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[xmca] Hello Other Brain, how are you?

The pubic broadcaster in Oz, the ABC, is a great institution really, and "All In The Mind" is one of my favourite programs, but sometimes some of these guys really get under my skin. Today they were interviewing Michael Gazzaniga, and he started off the program talking about this strange illusion we have that we think of each other as persons when really we are just brains, a kind of quirky but conforting illusion.

The thing that intrigued me was when, about 20 minutes into the interview, the ABC interviewer asked him: "What about Free Will and personal responsibility?" and suddenly he brought "society" into his 100% physiological picture. More to say that personal responsibility (and therefore Free Will) were concepts only relevant to society and really nothing to do with brains, apologising like crazy for the awful "dualism" which of course he is dead against - it is *all* physiology after all.

I have a\observed that when John R Searle is confronted with the problem of a natural biological system "appearing to" enjoy free will, he resorts to quantum indeterminacy, which to me is nothing more than a quick change of subject hoping that you will forget the question and he can carry on.

Do people think that Free Will is in this sense the Achilles Heel of neurodeterminism or neurological monoism, or whatever you want to call it?


Andy Blunden http://www.erythrospress.com/
Classics in Activity Theory: Hegel, Leontyev, Meshcheryakov, Ilyenkov $20 ea

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