This post will be used as an introduction to the idea of simulation for the last two articles in the Free Will Series.
Origin of the word ‘simulation’:
mid 17th century (earlier (Middle English) as simulation): from Latin simulat- ‘copied, represented’, from the verb simulare, from similis ‘like’.
And the definition thereof:
1. To imitate the appearance or character of.
What is imitation?
1. The act of using someone or something as a model.
2. A thing intended to copy or simulate something else. (This definition is rejected because it is circular. As you can see, it defines imitation in terms of simulation and simulation is defined in terms of imitation. Very bad, Oxford Dictionary.)
What is a model?
1. A 3-Dimensional representation of something at a smaller scale than the original.
2. A thing used as an example to follow or imitate. (Another rejected definition. Simulation is defined in terms of imitation and imitation is defined in terms of models and a model is defined in terms of imitation.)
3. A simplified description of a process or system to assist in calculations or predictions.
From sketching the semantic network of “simulation” we see that simulation is about representation and simplified predictive and non-predictive descriptions of processes.
The stories in the following links directly or indirectly deal with simulation. The Princess Ineffabelle, The Soul of Martha , The Soul of the Mark III Beast. The last two links belong to The Soul of Anna Kleane, a SF novella by Terrel Miedaner.
Assuming that “free will” exists, can a simulation of it be made? If yes, would it be distinguishable from non-simulated “free will”? In order to simulate something, we most likely need to be able to describe it. Can “free will” be accurately described? If yes, what is that description? If not, what does it mean for the claims of the existence of “free will”?