The Issue Over The Existence Of Free Will Essay

1555 WordsFeb 23, 20167 Pages
Background The up and coming fields of neuroscience and neuropsychology have the potential to break a seemingly everlasting stalemate on the debate over the existence of free will. Breaking away from a purely theoretical approach to discussing a philosophical question could shed some light into our greatest existential dilemmas. German philosopher Martin Heidegger himself said, “we ourselves are entities to be analyzed,” and that seems ever so fitting for the investigation into consciousness. Although we have first person access to our conscious brain, the advancement of technology has allowed previously inaccessible understanding of what goes on inside our heads. But much of our brain and spinal cord, the scientifically agreed upon location of the self, is barely understood. But as we apply reason and testing to our theories, we can learn more about the brain from a scientific and philosophic viewpoint. We can finally marry the two fields through an agreement of reason and questioning, agreeing with Rudolf Carnap that “Logic is the last scientific ingredient of philosophy.” Introduction of Topic and Definition of Terms We often act without conscious action. Reflexes like a knee jerk, or pulling away from a hot stove, happen automatically. Even our conscious decisions happen as a result of environmental and evolutionary factors that shape who we are. This, however, doesn’t negate the existence of a self. There may be an outcome, a path of atoms and energy changing since the
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