The relativity of freedom

In a natural world free-will is not possible given that everything responds to Nature. Free-will would mean an autonomous behaviour, and an autonomous behaviour would mean a discontinuity in Nature. In a monist universe Nature has no discontinuities. So in a natural world nothing can behave outside Nature in an autonomous and independent way.

Nevertheless, it is possible in a natural world for thing to have certain degrees of autonomy. Indeed, this is what happens in our case. Although our behaviour is a natural behaviour, our behaviour has certain degrees of autonomy.

So our will might not be free in an absolute sense but it is free in a relative way. And the relativity of our autonomy and freedom is related to the properties of Complexity.

Complexity, in general, is a universal natural phenomena given by the integration of differentiated parts (see Complexity). Complexity itself is relative, and systems with higher complexity are characterised by higher flexibility and autonomy. For example, the evolution of higher  complexity on the human nervous system (in relation to other animals) endowed us with higher adaptability (phylogenesis); which was the key to the success of the human species.

In this case we are interested in the relativity of free-will and its relation with a particular kind of complexity: cognitive complexity. The relativity of freedom is related with a relativity in the degrees of cognitive complexity. For example, the development of cognitive complexity (ontogenesis) results in a thought that is more flexible and autonomous; which is manifested on being for example:
. Less dogmatic.
. More adjustable.
. More curious and open to change.
. More independent to external influence and pressure.
. More original, creative and free.

Higher cognitive complexity then, is related with higher flexibility and autonomy of thought, higher capacity to choose in an independent and autonomous way, therefore with higher freedom of will.

Absolute free-will is incompatible with Nature. Relative free-will on the other hand, is compatible with the nature of a monist universe where Complexity is a natural occurence.


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