PhilSci Archive

A stochastic process model for free agency under indeterminism

Müller, Thomas and Briegel, Hans (2018) A stochastic process model for free agency under indeterminism. [Preprint]


Download (525kB) | Preview


The aim of this paper is to establish that free agency, which is a capacity of many animals including human beings, is compatible with indeterminism: An indeterministic world allows for the existence of free agency. The question of the compatibility of free agency and indeterminism is less discussed than its mirror image, the question of the compatibility of free agency and determinism. It is, however, of great importance for our self-conception as free agents in our (arguably) indeterministic world.
We begin by explicating the notions of indeterminism and free agency and by clarifying the interrelation of free agency and the human-specific notion of free will. We then situate our claim of the compatibility of free agency and indeterminism precisely in the landscape of the current debate on freedom and determinism, exposing an unhappy asymmetry in that debate. Then we proceed to make our case by describing the mathematically precise, physically motivated model of projective simulation, which employs indeterminism as a central resource for agency modeling. Projective simulation was recently developed as an AI framework for flexible learning agents (Briegel and De las Cuevas, Scientific Reports 2:400, 2012). We argue that an indeterministic process of deliberation modeled by the dynamics of projective simulation can exemplify free agency under indeterminism, thereby establishing our compatibility claim: Free agency can develop and thrive in an indeterministic world.

Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Müller, ThomasThomas.Mueller@uni-konstanz.de0000-0003-1225-1483
Keywords: agency, indeterminism, projective simulation, free will
Subjects: General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Depositing User: Dr. Thomas Müller
Date Deposited: 17 May 2018 18:53
Last Modified: 17 May 2018 18:53
Item ID: 14673
Subjects: General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Date: 15 May 2018

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item