Free Will, Causality, and Neuroscience


Neuroscientists often consider free will to be an illusion. Contrary to this hypothesis, the contributions to this volume show that recent developments in neuroscience can also support the existence of free will. Firstly, the possibility of intentional consciousness is studied. Secondly, Libet’s experiments are discussed from this new perspective. Thirdly, the relationship between free will, causality and language is analyzed. This approach suggests that language grants the human brain a possibility to articulate a meaningful personal life. Therefore, human beings can escape strict biological determinism.
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Bernard Feltz, MD in Biology (1976) and PhD in Philosophy (1986), is Emeritus Professor at the Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium. He has published many articles and books on the philosophy of biology, including Self-Organization and Emergence in Life Sciences (Springer, 2006).
Marcus Missal is Professor of Neurosciences at the Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium) where he obtained a PhD in Sciences in 1994. His area of interests are time perception in humans and animals, anticipation, and eye movements. He is an expert electrophysiologist and behavioral neuroscientist.
Andrew Sims obtained a PhD in Philosophy from Deakin University in 2015 with a dissertation on the explanation of psychological delusion after brain damage. He writes on topics in the philosophy of mind ranging from the psychogenic explanation of monomania to the explanation of social polarisation in terms of rational choice theory. His contribution to this book is linked to a post-doctoral stay at the Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium.
 The Authors
Bernard Feltz, Marcus Missal and Andrew Sims

Part 1: Intention and Consciousness

 1 Perceptual Decision-Making and Beyond: Intention as Mental Imagery
Andrew Sims and Marcus Missal
 2 Dual-System Theory and the Role of Consciousness in Intentional Action
Markus Schlosser
 3 When Do Robots Have Free Will? Exploring the Relationships between (Attributions of) Consciousness and Free Will
Eddy Nahmias, Corey Allen and Bradley Loveall

Part 2: Libet-Style Experiments

 4 Free Will and Neuroscience: Decision Times and the Point of No Return
Alfred Mele
 5 Why Libet-Style Experiments Cannot Refute All Forms of Libertarianism
László Bernáth
 6 Actions and Intentions
Sofia Bonicalzi

Part 3: Causality and Free Will

 7 The Mental, the Physical, and the Informational
Anna Drozdzewska
 8 Free Will, Language, and the Causal Exclusion Problem
Bernard Feltz and Olivier Sartenaer
 Index of Authors
 Index of Concepts
All interested in the philosophy of sciences, in the philosophy of mind, in the philosophy of language, in the cognitive sciences, in anthropology, and anyone interested by the question of the relation between brain and free will.
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