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A Formal Model for Adaptive Free Choice in Complex Systems

Department of Physics, Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH 03102, USA
Entropy 2020, 22(5), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/e22050568
Received: 23 March 2020 / Revised: 6 May 2020 / Accepted: 16 May 2020 / Published: 19 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Models of Consciousness)
In this article, I develop a formal model of free will for complex systems based on emergent properties and adaptive selection. The model is based on a process ontology in which a free choice is a singular process that takes a system from one macrostate to another. I quantify the model by introducing a formal measure of the ‘freedom’ of a singular choice. The ‘free will’ of a system, then, is emergent from the aggregate freedom of the choice processes carried out by the system. The focus in this model is on the actual choices themselves viewed in the context of processes. That is, the nature of the system making the choices is not considered. Nevertheless, my model does not necessarily conflict with models that are based on internal properties of the system. Rather it takes a behavioral approach by focusing on the externalities of the choice process. View Full-Text
Keywords: free will; agency; causal emergence free will; agency; causal emergence
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Durham, I. A Formal Model for Adaptive Free Choice in Complex Systems. Entropy 2020, 22, 568.

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