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Unread February 16th, 2006, 09:55 AM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 483
Default Re: Free will v. downward causation

MM: Does this mean that if you could convince every male to be as moral as you then none of you would have free will?
You may have missed the point. As LeDoux indicates, we humans seem capable of “downward causation,” Here again in Ledoux’s words—
Our brain has not evolved to the point where the new systems that make complex thinking possible can easily control the old systems that give rise to our base needs and motives, and emotional reactions. This doesn’t mean that we’re simply victims of our brains and should just give in to our urges. It means that downward causation is sometimes hard work. ‘Doing’ the right thing doesn’t always flow naturally form ‘knowing’ what the right thing to do is. [From LeDoux’s Synaptic Self, (2001), pgs. 322-323]
However Margaret, as I’ve suggested elsewhere, if someone’s truly convinced that we humans lack free will, as you seem to be, then they’re probably effectively locked into that POV, regardless of whatever evidence or argument LeDoux or anyone else provides. After all Margaret, using your words, you’re just choosing the behavior (and thinking) that feels best to you from the alternatives; you have no other choice.

Last edited by Fred H.; February 16th, 2006 at 10:31 AM.
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