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A Deterministic Model of the Free Will Phenomenon

Mark Hadley


The abstract concept of indeterministic free will is distinguished from the phenomenon of free will. Evidence for the abstract concept is examined and critically compared with various designs of automata. It is concluded that there is no evidence to support the abstract concept of indeterministic free will, it is inconceivable that a test could be constructed to distinguish an indeterministic agent from a complicated automaton. Testing the free will of an alien visitor is introduced to separate prejudices about who has free will from objective experiments.  The phenomenon of free will is modelled with a deterministic decision making agent. The agent values ‘independence’ and satisfies a desire for independence by responding to ‘challenges’. When the agent generates challenges internally it will establish a record of being able to do otherwise. In principle a computer could be built with a free will property. The model also explains false attributions of free will (superstitions).

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ISSN: 2153-8212