Feel free to ignore this post if you don't feel up to a Gödel-related post. I'm sitting on a ball, nekkid, in the dark, with low monitor contrast because I just jumped out of bed and feel like this is the best place to write this down...
Psychological determinism is the claim that, given full knowledge about a person's state, we can predict his actions. That is, given the total input to a person's mind, we can determine his actions. In other words, a person's mind is a program.
However, from theoretical computer science, we know that one cannot write a program which determines, with absolute certainty, any nontrivial I/O property of a program. So, even if we can predict with 100% certainty someone's mental output based on mental input, we cannot describe how we do so.
Suppose I had the ability to determine whether a person would answer a question in the affirmative or negative. What is my answer to "Will I answer this question in the negative?" If I will, then my answer is affirmative, and therefore incorrect. If I won't, then my answer is negative, and therefore incorrect.
Hrm. That example implies that we don't even need to know how the determinism-evaluation process works, it's enough to have an I/O table regarding psychological I/O tables.
So does this prove free will? No. Humans may be psychologically determined to the fullest, but humans cannot predict with certainty the results of such determinism.
Does it mean we can't predict how other people's minds will react to something? No. The self-looping theorem is about certainty. It leaves open the possibility for very effective heuristics.
Do I have a good paper for this year's Rocky Mountain Philosophy Conference? Hells yeah.
- Music:none. but I did buy Faith No More, MC 900 Ft Jesus, Bela Fleck, and Orb today. And learned that Days of the New has a new album out next week