Saturday, November 10, 2007

Back to the Future

Here's another interesting free will idea. Consider the following scenario under the assumption that free will exists.

A man is in a room. The room is full of various things to do, perhaps there are foodstuffs, exercise equipment, and games. There are also cameras in the room so that the man can be observed from two monitoring rooms.

In one monitoring room, a woman enters and watches the man via the cameras. After an hour, she uses a time machine (conveniently placed in the room) to go back in time 70 minutes. She goes to the other monitoring room and watches the man do the same things she had seen him do before.

During that hour, are the actions of the man constrained by the knowledge of the traveler? Has he lost the ability to choose?