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A bifold model of freewill

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The folk psychology view of the faculty of freewill is that it is innate, unitary, structureless and, of course, free. A bifold approach to the mind, as taken by Vygotsky, Mead, Luria and others, argues that, like all the other higher mental abilities of humans, freewill is in fact largely a socially-constructed and language-enabled habit of thought. There is a neurology for this habit to latch on to -- after all, the ‘raw’ animal brain is built for acting rather than contemplating. But it is the social superstructure -- the habit of monitoring and even directing our planning behaviour - which creates much of the traditional mystery. Indeed, ironically, it is actually central to the socially-constructed Western ‘script’ of freewill that we deny the social origins of this ability to take charge of our own brains.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 10 Sterry Drive, Thames Ditton, Surrey KT7 0YN, UK.

Publication date: 1999-08-01

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