Neuroscience, intentionality and free will: Reply to Habermas

Philosophical Explorations 10 (1):69 – 76 (2007)
I agree with much of Habermas's article ?The Language Game of Responsible Agency and the Problem of Free Will,? but concentrate on disagreements. (i) He is wrong to think the language game of neuroscience is somehow at odds with the language game of rational intentionality. I argue that they give different levels of description of the same system. He also has too narrow a conception of contemporary neurobiological research. (ii) He is mistaken in thinking there is a ?performative contradiction? in engaging in research that presupposes free will in order to disprove free will. (iii) His ?epistemic dualism? is irrelevant to the issue. (iv) He has some misconceptions about the world in general, especially about ?downward causation.? He seems to think that the physical world is deterministic. It is not. Quantum indeterminacy pervades the entire universe. We have the illusion of determinism because in some systems the quantum indeterminacies cancel out at the macro level. Is the brain a deterministic system? Right now we do not know
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DOI 10.1080/13869790601170169
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