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The Neurodynamics of Free Will

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A model of dynamic brain function based on the work of Walter Freeman others a more satisfactory account of free will than alternative accounts that attempt to confirm or reject it. Freeman has shown us that mammalian brains function between open-ended information gathering and cycles of practiced response to form a rhythm which engages us with the world. This kind of response cannot be explained in agent-causal or mechanistic terms. These models offer a stark choice between action as independent of external causes, or as a product of physical parts and processes internal to an organism. A neurodynamic model conceives of the will as a continuous action-producing neurocognitive process shaped by the organism's interaction with its surroundings and its imagined and self-originating continuation of a set of rhythms in responding to them. These rhythms confront us with the fragility of our own existence and adaptation, which cannot be unpacked like an industrial system or digitalized like a computer program. The fluidity of our interaction with the world and the fragility of our being are more adequately dealt with by continental thinkers than recent analytic philosophy. Both are naturalistic, but the former are more open to human creativity and a sense of freedom to which we can aspire.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Bioethics, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand; [email protected] 2: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2020

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