Sunday, January 29, 2006

Words of Wisdom

Free will is exercised unconsciously

By observing another person’s brain activity, one can predict what someone is going to do before to do before he is aware that he has made the decision to do it.

This finding has caused – philosophers to ask: if the choice is determined in the brain unconsciously before we decide to act, where is free will?

Are these choices predetermined? Is our experience of freely willing our actions an illusion, a rationalization after the fact? Is one to be held responsible for decisions that made without conscious awareness?

By Eric Kandel, Columbia University

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