Here is a pretty good lecture posted on YouTube about dissolving the question of Free Will. It struck me how similar his thoughts were to some of the points that have been made on Less Wrong, like how some answers may seem like explanations without having any content. It may not have much in the way of new content, but it is stated pretty clearly and concisely, and they way he flat-out rejects Free Will as unscientific is bold and refreshing, especially coming from a Philosopher.

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the way he flat-out rejects Free Will as unscientific is bold and refreshing, especially coming from a Philosopher.

The talk is pretty confused. He starts with defining "free will" as "Power or ability sometimes to do otherwise than what one in fact does", which he then demolishes.

Skip to 40:25. After describing the problems with elan vital and dormative potency (namely, no explanatory power while claiming to have it, that is playing the role of curiosity-stoppers), he starts supporting the idea of distinguishing when people are "in control" of their behavior and "not in control" for the purpose of determining whether they should be held accountable for their behavior, as an alternative to "free will".

But this concept of "in control" is never explained, and all arguments he gives are just applause lights. He hails empiricism, science, neuroscience, lack of strange metaphysical speculation, and appeals to audience's intuition ("It's so obvious that when I'll start pointing it out you're going to go "Duh!".").

(I only skimmed the video; most of it introduces some standard ideas.)

His arguments only undermine the conception of free will as ultimate origination, but have nothing to say about (the more defensible) conception of free will as choosing on the basis of one's desires.

...if you were to go back in time, and all of the states of affairs were identical, then you would get the exact same outcome...the causes are the same; the effects are necessarily the same.

Am I misinterpreting him, or does his elaboration of determinism contradict quantum mechanics? He correctly points out at 11:10 that quantum mechanics doesn't provide support for free will (as he defined it), but he doesn't bother to reformulate his definition of determinism so that it doesn't require a Newtonian-like mechanics.

science likes causes...it likes laws...it likes mechanisms...it doesn't like this mysteries occult power of "free will"...

Yeah, science doesn't like mysterious occult powers without mechanisms, except when it does. Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation was an occult force without a mechanism (which is why many natural philosophers on the Continent dismissed it as a throwback to the natural magic tradition of the Renaissance). Is gravity unscientific?

our brains make our decisions for us, we really have no say in the matter, and we'll be cool with it.

This sounds as if there is a homunculus sitting inside of us somewhere that is just along for the ride, but lacks causal power to change the direction of our bodies. What is this "us" that isn't our brain and where is it?

It may not have much in the way of new content, but it is stated pretty clearly and concisely, and they way he flat-out rejects Free Will as unscientific is bold and refreshing, especially coming from a Philosopher.

As far as I know, the demarcation problem hasn't been solved, so saying something is "unscientific" is simply a kind of name-calling. The video (which I did not watch from start to finish) seems to be bog-standard philosophy (at least how it was done while I was in university). According to the philpapers survey, less than 14% of philosophers accept or lean towards libertarian free will. Of those philosophers that accept or lean towards free will, most do not accept the version of free will that he rejects in the video. Even for a philosopher, that doesn't seem very bold or refreshing.

"His arguments only undermine the conception of free will as ultimate origination, but have nothing to say about (the more defensible) conception of free will as choosing on the basis of one's desires."

That is not "more defensible", that's inane. What's the point of "freely choosing" what you want to do based on your desires...if you are not in control of your desires? It's a pedantic technicality that ignores what laymen generally assume when they say "free will"...that they are in control of their own actions, as well as their own desires that act as motivation for their own actions.

If I develop a mind control device that implants "desires" in the mind of its targets, and the targets act predictably based on said "desires", can you really say that the targets have 'free will'?

EDIT: It's possible that "free will" may somehow be "bounded" or "limited" (desires are selected, but you decide what you do with said desires), and that may be what you're getting at, but if this is the case, I don't think you should really call it "free will" then, lest it get confused with the broader interpretation of "free will" that is more commonly understood to be said definition of "free will".

That is not "more defensible", that's inane.

A concept being "insane"* isn't mutually exclusive with it being more defensible than another (presumably even more "insane") concept.

What's the point of "freely choosing" what you want to do based on your desires...if you are not in control of your desires?

I never claimed there was a point to believing in such a doctrine (I'm not a libertarian in metaphysics); I was merely showing that the conclusions of the arguments in the video only contradict a subset of the theories of free will. I think people that argue for free will as choosing on the basis of one's desires would say that you do choose your desires (by choosing on the basis of your higher order desires).

It's a pedantic technicality that ignores what laymen generally assume when they say "free will"...that they are in control of their own actions, as well as their own desires that act as motivation for their own actions.

The man in the video claimed that he was arguing against a view held by philosophers, not laymen. My comment was a response to a specific video, not "the man on the street". Also, you and the man in the video have used the term "in control". What do you mean by "in control"? Are people choosing on the basis of their desires not "in control"? I don't see why they wouldn't be.

If I develop a mind control device that implants "desires" in the mind of its targets, and the targets act predictably based on said "desires", can you really say that the targets have 'free will'?

I am far from an expert on the free will versus determinism debate (I haven't even read a single book on the subject), but my guess is that it would depend on which desires were changed. If the device changed the highest order desires of the agent, then I think libertarians (in the metaphysical sense) would agree that the free will of the agent has been compromised. On the other hand, if an agent used the device to make their lower order desires better conform to their higher order desires, then the act of using the device and the subsequent actions of the agent would be in accordance with free will.

EDIT: It's possible that "free will" may somehow be "bounded" or "limited" (desires are selected, but you decide what you do with said desires), and that may be what you're getting at, but if this is the case, I don't think you should really call it "free will" then, lest it get confused with the broader interpretation of "free will" that is more commonly understood to be said definition of "free will".

I'm merely adopting the standard language used by philosophers.

*I assumed that "inane" was a typo and that you meant to type "insane", but even if the reverse is true my response still makes sense.