[hist-analytic] Free-Action as a Symmetry Breaking Process

Baynesr at comcast.net Baynesr at comcast.net
Tue Apr 12 16:48:06 EDT 2011


I have a dozen or so margin notes on Mele. I spend about a third of my available time on "arithmetic." Transcribing these margin notes is a bit tedious, and just as I began to complete this transcription I was "hit" by a couple of ideas I could not pass by. So I will get back to transcribing my Mele notes but I can't break the momentum of my thinking when I suspect it is original, even if it's no good, which it might be. 

I am attempting a redefinition of the problem of free will based in part on the idea that free action is action that creates asymmetry out of symmetry. That is, nomic causal processes. In other words, a natural causal process not involving the "intervention" of intention or intentional action, is something analogical to an inertial frame of reference, or a uniform fluid. In a sense, one I hope to describe, soon, such uniformity is the underlying causal process that escapes the phenomena. Here I invert Kant's picture on freedom, again, in a sense I hope to describe. 

Once the analogy between natural causal processes and inertial frames is made, nature can be described as causally "uniform." In such a state there is "symmetry" much in the same sense that in an inertial frame of reference there is nothing to distinguish positions with respect to motion, if any. Thus free action is a symmetry breaking process. Moreover, out of this creation of asymmetry arises additional "world" complexity which enters the nomic picture from the "outside," when the agent is viewed FROM the outside. Mind body asymmetries (first and third person reports, e.g.) receive a different characterization, one inaccessible to physicalistic descriptions of nature. In addition, the processes associated with free action as "symmetry breaking" introduce relations which I have elsewhere described as "entrainment causation." To a certain real, but limited, extent I owe part of my insight here, if insight it be, to some interesting work by Gregoire Nicolis. I will elaborate over time on this connection. 

Regards 

Steven R. Bayne 
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