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What is autonomy? (Auto-: Self; Nomos:-Law/Regulation/Custom)

Does free will exist, or are we governed by deterministic mechanical processes?
If free will exists, it must be reconciled with determinism. There is a need for the clarifying the limitations of autonomy.

Determinism would have us believe that choice is limited. I posit: choice is limited to combinations of environmental exposure and perceived experience, something that cannot be adequately described as limited. Determinism would blind us to our ability to recall and create.


*Refer to scientific study about arbitrary nature of free will and morality.

Two operating modes of free will:

1.      Choose from presented options. (Not goal oriented)
Most people do not exercise reflection, and therefore do not utilize choice (Excuse the generalization). (Explain if there is a difference between reflection and employing reason) The number of circumstances and options they are presented are limited and maintain face value. As a result, they remain bound to limited options presented by the world.

2.      Create alternative options. (Goal oriented) The creation of alternative options relies on the recollection of memories- past experiences that lend insight to present circumstance or choice. In addition, it is our ability to construct totally new perceptual framework about current circumstances. The framework allows for a different perception of stimuli that cause a different response from us.

Insight gained from past memories is limited to the perceptual framework that was employed during the memory.[1] This framework acts as a filter that processes only relevant information at the time. Out ability to create relies on the quality and diversity of the past experiences we recall. Quality refers to the perceptual framework that can interpret and contextualize the relevancy of many details into memory. Diversity refers to the number of experiences your have in different circumstances, as well as variety of perceptual frameworks employed in each of those experiences. Experiences are great for giving you a holistic understanding of things, but true depth of understanding is achieved through repeated exposure to similar circumstances using a different perceptual framework.

Perceptual frameworks, while very similar, are different than attitudes of mind. This is because perceptual frameworks are concerned with the attention based on need, whereas attitude of mind is concerned with optimism towards ideal outcomes (Explain further).

These perceptual frameworks are important because they record mental and emotional states of being into memory. These records can be recalled later to induce a state of being in the present. While a perceptual framework may have been recorded at an experience unrelated from the present, it can nonetheless be recalled, induced and applied.

In addition, various combinations of these perceptual combinations can be recalled and combined to create new perceptual frameworks.

Philosophy of Mind:

The mind is a global environment containing microcosmic communities that contain ideas that contextualize an experience. Exposure to environmental stimulus and sustaining a focus of attention maintain these communities’ wellbeing and economy, contributing to the sustainment of other communities.

These communities are composed of ideas. These ideas contribute to a web of common understanding that is the community. These communities are tied together with other ideas that contain shared understandings. These ideas need maintenance in order to retain functional utility as an idea and with other ideas. Emotions charge ideas, making them healthy and capable. Ideas are developed from exposure to stimulus or they are created from other ideas (explain further). Ideas function according to individuals mind. Some ideas are more versatile and easier to exchange among individual’s minds than others. This depends on the foreign nature of the idea, or whether it has any weak ties to preexisting ideas. If it does not, exposure and associations with the idea and existing ideas needs to be formed.

The communities contain families of ideas. These families form coherent bonds and relationships between ideas that contribute to mutual wellbeing. Translated, these families of ideas are manifested as stories, beliefs, narratives, etc. Unless an idea was incredible resilient, it relies on its relationship with other ideas. It is likewise necessary for interrelationships between families for their health, wellbeing of the community.

Consider the metaphor (expand):

            Ideas are people. People live in communities. Communities inherently contain commonalities- be it tradition, geography, economic concern, social status, ethnicity, race. Communities are tied together with weak ties. These weak ties are people that share commonalities with other communities, either because there is a stake in another community, or because the person itself is valuable and versatile. The well being of the community depends on the well being of its member’s health and motivation. People maintain health through sustenance (products of environmental conditions) and relationships, likened to emotions and family relationships, respectively. People are created through other people. They have evolved to fit their environment.

[1] If we are told to count all the quarters in a coin jar, we may remember the number of quarters and a variety of other details, but we will not remember how many pennies there were, etc.



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