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The biology of free will

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Abstract:

According to Bergson (1916), the traditional problem of free will is misconceived and arises from a mismatch between the quality of authentic, subjective experience and its description in language, in particular, the language of the mechanistic science of psychology. Contemporary western scientific concepts of the organism, on the other hand, are leading us beyond conventional thermodynamics as well as quantum theory and offering rigorous insights which reaffirm and extend our intuitive, poetic, and even romantic notions of spontaneity and free will. I shall describe some new views of the organism arising from new findings in biology, in order to show how, in freeing itself from the ‘laws’ of physics, from mechanical determinism and mechanistic control, the organism becomes a sentient, coherent being that is free, from moment to moment, to explore and create its possible futures.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Bioelectrodynamics Laboratory, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK.

Publication date: 1996-03-01

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