Neuroscience and Free Will

As a world-renowned mathematician, Professor Marcus Du Sautoy is well aware of bombshell ideas that have devastating conceptual power such as Godel's Incompleteness Theorem or Russell's Paradox. These ideas, of course, are not merely mathematical curiosities: they have powerful philosophical implications about the nature of universals, logic and the limits of thought and cognition.

All his mathematico/philosophical training, however, could not prepare him for the existential confrontation with one of the deepest philosophical questions regarding what it is to be human: free will. Challenging abstract concepts are one thing... lived experience, as one might expect, is a bit more visceral :)

The problem is not simply that free will is most likely an illusion. Today's technological advances in neuroimaging and brain scanning present a modern-day version of LaPlace's demon: other people may know what choice you are going to make before you yourself are aware your own 'choice'...



And here is a bit more from Susan Greenfield on these types of experiments:



Haynes' interpretation didn't quite convince me (I don't assume mind-brain identity, even though I am a physicalist), but you get the point anyway...
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