Modern philosophy (at least most of it), following neural
science and recent developments in psychology, has it that
there cannot be "free will" or any decision whatsoever.
If the world is predestined mechanistic and physical, then
are just rocks rolling down our least energy path. If
other hand the physical world is run by statistics, and there
always an element of randomness in every pattern, then we
are just dice rolling down our random path of chance.
Here comes the multi-source causation and decision theory
the rescue. The bottom line is that with multiple amounts
causing elements there is a nonzero amount of weight to
part that each causing element has in an outcome. As the
amount of causing elements grow, the chances of
simultaneous co-causation grows, and with it the possibility
decision, even in primitive cells, or evolving physical and
We don't usually think of a boiling pot of water as "deciding"
to spill some of the water out of the pot, and when it does,
we would attribute it to chance, but we do lower the fire
heat) to avoid it happening. If we don't we are "leaving it to
But not really. In science we can speak about heat, and
transfer, and heat dissipation, and heat insulation, all
to a statistical state. We talk about mass or electrons as a
well-explained and very real phenomenon.
In biology chemistry and physics we discuss light and color.
The evolutionary created camouflage of a stick insect, or
changing camouflage of a chameleon or octopus, and the
evolved green color of chloroplasts in tree leaves are all a
very real phenomenon, just as the eye and color receptor
cells are in insects, and the landing lines in flowers set out
those receptors to receive. So too we can discuss the
phenomena of decisions, simple and complex, and the
of their causes and causers when more than one cause is
It is more than a question of language, when we
differentiate between determining WHAT decided
something's fate, and determining WHO decided something.
There are different levels of decision making, of course. At
lowest we may not call it a decision at all. But high up, we
might all agree that a cat can sometimes decide and even
plan ahead where the most irritating spot to stand can be
what it should do in order to deceive the snake and then
For this reason, humans, or at least some of them, with the
ability of reasoning, calculating and writing, have a higher
level of decision than say a nematode or an ant hill, but
basically it is not all that different from the decision of a
to reinforce itself with a stalagtite and stalagmite pillar in
I call the units of decision making Decidemes and the units
There are several types of decideme types. A basic
relies on the number of independent co-causations
as well as the number of options (degrees of freedom), and
the number of major consequences, with a lower number
being more of a decision, with the lowest at two.
There are awareness decidemes that define the levels of
awareness to the causes, to the options, to the
and to the decision making process itself.
The level of decision depends on both the number of
originally-independent co-causations (the causemes, not
always easy to discern, because by the time the action has
occured, many of them are usually tied together) and the
number of originally-independent co-options (the
or sub-options) which would lead to the chosen action or
There is also another level of decision, one may think that
is a new type of level altogether - the consciouss decision.
But this too will be shown in the co-causation theory to be
mere question of quantity, with the above described cave
having no conciousness at all and deciding directly through
action, but an ant hill or a human parliament showing some
level of organized consciouss decision making, while a child
playing with a toy fire-truck would be, perhaps, on an even
And then we have the consequencial possibilities and the
awareness to them. And that's not all. We should not forget
the follow-up effect. Awareness to the follow-up effect
creates another level of decision altogether.
And even further down we can fathom what we expect the
result to be, reinforcing the behavior accordingly without
ever even running our behavior in the real world. So that's
Back to the tea kettle - it is, at some level, deciding to
boil over or not, with several low-level causemes such as
the height and heat of the fire (so the flow of gas, the stove
shape, the proportion of oxygen in the air), the shape and
material of the pot and its sealing top if there is one, the
hardness and temperature of the water during the process,
the length of time its on the fire.
If a human is aware of what's happening and is standing
near the stove, we will attribute that decision which has
been taken to the
human's conciouss or unconciouss actions decided in most
parts in the human's brain (and when discussing decisions
scientifically, we do not ignore the details of the human
parts, cells, biochemistry and neuronal activity that are
involved in the decision.
OK, I hope I wrote enough for the beginning of a discussion