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Free Will Quotient – FQ


(Michael Hrenka) #1

This Aeon article argues about a new construct called FQ that is supposed to measure free will, which is generally defined by three components:

  1. The ability to generate behavioural options
  2. The ability to decide between those options rationally, considering ones owns interests and preferences
  3. The ability to follow through with the planned decision through willpower

To simplify the model (in my own choice of words):
FQ := Free will := creativity * rationality * willpower

I think, this line of thinking seems to be quite useful. It is settled on a different level than previous debates about philosophical “free will” and turns free will into a measurable construct. This more pragmatic definition of “free will” actually turns it into a meaningful construct, as opposed to earlier philosophical constructs that weren’t necessarily clear or consistent.

The article also goes further the proposes increasing the FQ of everyone as central goal of education. It also condemns measures which diminish the FQ of people.

This actually implies that FQ can be changed, and there is research that supports this view. If free will is something that you can train like you train your muscles, our freedom lies in our own hands, and we are responsible for creating our own freedom, even while it is at the same time influences by factors external to our (current) control.

Finally, talking about a free will does make sense again, at least for me. What are your thoughts on this topic?