance. In part, it states that free will is inherently conditioned and not "free" to begin with. It is also part of the theory of karma in Buddhism. The concept of karma in Buddhism is different from the notion of karma in Hinduism.

In Buddhism, the idea of karma is much less deterministic. The Buddhist notion of karma is primarily focused on the cause and effect of moral actions in this life, while in Hinduism the concept of karma is more often connected with determining one's destiny in future lives. In Buddhism it is taught that the idea of absolute freedom of choice that is that any human being could be completely free to make any choice is unwise, because it denies the reality of one's physical needs and circumstances.

Equally incorrect is the idea that humans have no choice in life or that their lives are pre-determined. To deny freedom would be to deny the efforts of Buddhists to make moral progress through our capacity to freely choose compassionate action. Pubbekatahetuvada , the belief that all happiness and suffering arise from previous actions, is considered a wrong view according to Buddhist doctrines.

Because Buddhists also reject agenthood , the traditional compatibilist strategies are closed to them as well. Instead, the Buddhist philosophical strategy is to examine the metaphysics of causality. The notions of free will and predestination are heavily debated among Christians. Free will in the Christian sense is the ability to choose between good or evil.

Among Catholics, there are those holding to Thomism , adopted from what Thomas Aquinas put forth in the Summa Theologica.

There are also some holding to Molinism which was put forth by Jesuit priest Luis de Molina. Among Protestants there is Arminianism , held primarily by Methodist and some Baptist , and formulated by Dutch theologian Jacobus Arminius ; and there is also Calvinism held by most in the Reformed tradition which was formulated by the French Reformed theologian, John Calvin. John Calvin was heavily influenced by Augustine of Hippo views on predestination put forth in his work On the Predestination of the Saints.

Martin Luther seems to hold views on predestination similar to Calvinism in his On the Bondage of the Will , thus rejecting free will. In condemnation of Calvin and Luther views, the Council of Trent declared that "the free will of man, moved and excited by God, can by its consent co-operate with God, Who excites and invites its action; and that it can thereby dispose and prepare itself to obtain the grace of justification.

The will can resist grace if it chooses. It is not like a lifeless thing, which remains purely passive. Weakened and diminished by Adam's fall, free will is yet not destroyed in the race Sess.

Jesse Omoregie detailed in ' Freewill: The degree of freedom within ' that, in Christianity, there are numerous occasions where 'man' lived life according to pre-written scripts; in one example, he detailed how in the Bible God commented that he loved Jacob and hated Esau, his twin brother even while he was still in his mother's womb. Paul the Apostle discusses Predestination in some of his Epistles. Maimonides reasoned that human beings have free will at least in the context of choosing to do good or evil.

Without free will, the demands of the prophets would have been meaningless, there would be no need for the Torah , and justice could not be administered. In Maimonides's view, human free will is granted by God as part of the universe's design. In Islam the theological issue is not usually how to reconcile free will with God's foreknowledge, but with God's jabr , or divine commanding power. Actions taken by people exercising free will are counted on the Day of Judgement because they are their own; however, the free will happens with the permission of God.

Furthermore, God would voluntarily do so because "the greatest good Some philosophers follow William of Ockham in holding that necessity and possibility are defined with respect to a given point in time and a given matrix of empirical circumstances, and so something that is merely possible from the perspective of one observer may be necessary from the perspective of an omniscient.

This article incorporates material from the Citizendium article " Free will ", which is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the philosophical questions of free will. In Knowledge and Power , George attempts with some success to turn economics on its ear. His great insights are that entrepreneurial creations are the keys to understanding economic progress, and that accumulated knowledge is wealth.

Now, entrepreneurial creativity and innovations are not going to make it into any models that economists can concoct. Because we simply do not have the tools to model that kind of complexity.

Capitalism is not chiefly an incentive system but an information system. The key to economic growth is not acquisition of things by the pursuit of monetary rewards, but the expansion of wealth through learning and discovery. The economy grows by accumulating surprising knowledge through the conduct of the falsifiable experiments of free enterprises.

Conventional economics holds that it is incentives—carrots and sticks—which drive individual economic actors to do what they do, and thus leads to economic growth.

Although incentives are important, they are not the main driver of growth. The Neanderthal in his cave had the same incentive to eat and access to the same raw materials as we do today. Yet, our economy is vastly more advanced, why? George says that it is accumulated knowledge, brought about by entrepreneurial efforts, that creates growth and prosperity.

This knowledge, in a real sense, is the source of wealth: Entrepreneurial creations—the source of wealth—are unpredictable and always come as a surprise. George often quotes former Princeton economist Albert Hirshman on this: Thankfully, George has a better way to measure the contributions of entrepreneurs and demonstrate how economics works in the real world. With traditional economics incapable of measuring how an economy grows, George has applied the principals of information theory to create a new economics:.

Concealed behind an elaborate apparatus, the theory drives the most powerful machines and networks of the era. Information theory treats human creations as transmissions through a channel—whether a wire or the world—in the face of noise, and gauges the outcomes by their surprise. Now it is ready to transform economics as it has already transformed the world. Developed in by Claude Shannon, information theory is the basis for all telecommunications and the internet. At its core, it is complex and mathematical, but its implications for economics can be expressed by how it defines information.

The fundamental principal of information theory is that all information is surprise; only surprise qualifies as information. George recognized the tie between entrepreneurial surprise and information theory: Here we have a crucial tie between the economy and information theory.

For the first time, it became possible to create an economics that could capture the surprising creativity of entrepreneurs. At its root, information theory is about distinguishing signal from noise. In technology, a signal goes down a telephone line or through a fiber-optic cable. The challenge is to sort out the actual signal from the noise that accompanies it.

Since communications can be business ideas, information theory is applicable to anything transmitted over time and space—including entrepreneurial creations. In the economy, the entrepreneur has to distinguish amidst the noise, a signal that a particular good or service is needed. And as we established above, knowledge is wealth. If the signal cannot be separated from the noise, then no new wealth can be created. George lays the groundwork for an economics which places entrepreneurial creativity—the creator of prosperity—at the heart of the economy.

It is an economics that appreciates the powerful connection between chaos and creativity, between the disorder and surprise which engender growth. This recognition is the first step toward changing the policies that govern our nation and affect entrepreneurs and investors. While the information theory of economics is concerned with the forces that create growth, it is also focused on those which hinder it.

While the information theory of economics recognizes that entrepreneurial creations drive economic growth, it places equal importance on the environment in which they operate:.

One fundamental principal of information theory distills that the transmission of a high-entropy, surprising product requires a low-entropy, unsurprising channel largely free of interference.

Predictable and stable carriers. In technology, a fiber-optic cable is an example of a low-entropy carrier: Surprising and unexpected signals. In economics, new creations and inventions by entrepreneurs are examples of high-entropy signals: For example, the success of a radio or internet signal depends on the existence of a low-entropy channel that does not change substantially during the course of communication.

And the profits will not be taxed away. That results in less entrepreneurial creations, which means less knowledge and wealth in the economy. Too much noisy interference from governments and central banks distorts market signals. They also increase the hassles of doing business, which stifles innovation and discourages entrepreneurship. Ultimately, this makes the country less wealthy and prosperous. Identifying both the drivers and destroyers of economic growth is what George does so well with his information theory of economics.

It has changed how I think about the economy, and what policies we should pursue going forward. If this can happen, I have great hope for the future. What a great conference it was this year: I was really enthusiastic about it when I came back to the office and now I think my other colleagues want to go as well next year.

Yet, George is only one of the speakers that attendees will get to hear and meet. I really hope you can be there to experience it in person, with me.

That does it for the second installment in this five-part series. Spatial economics will give rise to new markets, more innovative businesses, new lifestyles and different career opportunities. At the same time, major research institutions like McKinsey, Brookings, and Pew are releasing studies on the topic. Findings from these studies all draw the same conclusion: When I see multiple forecasts, which arrive at the same conclusion, I get a little nervous.

When the consensus expects one thing to happen, quite often the exact opposite ends up occurring. Here are two reminders of just how wrong the consensus can be. As we know now, that was pretty much the bottom for oil prices. Needless to say, investors who allocated capital according to these prevailing thoughts would have been on the wrong side of two seismic shifts. When this happens, it tells me that I should seek out independent and unique perspectives. Someone who offers exactly that is Karen Harris.

I would wager you have never heard of Karen. Karen and her team at Macro Trends focus on developing insights about global macroeconomic and social trends. They also work with institutional clients to embed macro strategy into their investment and business decisions. I am featuring Karen in this five-part series because of her pioneering work on the declining cost of distance—a topic which fits hand in glove with automation, and has profound implications for investors and entrepreneurs. Before we proceed, I want to let you in on a secret: The declining cost of distance may be the one of the overarching trends that shapes the economy and financial markets in the coming decades.

When I say this is one of the most critical concepts to grasp going forward, I mean it. The Declining Cost of Distance, opens with this thought:. While not widely recognized, the cost of distance—that is, the cost of moving information, people, and goods—is a key driver of business and individual decision-making.

For example, the cost of moving goods is the reason why companies like Amazon strategically place their warehouses near major transportation routes. On an individual level, the cost of moving oneself is the reason you would ideally live near your workplace. The need to minimize the cost of distance has caused businesses and individuals to cluster around urban areas.

This trend began during the Industrial Revolution years ago, when millions of people moved to cities to work in factories. To date, the cost of distance has remained a critical calculation for businesses and individuals regarding where to operate and live. Which leads to the question: How would the world change if the cost of distance fell dramatically and greatly reduced the importance of location?

Robotics, 3-D printing, delivery drones, logistics technology and autonomous vehicles are giving rise to new products and services that sharply erode the cost of moving people, goods and information. Compare the cost of sending information via an email to sending it by postal letter. Or the cost of making a long-distance phone call today versus two decades ago. Data from The World Bank show that the cost of transporting goods by air and ocean freight has dropped substantially over the past 40 years.

The rise of online communication channels and computer systems has enabled many individuals to work from remote areas, so they no longer have to travel to an office.

Technology is creating a post-urban world in which physical location will not be the primary driver of where people live. This is the biggest shift in how economies function since the Industrial Revolution, when the population of London and other English cities doubled in just 50 years. The declining cost of distance will allow millions of individuals to reassess where they live.

At the same time, constraints on businesses such as scale and density will be reduced, creating new opportunities for businesses, investors, and entrepreneurs. Think about where you would live if you could work from anywhere.

Or, what would happen to urban economies and real estate prices if millions of people decided to leave? These are just two factors to consider on how the declining cost of distance is a complete game changer. Advances in technology already are beginning to lower costs in manufacturing and service, allowing both to be profitable at reduced scale. The declining cost of distance will allow businesses to operate at a smaller scale, which will disrupt the tight constraints that most operate under, today.

Today, a 6,—8, square-foot Apple store requires a population of roughly two million people within its target radius to be profitable. This required population density is a huge barrier to entry, making small operations completely unviable. But I have good news, automation is changing that. Automation is also changing the business model of casual dining outlets like McDonalds and Burger King. On the surface, automation is bad for jobs.

For example, Macro Trends estimate that by employing service robots, casual dining outlets could reduce staff from 25 to 8 people. However, as automation will enable businesses to operate at a smaller scale and scope, it may create jobs net-net. While automation will reduce the number of people working at each location, by lowering operating costs, automation will make smaller scale and scope locations economically viable.

In effect, the volume of stores would increase, while the number of people working at each location would fall. For the first time ever, large retailers and dining chains will be able to operate in smaller, less dense markets. The large retail stores and restaurant chains that I have the pick of here in Dallas, may open locations in the much smaller neighboring cities of Allen and Katy.

As I mentioned above, when there is a strong consensus on a topic, it almost always pays to seek out an independent view. While automation will render some jobs obsolete in the coming decades, I believe it will also create a lot of opportunities.

Along with changing how businesses operate, the declining cost of distance will also alter where individuals choose to live and how they work. According to the US Census Bureau, the percentage of the US population that lived within 10 miles of a city center declined by 2.

That might not seem much, but it represents almost 6 million people—more than double the population of Chicago. While the declining cost of distance is only beginning to gather pace, it is likely one of the reasons for this move away from cities. As more businesses open locations in less dense, rural areas, these areas will become more attractive places to live.

A Macro Trends poll shows that an increasing number of people want to live in rural areas. However, a greater variety of amenities is only the start of how the declining cost of distance is going to transform rural areas… and possibly cities, too. Virtual communication tools and computer systems are giving people who live in rural areas access to many of the same employment opportunities that city dwellers have. As opportunities to telecommute work remotely increase, fewer people will need to travel to work.

Right now, my team lives in a wide range of locations: While we operate across several time zones and live in vastly different locations, thanks to online communications tools and shared computer networks, we operate as if we were all under the one roof. At the same time, the absence of an office greatly reduces overhead costs. Best of all, each one of us gets to work from wherever we please. Take my friend and colleague Jared Dillian, for example. When Jared was working at Lehman Brothers in New York, there was no escaping the ultra-high cost of living.

Today, Jared is able to work from his beachfront home in South Carolina. As the following chart from Macro Trends shows, its base case is that a further 10 million people will move out of urban areas by A move of this magnitude would have massive implications for the economy and the employment landscape.

For example, a mass exodus to rural areas could create a boom in the construction industry, akin to what took place in the s. Conversely, urban real-estate prices, which are notoriously high across the globe, could plummet as demand falls. Still, there are a lot of unknowns. Would millions of Americans switching from urban to rural living ignite a baby boom and cure our demographic problems? After all, birthrates are substantially higher in rural areas. Plus, families could dramatically reduce their cost of living by moving out of cities, allowing them to feed more mouths.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. I have many more questions I want answered about the declining cost of distance. For example, what are the opportunities and risks for investors, and how will the reduction in the scale and scope of businesses in advanced economies affect emerging markets?

To learn more about attending the SIC , and about the other speakers who will be there, I encourage you to click here. I attended my first conference this year and loved it!

I am a small investment manager just starting out, so I was looking to gain some perspective on how to protect my portfolio and profit from likely events that will be occurring in the future. That concludes the third part of this series.

I want to get your thoughts and questions regarding Karen and her insights into the declining cost of distance. New federal initiatives—whether tax cuts, infrastructure, or otherwise—will not provide a boost to the economy if they are funded with increases in debt.

The rationale behind their dual mandate is that by keeping inflation and interest rates steady, they will create a stable economic environment, which will be conducive to employment growth. When the economy is slowing: The Fed lowers interest rates, spurring economic activity. This helps the economy avoid recession.

When the economy is booming: The Fed hikes interest rates, slowing activity. This stops the economy from overheating. Fed actions end up working in a pro-cyclical, instead of a counter-cyclical, manner. Strict adherence to their dual mandate has made them blind to certain economic developments. For example, while the Fed was focused on unemployment and inflation during the s and early s, they failed to do anything about the massive buildup of debt. This laid the groundwork for the financial crisis.

When debt levels rise past a certain threshold, additional debt-financed stimulus becomes ineffective.

Worse yet, when an economy becomes extremely indebted, monetary policy stops working altogether. I often get asked if I am still a deficit hawk. And that, my friends, is a game-changer. With traditional methods of stimulus incapable of spurring growth, what will happen in the next downturn?

As this trend develops, it could force a rewiring of the financial system and a deleveraging of the global economy. Given the wide-ranging implications, this is a critical trend for investors to grasp. When I need insight into the relationship between debt and the economy, there is one person I turn to.

And that is my dear friend, Lacy Hunt. Lacy Hunt is the executive vice president and chief economist at Hoisington Investment Management. I really do enjoy picking his brain about all things economics. I regularly phone him on a Monday morning when something is puzzling me. In a recent interview, Lacy cited a study by the McKinsey Global Institute which analyzed dozens of instances where countries had become over-indebted:. In , McKinsey looked at 24 advanced economies that became extremely over-indebted.

McKinsey says that a multi-year sustained rise in the savings rate, what they term austerity, is needed to solve the problem. A decade on from the financial crisis, instead of deleveraging, our debt burden has increased.

Until the debt burden is reduced, further debt-financed stimulus will not spur growth. While nobody in Washington seems to have realized that our debt problem cannot be solved by more debt, it is important for investors to keep this in mind when allocating capital. Future tax cuts and other fiscal measures may generate spurts of growth, but given the debt burden, it will fizzle out shortly thereafter.

At my Strategic Investment Conference this past May, Lacy commented on the type of debt being borrowed:. The composition of our debt is becoming increasingly inferior. We have the wrong type of debt. That may benefit some, but not the society at large.

For example, look at Federal government spending. As Lacy puts it: Where did the money go? The majority of it has gone toward share buybacks and dividend payouts. It has been a similar story over the past decade as buybacks have risen to near record levels.

The Fed is at the heart of why corporations have preferred financial investments over real investments. While equity prices and shareholders have increased as a result of financial engineering, it has done nothing to increase the growth capabilities of the US economy. Economists have been perplexed by the absence of growth and inflation over the past decade. The unproductive nature of the debt being borrowed goes a long way to explaining why.

As I discuss next, this trend is ensuring growth is unlikely to return anytime soon. In a recent interview, Lacy detailed why economic growth has been poor and will continue to be so:. The critical factors that determine GDP are both working lower. This reflects the fact that we have too much of the wrong type of debt. You may think the velocity of money is some obscure indicator used only by economists. But as Lacy pointed out, it is one of two determinates of nominal GDP, our most important economic indicator.

Put simply, the velocity of money measures the rate at which money is exchanged from one transaction to another, and how much it is used in a given period of time. I think of velocity as a machine which money has to go through to produce economic activity.

The falling velocity of money, which is at its lowest point since , is another reason why growth has remained subdued in the post-financial crisis world. Velocity can also tell us about the long-term direction of bond yields. As velocity is a main determinate of nominal GDP, and yields track nominal GDP, Lacy believes that the secular low for interest rates are not in hand: His ability to always see the big picture in spite of short-term market moves is truly exceptional.

While the debt burden is putting downward pressure on velocity, which is dampening growth, it is also incapacitating monetary policy. The debt creates a situation where monetary policy capabilities are asymmetric. In other words, a lot of action is needed to provoke even a muted impact on the economy, whereas the slightest monetary tightening goes a long way in depressing economic activity. Again, the reason why inflation and growth have remained anemic despite record-low interest rates and multiple rounds of QE is the over-indebtedness of the US economy.

The money multiplier is the amount of money that banks generate with each dollar of reserves. Just as falling velocity has blunted fiscal stimulus, the decline in the money multiplier has made monetary easing less effective in generating growth. Unfortunately for the Fed, monetary tightening has become more powerful because of the debt. Therefore, what used to be considered modest changes in monetary restraint that resulted in higher interest rates now has a profound and immediate negative impact on the economy.

This outsized effect can be seen by looking at how the five rate hikes since December have produced a noticeable slowing in the growth of the money supply and several important areas of bank lending.

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Determinism is the philosophical theory that all events, including moral choices, are completely determined by previously existing causes. Determinism is at times understood to preclude free will because it entails that humans cannot act otherwise than they do. The theory holds that the universe is utterly rational because complete knowledge of any .

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Causal determinism is, roughly speaking, the idea that every event is necessitated by antecedent events and conditions together with the laws of nature.

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Eradicating Non-Determinism in Tests. An automated regression suite can play a vital role on a software project, valuable both for reducing defects in production and essential for evolutionary design. Our glossary of terms related to problems of freedom, value, and knowledge uses hyperlinks (with blue underlines) to provide recursive definitions from within each entry. Hyperlinks also go to other pages in the I-Phi website and to external sites such as the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, where available. Click on the "Search I-Phi" link .

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Determinism can be divided into causal, logical and theological determinism. Corresponding to each of these different meanings, there arises a different problem for free will. Hard determinism is the claim that determinism is true, and that it is incompatible with free will, so free will does not coachoutleta.cfgh hard determinism generally refers to nomological determinism . Free Will. Most of us are certain that we have free will, though what exactly this amounts to is much less certain. According to David Hume, the question of the nature of free will is “the most contentious question of metaphysics.”If this is correct, then figuring out what free will is will be no small task indeed. Minimally, to say that an agent has free will is .