MM-Theory - Determinism and Free-Will

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The Cleaning Up Finding Introduction Experience of Compatibilism The Mess Randomness Freedom Quantum Theory The A Question of Challenge to Lawfulness Necessity Participation In The Universal Will The Clarity of Meaning The Freedom of The Universe Random Fluctuations in Realness Conceptual Realities and Their Rules Some Criticisms The Subjective Perspective Reconciling The theories The Problem of Free-Will Why There Is One Some Implications The Value of Freedom

Objectifying Free-Will

Quantum Consciousness

Quantum Consciousness and Classical Neurology

Expanding The Universe - Again

Some Objections

Conclusion

Determinism and Free-Will
In this paper, we explore the philosophy of determinism and free-will from four vantage points: 1) Compatibilism, in which case the notion that the freedom of the will as uncaused is dropped in favor of the notion that freedom comes from control over one's actions. 2) The subjective perspective, in which case freedom is constituted by the sense that one's actions and choices are not caused but justified, and that these justifications map onto what would be considered causes from an objectified perspective, the validity of which is questioned. 3) Quantum mechanics and quantum consciousness, in which case freedom can be accounted for by the non-determinism that seems to occur at nanoscopic scales, and which Penrose and Hameroff propose is amplified by structures within our neurons called microtubules. 4) The universe as a whole, in which case we consider the non-deterministic status of the universe when taken in a spaceless and timeless context. This non-deterministic status may account for the freedom we, and all other components of the universe, experience, the only difference being the objectives we strive for.

Introduction
Perhaps the world can be sorted out along a spectrum where, on one end, we have those with an insatiable desire to understand, and on the other, those with a lust to engage in life. The world may not fall neatly onto this spectrum after all, but let's suppose it can. Although there have been occasions where it was the thrill of the moment that drove me, the joy of experiencing the changes and effects I could bring about in the world, I am, for the most part, a reflective and withdrawn type. I prefer to step back from the world, observe it with objective spectacles, and glean a clear understanding of what I see. This places me unambiguously on the side of understanding. I would say it is this drive, the drive to understand, which makes me partial to determinism, and I would go so far as to suppose that most, if not all, who fall on the side of understanding have an affinity for determinism. Those who fall on the opposite end of the spectrum, the end of engaging in life, most probably are partial to free-will. They love the notion that the world is their oyster, and that they can make of it whatever they

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please. This view I have of where people fall is not an official stance I'm taking, but it is an opinion I feel explains a lot about why we prefer one side of the debate of determinism versus free-will over the other. Determinism promises a full and coherent understanding of the world we live in, which is very appealing to all. On the other hand, free-will promises that nothing can override our freedom to make our own choices in life, and this too is very appealing to all. Unfortunately, these ideas are philosophically against each other. Therefore, each one of us, if we are to think about the issue seriously, ends up having to choose what we cherish more: understanding the world or engaging in it. I once believed that determinism had to be the correct view, if for no other reason than it was more parsimonious. Occam's razor states that a hypothesis should never be multiplied beyond necessity - that is, when all else is equal, one should never posit any proposition more complicated than any alternative propositions that are simpler. The same razor can be applied to explanations that are too simple, in which case they fail to fully explain the phenomenon in question. As Einstein once said "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." Parsimony is the characteristic of an explanation that makes it simple but also complete. This is why when it comes to determinism and free-will, I deemed determinism to be more parsimonious. That is, given a choice between the two views "everything can be explained" and "not everything can be explained", guess which one is going to be the better explanation? That is, which one is more parsimonious? Determinism, of course. Although to reduce some things to inexplicable and elusive phenomena such as free-will makes it simpler, it reduces it below the level that is at least needed for an explanation to be complete. Therefore, it is simpler than it needs to be. Why submit to the notion that some things might not be explicable when one has the alternative to see everything as having a potential explanation? These were my reasons for putting faith in determinism anyway. Alas, I eventually came to see that one's desire for parsimony doesn't make the world parsimonious. The world is as complicated and enigmatic as it wants to be - it cares not for what the human mind finds easy to digest. In the end, I had to come to grips with the fact that what I once took as justifications for a belief in determinism were really only a desire to understand. If there really are things we can't understand, I soon realized, they are going to be beyond our grasp regardless of whether determinism promises a comprehensive and clear view or not. One of the most undeniably non-deterministic phenomena in the universe, the phenomenon that led to the collapse of the mainstream view of physical determinism held by the scientific community (and myself for a while), was that of quantum mechanics. It knocked the pillars out from under the deterministic construct we know today as classical mechanics, ushering in a new era in science characterized as more flexible on the whole view that the laws of nature are rigid and unyielding. Quantum mechanics, at once, baffles our common expectations of how the world should work and opens us up to the possibility that some things might truly be random. We are baffled when we see subatomic particles existing in more than one place at the same time, or spinning both up and down at the same time, or seeing effects come before causes, or seeing one particle instantaneously affect another from across vast distances. We are confronted by what appears to be randomness when, after almost a century of study, we still have no way of predicting what our measurements of subatomic particles will yield. We know that we cannot predict, for example, what the exact measure of an electron's position will be if we've measured its momentum with precision. If these assertions seem obscure, never fear; I have written a paper that explains more in depth the fascinating field of quantum mechanics for the reader to look at (and should look at if he/she wants to be prepared for the current paper). It is the apparent randomness quantum mechanics introduces that many have theorized accounts for free-will. Whether this is true or not, quantum mechanics does challenge any theory of reality that grounds itself in a deterministic model. It is therefore up to us, having presented such a theory, to reconcile it with quantum mechanics - that is, with randomness. In doing so, we will have made room for free-will, and therefore shown how it can play a role in our theory. Free-will has always been a thorn in determinism's side, and so this will be no easy task. The problem seems almost to reduce to the equivalent of trying to reconcile two blatantly opposing propositions such as X and not-X. That is, it is like trying to explain how X can be true while at the same time not-X can also be true. The very definition of determinism is that nothing is random - everything is caused - and so to fit it together with a notion like free-will, which is by definition uncaused, seems like a hopeless endeavor. Something obviously has to yield. In light of our quantum mechanical discoveries, it seems that determinism is the unlucky candidate. So the best hope for free-will is to bring determinism down a notch. It doesn't need to be expelled outright, but it does have to loosen its monopolistic grip on our perspective of the universe. We will see, in this paper, that among the many arguments we will put forward in favor of free-will, the strongest ones will be those in which determinism has been humbled in this way. There are other arguments in which we will take the universe to be fully and relentlessly deterministic, but in these cases, the only means by which free-will will be reconciled is by changing the way we conceive or define it. The latter may be less than satisfactory for free-will proponents, but the former doesn't quite satisfy our need to understand.

Occam's Razor

Quantum Mechanics

Classical Mechanics

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Any system that is to any degree non-deterministic forces us to forgo any hope of fully understanding the nature of that system. These difficulties make the task ahead onerous, but hopefully there will be something for everyone as I have tried my best to argue for and against free-will from various angles. If one idea doesn't strike you as workable, perhaps another will.

Cleaning Up The Mess
I title this section "Cleaning Up The Mess" because that's exactly what the debate over determinism and free-will is - a horrid mess! There are numerous misconceptions and unchallenged assumptions that we tend to take for granted. Therefore, before we get into anything substantial or enlightening, we need to sort through these misconceptions and confused understandings and render them more clear. We need to understand what exactly we mean by "cause" and "effect", "freedom" and "control", or the difference between randomness and non-determinism (they're not necessarily the same). Once this is done, we will be able to make headway much more effectively. This section will be more or less independent from MM-Theory. We will discuss the concepts of determinism and free-will as they are understood by the majority of people. We will then tie these discussions into our theory to see where, or if, we can fit in free-will. This will be done sporadically throughout this paper - that is, when deemed appropriate, we will digress from our discussions to show how they tie into MM-Theory. There will be more need for this as the paper progress from the more simple ideas, which will be presented early, to the more complex, which will be present later.

Finding Randomness
Let's begin by point out that one cannot discover randomness. It cannot be proved that no explanation exists for some phenomenon - not in principle, anyway. If we fail to understand some phenomenon, the best we can say is that no explanation has surfaced as yet - even if the only conceivable explanation we can expect would have to throw our entire understanding of how the world works through enormous loops. This, of course, is only true in principle, but as a principle, it should be kept in mind at all times. It means that we are dabbling in guesswork when we take up the position that there truly is randomness in nature. This is even true of the so-called randomness of quantum mechanics. There are many physicists who will tell us that their science features true bona fide randomness, but one has to understand the scientific mindset to make sense of this. In particular, one has to understand what the scientific attitude is with respect to metaphysical accounts for the anomalies of quantum mechanics. Although we can't make such a sweeping statement as that all scientists are steadfast against metaphysics, we can make such a statement about the archetypal scientific attitude towards metaphysics. The attitude is that if it isn't measurable or observable, and such things count as quintessentially metaphysical, then we have no business claiming knowledge of it nor, if this attitude is taken to extremes, is it even a meaningful concept. What this has to do with the possibility of randomness can be understood in light of Bell's Theorem. Bell's Theorem tells us that no hidden local variable theory can account for all the anomalies of quantum mechanics. What a "hidden local variable theory" is is a theory that attempts to explain some, or all, quantum mechanical phenomena by positing the existence of hidden variables - that is, factors or causes that we either haven't or can't measure or observe - local to the phenomenon in question. What "local" means, in turn, is that such variables would be within the spatial vicinity of the phenomenon in question. What this permits, however, is that we have the right to posit the existence of non-local hidden variables - but not without a catch. The catch is that to posit the existence of anything non-local is, to the scientific mindset, the equivalent of metaphysics. That is to say, to be non-local is to be non-physical, because physicality, according to the scientific mindset, means to take a position or occupy a volume in space. Where quantum superposition is concerned, this spatial position or volume may have "fuzzy" boundaries, but it is still to be contrasted with non-locality, which means having nothing to do with spatial positions or volumes whatever. The latter falls unambiguously into the camp of metaphysics, and is abhorred by those who adopt the scientific attitude. Thus, putting non-local hidden variables out of the question, the hardnosed scientific mind has limited his/her options only to that which can be measured and observed. If such measurements and observations come up empty handed, which hitherto appears to be the case with respect to quantum indeterminism, he/she is left with but one conclusion: that quantum indeterminism is authentic randomness.

Bell's Theorem

Local Hidden Variables

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Quantum Entanglement

Effects of Quantum Entanglement

Theory of Special Relativity

But if we relax our attitude towards metaphysics - and towards MM-Theory in particular - we can entertain a number of non-local accounts - and many have been entertained. One in particular can be understood by looking at another strange phenomenon that Bell's Theorem touches on, also out of quantum mechanics, and that is quantum entanglement. This phenomenon can be described as particles, having once interacted locally somehow, affecting each other instantaneously no matter how far apart they have been taken from each other (although "affecting each other" carries a special meaning in this case - see sidenote ). This should not happen according to classical theories. In classical theories, one entity cannot have an effect on another entity unless that effect travels through space like a messenger carrying information. According to Einstein's theory of special relativity, nothing can travel faster than light, and so it needs to take some finite, but non-zero, amount of time for one entity to affect another if some distance separates them. Quantum entanglement proves this wrong. It has therefore been suggested that the underlying structure of the universe is not really spatial - at least, not what we perceive to be space (3 dimensions extending infinitely at 90 degree angles from each other). What might account for the instant effects seen in quantum entanglement is an underlying structure to the universe that doesn't need to transport effects across vast amounts of space because it's not really space at that level. It would be much like the 2D space seen on a computer screen in relation to the data stored in the computer. That is, suppose you had a white pixel near the bottom left corner of the screen and another white pixel near the top right corner (like in figure 1). Suppose also that the user can change the color of the bottom left pixel simply by clicking on it with the mouse. A program can be written such that any change in color that the bottom left pixel undergoes instantly changes the top right pixel to the same color. The user doesn't need to move the mouse cursor over to it, nor does the program need to create an animation of anything moving from the bottom left pixel to the top right pixel. It does it instantly because all information about the states of each pixel are stored in the computer's memory, which so happens to process information in nanoseconds - for all intents and purposes, instantly. When it detects that the user has delivered a mouse click while the mouse cursor is over the bottom left pixel, it is instantly notified and changes the color of the top right pixel.

Figure 1: Pixels on a computer screen. What this metaphor says about the underlying structure of the universe is that no matter where something is in space, like the bottom left pixel, it has direct and immediate access to a non-local metaphysical structure (represented by the computer hardware). Whatever happens to that something, its effects can be transported by that structure anywhere else in space instantly, and thus any other object in space can be affected just as instantly. Perhaps, then, what we see of the physical universe and the spatial medium that permeates it is just a simulation of sorts, like the pixels on the computer monitor, and what controls this simulation is something like a metaphysical "computer" that needs no space to move data about - and therefore no time - in order to compute the states of the simulated universe we see. And if indeed such a structure like a metaphysical "computer" exists at such a fundamental level, could it not also account for the randomness we see in other quantum phenomena? Could it not be that it is such a complex structure, and the methods it uses to determine the seemingly random outcomes of quantum phenomena are equally complex, that we shouldn't expect to notice a neat and orderly pattern in these outcomes - at least, not for several more centuries or even millennia of research and experimentation? This is most certainly possible in principle. And so, in principle, we have no right to claim that we've ever discovered true randomness, whether in quantum phenomena or otherwise, nor will we ever be able to.

Principle: The Unprovability of Randomness One cannot discover randomness (lack of explanation) for a given phenomenon. One can only assert that no explanation for that phenomenon has

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been discovered yet.
Having said that, our goal is not to deny the commonly held conviction that there is randomness in nature. There are very few scientists today who still hold onto a rigidly deterministic view of the world. Most are aware that randomness cannot be proven in a strictly technical sense, but as science, after almost a century of study, has yet to unveil any determining variables for quantum phenomena, most feel that the infinitesimal degree of faith needed to believe in randomness is worth investing in. We shall take the same position in this paper. We already know that our theory works in a deterministic system and so the remaining work to be done is to think about how it might work out with randomness added to the model. We will always keep in mind that this is ultimately a (very small) leap of faith, but since our goal is to reconcile our theory with the possibility of randomness, there is no point in harping over the lack of unquestionable proof.

The Experience of Freedom
Before we delve into a world of probabilities and uncertainties, let's at least see how free-will would be reconciled with determinism if we held determinism, in its most radical form, constant. In other words, how would our understanding of free-will have to change if determinism was true. The most obvious change that comes to mind is that the term "free" would have to be dropped. In its place, we would have to posit an illusion of freedom. The word "illusion" comes straight out of a mentalistic vocabulary - that is, to be an illusion is to be perceptual only. In other words, what we would have to consider is what accounts for the experience of freedom. So let's consider this. Experiences are the specialty of MM-Theory. The solution becomes laughably simple. We simply posit that there must be a MOD in the brain whose activity corresponds to the sense of freedom we feel whenever we do something we take to be our choice. In fact, we can probably even point it out in the brain: it's the motor cortex. This is the area of the brain that becomes active when we make the decision to carry out certain actions. There is also the premotor cortex that seems to be involved in planning to carry out certain actions, but unless the motor cortex is also active, no such actions will occur. This has been demonstrated in experiments in which subjects were asked to only think about performing certain actions while others were asked to actually execute those actions (see link ). When asked to only think about performing actions, only the premotor cortex showed signs of activity, whereas when asked to carry out those actions, both the premotor and the motor cortices became active. This shows that it must be the motor cortex alone that is directly linked to the experience of the will. However, carrying out bodily movements is not the only thing we can will ourselves to do. We also have control over our thoughts. This can be explained easily by supposing that while the majority of nerve fibers leave the motor cortex and head towards the various muscles of our bodies, some fibers return to the cognitive centers where they can influence our thoughts. Of course, this might not be an appropriate function of a MOD called the "motor" cortex, but there's nothing saying that some small sample of fibers can't break away from the more traditional role of controlling "motor" functions and specialize in cognitive control instead. Furthermore, there is no reason the specific MOD(s) responsible for the control we have over our thoughts must be localized with the motor cortex. It could be elsewhere in the brain, corresponding to the same kind of experience. There are many examples of MODs scattered all over the brain whose corresponding experiences appear to be very similar to each other (pleasure centers, for example). Overall, it is not an absurd proposal at all to say that the feeling of freedom that we associate with our will is an experience like all other experiences in the human mind, and therefore corresponds to one or more MODs in the brain. Of course, there is a very profound error in this reasoning, and that is this: if we are reconciling the experience of freedom with MM-Theory in particular, then we need to take into account that the experience of freedom will project itself. That is, not only will it be an experience, it will be something real. It will be real freedom. This, then, defeats the entire purpose of reconciling the experience of freedom with a theory like ours which is grounded in strict determinism. So what do we want to say about this?

Experiences

Motor Imagery: Never In Your Wildest Dreams [PDF]

Projection

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There are two things we need to recognize in order to resolve this problem. First, we need recognize the difference between the feeling of freedom and the idea of freedom. Second, we need to ask ourselves, of both the feeling and the idea, what is the exact form in which it is projected. Let's ask this of the idea first. The idea of freedom - or rather the belief in freedom - is a property of a universe that one knows only in the form of a mental model. A mental model is just a conglomeration of truths, facts, principles, and the like. If one of these truths includes "there is free-will", it wouldn't instantiate the actual phenomenon of free-will itself; it would only instantiate the fact that "there is free-will". Taking a page out of our paper Reality and Perception, we also know, from the design analogy, that this property - the property of freedom - is an element in a design for a reality. It therefore serves to define that reality as one containing free-will, and it does this regardless of whether or not that reality is reality. Furthermore, given that beliefs are never meant to be taken as true except in relation to the reality they define (in accordance with the reality qualifier rule), this reality is therefore necessarily a different reality than the one our theory is a design for. Hence, one's belief in free-will does nothing to upset the reality defined by our theory. Putting this another way, one's beliefs never have any effect on reality except by introducing facts and truths about it. Furthermore, the reality for which these facts or truths hold may not even be the reality we are concerned with, and in this particular case, it clearly is not. This cannot be said quite as easily when it comes to the feeling of freedom. In this case, what's being projected really is freedom. It is the experience of the thing itself, and so it must actually be freedom. In conceding this, however, we also have the opportunity to contemplate what this feeling really projects itself to be. We know its "freedom", but what is freedom? We might assume that freedom is what one has when he/she is not determined. That is, freedom is the state something is in when its actions are uncaused. We could do this, but then we run the risk of confusing the idea of freedom with the feeling of freedom. That is, of course the idea of freedom is that it is the state of being uncaused, but have we got the right idea? Does this idea, as we've expressed it (i.e. as a state of being uncaused), really capture the feeling of freedom? This is a very good question, and we shall now see that in answering it, we will have cleaned up a great portion of the disarrayed mess that this whole debate has become.

Mental Models

The Design Analogy

The Reality Qualifier Rule

Compatibilism
Well, we certainly don't experience any causes when we feel we're behaving freely - at least, none that work against our volition. But it doesn't follow from this that we do experience a lack of cause. To assume that it does follow is equivalent to assuming that if one doesn't believe X, then one must believe not-X (this is often a very confused point about what it is to be an atheist). This, of course, is absurd since one's failure to believe X might be due to one's never having even thought of X, let alone not-X. All the same, one's not experiencing a cause doesn't mean that one experiences a lack of cause. But there is more in the experience of freedom than a failure to experience a cause. One must also attribute his/her actions to his/her own intention to act. That is, one must attribute his/her actions to him/herself. One must experience him/herself as the cause of the action. Whether or not this cause is also an effect in an infinite chain of cause-and-effect that stretches back to the beginning of time seems to play no part in this feeling. So long as it issues from the self, it makes no difference to the feeling of freedom whether an effect comes from a prior cause or from a void. As Nietzsche once put it:

"Freedom of the will"-that is the expression for the complex state of delight of the person exercising volition, who commands and at the same time identifies himself with the executor of the order-who, as such, enjoys also the triumph over obstacles, but thinks within himself that it was really his will itself that overcame them. In this way the person exercising volition adds the feelings of delight of his successful executive instruments, the useful "under-wills" or under-souls-indeed, our body is but a social structure composed of many souls-to his feelings of delight as commander. L'effect c'est moi: what happens here is what happens in every well-constructed and happy commonwealth; namely, the governing class identifies itself with the successes of the commonwealth. In all willing it is absolutely a
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question of commanding and obeying, on the basis, as already said, of a social structure composed of many "souls".
What Nietzsche is saying here is that the feeling of freedom we enjoy in the act of willing comes from identifying ourselves as the cause of our actions - as the "commander". We are also the executor of our own self-directed commands, and in this light we are subjugated by a cause, but this doesn't block out the joy of knowing we are also the commander. In other words, the feeling of freedom is nothing more than a pleasure the joy of being commander. This is a very fitting analogy because, as a commander, like in the military, the commands one issues don't always originate from one's own objectives. That is, sometimes commands issue from higher up in the chain of command. A captain gives orders to his soldiers even though he may have been instructed to do so by the general. He may still take joy in the feeling of power that comes with issuing these commands, and this he may take to be the freedom of his will, but as we see, this feeling can arise regardless of whether he was the originator of the command or not. There can be a series of indefinite length composed of prior commands that came before. At this point, the objection is often raised: if all our actions have always been pre-determined by all the causes that came before them, then it's not really us who are willing these actions. The prior causes are the ones that are owed the credit. This is one of the biggest misconceptions about the implications determinism has for the place of the will in the causal structure of the world. Far too many interpret determinism to mean that the will is outside the picture and therefore so is the self, for without a will, the self is rendered powerless to do anything in the world except to passively watch it. Figure 2a depicts this (mis)understanding of the difference between determinism and free-will, whereas figure 2b depicts what we're currently proposing.

Figure 2a: Classic models of free-will and determinism

Figure 2b: Our model of free-will and determinism

Figure 2a is the classical model. Because the will is assumed to be free in the sense that it is uncaused, the only feasible condition under which the self can be plugged into a chain of events linked by causes and effects is if it is the first cause. This is the only way it could remain uncaused. Consequently, a self cannot play any role in a fully deterministic system, and is therefore relegated to the sidelines where all it can do is watch as deterministic forces take over the motions of its own body. It is assumed that these same deterministic forces mercifully provide the self with the feeling of control by making a false connection between the actions of the body (or thought) and the self - that false connection manifesting as "will". Figure 2b corrects this misconception. It is based on our assertion that the feeling of freedom is really the sense that our actions come from ourselves, and therefore can remain caused or uncaused without consequence. Figure 2b reminds us that we are a link in the chain. Nothing can have effects on those of our actions that we will unless it works through us. This is one way to salvage the idea of freedom - by redefining it as actions issuing from the self. Of course, this is noticeably different from the idea of freedom as actions that are uncaused. So if figure 2b is more accurate, it fails to show how we are free in the latter sense. In fact, it reinforces a hard view of determinism. It shows that we are indeed confined to a chain of cause-and-effect, and that all our actions

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have been determined beforehand. Nonetheless, we are placed back into the system unlike the classical models that place us outside. Are we in control? Although figure 2b clears up a lot about the place of the self in a deterministic system, it isn't so clear on whether or not we have full control over our actions. In one sense, we do, but in another sense, we don't. We do in the sense that the actions which immediately proceed us come directly from us. We don't in the sense that there are causes that come before us that bring these actions about less directly. In effect, we are controlled. If we are under the control of something else, something that is dictating our every action, can we really say that we are in control of our own actions? Can one be in control while at the same time be controlled? It would make sense that whatever is in control is that which is also the cause of the actions of the controlled. But in a deterministic system, everything that comes before a specific point in the chain of cause-and-effect could count as a cause for that point. So to answer the above question, let's ask another question: what constitutes a "cause"? What does it take for a given factor to be the cause of an effect? What it takes is this: if the effect could not have happened without it, it is a cause. In this case, if we want to know whether a given term in the chain of cause-and-effect is a bona fide cause of a particular effect, then we have to ask whether the effect would come about regardless of whether we removed the cause or not. What we realize in this case is that each and every term in the chain of causeand-effect may simultaneously count as a cause for whatever term they precede. So, for example, suppose I got myself into a car crash. I could blame my drowsiness. I'd say that my drowsiness caused my car crash because without it, I'd be more alert and I wouldn't crash. But if it was due to my drowsiness, then maybe I ought to place the blame on my getting to bed late last night. But that was due to the fact that I had to work late yesterday. But that in turn was due to the tight deadline of the project I'm working on. The fact of the matter is, if we removed any one of these factors, I would never have crashed my car. Furthermore, I could also blame the icy roads for my car crash. I could blame the poor traction on my tires, or the dim lighting of the roads, or even the other car I crashed into. If the removal of any one of these would have prevented my car crash, they too would count as causes. So we see that in a deterministic system, there is never only one cause for a specific effect. There is a whole multitude of causes, some in a series, others occurring in parallel, but each one is fully effective in and of itself as a cause.

Definition: Cause An event or entity belonging to a group of like events or entities that, if removed, would prevent some other event or entity, known as the effect, from realizing.
And while we're at it, let's formally define "effect":

Definition: Effect An event or entity that is necessitated by a cause.
It is important to define "cause" in terms of membership to a group. It is the group we have to consider removing. If we considered removing any one cause from the car crash scenario above, it would not guarantee that my car would never have crashed. For example, if we removed to ice from the roads, I still may have crashed in virtue of the dim lighting or my drowsiness. But if we removed the whole group - the

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ice, the dimness of the lighting, my drowsiness, and all else therein - I would not have crashed. Also note that it would not necessarily require the removal of the whole group. I may be able to stop before crashing if we removed only the ice on the roads and my drowsiness - the dim lighting may not be enough in and of itself to cause a car crash. Nevertheless, removing the whole group would still prevent the accident, and moreover, the dim lighting still contributes in some measure to the accident and so it still belongs in the group. Furthermore, because all these causes are links in a chain of cause-and-effect, all prior causes that precede them would have to be included in the group as well. That is, the removal of any cause no matter how far back along the chain of cause-and-effect would impinge on the more immediate causes. The removal of the project I was working on, for example, would mean that I wouldn't have to stay up late working to meet a deadline, which in turn means I would have gotten enough sleep, which in turn means I would not be drowsy when driving my car. If we wanted, we could trace the chain all the way back to the Big Bang or whatever origins we take to be the cause of the universe in its entirety. So long as its removal could potentially make a difference to the effect in question, it belongs to the group. So if we define "being in control" as "being a cause", we see that there can be a whole series of causes in control of a particular effect. There can be more than one series as some causes take concurrent positions with respect to each other. We also see that for any one cause to be in control of its effects, it must be controlled by causes further back along the chain of cause-and-effect. Without these precedent causes, there can be no causes at all - at least, none to bring about the effect in question. Therefore, we must conclude that there is no such thing as an entity that is in control yet uncaused - that is, without some other entity controlling it. So either nothing is in control of anything, which is absurd, or to be in control necessarily requires being controlled.

Principle: Being in Control In a deterministic system, for anything to be in control of its own actions, it must be controlled by all that precedes it in the chain of cause-and-effect.
This makes sense when we think about it. If we went with the classical model of free-will, we would be led to conclude that control only comes from one whose will is uncaused. This means that the control imposed stems from a void, a missing link in the chain of cause-and-effect. What kind of control would this be though? When the actions one takes in imposing control over something comes from a void, from nothingness, the structure and pattern of those actions can be nothing other than random. If there is nothing determining what those actions turn out to be, there can be nothing guiding the form they take. But what kind of control would that be if every action constituting it is utterly random? It would be chaotic, disordered, and unpredictable even to the one executing it! It would be as if the one imposing it were him/herself unable to restrain it. He/she would feel helpless, trapped, out of control. So control can't possibly come from a lack of causation. Control can only be realized if it is itself controlled. One can only authentically be in control if his/her control is being controlled further back along the chain of cause-and-effect. So long as one fails to directly experience these prior causes, one will perceive only him/herself to be in control, and thus perceive that control to emanate from his/her own free-will alone.

Principle: The Chaos of Randomness

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The pattern of random outcomes is chaotic and unpredictable. If free-will is genuinely random, we would not feel any sense of control over our thoughts and actions, for they would be chaotic and unpredictable even to ourselves.
This line of thought does need a little more refinement before we close the matter. We need to exclude a few scenarios in which we causally bring about events in the world without being in control - accidents, in other words. If I accidentally knock over a cup of coffee, I have to say that it was indeed me who did it - I caused the cup of coffee to spill - but I wasn't in control. This also goes to show, in the context of MM-Theory, that the act of "willing" cannot correspond simply to the flow of experiences leaving the human mind. A lot of the energy being processed by our brains escapes the system as heat. This corresponds to experiences flowing out of the mind even without our knowing it. That is to say, certain experiences of which we are epistemically aware may, and do, entail other experiences of which, not only are we not epistemically aware, but we are not epistemically aware of their being entailed by the experiences we are epistemically aware of. Obviously, the actions that come from our will must correspond to experiences flowing out of the system in some way, but what way is that? It must be in a specific way, for too many examples exist that correspond to accidental or unintentional effects on our environments.

Flow

Epistemic Awareness

Entailment

Compatibilism

Those actions that we are truly in control of must be those that we intend or want to bring about and are brought about by the intention. In other words, they must flow from a desire to see the actions realized. So what it means to be "in control" is the capacity one has to allow his/her desires or intentions to be the cause of the actions so desired or intended. This, in essence, is compatibilism. Compatibilism is the view that free-will and determinism are compatible with each other. The brand we are offering here is most representative of David Hume's take on the issue. Hume believed that one is free when his/her desires or intentions are sufficient for bringing about the actions and results so desired or intended. The way he put it was that if one's desires or intentions were different, his/her actions and the results in the world brought by those actions would also be different and as intended by his/her desires or intentions.

David Hume

Definition: Control In the context of agentic beings, control is the capacity to allow one's desires or intentions to be a cause of the actions so desired or intended.
This version of compatibilism allows us to define "freedom" as "being in control". This avoids the absurdity of the chaos and unpredictability that come with actions arising from a void. The helplessness and lack of control that one experiences as a result of the void is hardly what we have in mind when we speak of "freedom". What we really mean - what the experience is like - is to be in control. In the end, we can preserve the will in a deterministic model by defining it as actions originating from the self, and we can preserve its freedom by defining it as the state of being in control of one's actions. This is one way we can reconcile free-will with determinism. The fact that free-will had to be redefined might prove less than satisfying for some, but I must say that, in doing so, we have actually reconceptualized free-will in accordance with how we talk about it on a day-to-day basis. That is, when we talk about free-will, we are obviously referring to actions that we ourselves take credit for and that we feel in full control of. This, to most people, is what captures the essence of "freedom" and "will". It is what we value about it; not the chaos and unpredictability of a void; not the lack of causation that precedes us; just being in control of our own actions. That is the thought that we take comfort in.

Where Are The MODs?

Principle: Accommodation of Free-Will With Determinism

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In a fully deterministic system, free-will can be reconciled by acceding to the following accommodations: 1) That "freedom" be defined as the state of being in control of one's actions. 2) That "will" be defined as a causal relation between one's self and one's intended actions where the self is the cause and the actions, the effect.

Objectifying Free-Will
In the previous section, we gave a few formal definitions. We gave definitions for the terms "cause", "effect", and "control". It might strike some readers as funny that we didn't define "freedom" or "free-will" at least, not formally. Although we did define these terms in the principle of Accommodation of Free-Will With Determinism, these were conditional definitions only - conditional on the particular compromise free-will was faced with making when confronted with an unyielding determinism. We refrain from formally defining these terms because to do so would defeat the entire purpose of this paper. In this paper, we want to explore different ways of conceptualizing free-will and the idea of freedom, and so no formal definition would be appropriate. In this section, for example, we are going to look at one way in which we can preserve the notion of freedom being "that which is uncaused". And, yes, we will still attempt to reconcile it with determinism. This task will require thinking a little more deeply into the problem of free-will itself not the concept of free-will - the problem of free-will.

Conceptual Realities and Their Rules
In the paper The Inconceivability of Consciousness, we presented the idea of the objectification process. To briefly summarize, the objectification process is the process whereby concepts are made to exude the property of "thingness" - that is, they are treated as though they were things with an ontological status akin to material objects. We are usually fully aware that they are not literally things with a non-conceptual existence, but they are molded into a form that makes them suitable for treatment as such. The objectification process also distinguishes them from the self such that they become "observable" to the mind's eye - that is, they are made fit for examination and testing in our mental laboratories. The objectification process is what all concepts undergo when we want to contemplate or question them. It is the tool we use for this very exercise. It is the same tool that is brought to bear on all questions concerning free-will. The idea of free-will is objectified. One needs to know this before attempting to philosophize about it, and one must ask, "What does this entail about the philosophies I will yield?" When we objectify things, we make them into mental models and we find a place for them in a conceptual reality. What we mean by "conceptual reality" is the background against which we conceive of our mental models. This background consists of other mental models representing all other things constituting that reality. In total, they constitute a network of mental models, and this network is our conceptual reality. If the mental model in question is to find a place in a conceptual reality, it must abide by the rules of that reality. If reality is believed to be a place in which deterministic laws govern everything, then the thing represented by the mental model must be subject to those laws. If, however, reality is believed to be a place in which certain laws can be violated or preempted, then the thing represented by the mental model may be exempt from those laws. To get to the point, the way we conceptualize things in reality is to assume that, as

The Objectification Process

Mental Models

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a thing in reality, it must be subject to the rules or nature of that reality. We think in this manner much like we think of a foreigner entering a strange country. Every country has its laws, and no one, not even foreigners who may know very little about those laws, are above them. The law applies to everyone so long as they are within the borders of that country. We think of conceptual objects as relating to conceptual realities in much the same way. Whatever the rules of that reality, any object that is placed into it must abide by those rules. For example, if we imagine a fire breathing dragon, we will imagine that it budges when a force pushes it, that it falls when it stumbles off a cliff, that the fire it breaths singes all that it engulfs, and so on. We are free to imagine anything happening to the dragon - we could image that our dragon falls up when it stumbles off a cliff - but this is what we do in our more leisurely moments, when we allow our minds to roam freely. But when we're contemplating what really would happen, we like to stick to the rules underlying our conceptual realities. These rules will differ from one person to another, of course, but where determinists are concerned, they are exhaustive and inviolable for all events and phenomena. So great difficulty exists for a determinist in imagining free-will as a phenomenon in his/her conceptual reality. If it's represented as an object in reality, it must abide by the rules of that reality (like a visitor to a foreign country). How can something like free-will abide by any rules. The very notion is absurd and defies the very essence of the phenomenon. Therefore, whether a determinist or not, one has no choice but to imagine free-will as violating the rules of the reality it is pictured in. To imagine violations of these rules is to introduce randomness and chaos. If it weren't random and chaotic, there would be some order to it. But this, then, would simply be the emergence of another rule or set of rules. They may be overriding the original set, but they would be rules nonetheless. If all one wants to do is imagine a set of rules being violated, without any order filling in the void created by these violations, then randomness and chaos is all that would appear. In the worst-case scenario, we might have to call it "supernatural". This is not a problem for free-will proponents per se - in believing that the will is free in the classical sense (uncaused), they posit the existence of randomness (and perhaps the supernatural) in the same stroke. In other words, free-will proponents may very well believe in randomness, and therefore the rules governing their conceptual realities must make room for it. The rules simply wouldn't be all encompassing and pervasive. But either way, whether one believes this or not, any attempt to posit free-will in a conceptual reality comes up against a choice: either 1) accept randomness, or 2) give up the concept of free-will all together. When our goal is to reconcile free-will with determinism, neither of these is very appealing. The second option, for obvious reasons, is out of the question, whereas the first option is, as we've seen, a terrible way of conceptualizing freedom.

Principle: The Paradox of Objectifying Free-Will 1) When one objectifies a phenomenon, the resulting mental model representing that phenomenon is beheld against a "conceptual reality" in which it must either i) abide by the rules of that reality, or ii) violate the rules of that reality in which case randomness and chaos are introduced. 2) The implication 1) has for objectifying free-will is that it is either i) non-existent, or ii) random and chaotic. 3) If free-will exists, neither conditions i) nor ii) work.
This is the choice one is faced with when free-will is made into a mental model and contemplated against a conceptual reality in the background. This is the framework that results from the objectification process. Free-will is objectified, and as such becomes an "object". As an object, it is seen as something that exists in reality. That is, it is seen as a member of reality, like a visitor to a country, and therefore must submit to the rules of that reality. But what way is there to contemplate free-will other than to objectify it?

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Well, consider this. The other trick that the objectification process plays, besides making things into "objects", is to put things into the role of the observed. This cannot be done to free-will unless it is also done to the self. That is, one cannot imagine free-will without a conscious agent to own that will. So using one's self as such an agent, one objectifies him/herself and becomes the observed. Now, this turns out to be a peculiar situation. We have the self being observed, but also the self observing. Essentially, there are two selves. The observed self is, of course, just a mental model much like in figure 2b, but as such, it becomes subject to all the rules of the conceptual reality it has become a member of. Therefore, as a determinist, one ends up seeing one's self at the mercy of the laws of nature. Yet, at the same time, one is still the observer, and in that position, one experiences him/herself to be an overseer of the conceptual reality in question, not a subject of it, not a member, not an object in reality whose actions are fully under the control of all the overarching rules. Instead, one feels as though he/she is in a position of non-participation - that is, a position that is not affected by, nor is able to affect, the conceptual reality being observed. This is the experience of observing. This is the state one's self is in prior to objectification. Now, say what you want about the effects of observing the real world, but recall that we are talking about a conceptual reality and the role the observer plays with respect to it. The objectification process never involves the observer in the observed - that would defeat the entire point - it would defeat the purpose of enforcing the separation of the two. The objectification process makes absolutely certain that, as the observer, we are in a position of absolute ineffectual non-participation. In effect, we as the observers are not objects in our conceptual realities, and therefore we don't feel obliged to abide by its rules. The state of being uncaused is felt in this position - at least, uncaused by the rules of the conceptual reality under observation. Naturally, this doesn't mean we are uncaused with respect to our position in the real world, but these causes are not under observation in this context. What this means is that, in modeling reality, we never really get to observe its laws enforcing themselves upon us. We observe these laws being enforced on a representative model of ourselves, the self that is an object in our conceptual reality, but since it is observed, it can never really be the most authentic representation of ourselves. Our most true selves are those who are observing, and thus not affected in the least by the rules of our conceptual reality.

The Subjective Perspective
Now, the most challenging part of this line of argument is to show how this non-participation or exemption from the rules of reality applies even to the observing self with respect to the actual reality. One point that can now be made, a point that will help us a great deal in this endeavor, is to note that any perspective one wants to take on reality must be either of two forms: 1) its objectified form, or 2) its subjective form. If we want to take an objectified perspective, what we're dealing with is none other than the conceptual reality thus far considered. We would be dealing with an abstract mental model, a conceptual representation of reality and the way it works. The self would be objectified too, filling the role of the observed. We've seen what the result of this is: we either come to see that it is exhaustively deterministic in which case there is no place for free-will, or we must accede the possibility that there is randomness in nature and maybe even supernatural events. The other perspective we could take is the subjective one. This perspective isn't really a conceptual one - it is the authentic, all engulfing, fully engaged experience of being in the moment. It is the experience of being in the world, of actively participating in it, of not withdrawing into an abstract region of one's mind where we can contemplate the metaphysical implications of whether our acts are truly deterministic or free. Although there is always an element of the subjective perspective within the objectified perspective, it is only the first-person perspective we take of our objectified models - that is, the self who is the observer. But in general, the subjective experience itself is absolutely not objectified - it is experience in its raw, natural form.

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Now we ask the crucial question. Is one determined in the fully subjective experience? At first, this might seem like a trivial question. Of course, one is determined, even in the subjective experience, we'd say. Experiencing the world subjectively - or being "in the moment" as one would say - does not liberate one from causal forces. One may not recognize these forces, but they are still there. However, note what we are doing when we dish up this kind of response. We are essentially reverting back into an objectified perspective. That is, if we suppose that one doesn't feel any causal forces while in the subjective experience, then to posit such forces is to ignore the subjective experience in favor of a conceptual framework in which mental models of "causes" and "forces" and "deterministic systems" stand in. Essentially, we are projecting these deterministic forces onto the observed self. What we want to ask is whether we can project these deterministic forces onto the observing self - that is, the self who is always engaged in the subjective experience, the self who doesn't participate in the model. We want to answer this question without using the objectification process. But how can this be done? The only way to answer the question while remaining in the subjective perspective is to describe what the experience feels like. What does it feel like to be, as the objectified perspective would have it, "caused" or "forced"? Well, when we make decisions to follow a certain course of action, we don't really feel caused or forced. Instead, we feel our choices stem from reasons and justifications. That is, for example, if we wanted to make a decision on the best pair of shoes to buy, we wouldn't make our choice haphazardly or randomly. We would compare prices and qualities of a wide variety of shoes, and after perusing over a few, we would try to optimize the best quality for the best price. We may not do this as algorithmically as a computer program would - there is still some subjectivity involved in our assessment - but in the end, we would feel that our decision, a decision taken to be freely chosen, is backed by good reasons. We may even see other kinds of situations in which it is the overbearing power of heightened emotions that drive us as bearing reasons for choosing these actions. The classic example of being forced to obey commands at gunpoint is a case in point. The fear of death in this scenario is presumed to be so overwhelming that one cannot help but to comply with the instructions of the gun bearer. Of course, this example is typically used to demonstrate how emotional influences can be a determining factor in which case one loses his/her freedom. But the argument being made here is that, although there is a point to this deterministic perspective, the subjective perspective is also applicable. In the latter case, we would say that the insurmountable fear is just an extremely good reason to comply with the demands of the gun bearer. From every angle and vantage point, the fear is experienced as the perfect justification to go along with those demands. One's life, in these situations, is too highly valued for it to be worth sacrificing. This doesn't force one to protect his/her own life, it simply justifies doing so in a most radical sense. So with the subjective perspective, although one is free to choose, one is inclined to seek out the right choice, and so one chooses the course of action that is judged, either with a clear head or clouded by a flurry of emotion, to have the best reasons behind it. This is not to say that one never feels forced or caused in the subjective experience. Indeed, how else would one describe being physically manhandled in some way? For example, if a thief rips a poor lady's purse out from her hands, she would hardly describe her actions as a choice to give her purse away. Or how about cases in which one trips over his/her untied shoelaces? One didn't plan to do this, and one certainly doesn't choose to submit to the downward pull of gravity. But for cases in which one takes his/her actions to be freely chosen, the word "forced" is a poor descriptor - "justified" is better. Now, the move from one vocabulary featuring words like "caused" and "forced" into another featuring words like "reasons" and "justifications" marks a critical point. Crossing over this point entails that we have shed ourselves of the deterministic language. The sense we get from words like "reason" and "justification" is not one of necessity or being forced. The sense is more akin to morality. That is, when it comes to morality, we can only go so far as to determine what's right and wrong, what should be done and what shouldn't. But the central dilemma of any morality is that it is impotent in the face of what actually is. There is an undeniable schism between what should be and what is. For example, we can harp all we want about the moral atrocities of criminal acts or violations of human rights, but our understanding that these are intractably wrong fails to make even the slightest dent in their actual happening. If moral transgressions are going on, they will go on regardless of their immoral status. In order for any awareness of such transgressions to make a real difference, this awareness must work its way into willed action, and there is nothing that can bridge the schism between this awareness and the necessary action except a choice made out of freedom. So like the moral impotence that depends on one's freedom of choices in order to fulfill its decree, reasons and justifications are also bound by a similar dependence. One must choose out of freedom in order for them to be fulfilled.

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Yet, this does not break the ties linking the subjective perspective with the objectified one. For every reason and justification one serves up for his/her actions, they can be traced back into the objectified perspective where they match up with a cause or force. Indeed, these very reasons and justifications are what a determinist arguing in defense of psychological determinism (see the paper Preliminary Concepts) would refer to in pointing out the causal variables responsible for one's actions. He/she would say that our reasons are the things that make us act in accordance with them. But what we have to understand is that to say such things is always to revert back to the objectified perspective. It is to make an "object" out of the reasons and to model them as entities in a reality that spares none of its members from its rules. At the same time, however, the acausal description of reasons and justifications is still legitimate in the subjective context. Although a determinist might have a coherent model in which reasons and justifications are objectified, and thus put into a causal framework, the actual experience of reasons and justifications are never felt this way they always feel divided from our actions by a gulf of free choices. We always want to keep in mind that, as proponents of MM-Theory, we will always take the experiences to be the most authentic form of any phenomenon. The objectified model is never anything more than a representation. In other words, the way reasons and justifications are experienced are at least as real, if not more so, than the way they are modeled by the objectification process. They are not experienced as random - that is, reasons and justifications do guide our decisions - but they are not experienced as forced either. Nevertheless, the model yielded by the objectification process cannot be denied. In building it, we strive for validity and internally consistency. It thus claims itself to be a faithful representation of the way the world really works. So overall, there is a one-to-one correspondence linking these two perspectives, a mapping so to speak, whereby causes map to reasons, forces to justifications, and this we cannot escape.

Principle: Mapping of The Objectified and Subjective Perspectives There is a one-to-one mapping from the objectified perspective to the subjective perspective. Causes that enforce their effects by necessity map onto reasons that justify choices made freely.
This, then, is a real dilemma. It really is a paradox. The subjective perspective doesn't exactly feel like it breaks from a deterministic path - our reasons and justifications certainly seem to have predictive power over our actions - yet we fail to see this as "forced". It's not random, but it's not determined either. In any case, it does seem fitting to call it "uncaused" which brings the classic notion of "freedom" with us this far. In the end, "uncaused" may be a word for which we have no clear meaning except to say that it is not random yet not determined. The freedom of the will may just be a third way of being. This, of course, clashes with the necessity of entailment we find at the heart of MM-Theory, for this necessity makes our theory a deterministic one. What we have to understand about the central point being made here, however, is that MM-Theory itself is a conceptual reality, an objectified model, and therefore has no choice but to be constituted in a fully determined way (or as featuring sporadic pockets of randomness here and there, but we'd like to avoid that as much as possible). Thus, even if it really is freedom that we find in the subjective perspective, it could never be mirrored in any corresponding objectified model (whether MM-Theory or otherwise). Naturally, such freedom could never be antithetical to the determinism we find in our objectified models - the above principle guarantees this - and so we have no right to construe such freedom as undetermined however much it may be "uncaused". If such a notion seems irreconcilably incoherent, it can

Necessity

Entailment

Flow

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only be because such freedom is of an all together unfathomable sort. Alas, the objectification process is limiting. It permits us only to understand necessity, not the uncaused nature of flow (if that is indeed its nature). Though not wrong per se, this would mean that there is something missing in our objectified model of flow, and so the picture we're left with is incomplete.

The Problem of Free-Will - Why There Is One
Indeed, it may be that so long as we rely on the objectification process, the picture will forever be incomplete. This tells us something quite interesting about the whole problem of free-will. The clever reader may have already hit upon it, but in case not, let's spell it out. What are we doing when we objectify things? Essentially, we objectify things when we want to understand the nature of things. We want to craft a concept that will suffice for that "Ah-ha!" feeling - that sense that we now grasp "how it works". It's true that, as we've seen, objectification can yield models of reality that make room for the truly random or the supernatural - things that defy understanding - but this is not useful towards the ends that objectification was meant for. We've seen what ends objectification was meant for in the paper The Inconceivability of Consciousness where we proposed that objectification is the tool we have evolved to use in order to build models of our world, abstract or concrete, for the sake of understanding. Understanding the world is our most prized gift, the lack of which would leave us hopeless in a game of survival. So we engage in objectification when we want to understand. But now let's think about the implications of this when it comes to free-will? What are we trying to do when we attempt to understand free-will? What does it mean to understand something anyway? What it means is that we are searching for an explanation. Whatever the phenomenon in question, we ask "How does it work?", "What accounts for its unique nature?", "What brought it into being, into the form it now takes?", "Why does it do the things it does?", "What is its fundamental essence?", and so on. These questions are all getting at one thing: an explanation. But what counts as a valid explanation? The only form a valid explanation takes is a causal account of the phenomenon in question. All the questions above can be rephrased simply as "What are its causes?" If you know what causes a phenomenon, you have an explanation, and you understand it. What this means, however, is that in constructing an explanation for some phenomenon, we are building it such that it fits into a causal framework - that is, we are making it deterministic in our minds. The reader can now see the blatant futility in trying to understand a phenomenon like free-will. It can't be placed into a deterministic framework. It is the very antithesis of determinism. Therefore, it is, by its own nature, beyond understanding. It's much like the problem of mind and matter itself. If one goes about solving the problem by seeking a materialist explanation for mind - that is, insisting that mental things be reduced to purely material things he/she is sure to end with nothing but frustrated aspirations (unless the very definition of "mind" is altered as is often the case in materialist circles). The reason is, of course, that mind, as something totally immaterial, can't possibly be put into materialist terms. Likewise, something non-deterministic, like free-will, can't be put into determinist terms - it can't be accounted for by a model whose structure is fully deterministic. If it could, then everything about free-will would be rendered completely predictable. In order for there to be at least something unpredictable about it, we would have to resign to the fact that there is no way to understand how those unpredictable outcomes turn out as they do. This should be expected of the objectification process. We know the utility it came to enjoy in our evolutionary history. We are unlike other animals - we depend, for our survival, on our understand the world. It is our primary survival tool. What good does understanding do us? It helps in making the world more predictable and thus easier to control. This can only be done if the understandings we craft are of a causal nature. That is, we have to understand things in terms of A consistently bringing about B. This, of course, makes things predictable, and that is key. We need to predict that B will come about when A is the case. This is a heuristic, of course - an ideal. The world seldom works this way, and we know that. But the mental machinery that rises to the task when we seek an understanding of some phenomenon aims to approximate a model of that phenomenon that is as close to absolutely deterministic, predictable, or causal as possible. The closer the approximation, the stronger the feeling of "Ah-ha! I understand!" Therefore, if the fundamental nature of the phenomenon this process is brought to bear upon is of an utterly non-deterministic, unpredictable, or acausal sort - like free-will - then the objectification process fails at the task the more it succeeds. The insight this leaves us with is that the entire problem of free-will, the whole reason why, all these years, we have been unable to reconcile it with any deterministic model of the world, is because the very question we're asking defeats the purpose. To ask "How does free-will work?" or "What is it?" or any other question of this kind is to expect that it be conceptually molded into a causal form - that it be deterministic. This, of

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course, is ludicrous. The whole project dies just as it's born. This is what we meant at the beginning of this section when we said we would focus on the problem of free-will - not free-will itself. The problem of free-will is insoluble - at least, to the objectification process it is.

Principle: The Insolubility of The Free-Will Problem The problem of free-will cannot be solved intellectually. Any attempt to solve the problem requires the use of the objectification process, which will ultimately conceptualize free-will in such a form that it be forced into a causal or deterministic framework, thereby making it into something it is not.
So where do we go from here? Well, we still have our "uncaused" freedom in which its uncaused status is not random yet not determined. What can we do with this? We can't do anything with this from the objectified perspective - it is inconceivable - but we can do a lot from the subjective perspective, for that is its proper place. In order to experience the uncaused nature of our will, we must engage ourselves in the moment. It is only when we stop thinking about the will and start using it that we finally feel free. It is there in the moment, right at the core of the subjective experience, in being plugged into the world, in being one with life itself. That's where our freedom lies. Unfortunately, this means we have to forgo any hope of understanding it. We have to give up our quest to come up with a philosophical theory of how free-will works, how it exists. Free-will is not something to be understood, it is something to be used. Of course, this doesn't prove that free-will is really there in the subjective experience. We are merely hypothesizing that if it exists, it can only be experienced in the moment rather than in our contemplations. The fact of the matter is, we might be fooling ourselves into thinking that it is a failure on the part of the objectification process to grasp free-will in its true form. When our objectified models of the world and ourselves tell us that there can be no free-will, it may be telling us this because it's true. After all, the models we build of the world are supposed to be true depictions of how our world works. If we can't see the causal forces that govern our actions from one moment to another, but our mental models tell us that those forces are really there, maybe we ought to trust the models. This may be so. But our present purpose is not to argue in favor of determinism - what need would there be for that when we're already sanctioning it? - but to accommodate free-will with determinism. In the last section - the one on compatibilism - we did so by putting free-will in terms of determinism. Here, we are putting it in terms of a "third way" - a way that is not deterministic, but not random and chaotic either. It is a third way that must not violate the terms of determinism yet without being deterministic itself. Alas, the principle of The Insolubility of The Free-Will Problem tells us that such a notion is forever beyond our grasp. We may not have proven the existence of free-will, but at least we've shown that, because we'd be stuck with deterministic models even it did exist, those models are no indication of its lacking. We've shown that the very act of bringing free-will into question is the main crux of the problem, and so if one wishes to go on believing in it, one now knows that the road to travel is not one of analysis and contemplation, but of engagement in life - of actually using the will.

Quantum Theory
We have already made clear the relevance of quantum theory to MM-Theory - at least, in its more deterministic articulations. Quantum theory is that realm of science that studies what is commonly accepted as non-deterministic phenomena. Physicists now-a-days have, by and large, abandoned all attempts to uphold a strict deterministic account of quantum phenomena, and the view that there really is randomness in nature is widely accepted. Therefore, unlike in the previous sections, it will be determinism that yields to randomness in this section. That being said, we will do all that we can to avoid the use of the word "randomness" and opt for "non-deterministic" instead. We entertained the idea that "freedom" is poorly understood when considered random, and even in the field of quantum mechanics, there are some who are skeptical about the notion of randomness. Stuart Hameroff, for example, prefers the term "non-computable" which means, roughly, "cannot be computed or calculated". Furthermore, although the results of quantum mechanical experiments cannot be predicted with absolute certainty,

Stuart Hameroff

Computability

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most of the time the probabilities of making a correct prediction are greater than chance. This tells us that there is some kind of underlying order even though it may not be perfectly deterministic. But whatever term we use, we most certainly will not use "deterministic". In this section, the goal is to accommodate determinism to free-will. But we won't delve into free-will just yet. We are first going to look at the implications that quantum mechanics has for MM-Theory overall. Once we reconcile the deterministic structure of our model with the non-determinism of quantum mechanics, we will then turn to the brain and the question of free-will therein. We will see how quantum theory, the brain, and free-will all tie into each other. Needless to say, if the reader doesn't feel he/she has a good grasp of the principles of quantum mechanics, now is the time to read my brief overview of the subject here. From here on in, it will be assumed that the reader understands quantum mechanics sufficiently well - be forewarned. One theory that has already made the connection between quantum theory and consciousness is that of Quantum Consciousness. First introduced by Roger Penrose and championed today by Stuart Hameroff (see link above ), this theory extends quantum theory through the brain and into consciousness. It proposes that microscopic structures called "microtubules" exist within neurons and go into quantum states regularly. Because these states are non-deterministic, this, Hameroff proposes, accounts for the non-deterministic nature of consciousness. We certainly will have a few things to say about this, some for and some against. At first glance, this comes across as a competing theory to ours, and so long as it's presented as a theory of consciousness overall, it is a competing theory. However, we will argue that where weaknesses exist in the theory of Quantum Consciousness (from here on in, QC), our theory is much stronger, and where weaknesses exist in our theory, QC is much stronger. Overall, our approach will not be to attack QC outright, but to show how the complimentary nature of the strengths and weaknesses of both theories might be a cue to find a way for them to work together. More specifically, QC is an excellent theory of free-will, but as we will see, it is bankrupt of its explanatory power when it comes to qualia. Our theory, on the other hand, revolves around qualia, or what we have dubbed experiences, but as it works best in a deterministic framework, it is a poor theory of free-will. Therefore, our approach will be to reconcile our theory with QC by showing how Hameroff's theory of microtubules is the perfect mechanism to posit in order to make room for free-will in our theory. The only concession QC must make is to leave qualia, or experience, to our theory.

Quantum Consciousness

Roger Penrose

Qualia

Experiences

A Question of Lawfulness
When faced with quantum mechanics, the vulnerability of our theory lies in its dependence on the necessity of entailment. Our theory says that meaning entails by necessity and this accounts for the self-sustaining basis of all experience. It's what makes them fully real and determined to be exactly what they feel like they are. So if the picture that quantum mechanics paints of the universe is one in which non-determinism emerges here and there, and our theory makes the correspondence between those non-deterministic phenomena and the experiences they represent, then we have no choice but to submit to the implication that the meaning supporting these experiences can't be necessary. The necessity of meaning is what we see in the rigid certainties of mathematics and formal logic. The fact that 4 + 5 = 9 always and unconditionally is a reflection of the necessity of our thoughts about it. We attributed this necessity to the laws of nature, using logic and mathematics as cognitive analogies. We said, in the Advanced Theory, that "the day a physical law is violated is the day that 4 + 5 = 10." But what quantum mechanics tells us is that the laws of nature are not perfect. They can be broken. What this says about our theory is that 4 + 5 can equal 10 every now and then, and this defies the necessary relations of mathematics and those connecting all other experiences. If necessity can be broken, then the very existence of experiences is in jeopardy. Therefore, we are in trouble with respect to our account of the self-sustaining nature of experience. We need to resolve this. We need to understand exactly what is happening to the experiences that correspond to quantum phenomena. First of all, let's make a distinction between a law violation and simple lawlessness. A law violation is when one thing is supposed to happen, presumably by necessity, but something else happens instead. The experiential analogue of this would be the example we

Necessity

Entailment

Meaning

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gave above - namely, 4 + 5 = 10. Lawlessness, on the other hand, is when no laws exist to govern what happens - and thus randomness and chaos ensue. The experiential analogue of this would be something akin to 4 + X = 10 where X is completely undetermined (it doesn't equal 5; it really has no value). In other words, a law violation corresponds to necessity being defied, whereas lawlessness corresponds to a lack of necessity where something definite occurs anyway. Both things present problems to the necessity of meaning, and both are going on in quantum mechanics. Law violations seem to be what's going on in states of superposition, whereas lawlessness seems to be going on when decoherence results in what appears to be randomly chosen states.

Definition: Law Violations vs. Lawlessness 1) Law Violations: When one outcome must necessarily happen but a different one happens instead. 2) Lawlessness: When no outcome must happen by necessity but something definite happens nonetheless.
Note that law violations are not necessarily non-deterministic. So long as they aren't random or unpredictable, we can still describe them as determined. In the double-slit experiment, for example, we will always get an interference pattern despite the fact that the superposition of the electron's position appears to violate the laws governing its spatial location. Once the electron's position is measured, however, the wave function collapses, and the state it collapses into appears to be random. This specific event, the collapse of the wave function, is non-deterministic, but the state of superposition that exists before the collapse is not. Every single time one does the experiment, the result is consistently an interference pattern, and we consistently interpret this result as the particle existing in a state of superposition - always. This, of course, is determinism - through and through.

Principle: Deterministic Law Violations The violation of natural law is not necessarily non-deterministic. So long as they are violated under the same conditions and with the same outcomes, they are deterministic.
One point this brings to mind, however, is that our assumption that states of superposition are examples of law violations may be too arrogant of us - that is, it may be too presumptuous of us to assume that we know what the true laws of nature are supposed to be. If these states are still deterministic, maybe the fault lies with us and our inability to conceptualize the laws of nature properly. It could be that states of superposition are phenomena that nature allows but has concealed from us macroscopic beings until we had the means by which to discover them. In other words, it may not be that laws are being violated at all - it may be that we have misunderstood what the laws of nature really are. There may be a law of superposition stated "when an electron is fired at a wall with two slits in it, the electron will pass through both slits simultaneously". If this is the case, then insofar as superposition is concerned, we can appeal to the principle of The Unassailability of Science for reconciliation. Again, this principle states that whatever the discoveries of science, the correlation between mind and matter, formulated by our theory, will hold. So if it turns out that subatomic particles are not really perfectly round and rigid little balls akin to those found on a billiard table, then whatever they are, we will always be able to claim that they correspond to an experience of some kind, an experience that serves as the reasons why they behave as they do. It doesn't matter what they turn out to be - point particles, vibrating strings of energy, some kind of plasma, probability waves, or even tiny microscopic gremlins - they are physical representations of experiences, whether that be in conception or the senses. Of course, there is a hidden assumption behind this principle. It assumes that all laws of nature maintain their consistency and exhaust the whole of all scientific discoveries. So if this assumption is not

The Unassailability of Science

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met, like what appears to be the case in the non-determinism of quantum mechanics, we can't very well rely on it. Nonetheless, the point remains that if superposition states represent a different, non-intuitive form of natural law, then we are justified in standing behind this principle in that context. That being said, there is the matter of superposition states defying the very logic with which we can form conceptual representations. It doesn't even seem possible that a particle should have two mutually exclusive velocities or directions of spin (momentum, which can be broken down into mass and velocity, is known to exist in superposition states - mass is always constant, and so velocity also exhibits superposition). For a particle to spin "up", it seems that it's doing the opposite of spinning "down", and therefore can't spin down at the same time (mind you, a particle's spin is not quite the same thing as the spin of an ordinary macroscopic object, like a baseball). We've even shown, in the paper Reality and Perception, that a particle's position is mutually exclusive with all other possible positions (this was in a sidenote, so if the reader missed it, I replicate it here ). At least, it is mutually exclusive in concept, as are all states of superposition. The crucial question is, are they mutually exclusive in reality? That is, is what's going on in quantum phenomena really a violation of natural laws or do we simply lack the capacity to understand them? If the flaw is with our understanding, we must recognize that this is no ordinary misunderstanding of the way nature works. We've had plenty of occasions in the history of science when one theory was proven to be a grave misunderstanding of how a certain phenomenon works. The caloric theory of heat is a prime example. Scientists used to believe that heat was the result of a fluid called "caloric" that flowed from warm objects to cool ones. Later, experiments showed this theory to be wrong, and the currently accepted kinetic theory, whereby molecules are said to bombard off each other or vibrate, filled its place. At least in this case, both theories are conceivable. But in the case of superposition, we have yet to fathom a model we can fully conceptualize. This makes it difficult to say whether what's going on in quantum phenomena is law abiding or law breaking (but see sidenote ). Either way, so long as our experiments keep yielding consistent results, it is still deterministic.

The Inconceivability of Superposition

The Caloric Theory of Heat

The Kinetic Theory of Heat

Law Violations or No Laws At All

The Challenge to Necessity
If quantum phenomena are law abiding after all, then we're out of the woods, and we need not press on with the issue further (we'll get to randomness later). But let's suppose, for the sake of argument, that superposition states really do represent law violations. The first point we should make, therefore, is that the positing of the real existence of natural laws - despite being subject to violations - should not be understood in terms of the classical metaphysical, or rather Platonic, sense. That is to say, we don't mean to suggest that there are these non-physical entities existing independently of both our thoughts and the objects whose behavior supposedly defies their dictates. We mean for the notion of real existing natural laws to be understood in terms of MM-Theory - and more particularly, in terms of the necessity of entailment. That is, suppose that when a particle splits into a multitude of positions, this corresponds to an experience somewhat like "4 + 5 = {...7, 8, 9, 10, 11...}" - that is, 4 + 5 doesn't only equal 9 but a whole range of numbers. We can clearly see that the necessity of entailment doesn't hold in this case because 4 + 5 necessarily equals 9 and only 9. Nothing permits for 4 + 5 to equal 7, 8, 10, or 11, yet there it is - equaling them! Well, first of all, the above equation is a poor representation of how superposition states evolve. We have two very discrete and definite quantities on the left (4 and 5) with a well-defined operator (addition) working on them. On the right, we have something not so definite and well defined (a range of numbers). The physical picture this conveys is one of a particle with, at one moment, a definite and clear position, and then, in an instant, leaps into superposition whereby its position is spontaneously spread across a certain distance of space. True superposition does not evolve this way. If we look at the double-slit experiment, we see that an electron fired from a gun is initially in a very confined and nearly definite position, and as it streams towards the wall with the slits, its positions gradually disperse across a macroscopic range. This is more like an equation where all quantities have some uncertainty to them. The quantities on the left might start out with a small range, but then multiply in the right-hand side. For example, an equation like a × b = c where a = {0.5,...,1.5}, b = {2.5,...,3.5}, and consequently c = {1.25,...,5.25} would suffice. If this is a more accurate representation, then it tells us that the electron in the double-slit experiment is always in a state of

Necessity

Entailment

Duality of Physical Entities

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superposition to some degree. This is consistent with how decoherence works. All experiments that induce decoherence result in a state of superposition collapsing, not into a classical or absolutely certain state, but into a less varied state. How varied this state is depends on the constraints imposed on it by that which brought on the collapse. We know from the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle that neither of a pair of conjugate variables, such as a particle's position and its momentum, can be measured with infinite precision. The precision with which we measure position, say, is a function of the wavelength we emit to do the measuring. The smaller the wavelength, the more precisely the position can be measured, but no wavelength is infinitely short, and so there will always be a minute degree of uncertainty. With that in mind, it's difficult to imagine under what conditions superposition states would ever decohere into the classic states predicted by Newtonian mechanics. One might say that nothing is ever in a perfectly classical state. We see, then, that all simultaneous positions or states that constitute superposition are entailed by previous positions or states also in superposition. In terms of our math equation, if a ranges from 0.5 to 1.5 and b ranges from 2.5 to 3.5, then these values do entail a range of 1.25 to 5.25 for c. Every value within c is entailed by some corresponding value in a and another in b. In terms of the electron in the double-slit experiment, all final positions of the electron are entailed by all of its initial positions. If the electron started out veering just slightly to the left, its final position will be significantly to the left. If, on the other hand, it started out veering just slightly to the right, its final position will be significantly to the right. If it started out veering in both directions, its final position will be amplified in both directions. So long as decoherence is postponed, all initial states determine all final states. But we are still confused as to what it means for a particle to be in a state of superposition. If we are still assuming that such states denote law violations (because they are mutually exclusive), then with respect to the meaning in the corresponding experience, the problem of necessity is still with us. However, now that we have reduced superposition states to experiences with a range of values - that is, a range of meaning - that have no trouble entailing further mean en masse, the problem of necessity has been narrowed down to the clarity of meaning rather than its capacity to entail. That is, the problem lies with a not meaning 0.5 necessarily, nor 1.5 necessarily, nor 1 necessarily, and so on. Likewise with b. The variables a and b have a range of meaning, no one in particular being necessary (if it was necessary, then it would make all other meanings within the range impossible, and thus there couldn't be a range at all). So although the problem remains, at least it has been narrowed down, and it has been narrowed to a point where we can bring in a full solution.

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

Conjugate Variables

Entailment

The Clarity of Meaning
Necessity is the key to understanding what sustains experiences. It is what allows for them to maintain an independent existence as real things - that is, it maintains their "realness". If they are not necessary, then they cannot be real. But is it really as black and white as this? Take a range of meaning that an experience might have, such as a = {0.5,...,1.5}. Although no one value is absolutely necessary, there must remain some degree of necessity for each value within the range as there are certain values that a simply cannot have, such as 0, 2, or anything outside the range. Likewise, in the double-slit experiment,

Real Things

Essence of

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Realness

although the electron may exist anywhere within the region of space swept by its corresponding wave, it will never be found behind the electron gun or beyond the electron sensitive screen. So the electron is necessarily confined within that region. To be perfectly truthful, the most accurate way of putting this is that the probability of finding the electron in a particular location is not evenly distributed across all of space. There is a much higher probability of finding it within the region swept by its corresponding wave than outside this region. Therefore, it could be said that there is greater necessity for the electron to be located in regions of greater probability. Similarly with a given experience, there is greater necessity for it to mean something within a particular range of meaning than outside that range, and there is no clear boundary marking out this range - the necessity of its meaning tapers off as we deviate from the center of this range. So if it's not as black and white as we might think, what does this say about its "realness"? The most intuitive thing it says is that an experience's realness can vary from fully real to fully unreal. That is, the essence of realness, just like necessity, can vary. The more necessary it is, the more real. For example, if we were to look at an orange, we would see its color fairly definitely - that is, as orange. But it would only be this definite at a macroscopic level. If we were to decipher the meaning of this experience ever so precisely, as precisely as we measure the properties of subatomic particles, we would find that "orange" doesn't quite depict the meaning of this experience exactly. We would find a range of, say, {slightly-red,...,orange,...,slightlyyellow}. The color of the orange wouldn't be orange precisely - it wouldn't be any particular color precisely. It would be almost orange - it would be somewhat slightly-red and somewhat slightlyyellow as well. It would even be a tiny bit almost-red and a tiny bit almost-yellow (hardly noticeable, of course ). Now, these words ("somewhat", "slightly", "almost", etc.) are not meant to convey its color being close to slightly-red or slightly-yellow; rather, they're meant to convey its color actually being slightly-red and slightlyyellow - both at the same time - but not quite fully real as such. That is, "somewhat" is a description of its realness, not where it falls on the color spectrum. The color of the orange actually is at all these spots on the color spectrum - all at the same time - but with each spot harboring only part of the realness of the overall color. By the standards of our conventional way of thinking, for an object to have a particular color, it can only have one such color - it can't be both red and yellow at the same time, for example - but this way of thinking attributes full realness to the color. It really is such-and-such color, we assume. What we are considering here is what could be said of such a situation if its realness was somewhat faded. Could an object's properties then take on seemingly contradictory values to the degree that it was unreal? Could an object then be both red and yellow at the same time? It seems that perhaps it can. Consider two opposing propositions P and not-P, for example. Normally, one would assume that if P is true, then not-P must be false. But if the realness of things can be "somewhat" real - or, in the case of propositions, "somewhat" true - then it wouldn't be right to say either that P or not-P is true or false. Instead, we would have to say that both P and not-P are "somewhat true". That is, the truth of P and not-P can be simultaneously upheld if they shared equally in that truth, each one acquiring, consequently, only a partial truth. So it would be wrong to say that not-P must be false because P is true since P really isn't true - it is only somewhat true. Consequently, not-P can also be true - somewhat. We can even depict this idea graphically, as in figures 3a through 3d below. In figure 3a, we have a curve that shoots up sharply at the value of orange. This depicts, more or less, what we were saying about the color of the orange viewed from a macroscopic level of precision - that we see it as definitely orange. That is, the color orange upon the fruit is most definitely real, and any other color, no matter how minor the deviation from orange, is most definitely not the color of the fruit. Therefore, the curve starts at the left-hand side at the lowest plateau possible, and only when it hits orange does it spike. The low points represent low levels of realness whereas the higher points represent high levels of realness. The lowest points possible represent a complete lack of realness, whereas the highest points possible represent full realness. Now, let's suppose that the color of the orange went into a much more pronounced state of superposition. What we would begin

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to see is more variability in its color. This variability is represented in figure 3b by the widening of the spike, taking on more of a bell shaped curve. This means to convey that the realness of other colors local to orange gain in realness - they aren't quite as real as orange, of course, but they aren't quite zero anymore either. We also see that the realness of orange itself has fallen slightly. It sits at roughly 80% real. When we compare the two figures, we can extract a rule that seems to be this: the area under the curve is conserved (This is probably not true of the graph itself - I didn't take care to measure it - but you get the idea ). In other words, the total amount of realness distributed across all possible values must always remain the same. Therefore, if a property's realness is to be concentrated into one narrowly defined value, the graphical representation will be a spike, whereas if its realness is to be distributed more evenly, the graphical representation will be more of a bell curve whose peek is somewhat lower.

Figure 3a: Color vs. realness (classical depiction)

Figure 3b: Color vs. realness (superposition depiction)

Figure 3c: Position vs. realness (classical depiction)

Figure 3d: Position vs. realness (superposition depiction)

Figures 3c and 3d represent exactly the same concept as it is applied to a particle's position. In figure 3c, we have a particle's position plotted against the realness of that position. It takes a sharp spike at 5, meaning that the particle is definitely 5 units away from the origin and definitely not at any other position. Figure 3d, on the other hand, represents what would become of the particle's position if it went into a more noticeable superposition state. Its position would still be localized at around 5 but it would simultaneously take on other positions. The closer those positions to 5, the more real they will be, but they won't be more real than the position of 5 itself, whose realness has also changed - to less real. Overall, in going from figure 3c through to 3d, the area under the graph has been conserved. So figures 3a through 3d show us that this concept can be imagined for both experiences and physical things in the outer world.

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This is indeed a strange notion. Does it even make sense to think of something as "somewhat real"? One would think that realness cannot grade itself this way. Something is either real or not real, we'd assert. Well, it is this kind of thinking that gives us so much trouble in the field of quantum mechanics. We are so use to thinking that the properties of physical entities are either in one particular and definite state or not in that state. A particle is either at location (x,y,z) or it is not. If it is not, it must be in another, equally precise, location (x',y',z'). What is this mode of thinking that jars so irritatingly with the "fuzziness" of quantum theory? It is the tendency of the human mind to categorize. It is one of the oldest and most reliable (hitherto, anyway) mechanisms of the human mind whose function is to organize our experiences and knowledge of the world into neat and orderly pigeonholes. This makes information easy to process and put into its most effective use. We categorize things, and the more black and white we make things in our minds, the more easily they fit this algorithm. Things are either hard or soft, bright or dark, good or bad, friendly, malevolent, or neutral, red, orange, yellow, green... and so on. Of course, we can break free from this rigid method, and at times it proves more useful to do so, such as when things are better thought of as falling on a spectrum or gradient (like temperature or weight). But unless it does prove useful to do so, we feel more comfortable with our black and white categorization scheme. We've never had a use for breaking out of this scheme when it comes to the question of realness. Being the macroscopic creatures that we are, we experience things on too large a scale to notice the finely grained variability in the realness of things. Things and their states and properties seem either real or not real. Sometimes these states and properties fall into convenient categories while at other times they fall somewhere on a spectrum, but in either case, we perceive them as exactly what they are. That is, even though these states and properties may vary, their being real doesn't. This has been the way we've experienced our world since the dawning of our species. But in the technologically and scientifically advanced age of today, we have extended the reach of our minds into a world where this categorization scheme doesn't work. For the first time, we are seeing phenomena for which a gradation scheme must be brought into use, a gradation scheme whereby their realness takes a middle position between the two extremes. It is a scheme whereby we can talk about things taking on more than one position at the same time, or more than one value for momentum, or any state or property at all. I propose that the concept of "realness" itself be adapted to this gradation scheme and the old categorization scheme be abandoned. As the realness of an entity's properties approaches the fully unreal end, the more the values of these properties vary in a superposition-like manner. The difficulty we have in imagining this is the same difficulty we have in imagining states of superposition and the strangeness of all other quantum phenomena. It is the tenacious clinging to an out-dated and soon to be archaic mode of thinking - namely, categorizing. It is the insistence that realness fit into either of the "real" or "unreal" categories. If we are to pass beyond these intellectual limitations, we have to accept that our world simply doesn't work this way - not all the time, at least. We have to accept the possibility that the reality of a given object, its properties, or anything for that matter, can vary. Perhaps the best way to understand how realness can vary is to understand it in terms of experiences. It does make more sense when one considers it from the subjective perspective, as our theory would have it, rather than from the perspective of external or material objects like planets, tables and chairs, or subatomic particles. From the latter perspective, although the idea can be entertained, we really don't know how to image an external or material object as being "somewhat real" - half faded? But when we consider what it's like for the meaning in an experience to be unclear, it is not as difficult. We've all had trouble, at times, trying to apprehend or articulate exactly what it is that we're experiencing - emotions can be this way, as can vague memories or complicated concepts that we know we understand but just can't express. Of course, this is usually more a reflection of the frail connections between our experiences and our epistemic awareness of them, but at least it helps us to appreciate what unclarity feels like. The only difference between these more common experiences of unclarity and that corresponding to true superposition states is that, in the latter case, the lack of clarity is inherent in the experience itself, not in our failure to translate it into words. So when we imagine it this way - as having an inherently unclear meaning - we find that what the experience is about is equally unclear. In other words, what the experience projects itself to be is inherently "fuzzy" - that is, it is not anything in particular. To be something particular, an experience must mean something definite and certain. The more focused this certainty, the more definitely it is the particular thing it feels like it is. That's the essential nature of projection. Thus, with no clear definition for itself, an experience can't actually "be" anything - at least, not fully. It can somewhat "be" something, and what that something is can be gathered from what its ambiguous meaning seems to focus around, but so long as it doesn't sharpen its focus with infinite precision, it will never quite "be" anything - approximate being is all it has. Now, even if MM-Theory is the best context within which to understand this idea, we don't even need to appeal to it in order to make sense of partial realness. Consider what it means for a particle's position to have no particular value, but a range of potential values instead. It means that one cannot say that it has a definite position. Its position, as we understand it in the classical or Newtonian sense, doesn't exist - it is not real. But, of course, there are certain values for its position that have a higher probability of turning up when

Projection

Realness as Substance

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measured than other values. Therefore, for one to say that its position is completely unreal is not quite right either. What other option is there? The only other option is to consider a level of realness somewhere between fully real and fully unreal, a level equal in degree to the uncertainty inherent in its superposition state. We must say that its position is "somewhat real".

Principle: Reconciliation Between Non-Determinism and Necessity The necessity of meaning can be reconciled with the non-determinism of quantum mechanics as follows: 1) The more non-deterministic the outcome of any event, the less clear the meaning in the corresponding experience. 2) The less clear the meaning in the corresponding experience, the less it necessarily is anything it would otherwise project itself as. 3) The less it necessarily is anything it would otherwise project itself as, the less it is anything definite and precise - that is, anything fully real. 4) Therefore, the more non-deterministic the outcome of the event in question, the less of the essence of realness contained in the corresponding experience, and thus the less real it is.
So it seems that the problem of the necessity of meaning can be resolved in this manner. The problem arose because we had not taken into consideration the variability of realness. Without a clear meaning, we assumed, an experience cannot be fully necessary, and therefore cannot be real. It was out of the question to consider an experience to be fully unreal because its physical counterpart - namely, quantum phenomena like particles in superposition states - was still real. But when we introduced the idea of different grades of realness, we found this to be the perfect descriptor for what was happening, not only to the experience, but also to its physical counterpart. Absolute necessity is not a must in this case - meaning can be somewhat necessary in which case the experience will be somewhat real. With this minor shift in how we understand MM-Theory, it once again makes sense.

Resurrecting A Principle: The Unassailability of Science

Random Fluctuations in Realness
Of course, the above principle doesn't explain why non-determinism results from a lack of full realness or full necessity - it merely shows how non-determinism is not a threat to MM-Theory. So non-determinism remains to be explained. What we know from the preceding section is that these non-deterministic states don't violate the necessary connection between succeeding experiences - that is, between those corresponding to a superposition state and those corresponding to a collapsed state. Whatever the state decoherence results in, that state follows from a subset of the classical or Newtonian states that make up part of the preceding superposition state. For example, in the double-slit experiment, if we put an electron detection device in one of the slits, there would be two possible outcomes: it would either detect the electron passing through that slit or it would not. If the device did detect the electron, this result could be traced back to the fact that one of the simultaneous trajectory paths that the electron took was, in fact, headed directly towards that slit. If it was not detected at that slit, this result could be traced back to the equally valid fact that all other simultaneous trajectory paths were not headed directly

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towards that slit. In other words, there is always a component of the superposition state to account for the collapsed state in accordance with what classical mechanics would predict. This translates into our theory as there being a subset of values within the range of meaning corresponding to the superposition state that entail all values in the range of meaning corresponding to the collapsed state. In order to account for the apparent non-determinism, the question we need to ask is: what determines the subset whose range of meaning will go on to entail further meaning, leaving the remainder of the range to somehow vanish? This vanishing act need not be understood as a violation of necessity either. What happens first and foremost is that the smooth distribution of realness permeating the entire superposition state is spontaneously accumulated by a much more narrow subset of values within the superposition state, leaving what's left to be fully depleted of realness. This depletion obliterates the necessity therein as well, and so the "vanishing act" is a result of a loss of necessity, not a violation of it. Without necessity, there can be no entailment. It would be a violation for there not to be a vanishing act. As for the prior experiences that would have entailed the ones that vanish, they were never absolutely necessary anyway, and therefore such a vanishing act does not violate the necessity of their entailment either. To make this more clear, let's once more take the double-slit experiment as an example. As the electron passes through both slits, the realness of its position is equally shared by both instances of the electron (or sets of electrons - each slit is big enough to house more than one instance). That means that each electron instance, or set of instances, carries 50 percent of the total realness. Now suppose we put our electron detection device in one of the slits. Out of all trials where the electron goes through the slits (sometimes it just hits the wall), it will detect an electron for some of them, and for all remaining trials it won't. In either case, our detection device has collapsed the wave function. In the former case, it has collapsed to the subset of positions within the slit being monitored by our device. In the latter case, it has collapsed to the subset within the other slit. In the former case, wherein the electron is detected, its position has amassed all the realness of the previous superposition state. That is, whereas before it was detected, this subset carried only a very small portion of the total realness, and once it is detected, this subset "collects" all realness from everything outside the subset. When it does this, the necessity of its position being in that slit also increases in fact, it becomes totally necessary. In the latter case, wherein the electron is not detected, the exact reverse occurs. The subset consisting of those electron instances that pass through the other slit amasses all the realness, leaving no realness for any instances which would have otherwise passed through the slit being monitored. With no necessity, its path is at an end. It entails no further trajectory beyond the slit. Likewise, its corresponding experience, depleted of necessity, entails no further experience. It entails no further experience, not due to a violation of necessity, but to a lack thereof. The apparent non-determinism we see is not non-determinism of entailment, it is non-determinism of what acquires realness. For some reason, the experience corresponding to the subset of electron instances in one slit consumes all the realness while the other is depleted. Why the one subset over the other is the mystery. But we now see that this anomaly is not a problem for the coherency of our theory. Necessity is never violated. Nothing is more real or less real than necessary. We don't know why a specific subset of the range of meaning in an experience spontaneously inherits all the realness from the entire range, but as we see, this is another matter - it is a question for another theory to answer. Or it may never be answered. After all, it makes no sense to inquire as to the reasons why the bulk of realness in an otherwise unclear experience is reallocated as it often is, if the consensus among quantum physicists is that this is a genuinely non-deterministic process. If it is truly non-deterministic, there is no reason. It is just difficult for us to accept because, like we said in the introduction to this paper, we have a powerful need to understand, and understanding comes only with explanations or reasons. The consensus among quantum physicists is that the world just is this way - non-determinism is not something in need of explanation. I suggest we take the same attitude with respect to the non-determinism in our theory. There may be no need for explanation when it comes to the non-deterministic selection of those experiences that acquire the most realness since, as we saw above, that's exactly what non-determinism is - a defiance of explanation. Even though there may be no reason for the non-determinism of this "realness hording", we can give a reason for this lack of reason. In other words, we can say why there is no reason. If no particular state is fully necessary in cases of superposition, then why should we expect that any one subsequent state, even if that state does become necessary (or more necessary) in virtue of having acquired more realness, will itself be

Revisiting The Alternate Interpretation: Superposition As A Law of Nature

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fully necessary before it is entailed? If nothing is necessary, then no outcome is necessary either. One particular state can amass all the realness spontaneously and for no reason. Perhaps what is going on in the double-slit experiment is that, upon interacting with the electro-sensitive plate, the electron enters a condition under which it is forced to take on a more definite state, but it is not necessary that whatever state it settles upon be one or another in particular. This lack of necessity coupled with the burden of having to settle upon a more definite state may be enough grounds for randomness to result. Perhaps the interaction between the electron and the electro-sensitive plate corresponds to two experiences - the one corresponding to the electron's superposition state, the other corresponding to the electro-sensitive plate - and the former, having morphed throughout the growth of its lack of clarity, enters a particular state, a range of particular qualities, which, when put together with the particular quality of the experience corresponding to the electrosensitive plate, is logically determined to take on a much more definite meaning. What that meaning turns out to be, however, is not logically determined, except that it must be taken from the range of meaning it had hitherto harbored. It would be much like a detective who, out of a range of suspects, knows that, logically, the culprit can only be one in particular, and must pick one at random were he forced to guess. This lack of necessity coupled with the burden of having to settle upon a more definite meaning may be enough grounds for randomness to result. On the other hand, many have made the connection between this apparent randomness and that displayed by free-will. To name a few, Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff have their theory of Quantum Consciousness wherein quantum events that go on in microtubules, tiny structures inside neurons, may be responsible for the non-deterministic manifestations of free-will. This may be the case, but it should be noted that the non-determinism of quantum mechanics is not explained by substituting it with the non-determinism of free-will, nor visa-versa. This maneuver is simply a reduction in complexity. That is, instead of two unexplained enigmas (quantum non-determinism and that of free-will), Penrose and Hameroff have reduced it to one unexplained enigma - but unexplained it still is. We could go with this, exploring the implications of equating quantum non-determinism with free-will, particularly within microtubules, and we will do this in the next section. Right now, however, let's conclude this section by remarking that, although we have rescued our theory from the non-determinism of quantum mechanics by proposing that realness be conceived as varying across different grades, the principle of the unprovability of randomness should always be kept in mind. It can never be confirmed beyond a scintilla of doubt that what appears to be random happenings at the quantum level is indeed random - even if Bell's Theorem denies us the right to posit hidden local variables, we as metaphysicists do hold the right to posit non-local variables (in fact, it will be shown, in the paper The Universe and "God", how our theory can account for such non-local mechanisms). Our current objective is not to advocate such a non-local, deterministic account, however, and so after mending our theory in just the right way such that the failure of necessity to uphold realness is not a failure in our theory, we will honor the thesis of non-determinism that quantum physicists promote by offering the same role for non-determinism in our model of the universe.

The Uprovability of Randomness

Bell's Theorem

Quantum Consciousness
All eukaryotic cells, like neurons, have a cytoskeletal structure within them called "microtubules". For the most part, cytoskeletal structures hold the cell together and maintain its shape - they are the cell's "skeleton", so to speak - but they often serve many other purposes. When it comes to microtubules, for instance, they also process information like a computer or the brain. The studies conducted by Stuart Homeroff point towards a quantum computational method for such information processing. That is, the protein molecules that make up microtubules, known as tubulin, are believed to undergo superposition states for a very short period of time after which they collapse into either of two states. Figure 4a illustrates this process. Tubulin molecules assume a bean-like shape, and the two states that constitute the superposition state are, as figure 4a shows, a contracted state and an expanded state. Through the enabling power of quantum entanglement, the states in which each tubulin molecule collapses determine the collapsed states of all other tubulin molecules. This results in the manifestation of definite patterns along the lengths of microtubule strands as shown in figure 4b. These patterns constitute the computational output of the quantum processes that each tubulin molecule undergoes. Different patterns have different consequences on the overall neuron. Some patterns result in firing while others inhibit firing. In either case, the resulting pattern cannot be determined by appeal to the initial states of the tubulin molecules since these states are superposition states, and as we know, the collapse of

Microtubules

Tubulin

Quantum Entanglement

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superposition states is, as far as we can tell, non-deterministic.

Figure 4a: Tubulin molecules

Figure 4b: Patterns of tubulin collapse

This non-determinism is the perfect entryway for Penrose and Hameroff to usher in free-will. Both free-will and the collapse of the wavefunction are non-deterministic phenomena, and therefore the two can conceivably be reduced to one non-deterministic phenomenon. In other words, the kind of quantum computing that microtubules undergo correspond to a decision making process. When microtubules are in a superposition state, this reflects something akin to a thinking process whereby the neuron is considering whether or not to fire, weighing the pros and cons so to speak, and the final pattern that results from collapse reflects a decision being made - the neuron has decided whether or not to fire. On a much more macroscopic level, this decision making process, when experienced across all individual neurons, amounts to the kinds of decision making processes that are commonplace among us on a day-to-day basis. Our free-will is accounted for by the non-deterministic quantum computations that go on in each of our nerve cells. This is the theory of Quantum Consciousness (or QC) in a nutshell. There is obviously a discrepancy between the account given by QC for what causes neurons to fire and that given by standard neurological treatments (such as our paper Preliminary Concepts). As far as the latter is concerned, neurons fire when neighboring neurons release excitatory neurotransmitters that bind to receptors on the neuron in question. QC, on the other hand, says that neurons fire when its microtubules collapse into key patterns. In order to clarify how these two accounts fit together, QC says that the binding of neurotransmitters onto the recipient neuron has an effect on the likelihood of the neuron's firing. That is, supposing the neurotransmitter was excitatory, when it binds to the recipient neuron's receptors, the chances that the neuron will fire become very high, unlike before the neurotransmitters bind when the chances are Neurotransmitters quite low. Inhibitory neurotransmitters have a similar effect on the probability of a neuron's firing, but in the opposite way from excitatory ones. In other words, although the patterns that microtubules collapse into are non-deterministic, the probability of certain patterns turning up is greatly affected by the binding of neurotransmitters from neighboring neurons. Neurons, then, are much like individuals. Hameroff likens microtubule strands to quantum computers, and thus to brains of a quantum sort. That is, QC models microtubules as the "brains" of the neuron, brains that operate according to the principles of quantum mechanics rather than classical mechanics. Therefore, we can understand the relation between the effects that microtubules have on its host neuron's firing and those that neurotransmitters have by analogously thinking of neurons as individuals. The brain, then, is much like a corporation and each neuron is an individual worker, each with its own unique function and set of skills. It is always assumed that when one particular worker is given instructions, he/she will carry out those instructions. That is his/her job, after all. This is like the assumption that classical neurological theories make with respect to the effect of excitatory neurotransmitters binding to the recipient neuron - namely, that the neuron will indeed fire. But a worker is not a cog in a wheel. He/she can make his/her own decisions on whether or not to follow the instructions. It is true that, for the most part, a worker will follow instructions when given to him/her from a proper authoritative figure, but we cannot dismiss the possibility that he/she may choose to do otherwise. For example, he/she may request to put it off for one day because of a doctor's

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appointment. He/she may even choose to make executive decisions when no instructions were given, such as when an urgent matter needs attention but the boss is not around to authorize any course of action. We wouldn't say that the worker in these cases is disregarding the job he/she has been hired to do, but we do have to take into consideration the fact that strict obedience to instructions at all times is just an ideal model of how workers function in a job setting. The reality is that there is always the possibility that such workers will deviate from this model and make choices on their own accord in response to instructions. Just the same, the mechanical model given by standard theories in neurology are just an ideal. The reality, according to QC, is that neurons are like workers in that, although they may be given chemically transmitted instructions to fire or inhibit firing, they always have the choice to thwart those instructions and instead do the opposite.

Some Criticisms
QC hasn't been without its criticisms. The most common criticism comes from the unlikelihood that such large structures like neurons would ever display quantum-like effects such as superposition or non-deterministic firing. The strange anomalies that are the focus of quantum mechanics are very rarely observed at scales greater than a few nanometers, especially when the environment they are assumed to occur in is sufficiently complex and highly dynamic. The brain, or even a single neuron, is such an environment. There is too much going on therein by way of chemical reactions, biological processes, electric signal processing, and a whole myriad of other events, for quantum events to occur at the level of neurons. In essence, the brain is too hot an environment for quantum states like superposition to last for as long as they need to in order to account for the non-deterministic processing of information at the level of neurons (it is purported that these states need to last for at least 25 ms). Hameroff responds to this with two points. First is the proposal that microtubules are coated in a heat resistant actin gelation that provides just the right kind of cool and secluded environment for the needed quantum states to persist for the necessary 25 ms or longer. This is an evolutionary adaptation, Hameroff argues, that should be expected if we are to assume that consciousness and free-will are imperative to our survival. Our genes would have mutated in such a way that this actin gelation is a natural consequence of how our brains develop, thereby providing the basis for a much greater degree of freedom to choose our actions when an otherwise mechanically driven biology would have led us unavoidably to our own demise. Hameroff's second response is the fact that not all quantum states like superposition fail to persist in a highly complex and dynamic environment. Some evidence suggests that certain quantum phenomena are actually enhanced by raising heat levels. Although this is not the norm, it could be that the states that tubulin molecules exist in are such quantum phenomena. The second most common criticism leveled against QC is that it doesn't account for qualia, more or less equivalent to what we call experiences, that well. Homeroff defends his theory on this front by appeal to Penrose's interpretation of quantum mechanics. As we noted in the paper Quantum Mechanics, the anomalies that quantum mechanics studies have been interpreted in many different ways. Penrose's interpretation is known as the Orch OR model (for Orchestrated Objective Reduction). The Orch OR model posits an "objective threshold" that sets an upper limit on quantum states like superposition such that they collapse upon reaching this limit. That is to say that any physical property that might exist in a state of superposition can only be so uncertain prior to measurement (i.e. the probability of what such measurements turn out to be can only be so low). So, for example, taking our ever-so-useful double-slit experiment once again, if we removed the electron sensitive plate such that the electron could continue to travel indefinitely, the Orch OR model predicts that the electron would only travel so far before collapsing into a more definite state. This objective threshold, Penrose proposes, is a universal constant much like the speed of light or the charge of an electron, and is built into the fabric of spacetime itself. But in order to understand how this accounts for the presence of qualia in our minds, we need to look at Penrose's model of the spacetime fabric to see, not only how the objective threshold is pictured, but also where qualia resides in relation to it. Indeed, Penrose literally has a place for qualia such that we can say "where" it resides. He makes a place for it by opening up little "blisters" in the fabric of spacetime. Let's elaborate on this point. Penrose borrows the concept from Einstein's Theory of General Relativity whereby spacetime can be curved, bent, warped, and distorted in many other ways. Einstein postulated that this plasticity of space and time could account for gravity. He said that when we see objects fall towards massive bodies like stars, planets, and large asteroids, what we are actually seeing is Newton's first law of motion - that all bodies in motion stay in motion - as it manifests in a curved spacetime medium. That is, if the

Qualia

Experience

The Orch OR Model

General Relativity

Geodesics

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space through which an object moves is curved, as it is near massive bodies, the object whose nature it is to continue along the path it travels (Newton's first law) will also curve. Objects at rest begin to move (as when you release an apple from your grip) because they are traveling forward in time, and time, like space, also curves towards massive bodies (like the Earth). What Penrose adds to this is that spacetime is not only malleable, but also fissionable. That is, the lines (or geodesics) that make up space and time, whether straight or curved, can fork into several paths. He hypothesizes that "blisters" can form, as in figure 5, whereby a straight path in space splits off in various directions, effectively forming a cone shaped pocket that looks like a blister.

Figure 5: Penrose's space blister Just as a particle would follow the lines of space whether straight or curved, a particle following a line of space that hits one of these blisters forks itself into several copies or instances. It would be in several places at once, essentially accounting for quantum superposition. The objective threshold predicted by the Orch OR model puts a limit on the size of these blisters such that all space paths that branch off from each other are eventually forced to collapse upon each other, one in particular being selected for all others to converge towards (the non-determinism of decoherence). And inside these space blisters, Penrose presents us with the monad - the elementary unit of the Platonic Truths! Essentially, Penrose is suggesting that conscious experiences, or qualia, reside here, inside the space blister. They serve as the matter around which a conscious decision is being contemplated, and which collapse marks the settling of. Penrose specifically emphasized Platonic Truths as characterizing their essential quality - that they are ideas or thoughts - and quite literally took them to be external entities existing in space among all matter and energy. It was Hameroff who took the ball from there and extended this idea to all other forms of qualia. Joy, sorrow, pain, pleasure, colors, sounds, smells, tastes, tickles, itches, and all the qualitative diversity that make up the experiences we know of come from within the space blisters inside our brains - the blisters responsible for the superposition states that microtubules enter in and out of. Hameroff likes to think of qualia, therefore, as an essential ingredient in the fabric of spacetime, making it a fundamental building block for reality.

Monads

Reconciling The Theories
Our concern is with this last criticism. We have our own theory of qualia that blatantly clashes with Penrose's. In this section, we will show how monads, or fundamental units of mind, cannot exist in space blisters. This will be an objection mainly aimed at Penrose's model, but not so much to Hameroff's - at least, not if Hameroff is willing to stand by his position that qualia are the fundamental building blocks of reality. He won't get far with this claim by heeding to Penrose's model, but we will see that with our model, he fairs

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quite well. It's not terribly difficult to denounce the validity of Penrose's model as it finds its roots in a ancient philosophy that has seen its day. That philosophy is Platonism and most contemporary philosophers take it to be rather naive at best, and rubbish all together at worst. Why is this so? The essential tenet behind Plato's philosophy is that there exists a metaphysical realm in which all absolute Truths reside, Truths like "all circles are round", "all men are mortal", "space is infinite", "the squares of the sides of a right triangle sum to the square of the hypotenuse", and so on. Plato believed the mind was like a sense organ whose target objects for sensing were these absolute Truths - it saw into the metaphysical realm, he thought. Just as we don't need to learn about tangible objects in order to sense them, the mind doesn't need to learn absolute Truths - it knows them a priori. Today, we understand the neurology behind why the mind perceives these absolute Truths. When neurons from the cognitive centers are stimulated, we will experience thoughts, many of which are just these absolute Truths. We also know from more than two thousand years of experience that pursuing one's own apprehensions of absolute Truths, or what appears to be such, leads to confusion and grave mistakes more often than enlightenment. The lessons learnt from these, by most philosophers anyway, is that Platonic Truths are best understood as fabrications of the mind. This is not to say that no Platonic Truth is valid - a circle is still round and men will always be mortal - but it is generally understood that these are not "things" that exist outside of ourselves like material objects. They don't have an independent metaphysical existence somewhere "out there". The truth of these principles is inherent in their mental character. MM-Theory concurs with this by separating our perceptions of reality into different domains - three to be exact, when it comes to human beings. These domains, or categories of experience, were outlined in the Basic Theory as the cognitive, emotional, and sensory experiences. The confusion that often arises from Platonic philosophy is no doubt a consequence of the objectification process, which aims to mimic the externality, or thing-like character, of objects in the physical world when constructing the forms that abstract concepts take in our minds. In other words, it takes experiences from the cognitive domain and infuses them, to a degree, with attributes from the sensory domain. We ultimately make mistakes when we forget not to take these borrowed attributes too literally, a very common example being the positing of these abstract concepts as things belonging to the world of our sensory experiences. That is, we invest too much faith in the thing-like qualities of our objectified concepts, and thereby assume that they must have some kind of existence in the world "out there", even if that existence must take a metaphysical form. But we fail to realize that "out there" is itself an exclusive character of sensory experiences only. That is, thoughts don't ever project themselves "out there" in any sense - they are "true" or "false" instead. In short, Platonic philosophy is grounded on a profound, but common, error - namely, the objectification process gone awry. Penrose's model of spacetime is even worse. Not only does he posit the existence of metaphysical principles "out there", but he actually gives them a place. He invents these space "blisters" to house them. If you want to know where "all circles are round" is, look for a particle in a superposition state, he says, and there it will be. It would be one thing to say that these space blisters correspond to platonic principles, as we say about MODs, but his theory hinges on the fact that these principles actually reside therein. He wants to propose that the collapse of particles in superposition states are affected by something local to them, something that will "reach out" and decide the final state of the particle. He wants to say that it is in virtue of the particle being "in contact" with the consciousness that is the space blister that its fate can be decided by that very consciousness. This will never do, however, since it defies the very essence of a principle - that is, of a thought - to place it somewhere in space. Even Plato knew that metaphysical entities can't be placed somewhere, and this is why he invented the realm of metaphysical forms - a realm that, although paralleling our physical world, is not characterized by space or physical extension. To have a specific location implies that it is in space, which means that, although it may not be visible or solid, it takes a physical form (material forms, on the other hand, do require a certain degree of solidity as the word "material" derives from the root word "matter"). No - platonic principles, or any kind of experience, is absolutely placeless (unless we're talking about the perception of physical objects, of course ). They don't take physical forms; they are not "extended", as Descartes would put it. Without extension, there is no particular location in space where they could be. If we are to associate them with anything in the physical world, it must be through some kind of correspondence (as the correspondence rule points out). That is, experiences are non-local, metaphysical things that correspond to local things in the physical domain of reality. There may still be space blisters, and they may account for superposition states, but there can be nothing inside but a void. Now, this is Penrose's idea, and although Hameroff champions it wholeheartedly, his contribution to QC branches off from it. Penrose's model was the springboard from which Hameroff proposed his version of QC, and so, as it stands, he is somewhat dependent on the validity of the "space blister" model of qualia. However, the only reason for this dependence is that there are no feasible alternatives. What I intend to show

The Objectification Process

Projection

The Correspondence Rule

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now is that our theory is perfectly compatible with Hameroff's given that he severs his dependence on the blister theory and substitute it with our model of qualia. In other words, QC is still an excellent theory of free-will, but it leaves something to be desired when the question of qualia is raised. Our theory, on the contrary, is built to explain qualia, but it fails to address free-will as adequately as QC. Why the two theories should not work together is a question with no sound answer. Therefore, let's see what comes from an attempt to meld the two together. Consider a neuron from the cognitive centers of the brain. According to MM-Theory, when this neuron is stimulated by excitatory neurotransmitters, a thought is experienced corresponding to its firing. All that needs to be accounted for is that brief moment before it actually fires when its microtubules are in a superposition state. We know the physics behind this, but what is the experience like? The experience is that of freedom more specifically, the freedom to control our thoughts. When the neighboring neuron stimulates the one in question, our theory accounts for the corresponding experiences with the concept of flow. We say that one thought flows into, or entails, the other. Within a stringently deterministic paradigm, we assume that this entailment is absolutely necessary. In effect, we would account for the freedom we feel we have over our thoughts as totally illusory. Despite what it seems, we can't help that the next thought that enters our minds will be such-and-such. But by incorporating QC into our theory, we add that non-deterministic touch, in which case we need to account for the lack of absolute necessity when it comes to one thought entailing another. The necessity breaks at the moment of the neuron's superposition state. At this moment, the neuron is not entirely firing but not entirely at rest either. The corresponding experience is not entirely a full-fledged thought, but not entirely the absence of such either. Its realness is only partially there. This moment is when we make our decision whether to allow such a thought to enter our minds or not. The thought is necessary to the degree that the superposition state of the microtubules are likely to collapse into patterns conducive to the firing of the neuron. If it is highly likely, or even highly unlikely, our will is weak with respect to thought control. But when the chances are close to 50/50, the strength of our will is at its peak, and we feel the full force of control over our thoughts.

Entailment

Flow

Some Implications
Now, if this is the manner in which our theory melds with QC, there are some implications worth examining. First of all, it is doubtful that the same things we said above about thoughts - namely, that our control over them corresponds to the superposition states of neurons - can be said about other experiences from the human mind. For example, we'd be hard pressed to argue that we have any control over our visual experiences. When I look at a fruit sitting on my table, I can't help but to see only those properties that it actually bears. I can't choose to see a banana, say, when it's really a pear. Therefore, we should only see neurons exhibiting superposition states at a sufficiently frequent rate in those MODs corresponding to the kinds of experiences we have a significant degree of control over. Cognitions would be at the top of my list, followed by, perhaps, emotions. Sensations would take a rather low position, as they seem the hardest of all experiences to control. Neurons in the visual cortex, for example, would probably exhibit superposition states very rarely, if at all. And if we were to include the motor cortex, which seems to correspond not so much to an experience but to the very quintessence of "willing", perhaps that would go to the very top of the list, surpassing by far cognition and exhibiting extremely high amounts of superposition in terms of its neural firings. This correlation between the superposition states of neurons and the degree of control we have over the corresponding experiences or actions certainly makes for a very testable hypothesis. Another interesting note to make on this point is that, as we go from those experiences over which we have a high degree of control to those over which we have very little control, it seems that the "opacity" of qualia (for lack of a better word) grows thicker. That is to say, the low-control experiences, like hearing, seeing, touch, and so on, seem very rich in their qualitative character. The diversity in quality is high as is the vividness (or "opacity"). High-control experiences, on the other hand, seem rather thin in qualitative opacity. Our thoughts seem quite "airy-fairy". Our fantasies seem "dreamy". It's hard to pinpoint one particular thought or to see every minute detail in our memories of an event or scene. It's almost as if they were only "half there" (and, in fact, this is what we would say, in terms of their realness, when it comes to quantum states like superposition). Our emotions seem to harbor a bit more opacity as we find a much wider array of affects and more intense pleasures and pains, but still not quite as much as sensations. The degree of control we have over our emotions is, likewise, somewhere between that of our thoughts and that of our sensations (although not all may feel this way). It seems rather befitting, therefore, that our theory cooperates with QC in

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this manner. More precisely, it seems that where quantum states are next to lacking in the brain, qualia are at their peak, and therefore MM-Theory offers the better account. QC, on the other hand, offers the better account, at least insofar as it posits free-will, where quantum states are most pronounced in the brain. To me, this seems like a very nice compromise.

An Interview With Stuart Hameroff

Qualitative Diversity

As Hameroff put it, "qualia... are actually irreducible, fundamental components of the universe" (see link ). In this, he was referring to Penrose's model of spacetime geometry, of course. We abandoned this model for the reasons mentioned above, and so in this sense Hameroff was wrong. But in the context of MM-Theory, he is more right than he might realize. Qualia really are the basic components of the structure of reality. Our theory assigns them exactly that role, and it goes on to explain why. The qualitative diversity of our phenomenological world is made up from all our experiences. They carry the essence of realness and with it, they paint reality as an artist paints a mural, but unlike the images in the mural, the reality they paint is fully real, and thus it is the very fabric of the universe that Hameroff posits. In this sense, he is correct in asserting that qualia are true reflections of reality in its raw, naked form.

Essence of Realness

Before celebrating QC, however, we ought to examine another implication that falls out of our hybrid theory. We already touched on one - namely, the inverse relation between control over our experiences and their opacity - and this seemed to go over well. There is another, however, which might veer us more towards skepticism. Let's examine the implications this has for the predictions we can make in a laboratory setting wherein electrodes and voltage meters are hooked to live brains. What would happen if we connected an electrode to one end of a single neuron from the cognitive centers (or any center over which we have a high degree of control), a voltage meter to the other end, and we let a weak current pass through? According to classical theories, we should see the voltage meter jump every time. There should be a one-to-one correlation between activating the electrode and reading the presence of an electric current. But when QC is considered, this correlation should not be one-to-one. There would have to be a certain probability that the voltage meter reads nothing even though we stimulated the neuron with our electrode. There may even be a chance that a current will indeed be detected without discharging a current from our electrode. This is a testable prediction involving macroscopic observations. Of course, it assumes that microtubules will behave exactly as Hameroff theorizes even in such a laboratory setting, a setting in which the surgery required seems rather invasive and it is doubtful that tampering with the brain using cold metallic instruments will avoid disturbances of the neuron's normal environment. Nevertheless, if care is taken and the setup is sufficiently thought through, results of experiments like this could lend powerful support to QC if all went according to our predictions. If our predictions weren't met, however, it wouldn't bode well for QC, and our theory would have to revert back to a more deterministic view of the brain whereby free-will is more illusory than we thought (although the non-determinism of quantum mechanics in general would have to be upheld). But how plausible are these predictions? Remember, we would be witnesses to quantum non-determinism on a macroscopic scale - at least, insofar as our interpretations of the readings on our voltage meter go. In effect, the implication of this would be that, in our moments of freedom, when we make conscious choices of what thought to think or what action to take, we would be partaking in the violation of natural laws. We would be defying what all classical theories would predict with respect to how brain processes play out. Take the neuron we chose to connect our electrode and voltage meter to, for instance. Imagine that it's a rather long neuron that stretches from one end of the brain to the other. By all the laws of physics we know of, stimulating this neuron with our electrode would, at this scale, undeniably trigger an action potential that would travel down the neuron's axon and meet up with the voltage meter, at which point, we should see a sudden spike. This is what we would expect according the laws of biology, of chemistry, of electrodynamics, and all other fields of science involved. Unless QC is correct, quantum non-determinism

Action Potential

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doesn't play into these things at the scale under consideration. Therefore, to observe the kinds of probabilistic results QC predicts, where the voltage meter would spike only part of the time, we would be witness to the violation of these laws. Are we sure enough to make such a bold prediction? Keep in mind, however, that to call such an outcome a "violation" may be a bit harsh. We did question earlier whether the so-called "laws of nature" are more relics of an absolutist way of thinking, and that nature really doesn't deal in such immutable rules - or at least, that nature plays by her own rules and is not concerned with equipping us with the right kinds of intellectual faculties to understand what those rules are. Nonetheless, the prediction is very risky. It is unlike most predictions that follow from quantum theory since it sets the arena in which they can be tested on a macroscopic level. But then again, this is not unheard of. The double-slit experiment, for example, demonstrates quantum effects on a level for all to see with the naked eye (the interference pattern). So this prediction is far from unorthodox - it's just extremely bold. And what if QC doesn't turn out to be true? What if, after conducting a battery of experiments like the ones mentioned above, we find very little support for the theory? Would we then have to revert back to a deterministic view of the brain? Of course, we couldn't revert back too far down the scale of size before we hit the wall of quantum mechanics. We may not see neurons in superposition states, but we can always count on subatomic particles existing in superposition states, particles that make up those very neurons, which in turn make up the brain. In short, there is always some stirrings of quantum phenomena deep in the bowls of the brain. Therefore, the question becomes: can we still salvage free-will by appeal to these quantum phenomena, regardless of how infinitesimal? The trouble with this is that any attempt to equate free-will with the non-determinism at nanoscopic scales could never account for the kind of freedom we attribute to the overt behavior of macroscopic animals like ourselves. We attribute the will to choices that can be so potent in overcoming the odds that it amounts to nothing other than a violation of the laws of nature as they would otherwise assert themselves in our brains. For example, a volunteer fire fighter who, in virtue of his own human nature, fears death as profoundly as anyone else musters the courage and the will to risk his life in order to save a helpless child trapped inside a burning building. If we are attributing such acts of bravery, or any act of defiance against our more natural impulses and propensities, to free-will, then what we are saying, in effect, is that we are going against what the brain, in virtue of the electrical, chemical, and other mechanical forces active therein, would naturally drive us to do. In other words, we are defying the laws of nature at the level of neurons. QC could account for this easily by supposing that these neurons exist in superposition states, but we are considering, at the moment, whether an account for free-will could still be given should neurons never display superposition states. The only things displaying superposition in this scenario are entities no greater in size than the subatomic particles of the brain. It doesn't seem plausible at all to suppose that the states in which these things collapse could have any noticeable effect on things the size of neurons, nor, in turn, on human behavior. This is why I consider the hypothetical voltage meter experiment described above to be the key test for advancing or discrediting Hameroff's theory.

Quantum Consciousness and Classical Neurology
So we wouldn't be able to credit free-will for every one of our actions, not even those for which no conceivable causal force can be identified from a subjective point of view. But perhaps there is still a way by which we can explain the feeling of freedom by appeal to the authentic freedom to choose our experiences down in the quantum world. That is, if QC is wrong, but we cannot dismiss the non-determinism of quantum phenomena as they exist at a subatomic scale in our brains, then maybe we can still posit free-will at that level, and the experience of freedom may actually resonate to higher levels. In short, we feel the freedom of quantum events despite the fact that we can't attribute that freedom to our actions. To understand this a little more clearly, let's toy with an analogy. Suppose that we had a swimming pool full of bubblegum balls. Some are red and some are yellow. If you scoop out a handful of these gum balls, you will definitely see distinct instances of them you will be able to tell, easily, which are red and which are yellow. Now suppose you climbed to the top of a ten story building and looked down at the pool. Would you still be able to discern the red ones from the yellow ones? Of course not. They are too far away, and all you will see is a blur of orange. However, the fact that it's orange you see - not red and not yellow - means that you are, in fact, seeing both colors. You are seeing the red ones and you are seeing the yellow ones - you just can't distinguish between them.

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In a similar way, perhaps the sense of freedom we feel comes directly from the actual freedom of the superposition states of subatomic particles in our brains to collapse into whatever states they choose. Rather than "seeing" this freedom, like we see the red and yellow gum balls from afar, we feel it. But like the gum balls, we can't identify any one particular instance of freedom - we can't refer to any one quantum event as a demonstration of the fact that we are indeed free. But the brain is fraught with these events - everything is. It fills our brains, and all of nature, like water to a sponge. Therefore, it would make perfect sense to suppose that the freedom of events undergoing quantum collapse is equally saturated in our brains. The degree of freedom we feel would be proportional to the ratio between those events in our brains, at the quantum scale, whose outcomes could be said to be relatively certain and those that are relatively probable (much like the ratio of red gum balls to yellow ones). This is meant to account for the feeling of freedom; not the actual having of freedom. That is, this freedom remains at the quantum level, and at the macroscopic level of everyday life, our behavior is, for all intents and purposes, still deterministic. We do what we do in accordance with standard neurological principles. Neurons send signals to other neurons and chemicals mediate these signals, and the brain's overall activity is regulated. Likewise, these same neural and chemical processes control all our muscles and other bodily functions, keeping our behavior in line at all times. But all the while, we perpetually experience freedom behind all these events. In a sense, it is behind these events - all these relatively deterministic events are built on top of the quantum world - they are built on freedom. But whatever the fate of QC - whether it is bound to survive all the tests awaiting it or doomed to fail - its legacy will remain. That legacy is the uniting of quantum non-determinism with free-will. If QC survives, this union can be expressed at the level of neurons. If QC perishes, however, the union still holds, but only at the level of subatomic particles. So in either case, Hameroff and Penrose give us a conceptual alternative to the simple randomness of collapse that occurs when superposition states decohere. Instead of speaking in terms of randomness, we can use the lingo of free-will. We would say that as the realness in a given experience dilutes itself throughout a range of meaning, the experience, as a conscious being, gains more freedom to choose what it wants to be. That is, it eventually makes a decision on which of the possible meanings it wants to ground its realness in. And when this happens, it becomes more prominently real as the precise quale it has chosen for itself, and thus it becomes necessarily that quale. Of course, it is a poor use of words to say that it chooses what it "wants" to be. It experiences no desire, no preference for one specific meaning or another. Desire is another experience unto itself, and it would be absurd to suppose that a "want" could be infused into what is already a particular experience of some other kind. Besides, to choose according to one's desires is not as free as a choice made completely uninfluenced by anything - that is, desire is more often than not a determining force that one usually finds hard to resist. A choice made out of pure and utter freedom is a choice that mimics randomness. Yet, as we have seen with the principle of The Chaos of Randomness, it cannot really be random. Hameroff himself concedes this as he argues that free-will is not determined, yet not random - it's something else. This is why we have opted for the term "non-deterministic". The experience that chooses what it "wants" to be has some other means by which it chooses, and this means is, for all intents and purposes, unimaginable. Be that as it may, it does sooth the curious mind to consider free-will as an alternative to randomness. At least free-will is familiar, and although we may not understand what it is or how it works, it does give us that sense of rapport with whatever has it. So instead of these bizarre and mysterious seemingly random events that go on at the quantum level, we come to perceive events that are simply choosing their own outcome. The non-determinism is still as elusive to our understanding as ever, but it just seems so much simpler from this point of view. Of course, the union of free-will with quantum non-determinism may be wrong all together, in which case we'd have to reluctantly settle for virtual randomness in what inherits, from the range of meaning, all the realness from the whole range, and as we've seen, this is not so bad for MM-Theory so long as we view realness as varying along a gradient. Nonetheless, if ever there were a place for free-will in a theory of the universe - whether based on physics or a subjectivist theory like ours - the quantum world would be it.

The Chaos of Randomness

Participation in The Universal Will
Now let's depart from the world of the nanoscopic and set our sights on the cosmic. In this final section, we make our last attempt at reconciling free-will with determinism. Once again, we return to a classical view of determinism whereby it is free-will that must yield. However, our approach this time will permit both the freedom of the will and the inviolability of determinism to coexist in the same model. So what yields? It is still free-will, but it's not the freedom of the will that yields; rather, it is who, or what, has it. What we will

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suggest is that free-will may very well be real in an utterly deterministic universe if it belongs to none other than the universe itself, and although we make much use of this will, it is only in virtue of our mutual participation in the universe that we do so. We are not detached from the universe, although we fancy ourselves as independent, autonomous beings. We are every bit a part of the universe as all the mountains, waters, skies, and all the planets, stars, galaxies, and every little grain of sand, molecule, and fundamental particle. When we act, it is the universe acting. This is not the universe defying our freedom; it is our oneness with the universe that preserves our freedom, for even our freedom is one with that belonging to the universe. This is the idea that we will articulate in much more detail, and with much needed clarity, throughout the rest of this section. To begin with, we ought to accept the onus of defending the claim that a universe that is fully determined can possess any sort of freedom to choose. After all, the notion that often conjures up in one's mind when he/she hears of freedom is that of thwarting any sort of rules that may bear down upon the one exercising that freedom. So if the laws of nature that play out in my brain, left to their own devices, would determine my every action, the notion that I am free entails that I am capable of preempting these laws and imposing my own chosen course of action in their place. Why should it be any different for the entire universe? If it had any freedom, it should be able to suspend its own laws, and every now and then, we should be witness to such instances. Even if we suppose that this does occur, whether or not witnesses are ever there to record it, we will get nowhere in arguing for a clean reconciliation of free-will with determinism, since in that case, determinism has clearly yielded. Even if it never broke its own laws, the simple fact that it can - that the potential is there - invalidates any consistent definition of determinism. So we will not argue along that line. We must meet the onus we carry by justifying the authenticity of free-will, as it is owned by the universe, without touching its exhaustively deterministic character at all.

The Freedom of The Universe
The first step towards a solution is to ask what it means for something to be determined. Let's call that which is determined d and that which determines D. So, for example, a lit match D determines the state of a puddle of gasoline d, when it is drop into it, to be on fire. What it means for d to be determined is simply for D to exist. More formally, D is something outside of d - or more simply, D is not d. That is to say, something is determined when there are other forces outside of it that have the determining influence necessary to qualify that something as determined. There are several ways in which D can be separated from d, two of which are spatial and temporal. Spatial separation is simple: D impinges on d form the outside. A strong wind can push me over, for example. In the temporal sense of separation, when D exists in a certain state or carries out a certain action, that state or action can have determining effects on the future states or actions of D, which, at that time, can be called d. That is to say, if we consider D and d to share a continuous identity through time, where D is an earlier instance of d, then surely D can determine d. My consuming three cups of coffee in the present, for example, will determine my wakeful and restless night later on. Besides spatial and temporal separation, there is also conceptual separation whereby the identities of two conceptual objects, or mental models, are seen as distinct. In the equation a 2 + b2 = c2, for example, the variables a, b, and c are recognized as separate entities. That is, we conceive of a or b being not the same variable as c. They are "outside" c, as it were. Yet they coexist with c, as the sides of a right triangle coexist with its hypotenuse, and determine c's numerical value. Conceptual separation, along with the spatial and temporal kinds, are what permit entities to determine, and be determined by, each other. In brief, for something to be determined, there has to be something other to do the determining, something over which the determined has no power.

Mental Models

Principle: The Relation Between The Determining and The Determined An entity or event d is determined if, and only if, another entity or event D, which is spatially, temporally, or conceptually separate from d, determines d.
The universe is a place in which all particular things therein are subject to the influence of all other things. Nothing really exists in isolation. Even in the void of empty space, there are many influences at work, such as gravitational fields that originate from all other material bodies, or the cosmic microwave background radiation - a low-energy "bath" of microwaves that permeate all of space and are left over from the Big

The Cosmic Microwave

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Background Radiation

Experience

Bang - or the light from distant stars that exist in every direction. Even when we consider the universe as a network of experiences connected by entailment, we get the idea that no one experience in particular is free from the influence of those experiences that preceded it. Therefore, the only thing that has a chance of being free from any determining influences is that for which there is nothing else in existence - the universe itself. But, of course, as we pointed out above, an object, even if it could be isolated from all other things, would still be under the influence of its past states and actions. The universe is no freer from its own past states and actions than an ordinary object. Therefore, we must consider the universe, not only in its present state, but also in all the states it was ever in and all the states it will ever go through. Only in that broad a scope can we honestly say that the universe is free from any determining forces.

Entailment

What we are considering, then, is the form the universe takes as it exists beyond time and space, the universe as one timeless, spaceless thing - the only thing. Such a thing cannot be influenced by anything exterior to it, nor can it be influenced by itself, for any of its past states that would otherwise determine its present state are already incorporated into what, in the utmost essential sense, it is that we are considering. Such a thing is free.

Principle: The Non-Deterministic Status of The Universe When the universe is considered in its entirety and in all its states throughout the whole of time, it becomes a spaceless and timeless entity in relation to which nothing else exists. It follows, therefore, from the principle of The Relation Between The Determining and The Determined that, when considered in this state, the universe is not determined by anything - it is non-deterministic.
Does it have free-will? After all, to be free from outside determining forces is one thing, but to actually have a will is another. To be sure, it is a consciousness. We are still proponents of MM-Theory, and so we attribute conscious experience to the universe at all levels and under all perspectives. We will consider what the ultimate experience must be like for a universe that is all and everything, and which takes some unimaginable form beyond time and space, in our paper The Universe and "God". Without elaborating on this too extensively, we will essentially argue that the "universal experience", so to speak, is such that it entails itself - that is, it is a self-reinforcing and self-justifying experience. And in a spaceless and timeless context a context in which the upholding of the universe's existence can be attributed to nothing but itself - we can easily construe its freedom as a genuine will by appeal to the compatibilist framework outlined above, which tells us that a will is such when its actions issue from the self. Of course, the compatibilist account works only insofar as we wish to construe it as a will, but insofar as we wish to construe it as genuine freedom, the account given here is quite the opposite; the freedom of compatibilism depends on a deterministic framework - one cannot be in control unless one is controlled, we said - but the freedom considered here is true freedom from any determining forces. So it is a will in the compatibilist sense, but it is free in the fullest sense of the word "freedom". But even in appealing to compatibilism, there is a problem. What would there be for it to exert its will upon? There would be nothing, not even itself. For a being to exert its will upon itself, or anything for that matter, it needs an expanded interval of time through which the exercising of this will can develop. In every act of will, there is first the intention, then the act, and finally the consequence. These occur in a temporal order. But without an expansion of time, acts of will cannot develop in this way. So even if it had a will, it seems difficult to fathom that it could be put to any use, in which case, it seems doubtful that there is any sense in which it could really be free.

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In fact, having said this, it almost seems as though we ought to revert back to a deterministic description. The universe, from this perspective, is one thing. There is nothing else in existence and there is nothing else throughout the course of time. Whatever else there could be, it is this. Therefore, the universe is determined simply to be what it is. It cannot change. Is this the state of a being we would call free? It gets tricky at this point because it seems we are positing another condition for determinism - namely, identity. That is, whereas earlier we concluded that for something to be determined, there must be something beyond that thing, something other, to do the determining. Here, we are, in a sense, retracting that idea in light of the determining power of the very identity of a thing. We are saying that a thing is determined to be exactly what it is because it simply can't be what it's not. A thing determines itself, in other words. The problem with this form of determinism, however, is that it doesn't actually exclude free-will. Suppose, for example, that I chose to read a book. I chose to do this freely. The fact of the matter is, however, that once I've chosen to do this, I am, without question, reading a book. That is, the identity of the act I am now engaged in is none other than "reading a book". This is what it is, and it cannot be anything else. Am I to say, then, that I am determined to read my book - that I had no choice? Obviously not. There is, of course, a sense in which this act is determined - it necessarily is what it is - but this is not the kind of determinism that butts heads with free-will. It is perfectly compatible. For each and every act of will, there is a determinism of identity in both the act and the consequences of the act. In fact, the determinism of identity is very often established by an act of will - the book reading scenario is a case in point. Through the power of our will, we can determine the identity of things. By the same token, we can determine our own identities - that is, we can determine the states and predispositions we put ourselves in. This, of course, still plays out through time, where an act of will the moment before one's state or predisposition is determined is followed by that same determination. The question, therefore, is: could a being will its own state - that is, it's own identity - in a timeless context? What I propose is that the timeless and spaceless form the universe takes in its entirety may actually be the only arena in which determinism and free-will finally come to reconciliation. It is only from this vantage point that we get a glimpse of how the two are actually different - maybe opposite - forms of the same thing. How so? We have just seen how the determinism of identity is perfectly consistent with free-will. Why is this? Because the identity of an act, state, consequence, entity created from an act, or anything else that comes by way of free-will is determined by the act of will. My will to make a pizza determines my dinner to actually be pizza. So what could determine the identity of the universe beyond space and time in its totality? Could the universe will for itself its own identity? And in doing so, would it not then be determined to have that identity and at the same time have chosen it freely and still be free? This certainly sounds paradoxical - to be determined and free at the same time - but keep in mind the timeless state we are considering here. The paradox comes about primarily because we are used to imagining acts of will as they manifest through time. For example, when I eat the pizza I made myself for dinner, I willingly change my state from one of hunger to one of satiation. Once satiated, however, I can do nothing about it. I cannot choose to undo the act of eating, thereby reverting my state back to one of hunger (I suppose I could regurgitate it all, but this would do nothing to change my past actions. Whatever is past is carved in stone). But for the universe, in its timeless state, whatever act of will it carries out on itself has the intended consequence, yet at the same time, the act is never done with. That is, since these acts are carried out in a timeless context, there is no "before" to allocate the willful act, nor is there an "after" for the consequence. They both occur "at the same time" (technically, this is a poor choice of words since the "same time" denotes a point in time for two or more events to coincide. We should really think of the act and the consequence simply as having no chronological order with respect to each other). Therefore, the act of will is always present, coinciding with the consequence it brings. There is no point when it is "too late". The universe never enters a state in which the act of will that brought it into that state is done and over with. It is always in the midst of choosing its own identity, always choosing for itself to be what it is. Thus it is, at once, determined by itself, and freely determining itself. But what exactly is the identity it chooses for itself? Whatever it is, it could not be something that goes through changes. That is, the universe could not choose for itself to be one thing at one moment, and then something different the next. Whatever it chooses, it can only be this. The reason is obviously that we are still speaking within the same timeless context, a context where change is impossible. So then what is this one thing that the universe, once and for all, ultimately is? Well, let's just say it is the will to exist. Our reasons for saying this will be more clear after reading the paper The Universe and "God" where, after giving an account of what the experience of being the universe is like, we will see that this is the only thing the universe can be in terms of free-will (if we want to attribute free-will to it). Understand this correctly. The will of the universe is not so much to exist, but to be existence. And what is existence other than the ultimate experience we will explore in The Universe and "God"? That is, what is this experience in terms of

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free-will? Well, if the universe can be only one thing, then it must be its own will. That is, it wills itself to be this very will. It is a fully effective self-reinforcing will. Now, this idea may not be clear without reading The Universe and "God". It is not clear how a universe that is essentially a network of experiences could culminate in a great will. Rest assured, however, that an equivalence can be shown between such a will and the experience that the universe ultimately is, an experience that breaks down into the more particular experiences we know of and those corresponding to every other particular physical system in existence. We already mentioned how this equivalence holds for the compatibilist account of free-will (almost anything can be said to have free-will according to compatibilism, so long as it is bestowed with consciousness), and it also holds for the subjectivist perspective we entertained above, the perspective by which causes map onto reasons and justifications. The latter perspective requires a bit more of an in depth understanding insofar as the nature of the universe's "justification" for its choice is concerned, a term we will define more thoroughly in The Universe and "God". This term is more or less synonymous with the more informal terms "reason" and "justification" we employed when describing the subjective perspective above, and for all intents and purposes we can think of the universe's justification for willing its own existence in a similar way. The universal experience, in other words, justifies itself. The bridge that links this experience to a universal will won't be explicitly laid out, but so long as the reader keeps the compatibilist and subjective perspectives in mind, this bridge can be built without much confusion.

Expanding The Universe - Again
The only question that remains is how this great will can be brought down to the level of human beings and other sentient creatures who seem to possess some measure of freedom. In customizing a particular definition of "equivalence" in the paper The Universe and "God", we will be able to say that certain experiences are equivalent to others in terms of their meaning. More specifically, the meaning in one whole experience is equivalent to the sum total of the meanings in all its component experiences. What do we mean by a "component experience"? Take, as an example, the experience of seeing a tree. The visual beholding of the tree is one whole experience. Its component experiences are the visual beholding of its leaves, its branches and trunk, the color of the leaves, their swaying in the wind, and so on. In other words, whatever components turn up when we do a reductive analysis of a given experience is what we mean by "component experiences". We say that the meaning of the whole is equivalent to the meaning of the sum of the parts. Meaning is much like a mathematical equation in that it has no physical parts, and it doesn't exist "out there", but it is information and it conveys its content to a beholder. Equivalence is, therefore, like the relation between the right and left sides of an equation. Take, for example, the following:

1 = 0.5 + 0.5 = 0.25 + 0.25 + 0.25 + 0.25 = ...
The meaning in any one full expression is equivalent to the meaning in any other - they are all 1. You can imagine the expression '1' represents the experience of the full universe beyond space and time. The expression '0.5 + 0.5', therefore, represents the experiences corresponding to the universe as it is broken down into two arbitrary parts (everything to the left of the Sun and everything to the right ). It is completely arbitrary whether or not these parts are perfectly equal (if they were not, an expression like '0.1 + 0.9' might suffice). It is also arbitrary whether or not we divide the universe into two parts as opposed to three or four or a trillion. Whatever the case, we can be assured that however we carve up the universe, the parts we yield will correspond to experiences of some kind, the summation of which will be equivalent to the experience of the universe as a whole. It's no different from physical reductionism - whatever parts we discern in a physical system are indeed there and do, in fact, make up the whole system. So we can do this sort of reduction down to the level of human beings and other sentient creatures. What, then, can we say about the freedom that belongs to the will of the universe? When we split the universal experience up into its parts, what happens to free-will? The will remains in each and every part. A cloud, for example, when it rains, wills itself to rain. In terms of its own experiences, we would say that it wills itself to entail those experiences that correspond to the process of condensation and rain. But here we have a problem. As soon as we split the universe into its parts, we are forced back into a deterministic paradigm. The cloud cannot escape the laws that underlie the process of condensation. When the right conditions for rain are met, the cloud has no choice but to condensate. So how is it free? It is free because, although it is a component of the universe, it is still one with the universe. That is, rather than think of the cloud as an entity separated from the rest of the universe, we should understand the more accurate view that it is an extension of the universe, much like my hand is an extension of myself and so its actions are really my

Entailment

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own. Therefore, whatever act it carries out (such as condensation), this is really the universe acting. But is this enough to say that the universe is acting freely? Could the universe have done otherwise if it so chose? If it could, we could hardly say that the cloud's condensation is a law of nature. At this point, we can say that whatever particular events or phenomena we consider, when taken together with the rest of the universe throughout all of time, it constitutes a component of the universal will to exist. Therefore, these particular events and phenomena are just what necessarily must be in order for the universe, as a whole, to maintain its existence. In other words, the reason the cloud condenses and forms rain is because this is what must happen in order to preserve its identity to the timeless, spaceless, static form of the universe. The universe simply is these events and phenomena - at least partially. So what we can say about the role that free-will plays is that the will to exist is equivalent to the will to make the cloud rain coupled with the will to make everything else happen in the universe throughout all of time. The universe wills it all. It doesn't will each event and phenomenon individually - as though it could decide that one such event or phenomenon will adhere to natural laws whereas another won't. It makes one choice for everything and for all time. The choice to exist just is the choice for there to be inviolable laws governing all particular events and phenomena. The universe is not bound to the laws of nature. It wills the laws of nature to exist, and it is only in virtue of our expanding the universe through time and space (i.e. the way our minds perceive it) that we see these laws occurring uniformly throughout space and repeating throughout time. What we are seeing, in effect, is a reminder that the universe is a place in which, under the right conditions, clouds will condensate and rain. The universe chooses for itself to be exactly this, and so every instance of a law of nature is a spatially and temporally expanded expression of its choice and its identity. One could say that the laws of nature are what preserve the identity of the universe. Take a rubber ball, for example. When thrown at a hard surface, it will bounce - a perfect example of a natural law. The reason why it bounces is because the universe that exists at the moment one throws the ball must be linked to the same timeless universe as that linked to the universe of the next moment, namely when the ball bounces. Although at each instant, we are considering the universe only in that slice of time, it still maintains a necessary connection to the universe as a whole - the universe in its timeless state. And because the universe at each instant maintains an identity with the same whole, there are going to be necessary conditions that hold for each instant. In this particular example, the condition is that if a rubber ball is thrown at a hard surface in one instant, in the next instant the ball must bounce off that surface. That is, the only way the universe at each instant can be the same universe is if this condition holds. Again, this can be represented by an equation. Consider the following:

y = bx + c
If we want to do something to one side of the equation - anything - we would have to do the same to the other side. For example, if we wanted to subtract c from the right side, we would have to subtract c from the left side as well. We would get:

y - c = bx
As a representation of natural laws, what this says is that when something is done to the universe in one instant, something equivalent must be done to the universe in the next instant. If not, it becomes "imbalanced" so to speak. The universe in one instant would lose its identity with the universe in the next instant, like the left side of the equation would lose its identity with the right side. If they lose their identity to each other, they lose their identity to the whole. So when one heats a pot of water, it boils. Boiling is the event that compensates for the imbalance caused by the change in water temperature. When a solid is thrown into a bucket of liquid, the liquid rises. Rising is the event that compensates for the imbalance caused by the solid being thrown into the liquid. When sodium and chlorine are mixed together, a chemical reaction will be triggered, and salt will be produced. The production of salt is the event that compensates for the imbalance caused by adding sodium and chlorine together. In all these cases, the "imbalance" refers to the state of the universe, starting at one instant in time, going through some kind of change, and thereby altering its identity. Since the universe's identity can't really change, a compensating event must

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coincide with the change in question such that the changed state of the universe, coupled with that compensating event, is equivalent to the universe as it was before this change. What can be said about the cloud can be said about human beings as well. Every one of our acts are executed freely, and the will behind it can be ultimately traced back to the universe itself. Yet, this is not to say that this will is not ours. It is not as though our freedom is illusory, and that it is really the universe that is free. The freedom we feel really is the same freedom the universe indulges in, except that in our case, it coincides with a spatially and temporally expanded existence. What ultimately is being willed, by the universe and us, is the continued existence of everything, of reality. This is where the schism lies, however. That is, in order for our will to be united with that of the universe, exactly the same ends must be pursued. If the end towards which the universe channels its will is its own existence, our will must also work towards this end. But it never feels like this, not once (not in my lifetime in any case). When I exercise my will, it might be for a whole slew of reasons. I might be interested in repairing my car, in tending to my lawn, in going out to rent a movie, to grab a snack, to call up a friend, or whatever my heart desires. It certainly isn't to maintain the reality I find myself in - I assume reality takes care of that itself. So how do we mend this schism? What we have touched on here is a disparity of objectives. That is, it is not a disparity between our individual wills and that of the universe, but between the objectives being worked towards in the exercise of this will. While the universe's objective is to sustain its own existence, my objective may be to, say, make a ham and cheese sandwich. The disparity becomes evident upon expanding the timeless and spaceless form of the universe back into its time-bound and space-bound form. When that happens, we get distinct physical systems (or experiences) going through distinct stages of whatever activity or process they are undergoing. One must remember that all these distinct systems and distinct stages all contribute in their own unique - and necessary - way to the ultimate identity of the universe. In willing itself to exist, the universe wills this identity for itself. It wills itself to be this identity. It therefore wills itself to be each and every distinct system and distinct stage of every process, even the making of a ham and cheese sandwich by my own hands. My objective in making this sandwich is a necessary stage in the happenings of the universe as a whole, and the sandwich is a necessary object that adds to the full identity of what the universe is. In other words, my objective is a small, but necessary, step in meeting the greater objective of the universe, much like adding the cheese is a necessary step in making the sandwich. We only get a glimpse of these smaller steps when we expand the universe into time and space. When we expand the universe in this way, the main objective of the universe's will, the end goal, is no longer a neatly encapsulated whole. It is no longer "one thing"; it is a series of steps, each involving a number of distinct systems that must be followed through with in order to meet the grand objective of a sustained existence. The universe is a place in which, at a specific time, in a particular house, I will make a ham and cheese sandwich. If this is what the universe wills itself to be, even if only in part, it must will for me to make the ham and cheese sandwich. And if it takes a specific component of itself to do this, namely myself, then it will be this component that carries out this very particular step. The will of the universe will be there in the act, felt by the component, and since the particular objective of making the sandwich is a necessary step, this will actually be the focus of the component's attention. In what other way could this step be realized? I, as the one component fit to carry out this task, must see it as my own personal objective. In no other way could I carry out this task freely. Obviously, I am not assigned this task. It's not as though my aim is to do my part in sustaining the existence of the universe. I have no idea that the universe has a greater objective in mind than my trivial goal to make a sandwich. What this reflects is more the experience that motivates my will, and the epistemic unconsciousness of whatever other motives precede and proceed my own actions. So I suffer from a sort of shortsightedness with respect to the universe. I see only my own goals. This doesn't prevent my goal from being an infinitesimal step in a larger agenda, however. Although I have no epistemic awareness of any of

Epistemic Unconsciousness

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Epistemic Awareness

the universe's other goals, the universe does know about my goals in virtue of the fact that my experiences are also the universe's experiences, and the knowledge of my own goals is also known by the universe. Once I accomplish my goals, I leave the universe in a particular state that continues to go through flux and evolves by the hands of something other than myself. This flux is the process by which antecedent objectives are met, and the hands that guide it belong, not to me, but to the rest of the universe. It is the next step towards meeting the grand objective of existence. The universe continues to experience the motives behind this endeavor, just as it did the experiences guiding me towards my objective, but since these experiences are not mine, I fail to recognize their connection to the objective of my own personal will. I fail to see how it, along with my own objectives, are but minute steps in a greater process. It is almost as though part of the plan the universe has in mind for sustaining its own existence is the creation of individuated beings - namely, humans - that can experience their own objectives as being theirs personally. It creates these beings out of itself - that is, in terms of the material substances that make up their bodies and the experiences that make up their minds, the universe draws these resources from itself. And even after having created them, they continue to maintain their oneness with the universe, even though they may feel individuated, for the universe never really severs them from itself (much like how the creation of an idea or a thought doesn't sever that idea or thought from our minds). So it's almost as if the universe decided to split itself up into a multitude of individuals, each with their own objectives and life agendas, such that the fruits they bear will ultimately contribute to the universal goal. These objectives and agendas are really set out, from the very beginning, by the universe itself, and when we carry them out as individuals, we are really the universe carrying them out, temporarily oblivious to the fact that we are the universe and that part the process in meeting the grand objective is to create this oblivion, an oblivion that was setup from the start to last only until our deaths after which time the state of our minds would return to what they were before our birth - a remembering of our oneness with the universe. At least, it is as if this was what the universe had in mind.

Principle: Disparity of Objectives Although we and the universe participate in the same will, there is a disparity between our objectives. The objective of the universe is simply to exist, whereas our objectives could be a myriad of different things but existence is not one of them. Whatever our objectives, they are also the universe's objectives and they form the necessary steps towards meeting the objective of existence.
So although the universe partakes in our objectives, these are not the highest objectives the universe has at stake. For the universe, the highest objective is existence. For us, the highest objectives span no longer than a lifetime. So although our highest objectives are different, the will that sees them through is the same. Our will to meet our objectives is the same will that the universe puts towards meeting its objective of existing. At no matter what level of the universe we are focused on, and no matter where or when, whatever happens there is motivated by the same will as everywhere else. It is one will that permeates everything and for all time, and we humans participate in it. This explains a little more than the feeling of freedom; the freedom we feel is real - it really is free-will that we have, that works behind our every action. It really does belong to us too - the universe shares its will with everything within itself. The only difference is the objective we foresee. Even then, the objectives are always shared between us and the universe, but we, in our limited role, can't see passed those objectives that concern only our lives, and so for us, it is the highest objectives we can aspire to that mark the difference between us and the universe.

Some Objections
A few objections I anticipate from some readers are: 1) This may be all well and good for reconciling strict determinism with free-will, but the fact of the matter is the universe is not deterministic, as the section Quantum Theory above makes clear. Determinism is required for a spatially and temporally expanded universe to maintain an identity with its spaceless and timeless form - namely, the will to exist. How could it will its own existence if the world, at the quantum level, is non-deterministic? 2) For the most part, when we

Flow

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work towards our objectives, we succeed. But this is obviously not always the case. We sometimes fail. Wouldn't this constitute the universe failing? If our objectives are shared with the universe, then our failure must count as the failure of the universe. And if our objectives are a crucial step towards the greater objective of maintaining existence, then a failure on the part of the universe to accomplish any one of these objectives would culminate in the demise of its own existence. This certainly can't be the case. 3) To have an objective is to foresee it - that is, it is to have a plan, a goal. If we didn't know what we wanted or what we were aiming to achieve, how could there be any objective? Yet, planning, which requires thought, memory, knowledge, and other forms of cogitation, is a human activity. Therefore, it would be difficult for anything that cannot think to have an objective. What is the meaning, therefore, of the universe having an objective? Surely, the great majority of experiences therein are not human, let alone cognitive. How can the universe have a "plan"? 4) This account of free-will may be a bit too radical. If free-will is behind each and every act, anywhere and anytime in the universe, then each and every one of our experiences should feel free to flow in whichever direction it chooses. But then why are some experiences, like sensations and, to an extent, emotions, beyond our control? I can't choose to feel cold as hot, for example. But if the will of the universe is in that sensation, driving its dynamics, then should it not come along with a sense of control? These are fair objections, and we shall close this section by answering them all. The first objection has a simple reply. We've already resolved the problem of quantum non-determinism in the universe, and the solution we invested in works for this objection as well. When quantum non-determinism arises, we know that the phenomena that exhibit this non-determinism are not fully real. They are unreal in proportion to the extent that the phenomena in question are non-deterministic. Therefore, any non-determinism at the quantum level may be accounted for by the same degree of imperfection in the universe's will to exist. That is, the universe's will to exist may be immensely powerful, but it is not necessarily absolute. It may just be that the universe's will is only 99.99% effective (or thereabouts), in which case, it doesn't quite meet a full and absolute ontology. It is only 99.99% real. The 0.01% shortcoming is reflected in the non-determinism of the quantum world. The objection concerning the failure of one's objective is equally simple to confront. It is true that we often fail in our objectives, and it is therefore the universe failing as well, but this hardly makes a dent in the larger objectives the universe is pursuing. In fact, if we failed, it can only be due to other entities and processes in the universe that we have come up against, entities and processes that are also driven by the will of the universe. In other words, the universe deliberately thwarted our objectives - its own objectives. What does this mean? It means that in light of the greatest objectives the universe has in mind, it must be crucial that some of the lesser objectives be stifled. But why? Well, simply because it is sometimes the pursuit of such objectives that matters, not their satisfaction. That is, it must be that the universe, in creating us to pursue certain objectives, and in creating the situations that instigate such pursuits, has in mind only for us to strive for those objectives, not to meet them. It must be that such striving is what matters, along with the consequences of meeting up with the obstacles that ultimately lead us to failure. In that process, the will to achieve our objectives is authentic with both ourselves and the universe fully meaning for headway towards the objective to be made. As for the third objection - that there must be a plan behind every objective - the fact of the matter is, there are a myriad of ways to exercise one's will without crafting a plan beforehand. For example, when the phone rings, I, out of habit, immediately pick it up without thought. Yet I am doing it freely and willfully. I could just as easily refrain from answering the phone as I could any other simple act. Other examples include acts of a more emotional nature, such as picking up a phone to call someone dear to me whom I miss. This doesn't require a lot of forethought or meticulous strategizing; it is most often done in the spur of the moment. The sole driving force behind this sort of act is a desire, a want. I do it because I want to, and I am free to carry through with it or withdraw from it. In all these cases, there is a clear objective, an end towards which I am moving freely and with little, if any, invested planning. Why should we assume, therefore, that the universe, driven by its kaleidoscope of experiences, has any need for cogitation, or anything resembling it, in order to have a will that seeks to satisfy an objective? Although this reply meets the challenge of the third objection, let's develop it further. In so doing, we shall gain some insight into how we might confront the fourth and final objection (that some experiences don't seem willed at all). The examples mentioned above - impulsively picking up a ringing phone and calling a friend out of emotion - can be difficult to resist. When we don't fight them, the experience feels willed. When we do fight them, however, it feels as though our will belongs to the act of resistance, and that the emotions or impulses being fought have a driving force all their own - not a will that belongs to us, but a force almost akin to nature herself. That is to say, it is those occasions when we try to fight against our emotional drives and impulses that it feels as though those emotions and impulses are actually the deterministic forces within us,

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challenging the strength of our will. It is in those moments, when we attribute the failure to tame our emotions and impulses to their overbearing power, that we claim we couldn't help it, that we had no choice. This isn't what it seems, however. It is not that our emotions and other impulses have been stripped of their will, but that there is a clashing of wills within the same psyche. The will to do as we please, to satisfy our emotions, is still alive and well - in fact, evinced by the difficulty in resisting them. But our attempts to resist them constitute a second will, one driven more by reason and principle - or even by another emotion. So there is no need to classify such contending mental forces as deterministic in nature, or at least, in this case, as without the freedom of their will. Every mental force counts as a freely flowing agent with its own objective that may or may not clash with other objectives being pursued by other mental forces. This accounts for experiences that we feel drive what we do, such as emotions and learnt or instinctual impulses, but a little more needs to be said in order to account for experiences like sensations. Sensations may indeed drive us sometimes, but they don't seem willed in the least. Putting this another way, we may be able to describe emotional struggles as one will battling against another, both belonging to one individual, because there is a sense in which both objectives - that of our emotions and that of our counter-emotional intentions - are ours. The objective of our counteremotional intentions is clearly ours because it is we who are pitting ourselves against our emotional inclinations, yet at the same time, it is we who want what our emotions strive for, and we who would otherwise take what our emotions strive for if it wasn't for our better judgment. But in the case of sensations, this doesn't seem to work both ways. That is, it may work in the one way - namely, in that we can strive to alter our sensations (seldom with any success) - but in the other way - in that we strive to maintain our sensations as they are presented to us - it doesn't make much sense. That is, it doesn't seem to describe what sensations feel like to say that it is we who are willing them to be what they present themselves to be. When I prick myself with a needle, I rarely describe the experience as my deciding to feel pain. I am more inclined to say that I can't help but to feel pain. In other words, sensations don't feel like a product of our will. We can certainly fight against them, unleashing all the power of our will to alter and deform them, but very rarely do we ever succeed. This may be enough to show that we have a will separate from that of our sensations, but the insurmountable challenge of willing our sensations to change seems to reflect a rigid and unchangeable essence, something more indicative of a will-less determinism. Do sensations, therefore, count as experiences without a will? No, they don't count as experiences without a will, not under the current considerations at least (namely, the idea that all will comes from the same universal source and is infused within all its parts). It simply means that sensations mark the boundary between what is truly "us", or the individual, and the rest of the universe. Another way of saying this is that sensations are the experiences given to us by the universe in their untampered form - untampered by us, that is. It is only when we interpret and process the information imbedded in our sensations that our will gains an ever stronger hold on them, and the freedom to do as we want with them becomes ours. What kinds of things do we do with them? Of course, we interpret them, think about them, apply perspectives to them, remember them, feel towards them, react to them, talk about them, and so on. Before they are ours, they are beyond the reach of our will, and this gives them that characteristic inflexible feel. But this does not mean they are without a will themselves. It just means that they are not ours to exercise our will over. They are the universe's. The universe's will is still there, and it is applied directly to those sensations - in fact, creating the sensations such that we can experience them. The universe wills for us to see, hear, touch, taste, and smell all the things we do. At the precise moment that we experience these things, the universe's will has not relinquished its hold on them yet. There is that brief moment when we experience our sensations and at the same time feel helpless to control them. It is only after these experiences have made their way well into our minds that they become subject to our control.

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Yet, even when they have made their way partially into our minds, such as when we recognize a set of lines and angles as a box, it still doesn't feel as though we have full control over them. The box we see, for example, could never be seen as a ball or a pyramid. Unless I am under the influence of some seriously powerful hallucinogenic drug, if it's in the shape of a box, then I will certainly see a box. We are talking about experiences that correspond to higher functional areas of the brain. Seeing a box, for example, would correspond to the mid section of the dorsal temporal lobe. It gets its information from the occipital lobe at the back of the brain (where primary sensory data is first processed - where we see a set of lines and angles), and pulls that information together to make possible the recognition that what's being seen is indeed a box. Similar integrative functions occur all over the brain, and for all senses. There are MODs in the somatosensory cortex, for example, that integrate different touch sensations characterized by the different locations on the skin where they are detected. These MODs give rise to the sense of something moving across the skin if the different locations are adjacent and the sequence in which they are stimulated is in the right temporal order. Yet, this experience too is beyond our ability to change or deny. A little more needs to be added to our argument if it is to be a tenable one. These experiences seem to have been handed off from the universe to us long before the corresponding MODs made their presence possible. They are clearly within the human mind at this point. How do we account for their seemingly will depleted character in this case? Well, if you will recall from The Advanced Theory, we outlined in great detail the "anatomy" of the self. Most crucially, in figure 7, we pointed out the parallel connections between each stage of our sensory experiences and the "cognitive database". In that same paper, we gave the criteria for what makes an experience "ours". What is required is that it be acknowledged. Acknowledgement of an experience is the means by which the experience in question is transferred to the cognitive database whereupon it is synthesized with all other acknowledged experiences and our apprehension of "the world" emerges. The self is thereafter conceived as the point-of-view from which the world is experienced. Thus, insofar as the world is thought of in terms of experiences, such experiences will be attributed to the self - that is to say, the association between the world and the self that results from this process ensures that our experiences will be duly recognized as "ours". This matters because, as figure 6 (a variant of figure 7) shows, while all stages of the sensory experience indeed become "ours" in virtue of their detour into the cognitive database, they continue to flow along their original course giving rise to each successive stage in turn. The key point is that the latter course evolves outside the cognitive database, and so it does not belong to us - at least, we don't Acknowledgement experience ownership over it. Here, the experience feels more like the external, independent objects they present themselves as. For example, the box we are currently considering is seen as an independent object in the outer world, not a component of our minds. In that state, it is difficult, or even impossible, to extract any sense that we can change its form, properties, or essence by the shear power of our will alone (reaching out and manipulating it physically is another matter). But when these perceptions pass into the cognitive database, we become aware that they are seen (or sensed), and thus we become aware of their perceptual status. The perception is automatically attributed to the self, and so any further change that they go through (cognitive change at this point) is due to the self's willing it. Thus, what we get is the seemingly paradoxical condition of owning our sensory experiences while simultaneously having no power over the forms into which they morph.

Figure 6: Visual processing across the cognitive database threshold.

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Flow

It's very much like a homeowner who buys a house that has yet to be completed. The homeowner is the individual, the developer is the universe, and the house is the sensory experience. It is the sole duty of the developer to see the construction of the house through to the end, just as it is up to the universe to see our sensory development - from points, to lines, to shapes and forms, to familiar objects, and so on - through. Yet at any stage throughout this development, we as the owners have privileged access. The homeowner owns the house, and he/she may come to oversee its development at his/her own discretion. He/she may thereafter take pictures, discuss it with friends, form opinions, and so on. But the development is left strictly to the developer. His/her executive power over the work is like the will of the universe over the flow of our sensory experiences. As individuals, we are like the owner in that our will reigns only over our own thoughts and impressions of the project. There may be other objections that I've overlooked, but these are the ones that come to mind. Having addressed them, we can conclude this final take on the problem of free-will and determinism. We are both free and determined at the same time. We are determined in virtue of our necessary identification with the timeless and spaceless state of the universe as a whole, but by the same token, we are free because the universe is free. The freedom of our will comes from the fact that our choices are ultimately made by the universe itself. We are a part of the universe, and thus our actions are its actions. If the universe can be said to be free in virtue of having nothing outside itself, not even its past states, to impose limits on it, then this freedom applies equally to all its parts. The reason we experience freedom in our day-to-day acts is because it is freedom through-and-through. We are an extension of the universe exercising our freedom. We encounter obstacles when our objectives appear to be thwarted, but this again is the will of the universe. Our objectives differ, but the universe is never against our personal objectives. For the universe, these objectives are a small step towards the grand objective of sustaining its existence. Sometimes our objectives need to be hindered because this is the necessary means by which the universe sustains its existence. It means for us to pursue those objectives and at the same time for those objectives to be crushed. All the while, it is the same will driving it all, the same will that each and every one of us are participants in.

Conclusion
In this paper, we explored various ways to resolve the problem of free-will and determinism. We started with the most conservative approaches and made our way to the most radical. This is also the way from the most simple to the most complex. Before closing this paper, a brief rundown is in order. The first few approaches were very conservative in that we tried not to redefine determinism, and consequently compromised free-will in whatever way was deemed appropriate. We first dispensed with the absurd notion that free-will meant random behavior, as that is an untenable position. Free-will, therefore, had to be defined in accordance with the terms of a fully deterministic paradigm. We built a model in which the self could remain active in its role in the universe. The self doesn't sit by and watch its behavior heeding to the dictates of a set of rules, but neither does its actions emerge from a void - it is a link in the chain of cause-and-effect. In this way, we can say that all one's actions are determined, but it is still the self that is doing them. We defined "cause" in terms of membership to a group of causes, and it isn't so much the removal of the cause that prevents the effect from realizing, but the removal of the whole group. The removal of a single cause may still prevent its corresponding effect, but the emphasis on the group serves to conform our definition of "cause" to the fact that causes seldom hold "all or nothing" relations with their effects. If the roads had been less slippery, for example, it may not have prevented my car from crashing necessarily, even though the ice certainly contributed to the accident, and therefore counts as a cause. Remove every cause, on the other hand, and the accident would clearly not happen. We took these ideas and tied them into another definition: control. We first noted that to be in control in a deterministic system, one must be controlled. Freedom, therefore, is not to act from a void, from nothingness, but to be rid of chaos and unpredictability. We then formally defined "control" as the capacity to allow one's desires or intentions to be a cause of the actions so desired or intended. In this way, we find that free-will is simply a determining force that works through the self, the process of which the self is not only aware, but desires or intends. We then moved onto something more complicated. We examined the problem of free-will and determinism under the light of the objectification process. We first noted the difficulty in imagining free-will as something other than law violating randomness when the problem was objectified. We summarized this in the principle of The Paradox of Objectifying Free-Will. We then pointed out the means by which the

The

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Objectification Process

objectification process creates this difficulty. It separates the self from the self - that is, it creates a model of the self in the objectified model of the world, a self that can be observed, and thus renders it equally objectified and determined. The observing self, on the other hand, remains free from the objectified model of the world in virtue of its position as a non-participant, indeed a nonentity, in that model. In this position, it avoids subjugation to the laws of that model.
The Paradox of Objectifying Free-Will

Mapping of The Objectified and Subjective Perspectives

Given that the only alternative to the objectified perspective is the subjective one - in which we are not concerned with modeling our world with abstract conceptual tools, but with engaging in it, engulfed by the more sensual experiences it has to offer - it stands to ask whether the same determinism we see in our objectified models exists in the subjective experience. We found that although the answer may be trivially "yes", it necessarily requires a reversion back to the objectified perspective in order to give this answer, and that if we were to refrain from such a reversion, remaining in the subjective perspective, no "causal forces" or "determining laws" show up in our actions. Instead we get reasons and justifications. Although reasons and justifications are more or less as effective as causes and laws at predicting behavior, they don't bear a "forced" relation to that behavior per se. Yet, as the Mapping of The Objectified and Subjective Perspectives principle makes clear, there is still a one-to-one mapping between the reasons and justifications of the subjective perspective and the causes and laws of the objectified perspective that one cannot sever. Therefore, the move from the objectified perspective to the subjective one is not a complete solution to the free-will versus determinism problem. In fact, if free-will really exists in the subjective perspective, the account being the acausal relation between behavior and the reasons and justifications preceding it, this is a paradox. It essentially means that the problem of free-will cannot be solved. To solve it, we have to rely on the objectification process, for it is the sole tool for crafting explanations for any phenomena. To employ the objectification process to this problem is to make our way across the one-to-one mapping back into the objectified perspective where free-will either disappears or succumbs to descriptions of pure randomness. We summed this up in the principle of The Insolubility of The Free-Will Problem. The only solution to this paradox is to suppose that free-will may indeed be there in the subjective experience, but its true form is inconceivable. The objectification process may be inadequate for capturing it. What it means for the relation between behavior and the reasons and justifications behind it to be acausal may be something that our species is ill-equipped to understand, and the best course of action, therefore, is simply to make use of our will rather than question it. Those were the conservative approaches wherein we held determinism constant and accommodated free-will. We then explored non-deterministic systems to see where an uncompromised free-will could fit. We began with quantum mechanics. We first distinguished between those anomalies of quantum mechanics that are described as superposition states, and those anomalies that are truly non-deterministic. We toyed with the idea, for a few paragraphs, about whether superposition states ought to be considered law violations or simply a sample of nature's laws for which she has not prepared us for understanding. We settled on the more pragmatic approach - namely, that if they are genuine laws after all, our theory, in virtue of The Unassailability of Science principle, holds (at least, insofar as accounting for superposition states), and so we ought to consider the implications that superposition states represent law violations. The proposal that we brought to the table in order to understand the state of those experiences corresponding to superposition was that as the necessity of the entailment sustaining the flow of those experiences decreases, so does their "realness". That is to say, if the flow of a given experience doesn't seem to entail any other particular experience, or set of experiences, by necessity, it is probably due to the fact that they are "less real" than they could be. We went to certain lengths in order to make this idea more clear. We argued that an experience being partially real is best understood as the meaning underlying that experience being only partially clear - that it has no definite meaning, but a range instead. We also argued against the notion that the black and white categorization schemes that the human mind is used to are absolute and universal truths about the way our world works. The realness of things may not necessarily fit into simple and convenient pigeonholes labeled "real" and "unreal" - there may be subtle shades in between. Given that, the problem - namely, that a non-necessary course of development for a system to undergo removes the grounds upon which it can be real - is resolved. If we only conceive of realness as varying along a gradient, such systems need not be fully real after all.

The Insolubility of The Free-Will Problem

The Unassailability of Science

Entailment

Flow

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The next problem, that of the non-determinism of quantum collapse, was not so much resolved (as we are refraining from deterministic accounts), but shown to be a non-issue. That is, so long as the collapsed state is entailed, albeit not fully by necessity, by some subset of values from the prior superposition state, then there is nothing more to account for the value of the collapsed state. What appears to be random is what that value turns out to be - or what subset of meaning from a range acquired the bulk of the realness. This may indeed be non-deterministic, but this bears no consequence on the relation between the value of the collapsed state and its predecessor values in the superposition state - it can't if it really is non-deterministic. Therefore, it is not a problem for us. In fact, it is best left unexplained, for in that case, we have a perfect role for free-will to play. Many theories have been put forward to unite the non-determinism of quantum collapse to that of free-will reducing two obscure phenomena to one. These are called Quantum Consciousness theories, or QC for short. Penrose's and Hameroff's version is currently the most highly debated one in the field. It rests on microtubules, tiny strands made of protein molecules inside our neurons that go in and out of superposition states. The state in which microtubules collapse determine the state of their neuron - either firing or not firing. Therefore, for microtubules to exist in superposition states, neurons also exist in superposition state both firing and not firing at the same time. Hameroff proposes that, while in these states, we are in the midst of making a decision - either to have a particular experience or not. For the most part, these experiences would have to be cognitive since that is one of the few experiences that seem readily under our control, and so the neurons exhibiting superposition states would have to be from the cognitive centers. We deemed Hameroff's theory an excellent account of free-will but a poor one of qualia, or experiences. He relies on Penrose's model of "space blisters" that house platonic principles and, supposedly, other qualitative features of mental life. We demonstrated the failings of this model, arguing why it could never serve as an adequate account of qualia. What we proposed instead is that Hameroff's account of free-will rely on our theory, for accounts of qualia is its stronghold. Together, our theory and QC make a very convenient pairing, accounting for both qualia and free-will. And finally, we offered one last resolution to the free-will versus determinism problem - that each and every one of us participates in one universal will. We argued that if one considers the universe beyond space and time, then there is nothing outside of itself to determine it. It is self-determining. But in this light, we notice that self-determination - particularly, the determination for one's self simply to exist - is perfectly compatible, and may be synonymous, with free-will. Therefore, it pays to consider the possibility that perhaps the universe wills itself to exist. If this is the case, then each of its components, all the physical systems and events whose sum constitutes the identity of the universe, partakes in this will. We cautioned the reader that this argument partially relies on developments that will be expounded in the paper The Universe and "God", but the argument essentially entails that the expanded form of the universe, with all its physical components separated by vast distances in space and all its processes that unfold through eons of time, is equivalent to its timeless and spaceless status. Therefore, every component and every process is essential to the universe's grand objective of maintaining its existence. If this existence is willed, then so is everything that happens in the universe, right down to the busy legs of an ant carrying food to its colony. But as the universe gets decomposed into its parts, so does the objective of its will. That is, the will to exist gets decomposed into several lesser steps, each still crucial in meeting the goal of existence. The objectives we consciously carry out in our day-to-day endeavors is a small sample of these tiny steps. We see our objectives as the highest objectives that exist for us because this insight constitutes the highest experience that exists for us. Just as this experience is a fragment of the greater experiences the universe is having (of which we are epistemically unconscious), so are our highest objectives. But make no mistake - everything we do serves the greater objective of existence. We may not have this in mind, but the universe does. And because it is the will of the universe that sees this all through, it is the will of the universe that works through us. And because we are a part of the universe, an extension of it, one with it so to speak, this will is equally ours. This accounts for the feeling of freedom in our will - it is authentic freedom, the freedom of the universe to simply be.

Epistemic Unconsciousness

The Value of Freedom
There is no question that we cherish freedom. Curious minds that seek to understand our world, and therefore harbor an affinity for deterministic accounts, although they may prefer this understanding, are no less fond of freedom. This fondness seems not to depend on the account we give for free-will, whether it yields to determinism or it is authentically non-deterministic. As an experience, freedom feels good - it furnishes us

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with a sense of security and comfort. It is this feeling that we cherish so dearly. The last thought I'd like to close with, therefore, is not so much another insight or approach to the problem of determinism and free-will, but an admonition. The love we have of freedom is the reason why it is attributed such high value. Therefore, let us do our best not to devalue it by assigning blame and guilt to actions on the grounds that they were done freely. Although this is indeed necessary at times, and our judicial system would crumble, taking social order down with it, were it not for the assignment of guilt and blame to criminal and reprehensibly immoral acts, if we do this too often, that which we cherish most about freedom - the joy of having it - would soon be replaced by feelings of apprehension and reluctance at the thought of using it for fear of inheriting such blame and guilt. This is far from a plea for leniency towards criminals and the maliciously intended. I believe in the good judgment of those charged with overseeing legislative and judicial matters, and the need surely exists for effective and well communicated means of deterrence. What I find more difficult to keep faith in is the appreciation many people have for the true value of freedom. All too often, I see the use towards which the idea of freedom being put to be the chastisement of the criminal and the wicked. That is, far from appreciating freedom for the blessing that it surely is, it is being used as a tool for judgment. If it can be shown that one who commits a monstrous act did it freely, this qualifies as the green light for incrimination and harsh sentencing. I can't count the number of times I've heard "He should be punished to the fullest extent of the law". I can, however, count the number of times I've heard "He should receive a moderate or mild sentence" - zero! It is as though too many don't see a greater use toward which freedom can be put. So, again, it isn't that such a use doesn't serve society well, and it isn't that the target of such use is necessarily undeserving, but it is a shame to see the more valuable qualities of freedom - that it gives purpose and meaning to life, and makes it worthwhile - being taken for granted, or even unnoticed. If we aren't careful to take notice, blame and judgment will be the only worth we see in it, and ultimately, because we will come to despise it, the only worth it will have. The Universe and "God"
The Cleaning Up Finding Experience of Compatibilism The Mess Randomness Freedom The A Question of Challenge to Lawfulness Necessity Participation In The Universal Will The Clarity of Meaning The Freedom of The Universe Random Fluctuations in Realness Conceptual Realities and Their Rules Some Criticisms The Subjective Perspective Reconciling The theories The Problem of Free-Will Why There Is One Some Implications The Value of Freedom

Introduction

Objectifying Free-will

Quantum Theory

Quantum Consciousness

Quantum Consciousness and Classical Neurology

Expanding The Universe - Again TOP

Some Objections

Conclusion

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Appendix
Effects of Quantum Entanglement The effects seen in quantum entanglement are not like those seen in standard mechanical phenomena. One particle entangled with another does not have effects on that particle in the conventional sense of "effect". Probably, the most accurate way to describe this kind of effect is to say that certain measurements that are taken of one particle will effect the measurements taken of the other particle thereafter. For example, we know that when a J/Ψ particle (a special kind of meson particle) fissions into an electron and a positron, whatever the spin value of the electron, the spin of the positron will have the opposite value. These particles, having once been united in a common source (the J/Ψ particle), have now become "entangled". The key to understanding any kind of quantum phenomenon, such as quantum entanglement, is that the states or properties of such phenomena may not have determined values necessarily - not until they are measured. For example, whether the spin of the electron is "up" or "down" is literally undetermined, not just epistemically but ontologically, until it is measured. Now this entails a peculiar relation between the entangled particles. It means that if we measured a property of one, say the spin of the electron, whatever its value turned out to be, say "up", we know for certain that the positron's spin must be "down". And this is, in fact, what our measurements of the positron will yield. This is the way in which one particle of an entangled pair has effects on the other. The electron has effects on the positron by availing itself to measurement and thereby settling on a particular determined state, and this forces the positron to also settle on a particular determined state whose value is also determined. We can rule out any sort of mechanical influence because these effects seem to occur instantly even across vast distances of space. Einstein showed that nothing can travel faster than light, and so if two entangled particles are separated by, say, 10 light years, measurements taken of one particle cannot have an effect on the other by means of sending information about the results of this measurement through such a great distance of space. To do so would take 10 years at the least, but we know these effects occur instantly (keeping in mind, of course, that it would take at least 5 years for each observer taking the measurements to reunite with the other and compare results). Einstein was not too pleased with this finding, naturally, and in fact, he, along with Podolsky and Rosen, set out to prove that a paradox falls out of this. They called it the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Paradox (or the EPR Paradox), and the reader can learn more about it by following the link provided: EPR Paradox Where Are The MODs?

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Notice that we haven't exactly articulated the experience of freedom in terms of MODs as we did at the beginning of this section. This is okay. Our aim is simply to find a fitting articulation for the experience of freedom in order to understand it as an experience. Whether this experience turns out to correspond to an actual MOD or not is beside the point. It may, but at this point, it seems more likely that it might correspond to a lack of MODs. That is, the experience of freedom, we are saying, is the recognition that we are in control of our actions and that they come from ourselves, and that we recognize this in the absence of perceiving any prior causes. So it is the absence of the MODs that would otherwise correspond to the perception of these prior causes that makes the experience of freedom possible. There certainly are MODs that correspond to the recognition of the control we have, and that the self is the source of our actions, but these MODs are most likely situated in various locations all over the brain (not just the motor cortex ). But once one perceives the prior causes that determine one's actions, a sense of helplessness tends to sit in, and one no longer feels responsible for one's actions. The feeling of freedom fades. We will touch upon this in the next section. The Inconceivability of Superposition The following thought experiment demonstrates how states of superposition, when conceived of as objects existing in more than one place at a time, are indeed impossible to imagine correctly. Imagine an electron in two places at the same time. Keep in mind that this electron is actually one electron occupying two places simultaneously - not two electrons that are simply identical in all their features. Now imagine poking one with a pin such that it starts to move (like in the animation below ). We can certainly imagine that one of them moves whereas the other doesn't. This is proof that we are not imagining it correctly. If we really understood what it means for the two apparent electrons to be one and the same, it should not even be possible to imagine this. Why is this? Well, if they are the same, everything that happens to one should necessarily happen to the other. If you poke one with a pin and it moves, the other should move as well in exactly the same direction with exactly the same momentum. Note that it's not enough simply to enforce this in our thought experiment by consistently visualizing their behavior as synchronized. Why not? Because if they really are the same electron, we should conceive of it as necessary - that is, we should not even be able to imagine one doing something without the other mimicking. But the fact that we can, even if we understand this to be erroneous, shows that we haven't got it right. We don't truly get the concept - we can't get the concept. Thus, states of superposition really are inconceivable.

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Law Violations or No Laws At All Of course, there is a third interpretation of superposition states: that there simply are no laws of nature to restrict the states that things can exist in. When we consider the interpretation that laws are being violated when things go into superposition states, we don't mean to convey something incompatible with this third interpretation. All we mean to convey is that whatever is happening to an entity in a state of superposition, it defies any intelligible order. This may mean there really do exist laws of nature that are being violated in those instances, or it may mean that no such laws ever existed. Either way, we simply mean to distinguish this case from that in which the things in superposition states are indeed adhering to some kind of order, but one that is unintelligible to us as humans. Duality of Physical Entities Strictly speaking, an experience is never associated with a fundamental particle, but with the system that consists of the particle and whatever else the particle is behaving relative to. This follows from the principle of Duality of Physical Entities:

Principle: Duality of Physical Entities 1) Physical entities, such as particles, are the expression of experience. 2) All experience must flow. 3) Therefore, all physical entities must move. 4) All motion is relative. 5) Thus, in order to move, all physical entities

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must coexist with at least one other physical entity.
In the case of the double-slit experiment, for instance, for the electron to be in a state of superposition with respect to its location, this can only be meaningful insofar as its location is relative to other things in its environment - to the electron gun, to our measuring instruments, to the entire universe, and so on. We will continue to talk about the corresponding experience in terms of the particle itself (as opposed to the particle/environment system) since whatever we say remains valid in either case. As it turns out, this makes sense when one considers the fact that some properties of particles don't seem to exhibit superposition states, such as mass and charge. All properties are measured by different means and instruments, and so the detection of superposition by any one method of measurement is an indication of ambiguity in the experience corresponding to the system that consists of the particle and that measuring device. Other properties, like mass or charge, may be measured by other devices, and the system that those devices and the particle make up correspond to a different experience, one which may not contain the same degree of ambiguity. Realness As Substance I hope this way of conceptualizing the variability of realness - by the clarity of meaning in our experiences - helps to avoid a potential misinterpretation - that the "realness" of things I'm proposing is a substance. This is not what I mean. I must make it emphatic: realness is not a substance. If it were, then we'd wind up caught in an infinite regress wherein the realness of a thing would itself be a thing possessing its own degree of realness, and that too would be a thing, and so on. But hopefully it has been made clear how "realness" is to be understood - as the clarity of meaning in an experience. Because our theory equates perception with reality, any lack of clarity in perception renders the things perceived proportionately unreal. Resurrecting A Principle: The Unassailability of Science With this minor adjustment in our theory, we not only reconcile the problem of necessity, but we also salvage the Unassailability of Science principle. That principle, again, is as follows:

Principle: The Unassailability of Science

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The Advanced Theory of Mind and Matter will always be able to assert its main tenets no matter what the discoveries of science. It will always posit that experiences correspond to the phenomena of those discoveries.
So this principle is now two-fold. It says that whatever the discoveries of science, if 1) they prove to play out deterministically, then our theory would posit a set of definite experiences behind it whose meaning is absolutely clear, and those experiences would entail other experiences by full necessity. But if 2) they prove to play out non-deterministically, then our theory would still posit a set of experiences behind it, but ones whose meanings are not definite or clear. They would entail non-deterministically as the necessity underlying their identity would be less than full. The formal articulation of this principle, as outlined above, doesn't say much about whether the clarity in the meaning of these experiences is full or not, nor does it say anything similar about their necessity. Therefore, as it is articulated, it works with both these points, and so we will leave it as it is. Revisiting The Alternate Interpretation: Superposition As A Law of Nature Notice that if we had taken the other route, the route whereby we would have considered superposition states as fully functional laws of nature (albeit impossible for us to image) rather than law violations, we would not be able to overcome the challenge of non-determinism that quantum mechanics poses to our theory. To suppose that a phenomenon adheres consistently and fully to natural laws would entail that the underlying meaning of the corresponding experience is absolutely necessary. But then, when the phenomenon comes up against a non-deterministic outcome, this necessity must break. In effect, we would have no way to justify how it could do this having committed ourselves to the view that all its prior states evolved along a necessary course. Ironically, then, the only option for us in our goal to salvage our theory is to assume that the laws of nature are being violated by superposition states. This is not a proof that laws are being violated (that would be a circular form of argument), just a recognition of the criteria we must meet in order to rid our theory of any inconsistencies. Nonetheless, the proposition that the realness of certain phenomena, and properties of phenomena, can vary, thereby affecting necessity in like manner, makes a lot of sense for both superposition states and the non-determinism of collapse, and for both a subjectivist theory like ours and a physicalist theory like quantum mechanics. It makes more sense than the alternative, for in that case, we have no understanding of how superposition states might be accounted for, nor do we understand how their outcomes can break from a deterministic course.

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Furthermore, due to the particular account of superposition we have given, we can interpret such an account in terms of physical laws in a much more realistic way. It isn't all that realistic, in other words, to posit actually existing, but empirically elusive, laws only to suppose that they get violated all the time. A more realistic way of putting is that such laws are not absolutely abiding, and that as the necessity of certain physical outcomes becomes less, so does the rigidity of the laws that would otherwise determine such outcomes. In other words, perhaps there are no such things as the laws of nature - at least, not in the classical sense but, so to speak, "guidelines" of nature instead.

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