Chapter

 Free Will and Neuroscience

Alfred R. Mele

in Free Will and Luck

Published in print February 2006 | ISBN: 9780195305043
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199786015 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195305043.003.0002
  Free Will and Neuroscience

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This chapter argues that neuroscientist Benjamin Libet’s data do not justify his assertion that “the brain ‘decides’ to initiate [certain actions] before there is any reportable subjective awareness that such a decision has taken place,” and do not justify associated worries about free will. The data are examined in light of some recent findings about reaction times, and some familiar distinctions in the philosophy of action, for example, the distinction between decisions and desires (or urges).

Keywords: decision; desire; Benjamin Libet; neuroscience; reaction time

Chapter.  8373 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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