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Freewill - an act of improvisation?

  1. Jun 29, 2004 #1
    A thought occurred, as they often do, whilst I was singing whilst taking a shower.

    "Is freewill , in the main an act of improvisation?" I thought as I sung total gibberish to the sound of cascading water.

    Do we take every moment and improvise in that moment? Is life a continuous state of Ad LIb,,,,( musical term).

    When I listen to a Jaz, Blues singer and their improvisation over a structure, whether it be a Bass and percusion structure, I see certain parallels to life in general.

    Determinable structure of our lives which we improvise "over the top" with.

    It has often been the subject of much poetry and philosophy that every one lives to their own tune and their own rhythm.

    Is this just showing us that we are constantly improvising on the structure provided.?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 12, 2004 #2
    if all of life is improvised then people wouln't make plans, I myself have plans for just about everything, so, am I when I make the plans excersising free will and while i'm carrying them out I'm not??
  4. Jul 12, 2004 #3
    I would think that even though you make plans you still improvise over that structure. The planning really providing a structure that in a lot of cases is very "loose".

    For example, you plan to catch a train at 10 am to go to the city centre. The train arrives late you meet persons on the train that you hadn't planned for. You buy a coffee to drink on the way that you don't often do....etc etc...
  5. Jul 12, 2004 #4
    Magnificent idea

    I do like that idea! Some people see life as making choices every time, I see it more as, indeed, improvisation.

    And, how do you look at the framework within you're able to improvise?
  6. Jul 12, 2004 #5
    I guess this is where determinism etc comes to the fore....We look at this structure with eyes that have been conditioned by our past etc. But it is the creativity of our improvisation that affords the greatest freedom.
    How does one learn to be creative?

    Because the moment is constantly changing and always unique then so to must we apply ourselves to that moment also uniquely. Thus the term improvisation. Every moment a unique ad-lib.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2004
  7. Jul 12, 2004 #6
    what if everything is pre-destined to happen, then would we ever really have a choice?
  8. Jul 12, 2004 #7
    what if it is pre-destined that you have a choice? Choice can also be pre-destined...yes?
    The now is all we know.....and it is pre-destined that we have a choice only in the Now.
  9. Jul 13, 2004 #8
    Perhaps everything is pre-destined partly because we do have a choice. Just because everything is destined to be a certain way doesn't mean we don't have a say in all of it. We choose the life we want to live and we live it becuase we have a preference for certain things.

    Everything is a result of what came before hand. I know in saying that things are pre-destined you say that you don't have any alternate choices but i'm still going to stand by the fact that it doesn't eliminate choice all together because choice, in part, is what creates a pre-destined future.
  10. Jul 18, 2004 #9
    Just for the sake of the arguement that we assume that all available alternative choices are accounted for as part of that predestined nature.

    For example at a given moment you have a thousand alternative choices and all those alternatives are possibly predestined choices to choose from.

    I think what I am saying is that often we think of things in very limited ways with out realising it. Destiny may be a much more complex and thorough aspect of our lives than we realise.
  11. Jul 19, 2004 #10
    would we have choice if someone knew what was going to happen?
  12. Jul 19, 2004 #11
    Why would knowing the future of someone besides yourself remove the ability to choose.

    I sit in a coffee shop and I see people walking around. I can tell where they are going. I can see what is going to happen. Does this impinge on their choices?

    So pre- determinsim could very well include all the choices open to you at any given time.

    As part of the functioning whole ( universe ) we create our destinies and also perform within them all the time. The destinies we create are also impacting on others who are also creating there own destinies and by default yours as well.

    So free will can co-exist with absolute determinism. as freewill is a part of that which is determined and is being determined
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2004
  13. Jul 19, 2004 #12
    Just say we think of our big brother "Bruce", he lives in the east somwhere and has a white fluffy beard and is called all sorts of names and is believed to exist but no one has met him. Say, for example he is believed to be the great observer and although he could interfere in human affairs he chooses not to.

    Does Brother Bruce impinge on the choices of those he "can" control if he chooses to.
    The reason I mention Bruce is becasue I get the impression we are verging on talking about how knowledge of the future of someone else means that choice is diminished by that knowledge. I woudl even go on to say that knowledge of someones future can offer an increase in choices rather than the opposite.
    Ok, now take our brother bruce and call him Mother.

    Mother knows almost everything about you she can predict with great certainty and yes she is a busybody and loves to guide and direct. does this impinge on your choices and if so is this not sometimes what we want or need.

    So as we improvsise our way through life who is to say who is loosing or gaining choices due to a knowledge of the future.

    I would suggest that this is impossible to determine simply diue to the enourmous complexity of 6 billion persons all impacting on every ones elses choices both now and into the future.

    Every ones second name ends up being Bruce. :wink:
  14. Jul 19, 2004 #13
    say I know person A is going to eat fish tommorow, than does person A really have a choice of what he's going to eat? or is it just an illusion,
  15. Jul 20, 2004 #14
    if you were the one providing the fish his choice is compromised by yours. If it is not then it isn't
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