Chapter

Neuroscience and Conscious Choice

David Hodgson

in Rationality + Consciousness = Free Will

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199845309
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932269 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199845309.003.0009

Series: Philosophy of Mind Series

Neuroscience and Conscious Choice

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In Chapter 8, I give an account of how the brain could work consistently with my approach, and consider whether this is compatible with what neuroscience tells us about the brain. To the extent that neuroscience seems to leave no room for any contribution from conscious experiences over and above their neural correlates, I contend this is a manifestation of current neuroscience's inability to give a satisfactory account of consciousness generally, and does not count strongly against my approach. I consider the scale and nature of quantum effects, and contend that it is plausible that they could be significant in accommodating indeterministic free will. I consider some findings of neuroscience that have been suggested to be inconsistent with efficacious conscious decision-making.

Keywords: neuroscience; constraint; laws of nature; unconscious motivation; spectra of possibilities; autopilot; conscious input; Cartesian theatre

Chapter.  8624 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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