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Author Topic: My neurons make my decisions, so I have free will.  (Read 876 times)

Offline thedoc

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Ed Wilson  asked the Naked Scientists:
With reference to the programme of 11 April, arguments that neurological discoveries diminish the idea of free will seem misdirected.

Would I like to hand free will over to a bunch of neurons? What else do you think we use to make our decisions? Surely many of us sometimes ponder a problem then leave it unanswered, only to have the answer emerge some time later from the "back of the mind". The question has gone into memory, where some part of the brain has teased out a solution. It's the same when a desired word comes to mind "on its own", or a writer finds the next part of a story telling itself (all I have to do, it might appear, is write it down).

The fact that we are beginning to identify the mechanisms of the brain which are involved in these processes is fascinating, though it may not improve our thinking or decisions. If an answer appears in the only part of the mind that we've been able to think about so far (apart from the subconscious, or ideas of instinct, or...) a bit after it has been arrived at, that's simply to be expected. All these are parts of me, so I'm still the one making the decision.

Ed Wilson

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 02/05/2013 09:30:02 by _system »


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