Consciousness: brain lesions remove free will (General)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, July 30, 2019, 18:26 (425 days ago) @ dhw

QUOTE:The concept of free will doesn’t make any sense to me. As Kavka’s thought experiment shows, we don’t have much control over our thoughts. Take this article I’m writing: The words I’m committing to print pop into my mind unbeckoned. It’s less me choosing them and more them presenting themselves to me. (DAVID’s bold)

In any case, the mystery of free will isn’t going away anytime soon. In March, a group of neuroscientists and philosophers announced that they’ve received $7 million to study the nature of free will and whether humans have it. Uri Maoz, a computational neuroscientist at Chapman University, is leading the project. bbb“ bbbAs a scientist, I don’t know what it entails to have free will,” he said in an interview with Science. That’s a philosophical puzzle. But once Maoz’s philosopher colleagues agree on a definition, he can get to work to see if it occurs in humans. “This is an empirical question. It may be that I don’t have the technology to measure it, but that is at least an empirical question that I could get at.” (DAVID’S bold)

DAVID: Note my bolds. We are all aware that brain damage can damage proper thought. This nutty paper tries to twist that into a case against free will. In the first bold, the author is unaware how words pop into his head. Really? "Garbage in ....garbage out".

dhw: Nobody knows “how” words pop into their heads, because nobody knows how consciousness works. It’s a straight choice: either your cell communities are communicating with one another at different levels, the highest of which is what you suppose to be “you” (= materialism), or an immaterial “you” is communicating with your cell communities (= dualism). The former appears to exclude free will, and the latter allows it. However, on a different plane, it might be said that the law of cause and effect precludes free will both for materialists and for dualists. The effects of brain damage clearly favour materialists, but psychic experiences favour dualists. You may remember that some time ago I proposed a theory of intelligence which attempted a compromise between the two schools of thought.

The problem is always the same. A material brain is the seat of immaterial consciousness, which can survive transient death of the brain. Where does it go while the brain is not functioning? My answer is nowhere. The brain is like a radio and receives consciousness when the brain is functional . As for free will it is part and parcel of consciousness, which each person mediates by using his brain to exercise control.


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