Authors
Jan Scheffel
KTH Royal Institute Of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
Abstract
The problem of free will has persistently resisted a solution throughout centuries. There is reason to believe that new elements need to be introduced into the analysis in order to make progress. In the present physicalist approach, these elements are emergence and information theory in relation to universal limits set by quantum physics. Furthermore the common, but vague, characterization of free will as "being able to act differently" is, in the spirit of Carnap, rephrased into an explicatum more suitable for formal analysis. It is argued that the mind is an ontologically open system; a causal high-level system, the future of which cannot be reduced to the states of its associated low-level neural systems, not even if it is rendered physically closed. A positive answer to the question of free will is subsequently outlined.
Keywords Free will  Downward causation  Ontologically open  Mind-body problem  Consciousness  Subconsciousness  Emergence
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