The wisdom of aging

Hat tip: Crooked Timber via Luke Surl


2 thoughts on “The wisdom of aging

  1. I suppose the question is “what is modern neuroscience?” The experiments which have made the most impact on our understanding of free will, indeed advancing the idea that free will is illusory, are that by Benjamin Libet and (separately) Patrick Haggard and Martin Eimer. I have found this idea of ‘free won’t’ a very useful one in fact in thinking about the default states being certain actions, and the brain acting to control them as desired to avoid theft, fraud, murder, etc. If this control mechanism goes awry, a person may be frankly disinhibited and lose his free will. However, I think that this phenomenon of lack of impulse control has a direct corollary in the law in the form of irresistible impulse in the insanity defence, so it could be that a neuroscience and philosophical discussion of free will is very relevant to the law generally across many jurisdictions.

  2. @lawandmedicine:

    I’m not sure why “free won’t,” or “the brain acting to control [default actions]”, helps rescue the notion of free will.

    Wouldn’t any case of “the brain acting” have a neural correlate? And if so, wouldn’t a careful examination (perhaps impossible with current tools) reveal the neural correlates that precede that neural correlate (by 300 ms, maybe?) That would seem to put us right back where we were.

    (For help ameliorating any residual worry about free will, I recommend Adina Roskies’ writing on the topic…)

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