Reenv: [Comp-neuro] Modelling Philosophy

anibalmastobiza at terra.es anibalmastobiza at terra.es
Fri Aug 22 19:19:10 CEST 2008






Allan,

the modern investigation on the readines potential or  "Bereitschafts potential" was made by B. Libet and sumarize in his book "Mind Time: The temporal factor in consciousness" and it shows the classic result of 0.5 seconds of activation of the brain before the subject is conscious of the intention to act. (Though the the burden of proof is to demonstrate if that readiness potential was not in fact generate by the subject ,albeit unconsciously, just as we ride a bike with procedural memory without conscious procesess involve, but nobody denies that we freely choose to ride the bike, turn to the left ,or go straight ahead)

But for me Libet´s attempts to consider free will as an ilussion fail. Not only LIbet himself recognize a "veto" power, a temporal window in which the subject could stop what he intend to do, 0,2 seconds before the action, but also becasue Libet´s work attacks the very idea of materialistic view of  neuroscience the idea of mind/brain identity  and because revert the cartesian idea of mind controling body with his retrospective referral of subjective experience (Paul Churchland and Daniel Dennett critizices the methods of Libet better than me)

On the other hand, he proposed a theory of consciousness in oppossition with mainstream neurobiology. His theory was called "mental field theory" a sugggestion that consciousness was better to be think as minute electrical space how that can support the contents of conscious experiences.

Neverthless, Libet was one of the pionners (with Weiskrantz) to introduce the modern results of cognitve payshcology and neurosceince to the philosophy of mind debate.

Greetings.


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