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Freedom, choice, and future

Freedom, choice, and future

“Our freedom flourishes only as we steadily will ourselves to close the gap between making promises and keeping them. Implicit in this action is an assertion that through my will I can influence the future. It does not imply total authority over the future, of course, only over my piece of it. In this way, the assertion of freedom of will also asserts the right to the future tense as a condition of a fully human life.” — The Age…

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Schurger et al. debunk Libet

Schurger et al. debunk Libet

From their paper in Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 20(2), 2016. “Now a series of new developments has begun to unravel what we thought we knew about the brain activity preceding spontaneous voluntary movements (SVMs). The main new revelation is that the apparent build-up of this activity, up until about 200 ms pre-movement, may reflect the ebb and flow of background neuronal noise, rather than the outcome of a specific neuronal event corresponding to a ‘decision’ to initiate movement.”

Downward mental causation and free will

Downward mental causation and free will

I know, to free will or not to free will, that is the hackneyed question debated in philosophical circles since we learned how to talk. But here’s a cognitive neuroscientist’s research on “how neuronal code underlies top-down mental causation.” It’s a long video, over 2 hours, and I have yet to complete it. Here is Peter Tse’s CV.  Here is his book on the topic is. Here is a good summary of Tse’s work on the topic.

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