Neurobiology and the Problem of Free Will

  1. Lemma
  2. Neurobiologija i problem slobodne volje
  3. Serbian
  4. Stevanovic, Aleksandra
  5. Modes of interaction - Concepts of knowledge and modes of reasoning > Orthodox gnosiology
  6. 19-01-2019
  7. Jeftic, Andrej [Author]. Neurobiology and the Problem of Free Will. 99–121
  8. Serbian Theology in the 20th Century : Research Problems and Results - Belgrade: Faculty of Orthodox Theology, 2014.
    1. Faculty of Orthodox Theology
  9. neurobiology - free will - Libet, Benjamin - Haynes, John-Dylan - Wegner, Daniel
  10. 19/01/2019
    1. In the paper, the author introduces how the concept of human “free will” has been perceived in different ways. There were some authors that deemed that decision-making is natural to human beings. This may be seen as a sort of libertarianism.

      On the other hand, there were some that argued that all human actions have been pre-determined (by something beyond our understanding or our genetics etc.); thus, free will has been very limited. All these stances may be referred to as determinism, according to the author.

      There are some other stances though. In other perspectives, determinism does not exclude free will, but it is compatible with the deterministic stance (our actions are pre-determined, but that does not deprive us of freedom). It is called compatibilism.  

      Some thirty years ago, neurobiology started to examine free will and provide experiment-based answers to this question. Having this in mind, the author elaborates on this perception of free will, points at some theological reflections on it, as well as indicates possible shortcomings of this perspective. Focussing on neurobiological experiments, the author follows the work of Benjamin Libet, John-Dylan Haynes, and Daniel Wegner.