Can Science Ever Tell us Whether Free Will Exists?


From The Irish Times: In recent experiments, scientists have identified “unconscious determinants” in the brain that help predict the decisions of research subjects. However, philosophers argue that these experiments do not necessarily support the conclusion that we have no free will.

“The neuroscientific research has so far studied only choices that are utterly care-free. There is no reason to perform the movement now or to use the left rather than the right index finger to press a button – without any consequence. In philosophy, we call this ‘freedom of indifference’ and we distinguish it from the kind of freedom that grounds responsible decisions.

The main point here is that there is no obvious reason to think that the findings from those studies apply to everyday choices – that are based on reasons.”

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