Article

Genetic Determinism, Neuronal Determinism, and Determinism <i>Tout Court</i>

Bernard Baertschi and Alexandre Mauron

in Oxford Handbook of Neuroethics

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199570706
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199570706.013.0047

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Genetic Determinism, Neuronal Determinism, and Determinism Tout Court

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This article analyses neuronal determinism (neurodeterminism) and mentions that at first sight it appears to be a type of qualified determinism. Neurodeterminism is better conceived as determinism tout court when it is applied to human beings. It differs importantly from genetic determinism, together the two views that are often regarded as similar in form if not in content. Moreover, the article examines the question of genetic determinism, because it is a paradigm of qualified determinism. It then explains the meaning of determinism tout court, its relation with the notions of “free will” and “responsibility,” and the debate about their alleged incompatibility. It provides an understanding of what neurodeterminism consists of, shows that it should be conceived as determinism tout court when it is applied to human beings, imparting an empirical turn to a very old metaphysical conundrum.

Keywords: neuronal determinism; tout court; genetic determinism; metaphysical conundrum; freewill

Article.  5127 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience ; Clinical Psychology

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