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Is Science Compatible With Free Will

Author: Antoine Suarez
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1461452120
Size: 53.30 MB
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Anyone who claims the right ‘to choose how to live their life’ excludes any purely deterministic description of their brain in terms of genes, chemicals or environmental influences. For example, when an author of a text expresses his thoughts, he assumes that, in typing the text, he governs the firing of the neurons in his brain and the movement of his fingers through the exercise of his own free will: what he writes is not completely pre-determined at the beginning of the universe. Yet in the field of neuroscience today, determinism dominates. There is a conflict between the daily life conviction that a human being has free will, and deterministic neuroscience. When faced with this conflict two alternative positions are possible: Either human freedom is an illusion, or deterministic neuroscience is not the last word on the brain and will eventually be superseded by a neuroscience that admits processes not completely determined by the past. This book investigates whether it is possible to have a science in which there is room for human freedom. The book generally concludes that the world and the brain are governed to some extent by non-material agencies, and limited consciousness does not abolish free will and responsibility. The authors present perspectives coming from different disciplines (Neuroscience, Quantumphysics and Philosophy) and range from those focusing on the scientific background, to those highlighting rather more a philosophical analysis. However, all chapters share a common characteristic: they take current scientific observations and data as a basis from which to draw philosophical implications. It is these features that make this volume unique, an exceptional interdisciplinary approach combining scientific strength and philosophical profundity. We are convinced that it will strongly stimulate the debate and contribute to new insights in the mind-brain relationship. ​

Unifying Causality And Psychology

Author: Gerald Young
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319240943
Size: 25.19 MB
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This magistral treatise approaches the integration of psychology through the study of the multiple causes of normal and dysfunctional behavior. Causality is the focal point reviewed across disciplines. Using diverse models, the book approaches unifying psychology as an ongoing project that integrates genetics, experience, evolution, brain, development, change mechanisms, and so on. The book includes in its integration free will, epitomized as freedom in being. It pinpoints the role of the self in causality and the freedom we have in determining our own behavior. The book deals with disturbed behavior, as well, and tackles the DSM-5 approach to mental disorder and the etiology of psychopathology. Young examines all these topics with a critical eye, and gives many innovative ideas and models that will stimulate thinking on the topic of psychology and causality for decades to come. It is truly integrative and original. Among the topics covered: Models and systems of causality of behavior. Nature and nurture: evolution and complexities. Early adversity, fetal programming, and getting under the skin. Free will in psychotherapy: helping people believe. Causality in psychological injury and law: basics and critics. A Neo-Piagetian/Neo-Eriksonian 25-step (sub)stage model. Unifying Causality and Psychology appeals to the disciplines of psychology, psychiatry, epidemiology, philosophy, neuroscience, genetics, law, the social sciences and humanistic fields, in general, and other mental health fields. Its level of writing makes it appropriate for graduate courses, as well as researchers and practitioners.

The Blackwell Companion To Naturalism

Author: Kelly James Clark
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118657780
Size: 19.39 MB
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The Blackwell Companion to Naturalism provides a systematic introduction to philosophical naturalism and its relation to other schools of thought. Features contributions from an international array of established and emerging scholars from across the humanities Explores the historical development of naturalism and its ascension to the dominant orthodoxy in the Western academy Juxtaposes theoretical criticisms with impassioned defenses, encapsulating contemporary debates on naturalism Includes discussions of metaphysics, realism, feminism, science, knowledge, truth, mathematics, free will, and ethics viewed through a naturalist lens

Libertarian Free Will

Author: David Palmer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199860092
Size: 76.12 MB
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According to the libertarian position on free will, people sometimes exercise free will, but this freedom is incompatible with the truth of causal determinism. Frequently maligned within the history of philosophy, this view has recently gained increasingly sympathetic attention among philosophers. But stark questions remain: How plausible is this view? If our actions are not causally determined, how can we have control over them? Why should we want our actions to be breaks in the deterministic causal chain? The recent resurgence of interest in libertarianism is due, most significantly, to Robert Kane, who is the leading contemporary defender of this view of free will. This book is a collection of new essays on the libertarian position on free will and related issues that focuses specifically on the views of Kane. Written by a distinguished group of philosophers, the essays cover various areas of philosophy including metaphysics, ethics, and philosophy of mind. Kane contributes a final essay, replying to the criticisms offered in the previous chapters and developing his view in new directions.

Quantum Theory And Free Will

Author: Henry P. Stapp
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319583018
Size: 36.76 MB
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This book explains, in simple but accurate terms, how orthodox quantum mechanics works. The author, a distinguished theoretical physicist, shows how this theory, realistically interpreted, assigns an important role to our conscious free choices. Stapp claims that mainstream biology and neuroscience, despite nearly a century of quantum physics, still stick essentially to failed classical precepts in which mental intentions have no effect upon our bodily actions. He shows how quantum mechanics provides a rational basis for a better understanding of this connection, even allowing an explanation of certain phenomena currently held to be “paranormal”. These ideas have major implications for our understanding of ourselves and our mental processes, and thus also for the meaningfulness of our lives.

Downward Causation And The Neurobiology Of Free Will

Author: Nancey Murphy
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 3642032044
Size: 64.17 MB
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How is free will possible in the light of the physical and chemical underpinnings of brain activity and recent neurobiological experiments? How can the emergence of complexity in hierarchical systems such as the brain, based at the lower levels in physical interactions, lead to something like genuine free will? The nature of our understanding of free will in the light of present-day neuroscience is becoming increasingly important because of remarkable discoveries on the topic being made by neuroscientists at the present time, on the one hand, and its crucial importance for the way we view ourselves as human beings, on the other. A key tool in understanding how free will may arise in this context is the idea of downward causation in complex systems, happening coterminously with bottom up causation, to form an integral whole. Top-down causation is usually neglected, and is therefore emphasized in the other part of the book’s title. The concept is explored in depth, as are the ethical and legal implications of our understanding of free will. This book arises out of a workshop held in California in April of 2007, which was chaired by Dr. Christof Koch. It was unusual in terms of the breadth of people involved: they included physicists, neuroscientists, psychiatrists, philosophers, and theologians. This enabled the meeting, and hence the resulting book, to attain a rather broader perspective on the issue than is often attained at academic symposia. The book includes contributions by Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, George F. R. Ellis , Christopher D. Frith, Mark Hallett, David Hodgson, Owen D. Jones, Alicia Juarrero, J. A. Scott Kelso, Christof Koch, Hans Küng, Hakwan C. Lau, Dean Mobbs, Nancey Murphy, William Newsome, Timothy O’Connor, Sean A.. Spence, and Evan Thompson.

Mathematical Undecidability Quantum Nonlocality And The Question Of The Existence Of God

Author: Alfred Driessen
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9401154287
Size: 50.60 MB
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On January 22, 1990, the late John Bell held at CERN (European Laboratory for Particle Physics), Geneva a seminar organized by the Center of Quantum Philosophy, that at this time was an association of scientists interested in the interpretation of quantum mechanics. In this seminar Bell presented once again his famous theorem. Thereafter a discussion took place in which not only physical but also highly speculative epistemological and philosophical questions were vividly debated. The list of topics included: assumption of free will in Bell's theorem, the understanding of mind, the relationship between the mathematical and the physical world, the existence of unobservable causes and the limits of human knowledge in mathematics and physics. Encouraged by this stimulating discussion some of the participants decided to found an Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies (lIS) to promote philosoph ical and interdisciplinary reflection on the advances of science. Meanwhile the lIS has associated its activities with the Swiss foundation, Fondation du Leman, and the Dutch foundation, Stichting Instudo, registered in Geneva and Amsterdam, respectively. With its activities the lIS intends to strengthen the unity between the professional activities in science and the reflection on fun damental philosophical questions. In addition the interdisciplinary approach is expected to give a contribution to the progress of science and the socio economic development. At present three working groups are active within the lIS, i. e. : - the Center for Quantum Philosophy, - the Wealth Creation and Sustainable Development Group, - the Neural Science Group.

The Neural Basis Of Free Will

Author: Peter Tse
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262019108
Size: 36.97 MB
Format: PDF
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The issues of mental causation, consciousness, and free will have vexed philosopherssince Plato. In this book, Peter Tse examines these unresolved issues from a neuroscientificperspective. In contrast with philosophers who use logic rather than data to argue whether mentalcausation or consciousness can exist given unproven first assumptions, Tse proposes that we insteadlisten to what neurons have to say. Because the brain must already embody a solution to themind--body problem, why not focus on how the brain actually realizes mental causation? Tse draws on exciting recent neuroscientific data concerning how informationalcausation is realized in physical causation at the level of NMDA receptors, synapses, dendrites,neurons, and neuronal circuits. He argues that a particular kind of strong free will and "downward"mental causation are realized in rapid synaptic plasticity. Recent neurophysiological breakthroughsreveal that neurons function as criterial assessors of their inputs, which then change the criteriathat will make other neurons fire in the future. Such informational causation cannot change thephysical basis of information realized in the present, but it can change the physical basis ofinformation that may be realized in the immediate future. This gets around the standard argumentagainst free will centered on the impossibility of self-causation. Tse explores the ways that mentalcausation and qualia might be realized in this kind of neuronal and associatedinformation-processing architecture, and considers the psychological and philosophical implicationsof having such an architecture realized in our brains.

Quantum Information And Consciousness

Author: Danko D. Georgiev
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 1351401777
Size: 70.66 MB
Format: PDF
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"I loved the book! This book is not just interesting, it is exciting. I have probably read every significant book in the field, and this is the strongest and most convincing one yet. It is also one of the most comprehensive in its explanations. I shall most certainly recommend the book to colleagues." –Richard G. Petty, MD "a very good introduction to the basic theory of quantum systems.... Dr. Georgiev’s book aptly prepares the reader to confront whatever might be in store later." –from the Foreword by Prof. James F. Glazebrook, Eastern Illinois University This book addresses the fascinating cross-disciplinary field of quantum information theory applied to the study of brain function. It offers a self-study guide to probe the problems of consciousness, including a concise but rigorous introduction to classical and quantum information theory, theoretical neuroscience, and philosophy of the mind. It aims to address long-standing problems related to consciousness within the framework of modern theoretical physics in a comprehensible manner that elucidates the nature of the mind-body relationship. The reader also gains an overview of methods for constructing and testing quantum informational theories of consciousness.

Who S In Charge

Author: Michael S. Gazzaniga
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0062096834
Size: 64.54 MB
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“Big questions are Gazzaniga’s stock in trade.” —New York Times “Gazzaniga is one of the most brilliant experimental neuroscientists in the world.” —Tom Wolfe “Gazzaniga stands as a giant among neuroscientists, for both the quality of his research and his ability to communicate it to a general public with infectious enthusiasm.” —Robert Bazell, Chief Science Correspondent, NBC News The author of Human, Michael S. Gazzaniga has been called the “father of cognitive neuroscience.” In his remarkable book, Who’s in Charge?, he makes a powerful and provocative argument that counters the common wisdom that our lives are wholly determined by physical processes we cannot control. His well-reasoned case against the idea that we live in a “determined” world is fascinating and liberating, solidifying his place among the likes of Oliver Sacks, Antonio Damasio, V.S. Ramachandran, and other bestselling science authors exploring the mysteries of the human brain.