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Free Will and Modern Science

Richard Swinburne

Abstract

Do humans have a free choice of which actions to perform? Three recent developments of modern science can help us to answer this question. First, new investigative tools have enabled us to study the processes in our brains which accompanying our decisions. The pioneer work of Benjamin Libet has led many neuroscientists to hold the view that our conscious intentions do not cause our bodily movements but merely accompany them. Then, Quantum Theory suggests that not all physical events are fully determined by their causes, and so opens the possibility that not all brain events may be fully determ ... More

Keywords: free choice, Benjamin Libet, neuroscience, intentions, bodily movements, Quantum Theory, brain events, Gödel's theory, human behaviour, conscious events

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780197264898
Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2013 DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197264898.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Richard Swinburne, editor
Professor Emeritus of Philosophy of Religion, University of Oxford