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Free Will and Luck$
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Alfred R. Mele

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195305043

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195305043.001.0001

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 Free Will and Neuroscience

 Free Will and Neuroscience

Chapter:
(p.30) Two Free Will and Neuroscience
Source:
Free Will and Luck
Author(s):

Alfred R. Mele (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195305043.003.0002

This chapter argues that neuroscientist Benjamin Libet’s data do not justify his assertion that “the brain ‘decides’ to initiate [certain actions] before there is any reportable subjective awareness that such a decision has taken place,” and do not justify associated worries about free will. The data are examined in light of some recent findings about reaction times, and some familiar distinctions in the philosophy of action, for example, the distinction between decisions and desires (or urges).

Keywords:   decision, desire, Benjamin Libet, neuroscience, reaction time

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