The Idea Of Free Will Essay

1433 Words Oct 20th, 2015 6 Pages
The idea of free will as an illusion has become a hot topic in neuroscience, still even nearly twenty years after this article was penned, due to the controversy it attracts regarding morals and self-determination. Tom Wolfe argues, in a rather snarky tone consistently seen throughout the article, that the concept of a self is dead—much like Nietzsche’s preceding declaration that God is dead. However, the concept of self is not yet dead in neuroscience like Wolfe predicted. Rather, more recent research suggests that free will stemming from a self—as well as its opposing partner concept, free won’t—not only exists, but impacts our daily decisions. In 2009, Banks and Isham tested the relationship between the readiness potential and a self-awareness of intentions to move in response to Benjamin Libet 's experiment in the 1980s declaring that decisions were first made subconsciously before becoming a conscious decision and that the idea that it was due to a subject 's will was only because of their perspective being self-reflective. Banks and Isham discovered that the decisions were not actually pre-determined by the readiness potential, but rather constructed by the self as the intention to act was discovered to have shifted systematically rather than as a response to a prompting as Libet suggested. Even Libet himself didn 't interpret his experiment to be proof of the death of free will or the self, pointing that the consciousness can still veto any action at the last…

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