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The Neural Basis of Free WillCriterial Causation$
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Peter Ulric Tse

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780262019101

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262019101.001.0001

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Criterial Causation Offers a Neural Basis for Free Will

Criterial Causation Offers a Neural Basis for Free Will

(p.133) 7 Criterial Causation Offers a Neural Basis for Free Will
The Neural Basis of Free Will

Peter Ulric Tse

The MIT Press

This chapter argues that it is possible to hold on to a strong conception of free will despite being a physicalist and ontological indeterminist. In continuing this discussion, the strict demands of a strong free will must first be established, namely, the possession of multiple courses of physical or mental behavior, the ability to choose among these courses, the ability to have chosen otherwise once a course of behavior is chosen, and a choice not dictated by randomness but by the one possessing free will. These demands may seem impossible since they require acts of free will to involve acts of self-causation. This chapter aims to avoid the logical fallacy of self-causation while also describing a way to meet these demands, assuming ontological indeterminism and criterial causation among neurons.

Keywords:   strong free will, physicalist, ontological indeterminist, acts of self-causation, criterial causation

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