David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Robert H. Kane (ed.), Journal of Consciousness Studies. Oxford University Press 551--564 (2002)
I have taken an experimental approach to this question. Freely voluntary acts are preceded by a specific electrical change in the brain that begins 550 ms before the act. Human subjects became aware of intention to act 350-400 ms after RP starts, but 200 ms. before the motor act. The volitional process is therefore initiated unconsciously. But the conscious function could still control the outcome; it can veto the act. Free will is therefore not excluded. These findings put constraints on views of how free will may operate; it would not initiate a voluntary act but it could control performance of the act. The findings also affect views of guilt and responsibility. But the deeper question still remains: Are freely voluntary acts subject to macro-deterministic laws or can they appear without such constraints, non-determined by natural laws and ‘truly free'? I shall present an experimentalist view about these fundamental philosophical opposites
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Markus E. Schlosser (2014). The Neuroscientific Study of Free Will: A Diagnosis of the Controversy. Synthese 191 (2):245-262.
Joshua Shepherd (2012). Free Will and Consciousness: Experimental Studies. Consciousness and Cognition 21 (2):915-927.
Pete Mandik (2010). Control Consciousness. Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (4):643-657.
Neil Levy (2009). Neuroethics: Ethics and the Sciences of the Mind. Philosophy Compass 4 (1):69-81.
Simone Kühn & Marcel Brass (2009). Retrospective Construction of the Judgement of Free Choice. Consciousness and Cognition 18 (1):12-21.
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