Andrew David Viceroy





Evidence #1: THE YOU’S IN YOU 45


Evidence #3: MEMORY 60

Evidence #4: INTENTION 67

Evidence #5: GENETIC BEHAVIOR 72

Evidence #6: MANIPULATION 77

Evidence #7: CONFABULATION 83

Evidence #8: SPLIT BRAINS 89


Evidence #10: THE SENSES 98


Evidence #11: UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE 105

Evidence #12: OVERLOAD 111

Evidence #13: PERSONAL CHEMISTRY 116

Evidence #14: MENTAL DISORDER 122


Evidence #16: THE BODY OTHER 131

Evidence #17: DEVELOPMENT 135

Evidence #18: RIGHT-SIDE BIAS 138


Evidence #20: RISK 147

Evidence #21: ENVIRONMENT 150

Evidence #22: BEAUTY 155

Evidence #23: RELIGION 158

Evidence #24: IN-GROUP/OUT-GROUP 169




Evidence #27: EMPATHY 185

Evidence #28: OBLIGATION 189

Evidence #29: GENDER 195

Evidence #30: INTELLIGENCE 201


Evidence #32: REACTANCE 207








LUCK 255













Do you have an internal locus of control?1 That is to ask, do you lean toward the belief
that ‘the conscious you’ and/or ‘the spiritual you’ ultimately controls your motivations, goals,
feelings, and behavior? Are you ultimately responsible for your actions because you always have
‘the freedom to do otherwise’? If you answered “yes” to these questions, then this book will give
you something to chew on. In the least, there is so much valuable information here that will give
you the crucial tools you will appreciate to help you achieve your goals and better navigate
through this complex world.
For those who wish to be technically precise and/or feel intimidated by psychological and
philosophical terminology, please go straight to the back of the book and spend some time
reviewing the Helpful Vocabulary section, as well as a section on the most commonly used
informal logical fallacies (I would!).
People have asked why I would make the text more difficult by using a less familiar word
like “epistemic” instead of “related to the acquisition of knowledge” and it is because there are
often subtle reasons that may not be immediately apparent (in this case, for example, because it
may be important to focus on the actual domain of access to knowledge in contrast to the domain
of, say, ontology [what exists], rather than just simplified versions of these concepts). There are
billions of people on the planet who disagree with the fundamental premises of this book, so I
must be thorough. I do get a little technical at times, especially in Part III (though this book
avoids all formal logic).
I’ll say right now that however polemical I may get, the subject is complex and
multifaceted and, at the beginning of the day, reasonable people can plausibly disagree,
especially on the more speculative elements. The studies themselves are actually really fun and
will blow your mind. In addition to the core peer reviewed journal articles (with PDF file links,
when available), books, magazine articles, and essays supporting the primary evidences, I have
included many supplemental online links to multimedia material, movies/documentaries,

Harvey, J. H., Barnes, R. D., Sperry, D. L., & Harris, B. (1974). Perceived choice as a function of internal-
external locus of control. Journal of Personality, 42, 437-452.


programs, videos, lectures, interviews, and some of my favorite blogs and podcasts, whenever
relevant, for increased accessibility (interviews are great in that the authors themselves often
present their work as succinctly as possible, though it’s important to remember that they often
need further elucidation of the fine points). It is highly recommended that you constantly view
the footnotes and follow the included links online for further clarification whenever you don’t
understand something, because within the constraints of user-friendly brevity, I can only scratch
the surface of so many complex topics. Go deep or tread lightly, the choice is yours!

The picture on the cover was taken from a rickety old footbridge in Portland, OR, looking
over multiple train tracks that head into the main yard where my grandfather was an engineer for
many years. On her birthday this year, my mother overcame her fear of heights to help me up
there (with a broken leg) to take the picture. This book is dedicated to her.

ADV - 10/12/2012


T. PART I INTRODUCTION: WHY PREDISPOSITIONALISM? When Pee Wee Herman slammed his bike into a curb. It’s the mind’s tendency to create and staunchly defend a plausible narrative that best fits the only evidence it has. [Motion picture]. “I meant to do that!”2 We think this way all the time… the difference is that we actually believe it. Selves? The non-conscious ‘you’ underpinning motivation. because champions of metaphysical autonomy are determined to downplay any notion that the human will can be significantly influenced beyond our 8 . USA: Warner Bros. (Director). W. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. Unfortunately. Confabulation makes us all honest liars. even if it’s partially or completely wrong: “it seems that I must have meant to do ‘that’ for ‘this’ reason!” But the “I” is as questionable as the “reason. Burton. When we discover that the reason why we ‘do that’ involves subjectively undetectable cognitive processing that belies the real context of our motivations before we even consciously realize what our intention is. and then landed directly on his feet before his friends nearby. unbiased. “I meant to do that?” Confused? There’s a good reason why: we are predisposed not to reveal the deepest influence upon our thought and behavior to our conscious selves. he said. via confabulation. funkymonk80. and consciously authored even when it really isn’t. balanced. Non-conscious biased processing can ‘rig’ a decision context to seem fair. endured several painful flips. [Video file]. (1985). (Executive Producer). and action is evidencing to be more pervasive than we’ve ever imagined. it might often be more appropriate for us to ask. we have systemically built many of our most popular philosophical/metaphysical world views and social systems upon just such erroneous confabulation as well. Pee Wee's Big Adventure. intention. We now know that even ‘reasoned’ conscious plans do not go untouched. But worldviews based upon more superficial observations are being shown to increasingly clash with 2 McEuen. And the mind perpetuates these manipulations long after we have made a decision.” as we shall

Issues of control and origination naturally lead to issues of identity and responsibility. [Audio podcast]. intention. which are often surprisingly more optimistic than we are inclined to fear. I. These are the selves that are assembled into a ‘personal identity’ after the fact. as it is advantageous. we have many occurring simultaneously. That’s not going to happen here. both empirical and philosophical. on and on… simultaneously. a model of self that is aware to the degree that it is in present danger. Blackmore. Point of Inquiry podcast: Gerald Woerlee and Susan Blackmore . post hoc. There may be a model of self that is aware to the degree that it communicates with others.pointofinquiry. (Interviewee). Telescope in hand.the way the world really is and even a world with so-called ‘compatibilist’ freedom. such as when confronting distasteful true feelings of those we love or when considering our fragile mortality. I will discuss some of them in depth later). the conscious models of our many conscious selves show no awareness. I will also trace some of the implications. (2/27/2012). We are constantly confabulating stories that conceal inclinations from some deeper part of ourselves that our conscious ‘selves’ are not aware of—or as Susan Blackmore might suggest. S. That is to say that each conscious self is a uniquely constructed narrative relative to the degree(s) of its contingent awareness of something. sometimes hiding things from ourselves seems to work out in our favor. (Interviewer). and identity that seem to defy the inference to the best explanation offered by the recent decades of scientific evidence. depending upon your interpretation of the word (and there are many. may be threatened beyond what some of us would comfortably concede. Admittedly. for the extent of predisposition in human beings. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from death_experiences_and_consciousness 9 . Each self is recalled upon demand. and in this sense. I’ll try my best to find what is most difficult to find: truth integral. It’s bad enough that the glue that holds them together is 3 Viscontas. (20:30-24:10). my purpose in this book is to point it toward one constellation in our credulous sky and challenge the still ubiquitous folk notions of free will.Near-Death Experiences and Consciousness.3 of which. I originally created this book for one reason: I wanted to have one source with all of the best evidence. a model of self that is aware to the degree of physical sensation it experiences. One might say that both the greatest triumph and the greatest tragedy in the history of humanity is the ability to ignore key facts over an entire lifetime. I will offer a mountain of evidence for predictability in living things (the evidences) and I hope to provoke you to ask yourself why this predictability exists if we are truly causally free from its influence.

and we’re already acting *just before* we’re aware that we’ve consciously ‘decided’ to do so. 1144–1146.pdf 10 . but actually runs through the core of our personality affecting long term goals. adaptively selected on the fly. The subtleties of error management. D. and we infer the moment of decision from the perceived moment of action”6. Slate Magazine.harvard. D. illusions and perception effects—even the effects of effects themselves.20(1):17-21. Isham.7 [emphasis mine]. (2009). with the result of a basic intuition asserting our conscious ‘mini-me’ is in the driver’s seat with a fully functional free will based upon meaningful reasoning. Downward Causation and the Neurobiology of Free Will. Efferson.. R. New York Academy of Sciences. (2003). We Infer Rather Than Perceive the Moment We Decided to Act. doi: 10. As neuroscientist Mark Hallett put it. Psychol Sci. The where and when of intention. (2004).pdf 8 Hallett. Available on 9/19/2012 from http://www. Science. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. 2009. “Movement is generated subconsciously.eaglemanlab. W. then you’ll realize that there are more likely to be three or four hundred you are unaware of.M. E.1007/978-3-642-03205-9_7 Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from ml 6 Bank. The Mind’s Self-Portrait. The reality is that within this market of selves (again. Understanding Complex Systems. A. Physiology of Volition.5 constantly influence our choices.. C.our venal memory.'s%20Self%20Portrait. (2010). The Effect Effect: Daniel Kahneman and the language of popular psychology. (10/26/2011). 303.slate. P. That is to say that the conscious mind might be better described largely as a delayed executive ‘report’ of a small fraction of what’s actually happening ‘below’. 1001: 1–14 (2003).pdf 7 Eagleman. (2007). I want to present enough of these that you begin to see them like cockroaches: when you become aware of three or four. 127-143. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from 2009 Jan. Evolution and Human I will present evidence showing that this is not confined to reflex or simple decisions. We go through life with the complete conviction that our influenced intentions and decisions are completely rational and reflective and unbiased by unrealized motivations. it’s a “preview”9 of what action is already depending upon need) 9 Wegner. 31 309–319 5 Engber. 4 McKay. DOI: 10. D.4 neglects.011 (p.1196/annals. 10).1279. and the conscious sense of willing the movement comes later…”8 [emphasis mine]. a slew of undetected predisposed fallacious heuristics manifesting as behavioral and cognitive biases. but our limited epistemic filter is the same cartridge through which we view our whole life. The science of recent decades has shown us that the “generation of responses is largely unconscious.

11 Erdelyi. R. established long before the scientific evidence for cognitive mechanisms has made them largely irrelevant. In L. Pervin (Ed. Though Leibniz observed us often denying ourselves and so inferred that we have freedom from causality. consciously unrealized (some more conservative estimates are 5%16).org/gerald_woerlee_and_susan_blackmore_near- death_experiences_and_consciousness 11 . H. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (5): Oct 2006. Mahwah. but this is nothing like the dualistic notion of a spirit wearing a body. H. (Interviewee).Near-Death Experiences and Consciousness. Some theorists. Psychoanalysis: Freud's cognitive psychology. New York: Scribner’s [p.14 Cognitive scientists estimate conscious awareness participation to be at only about 2%.pointofinquiry. 15 Mooney. merely divided by awareness). It’s becoming increasingly obvious that we need to pay more attention to the evidence that we really are beings who utilize some kind of dual/multiple processing cognitive system (or perhaps in some way. C.). like Blackmore. University of Chicago 16 Baumeister.12. (Interviewer). [Audio podcast]. The origin of inclination is much more pervasive than Leibniz could have imagined. both the conscious and non-conscious aspects of mind (not to imply they have different origins) are subject to causal forces at every 10 Leibniz. Psychodynamics and Cognition. (Interviewee). (9:40-10:00). Old and New. Consciousness.13.S. (1990). In any case. Issues in the Study of Unconscious and Defense Processes. In M.pointofinquiry. New York: Guilford Press.W. F. S. 499-511. And many are still wedded to worldviews built upon the philosophical ideas of people like Leibniz. 13 Erdelyi.. H. (2/27/2012). G. (2006). M. 14 Kihlstrom.17 would even downplay that conscious 2% as post hoc and suggest that we are essentially automata. Sommer. (1997). (1985). [Audio podcast]. (1951). Point of Inquiry podcast: Gerald Woerlee and Susan Blackmore .) Advances in social cognition. (26:00-27:05). realized or not. 435]. J. K. We have very limited access to the unconscious mind. M. free choice. The Unified Theory of Repression. Handbook of personality: Theory and research (pp. Selections. Lakoff. In: Wyer Jr. 445-464). I. (Interviewer).). J. (1988).15 with the other 98% down in the basement. vol. G. it is only because he was simply not aware of all the causal forces at play. (4/25/2011). or there would be no inclination at all. Horowitz (ed. Blackmore. right down to our psycho-semantic relationship with the vehicle of language itself (and I will go into this more in the The Causal Vacuum). R. The psychological unconscious.L.. (ed. and automaticity. 10. Point of Inquiry podcast: George Lakoff - Enlightenments. New York: Freeman. M. When Leibniz said that “reasons may incline without necessitating.F. 12 Erdelyi. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.”10 I mean to counter that inclination always has a degree of necessity in the network of so much other influence. 17 Viscontas.F. Psychoanalysis and Consciousness in Philosophy of Cognitive Science. Erlbaum.11. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.

22 producing the subtly different idea that the mind is compartmentalized in such a way that it has an internal dialogue. [Video file].turn. Oxford. When consciousness matters: A critical review of Daniel Wegner’s The Illusion of Conscious Will. (2003).1279. the University of Edinburgh. Michael Gazzaniga famously likens consciousness to an “interpreter”18 and psychologist Daniel Wegner likens it to an “abbreviated self-portrait”: The mind’s self-portrait has as a central feature the idea that thoughts cause actions. Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www. internally and Sandis). The Mind’s Self-Portrait. (Uploaded by ‘EdinburghUniversity’ on Oct 19. Michael Gazzaniga . 2009). O'Connor and 19 Wegner. Playfair Library Hall. Evidence from several sources suggests that this self-portrait may often be a humble and misleading caricature of the mind’s operation-- but one that underlies the feeling of authorship and the acceptance of responsibility for action. Philosophical Psychology. D. 15 . 21 Nahmias. 1001: 1–14 (2003). 12 . in A Companion to the Philosophy of Action (eds T. The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. and it gives rise to the experience that we are consciously willing what we do. Gifford Lectures. and that the self is thus an origin of the body’s actions. we are going to have to be bold.21 where the non-conscious mechanisms (mis)inform both our conscious mechanism and our action.1196/annals. I’m completely on board with Dan Dennett when he wrote: If we are going to use this top-down approach. (2002). doi: 10. E. (1976). 527 – 541 .011 Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. UK. New York Academy of Sciences.wjh. This self-portrait is reached through a process of inference of apparent mental causation. #5.ch44 22 Jaynes. J. #12. I will allude to several versions of bicameralism in Evidences #8. Julian Jaynes appropriated the notion of governmental bicameralism (“two-chamberedness”) and applied it psychologically. We are going to have to be speculative. and this is not an unparalleled activity in science.”20. […] Those scientists who have no taste for this sort of 18 Gazzaniga . M. Considering bicameralism and similar ideas. Scientific Challenges to Free Will.pdf 20 Nahmias. Wiley-Blackwell. doi: 10. (2010).harvard. but there is good and bad speculation.1002/9781444323528.'s%20Self%20Portrait.[19] Compatibilist Eddy Nahmais has a version that he calls “modular epiphenomenalism. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. #23.The Interpreter.

1196/annals. speculative enterprise will just have to stay in the trenches and do without it.011 Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. 1001: 1–14 (2003). while the rest of us risk embarrassing mistakes and have a lot of fun. for example. you’ll understand where I’m going. but we’ll see evidence showing that the unconscious mind actually instantiates action slightly ahead of the conscious decision to do so (Evidence #1). 20. Try. ISBN 0-262-04166-9 24 Wegner. to stop your nerves from feeling by merely thinking about it.25 produced “evidence that automatizing a task reduces the need for offloading work onto the 23 Dennett. "Julian Jaynes’s Software Archeology. for example. The Mind’s Self-Portrait. (2003). primed by a TV commercial).”24 it’s still easy enough to test whether the non-conscious mind’s “sub-control” (as I call it for convenience) or the conscious mind has more direct mental control of the body.1279.. even dreaming through many different adventures without that song continuing on as a dream ‘soundtrack. It certainly seems like you can express the conscious will by lifting your arm or clapping your hands." Brainchildren: Essays on Designing Minds Representation and Mind. Stop your hair from growing or stop your body from producing urine by merely thinking about it. New York Academy of Sciences.wjh. D. Deictic codes. well.pdf 25's%20Self%20Portrait. D. (1997). And for the rest. Ask yourself why. doi: 10.harvard. (1998).. 1997. I prefer 10). And considering mental processes themselves. we should have a song ‘stuck in our heads’ at all. 746. 13 . Why? Psychology professor Margaret Wilson reminds us that the work of Epelboim. Behavioral & Brain Sciences. if you’ve ever tried to stop thinking about thinking in meditation. J. let alone after it is paused for 8 hours of sleep (okay. and the real world.[23] While it’s extremely difficult to intuitively overcome our evolutionarily selected propensity for conscious authorship that “appears as a complete picture of its own operation. embodiment of cognition. MIT Press.’ only to then arise with that song from the night before suddenly replaying over and over in our heads again just like a tape loop spliced around our sleep (and I write this in the middle of the third day of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” chorus looping in my head. Clearly there are some functions of consciousness/non-consciousness that have almost arbitrary mechanizations.

but as it is when dealing with other people. we could increase control of a few select functions to a very limited extent using methods like meditation. 9 (4):625--636. 26 associations/interviews/interview-with-daniel-dennett-by-robert-w. or biofeedback. D. but likely. right? Is “sub-control” your control? Is everything that your body does your will? No? Then we must be able to evidence our ability to consistently divorce our body from our will.” some more convincing than others? I shall present evidence showing that this is not only possible. M. ‘who’ has really made the decision? Was it even really a ‘decision’ or just a winning consensus of overwhelming. Dennett. there is a difference between compliance and eradication of the challenging situation itself. as we have seen yogis do. Six Views of Embodied Cognition. or… we could plunge a knife into our hearts and ‘win’ control that way.environment.psu.1. including all unrealized non-conscious reaction to external influence—even tainting the motivations in long term planning—is that still “freely controlled”? To what extent do we call this ‘operator’ us in the sense of identity? Many theorists claim our conscious. [9/2004]. Psychonomic Bulletin & complete control of our internal functioning? It’s still us underneath. (Interviewer). [p. automated impulses representing different parts of brain and body.conscious-robots.27 that is. Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www. by genotype and phenotype (via environment). There’s no reason why even instinctual actions shouldn’t often line up with our reasoning anyway. dominating.1. in many more instances than we suspect. by Robert Wright.124. (Interviewee). if they both come from the same source with the same desires. How is it that we have lost. 9].8295&rep=rep1&type=pdf 27 Wright. individually and together. or never really had. Desired actions would depend upon how strong the less controllable impulses are that are not in accord with our reason.html 14 . [32:00-34:00]. right? This all leads to a main concern for this book: is a life largely or even partially controlled by a non-conscious controller. If even those are influenced by the non- conscious mind to influence and alter those choices in a fundamentally undetectable way. and by subsequent neuronal wiring of corporeal and/or cerebral ‘political factions’? Are what we experience as conscious decisions really just masks of ad hoc confabulations that incorporate all-too-late “reasons.”26 Consider again all the multiple internal functions that have evolved to need regulating in the body and are controlled by the non-conscious mind… Can you mentally decide to stop your heartbeat internally? Sure. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://citeseerx. Interview with Daniel Dennett. reasoned intentions give us free will. (2002).

they get worked into the reasoning itself or are subconsciously frontloaded.” There are many versions of this basic definition of determinism that are more or less (p. Free will libertarians (nothing to do with the political movement) are defined by ‘the metaphysical ability to do otherwise of their own free will. i. many physicists say it is. Four Views on Free Will. Vargas. and we shall look at some of them in the Challenges (where I’ll talk more about acausality as well). Ultimately.pdf 15 . While I’ll make the humble. I will argue for what I call “predispositionalism. 6) Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www.These ultimately have influence too—in fact. I think all the free will models posited so far that I am aware of have failed to trounce the inexorable authority of these two fundamental forces: determinism and acausality. there have been some clever models defending versions of free will with differing strengths. “determinists contend that events and/or thoughts and/or actions are the results of the causal play of forces in the world. MA: Blackwell. as we shall see. J.) (2007). conservative. M..M. and unifies the most relevant parts of several schools in psychology. with the evidence for local determinism ruling the day in the most relevant context of everyday choice. Pereboom. It must be remembered that if randomness/acausality in the universe is fundamentally true on some level too—and currently.thedivineconspiracy. (Fischer. It stands in opposition to free will libertarianism. D.’28 I mean to present enough evidence to suggest that this is merely due to a) epistemic limitations concerning the actual motivations underlying even (supposedly) reasoned actions 28 Kane. even irrespective of limitations in our knowledge (this is controversial though!).. agnostic caveat that it’s impossible to give absolutely definitive proof on these matters either way.” which combines the best of determinism and compatibilism.e. Determinists can be roughly defined as those against contra-causal free will. free will is then assaulted by both determinism and acausality. All of this has implications in the historical arguments concerning free will and determinism. How and why would we act at all if the act had no causal motivation or even random motivation? Throughout history. This basic definition is good enough to serve my purpose. and it’s up to the clever philosopher to carve out a meaningful defense for meaningful free will somewhere in-between or beyond. R.

in a lecture29 on his recent book about the absence of free will. based upon internal modeling..notice that we are not always in (proximal) control of which of our beliefs come to mind anyway.sciencedirect. F. & 30 Mele.. these quasi-random ideas are still enmeshed in causal processes. P. and merely await the final inputs of data to know which model to choose. New York: Oxford University Press. 683–703. which are often confabulations anyway. though.’ there are always enough unrealized motives from non-conscious elements of the self influencing that decision to provide sufficient causes. whether they are reasons or actual causally determining neural coding.”30 Ironically. 15). Alfred Mele once wrote “.. 29 Harris. (1995). but seem to exist. perhaps a little more than Harris thinks.g. [20:00-25:00]. in a more fundamental way than a person who is a product of nature and nurture can be (e. 31 Abramowitz. makes the pure and simple point that our freedom of thought itself is fundamentally thwarted by our lack of freedom to choose what ideas pop into our heads in the first place. This is in addition to the realized causes. Tolin. Autonomous Agents. S. and there is evidence for this whenever people simply work for solutions to problems and then generate them. but we often know what factors would tip the scales and so we have decided. S. when she chooses to go left or right on the ‘forked path. b) the unfair assertion that influence ‘originating’ in the body proper is ‘responsible’ because it originates in the body proper. “more fundamental” to the point that it exacerbates and/or perpetuates polarizing black and white notions of metaphysical good and evil that don’t actually exist. Available on 9/20/2012 at http://www. even if we may be limited in producing exactly what we want mentally. This is to say that because an agent’s identity and motives are so ill-defined and unrecognized. Sam Harris. 16 . suppressing thoughts can lead to a rebound effect where the thoughts actually recur more frequently anyway.. (2001).youtube.31 When it comes to reasoning. 2012 by MichaelShermer). I happen to think that we have more control of some ideas than others. Available on 9/20/2012 at http://www. (p. because of our ignorance to nuance and causal complexity). We should also take a close look at how people characterize ‘free’ decisions before the forked path. D. J. It’s important to recognize that sometimes we think that we haven’t yet decided something. (Uploaded on Mar 27. G. Paradoxical effects of thought suppression: A meta- analysis of controlled studies. Clinical Psychology Review. A.

enough to go either way depending on a small change of evidence. MA: Blackwell. Philosopher Timothy Schroeder reminds us that even just desire motivation gets a boost of dopamine. 33 Muehlhauser. etc.) (2007). a ‘brain cross’ thwarts an attempt to press the correct button on a coffee D. for a few different reasons… The will itself is blanketed with enough internal and external misdirecting heuristics that go beyond the agent’s will. “Libertarians therefore locate the indeterminacy they claim to be required by free will upstream of decision. 51-61 Key: citeulike:577383 Available on 9/19/2012 at http://users.M.33 I think that this ‘later in the game’ appeal to establishing freedom via how reasoned out it is comes as an extraneous attempt to salvage it anyway. The many heuristics I 32 Levy. 3]. L. J. In this way. such as moral and social relationship decisions. 59.ox. pp. (7/25/2010). Conversation from the Pale Blue Dot podcast: 057: Tim Schroeder – Desire and Morality. 17) Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www.pdf 17 . what many libertarian philosophers consider to be the most important ‘free’ decisions. as philosopher Neil Levy 34 Kane. (2005). Because of this problem. this kind of ‘freedom’ is largely decided in a heuristic that itself was evolutionarily selected for and may or may not represent genuine stochastic factors.. (Interviewee).thedivineconspiracy. R. so that the wanting itself creates and perpetuates a physiological teaser of what one would get by ‘obtaining’ the object/goal. Dialectica. No. Vargas. Vol. Contrastive Explanations: A Dilemma for Libertarians. (2005).”32 So. commensurate with the remaining ignorance concerning the final data. “Austin-style” examples are like when a golfer’s putt is thrown off by a random nervous twitch. Pereboom. This is true from dopamine influenced desires to oxytocin levels. In fact. They should therefore be considered to be at least as threatening to free will as what Robert Kane calls “Austin-style” examples34 (after J. L. many decisions often categorized as ‘free’ seem to be rather a ‘free will heuristic’ itself. where the rule of thumb is to wait until we have the most evidence possible and the ‘freedom’ perceived is merely a conflation. as the Evidences will show. Schroeder. Many libertarians do admit that “Austin-style” examples will thwart free will. T.. Austin). (p. or in the decision- making process itself. are immediately decided upon by unreasoned ‘fast thinking’ heuristics based upon in-group semantic cues and/or physiological hormonal 1.pdf [p. N. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://commonsenseatheism. [Audio podcast]. This is crucial. (Interviewer). M. (Fischer. Four Views on Free Will. Two options may really just be in very close competition. much indecision is really based upon our epistemic deficiency and waiting until the last moment gives us more information to work with. but it is unrelated enough to have sufficient arbitrariness. I will argue evidentially for (fairly strong) determinism via the alienation/estrangement of the conscious mind from the dominant non-conscious mind.caltech. but also to be the ultimate source of one’s will to perform the actions. internal causal network that libertarians can’t avoid (more about this in the section The Causal Vacuum in the Challenges).’ The addition of the “pre” in “predispositionalism” will serve to include both the inner characteristics of general “dispositionalism” (i. situation. ‘external’ context) and highlight the fact that ‘external’ context and all the reasons this book will discuss that affect the will actually do some work in predisposing us 35 Ibid. complex. and culture) plus situational attribution (i. My principle tactic here is to over-argue for a still completely tenable. Even all this. 185. “…to have free will.N.e. 36 Tversky. Kahneman.will discuss in the Evidences influence us to act or think in a way. justice.pdf 18 .. A. 19). D. by event. Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www.”35 The influence of the unconscious mind’s misdirecting heuristics may not be ‘truly’ random. (p. like an “Austin-style” example. as well as the mind’s potential for internal and external manipulation by agent. Science. Judgment under uncertainty: Heuristics and biases. Even a mere impression sets off an instant. (1974). internal attribution within a commonly perceived ‘personal identity’ that ignores environment. though. As Kane puts it.e. etc. though slightly more controversial position in order to more deeply establish my ultimately adequate goal of a somewhat more moderate position. Consider Kahneman and Tversky’s experiments showing the anchoring effect. it is necessary not only to be the ultimate source of one’s actions. social relations. is too little and too late when we get down to the even earlier causal sources and consider that there is no passive or acausal way to gather information. politics.36 (see Evidence #31). where people who were environmentally primed with higher or lower numbers on a rigged roulette wheel shortly afterward commensurately chose higher or lower numbers when guessing the percentage of African nations in the U. that is not according to our will. 1124- 1130. or from one side of the curtain between the conscious and non-conscious mind to the other. This is in order to firmly satisfy that what I will call “predispositionalism” is a defeater to the proposition that ‘we already generally utilize the kind of free will concept that is compatible with and appropriate for how the world both is and should be systematically and structurally when it comes to metaphysics/theology.

Englewood Cliffs.” This is all fine and good. I merely mean to salvage and incorporate the external emphasis prominent in unsuccessful behaviorism with the recent evidence supporting cognitivism and functionalism. Indeed. already accommodate dispositionalism anyway. As we shall see. While it is not wedded to any psychological model beyond where the evidence goes. A. (1986). to distinguish between internal and external attributions in the pragmatic definition of identity (I will discuss this more thoroughly in the Challenges section after the Evidences). and incorporates both reductive and holistic approaches. Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory. by predispositionalism’s automatic internal incorporation of the external world via mirror neurons. “A cart is more than the sum of its parts. and yet also has an ‘epiphenomenal’ secondary quality along the lines of Lao Tzu’s famous saying. Psychologically. for Kane. Predispositionalism emphasizes the strength of physiologically interactive internal attributes and not strictly mental internal attributes possible in regular old dispositionalism. just what is actually relevant and that comes with the science. (9/19/2012). Predispositionalism accommodates. Available on 8/7/2012 at http://nursingplanet. 37 the marriage is analogous to some social-cognitive perspectives in psychology. appreciates. internal characteristics appear to at least partially underlie responsibility in the form of Self-Forming Actions. based upon the actual causal relevance of environment and cognitive mechanisms. cognitive offloading. seemingly impossible to delineate in terms of tradition identity.html 19 . it is difficult. as it comes. The choices an individual makes creates an overall character over time that is at once freely chosen (in Kane’s view).towards actions. the truth in the middle was lost). but now there is evidence of external influence that is. 38 Biopsychosocial Model. etc. But this is not an appeal for fallacy of the middle-ground compatibilism. like Alfred Bandura’s reciprocal determinism. Some of the most well-known libertarians. such as Robert Kane. as I said. NJ: Prentice-Hall. The Nursing Planet.. if not impossible.. These reasons and contexts cannot be tenably excused merely because of our epistemic limitations in defining all the complex parameters of each instantial causal network.37 I imagine George Engel’s BPS model38 (biopsychosocial diagnostics) should/could have it too if it didn’t overcompensate so far as to completely reject the biomedical model when it’s more relevant (and just like when Carl Rogers’ humanistic therapy overcompensated optimistically for Freud’s pessimism.

199- 218. and again. determinism and free will are compatible. (Kluwer: Dordrecht). so is responsibility).. Moral Responsibility and Ontology. perhaps as a kind of soft incompatibilism or something like Paul Russell’s compatibilist-fatalism. We still may ultimately have a very complex situation where the overwhelming majority of our action is strongly determined. The stream of commonality between all of the Evidences listed here is that they evidence a kind of predictability about thinking and behavior that we would not normally expect. and so prudence compels me to ‘officially’ take a more moderate agnostic position and hope that it is still enough to persuade the reader that we have much less control than we believed at the end of the day—that we really must honestly confront predisposition and not over-inflate the pauper’s purse and what it may purchase. this alone is worth trying to document. Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from (1998). let alone the libertarian. Bargh. How does predispositionalism differ from one or another variety of strong or soft determinism (i. “…each of these evaluations do directly affect behavioral predispositions to act towards the object. It occurs to me that this evidence alone puts a significant burden upon the compatibilist. Cambridge University Press. 15). or incompatibilism (i. determinism is not compatible with either free will or with responsibility)? My view probably could be reasonably parsed into those veins in various ways. 20 . this all happens within say. 200 milliseconds of exposure to the stimulus”39 [emphasis mine].arts. Unconscious behavioral guidance systems. this covers all evaluations. that previous events determine future events).com/watch?v=pWSC48EUg-8 40 Russell.e. Ravizza. M. If all the ancillary premises here were to fail with further evidence in the years to come. Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility. University of Missouri Video Services. As the great cognitive scientist John Bargh said concerning our propensity to frontload evaluations (which I will show in the Evidences). not just strong ones. arm and leg and so forth—bodily movements.40 but it’s unnecessary to have to officially take such a strong label though. As Bargh notes. even if my intuitions point toward incompatibilism or “semi- compatibilism. 39 “TheMizzouTube. Lecture by John A.ubc. P.” given that traditional compatibilism is really just a pragmatic semantic issue induced by epistemological limitations. but a small minority is not (what John Martin Fischer called “almost causal determinism”41). (p. M. J.e.e.pdf 41 Fischer. behavioral.” (uploaded on 8/23/2011). (2000). [Video file]. one that seems to genuinely undermine reasoning and freedom. compatibilism (i. [8:00-13:00]. Compatibilist-Fatalism.

the great statistician Persi Diaconis said it best. R. 43 “Episode 15: What is Probability” (1988).philostv. “Probability is not a fact about the world. ISBN: 1-55946-091-1 Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www. [Video file].42 This is because experience is never truly passive and there are always neuronal differences. it is a fact about the observer’s knowledge. such as to deter or contain collateral damage. delineated by effectively impersonal actions from some ‘internal other(s)’ that we would not ascribe meaningful responsibility to for anything other than pragmatic reasons. for example. whether or not the intentions or the choices themselves are explicitly reasoned or rational. This is to say that the functional consistency in the world (e. Because of the increased predictability in behavior. In the least. Annenberg Media. S.learner. technology).. We need new language that reflects where the science is. is being (pre)disposed as strong as being (pre)determined? That is to ask: is it governed by ‘strict’/strong determinism or ‘adequate’/soft determinism? The evidence presented here seems to show a continuum of both and may sit comfortably enough epistemologically in the realm of (higher) probability to still undermine folk notions of free will with what I believe are sufficiently and ultimately contrastive explanations. (1/18/2011). [Video file]. [25:00-34:00]. to make a complex machine run throughout our entire lives. That we can separate stochastic factors in technology enough. On the problem of free will. shows a salient departure from a world where all consistency has a term limit subject to narrative or randomness—even if causality is probabilistic at the quantum level and we are ignorant enough to have to apply probability to much of the world. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. but in the context of control. it is probably actually closer to acausality! This 42 Clarke. are evidence that our epistemic dependence upon probability is due to epistemic limitations and does not necessitate probability correlate veridically across the board into all physical and abstract realms. but not absolutely.”43 (Not surprising to hear from a guy who has literally mastered the ability to flip ‘heads’ on a coin at will!) Predispositionalism is a funny thing in the context of causality and acausality.html?pid=153 21 . in combination with evidence that certain inclinations and biases are empirically shown to navigate around our will. That free will/determinism discussions consider higher and lower probabilities epistemically for inclinations as relevant is another motivation for the predispositionalism labeling. when we consider the ‘macro’ world. I like predispositionalism because it leans significantly toward determinism. it intuitively feels like it should belong in the determinism camp.g. without the baggage. Against All Odds: Inside Statistics.

but it will be filtered through heuristics that are fundamentally shaped by forces that favor. As the libertarian philosopher Robert Kane put it. In the past. “. the adaptability and/or survival of the organism. This often has little or nothing to do with you trying to. The evidence presented here will challenge extreme/strong libertarianism and folk notions of dualism (like the above listed) that advocate “contra-causal” free will more than it will challenge some of the more modest soft(er) libertarians. he relabels it as “appropriate non-randomness. such as Mark Four Views on Free Will. noumenal selves outside of space and time. (p.) (2007). There are more moderate libertarians. are subject to parameters of intention and identity that we are just too entrenched in to remove from our core intuitions. Pereboom.. that must always be tempered by an honest awareness of our tendency to filter our thoughts through the fallacy of desired consequence. There are so many exciting theorists who know the terrain well and yet they splinter off here and there in every possible direction. that’s not how we argue. though. while causal. who would openly agree about the value of establishing untainted objective facts. R.”44 Some of these persist or resurface in variant forms. M. This is a goal. though it will still stand in opposition to many of their common premises as well.thedivineconspiracy. (Fischer. D. We shouldn’t argue for what we want. immaterial egos. but most of the ones I mention here are worth investigating further.. as we shall see (see Evidence #24). libertarians have tried all manner of assertions. for example.pdf 22 .is because the predispositions. are both arbitrary and ensconced. say. who is an ‘event-causal’ libertarian that allows for determinism in a way. Vargas.. but what the evidence suggests. We may have a goal in mind. it’s also true that theorists who want to establish free will must either present acausality in a non-random way to preserve the control required for free will that causality/determinism offers or they must present determinism in a flexible enough way to preserve the freedom required for free will that acausality may offer.” while seeming to still hold out for some other more robust validation of acausality in the free will equation. pick out the best tie on the rack (you’re more predisposed [not fated!] to go for the one the right by the way Evidence #18). This said.libertarians have posited transempirical power centers. I cannot address them all.M. J. with one or more horns of 44 Kane. There is Alfred Mele. Unfortunately. and even these theorists (and this writer).. uncaused causes and other unusual forms of agency or causation – thereby inviting charges of obscurity or mystery against their view. unmoved movers. MA: Blackwell.. 9) Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www.

substance dualism: the “ghost in the machine. It does seem to come down to mere “flickers. Bob Doyle rightly points out that this engages the ethical fallacy. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. famous thought experiments similar to “Austen style” cases that challenge our intuitions about freedom in decision-making).” as the philosopher Gilbert Ryle pejoratively called it47). as I alluded to earlier.informationphilosopher. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://machineslikeus. That this is the name of the most popular free will related blog by Thomas Nadelhoffer may show the collective impression of the state of freedom in philosophy for many theorists. even circumnavigating around possible acausality in the mix (e.).g. such as our vulnerability to the power of emergent phenomena—though that this should be a defeater to all forms of determinism is debatable itself).e. I will discuss whether this is a difference in measure or in kind.g. M. Last.45 “Flickers of Freedom” is philosopher John Martin Fischer’s term46 for a type of objection to “Frankfurt-style” cases (i. On free will-2: The Ghost in the Machine. I will discuss this in Quantum Stochasticity in the Challenges section after the Evidences). the predispositionalism label also serves to focus more upon what endures even beyond possible defeaters to varieties of determinism (e. who holds that the only free decisions are ones restricted to moral decisions. his ‘daring soft libertarianism’ suggests that a counterfactually free agent’s evolving character-forming decisions serve as a causal substance that affects probabilities governing future moral decisions enough to resolve the luck problem for responsibility (i. There is Robert Kane. (2006). and whatever extent that should be proven to be a factor at the macro level or in consciousness. 47 Singham. because the freedom is produced by the moral imperative (ala Kant) in times of increased indeterminacy. The mounting evidence for heretofore undetectable effects and biases. M.e. J. quantum noise/stochasticity. leaves us with a sufficient starting point to commence with an attack on folk interpretations of the intuitive experience of what has been 45 Ethical Fallacy.html 46 Fischer. [Web log post]. combined with the absence of any evidence for some kind of causally free consciousness that makes all the decisions (i. [Web log post].com/news/free-will-2-ghost-machine 23 . (11/10/2010).” but for some.e. where luck involved in a decision process presents a lack of control and responsibility). evoked by genuinely controversial desires. that is just enough. along with the overwhelming subconscious primacy over the conscious mind. (N.his ‘agnostic autonomism’. New York: Oxford University Press. My Way: Essays on Moral Responsibility.

P. perhaps a bias that aesthetically and even morally prefers objects on the right side is to blame. Let me give you an example. the non-conscious will) and other identity issues (e.called ‘the freedom to do otherwise’ in the same exact situation.. Try to ‘randomly’ choose one of these four numbers: 1 2 3 4 As statisticians De Veaux.48 Why is this so? Why should it be so skewed.’ if agential forces can manipulate some level of that freedom. Velleman. 75% of us will choose #3. however natural and real it may seem to be in everyday experience. Free will has at least three components that its proponents need to satisfy in order to rescue it from the cold hard grip of determinism. These kinds of inclinations should not even exist at all if a strong libertarian indeterminism was actually effective. I mean ‘meaningful’ in that evidenced predispositions for otherwise illogical inclinations have substantial weight. (2012). D. Stats: Data and Models (3rd Edition). Keep this one-two punch of ill-defined identity and natural manipulation in mind as you read through this book.e. Velleman. MA: Pearson Education.. E. Neurophilosophy of Free Will: From Libertarian Illusions to a Concept of 48 De Veaux. so consistently? And why just to the right of center? As we will see in Evidence #18. approximately 25% of us will choose 2 or 4.g. so can nature/non-agential forces and the two may add up to leave us with negligible or no freedom to spare. 24 . Henrik Walter’s describes them in his wonderful book. This may also negate moral responsibility in some meaningful way as well and my include arguments that subterranean identity (i. To defined this roughly: given that subjects possess some amount of something called ‘freedom. Inc. R. and Bock tell us. Boston. F. and only 5% of us (freaks like me) will choose #1. Bock. situational attribution/extended identity) are beyond the rational control of our conscious awareness enough to reasonably undermine folk notions of free will and responsibility in a meaningful way. I will allude to the Manipulation Argument. D.

and have implications for agential identity as well. 6). even suggesting that perhaps there is no meaningful core identity. (p. would invalidate it as being truly free from any causal influence. It should also be noted that a presence of identity further qualifies all three. but especially for the third.]  The THIRD component is the ability for one to be the “originator of his actions.Natural Autonomy. (pp. given the exact same situation. H. They implicitly make an argument for the undermining of conscious control as we experience it. though unpacking each one to the extent needed to satisfy everyone could take volumes. As Walter notes.  The SECOND component is the ability to act from “an intelligible form of volition”—to possess meaningful reasons for action. (2001). or PAP. This is not free will in itself either. while also often simultaneously challenging intuitive notions of identity in the phenomenal first-person 49 Walter. (Trans. [It should be noted that “volition” in its purest sense is merely the awareness of abilities to do/act otherwise. (This is often framed as what Harry Frankfurt called the principle of alternative possibilities. ISBN 0262232146 50 Ibid. To be remiss in any one of these parameters of freedom altogether. Mass. and sometimes even just partially. 25 . Cambridge. or PPR).”50 which I will argue also entails delineating a non-arbitrary proper identity..49 It’s a good idea to examine them earlier than later to give yourself an idea of what is being challenged and defended throughout this work:  The FIRST component is the ability to do otherwise. these are intuitions that many philosophers share about free will. London: MIT Press. 261-262). The scientific studies collected here challenge the commonly perceived extent of agential control and awareness. What’s important is that free will arguments must address more than one parameter or another: they must address all three. Cynthia Klohr). agential responsibility. even if hybrids may be created by positing stronger and weaker versions of each category. as it still has unknown limits and origins. Neurophilosophy of free will: from libertarian illusions to a concept of natural autonomy. it is reinforced by the principle of possible refrainment. R. should we consistently grant the non-conscious mind functional ‘capacity for intention’ status if it proves to be a sufficiently dissimilar identity from the conscious mind in a meaningful way? While those kinds of distinctions are more difficult delineate. as ‘individuals.’ possess contra-causal free will.52 If limited awareness of all the brain’s activity creates a conscious identity with a specific opinion/belief/will based upon those limitations (2%). it’s clear is that these studies do show a strong enough influence and/or alteration of our cognitive experience so as to collectively undermine the notion that we. is that person’s conscious identity still responsible for their unconscious identity that has a differing ‘opinion’/‘belief’/will based upon a more complete knowledge of the self. even though it was considered ‘freely decided’ via what was considered ‘adequate reflection. i. Berkeley. [Video file].” “pre-reflexive self-intimacy/a ‘stream’ of consciousness. epistemic misperception could taint that freedom to some extent anyway—to the extent that it could alter a decision.51 Predispositionalism serves to highlight that even if we were to have as much control as we think we do. (1/18/2011). S.perspective that is commonly experienced as ‘ 26 . “I have the ability to think and choose. this is also known as ‘libertarian’ free will.” The Immortality of the Soul presented by the UC Berkeley Graduate Council. “Being No One.’ Perhaps regardless of whether or not the non-conscious mind represents inclinations that affect the perception of the conscious 52 Clarke. constructed of at least these three qualities.e. does the non- conscious mind alter the conscious mind ‘in order to persuade it’? That is to say.’ Also. 51 Metzinger. Again. CA. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.” and “perspectivalness/centeredness” in the Phenomenal Self Model (PSM). Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. then it would also seem that even internal identity attribution would be as important as any freedom issue. since the person represents both aspects of mind functionally? Does suicide by a knife to the heart show that a conscious mind intending to stop that heart is at odds with and therefore separate from a non-conscious mind that intends to keep it beating? We can also ask to what extent a person should be responsible for her actions performed while sleepwalking or under varying degrees of stress or… as several Evidences will suggest. Thomas. [38:55-39:30]. Some theorists consider things like dispositional psychological states to count as personal identity within intentional action. 2/2005. On the problem of free will. The PSM is a transparent subconscious model of our selves. based upon the predisposed physical capacity of her cognitive ‘equipment. Series: UC Berkeley Graduate Council Lectures [Show ID: 9181].’ This is what Thomas Metzinger reduces to “ownership/my-ness. Kearns..

Local control is that difference. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. Contra-causal means ‘against causality’. until they are.”53 This is defined here in the negative sense as the mere physical and/or mental ability simpliciter. D. 27 . So our knowledge is based upon probability. overwhelmingly. but until you actually do it. ultimate control..completely undetermined by and independent of *any* forces—that is also to say that I may always freely change my mind and freely choose to do Think of local control in terms of perceived possibility within our epistemic limitations. such as what some naturalist philosophers call “local control. that is. free volition only in the everyday functionalist sense of what you perceive that you are able to perform without someone or something stopping you (though it is still caused. and therefore. Even highly probabilistic possibilities are still not absolute knowledge of facts inscribed into the fabric of space-time. but in kind). Local vs. T.naturalism. Elbow Room. some will challenge any “determined result” with substance dualism and stochasticity).: MIT Press. Mass.htm#local 54 Dennett. C. You might think that you know that you are actually able to choose to move your hand to the left or to the right. 53 Clark. (1984). what you actually ‘knew’ and what you will actually do was and is still only probabilistic.54 Dan Dennett illustrates the measure of this freedom by asking us to consider the freedom of an animal in a small cage in contrast to the freedom of that animal in a zoo. a determined result of causal forces that are too complex to track. All the forces of the world inside and outside your mind/body will compel you one way or the other eventually. It should also be noted that since this does not follow logically from the view of natural science in Newtonian mechanics.” This is the ‘freest’ version of free will. to perform an objective without restraint.. it may even freely go against the ‘cause and effect’ relationship in physical necessity that we have observed throughout the physical universe. not always). Consistency in science evidences this (though. should probably be considered different from contra-causal free will not only in measure. Don’t Forget About Me: Avoiding Demoralization by Determinism. In his book Elbow Room. Cambridge. even if events in the world are actually. [Web log post]. with merely very good odds (based upon precedence) that you won’t have a heart attack and die before you are able to accomplish the choice. again. you just don’t know which way until you do. contra-causal/libertarian free will is/has often been often claimed to be a gift from god and/or be a (by)product of the spirit/soul (though as we shall see. as I shall discuss later. Contra-causal/libertarian free will is to be distinguished from the ‘less free’ versions of free will. (3/2008).

incompatibilist.” Again.—too many varieties to cover here. Whether or not the summation of evidence in this book at the end of the day is really better described as compatibilist. Local control is also what it means for some determinists to call themselves compatibilists. who might contend that “there are no distinctly metaphysical facts. it is required to some extent. This is a reasonably moderate position. and would see local control as semantically inconsequential. as well as any other hybrid or middle-ground labels up to the reader (though my intuition leans to the latter two). even if I think a neutral position is seriously threatened by the sum of the empirical evidence presented here that leans in favor of deterministic incompatibilism (or semi/narrow/compatibilism). (2010). Cambridge. Randolph Clarke frames narrow incompatibilists as those who believe that determinism is incompatible with freedom but is compatible with moral responsibility. (Interviewee). K.” John Martin Fischer frames semi-compatibilists as those who believe that determinism is compatible with moral responsibility. but the latter reminds us that all possibilities are not equally 56 Balaguer. [4:15-6:20]. in fact. or semi/narrow/compatibilist.” and yet will admit that “the metaphysically interesting issue in the problem of free will and determinism boils down to a straightforward and wide open empirical question about the causal histories of certain neural events. while being ignorant of all the determinates. in order to have personal control. Free Will as an Open Scientific Problem. 169] 28 . [pp. there’s always wiggle room for creative moderate neo-libertarian theorists. the limited awareness that perceives our seemingly willful contributions 55 Muehlhauser. Timpe. but my person experiences the real contribution and participation via conscious awareness of some of my actions. I shall leave that. Compatibilists contend that “a determined world does not affect my own personal ability to participate in the causation. “my will is caused. Because of the ignorance of both our causal contingencies and the limitations of success within our local control. There are also hard and soft compatibilists and incompatibilists (who sometimes.”56 The former quote implies the question is still open. 1. like Mark Balaguer. Conversation from the Pale Blue Dot podcast: 019: Kevin Timpe – God and Free Will. M. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://commonsenseatheism. [Audio podcast]. (Interviewer). Since we are unable to completely illustrate any network of causation with absolute perfection. etc. wish to suspend the issue of causality and focus on a way toward evidencing free will via responsibility55). in the latter camp. (2/17/2010). L. MIT Press.

are we natura naturens/“nature naturing”: interactive expressions of a universe doing the dance as it becomes aware of itself. Consider a simple billiard ball scenario where one ball hits another ball that hits another ball (though the world is more like causal network) and imagine if the middle ball simply suddenly had self-awareness. You may or may not know that many physicists like Einstein believe space-time is already being mapped out as a “block 29 . Thinking itself depends upon the consistency in the universe. Next. and it’s hard to imagine this without. even though we observe cause and effect and mechanistic principles in the world. even if there is not one long or eternal perfectly determined chain from A to Z. Perhaps one in which extra- dimensional creatures virtually ‘ride’ in our bodies through our predetermined world like a rollercoaster… hmm… actually. or are we natura naturata. Perhaps it is just enough in some sense… says the compatibilist. but considering the evidences at hand. To what extent are conscious beings really some kind of cosmological automatons? Are thoughts somehow independent from physicality? Are we just robots or puppets? Is there a third or fourth alternative or a continuum? As the great monist Baruch Spinoza might have put it. it seems that whatever answer we propose is worthy of the plot for a sci-fi the present seems to be enough to consider ourselves “free” in some sense. as Spinoza contended. we would ask if things like ideas are subject to causality too. Considering the inescapable physiological and psychological subconscious causal influence upon our experience (which we will consider in this collection). Is our role in the world other than what the world requires via necessity and what the mind processes subconsciously? Are our choices independent of any influence or enough to say that we have a truly free will? We shall see. we are compelled to ask if the remaining element of self-awareness that seems to traverse our experiences is enough to assert untainted self-control in a meaningful way. some functioning chains of causal determinism. It’s why science and technology work. both externally and internally. that’s not too different than some of the religious perspectives we’ll consider too. but as it has been noted by philosophers. Cause and effect is undeniable in the physical world. “nature natured”: expressions of a universe where the dance is done… OR… somehow both. even the most extreme libertarian depends upon some cosmic stability to manifest her will. in the least. M. Even Robots Can Be Heroes. self-organization. [34:00-end]. Pages 514-519. and future is only an illusion. Brown. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://news. Part I. D. (Interviewer). S..for us physicists believe the separation between past. Interview with Daniel Dennett. (3/2007).technologyreview. resisting. Radiolab podcast: No Special Now.). Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. 20 March 2007. [Audio podcast]. (7/24/2007). Mitri.. [29:45-end]. Philosophy of Mind: An 60 Floreano. Evolutionary Conditions for the Emergence of Communication in Robots.html 59 Ewing.. in the least. Philosophy Now. [Web log post]. the evidences in this book will challenge us to reconsider how similar conscious life really is from what we would consider to be AI: artificial intelligence. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://chronicle.60). Consider that even a robot freely expresses the causal play of forces shared by agents in bigger or smaller ‘cages’ with the same extensions and limitations upon its local freedom: pushing. pulling. Arguments for the existence of the soul. there are still many thought experiments that are useful in this vein63. That said.64. 6. mechanism of sentience. L. Magnenat. 3. [Video file post].pdf 61 Weed. we can say that humans have self-awareness in the world.' The Chronicle of Higher Education. etc. (Interviewee). [9/2004].universe.html 64 Kagan.sciencemag.conscious-robots.65 (sometimes referred to as weak AI) and do increasingly correlate with the evidence..g. Krulwich. although a convincing one”57? Regardless of speculation whether or not there is any kind of essence to consciousness (whatever THAT means) or some kind of Consciousness (big C) beyond what we observe on earth. Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www. S. the/129279/#disqus_thread 63 Wright. E.neurosecurity.59. 30 . (1991). Current Biology. 62 Parry. Dennett. Issue 6. subjective phenomenal experience. Boston: Little. “.philosophynow. Robots Evolve to Deceive. (5/3/2011). While some critics61. I would be remiss to ignore this evidence..62 maintain that a straight comparison of the human brain/mind to a computer or software (sometimes referred to as strong AI) belies too many of the as of yet still unknown details to satisfy our needs for an unquestionably complete ‘theory of consciousness’ (e. so we cannot be “robots” in the vital sense that we commonly use that word (or can we?58. (10/9/2011). 58 Pennisi. Setting aside for now how limited self-awareness 57 Abumrad. etc. D. R. Raymond Tallis Takes Out the 'Neurotrash. 2008)./2012).com/watch?v=GR63MMAi- fs&feature=relmfu 65 Dennett. even if so many nuanced narratives throughout the history of humanity are offended to the core. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. present. Science Now. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www.” Einstein once said.-Feb. R. (Uploaded by YaleCourses on Oct. (3/8/2007). Consciousness Explained. by Robert Wright. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. Volume 17. Keller. (Jan. associations/interviews/interview-with-daniel-dennett-by-robert-w.radiolab.

It would also have an awareness of more or less limitation upon its freedom of movement… but. therefore because of. it would be the logical fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc: “after. to the way versions of randomness. I will discuss how this ‘improvisational software’ might be analogous. are incorporated directly or indirectly into some compatibilistic models.html 67 Weed. events that unfold developmentally to make each brain what it is have 66 McCarthy. consider what you would have if you were to add limited self-awareness to a robot that also already had predetermined programming (e. the knowledge of the probability and possibility within the freedom of thought and action in itself)./2012). Thoughts are popping up in our head constantly. Philosophy of Mind: An Overview. Stanford University. a chess program or a digital clock).” Consider if the robot also incorporated complex improvisational software in its programming that sorts (pseudo or truly) random data into organized forms. but in the case of the robot with self-awareness and these same 31 . In addition to the general philosophical causality challenges to folk notions of the extent of our freedom. L. Retrieved 9/19/2012 from http://www-formal. in much the same way as all physical possibility in the universe has been constrained to some extent by the way the Big Bang unfolded from the Planck epoch.g. Philosophy Now. when it comes time to performing operations. with minimal internal modeling mostly in relation to said external experience (For those familiar with it. Let’s say it was mostly limited to an awareness of external as well as the ability to perform the tasks/plans within the physical and temporal parameters of its local control (i. I ask you to consider the limited awareness of the last person in Searle’s ‘Chinese Room’67 thought experiment: the interpreter). This is a large part of the conscious mind that we experience as freely willed and directed when we are thinking. Analogously. only the experience of the performance within varying degrees of ignorance as to the origin of these directives. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. or even more than analogous.originates66 (often called the “user illusion” in computer science). such as stochasticity/quantum noise. we also have the mysterious underworlds of the subconscious/unconscious as uniquely relevant to this discussion. (1995-2002).-Feb.philosophynow. there is still no actual free will in the libertarian/contra-causal sense. when in reality. following generally beneficial heuristics that balance personal and social benefits. J.e. Making robots conscious of their mental states. it might also be inclined to mistakenly perceive that its intention originated from its awareness. (Jan.

S.] 32 . Cambridge: Belknap Press 70 Lilienfeld. Boston. and god. are literally edited out by our brains. Woolf.[68] Try it. David Linden notes that similar processing happens with hearing and touch when our brain edits out data that does not warrant our valuable attention. S.. As speculative as evolution and evolutionary psychology sometimes seem (and are). (2007). we have to acknowledge their influence. let alone the complexity of events 69 Linden. When your eyes shift from one position to the other. all kinds of processes that limit us epistemically have been borne upon our experience as well. memory.newyorker. This narrow entryway allows only the most important information through. Neuroscientist David Eagleman recommends an easy exercise to show us one example of how our experience is processed: look into a mirror and move your eyes back and forth.J.. Namy. It’s extremely important to consider what we can’t consider: we can’t even fathom the amount of time that has shaped our construction. and only as much of it as we can process at one time. dreams. L. The New Yorker. such as irrelevant background noise. The Possibilian.”70 What is most relevant to our purpose here when considering this kind of evolutionary editing is the question: what else gets edited out by Mother Nature for purely pragmatic reasons of survival? 68 Bilger. then at your left eye again.the same constraints upon mental liberty and the actions that result from it as well. L. Psychology: A Framework for Everyday Thinking. Within those causal limitations. (4/25/2011). then at your right eye. MA: Pearson ISBN-10: 0205650481 [p. D.69 Psychologist Scott Lilienfeld writes about Donald Broadbent’s filter theory of attention. But here’s the kicker: you never see your eyes move. B. filtering out less important stimuli from our focus of attention. The gaps. called saccades. (2010). presumably via evolution/natural selection. Lynn. That the editing of these and other jitters in the eye crucially improves our maneuvering presumably exists because it had some survival benefit.. so that you’re looking at your left eye. which is “a bottleneck through which information passes. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. etc. 118. N. they take time to move and land on the other location. clothes rubbing against our skin. The Accidental Mind: how brain evolution has given us love. 72 Telis. reproduced facsimile of reality in the mind. we might experience it in the brain like watching TV or listening to music—that is.tcnj. Publisher: JSTOR. Pages: 1-29 ISSN: 00030481 Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from Arguments Against Direct Realism and How to Counter Them. there may simply not be time to build up a full-blown mental model of the environment.72 Metzinger and others posit that we are naïve realists. which doesn’t require perfect representation like naïve realism does… but that’s too deep of a rabbit hole to follow now. 2/2005. Science Now. from which to derive a 71 Metzinger. If there was a survival advantage to this ability to perceive the processing itself and we evolved the brain power to do so. Issue: 3. The reason why we do not recognize our Phenomenal Self Model (see Evidence #16) as representation is probably because it was unnecessarily too taxing on the brain/body to make that particular function apparent. “Being No One. Cognitive scientists have noted we may have evolved to conserve a more robust awareness for reasons of cost when it comes to time-pressured cognition: When situations demand fast and continuously evolving responses. such as was evidenced in the rear hippocampuses of London cabbies who needed to memorize thousands of locations. with no evolutionary survival benefit worth the metabolic cost upon the brain/body. P.”71 because this self-model is transparent to our conscious experience.html 73 Morvan. Series: UC Berkeley Graduate Council Lectures [Show ID: 9181]. as the distinctly separate indirect/representational realism to which the scientific evidence points. Our brains are dangerously big as it is. (2004).youtube. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://news. What’s important for my purpose here is that even this version of direct realism allows for imperfect representation and distorts our reality. CA. you are a system that constantly confuses itself with the content of its own self-model. Some have made the case73 that “naïve realism” is an extreme caricature of the more basic direct realism. who cannot experience the virtual reality in the brain as virtual reality—that is.” The Immortality of the Soul presented by the UC Berkeley Graduate Council. Thomas Metzinger hypothesized “…metaphorically speaking. fMRI studies have also shown that. the brain does have the plasticity to grow in certain areas to accommodate relative use. Vol: 41. as a processed.pdf 33 . ScienceShot: The Brain of a Cabbie. as one might expect. (12/8/2011). Thomas. Berkeley. (46:30- 51:00) Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.

Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.[74] Our natural integration of selective attention shows that we are cognitive misers in need of limiting our resources. Journal of Personality. it often helps us to excuse our behavior. environment/others are more fundamentally in control). then we see yet another possible reason why too much awareness was snubbed by natural selection (I will go more into detail on the pros 74 Wilson. Telling others which way we are going is not only useful in traffic.. it is argued.. Six Views of Embodied Cognition. Daniel Wegner considers some of the social advantages to evolving just the amount of self-awareness that we do have.1. Reporting previews to others allows us to keep others out of our way. In this simple sense. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from's%20Self%20Portrait.e. 1001: 1–14 (2003). Instead.1279.1. & Harris. If we also consider the psychological benefits of an explanatory style that favors an internal locus of control. that is.1467-6494. Perceived choice as a function of internal- external locus of control. but can be life saving in a variety of circumstances. D. having and sharing increasingly complex conscious “previews” of our actions through evolution: Previews are adaptive in a simple sense because they create a social signaling system- akin to turn signals on motor vehicles. H. New York Academy of Sciences.. so selective attention is a natural adaptive result. D. 437-452.1196/annals. [p. being a situated cognizer requires the use of cheap and efficient tricks for generating situation-appropriate action on the fly. The Mind’s Self-Portrait.pdf 76 Harvey. Barnes. 4]. At the other end of the (p. 42.124. (2003).ist. M. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.1111/ doi: 10. (2002). 9 (4):625--636. R.1974. L.[75] Wegner also discusses the importance of “authorship emotion” related to motivation and our perception of responsibility.psu. J.wjh. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://onlinelibrary.harvard. D.8295&rep=rep1&type=pdf 75 Wegner. Sperry. conscious previews could have evolved merely to allow us the luxury of bending our social world to our mind’s imagined futures. which is just enough to anchor our moral actions to a sense of self. (1974). These functions would be unavailable to a person who could not discern what he or she might do next.76 which accompanies evidence showing that those who feel more in control often feel more empowered psychologically than those with an external locus of control (i. plan of action. or to someone who was unable to report these self-predictions to others. 11). and it can invite others to join with us as well.x/abstract 34 . B.

D. 13-18. 73-79.. 1997). people have learned to anticipate the computer screen quadrant in which a character will appear next. (2005). unpredictable. Cerebral Cortex. 78 Miller. and motivational” and not merely “the shadow of a ‘real’ conscious mind” as so many of us have been led to believe for so long. University of Missouri Video Services. F. O. (2003)." in Machiavellian Intelligence II. as it is cognitively very expensive. Freedom of objective evaluation must be foundational for any significantly free model of free will. Zilles.. [8:30-10:00]. “In experiments. Rünger. Perspectives on Psychological Science. 1002–1015.82 These are evaluations based upon an “automatic effect of superficial features of a person. but it seems that we may actually have not evolved more self-awareness for survival benefit too. research has revealed that there is unconscious implicit learning..” (uploaded on 8/23/2011). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.. Others have suggested77 that since adjustable. E. and that there are strong. R. On the benefits of not trying: brain activity and connectivity reflecting the interactions of explicit and implicit sequence learning.caltech. they’ve given us a tenable picture of the unconscious as “perceptual.78 a specific kind of naturally selected ignorance of certain intentions might preserve these traits and our lives. C. Available on 9/19/2012 at http://resolver. & Morsella. 562]. (Submitted). (2010). P. 79 Fletcher. Bargh. Current Directions in Psychological Science. Honey. 12.. Psychology 9th edition. 80 Frensch. 83 “TheMizzouTube. We do not need cognition to have affect. “Protean primates: The evolution of adaptive un-predictability in competition and courtship. Protean Free Will. Importantly. by A. G. Frith. when considering the question of how much our unconscious decisions are ‘our’ decisions. C. D. 3.79. it is important to recognize that our experience is processed to some extent. D. including transparent mental editing of what it considers to be too taxing and/or insignificant experience. 77 Clegg. 15. Implicit learning. 81 Myers. E.”83 Think long and hard about that. Zafiris. & Fink. Lecture by John A. J. P. A. The unconscious mind. even before being able to articulate the underlying rule (Lewicki. 1992. (1997). ed. tenable hypotheses available via evolutionary models to explain them. evaluative.80 As David Myers puts it. Pasadena.. (2008). F. about 2%). We may have evolved some self-awareness via social survival benefit (again.. Whiten and R. protean behavior is advantageous in precarious social situations. Unconscious behavioral guidance systems. P. R.and cons of internal and external control perception in the Challenges). Corlett. While the subject of how our ‘software’ itself and its limits came to be is beyond the scope of this book. (ISBN 978-1-4292-1597-8) 82 Bargh.. W. California Institute of Technology. (2012).com/watch?v=pWSC48EUg-8 35 . Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www. A. G. L. A. but most importantly. [Video file]. [p. New York: Worth Publishers.”81 The work of John Bargh and Ezequiel Morsella has also evidenced the unconscious mind influencing creativity and spontaneous behavior. R.

but would we consider these processes to be “freely willed” just because they happen within our body proper? Clearly. especially in terms of defense mechanisms. and even among those with amnesia  The emotions that activate instantly. before conscious analysis  The self-concept and stereotypes that automatically and unconsciously influence how we process information about ourselves and others. but his emphasis on its pervasiveness still rings true. motor skills. so far). 562]. American Psychologist. etc. (2010). 47. A.84 the evidence for a profound and powerful unconscious mind persists (not that he invented the unconscious mind. New look 3: Unconscious cognition reclaimed. some of which I have mentioned already and more that I will discuss in detail in the Evidences:  The schemas that automatically control our perceptions and interpretations  The priming by stimuli to which we have not consciously attended  The right-hemisphere activity that enables the split brain patient’s left hand to carry out an instruction the patient cannot verbalize  The parallel processing of different aspects of vision and thinking  The implicit memories that operate without conscious recall. D. [p. 85 Myers. it regulates organs. Psychology 9th edition. New York: Worth Publishers. Even if many of Freud’s propositions for how the mind works have been demonstrated to be inaccurate. such as false consensus effect and Terror Management Theory [more on those in the Evidences]). (ISBN 978-1-4292-1597-8) 36 .” which are not the same thing and even 84 Greenwald. (1992). even our own bodies are often at odds with our conscious desires. We hardly give the constant functioning of so many amazing processes in our bodies a second thought in our conscious minds and generally just accept them as ordinary. or we confuse “wanting” with “liking. dreaming. “automatically and unconsciously influence[s] how we process information about ourselves and others”… and yet is susceptible to much influence that flies under the conscious radar.[85] So this subconscious/unconscious part of our mind does all these things. 766-779.. G. Meyers provides a short list of some functions that researchers have attributed to the unconscious (at least.

.com/abstract=1742971 37 . But if one suggests that seemingly more interactive functions.. Available at SSRN. might also be overwhelmingly processed in the subconscious realm. agency.use different circuits in the brain. R. motor skills.86 though both are desires.87 This distinction becomes important when discussing moral The left/right hemispheric battle for dominance in the brain. Distinguishing Whether Dopamine Regulates Liking. and the varying speeds with which different types of processes operate. S.1037/0735-7044. and control should be drawn are not only clearly challenged by the question about free will within unconscious processing. D.g. Retrieved 8/3/2011 from University of Michigan News Service Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://ns. and recent fMRI studies have shown that even our unconscious aesthetic sense is more predictive than our conscious aesthetic sense89 (perhaps because it’s less tainted with cultural bias/confabulation). Behavioral Neuroscience. Vol 119(1). (12/17/2010). S. Muehlhauser. Palmiter. Feb 2005. & Moore. such as concerning pleasure based vs. A. (2/14/2007).119. L. and/or Learning About Rewards. [Audio podcast]. It’s too hard to bear the thought of giving up certain decisions to the subconscious. the frontal cortex vs. amygdala). M. Wanting. and reflexes are… then we begin to protest until the cows come home.E. Folk notions of where the lines of identity. the conscious vs. V. Morality in the Real World podcast 15: Pleasure and Desire Are Separate. G. It’s been shown that even animals seemingly without the ability to reason out desire consciously don’t have to like in order to want. This is to say that our unconscious mind does not. S. reflexive processing battle.1. The evidence for dual process systems (not to be confused with “substance dualism.88 and is clearly relevant to appeals to folk notions for why we do what we do.” which is separation of body and mind/spirit) is ever growing 86 Why ‘wanting’ and ‘liking’ something simultaneously is overwhelming. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://ssrn. This is to say that they’ve been evidenced in clever experiments to want either via habit alone or via a simple awareness of unpleasant means to other ends.. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://commonsenseatheism. doi: 10. like moral or analytical reasoning. but also by additional internal ‘competition’ in other ways as well. Denenberg. (5/10/2011). A neural predictor of cultural popularity. H. all challenge the veracity behind our subjective impression of strictly monotonic conscious control. action based systems. We do often concede that many of our predilections are a product of mysterious subterranean forces. Our tastes often differ greatly.5 88 89 Berns. 5-15..umich. Sandstrom. like our tastes. the battle between the young/old parts of the brain (e.php?id=3165 87 Robinson. always seek to fulfill our greatest pleasure or happiness. by default.

and intuitions that comprise much of the automatic system. But they don't always work together well. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://lesswrong. rather than the product of factually objective relational properties between the subject and object in specific. When the elephant really wants to do something. 38 . in contrast. The elephant includes gut 91 Haidt. [Web log post]. New York: Basic Books..and some theories are better evidenced than others. and by pulling one way or the other I can tell the elephant to turn. but the rider cannot order the elephant around against its will. and when they work together well they enable the unique brilliance of human beings. they are at least way more limited than we have ever known.The controlled system [can be] seen as an advisor. and the rider can learn valuable information by talking to other riders or by reading maps. (2006). . (p. The rider can see farther into the future.. 17). but only when the elephant doesn't have desires of his own.. I'm no match for him. changing contexts). of course. is everything else. 4.The elephant. to stop. emotions. but they can give us a feel for where the research is heading. veridical in an absolute or purposeful sense). The extent of the remaining freedom of the ‘rider’ is mysterious and we may never be able to know what it is completely. The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding modern truth in ancient wisdom. The elephant and the rider each have their own intelligence.90 Psychologist Jonathan Haidt likens the dual processing of our conscious/non-conscious elements to a man (as the conscious mind) riding an elephant (as the non-conscious mind): I'm holding the reins in my hands. It's a rider placed on the elephant's back to help the elephant make better choices. L. How You Make Judgments: The Elephant and its Rider. but we do know that considering our overall decisions (elephant included).. This is not to necessarily 90 Muehlhauser. we often mistake phenomena like our emotional experience as not only directly referring to absolute and/or teleological truths (that is. but as being absolute truth (that is. visceral reactions.[91] These kinds of analogies are limited.. or to go. (4/15/2011). J. Further. .. I can direct things.

Darwin Machines and the Nature of Knowledge. (1994). Can neurobiology tell us anything about human feelings? In D.95. Research has shown us that our emotional predisposition and temperamental capacity is inherited to some extent. K. (2003). E. 493-514. 208]. A. it is to propose that the extremes of both absolutism and strong subjectivism are seemingly inappropriate phenomenally. in addition to some of those survival instincts being outmoded and/or irrelevant anyway. though people like Richard Lazarus97. 94 LeDoux. M. We know that at least some of our emotion is delivered this way. Psychological Science. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. damage.94. New York:Oxford University Press. but neither of these are always absolutely true about the relationship between you and your television). & Elmehed. But the emotional attitudes we inherit are prime examples of predisposition. 97 Lazarus. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. J.L. & Armony. It doesn’t have to be guaranteed. Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology (pp.. Dechef.86-89. The problem is wading through these primary and secondary heuristics when survival is not our immediate concern.characterize all knowledge in some hyper-nominal. Thunberg. M. 93 Plotkin. as there is still an apparent objective quality in the relationship between subject/object/context (e. U. J. Schwarz (Eds. the inherent belief and emotion behind them pave the way for how we will most likely act. 489-499). without conscious thinking. R. ISBN978-0-19-509266-0 39 . as our sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems work try to maintain homeostasis. The result is that emotions that cause us discomfort.Z.98 still see it going through the 92 Abela. Penguin Putnam: ISBN 0-14- 200178-3 95 LeDoux.E.96 The stimuli go straight from the eye or the ear through the thalamus (which he calls “the low road”) to the amygdala and bypass the cortex (which he calls “the high road”). H. (1991). it is an objective fact that the current relational distance between you and your television is x and this is analogous to an objective brain state. whether through central or peripheral routes of persuasion.. Mcintyre-Smith. Post-Modernistic way. 11 (1). Harvard University Press. even death (from prolonged stress) as well as emotions that mislead us in so many ways. This is the framework within to consider predispositionalism.. Henry Plotkin wrote that our “emotions are postcards from our genes. Unconscious facial reactions to emotional facial expressions. (1999). Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become Who We Are.”93 Joseph LeDoux identified neural pathways that create an emotional response to visual or audible stimuli before the intellect is even aware of it.S. ISBN 0-674- 19280-X [p.g. Personality predispositions to depression: A test of the specific vulnerability and symptom specificity hypotheses. J. Kahneman.92 and shows us what is directly most important to our survival instincts. Emotion and adaptation. Diener & N.. 22. 96 Dimberg. J. (2000).)..R. (2003). just increase predictability.

rather than a single less processed reaction. The Attribution of Friendliness. (2004).com/eskeptic/11-04-27 40 . Some free will advocates will argue that “free will must exist. This is called an attribution error.. N. 101 Masuda. A. (1998). testing it.S. Review of General Psychology. Their multiplicity does not grant us more ‘freedom’ than a minimal number of reactions would and it is still subject to causal forces. P.e. like ourselves. 10. J. Lazarus: An analysis of historical and perennial issues. F. ISBN 978-0-8058-2657-9 99 Storbeck. Zeno’s Paradox and the Problem of Free Will. & McCourt. etc. T. more treatment through memories. M. by reasoning. neither is the tradeoff between freedom and deterministic predictability. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 100 Napolitan.99 we must appraise an event interactively. sadness. are more inclined to attribute. these are merely a series of reactions to stimuli from another part of the brain (with ITS own ‘agendas’).. As Storbeck et al. B. R. people were more likely to pay regard to such situational info. R. (1979). 40. scientists are at the point where they can stimulate our brains into immediately experiencing rage. (2006)!_ 104 Molé. Perceived-induced constraint and attitude attribution in Japan and in the US: A case for cultural dependence of the correspondence bias. we often still believe that that is how that person generally is all the time.100 When this was shown in experiments. Still. D. 409-416 102 Malle. 895-919. J.. hilarity. and they do. (2004). Robinson. How far do you think it is from there to manipulation via nanotechnology? In terms of social psychology. G. D. Skeptic. our social experience is so powerful that even when we are told that some stranger is intentionally going to purposefully behave one way or another. It should be noted that in less individualistic cultures not as obsessed over free will/autonomy. etc. & Goethals. good ideas. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. Semantic processing precedes affect retrieval: The neurological case for cognitive primacy in visual processing. the truth did not matter. “if the tradeoff between freedom and limitations is not all or nothing [because of the limited freedom in local control]. etc… with electronic devices.). 41_55.. 105-113.religiondispatches. to our well thought out reasoning102 instead of context. The actor-observer asymmetry in causal attribution: A (surprising) meta-analysis. analysis. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. S. 15. M. (2006). Mahwah. 103 Horgan.101 and people we think we know well. 10(4)..: Lawerence Erlbaum Associates. Dear Scientists: Please Stop Bashing Free Will! Religion Dispatches. if some creatures have more of it than others”103 and. As we will see in Evidence #6.J. say. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. to know whether it is truly what we first intuit. 132. & Kitayama. it was the emotional experience that guided their impressions anyway. (12/8/2010).S. (2006). E.skeptic. Fifty years of the research and theory of R.”104 But how do we know that this charge doesn’t 98 Lazarus. Psychological Bulletin.appraisal at some point (i.

Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www. observing the trend of consistent causal influence. seemingly with the hope of dismantling the grip of causation by way of error in our beliefs and experiences..merely highlight our inability to recognize all of our determined motivations that preclude accessing local control in the first place? It doesn’t necessarily mean that those motivations are still not influenced in a causal way. brain damage/trauma/ oxytocin.). will. N.pdf 41 . So why. serotonin.21]. Berlin. etc.F. That’s what psychology has been doing all these years.g. should the as yet empirically unexplained remainder of influence not still be considered a part of the causal network by default? Why suddenly posit and then favor a change in the way the world works evidentially? The remainder of our experience that hasn’t been directly shown to be sufficiently influenced by subconscious motivations and primacy. Adequate determinism is enough to perpetuate a somewhat predictable loss of control often better than chance. The way our decisions are influenced and biased are not merely in a way that there remain purely untainted portions of freedom. Heidelberg: Springer. Ellis. [p. Downward Causation and the Neurobiology of Free Will.thedivineconspiracy. And we actually are predictable in many ways—not necessarily rational. just about it being more likely. vasopressin. not necessarily our ontology. etc.105 It does seem to be evidenced that some action is less voluntary than other action. This is the nature of biased filters. O’Connor. G. the ability to think about thinking). unreasoned and instinctual actions.R. and it should be especially appreciated by any theorist who values emergence and metacognition (i. T. but predictable. physiologically influenced desires (e. through which our entire perception is routed: entire frames are in slightly different shades of more or less color/influence overall. and action in the context of our beliefs and experience.. rather than leaving any sections completely uncolored. should default probability-wise to the presumption of causal influence rather than to the presumption of free will based upon the fundamental impossibility of passively acquiring experience/knowledge/information/impressions… shouldn’t it? I’m not talking tout court (completely by default). cognitive and behavioral heuristics and biases. dopamine. limited by our epistemology. In 105 Murphy. but when evaluating each concept.e. while others are corrupted. there is a crucial arrangement that must be recognized. (2009). Some libertarian philosophers have broken down agency into desires. ISBN 978-3-642-03204-2. even with many variables involved.

this sense. “the ‘facts’ of other people’s mental lives are frequently viewed through a lens coloured by the very issue that the facts are supposed to help us settle…”106 [emphasis mine]. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://bloggingheads. there are really only whole colored panes that our perception peers through. That our entire perception is squeezed through biased filters is especially evidenced in theory of mind experiments in the context of morality. 666-669]. even incoherent. The novel and unexpected fruits of organization and process cannot be presumed to always unfold in one’s favor.thepsychologist. even if we opt to use the free will model prudentially ( 42 . there’s no reason not to then include such phenomena in the causal conception of the arrangement from the outset. 22(8). and moral/philosophical paradoxes. As I see it. [Videofile]. And if secondary emergence/epiphenomena is an element of one’s free will. it can easily be seen as another potential obstacle for the free will theorist in certain situations such as this. (Interviewer). the libertarian agency model. (Interviewee). W. which requires at least some element of pure. responsibility. (8/2009). The predispositionalist need not dismiss emergence outright. (10/10/2008). Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.107 In The Causal 106 Jones.’ The Psychologist. S. Of course. [pp. Free Will: the Good Absurd. because our epistemic limitations leave us deficient in understanding the actual parameters of identity. unless they are expected via predictability shown by empirical experiment. and as you will see below. in which case. We must remember this fact that there are no uncolored lenses.g. The good. which are simply more or less biased to some but they would have to empirically show that they can transcend the bias. consider now the obfuscatory exaptive edifice built of misattributed autonomy and biases layered upon misattributed autonomy and biases. As science writer Dan Jones writes. certain religious and philosophical schools would challenge this. Blogging Heads. the bad and the intentional: Dan Jones on the often surprising part played by moral judgments in our ‘folk psychology. which I define as the whole range of what may fall under non- conscious influence upon action) in its own unique way. There’s no way to look through perfectly clear glass. in punitive systems).cfm?volumeID=22&editionID=178&ArticleID=154 4 107 Wilkinson. D. minds that favor the supernatural seem to be even more susceptible to biases overall. because of this strictured bottleneck of autonomic misattribution and bias in the decision-making process. because there isn’t any perfectly clear glass: every action is colored by sub-control (i.e. in fact. untainted freedom. is ontologically inappropriate. no pure freedom Smilanski.

and identity. so showing this kind of vulnerability may be one of the biggest threats in this whole work. fatalism. desires. necessitarianism. and impulses. one or more fundamentally different cognitive styles (i. while others may be ethically neutral.e. There is a long history of philosophers who have found freedom to reside in actions that are in accord with our values. They may be considered overly speculative at times. What may be most important is that these ways of thinking often appear to cash out to at least one of the three classic rivals in the history of ethics: consequentialism/utilitarianism (a kind of cost/benefit analysis based upon end result). questions. essentialism.g. deontology (duty/rule based system with obligations and permissions). The studies below show startling empirical evidence of unconscious physiological and/or psychological biases in our perception. rather than in our predispositions. because there are causal factors constantly influencing outcomes at the precognitive core of our everyday intuitive judgments. and reasoning that influence our thoughts and actions without any regard as to the specific facts of the matter *before* we consciously think them. local control.Vacuum section in the Challenges. control. I will ask questions that are… well. while others are more specific. Some of these tests have overarching implications. and/or may be physically manipulated to favor. a dual process theory of cognition [though there may be more than two]). the implications of these studies challenge our perception of responsibility. illusionism. In addition to challenging our notions of free will. that the veracity of our ethical choices are based upon correctly perceived ontological (pre)suppositions (e. Which brings us to the ethical implications… I will discuss several evidences that seem to suggest we each have an innate predisposition for. compatibilism. via confronting the notion that our moral judgments have no erroneous a priori elements. or any combination thereof. or virtue ethics (a kind of exponentially self-reinforced morality by habituation/practice). these studies imply that everyday intuitive judgment is often ill-equipped to make fair and accurate assessments of how the world actually is and how right and wrong should be correlated to it. “I know that this is the best moral action to take and am morally responsible for it because I perceive the world correctly/adequately”). autonomy. epistemology. Some have meta-ethical implications. I will argue more in depth about this fundamental epistemological issue. determinism. Whatever your position on free will. but they remain mere 43 .

Most of us are not aware of the implications of the studies that behavioral and cognitive scientists have been doing in the last few decades relative to what I have been discussing here so far. so I thought it would be useful to gather some of the most poignant stuff into one place. This may be because our original pre-biased belief was wrong to begin with. even though arbitrary. The main point of this collection is to highlight the illusion/delusion inherent in agential epistemology and control. just happens to push us in the ‘right’ direction. Kant’s claim that we are all equally valuable because we are all equally rational (a necessary component of his duty based ethical system) would only be true if we were all actually capable of being equally rational… but as this work will show. the ethical implications of these evidences follow commensurately as well. empathy. should give you great pause about the way you see the world. This is the notion that justice always prevails. for example. like the broken clock that gives the right time twice a day. 44 . your identity and integral relationship to it. we are not. notions of blame. responsibility. and the bias event. The equally specious “just-world hypothesis” is a common fundamental worldview of many people that is relevant here. and how social systems might be more appropriately managed. love. these studies. Aside from the issue of free will. we must be careful to avoid the genetic fallacy in terms of both morality and ontology: just because our beliefs and actions are sometimes arbitrarily biased and we can show this. thoroughly considered.questions and not assertions until they are answered (and some probably already are answerable to some extent). doesn’t mean that they aren’t sometimes actually accurate. That said. Modesty is immanently respectable and speculation is a necessary ingredient in any hypothesis. Unless you are already some kind of determinist.

Daniel Dennett describes108 an experiment performed by British neurosurgeon William Grey Walter in the 1960s: Grey Walter performed his experiment with patients in whose motor cortex he had implanted electrodes. So he arranged for each patient to look at slides from a carousel projector. 167]. PART II 32 SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCES OF PREDISPOSITION (IN CONSCIOUS AND UNCONSCIOUS MECHANISMS) The unifying theme in these evidences is that they highlight predisposition in the behavior of biological life. Not only that. or curiosity about the 108 Dennett. He wanted to test the hypothesis that certain bursts of recorded activity were the initiators of intentional actions. by pressing the button on the controller. at least to some extent for at least some (re)actions. (1991). Their higher predictability often makes little sense in any other light than in the context of evolutionarily produced cognitive mechanisms. timed only by an endogenous rise in boredom. but these behaviors often suggest influences that are strangely arbitrary. [p. Brown. (Note the similarity to Libet’s experiment: This was a “free” decision. Boston: Little. 45 . claim #1 above means what you think it means. Consciousness Explained. The patient could advance the carousel at will. That is to say that the action is active and has begun to be performed before we’ve perceived that we’ve consciously ‘decided’ what we’re going to do. THE YOU’S IN YOU EVIDENCE #1: Several studies have shown evidence of human actions instantiated before the will is consciously realized. and not merely reflexes. D. Yes. We should start at the beginning… In Consciousness Explained.

6. B. (1983). or whatever. [Video file].112. and D.[109. however.” Readiness potential is the impulse marker signaling when the brain starts to get ready to perform an action. or about 550 milliseconds before the action[114] [emphasis mine]. 47–57 Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.oxfordjournals. he reported some amazing results: human actions are instantiated before the will is realized consciously. the controller button was a dummy.pdf 113 “Luoshuzhai” (6/30/2009). J. and the time at which they consciously decided to act [i.abstract 112 Libet. not attached to the slide projector at all! What actually advanced the slides was the amplified signal from the electrode implanted in the patient’s motor cortex.radiolab. (1999) Do We Have Free Will? Journal of Consciousness Studies. Radiolab podcast: No Special Now.e. 46 . The carousel was actually advanced by a specific brain impulse that would later (presumably) be identified as RP: “readiness potential.. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://brain. K. next slide. A. [Audio podcast].. Susan Blackmore writes: [Libet] asked subjects to perform the wrist flexion [a wrist stretching exercise] at least 40 times. Pearl. Neuroscience and Free Will . W. (11/15/2010). (2005). ‘readiness potential’ or RP]. Oxford: Oxford University Press.) Unbeknownst to the patient. M. came about 200 milliseconds (one-fifth of a second) before the 111 Libet. Krulwich. Wright. Gleason. the beginning of brain activity in motor cortex [i. E. Time of conscious intention to act in relation to onset of cerebral activity (readiness-potential): The unconscious initiation of a freely voluntary act.centenary.111. In the early 1980’s. or the Grey Walter experiment paved the way for groundbreaking experiments two decades later by Benjamin Libet. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://machineslikeus. C.113 In Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction. but the RP began about 350 milliseconds before that.110] The patients went on record as saying that the carousel seemed to change pictures just as they were about to press the advance button. ‘will’ or W] […] Libet found that the decision to act. and measured the following three things: the time at which the action occurred. No. Brain 106: 623-642. 114 Blackmore. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.Libet's Experiment. (7/24/2007). As noted by Dennett. at times of their own choosing. On free will-6: The 1963 Grey Walter 110 Singham. S. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. 1999. (pp. W. Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction. 86-87).e. pp. but close enough that they thought that they had done it themselves. 8–9. 109

. E. On free will-11: Recent fMRI studies of the brain.psychologicalscience. Neuroscience vs philosophy: Taking aim at free will. M. 241–254. S.pdf 116 Bank. (4/14/2008). found that there was precursor activity in regions of the brain other than the SMA regions probed by rotating-spot. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from 47 . (2007).117 some with more direct connections (fMRI vs. (2007). Nature. B. implying the subject has the time/ability to veto an action in progress. 115 Pockett. Wired Science. K. Brain Scanners Can See Your Decisions Before You Make Them. & Miller. W.1038/477023a. (8/31/2011).auckland. The experiment used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to reveal brain activity in real time […] the team discovered that a pattern of brain activity seemed to predict that decision by as many as seven seconds[119. M. 16.. The observance of RP activity before the conscious experience of decision making suggests that at least some decisions perceived as willful actions are actually instantiated subconsciously. 2009 Jan.psych. (4/13/2008). Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. In 2007. Libet performed further experiments which lead him to believe in the existence of a “conscious veto” qualifier to the original experiments. and to remember the letter that was showing on the screen when they made the decision. P.nature. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from A. Psychol Sci. doi:10.120. The timing of the conscious intention to move. We Infer Rather Than Perceive the Moment We Decided to Act.121] [emphasis mine]. Libet’s original results were vindicated when “Soon et. Isham. He told them to press a button with either their right or left index fingers whenever they felt the urge. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.116 [emphasis mine]. 23-25 (2011).. Is Free Will an Illusion? Wired Science. M. Pockett and Miller released a paper showing how they “experimentally tested and rejected seven possible factors that would significantly challenge the accuracy of the Libet clock method”115. 118 Singham. and that this activity occurred much earlier than the SMA activity”118: [The researchers] put people into a brain scanner in which a display screen flashed a succession of random letters1. [Web log post]. (2008). (11/23/2010). The rotating spot method of timing subjective events. A. 2344–2351. European Journal of 119 Smith. al. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.html 120 121 Keim.pdf 117 Matsuhashi. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://machineslikeus. Consciousness and Cognition. Libet’s EEG) and an added element of predictable deliberation. 477. More recent studies also improved upon the original. & Hallett.

1371/journal. 2011. then it is probably the most devastating evidence against conscious will in the list. G.wired. 122 Chun Siong Soon. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://bioethics. (2011). R. (8/31/2011).69(3):548-62.S. Ultimately..0021612 124 Smith. It is further evidence that we will continue to see throughout this work that appears to validate the oft heard claim by many scientists that ‘the mind is what the brain does’126—that is.1371%2Fjournal. Soon. 23-25 (2011) Mukamel. Haynes.plosone. scientists-explain-why-animals-want-things-objects-dont 48 . Unconscious determinants of free decisions in the human brain.html 123 Bode. even if inexorably contested by some philosophers and scientists. Heinze. At Last. 6(6): e21612. (4/13/2008). “found that the outcome of a decision can be encoded in brain activity of prefrontal and parietal cortex up to ten seconds before it enters awareness”122 [emphasis mine].H.pdf 127 Sherman. that consciousness appears to be a property of the physical mind/body. This is keeping in mind that. Simply put.. Turner. 543 – 545: doi:10. Marcel Brass. Physiology of Free Will. Brass. More recent studies used even more accurate cutting edge fMRI equipment123 and one study by neuroscientist and surgeon Itzhak Fried even implanted electrodes in epileptic patients that tracked at the neuronal (11/21/2011). because if its implications are sound. [Web log post].html 125 Fried. doi:10. K.2112 Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. Hans-Jochen Heinze & John-Dylan Haynes.stanford.125 THE IMPLICATIONS: How can the body act before the mind realizes it has decided? I wanted to do this one first.. (2002.1038/477023a Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. Paper presented at the Neuroethics: Mapping the Field Conference. our experience of making a conscious decision to do something appears to be merely a self-report of something that the brain had already decided and actually instantiated. J. May).127 that view of consciousness is better qualified in terms of its production via co-emergent physical constraints on matter. Trampel. & Haynes 2008. S.2112.D. Neuron. as Harvard trained neurologist/anthropologist Terrence Deacon suggests. Tracking the Unconscious Generation of Free Decisions Using UItra-High Field fMRI. Soon.nature..psychologytoday. I. He. 126 Hallett. giving results for decision prediction with more than 80% accuracy. R. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. 11.nature.pone.1038/nn. CA. Nature 477. As http://www.pone.0021612 Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from Scientists Explain Why Animals Want Things But Objects Don't. PLoS ONE. Kreiman. J. Nature Neuroscience. C. Neuroscience vs philosophy: Taking aim at free will. rather than by the matter itself. SF. A. (2011). Internally generated preactivation of single neurons in human medial frontal cortex predicts volition. as most things are..124.

that appears spontaneously in consciousness”131 and as Nisbett and Wilson put it. don’t reflexes and so many automatic non-willed functions in our bodies. New York: Harper & Row 132 Nisbett. “There is an important difference between awareness of the existence of an evaluation or motive state and awareness of a changed evaluation or motive state.1002/9781444323528. (p. imagine—and exercise free will. (2010). (1962). [Television series]. (2002). as free will champion Eddy Nahmias asks. 49 . Michael Gazzaniga wants to remind us.134 is whether or not this is always the case. but some philosophers argue that since they are limited to simple thoughts and movements.wsj. doesn’t this study. as the father of cognitive neuroscience. Oxford: Oxford University Press.ch44 [p. in A Companion to the Philosophy of Action (eds T. cognitive studies seem to imply a potential for internal conflict between hemispheres/parts of the brain. Oxford. When consciousness matters: A critical review of Daniel Wegner’s The Illusion of Conscious Will. as well as to some constraints upon the will in the Libet/Soon et al studies.well as that. (1977). It’s easy to feel like it would be moving the goal post to argue that the implications of these experiments do not really get to free will proper. perceive. Rethinking Thinking How a lumpy bunch of tissue lets us plan. Wilson. challenge our notion of free will in the context of at least some forms of spontaneity? Again. not the process of thinking. 235). Psychological Review. Philosophical Psychology. etc. in the least. “Who’s in Charge?” and Terrence Deacan’s book. 527 – 541 . BBC Horizen. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. UK. doi: 10. A. and if there is no free will at all. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://online. 131 Miller. with the “conscious descriptive report of the processing”129 bubbling up just after an action. E. S. 231-259.84. “Incomplete Nature”).. 134 Nahmias. Scientific Challenges to Free Will. they’re nothing like planning for retirement or major life choices. Sandis). (50:00- 56:00).231 Available on 9/20/2012 at http://people. (2009).1037/0033-295X. Telling More Than We Can Know: Verbal Reports On Mental Processes. which complicates the issue further.128 Aside from the information that our conscious will ‘decides’ to feed it.. R. 130 James Van Der Pool (Series Producer). “It is the result of thinking. Vol 84(3). The Secret You. T. Mar 1977.virginia.html 129 Blackmore. 7]. involved here I will rebut that notion further on. we need to at least ask why there is any reason to presume that our subconscious isn’t in complete control.130 Psychologist George Miller wrote.133. Free will advocates will often concede reflexive action to some extent.3. from the heart to the lungs to digestion give us a pretty good indication that our survival probably 128 Tallis. (11/12/2011). 15 . doi: 10. calculate. (Dual book review/comparison of Michael Gazzaniga’s book.pdf 133 Nahmias. G. but the question. (2005).com/article/SB10001424052970204618704576642991109496396. Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction. reflect. Psychology: The Science of Mental Life. O'Connor and C. The Wall Street Journal.”132 As we will also see in Evidence #8. but even if we concede it for now. persons are also still products of external factors.

Consider what your leg has been doing for the last three hours. M. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://machineslikeus. Even if this were merely evidence for a subconscious decision making component subservient to conscious planning. Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction. according to the consequences of this experiment. just because there is a curtain of ignorance between those subconscious operations and our conscious mind? Isn’t an action that does what is best for it in the appropriate context generally considered an intelligent choice? We can also see how easy it is to error when tracking the etiology. such as in sleep-waking? Time and again. (p. if we were to grant a measure of hypothetical freedom left (which we shall see later is still biased and predisposed in other ways). we will our body to behave in some way: to wake up. Did you plan that out beforehand and execute it accordingly? I could play devil’s advocate from the dualist’s perspective (which I will discuss more in depth in the Challenge’s section) and suggest that ‘my spirit actually made the decision and my body is just faster than my mind is. New York: Oxford University Press. that most everyone concedes constantly regulates all of our complex internal hardware. we do have ‘free won’t. Considering both the earlier and later Libet experiments where he suggests there is a conscious 50 . Why should we presume that the unconscious mind. it exists only in the veto power after the act is already instantiated. 136 Singham. On free will-9: Attempts to salvage free will.’ But how much can we really appeal to the spirit as subconscious decision making in verifying free will. Susan Blackmore echoes Libet and says.”136 So. Think ‘damage control. (2005). to calm down. “Although we do not have free will. not to be in love or lust… and we fail.’ This suggests a 135 Blackmore. wouldn’t it still challenge free will as it is portrayed in folk psychology? This is being extremely charitable. at best. (11/19/2010). when sometimes life threatening actions occur from the unconscious.’”135 And what is it that influences the veto? Why should that be any different causally? Libet himself proposed that it is different. 89). How easy it would be to ascribe intention ad hoc.depended upon reactions that were beyond the conscious will? Doesn’t this also imply that these features were probably constantly selected for by natural selection? Thank goodness for that! Imagine having to consciously think about making all those organs work. that it is more like basic awareness and “may not require or be the direct result of preceding unconscious processes. to be strong. S. could only make ‘unintelligent’ choices. [Web log post].

(12/27/2011). (11/22/2010). Some recent studies139. Alfred Mele criticized the RP as not being enough time to actually house a choice or even an intention. especially since as noted by incompatibilist evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne. New Scientist. legal-implications-free-will-simply-veto-power 138 Coyne. “‘vetoing’ takes place in precisely the same brain regions as “‘choosing.html 140 Trevena. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.140 claim to show that the readiness potential that Libet interpreted as a decision may really just be the brain signaling some form of special attention. but merely an urge. defeasibility in the scientific method always leaves open the possibility that the Libet study is flawed and/or misinterpreted. Some free will advocating neuroscientists downplay the Soon. [Web log post]. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://machineslikeus.wordpress. Consciousness and Cognition. (2006). J. J. The no-free-will experiment. Volume 19. (3/2010). (10/2009). after hearing a tone. lust) and laws with consequences that depend upon intention (e. he suggests that there are implications in law and ethics.g.. Issue 1. Brain preparation before a voluntary action: Evidence against unconscious movement hate crimes). On free will-10: Ethical and legal implications of free will as simply a veto power. NY: Oxford University Press 51 . A.g. Free Will and Luck. Miller.’”138 POSSIBLE CONTRARY EVIDENCE (AND RELATED STUDIES): Even though several recent studies (as I have footnoted above) have confirmed Libet’s original analysis of his results (perhaps excluding any special freedom associated with the ‘conscious veto’). Pages 447-456 141 Mele. the immediate side choice by the subject should have showed the researchers the unconscious process in the brain indicating which hemisphere it chose… but there was no choice made. (p. were it designed for something like contra- causal free 139 Ananthaswamy. while the instantiation of action does not. Free will is not an illusion after all.strangely inelegant.newscientist. et al. 2008 results with the charges that such simple left-right choices make an over-simplified 137 Singham. Libet’s proposition seems unlikely. subjects were instructed to immediately press a button with their choice of right or left hands at the last moment. 40). [Web log post]. mysteriously post hoc medium.141 In one test. J. M. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://whyevolutionistrue. such as ethics that depend upon physiological reactions (e.137 For my money. If we were to discover that Libet’s veto does have free will. Since sides of the hands correlate to the opposite brain hemispheres. avec video.

Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://machineslikeus. Neuroscience vs philosophy: Taking aim at free will. and identity. 23-25 (2011). K. 52 . that the evidence he has shown confirms Libet’s results in a predictive matter better than chance. Even if this evidence is overturned. especially in their relevance to social psychology. [Web log post].. responsibility. J.html 143 Machine detects our decisions before we know “Soon et. (8/31/2011). H. Heinze. D. 145 Singham.html 144 Soon. New Scientist Magazine.2112. doi:10. On free will-11: Recent fMRI studies of the brain. i. though I wouldn’t make that argument and global determinism (perfectly ordered causality from the beginning of time to the end) seems pretty unlikely considering the evidence physicists have presented for quantum randomness.1038/477023a..nature. Nature Neuroscience Advance online publication: 13 April 2008. doi:10. that no action/thought can be independent of some influence. as well as. Unconscious determinants of free decisions in the human brain.caricature of decision making. Is the conscious mind actually limited to the quality of self-awareness? Is it just a periscope for the active subconscious mind used to collect data and make decisions? Is it fallacious to even functionally delineate between our conscious awareness and our subconscious 142 Smith. as well as the existence of other behavioral and cognitive biases. We do. M. found [via fMRI] that there was precursor activity in regions of the brain other than the SMA regions probed by Libet [via EEG]. the philosophical challenges to contra-causal free will. M. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.600-machine-detects-our- decisions-before-we-know-them. (2008). and that this activity occurred much earlier than the SMA activity”145 [emphasis mine]. (11/23/2010). will still stand. C. 10 seconds is a long time for the brain not to be influencing action/decision.. Haynes.e. more importantly. 477. Brass.newscientist. Nature. as well as that subjective interpretations of mental history are not trustworthy. (4/19/2008).144 As I have noted. The implications of Libet’s and similar studies are really evidence that might even accommodate a more fatalistic or strong deterministic position where even conscious access and/or input to the will are questioned. issue 2652: Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. J. But occasional randomness at the quantum level doesn’t necessarily thwart predispositions at the level of human behavior or we wouldn’t have any functional psychological evidence of arbitrary tendency to speak of.142 FINAL IMPLICATIONS: Some researchers like Marcel Brass of Ghent University say that using a response to tones changes the paradigm of the experiment enough that it can’t be compared to Libet’s experiment.

In any case. While these are also times when more complex. which do not even depend upon instantiated actions preceding the conscious 147 Smith. effects do not need to be linear to be caused.” And if we are going to start considering mathematical calculations in the same category as urges. Keep an eye out here146) that even when the decision making process is further complicated to include multistep intention via mathematical problems. then again.mind? That decisions are generated non-consciously ultimately undermines the folk notion that conscious awareness holds primacy couched in our awareness and compels us to redefine personal identity. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. regions of the brain) working in tandem as a network. anyway.1038/ More studies of this nature are exactly what are needed and we’ll know a lot more very soon. Neuroscience vs philosophy: Taking aim at free will. we need to revisit the ascription of intelligence to unconscious agency. (8/31/2011). This is not to say that there might not still be multiple processes (i.148 sometimes we should view even the most complex choices and plans as a large collection of small simple choices. doi:10. (1996). Research Fields> Volition. really an oversimplified caricature of actually much more complicated planning? Science writer Kerri Smith notes that it has been shown in yet to be published work (still unpublished at the time of this writing. Viking Penguin: London. neglects. they are. complex clusters of co-emergent conscious decisions or even ‘non-causal’ conscious decisions at fewer intervals. etc. Analogous to the successful evolutionary model. And emergent or not. This evidence merely 146 Hayneslab website. just that each heuristic within each element is built procedurally upon available data.. clearly. The Libet/Soon. heuristics. intentions and free will. K. I will later argue that even simple A/B Boolean type decisions are influenced by a personality constructed via any number of arbitrary biases. much less prevalent than the small changes in a changing context guiding the process. 53 . et al. Nature. emergent ideas erupt. 23-25 (2011). rather than as an overarching portrayal of large. analogously. 2008 study.e. the results so far have shown up to a four second RP. this is all still causal. et al type studies are really just a bonus for determinists/compatibilists when considering all of the other charges against the possibility of contra-causal free will and especially predisposition. effects. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from https://sites. because it is concerned with all causal/motivating factors. and others like it.html 148 Dawkins. Climbing Mount Improbable. 477.nature. Is the Soon.147 That doesn’t look good for Mele’s qualification of RP as a mere “urge.

We will always look to the future for more evidence and philosophical clarification as to where we may draw those lines. 54 .takes causal determinism to an even deeper level than it needs to be to rebut contra-causal free will. if any.

pdf 150 Breitmeyer.154 As the studies were described by neuroscientist Mark Hallett. M. O. 2002. J. 110: 62-6. 13-14 May... CA. B.I. then only the large stimulus is appreciated. the small one has been masked. W. L.. In the mid 1980’s and early 1990’s. the order of events was stimulus-response-perception. Exp Brain Res. Selection of motor responses on the basis of unperceived stimuli.nlm.152.G. but without perception of any stimulation at all. (1996). San Francisco. “subjects were reacting to stimuli not perceived. p.ncbi. THE MASK OF SUBJECTIVE FREEDOM EVIDENCE #2: Experiments have shown that the subjective experience of willful choice is not evidence for free will.: Modification of a functional motor task by non-consciously perceived sensory stimuli. 63: 439-46. I. 151 Taylor. a small stimulus would be easily recognized. (1990). “Physiology of Free Will.. 55 .. Mark.[149. In this circumstance..nih. Triggering of preprogrammed movements as reactions to masked stimuli.156 Related to and reminiscent of William Grey 149 Hallett. 155 Hallett.153. (1984).nlm. M. Klotz. New York: Oxford University Press.stanford. (1996). J. NeuroReport.” Neuroethics: Mapping the Field. McCloskey. San Francisco..” Neuroethics: Mapping the Field. 13. Nr.nih. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. 2002. J. S. & Topper. J Neurophysiol. Mark. researchers studied the effects of “backward masking”: By itself.151] Researchers showed that they were able to stimulate directed movements with smaller stimuli that were masked by bigger stimuli.. and McCloskey. Neumann. Heumann. Non-conscious choice in cutaneous backward masking. J. R. A. 637– 154 MacIntyre. D.. Visual masking: an integrative approach. Other response priming studies have delved further into the manipulation effect.ncbi.ncbi. and not stimulus- perception-response that would seem necessary for the ordinary view of free will”155 [emphasis mine]. 7: Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://bioethics. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://bioethics.L. D. Tabaza. May 13-14. In: 152 Ibid. This phenomenon is robust and has been demonstrated in the visual and tactile modes. Noth. R. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. N. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. J. If the small stimulus is followed quickly by a large stimulus.nlm. 2002.pdf 156 Fellows. CA. Schwarz. “Physiology of Free Will. 153 Taylor.

but Whose Mind? PLoS ONE http://dx.M. New York Academy of Sciences. consciously actualized.wjh. (N. T.harvard.1196/annals. In his classic I Spy study. Sources of the experience of will. A. and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural.L.Walter’s work mentioned in Evidence's%20Self%20Portrait. be consistent with the action. connected to a computer with a software program. The Mind’s Self-Portrait. Cleeremans.54(7) and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural.159 Harvard psychologist Daniel Wegner claims that there are three prerequisites for the experience of conscious willing to occur: “the thought must occur before the action. 1999 a-classic-psychology-experiment-isn%e2%80%99t-what-it-seemed 159 Doyen. [Web log post]. Behavioral Priming: It’s all in the Mind.0029081 Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. (1999). Sources of the experience of will. Pichon. Retrieved on 8/7/2011 from http://www. doi: 10. E.pdf 161 Wegner.harvard.pone. Am Psychol. The James Randi Education Foundation. (N.D.). Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://blogs. automatic writing. O. 4-7].161 Wegner devised several experiments inspired by 1999 Jul.. (1999)..randi. they also showed a propensity to confabulate a conscious willing over what was not.html 163 Idiomotor Effect. 157 It should be noted that some priming effects have been shown to correlate to the expectations of the researcher rather than the actual intended priming (it would be better to say that the subtle priming of the researchers’ cue overrode the priming of the study). (2003). that is irrelevant anyway.discovermagazine. Retrieved on 8/7/2011 from http://www. in fact.wjh. which includes witchy practices like table turning.harvard.158. For the purposes of this book. Note*157.randi. D. pendulum divining. Retrieved on 10/31/2011 from http://www.1371%2Fjournal.pdf 56 . Apparent mental causation.html 164 Wegner. 158 Yong.plosone.D.. as the main concern here is simply non-conscious motivation/influence. Frauds. S.”160. Primed by expectations – why a classic psychology experiment isn’t what it seemed.1371/journal. etc. An Encyclopedia of Claims. T. Apparent mental causation.162 The useful feature in all of dactylomancy is the “ideomotor effect”163: unconscious self-movement perceived as performed by other agents. (2011). D.pone. The James Randi Education Foundation. An Encyclopedia of Claims. (1/18/2012).org/encyclopedia/ideomotor%20effect. C.).pdf 162 Table Tipping. Am Psychol.M.0029081 160 Wegner. and not be accompanied by other causes. direct action can still be perceived as unwilled by the participants..54(7):480-92. Two subjects operated the Ouija mouse. Ouija boards. D. They could see the cursor move over some 50 small images of toys on the screen. Retrieved on 8/7/2011 from http://www. So even with all the indications of something being willed.1279. Frauds.011 [pp. 1001: 1–14 (2003).164 Wegner and his colleagues made a homemade ‘dactylomatic’ Ouija board type contraption that they built over a computer mouse. Wheatley. Retrieved on 8/7/2011 from http://www.wjh.

They were then supposed to write down on a clipboard in their laps how much they had intended to stop.’ was always a “confederate” researcher. About every 30 seconds. They were also told that they would always be hearing different words from each other simultaneously. 57 . but was being instructed in the headphones to manipulate the board in very specific ways at certain times that corresponded to words that the actual subject heard. This happened. This enabled Wegner: …to show that under certain conditions subjects were absolutely sure they had stopped the mouse themselves when in fact it had been done by someone else. even if she hadn’t actually moved it.g. [165] They were instructed to move the Ouija mouse around. music played in the headphones.pdf (9/13).wjh. The researchers were really testing whether the unknowing subject felt like she had directed the cursor by thinking about where it would go just before moving it.harvard. The scale on the clipboard ranged from “I allowed the stop to happen” to “I intended to make the stop. “swan”). independent of the other participant’s intention to stop.” The kicker was that one of the two ‘participants. The confederate. They were supposed to stop moving the Ouija mouse “a few seconds after” they heard the music begin. knowing that the subject had been primed by a word ( who did not really hear words or music. as 165 Image retrieved on 8/7/2011 from http://www. with words being spoken in the headphones that sometimes matched up to the pictures of toys on the monitor. sometimes manipulated the cursor to land and stop on the swan at specific times crucial for priority.

when they had heard the name of the object just before the stop. (p. 303. Wegner had predicted. (2/11/2011).167 including some recent experiments where: Experiment 1 demonstrates that free-will beliefs are strengthened when conscious intentions to produce action outcomes bind the perception of action and outcome together in time [and] Experiment 2 shows that these beliefs are strengthened when unconscious priming of action outcomes creates illusory experiences of self-agency when the primed outcomes occur. S. 1144–1146. doi: 10. therefore. H. K. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.1177/0956797611399294. February 11. A. 167[166] Wegner notes that these are the well worn methods of mentalists. 97). “…these demonstrations of the mistakes we make show one thing for sure – that the feeling of willing something is no evidence either for or against free will.. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from and we infer the moment of decision from the perceived moment of action.psychologicalscience. Science. We Infer Rather Than Perceive the Moment We Decided to Act. (2007). E.. There is the very real possibility that the intuitive subjective perception of conscious control falls under the logical fallacy. Conscious Will and Authorship Processing sources. Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction. On the Foundations of Beliefs in Free Will Intentional Binding and Unconscious Priming in Self-Agency.eaglemanlab. D. Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction. there’s no reason to think that we don’t often do it to ourselves. Psychological Science. because of. (pp.). Susan Blackmore writes that. The where and when of intention. S. D. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://pss. P. (2004).com/content/early/2011/02/10/0956797611399294 169 Bank. 96. “generation of responses is largely unconscious.170 Evidence #2 could be considered Part #2 of Evidence #1.htm 168 Aarts. (2005).harvard. 2009 Jan. Isham. Psychol Sci.M.wjh.pdf 171 Blackmore. Many more studies have confirmed this type of Oxford University Press. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (N.”169.. 166 Blackmore.pdf 170 Eagleman. obscuring our subterranean interests. with more of a focus on the conscious cover-up than the origin of the action.sagepub. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. 2011. 58 . (2005). W.M. and van den Bos. post hoc ergo propter hoc: after.[168] THE IMPLICATIONS: As it was put in Bank and Isham (2007).”171 What we must realize is that if a magician can deceive us with so much predictable precision using these principles.20(1):17-21.

Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from https://www. TED. it’s likely that the free will philosophers will need more than philosophical slingshots to take them down. [1:15-1:30]. the patients often insist they meant to move that arm. As science writer John Horgan wrote in the New York Times about the kinds of studies where subjects are fooled into thinking they have”173 It’s clear why Wegner calls these confabulations “intention inventions” and we’ll see many more. New York Times.johnhorgan. As we shall see later in some fMRI scans (Evidences #8. RSA Animate. later in this writing. our conscious tendency to misappropriate control is also retrofitted toward a multiplicity of sometimes differing subterranean agendas that make up a human body where the ‘vote’ of an internal caucus beats out another before we are even aware of them (if ever). (12/31/2002). I don’t mean to specifically pit one brain hemisphere against another alone (it appears that the corpus collosum does act like an arbitrator/inhibitor in this way172). (Oct 21. and they even invent reasons why. they will more likely need some comparable scientific artillery. Science Times.ted. J. The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World. but any conflict of interest in the brain/body—even factions of neurons. 2011). Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. More Than Good Intentions: Holding Fast to Faith in Free Will. 172 McGilchrist. “When neurologists make patients’ limbs jerk by electrically zapping certain regions of their brains. I.html 173 Horgan. The implications of Wegner’s work are reminiscent of the Libet/Fried studies in their daunting implications and stand as the formidable Titans before the free will philosophers. #16).htm 59 . At this point.

Studies show that planning for the future improves memory. Lee. (3/3/2011).html 176 Abumrad.radiolab.180 When this protein that bridges the gap between our synapses is neutralized.175 Because we modify our memories so significantly almost every time we access them. (12/3/2010). Y. the memory is lost. (1/13/2012). J. C.. G. [Web log post]. A memory for pain. Krulwich. H.Y.. C. Chen.K. Kaang.W. E. K. Kwak. like the spine. The Brain: Memories Are Crucial for Looking Into the Future. we basically re-record the memory again from scratch. 'Time Cells' Weave Events Into 177 R. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www..discovermagazine. MEMORY EVIDENCE #3: There is evidence that we can modify our memories and unintentionally do so every time we access them. Shim. S. (8/24/2011). (6/7/2007). The story of the self.178Along with the brain. Todd C.. E. H. have been shown to store memories of pain via a neuron sensitizing protein called PKMzeta. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://discovermagazine. Radiolab podcast: Memory and Forgetting. 178 Fernyhough. including present emotions (during the memory. [Web log post].L. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://news.sciencemag.G. (4/2011). Wang. our most accurate memories are the ones that we have never accessed.. using new drugs.. traumatic memories. ironically. Exposing the memory engine: the story of the-story-of-pkmzeta 60 . and even bad habits based upon this understanding of how memory really 180 Li. (Interviewer).176. and that they are connected in a way different than thinking in the present. 179 Yong. Koga..330(6009):1400- 4. S. Science. Park. even non-cerebral parts of the body. stored in the spine.ncbi. B.174.discovermagazine. Zhuo.nlm. Discover Interview of Joe LeDoux. J. The Guardian. the way memory works is that each time we remember something. Science Now.. Discover Magazine.181 Dr. some researchers have noted that. X. C. Alleviating neuropathic pain hypersensitivity by inhibiting PKMzeta in the anterior cingulate cortex.. As the subjects remember some 174 Zimmer. Ko.179. Sacktor lead a team of scientists who. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://blogs. G.. that a healthy hippocampus is required for both planning and memory. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://discovermagazine. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from into-future/article_view?b_start:int=0&-C 175 Norton. [Audio podcast].177 Rather than being stored like a filing cabinet. not the original event). Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. Descalzi.S. LeDoux. J. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://blogs. (Interviewee) 181 Yong. have just about figured out how to delete certain chronic fears. 2010 Dec 3.. Kim. M. (5/11/2011). with the new alterations built in.. Shang. Collingridge.

. S.pdf?uniq=-g02nr5 184 Beil. Brain Researchers Open Door to Editing Memory.188. False Memories About Food Can Lead To Food Avoidance.radiolab... 23. (6/7/2007). Another study showed that false memories about food can lead to the avoidance of that food. K. San Francisco: Freeman.uci. Social Cognition. or the events of 9/11/2001. 11-34 Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from https://webfiles. C. 73–99 186 Neisser. D. A. D. there is also evidence that false memories can be implemented rather easily (see Evidence #7 for more). Read. 15. Radiolab podcast: Adding Memory.”182 The negative emotional associations with that particular memory are then removed by not allowing the brain to retain them. L.nytimes.. Snapshots or benchmarks? In U. Cognition. Morris. Laney. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. R. (1982). 187 Lindsay. S. (11/28/2011).. it’s no surprise that writing the playbook for possible truths is so deeply intertwined with memory that we would sometimes incorporate hypothetical inferences as memories themselves (i. D. Neisser (Ed. The next time the memory is accessed it will be diluted or erased of those connected traumatic elements.183 Scientists like Harvard psychology professor Daniel Schacter are noticing in brain scans that “many structures involved in the coding and retrieving are the same. Hagen. A1. The New York Times.”184 So what we think something means gets intertwined with the memory in a fundamental way.185. 2005. Psychological Science.traumatic/bad memory. M.186 Aside from altering memories in the depletory mode. effectively changing behavior. L.html?_r=2 183 Bernstein. such as (for Americans) the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster. J. And it’s also not hard to see how memories become teleologically injected (“this was meant to be like this for this reason”). B. New York Times.php/implanting-false-memory 61 .nytimes. Krulwich. confabulation). The Certainty of Memory Has Its Day in Court. Research. Loftus. habit).com/2011/11/29/health/the-certainty-of-memory-has-its-day-in-court. J. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.. muscle. events) and “procedural memory” (physiological.. pp.189 Memory 182 Carey. [Web log post].). Memory observed: Remembering in natural contexts (pp. before they are able to “re-record” it. 188 Abumrad. (2004). No. 43-48). & Garry. J. Such testimonies were documented and then the witnesses were revisited years later and re-interviewed only to give very different accounts of the 29. the assassinations of John F. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://theness. [Audio podcast]. (4/6/2009).com/neurologicablog/index. “the drug blocks the activity of a substance that the brain apparently needs to retain much of its learned information. (5/31/2011). Wade. Even the so-called “flashbulb memories” of extra emotive events. Implanting False Memory. p..187. (2005). are not untouchable. Considering that the function of memory is to aid in our survival. U. both as “declarative memory” (facts/semantic. Flashbulb memories for the space shuttle disaster: a tale of two theories. E.e. 1. True photographs and false memories.html 185 Bohannon. 189 Novella. (1988). Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. Vol. E.149-154.

There is plenty of controversy about memory. Tiny Zaps Boost Memory.. Psychology Today. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://news. non-savant subject known only as “AJ. (3-4/2001). We’ve known that memories are reconstructive to some extent from as far back as Freud. 191 R. 414-424. if not my memories…?”194 And that memory is limited. 5 DOI: 10.. Neurophysiologist William H.. (1956).193 THE IMPLICATIONS: Perhaps more than any of the Evidence below.R. Mehta. or “observer memories.192 Certain areas of the brain central to information flow (i.htm 195 Miller. S. H. Frequency-Dependent Changes in NMDAR-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity. the studies on memory have the widest range of significance to the discussion of free will and identity.00038 192 How the Brain Makes Memories: Rhythmically. ScienceNow. 63. 37. the entorhinal cortex) can be rhythmically ‘zapped’ to increase memory. (2/8/2012).190 Recent studies have also found that the synapses all record memories via unique ‘rhythms’—that 62 .” which are described from the point of view of someone watching the event. based upon certain individually preferred frequencies (which have longer or shorter waves that cash out to rhythms) that correspond to their distance on the dendrite from the neuronal cell body. & but half of the subjects later claimed to actually ‘remember’ it. George Miller famously gave us evidence195 that short term memory can hold roughly 7.e. A. from the normal.. since so much novel evidence has been “Who am I.htm 193 Miller.musanim. The Magical Number Seven. who provided images to manipulate digitally) and not only convinced her subjects that they rode in the those balloons. Science Daily.” who has an uncannily perfect memory (leaving memory expert James 190 Nash. Calvin. who noted that people often describe dreams and memories from non- subjective perspectives. Memory's Future. Vol. pp.2011.washington. (2011). Calvin asked. (2009). 81-97 Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.researcher Kimberley Wade doctored videos of children taking balloon rides (in collusion with the subjects’ parents.html?ref=em 194 Loftus. A. K. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information. A. (10/3/2011). Digitally manipulating memory: Effects of doctored videos and imagination in distorting beliefs and memories. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://faculty.191. plus or minus 2 items in it (I’ll discuss that more in another Evidence). G. E. 34(2):55ff. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience.sciencedaily. Wade. The Psychological Review.3389/fncom. rather than from looking out of their own eyes. D. Memory & Cognition. G. M.sciencemag.

Matzel. to exercise one hour a day)… and then the subject is somehow manipulated to desire otherwise. 64. With the ability to reprogram our memories subtly to ‘surgically’ (cue the soundtrack to Total Recall). 198 Waugh.65-70). 49-60. 1997. 63 . T.A. Primary Memory. 199 Underwood. (1957). neither. Sacktor will affect our future in powerful ways. Integrating Decay and Interference: A New Look at an Old Interaction. as we strengthen the newer neuronal connections with salient repetition via Long Term Potentiation. Mahwah. should we say that the erased desires of former selves are still freely desired or undesired. merely because desires themselves still exist later? Does the subject escape influence and manipulation because she’s a 196 Woman with Perfect Memory Baffles Scientists. (1997). L. Still. Psychological Review. ABC News. Psychological Review. against the wishes or knowledge of that former self. we could potentially find our ‘selves’ entrenched in a shape-shifting vortex of alienation more effectively than ever. Like the old metaphor of a blade being a life- saving scalpel in the hands of a doctor or a weapon in the hands of an enemy. Behavioral and Brain Sciences (response). E. 197 Altmann. Interference and forgetting.. Available on 9/19/2012 at http://abcnews. (3/20/2006).go. B. D. 634-655.McGaugh and all scientists stumped!196). (2002).J. 72. since they can’t persist to the extent originally intended? Libertarians and many compatibilists would say that all that is important is that we have the ability to choose from any changing identity. NJ: Erlbaum.C... Constantly reformed memories subtly redefine our identity.D. M. C. Our long term memory lasts longer than 20-30 seconds and can be retrieved for years and years. N. But just as Michael Jackson never had an objective standard for when to stop getting new noses.g. Norman.200 What does the nature of memory and the ability to theoretically reprogram our long term identities imply in the context of free will? Psychotherapists from the neo-Freudians to Rogerian humanists should be happy as clams to be able to mold their clients according to whatever scripting seems appropriate. 20 (4). 89-104. technology like that developed by Dr. has freedom of the will been preserved. (pp. D. Schunn. 200 Shors. the implications of these profound scientific breakthroughs concerning memory range from lifesaving to absolutely terrifying. even under the ‘positive’ guidance of humanistic therapists. Proceedings of the 24th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. (1965). But if we desire to preserve a certain desire—say we believe with certainty that a certain desire is good for us to have in any circumstance (e. J. LTP: Memory. both. to the debate over whether it’s decay197 or interference198 (retroactive or proactive199) that ends short term/“working” memory (up to 20-30 seconds).

Importantly. we care about selves 201 Tugend.nytimes..e. by the mere conceivability of a kind of freedom that transcends manipulated ‘selves’ (i. people in a virtual reality chamber were shown images either of themselves or of software modeled images of their future selves. with many completely reversed views. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. Philosophers have provided thought experiments that demonstrate why this is intuitive for most people: we don’t care about the body surviving as much as the personality. but they were also more likely to act more ethically than those not as in touch with their future-selves. (2/24/2-120. or nature? I will go further into specifically agential causation in the Challenges. In subsequent interviews. those primed with computer modeled images of their future selves were more likely not only to invest in their futures (up to 30% more than those who were shown only their current selves). This might be where we would employ Dan Dennett’s characterizing of certain kinds of freedom “worth wanting” or not. considering that this ability is one of the greatest features in the human mind (time travel!. in examples of counterfactual selves). kinda). Bad Habits? My Future Self Will Deal With That. A. in the least. but there is a difference in what we’re talking about here with rewritten memories. brain scans have shown that we categorize future selves with ‘other people’ and not as ‘self. which self. actually. experiences. or completely different people with different desires over time (not necessarily a bad thing in itself). reliably. say. but I would still generally characterize this manipulated freedom as unfree in all of them. 30 years later. sub-control.html?pagewanted=all 64 . A consequentialist might require or at least prefer to have the kind of freedom that transcends ‘selves.’201 which is really unfortunate.‘different person’? Are we more or less free if the ‘manipulation’ of the subject is via another agent.’ We would need to consider case by case examples. designed to disguise the researcher’s intentions of course. because the science is to-break-shortcuts. If we become almost. in that we actually think the old habit itself is different than what it actually was. The New York Times.. and personality traits. is you when assessing the free will of certain identities? Wouldn’t our lack of access to certain manipulated/‘reprogrammed’ thoughts and desires inhibit the freedom of our former self(selves)? Age old sci-fi topics indeed… and we need answers. We do seem to have this ability to ‘slip back into an old habit’ or way of thinking now and then. intuitively evidenced. In one study.

[Audio podcast]. Radiolab podcast: 205 Chicostine. or spatial and motor memory loss. but are innately procedural. The nature of death. S.”204 a woman afflicted with transient global amnesia was recorded by her daughter in the hospital. Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www. Transient Global Amnesia 2. do not have the luxury of this continuity.that are most like us 206 Chicostine. (4/9/2011). New Computer Memory Material Goes Easy on the Juice. is this continuity alone really enough to be considered an ‘identity’ in itself? I should note that many types of amnesiacs and people with brain damage.). What does the ability to completely recreate our desires and identities via science say about the identity of a soul/spirit? Would false memories that influence our desires add or detract from a notion of independent free will? Doesn’t the fact that false memories can be implanted show us that interrogators of any stripe. memory AAAS. mental illnesses. J. [Video file]. repeating their same conversation with slight variations over and over for hours. [Video file post]. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. from doctors to detectives to lawyers. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. 30. Revisiting the AI robot comparisons in the 0&feature=relmfu 203 because. “Loops. Part I. The short term or “working” memory in computers ( goe. Memories are not merely bits of stored data. 2008).202 And confining identity to a snapshot of the ‘now’ is over before you finish reading this sentence. while the long term memory does not203 (magnetic fields hold the positioning of the code of 1s and 0s in place). It's Tuesday! (Transient Global Amnesia) 65 .radiolab. (8/26/2010). they include our present reactions to the memory. R.. importantly. RAM) needs a trickle of electricity. Available on 9/19/2012 at http://news.html 204 Abumrad. 14. need to be aware 202 Kagan. In a stunning case featured in the Radiolab podcast. The daughter has posted a small sample of the conversation on YouTube.206 One wonders if the daughter would have crafted her words exactly the same way each time in that mostly ‘causally contained’ hospital room that her mother would have responded exactly the same too… it is that close. So. it’s also interesting to consider that there may be some similarities between computer memory and human memory. R.F. ScienceNow. (6/7/2007) even though we usually intuitively frame our identities and experience with a certain continuity running through our memories. (Uploaded by YaleCourses on Sep. [Video file].205. What matters (cont. Krulwich. (8/24/2012). Many experts think that long term and short term biological memories also have different mechanisms for coding and/or decay/interference.

Mayank R. (2011). “60 percent of people agreed with five statements about memory that the experts almost totally rejected. C. Our findings suggest that we can use these tools to deliver the optimal brain rhythm to targeted connections to enhance learning.” What consequences does the ability to enhance or incapacitate learning have on the will? As we will see in the Challenges to the Implications of Predisposition section after the Evidences. but does learning increase our freedom by increasing our awareness of the options or does ignorance increase our free will by multiplying the options and reducing prerequisites… or is it neutral? Is it a category error to confuse epistemology with freedom? 207 Yong. & Chabris. What People Believe about How Memory Works: A Representative Survey of the U..pone. Five myths about memory (and why they matter in court). E. Unfortunately.discovermagazine. having an unrealistic belief about what people can actually remember is not a fair expectation for jurors to have of the defendants and witnesses too.208 and-why-they-matter-in-court 208 Simons.of this when ‘leading’ a patient or a witness? And as science writer Ed Yong notes. who co-discovered the unique rhythmic nature of individual synapses said.1371/journal.0022757 66 .S. (8/6/2011). Population PLoS ONE. “We already know there are drugs and electrical stimuli that can alter brain rhythms. Mehta. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://blogs. 6 (8) DOI: 10.”207. D. [Web log post]. some contend that having more options available increases free will (though they see that accomplished by quantum stochasticity or illusionism).

[pp. 309-324]. he wrote: 209 Jones. Culpable causation.. [Audio podcast]. Knobe. 16. 210 Alicke. 22(8). 368-378. D.212. Knobe.210] In the Alicke study. 22(8). causation and blame”: Back in 1992 Mark Alicke published his findings that people were more likely to blame a speeding driver for causing an accident when he was rushing home to hide a cocaine vial from his parents than when he wanted to hide an anniversary present from them. [pp. J. and writes about a 1992 experiment concerning “intentions. doi: 10. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from as we would hope. the bad and the intentional: Dan Jones on the often surprising part played by moral judgments in our ‘folk psychology. D.63.thepsychologist. blame over a consequence is influenced by the intention. (8/2009).’ The Psychologist. 190-193]. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://philosophybites. The Bad and The Intentional. experimental philosopher Joshua Knobe has conducted slightly different experiments showing how blame is ascribed to the intention retroactively.1037/0022-3514. INTENTION EVIDENCE #4: Before we even articulate it. These biases are evidentially based upon consequences and/or superficial context. rather than. They strongly confirm what is now called “the Knobe M. [pp.html 212 Knobe. (Interviewer). D. strictly by their actual connection to the causes of the results. In the article. Vol 63(3). 213 Jones. (1992). Philosophy Bites podcast: Joshua Knobe on Experimental Philosophy. based upon the resulting consequence. Analysis.”211. 666-669].3. 666-669].. Philosophical Psychology. The good. Intentional Action and Side Effects in Ordinary Language. 63. Sep 1992. science writer Dan Jones gives an excellent overview of the most significant work regarding intention over the last few decades.[209.213 In Knobe’s dissertation to Princeton. D. (8/28/2010). The Good.368 211 Edmonds.’ The Psychologist. J. (2003a). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.cfm?volumeID=22&editionID=178&ArticleID=154 4 67 . More recently. (Interviewee). (8/2009). our impression of what someone else thinks is heavily and undetectably influenced by frontloaded moral biases. (2003b). J. [pp. the bad and the intentional: Dan Jones on the often surprising part played by moral judgments in our ‘folk psychology. Intentional Action in Folk Psychology: An Experimental Investigation. The

utexas. The problem is that he is a terrible shot who almost never hits anything at New Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from https://webspace.cfm?volumeID=22&editionID=178&ArticleID=154 4 68 . A series of experiments demonstrate that people’s attributions of intentional action in particular cases can actually be influenced by their moral beliefs. 22(8). Folk psychology. 73].[214] Jones describes Knobe’s most famous experiment: In a study published in 2003.thepsychologist. It will help us increase profits. folk morality. Did the CEO intentionally harm the environment? The vast majority of people Knobe quizzed – 82 per cent – said he did. This results in a perfect line up of the shot 214 Knobe. The CEO of a company is sitting in his office when his Vice President of R&D comes in and says. [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. but his jerky hand slips at the last second and the shot goes wild. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. and still just wants to make a profit – and his actions result in both outcomes. but it will also harm the environment. (8/2009). D. This result suggests that moral considerations may actually be playing a role in the concept of intentional action itself. just 23 per cent of Knobe’s participants said ‘yes’ (Knobe. profits are made and the environment is harmed.[215] Similar results were found when this kind of contrast was repeated in another experiment: people were given a scenario with a man named Jake. (11/2006). [pp. who participates in a shooting competition.pdf 215 Jones.’ The CEO responds that he doesn’t care about harming the environment and just wants to make as much profit as possible. ‘We are thinking of starting a new programme. the bad and the intentional: Dan Jones on the often surprising part played by moral judgments in our ‘folk psychology. J. Knobe presented passers-by in a Manhattan park with the following scenario. The programme is carried out. The But what if the scenario is changed such that the word ‘harm’ is replaced with ‘help’? In this case the CEO doesn’t care about helping the environment. Now faced with the question ‘Did the CEO intentionally help the environment?’.’ The Psychologist. and he must hit a bull’s eye to win. 666-669]. 2003a). 1. [pp. Princeton University. He raises his gun and his aim is actually totally off.

Philosophical Psychology. A. Ahade.221 216 Knobe. Journal of Cognition and Culture.unc. France. Institut Jean Nicod. F. 218 Ibid. R. partially devised by Mele. 15-18).pdf 220 Zalla. (2009). Intentional action in ordinary language: core concept or pragmatic understanding? Analysis.pdf 217 Ibid. (p.. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from (2003b).. Tranel D.” Knobe conducted another test. Faux pas detection and intentional action in Asperger Syndrome. the overwhelmingly majority of the people did not credit Jake with the bull’s eye. 309–324. (2004b).edu/~knobe/IntentionSkill.’”217 Another criticism that Mele had was that. “Overall. Steadman.220 so it’s less likely that it’s there to secure an impetus to punish via semantics...218 Importantly and mysteriously. (2006). Jake was overwhelmingly blamed as a murderer. 2009 DOI: 10. Just as in the CEO study. that pretty much ruled this out as well. as Knobe puts it.M. M.. Intentional action and moral considerations: still pragmatic.216 Upon free will advocate and expert Alfred Mele’s excellent criticism. Leboyer. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. 173 – 181. L. F. A. (p. A replication on a French sample. his aim is completely off. 6(1-2). 264 – 267 AND the results showed that giving subjects a chance to express praise or blame in no way diminished the asymmetry found in experiment 1. but in the second scenario. they added additional choices. Hauser. (p.219 suggesting that emotional reactions to immorality seeping through to pre-judgment is very unlikely. J. A. M. S. 14). When he tries to line up his shot. 219 Young. Paris. A. 265-278. who wants to kill his rich aunt so that he can get his inheritance.. 69 . T. in the first scenario. 7- 10). Adolphs. Steadman. resulting in a perfect line up the shot and she is hit and killed.. 64. J Autism Dev Disord 39:373-82. Cushman. Once again. Also interesting is its survival in people with autism who are challenged in conversational pragmatics. Ecole Normale Superieure. Analysis. further studies about intention and morality show that the Knobe effect is robust enough to still show up in subjects with damage to the emotion processing ventromedial prefrontal cortex.. CNRS. 75005. Stopin. 64. (2004a). 16(2). almost all subjects (96%) said that Jake was ‘trying. F. Does emotion mediate the relationship between an action's moral status and its intentional status? Neuropsychological evidence. “people may judge certain behaviors to be ‘intentional’ because they believe that only intentional behaviors can be morally blameworthy. expressed as levels of intentionality/culpability to show whether the subject didn’t only choose complete intention/culpability because they really wanted a middle ground qualification and had no way to express it. Intentional action in folk psychology.1007/s10803-008-0634-y 221 Adams.. Sav. but his jerky hand slips at the last second and the shot goes wild.and he hits the bull’s eye! Should Jake be credited with hitting it intentionally? Now consider a similar scenario with Jake the terrible marksman. again. as some have contended..

ourselves. Scholz.. see Evidence #27). which experts call the theory of mind.1038/nature06288 Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. Social evaluation by preverbal infants. R. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://blogs. P. It seems that with many biases. F. (2008). J. D. L. (8/6/2011). K. (11/22/2007).nih. Knobe. & Saxe. (2008) the related freedom. 2949–2957. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. The influence of prior record on moral judgment. Nature. J.. the playing field is generally equal. the Knobe effect makes sure the punishers are punished. It seems that no single intuitive normative theory can explain it (yet).. Bloom. 108. 557- 559. Young. an-nasty-moose-if-it-punishes-an-unhelpful-elephant 70 . The Knobe effect has likewise been observed delineating between actively doing and passively allowing in ethical scenarios.224.. 450. [Web log post]. 224 Hamlin. K.nature. nor does the equal distribution of some undesirable effect really improve its appeal. Wynn. we fail to assess the context in a way that we.. doi:10. E. 222 Cushman.225 so if moral evaluations are somehow frontloaded into intention. it looks like the trail may even go back to the beginning. Moral appraisals affect doing/allowing judgments.. J. Is it something we can change? Is it something we want to change? Is the Knobe effect a quasi-unconscious attempt to heighten the significance of personal will. would consider fair if the tables were 223 Kliemann. Cognition. including. W. Sinnott-Armstrong. the best we could hope to argue in terms of free will is to say that since everyone seems to have a predisposition for them.ncbi.. As an adaptive heuristic. We also know that infants as young as three months old begin to evaluate social behavior and prefer and expect helpers over hinderers. even if by an excessive distribution of punishment.discovermagazine. But predisposition and fairness are categorically different (even if some of our predispositions are considered fair. because the more freedom there is.html 225 Yong. subjects more harshly prejudged some doctors in the context of removing life support as killing compared to just letting the patients die. would provide useful evidence. or is that aspect of it just a useful byproduct of the moral assertion.222 for example. as compared to determinists. Kliemann et al. 46. as is relevant to this work. We do know that from the very formation of our judgment about the intentions of others. 2008 showed that the Knobe effect was also observed in subjects who more harshly judged people with bad prior records than good ones. the easier it is to blame? Maybe studies testing whether or not free will advocates are more or less susceptible to the Knobe effect.223 THE IMPLICATIONS: The roots of the Knobe effect are still mysterious. 281–289. Infants prefer a nasty moose if it punishes an unhelpful elephant.

specifically. Taboos. Myths. (2008). Future Bioethics: Overcoming.226 why don’t we see pro-life people shouting about saving so many embryos. the other is bringing a life into the world. let’s consider how something like the Knobe effect might have serious consequences in society. even though the former kills one ‘life’ vs. one situation is considered killing a baby. Last. the several leftover embryos from IVF treatments. the numbers be damned. R. and Dogmas. Prometheus. Though obviously personhood is debatable here. ‘pro-life’ movement. 71 . because of the intention of the parents? 226 Lindsay. are so many fertilized eggs considered an acceptable loss. As noted by philosopher Ronald Lindsay. rather than demonizing women at abortion clinics? Could it be the Knobe effect evoking more leniency on IVF parents who aim to bring a life into the world? If life does begin at conception. in vitro fertilization technology. Consider the ‘chairman of the board’ experiment in the context of criticism in the so-called. abortion perspectives vs.

A 228 International Collaborative Study between: The James A. Svartberg. smaller teeth. Selection for tameness has changed brain gene expression in silver foxes. T.. 38(2): 185–194.. multicolored coats. Bakken. Radiolab podcast: New Nice. (N. 22 doi:10. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://cbsu. University of Utah. The test continues to this day. Issue 22. Fitch. Behav Genet. S. M.000 foxes later. doi: 10. B. HN Erb... Björnerfeldt.228. USA. K Chase. The Institute of Cytology and Genetics. R915-R916.D. AV Vladimirova. 227 Lindberg.. AV Kharlamova. Russia. as docility has been artificially selected (bred) rather quickly in some animals. The selected foxes also show developmental.cell. S.radiolab. (11/2007).. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. (Interviewers).org/2009/oct/19/new-nice 72 . E. the foxes are increasingly docile because they are frozen in an increasingly juvenile state. the Soviet scientist Dmitry Belyaev from the Institute of Cytology and Genetics. IN Oskina.htm 229 AV Kukekova.227. Seehuus.g. Measurement of segregating behaviors in experimental silver fox pedigrees. (10/19/2009). Cornell University. 2008 March.229 50 years and 45. P. Volume 15.cub. Russian Academy of Sciences. K. aggressive or docile) and specific physical traits. Baker Institute for Animal Health.. DV Shepeleva. and Jazin.11. via over 40 generations of foxes that are now “docile. There is even evidence that our moral judgments may be influenced genetically. and GM Study of the Molecular Basis of Tame and Aggressive Behavior in the Silver Fox Model. (Interviewee). (10/2005). USA. S Klebanov. floppy ears.” In the Radiolab episode New Nice. Current Biology. morphological and neurochemical changes concordant with those observed in other domestic animals. R.1016/j. LN In the 1950s..cornell. Basically. [Audio podcast]. Krulwich.1007/s10519-007-9180-1: 230 Abumrad. and Department of Biology. C. Saetre.2005. friendly and as skilled as dogs in communicating with people. Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. curly tails.230 evolutionary biologist Tecumseh Fitch hypothesizes that since the accompanying physical changes that the domesticated foxes increasingly display (e. Vilà. and a more effeminate face) are all physical features that represent subjects with a lack of neural crest cells. J. began a long term experiment breeding silver foxes for docility. this lack of neural crest cells may be because the continual selection of foxes with the smallest/weakest/most immature adrenal glands would also select the foxes with increasingly slower neural crest cell migration during development.009: Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. GENETIC BEHAVIOR EVIDENCE #5: There is evidence for a relationship between behavioral disposition (e.

Georgetown University.scientificamerican. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. PLoS ONE. & Blair. (10/5/2011). S.georgetown. 233 Sokol. (2011). That is to say that rather than to let a train continue on the track it was on to kill five 232 New Study Finds First Links Between Genes and Moral Judgments.. R.0025148. the more likely they were to adopt a utilitarian/consequentialist response to the ethical dilemma. they were more willing to actively divert it to kill only one person who happened to be on a side track.. and people with a medium length gene (SL) were neutral on the matter: [234] 231 Marsh. Crowe.. What if. Abigail Marsh and a team of researchers published a study231 showing that “people with a long allele of a particular gene (a serotonin transporter) rated unintentionally harming someone as more acceptable than did people with short allele carriers of the same gene. Serotonin Transporter Genotype (5-HTTLPR) Predicts Utilitarian Moral Judgments.1371%2Fjournal. A Moral Gene? [Web log post] BBC 6 (10) DOI: 10. People with the shorter length of the gene (SS) were more likely not to divert the train. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. (10/5/2011). C. A. Gorodetsky. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://blogs. E. Yu. Goldman.”232 When they used the classic Trolley Car Problem233 to test the subjects’ moral judgments concerning foreseen harm. the study showed that the longer the gene was.1371/journal.stm 234 Wilcox... Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://news. 73 .edu/story/abigail-marsh-moral-judgment-gene.pone. H.plosone. (5/2/2006).

THE IMPLICATIONS: Marsh’s work, if accurate, could alter the course of relevant
philosophy, law, medicine, religion… just about every important field link to human thinking…
forever. It’s that important. I will discuss the effects of hormones and neurotransmitters upon
behavior later, but it should be noted in this context that in some research, serotonin itself has
been shown to influence our moral judgement. Experimental psychologist Molly Crocket has
done experiments showing that “the neurotransmitter serotonin directly alters both moral
judgment and behavior through increasing subjects’ aversion to personally harming others.”235
The evidence shows a correlation between low serotonin and tolerance for unfairness (to the
point of incurring personal loss just to punish others).236
There are several other Evidences in this book with some speculation about
consequentialist/utilitarian judgment influence in different areas of the brain and/or in language,
such as more recent work of Scott Atran on Philip Tetlock’s concept of ‘sacred values.’237,238
Should those other evidences also correlate, it would only bolster our moral predisposition
further, as the areas of the brain that correlate to these fundamentally different types of moral
processing will commensurately affect the agent depending upon the actual physical health of
those particular parts of the organ.
For many worldviews that presume we are all predisposed to an equal moral playing
field, especially theological ones, it should be very troubling that some brains favor cost/benefit
analysis concerning human life and others don’t by default (or by the health/capacity of the brain
areas determined by genes and luck). What does this mean for philosophers, from Plato to Kant
to Robert Kane, whose conception of freedom is reflected in their ethical choices—those who are
considered to be ‘as free as they are allowed to act according to their values’? When the

Crockett, M. J., Clark, L., Hauser, M.D., Robbins, T.W. (2010). Serotonin selectively influences moral
judgment and behavior through effects on harm aversion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 107(40):17433-8
Warburton, N. (Interviewer), Crockett, M. J. (Interviewee). (7/22/2012). Philosophy Bites podcast: Molly
Crockett on Brain Chemistry and Moral-Decision Making (originally on Bioethics Bites). [Audio podcast].
Retrieved on 6/30/2013 from
Berns, G. S., Bell, E., Capra, C. M., Prietula, M. J., Moore, S., Anderson, B., Ginges, J., Atran, S. (3/2012).
The price of your soul: neural evidence for the non-utilitarian representation of sacred values. Philosophical
Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2012; 367 (1589): 754 DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2011.0262
Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
Keim, B. (1/24/2012). Profit vs. Principle: The Neurobiology of Integrity. Wired Science. Retrieved on
9/19/2012 from


fundamental system of evaluation changes depending upon genetic predisposition or brain
health, how can this reflect rational, consistent, ethical standards?
Do certain beneficial or harmful physical traits in humans naturally correlate to certain
beneficial or harmful psychological traits? If we could breed less violent animals or even a less
violent society, do we have a moral obligation to do so? Have we domesticated ourselves
throughout our evolution via social groups favoring the breeding of more docile humans and if
so, what are the implications in moral philosophy and many popular brands of religion?
Wouldn’t some people have more or less of a propensity to “sin” from the get-go, because of
their propensity to be more aggressive?
Joshua Knobe and Shaun Nichols have done other thought experiments than the Trolley
Car Problem to show that we are clearly torn between affirming a logical consequential
exoneration of responsibility in a determined world and renouncing it when faced with salient
examples of injustice.239,240 They have also made the case that morality itself may depend upon
personality. Knobe writes that Feltz and Cokely have shown241 “the higher a participant was in
openness to experience, the more likely that participant was to give a relativist answer”242
[emphasis mine]. Later, in Evidence #19, we’ll see that other studies have shown openness to
experience to correlate with a propensity for liberalism, amongst other things, and that these
kinds of dispositions appear to have some physiological bases, whether genetic or developmental
or both.
The Belyaev experiment demonstrates that animals can clearly be bred to be more open
to experience. If personality can be altered physiologically, can’t we also infer that our
physiological disposition may have at least something to do with our moral disposition? If so,
even this conservative concession would be enough to crack the foundations underlying the

Edmonds, D. (Interviewer), Knobe, J. (Interviewee). (8/28/2010). Philosophy Bites podcast: Joshua Knobe
on Experimental Philosophy. [Audio podcast]. [6:30-10:30]. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
Nichols, S., Knobe, J. (10/25/2007). Moral Responsibility and Determinism: The Cognitive Science of Folk
Intuitions. Noûs 41 (4):663–685. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0068.2007.00666.x Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
Feltz, A., & Cokely, E. T. (2008). The fragmented folk: More evidence of stable individual differences in
moral judgments and folk intuitions. In B. C. Love, K. McRae & V. M. Sloutsky (Eds.), Proceedings of the
30th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1771-1776). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science
Society. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
Knobe, J. (2/16/2011). Is morality relative? Depends on your personality. The Philosopher’s Magazine.
Issue 52. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from


context of moral freedom. This would be true even if it is in combination with other
undetermined, learned and/or cultural considerations.
The empirical evidence already shows that altruism consistently has 3 degrees of separation
with gradation243,244 and so implies that predictable standards of social behavior are not in accord
with a necessarily unpredictable free will independent of causal influence. Professor Marsh’s
work suggests another path: our moral judgments are at least partially predisposed genetically.
As soon as we can all get of our personal genomes on the cheap, this will be exactly the kind of
thing we’ll be paying our ‘genetic analysts’ to describe after some testing: what’s our capacity
for compassion, empathy, sympathy, utilitarian judgment, etc.? This will be limited, because it
won’t include environmental and developmental influences, but it may increase our
predictability, which is almost always something good.

Fowler, J., & Christakis, N. (2010). Cooperative behavior cascades in human social networks. Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0913149107. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
Rees, T. (3/15/2010). Altruism has 3 degrees of separation. [Web log post]. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from



EVIDENCE #6: Experiments on insects, animals, and humans show an ability to
manipulate highly complex behavior via genetic variation/selection, physiological
stimulation, and behavior manipulation.

In The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins describes245 an example of how the existence or
removal of certain genes specifically influences behavior in animals. He tells of how the
zoologist W.C. Rothenbuhler experimented246 with several variations of unique drone/queen
honey bee hybrids in order to increase hygiene and fight the bacterial disease that many bee
larvae are vulnerable to called foul brood. Each genetic version of Rothenbuhler’s hybrids
displayed a specific action. As Dawkins wrote, “one group showed perfect hygienic behavior
(uncapping the wax cells of the diseased grubs, then throwing them out of the hive), a second
showed no hygienic behavior at all, and a third went half way,” uncapping the wax cells of the
diseased grubs, but not throwing them out of the hive, until further mixing and “back-crossing”
created one that manifested the perfect combination of a complex series of actions, including
seeking out the specific cells containing larvae infected by the disease, then cutting the wax cap
off of that cell, then dragging the infected larvae out of the hive and throwing it onto a rubbish
heap—ultimately saving any hive with larvae infected by the disease. More recently, similar
manipulations upon ants were able to switch their ‘caste’ rolls as workers and soldiers along with
the physical manifestations that accompany them.247

Dawkins, R. (30th Anniv. Edition 2006). The Selfish Gene. (p. 60-62). New York: Oxford University Press.
Goncalves, L.S., Stort, A. C. (1/ 1978). Honey Bee Improvement Through Behavioral Genetics. Annual
Review of Entomology. Vol. 23: 197-213 (1/ 1978) DOI: 10.1146/annurev.en.23.010178.001213. Retrieved on
9/19/2012 from
Rajakumar, R., San Mauro, D., Dijkstra, M.B., Huang, M.H., Wheeler, D.E., Hiou-Tim, F., Khila, A.,
Cournoyea, M., Abouheif, E. (1/6/2012). Ancestral Developmental Potential Facilitates Parallel Evolution in
Ants. Science. 6 January 2012: Vol. 335 no. 6064 pp. 79-82 DOI: 10.1126/science.1211451. Retrieved on
9/19/2012 from


Science writer Ed Yong discusses more examples of single genes directly influencing
complex behavior in a piece focusing on a recent study248 where researchers found a gene (egt)
that causes caterpillars to climb up into the highest leaves:

This is a great example of what Richard Dawkins calls “the extended phenotype” – where
genes can influence events well beyond the bodies that they live in […] Most of the
examples that Dawkins cites cannot be traced back to specific genes. Hoover and Grove
have found an exception – a single virus gene that can control the behaviour of another

The virus that can manipulate this gene, which is normally activated when the caterpillars
are molting, causes the caterpillars to climb high up, then die and quickly liquefy so that millions
more viruses spread out all down the plant and into the wind more effectively. It should go
without saying that the virus doesn’t plan all this. It just evolved to do something effective for its
survival. When the gene was removed by scientists, the caterpillar was still killed by the virus,
but it did not climb. He goes on to mention other examples of extended phenotypes with beavers
(and their dams), ants, and snails.
It appears that even something like bacteria may have significant influence on our
thoughts and behavior via genetic influence developmentally and perhaps in adulthood as
well.250 Hippocampal circuitry, serotonin receptors, and receptors critical for the development
and function of the amygdala appear to be indirectly susceptible to gut bacteria in ways that can
affect learning, memory, and emotions such as fear and anxiety.
Scientists inserted plant genes into mice that made specific neurons able to respond—to
be turned on and off, by light (known as “optogenetics”). They were able to control the animals
in simple ways, like steering them left or right or controlling body temperature, breathing rate,

Hoover, K., Grove, M., Gardner, M., Hughes, D., McNeil, J., Slavicek. J. (9/2011). A Gene for an Extended
Phenotype. Science. Vol. 333 no. 6048 p. 1401. Retrieved on
9/19/2012 from
Yong, Ed. (9/8/2011). Liquefying virus uses one gene to make caterpillars climb to their doom. [Web log
post]. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
Constandi, M. (3/25/2011). Gut bacteria may influence thoughts and behaviour. [Web log post]. Retrieved
on 9/19/2012 from


etc., with light.251,252 Aside from genetic influence on mind control via light frequency, there has
also been successful limited mind control via sound frequency,253,254,255 which makes sense,
because sound is merely in a different frequency register than light.
Recently, Sony and the University of Tokyo have been working together on a hand
manipulator (via electronic stimulation) called ‘PossessedHand’ to help people learn electronic
instruments.256In the 1970s, professor of physiology at Yale University, Jose Manuel Rodriguez
Delgado, “implanted radio-equipped electrode arrays, which he called “stimoceivers,” in cats,
monkeys, chimpanzees, gibbons, bulls and even humans, and he showed that he could control
subjects’ minds and bodies with the push of a button.”257,258,259
In 1963, capturing great media attention, Delgado himself famously stood in front of a
charging bull that had one of his brain implants. He activated the radio transmitter, stimulating
the charging bull’s caudate nucleus, and made the bull run away from him. Videos of some of the
experiment can be found online.260 Even in humans, Delgado also later showed, that not only
was physical manipulation possible by stimulating certain areas of the brain, moving limbs like

R. S. Ray, A. E. Corcoran, R. D. Brust, J. C. Kim, G. B. Richerson, E. Nattie, S. M. Dymecki. Impaired
Respiratory and Body Temperature Control Upon Acute Serotonergic Neuron Inhibition. Science, 2011; 333
(6042): 637 DOI: 10.1126/science.1205295 Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
Chorost, M. (10/19/2009). Algae and Light Help Injured Mice Walk Again. Wired Magazine. Retrieved on
9/19/2012 from
Portenoy, R.K., Jarden, J.O., Sidtis, J.J., Lipton, R.B., Foley, K.M., Rottenberg, D.A. (1986). Compulsive
thalamic self-stimulation: A case with metabolic, electrophysiologic, and behavioral correlates. Pain 27(3):
277-290, 1986. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
Singer, E. (1/20/2009). The Army's Remote-Controlled Beetle. Technology Review, MIT. Retrieved on
9/19/2012 from
Clarke, T. (5/2/2002). Here come the Ratbots: Desire drives remote-controlled rodents. Nature.
doi:10.1038/news020429-9 Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
PossessedHand: Techniques for controlling human hands using electrical muscles stimuli. Rekimoto Lab.
Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies. The University of Tokyo. Available on 9/19/2012 at
Horgan, J. (10/2005). The Forgotten Era of Brain Chips. Scientific American. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
Jose M. R., Delgado; Vaino, Lipponen; Gerhard, Weiss; Francisco Del, Pozo; Jose Luis, Monteagudo;
Robert, McMahon. (1975). Two-way transdermal communication with the brain. American Psychologist, Vol
30(3), Mar 1975, 265-273. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.30.3.265 Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
Delgado, J.M.R. (1968). Intracerebral Radio Stimulation and Recording in Completely Free Patients.
Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
“John Robert Posey” (uploaded on Apr 12, 2011). The Cordoba Bull Ranch Experiment - French
Documentary. [Video file]. Available on 9/19/2012 at


puppets, but primal emotional responses, such as “fear, rage, lust, hilarity,” were also induced at
will by the researchers.261

THE IMPLICATIONS: These are stunning examples of specific behavior manipulation that
have real world implications from medical marvels (e.g. neural prosthesis262,263) to limited mind
control. In the Delgado experiments, it’s important to note that he also found the elements of
confabulation shown in several other studies in this writing. A behavioral connection to both
specific genetic and physiological factors, as well as manipulation, is evident. In this case,
manipulation was by the researchers, but there’s no reason to make the distinction between the
researchers and the non-conscious mind. Science shows how the non-conscious mind
manipulates our conscious behavior.
Remarkably, scientists have identified something in the hippocampus similar to what
Jerry Lettvin first called the “grandmother cell” in the late 1960’s.264 It has been called the
“Halle Berry neuron,”265 and it shows “Invariant visual representation by single-neurons in the
human brain.”266 The indication is that there is a single neuron that represents the specific
concept of “Halle Barry” or, presumably, any other person, place, or thing. The evidence is
strong, though the idea still has its critics.267
This is very interesting science to consider in the context of Delgado’s work. He insists
that behavioral changes are only general and cannot be programmed in one subject to target
other specific individuals, but one wonders what could happen if the more recent research
involving individual neurons that identify with specific persons were somehow linked with it.

Horgan, J. (10/2005). The Forgotten Era of Brain Chips. Scientific American. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
Mouse With 'Off Switch' in Key Brain Cell Population Developed; Research May Increase Understanding
of SIDS, Depressive Disorders. (7/30/2011). Science Daily. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
Lilienfeld, S., Lynn, S.J., Namy, L. L., Woolf, N. (2010). Psychology: A Framework for Everyday Thinking.
Boston, MA: Pearson ISBN-10: 0205650481 [p. 125].
Zimmer, C. (6/2009). The Brain Can a Single Neuron Tell Halle Berry From Grandma Esther? Discover
Magazine. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
Quian Quiroga, R., Reddy, L., Kreiman, G., Koch, C., Fried, I. (2005). Invariant visual representation by
single-neurons in the human brain. Nature, 435: 1102-1107. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
Horgan, J. (1999). The undiscovered mind: How the human brain defies replication, medication, and
explanation. New York: The Free Press.


. “with stimulation of this area. Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 53: 705-707. It should be said that just because there is secondary or tertiary Like the honeybees in this study. Rather than guessing which stimulus matches each representation. if we consider the powerful influence of internal forces combined with external forces. Focal transcranial magnetic stimulation and response bias in a forced-choice task. Journal of Neurology. (1990).Perhaps via nanotechnology. subjects more often chose the hand contralateral to the 268 Brasil-Neto. J. Cohen. it’s also worth mentioning that Mark Hallett describes studies that his team268 and others269 conducted. even the probability. it might be easier to involve a confederate.ncbi. (1992). and Gandevia. doesn’t break causality in any way that is beneficial to the libertarian any more than randomness does..nih. A. but if there are genetic combinations that can lead to predispositions for complex behavior involving creatures as intelligent as bees and mice. S. where is there room for contra-causal free will? Last.pdf 269 Ammon. L.nih.. Pascual-Leone. We should always be cautious when trying to correlate animal/insect behavior with human behavior. And there’s also no reason to think that the same causal evolutionary pressures that affect animals can’t act upon humans. J. we should seriously consider the possibility. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. it seems they would still have to know what the person was thinking in order to apply the correct emotion to the correct representative neuron(s). where transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was used to direct motor function.C.P. Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 55: 964-966. and Hallett. Journal of Neurology. mind controlled assassins like in the Manchurian Candidate will step out of science fiction… if they haven’t already! While manipulators ‘drive’ the subject via turning up and down various emotions in order to control the person.G. 81 .ncbi. but the predictability is just further removed.nlm. Most importantly for this book. that could be up to the point of a complex series of actions that go beyond our immediate sphere of influence (“the extended phenotype”). The manipulators could then apply strong positive emotions about the confederate into the subject and create strong trust and then be lead in that way by the confederate’s suggestions.nlm. K. Even considering the unnatural insertion of plant genes into mice shows us that the foundation for genetically based causal behavior is still there. it fascilitates it). Transcranial magnetic stimulation can influence the selection of motor programmes. that our own behavior is also often directly influenced by our genetic makeup (and we don’t have to downplay any branch of social science to do this—indeed. actually. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. it still functions as causality. Valls-Solé.

Neurosurg. 13-14 May. Hallett. (2003).abstract 82 . the TMS results were not A. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://bioethics.bmj. stimulated with response times that were mainly less than 200 ms.stanford. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://jnnp. and in better controlled tests with the some of the same researchers. The effect of transcranial magnetic stimulation on movement selection. as it is in its infancy. “Physiology of Free Will.”270 More work needs to be done concerning this type of stimulation though. Y. Kaelin-Lang and M.pdf 271 Sohn. J. M. Neurol. Psychiatry. San Francisco.271 270 Hallett. CA. (2002).. 74: 985-987.” Neuroethics: Mapping the Field.

Johannes Pantel put it: This might involve the person’s ability to remember things from the past (in the case of Korsakoff’s). G. J. they do not have the intent to lie or deceive. (10/24/2011). Iss. New Scientist.psychiatryonline. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. or to move an arm (in the case of anosognosia) 83 . to provide a valid explanation why their left arm just did something. such as Korsakoff’s syndrome. they will answer something to the effect of “because I’m a doctor” and if you were to press them as to why they’re wearing a patient’s gown. 2572. “my scrubs are in the car. doi: 10.html 273 Pantel. or. Mind fiction: Why your brain tells tall tales.newscientist.100-mind-fiction-why-your-brain-tells-tall- tales.3.sciencewa. MIT Press.[273] They will also often unknowingly integrate accurate bits of information to better harmonize the confabulation to the context. 2004 Am J Psychiatry 163:559. That is to say that when we cannot remember or we remember inaccurately. A Review of William Hirstein’s Brain Fiction: Self-Deception and the Riddle of medicine/item/1006-schizophrenia-loci-cornered-by-genome-wide-association-study.1176/appi. schizophrenia (for which a likely genetic precursor has recently been found272). Schizophrenia loci cornered by genome-wide association study. William Hirstein put it.. split-brain syndrome. aneurysm of the anterior communicating artery. anosognosia. when a patient in a hospital with one of these conditions is asked why they are in the hospital. (3/2006). CONFABULATION EVIDENCE #7: Experiments have shown that we “confabulate” explanations for instances when our brains fail to account for missing information.”274 As Dr. “There seems to be a continuum. and Alzheimer’s disease all seem to have in common the tendency to confabulate.ajp. Mass. then we not only “fill in the gap” with something like a best guess. (10/7/2006). but do so with pathologically deluded certainty. Anton’s syndrome. or making things up. confabulating subjects are not knowingly trying to deceive. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. And 274 Phillips. For example. in the case of split-brain patients.559: Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://ajp. Science Network of Western Australia. Cambridge. Many conditions. with confabulators and sociopaths at one end and people with OCD at 272 Ravenscroft. As Dr. In fact. They just don’t know better! Or put more precisely: confabulators don’t know that they don’t know what they claim. they might reply.

The kicker is that none of them actually were.. (1974). C. Forced confabulation more strongly influences event memory if suggestions are other-generated than self-generated Legal and Criminological Psychology. A. Reconstruction of Automobile Destruction: An Example of the Interaction between Language and Memory. Memon. D.278 Pezdek.g.”275 OCD people are obsessed about what is actually true. After typing so many words automatically for so long. Researchers then told the subjects that they had pulled words from their typing at random and asked them to rate how much they figured each word was authored by them. (2003).. F.pdf 84 false-autobiographical-memories 278 Loftus. Cambridge: the MIT Press. 14.. rather than just ‘filling the gap’ and moving on. he did another study276 where subjects were subtly. 14(2).edu/eloftus/LoftusPalmer74. but words associated with those words (e. Psychological Science. 186–188 Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. Wegner. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior. Vol. Daniel Wegner showed that one does not have to have a mental disorder to confabulate authorship of thoughts. J. Brain Fiction: Self-Deception and the Riddle of Confabulation. K. (1974). W. S. In addition to studies already outlined in Evidence #2. (2004). other. (2003). Lam. Palmer. CA. Lam.mendeley.M. Sperry. Memon. Los Angeles. 589. and Sperry (2009) had subjects watch crime videos and repeatedly made them answer questionnaires that had unanswerable questions (because the researchers asked for information not actually in the videos. but repeatedly primed with a word (“deer”). The study showed that “forced confabulation more strongly influences event memory if suggestions are other generated than self-generated” when the subjects bolstered their original confabulations with each additional questionnaire.pdf 279 Pezdek. but implied it was there). No. Paper presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Not only was the word that they were primed rated the highest as being authored by them. G. 5.. “doe”) were more highly rated as authored as well. 99. one person’s memory report can influence 275 Hirstein.279 Gabbert. The subjects then began a supposedly non-related task that involved automatic typing for five minutes.cgu.277. Imagination can create false autobiographical memories. K. Believing we’ve done what we were thinking: An illusion of authorship. “When two people see the same event and discuss it. and Wright (2006) showed that we are subject to memory conformity. p. (2009). The British Psychological Society.uci. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. 277 Mazzoni. 241–252. 276 Gibson. Other studies have shown semantic priming increases false memories. they couldn’t remember. E. The researchers used words that were not even typed by the subjects. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from https://webfiles. L. ISBN 978-0-262-58271-1.

236). As noted by Laura Beil in a New York Times piece about the certainty of memory. People don’t know when they’re lying to themselves. Put them in groups and have a confederate argue persuasively for the opposite view.[282] Zoe Chance performed some recent studies where subjects were not only shown to inflate their abilities. The Certainty of Memory Has Its Day in and hide the change from themselves.”284 The Guardian UK writes that it’s come to the point where “the British Psychological Society warned professionals working in 280 THE IMPLICATIONS: This Evidence is obviously related to Evidence #3. but that they were genuinely self-deceived. D.pdf 282 McCormick.”280 A similar study281 was described by philosophy professor Matt McCormick: Poll students about integrated busing. Psychological Review. (11/28/2011).. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.nytimes.fiu. though both are related. though it focuses on a different aspect of memory. (3/5/2011).. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://blogs. [Web log post].html 283 Yong.pdf 281 Nisbett. L. R. Memory conformity: Disentangling the steps toward influence during a discussion. E. i. Poll them again and their views change sharply.. Do you know what you believe about God and why? or Is the Genetic Fallacy a Fallacy? [Web log post]. M. and then change their memories of their former view.virginia. (2006). B. F. They radically change their minds. (p. (1977). Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. Telling More Than We Can Know: Verbal Reports On Mental Processes. A. “about 75 percent of DNA-based exonerations have come in cases where witnesses got it wrong” and that scientists are now saying that “rather than the centerpiece of prosecution. Wright.what the other person subsequently claims to remember. T. (2/12/2011). 6).com/2011/02/do-you- know-what-you-believe-about-god. Wilson. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://atheismblog. http://people. 13 (3). The issue is definitely a practical one in the least. Ask them about the view they had originally and they revise it to match their new ones.blogspot. epistemology rather than identity. New York 480-485 Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from know-when-they%e2%80%99re-lying-to-themselves 284 Beil. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from (p. And none of the subjects believe that the discussion had had any effect in changing or modifying his position.discovermagazine.html 85 . Memon. witness testimony should be viewed more like trace evidence […] with the same fragility and vulnerability to contamination.

g. A simple thought experiment might help us here: You are about to bake a see Evidence #31). J. I’d also speculate. you are unable to perform at least one less task than you were able to perform before you were zapped. A. Y. That is to suggest that perhaps. in the ‘quick and dirty’ intuitive ‘type-one’ cognitive sense (e. but you are unable to figure out how to bake a cake. from subtle to extreme. A mad neurologist (uh oh.”285 We have seen recent evidence that our processing fluency is “a factor that affects assessment of future potential. here we go!) has the ability to zap you with her gizmo and lower your intelligence to the point where you are unable to complete the task. Many educators have argued that education is the key to personal freedom.1016/j. does knowing the truth set (make) you (more) free? We must first ask if we can compare ‘truth’ to ‘knowledge’ without equivocating. 506-508. J. and then constraining. I think we can.”286 but does one person’s fundamentally better ability to get to the truth make them more or less free than another person’s fundamentally worse ability.2010. Can we say that a person with clinical delusion has free will? If not. doi:10. The story of the self. It may be that more knowledge is liberating up to a certain point. we may perpetuate consciously unrealized predispositions using the same cognitive mechanisms/impetuses used in memory and scripting. You’ve done it many times and are very good at it. and we should still be able to say that ‘normal’ people should be considered to have free will. that just as memory heuristics will intuitively make someone pick out the ‘most likely’ suspect from a lineup if the perpetrator isn’t actually there. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. The Guardian.12. then at what point on the continuum does 285 Fernyhough. H. & Bargh.002 86 . Science confirms our inability to recognize delusion. Others might argue that more knowledge constrains us to feel more fated when we know better how things are likely to unfold. by multiplying our options.the legal system not to accept early memories (dating from before the age of three) without corroborating evidence. (2011). Did the mad neurologist limit and/or constrain your freedom to some meaningful extent? Yes. (1/13/2012).uk/lifeandstyle/2012/jan/13/our-memories-tell-our-story 286 Huang. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. Smooth trajectories travel farther into the future: Perceptual fluency effects on prediction of trend continuation.. these may very well relate to or even be the very same intuitive heuristics that drive predispositionalism.jesp. just for fun. You are still able to move where you want to move and think what you are able to think. 47(2). Song. based upon physical considerations? That is to ask a question reworded from a statement by a famous ancient philosopher: if you know the truth.

but that’s exactly how it is distinguished from “dispositionalism”: it includes external interaction Murphy.pdf 87 .). limits. Ellis. predispositionalism isn’t compelled to favor genes over environment or nature versus nurture.. A confabulating mechanism in the brain actively reduces. 287 Myers. D.e. In the cake baking example above. don’t we have to recognize that our physical nature predisposes our freedom on every relative level? The famous Genain quadruplets. causing a person to become ill by thinking negative thoughts) actually falls under the category of holding a false belief about the causal effects of one’s basic acts.. There is no reason why false beliefs do not work the same way.[288] The implication here seems to be that false beliefs have nothing to do with causality and therefore they have no influence on our freedom..thedivineconspiracy. 2009. schizophrenia). Agent causality libertarian Timothy O’Connor divides agency up into seven distinct concepts and. Psychology 9th edition. (2009). 292. (2010).. 21]. F. [p. N. who all have schizophrenia.g. even if environment and/or development seems to play a role in their differences (i. R. we’ve already seen how limited knowledge can reduce freedom. What is termed a false sense of agency (e. 595]. ISBN 978-3-642-03204-2 Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www.” Predispositionalism will immediately be construed by many to exclude environment. and constrains the quantity of tasks that may be completed by an agent… and so the agent is less free. as his theologian/philosopher co-writer Nancey Murphy writes that O’Connor …reinterprets instances of confabulation not as illusory experiences of will but as unremarkable instances of our occasional penchant for forming false memories in order to produce coherence with others’ expectations. (ISBN 978-1-4292-1597-8) 288 Murphy. N. Environment is not presumed to be an “acausal other” and therefore. VIII. T. ( become acceptable and why? If conditions that produce this phenomenon have a genetic foundation (e. G. [p. O’Connor. That there is gene-environment interaction does not mean “1 point for free will. New York: Worth Publishers. two showed later symptoms than the other two287). Downward Causation and the Neurobiology of Free Will. show mental disorders like schizophrenia do have a genetic base. because nurture is just a smaller set of nature.

In the Introduction. is something that increases via certain diseases and physiological factors. so it is not arbitrary. 88 . It appears that the reduction of action performing knowledge is merely a temporally extended version of an Austin-style example for the same reason. this mechanism. I mentioned that many libertarians accept “Austin-style examples” as events where things like nervous twitches or brain crosses do work in thwarting a person’s freedom. One can be manipulated to have more or less of a propensity for it. because the randomness introduces an involuntary element. while not completely understood. As the evidence above shows. Does it matter that the deterrent itself is in the body proper? Of course not.

Scientists have learned that splitting the hemispheres of the brain help can control the interhemispheric spread of epilepsy.J. Plenum Press. Bruce Bower from Science News describes one experiment: …one man had a picture of a chicken claw flashed to his left hemisphere and a picture of a snow scene presented to his right hemisphere. aspirations. 3-5). when asked. When asked to explain his choices. NY (1978) 89 . Michael Gazzaniga and Joseph LeDoux describe the results: Thus. would say. (pp. The Integrated Mind. if a word (such as spoon) was flashed in the left visual field. he responded: “‘Oh. which is exclusively projected to the right hemisphere in man […] the subject.” showed that certain events or objects could be perceived in one hemisphere without any perceivable awareness of them in the other hemisphere.” but then subsequently would be able. “I did not see anything. Joseph E. and dislikes… and even fight with each other. In the 1960s. that’s simple. the splitting of the brain hemispheres of a subject called “W. he correctly chose a shovel with his left hand (controlled by the right hemisphere) and a chicken with his right hand (controlled by the left hemisphere).’ Gazzaniga concluded that the left brain observed the left hand’s choice of a shovel (which stemmed from the right brain’s 289 Gazzaniga. From the ensuing selection of pictures. with the left hand. because the hemispheres correspond to the opposite/right hemisphere that sees or touches an object. to retrieve the correct object from a series of objects placed out of view. SPLIT BRAINS EVIDENCE #8: Split brain experiments have shown that the different hemispheres of the brain have different personalities. Michael S. and LeDoux.[289] Nor did the left hemisphere know what was in the left hand. likes. for example. The chicken claw goes with the chicken. and you need a shovel to clean out the chicken shed. In an article/interview with original researcher Michael Gazzaniga.

(2/24/1996). 124 Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. visual imagery is only in one side. Daily Mail Online. and gains an amazing new artistic ability.D. (Interviewee).org/pages/pdfs/data/1996/149-08/14908-14.”294. while the right has more holistic awareness.html 292 Girl loses half her brain in car crash.sciencenews. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from https://www. One girl. the left brain has more focused awareness. Paul’s right hemisphere wanted to be a race car driver. who lost most of her more analytical left brain.D. (Posted 7/21/2011). LeDoux. J.293 In another study with split-brain patient “Paul S.). other differences in the hemispheres have been learned and/or vindicated (e.macalester. investigators presented novel pictures to the left hemisphere of split-brain patients. TED. (Oct 21. I.[290. language is only in one side.html 295 Devins. Discover Interview of Joe LeDoux. Macalester University. B.. while his left hemisphere wanted to be a 290 Bower.. (N. nonverbal. Macalester Vol. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. Further work indicates that the left-brain interpreter can influence the left brain dissects things in an impersonal way. 8 p. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from 21-loses-half-brain-car-crash-gains-new-artistic-ability. memory is only in one side). we sometimes see patients who recover with new talents based upon the known characteristics of the remaining hemisphere. (Interviewer).). emotion is only in one side. When these new pictures shared elements or themes with a picture the patients had already studied.dailymail. the patients often mistakenly identified the new ones as having been seen previously. enough to ask personal questions from both hemispheres and compare them. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://discovermagazine. 149 No.). while the right brain connects us in meaningful relationships. Gazzaniga adds. The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World.292 Since the 60s and 70s.ted. Science (N. uncommonly.html 294 Behavior of Split Brain Patients. had developed some verbal functioning in the right hemisphere. emerged from a coma quickly developing impressive artistic abilities presumably enhanced by the remaining right brain.html 293 McGilchrist.macalester. Whole-Brain Interpreter: A cognitive neuroscientist seeks to make theoretical headway among split brains. and more).295 researchers were lucky enough to have a patient who. inaccessible knowledge) and proffered an explanation based its own fowl information. reasoning is only in one side. RSA Animate.291] When some people lose damaged parts of one hemisphere or another. 2011).pdf 291 Experiments With Subjects Who Have Had Their Corpus Callosum 90 . D. In one study.. we’ve learned that while several generalizations about differences between the left and right brain are false (e. (N. sometimes for the worse.D.

org/view/generic/id/68372/title/How_the_brain_shops 302 Zimmer..caltech. known as “fission. objects. R. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.caltech. MindPapers. The Brain: Can a Single Neuron Tell Halle Berry From Grandma Esther? Discover Magazine.rnl. Machines Like Us. Oya.8g. C. Fried.pdf 301 Sanders.). (N.301 And while it would be misleading to be overly reductive and belie the holistic property of this organ with so much redundancy. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://discovermagazine. (10/19/2011). (2007-2009). 4. Macalester University. Journal of Neuroscience. L. [Television series]. Reddy. Howard. How the brain shops: Research locates neurons associated with valuing objects. H. [Web log post]. I. his right hemisphere expressed “dislike” (this was during the Watergate scandal). both are still part of the government.. but perhaps even more importantly. The Secret You. (6/2009). a different anonymous split-brain patient even developed the problem of one hand fighting against the other: one hand tried to pull down his pants. Value encoding in single neurons in the human amygdala during decision-making. (2005).8g 298 James Van Der Pool (Series Producer). Kreiman. G. while the other tried to pull them up.. one hand tried to attack his 299 Left-right brain ‘talk’ despite broken link. but not #3 ( intentions in their agenda. 296 Behavior of Split Brain Patients..vis. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. L. M. we have more evidence of confabulation. C.draftsman. A. Available on 9/19/2012 at http://consc. Jenison.299 (what else would ‘they’ be doing?) as “the brain makes simple choices by assigning values to the stimuli under consideration and then compar[es] these values to make a decision. (1/29/2011).”297 Parts of the brain do seem to have their own autonomy to some extent and they also seem to be ‘communicating’ with ‘each other’ in a BBC Horizen. we may have evidence of a physical basis for cognitive (moral?!) plurality in the brain. 2011. while another tried to defend her. in another event. while his left expressed “like. recent evidence seems to show that these values may be encoded to single neurons that represent single persons.” Science News.sciencenews.296 THE IMPLICATIONS: Again. Invariant visual representation by single-neurons in the human brain.D. When Paul S. (41:00- 46:50).macalester. (2009).html 297 Compiled by David Chalmers (Editor) and David Bourget (Assistant Editor). Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. (2011). 8) Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.302. Fission and Split Brains.pdf 91 .com/news/left-right-brain-talk-despite-broken-link 300 R. Koch. was asked whether or not he liked Richard Nixon.303 Just as the President and a governor share some. Rangel. and/or ideas. Both sides were also given of list of items to see what they liked or disliked.” In a more extreme example along these same lines. 435: 1102-1107. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from halle-berry-from-grandma-esther 303 Quian Quiroga. Nature. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://machineslikeus. 31:331-338.

then this part of your brain that deals in detached abstract reasoning from a distance will acquiesce to the more primitive drives (which may or may not be a good thing) cobbled together with ample redundancy from the simplest stem all the way up to the top “scoop” that humans have: the frontal lobe. represents which approach or quality? Amazingly. or rather which combination of parts. [Audio podcast]. The Accidental Mind: how brain evolution has given us love. to at least some extent: yes. D. such as via auditory command hallucinations.307 The frontal lobe acts as an inhibitor for the primitive parts of the brain. D. dreams. your frontal lobe is not as healthy and/or powerful.J.similarly. (5/22/2011). (Interviewer). Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from https://www. rather. Eagleman. K. Kunert. presumably. RSA Animate. (2007). (Interviewee). D. the brain has been clearly shown to be what David Linden calls a “klooj. Eming-Erdmann. and is evidenced by our propensity for inner dialogue with a personal god and/or for some aspects of schizophrenia. 35. The Accidental Mind. 272-279.pointofinquiry. 92 . N. and god. (Interviewee).ted. David Eagleman notes that one of the main rivalries in the brain is “short term impulse gratification versus more long term. McGilchrist also notes that the same detached distance the frontal lobe uses to manipulate is the same distance necessary for us to model empathy309 304 Erkwoh. that one part of the mind speaks to _the_accidental_mind 308 McGilchrist. that Machiavellian edge in manipulation308… unless.”305 Can we deconstruct personality physically by looking at which part. [Audio podcast].304 he discusses support for Julian Jaynes’ idea of bicameralism. and these are always locked in battle. [3:35-5:50]. Linden. 2011). memory.” It has evolved bottom up like an ice cream cone. (10:10-end). Ralf Erkwoh.html 306 Linden. Cambridge: Belknap Press 307 Grothe. but the many parts.html 309 Ibid. I. Linden. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.’ In the work of Dr. (Interviewer). R. (Oct 21. giving it. it’s clear that there is no one part of the brain that makes up the soul. [4:15-5:00]. Willmes. TED.. 305 Warburton. Command hallucinations: Who obeys and who resists when? Rather than by a top down approach. roughly. The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World. (2002). H. it would be fallacious to think we need to delineate brain ‘parts’ as always having the same ‘agenda. Importantly. which is again.. reasoned decision making. seem to add their ‘voices’ to the cacophony we observe in fMRI brain scans.J. as Iain McGilchrist puts it. David J. A. (2/6/2009). Philosophy Bites podcast: David Eagleman on Morality and the Brain. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://philosophybites. D.

such as is the ultra rare case310 with young twins Tatiana and Kristin Hogan conjoined at the head? Though they are too young to have much formal testing done. considering that they don’t share all their cerebral or physical parts. which many people contend is why humans have free will. S. nurturing. feel. strict. depending on whether we break down the categorical ‘identities’ to cells or enzymes or bacteria or genes or atoms or whatever. impulsive. liberal. holistic. as well as the evidence above of our capacity for multiple personalities within one person. feels.html?pagewanted=all 311 Two-Headed Baby Born In Brazil. identity. etc… which part of the brain is you? Are you the homogenized result of the brain’s many voices? When it comes to the notion of a spirit or soul. This is part of the play where Faust smiles wickedly and the all the Buddhas slowly That they do have different personalities is no surprise in any case. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from mind. but the challenges here to traditional notions of free will. in a very real sense. several examples seem to show that the developmental neural relationship between brain and bodies has resulted in one being able to see. we already know this to be the case when it comes to the agendas of all the tiniest mechanisms in our bodies. (12/21/2011).311 Time will tell what we will learn from these kids as they get older. analytical. souls. 310 Dominus. Could Conjoined Twins Share a Mind? The New York Times Magazine. and dualism as simply defined corporeally are as stark as they can possibly get. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://newsone. And what can we say about free will. and identity when the opposite is true. so far. 93 . and tastes… at least to some extent. Considering that some parts of the brain are more or less literal. focused.(which I will talk about more later in Evidence #27).nytimes. (5/25/2011). and taste what the other sees. which part of the brain does it occupy when one part makes a moral choice and the other part an immoral one? While this may be seen as reverting back to the ancient notion that a person is driven by internal homunculi. There is a more recent case in Sao Paolo where conjoined twins Jesus and Emanuel were born with two heads and one body. when two people actually share some aspects of both brain and mind.

‘after the study’ (this time. test subjects primed with a warm object were more likely to choose a ‘free parting gift’ that was verbally framed as a gift for them to “treat a friend. the study was still going). [46:00-53:00]. L. so I can carry all these books?”). showing hot and cold temperatures related to the way that we use hot and 312 University of Colorado at Boulder.” rather than the second choice. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. J. Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www. Lecture by John A. Williams and John A. such as holding hot and cold compresses. Science 24: Vol. positive. In a study conducted by Lawrence E. Multiple similar studies continue to verify these findings.314 based upon experiments done by Solomon Asch in the 1940’s. trusting impression of the man in the photograph than the test subjects who were obliged to hold a cold drink. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from CU-Boulder Researcher Finds Link Between Physical and Interpersonal 314 “TheMizzouTube.html 313 94 . it already had). 322 no. test subjects were all ‘coincidentally’ met by the psychology researcher they had come to see in the lobby in the building where they were supposed to be tested. In a somewhat similar experiment with similar exposures. (10/2008). they were told to take a seat and to give their impression of an anonymous man presented in a photograph.sciencemag.313.g. When they arrived and the supposed ‘actual test’ ‘started’ (unbeknownst to them. They were surreptitiously obliged to hold a cup of hot or cold coffee on the way to ‘take the test’ ( “would you be so kind as to hold my drink on the way to the testing room.” (uploaded on 8/23/2011). METAPHORICAL PRIMES EVIDENCE #9: Studies show evidence that physical temperature priming tends to invoke behavioral and/or cognitive biases related to trust and moral behavior. The subjects primed with a hot drink on the way to ‘take the test’ were significantly more likely to give a warm. Test subjects with the cold object were more likely to choose the parting gift framed as their personal reward. Bargh. which was a gift framed as their personal reward. Bargh. Bargh. unbeknownst to them. University of Missouri Video Services. Unconscious behavioral guidance systems. 5901 pp.. (10/23/2008). Experiencing Physical Warmth Promotes Interpersonal Warmth. [Video file]. 606-607.

Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. (Interviewee). (Interviewers). J.nsq077.. Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www. 838-842.” (uploaded on 8/23/2011). This heuristic would likely prove beneficial and be favored by natural selection.. (2011). I. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. contrastive) responses. (2008). C. motivational systems seem to usually trump both perceptual and evaluative 315 Zhong. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://scan. 320 “TheMizzouTube. doi: 10. E. Williams.320 Yale social psychologist John Bargh speculates321 that the connection may be due to evolved cerebral wiring/proximity of the temperature assessment and trust will-really-free 322 Kang. Clark. B. The cold didn’t necessarily make people shun others. G.. M. 19(9). J. 488-492. Y.abstract 318 319 Shalev. [Video file]. (7/2010). Y. they may still be interpreted as conciliatory (i. doi: 10. Bargh. J. (2009).org/content/early/2010/10/26/scan. J. L. assimilative) or compensatory (i. Lecture by John A. 1214– 1220. Bargh says priming usually induces the contrastive effects when there’s a motivation—in fact. Bargh. J. Whether we assimilate with the prime or contrast it emotionally/actionally depends upon the motivation. Bargh.. Clark.abstract 95 .318 even including studies showing that heat emotionally substituted for lost social acceptance and that lonelier people prefer hotter showers!319. & Bargh. adding layers of emotional complexity. [46:00-60:00]. & Semin.. S. imitative. (7/2010)... 316 IJzerman. As infants. E. M. A. Cold and lonely: Does social exclusion literally feel cold? Psychological Science.. Radiolab podcast: Is Free Will Really Free? [Audio podcast]. Krulwich. Use of priming-based interventions to facilitate psychological health: Commentary on Kazdin & Blase (2011). Physical temperature effects on trust behavior: the role of insula. Wired Science. That is to say that our reaction to “hot” or “cold” is not necessarily “positive” and “negative” by default. Unconscious behavioral guidance systems. Gray. Psychological Science. A. S. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. 321 Abumrad. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://scan.1093/scan/nsq077. but may be further filtered through another evaluative system. THE IMPLICATIONS: While these kinds of primes may evidence some hard-wired internal machinery.oxfordjournals. 20. The thermometer of social relations.315. Williams. J. University of Missouri Video Services.nsq077. (11/30/10).e. Gray.. Trust and Temperature.wired..oxfordjournals. the mother brings us the most warmth and so is to be most trusted. 6. R.cold metaphorically. (11/17/2008). Physical temperature effects on trust behavior: the role of insula. fMRI evidence322 does show the left interior insula being activated in both cold temperature priming and also in situations of distrust in socioeconomic games (such as I will discuss in the context of oxytocin levels in Evidence #13). G.radiolab. A. R. Leonardelli. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci.317. it often made them seek others to get that warmth. R. J. 317 Kang. Bargh. Perspectives on Psychological Science. J. H.316..1093/scan/nsq077.e.

to be the strong one. How many other physiological biases that affect our perception in trust. Pacific Standard Magazine. but we have compensatory norms as well that compel us to go and 96 .com/watch?v=pWSC48EUg-8 326 Zimmer.The Brain Is Made of Its Own Architects.323. by coloring our ability to discern who or what to trust at the precognitive level. we must really pay attention. this is really useful information. doi: 10.” (uploaded on 8/23/2011).com/culture/maslows-pyramid-gets-a-makeover-20682 324 Renovating the Pyramid of Needs: Contemporary Extensions Built Upon Ancient Lecture by John A.”326 Wired neuronal links to certain behavior. 5(3): 292–314. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://discovermagazine. Bargh.325 which. Miswiring leads to disorders of emotion and thought. if our mirror neurons kick in.324 Bargh gives an example of this hierarchy: a crying child on a curb. 2010 May. C. Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www. T.nih.. See the work of Douglas Kenrick and his updated version of Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs based upon the new science. Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www. because it shows that these cognitive systems do exist beyond the kind of mere external influence that behaviorists of yore proposed. We are complicated Unconscious behavioral guidance systems.ncbi. Are you feeling lonely or alienated? Take a hot shower and have a warm drink. “brains are wired with such stunning precision that every neuron knows its place. and ethically. might make us want to sit down and cry too. and ethics issues are there under the surface of our conscious awareness that we have just not discovered yet? Even if these cerebral connections were selected because they were generally favorable survival heuristics. with complex internal machinery. University of Missouri Video Services. Don’t we still have to recognize these physiological biases as evidence against contra causal free will in two of the most important areas: epistemologically. Maslow’s Pyramid Gets a Makeover. Want to have a good feeling at your social gathering? Provide warm beverages and/or a warm environment. Discover Magazine. (6/22/2010). That’s why when we can be shown to perform highly predictive behavior through experiments like these. Just keep people warm! And remember not to take distrust too personally… As science writer Carl Zimmer puts it. [Video file]. as well as the inability to link to certain information (such as 323 Jacobs.psmag.1177/1745691610369469. these biases have no actual regard for the objective facts at hand. the man in the photo may be intent on making you warm so that you trust him. by affecting our egoistic/altruistic behavior at the precognitive level? Practically. [70:00-end]. so he can kill you later. (5/17/2011). For example. Available on 9/19/2012 at 325 “TheMizzouTube. Perspect Psychol Sci.. behavior.

Bridging the Gap.agenesis of the corpus but adequate rewiring is not always the case (consider the cases in Evidence #14). Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://media.” but in the context where free will is posited as fairly distributed. 327 NINDS Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum Information 97 . D.D. Available on 10/26/2011 from http://www. (10/19/2011).nih. The brain does show a remarkable plasticity328 to often find its way back from some problems to adequate functioning via new routes. (N. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. this is clearly often not the case and should invoke some serious reflection over that position. such as it is in many theological contexts. Caltech Media Relations. and the dualist could posit that a separate mind/spirit/soul is what drives this highly adept rewiring.). Why? We could say “that’s just how it is.caltech.327 where faulty wiring makes it difficult to exchange information from one cerebral hemisphere to the other) can leave us in situations where even both proper and improper developmental wiring can interfere with the kind of willful action implied by the concept of a ghost in the machine.ninds.htm#What_is 328 Williams-Hedges.

(11/2010). 1935)330 or even that people see what they wish to see. H. such as the famous “rat/man” and “old woman/young woman” figures (Bugelski & Alampay. even in the face of directly contradictory sense experience.331 such as in order to satisfy some immediate desire for an object. Leeper. E. as either the letter “B” or the number “13”: 329 McCleod.simplypsychology.L.1037/0022-3514. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www..html 330 Balcetis. it will be perceived as closer in distance.apa. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://psycnet. In Dunning. No. 1 147-152 doi: 10. On the Foundations of Beliefs in Free Will: Intentional Binding and Unconscious Priming in Self-Agency.. D. in this case. Vol. D.1177/0956797611399294. Vol 53. Perceptual Identification and Perceptual Organisation (1955). 91. Allport defined Perceptual set theory as: “a perceptual bias or predisposition or readiness to perceive particular features of a stimulus. we saw experiments where the body/mind was primed by temperature concerning the sensation of temperature. A.pdf 331 Aarts. January 2010 vol. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from 332 Balcetis.S.332 In Bruner and Minturn’s paper. Psychological Science. (12/2009). 21 no..chicagobooth.doiLanding&uid=1957-07092-001 98 . F.sagepub. Psychological Science. THE SENSES EVIDENCE #10: Many experiments of other types of sensory priming have also shown that there is a tendency for a subject’s expectations to influence what they perceive. Kess van de Bos.”329 In the example above.sagepub. J.612. American Psychological Association 2006.abstract 333 Bruner. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://pss. and that they confabulate the justification of their choices. and Minturn. Journal of General Psychology.. (2007).91. 21-28. 1961. Perceptual Identification and Perceptual Organisation. Wishful Seeing: More Desired Objects Are Seen as Closer. (1955). H.333 they showed that ambiguous figures (such as the one in the middle on the left) were perceived depending upon personally desired outcomes. There are also well known experiments showing that people see what they expect to see. 1955.00 DOI: 10. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://pss. P. such as people who were visually primed/exposed to images of animals or people were biased in their perception of later pictures of ambiguous figures.4. See What You Want to See: Motivational Influences on Visual Perception Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. (2006). doi: 10.. 612625 0022-3514/06/$12. Perceptual Set. 4.1177/

197-218.[336] This kind of audio priming is known as the McGurk effect and is easily tested in the BBC Two Is Seeing Believing? episode. 337 Austin. “fa fa fa fa” and we are visually primed to hear that sound. S. We then ‘hear’ the sounds as “fa fa fa fa. “ba ba ba ba”! In The Blank Slate.) New York: Routledge Press. 170. then I am more likely to think that I have had a veridical [coinciding with reality] auditory experience of the word. (Producer).apa. even if the acoustical signal I received was much closer to ‘collusion’ than to ‘collision’. (2011).simplypsychology. only the video has.’ but are also distorted by our desires. (2002). If I expect to see Fred rather than Jim. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.” The video then switches to a mouth He asserts that they are mostly from the ‘real (2004).BBC Two. “Try The McGurk Effect!”337 In the video. N. “ba ba ba ba. N.” except the audio has not really changed. (p. [Television series]. even though my ocular irradiation would have led me to think the opposite if my expectation had been reversed. ( 338 Pinker. we watch a close up of a mouth saying. The Blank Slate. Try the McGurk Effect! Horizon: Is Seeing Believing? .org/index.html 335 Image retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://psycnet.) New York: Viking Penguin. I am more likely to believe that I have had a veridical visual experience of Fred and not Jim. [334] [335] or Philosopher Nicholas Everitt explains the evidence from the Bruner and Minturn’s studies (and similar studies) thusly: If I expect to hear the word ‘collision’. 99 . and we are still actually hearing.optionToBuy&id=2006- 12810-003 336 Everitt.338 We can see this easily when we are 334 Image retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. The Non-existence of God. Stephen Pinker discusses our confusion about whether external reality is real or constructed by our minds or culturally influenced.cfm?fa=buy.

Annual Review of Psychology.. Pinker.163639?journalCode=psych 100 . 61: 219-241 DOI: 10. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://whyevolutionistrue. J. But not only that.rsablogs.110707. [Web log post]. 341 Carr-West.annualreviews.” even after you do! We still can’t visually learn to adjust.”339 where squares A and B are actually the same color. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. 342 Yeshurun.341 As we might expect. it was easier for subjects to correctly identify odors that were identified with the right color (e. visionary ones. such as Edward Adelson’s “checker shadow illusion. Design by Edward H. (1/2010). (Posted 9/5/2008). In another experiment. S.subjected to optical illusions.wordpress. (Interviewee).psych.60. Changing Minds.1146/annurev.60. Sobel. you still don’t “see it. our strange responses to these illusions are byproducts of evolutionary adaptations—in this case. According to Pinker. though we would swear that B is lighter than A: [340] Psychology books are filled with images like these that we swear are… wrong. yellow correlated with a banana odor). also. Do We Perceive Reality? The Checker Shadow shadow-illusion 340 Ibid. (Interviewer). even after you have seen some of these illusions.. certain liquid odors were dyed with an odorless color.163639. 339 Coyne. N.1146/annurev. it turns out that there is a similar illusory priming analogue to the sense of smell as well: Yeshurun & Sobel342 did a study where the same odors were labeled with either positive (parmesan cheese) or negative (vomit) descriptions and the way that the subjects rated the odor was massively influenced by the suggestive labeling. [Video file]. Y. these dyed liquids were rated as having a more intense odor than the same liquid odor without the dye.110707. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://comment. An Odor is Not Worth a Thousand Words: From Multidimensional Odors to Unidimensional Odor Objects.. Vol. (1/8/2011).

Bargh. & Petty. you'll feel better!” Will you? Really? [Web log post]. Those who nodded were much more likely to report being in agreement with what they heard in the editorial content than the shakers were. R. 219-230. R. primes of elderly people evoke stereotypes of weakness or close-mindedness.1. flexing the same facial muscles as when frowning.2.1037/1528-3542. M. Emotion. J.apa. under the guise of testing headphone quality. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://scienceblogs.344. Forward movement itself primes a significant increase in achievement. The Misattribution of Arousal. 344 Wells. Basic and Applied Social Psychology. [Web log post]. M. Last. University of Missouri Video Services.cfm?fa=buy.349 343 Natanzon.’ The original test was duplicated with even more rigorous standards and achieved similar results.pdf 345 McRaney. other subjects were told to hold the pen in their lips only. 48.optionToBuy&id=2002-18343-004 348 “TheMizzouTube. flexing the same facial muscles as during smiling. 2 (1). Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://carmine. 379-382. some subjects were told to hold a pen in-between their front teeth.. (1980). Unconscious behavioral guidance systems.345 In another test. G. [17:00-20:00]. where agents unconsciously adopt/mimic primed physical behavior as they move from person to person. Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www. etc. without conscious guidance or intention or the necessity of any kind of conscious intention or awareness to directly affect behavior…”348 More than that. Duchenne smile. emotional Goal pursuit is grounded: The link between forward movement and achievement. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. and autonomic reactivity: A test of the facial feedback hypothesis. They were told to read comic strips in both situations and the ones read while flexing the ‘smiling muscles’ were consistently perceived as funnier than the comics read while flexing the ‘frowning muscles. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://psycnet.346. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from 346 Munger. (2011). The effects of head movement on persuasion: Compatibility and incompatibility of responses.” (uploaded on 8/23/2011). 52-74 DOI: Lecture by John 349 Ibid. 1. E. 101 .52.343 In a study where subjects were told to listen to editorial content while wearing headphones. he also shows that certain primes evoke secondary stereotype associations not even included in the prime uasion_Compatibility%20and%20Incompatibility%20of%20Responses. (7/7/2011). (2002). they were told to nod their heads repeatedly (a “yes” movement) or shake them repeatedly (a “no” movement). D. & Ferguson.347 John Bargh has presented a great deal of evidence for the chameleon effect.. (11/2007). “Just smile. “…all of these different priming effects activating the systems have been found to proceed on. For example. [Video file]. He comments about the evidence for priming over the last 20-30 [3:00-15:00]. D. L. we can be primed by our movements as well.php 347 Soussignan.

as a beneficial illusion? This is to suggest that natural selection would favor those with a proclivity to invent gods and/or spirits that give them strength to endure suffering.352 Philosopher of religion professor Nicholas Everitt’s use of the evidence shows how someone might think that they are receiving messages from god in prayer. demons. [Blog file post]. Unconscious behavioral guidance systems. 350 Ronson. Last. thus. Bargh. etc. Yes. and business negotiations in general.” (uploaded on 8/23/2011). advertising. we may get a thrill and a chill when mentalists and magicians guess exactly right what we have been subtly primed to draw out of their view (for which. Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www. [Video file]. (posted 8/2012). which may also influence beliefs about causality video_n_1700555. which has a number of implications concerning free will. ghosts. like we might try to do by putting a pencil in our mouths to simulate smiling (which I confess that I have done!)? What is crucial here for my purpose is to acknowledge that that yawn is not even a conscious decision! THE IMPLICATIONS: As innocuous as some of the distortions may seem in the studies above. Jon Ronson: Strange answers to the psychopath test.). “mind reader” Eric Dittleman recently got a standing ovation and became a semifinalist on America’s Got Talent351). the cumulative misperceptions of desired effects as reality when they are not reality— especially the confabulations subconsciously contrived to cover them—have serious implications upon our lives in the context of people consciously exploiting our desires in these ways. 351 'America's Got Talent': Mind Reader Eric Dittelman Wows Judges Playing 'Deal Or No Deal' With Howie (VIDEO). How much do these imaginary agents represent some part of our psychological selves.ted. but are used as a provocative tool functionally for the agenda of non-conscious mind. (7/25/12).html 352 “TheMizzouTube. it’s been shown that.html [3:20ish]. one is influenced to adopt or confirm the relative belief system. Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www. [Video file].g. but we also don’t recognize these kinds of manipulations in politics. Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www. or are not representative.350 Is this the body trying to make itself calmer by physical association. just like [20:00- 25:00]. but especially in the complicated consequences of multiplying unreal agents that each have wills of their own. 102 . dogs yawn when they are stressed. We might try to validate any number of supernatural suggestions in this way (e. TED Talks. J. and/or identity. Lecture by John A.

we need to admit that. (3/17/2010). wouldn’t they clash with each other at some point and create complicated scenarios that affect our own will? In a non-supernatural context. Gestalt shifts are important to consider355 as escape routes from. S. or else we need to know if/why a person with (internally motivated) actions produced by. [Video file]. advocates of this view won’t often say “therefore. That is what underlies predispositionalism. Reitan. we may misunderstand another person or situation emotionally before we even know what both they and we are thinking. T. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. where the mind ‘fills in the blanks’ and presumes intention. [32:00-35:40]. we may also subtly misperceive/misread cues that others agree with us/think like us even when they are flat out telling us that they don’t (this is especially true in courting). ironically) in Post Modernism. Conversation from the Pale Blue Dot podcast: 028: Eric Reitan – Christianity Beyond Fundamentalism. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://commonsenseatheism.. Indeed.html 355 Gendler. it’s clear that conscious awareness is not needed to manifest environmental influence and this is a crucial consideration in terms of delineating identity. such as seen in the visual example 103 . This more relativistic perception is then applied more generally to ideas and concepts and is a general foundational principle (in its own sense.” because neither the ‘B’ nor the ‘13’ look anything like. (10/18/2010). merely because the former action is contained in the body proper. As Bargh has 354 Demonstration of a Gestalt Shift Experience. Anyone who has seen a Necker cube or a Rubin vase knows that some things can be perceived in different ways. because we really do have to question why the distance between one influence and another. say between one person and another. is more culpable than a person forced at (externally motivated) gun point or even some kind of mind Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. should be different than the influence between one part of our brain/body and another. mental illness. (Interviewee). arbitrary. If it is convenience. anything goes. [Audio podcast]. To be fair. I don’t think many would argue that mental illness 353 Muehlhauser. say. Even if imagined wills of imagined entities manifested sublimated desires of our own will. the ability to suddenly be able to see a ‘B’ after having only been able to see the ‘13’ until then or vice versa. E. some philosophers of religion have invoked353 a “gestalt shift”354 in order to rescue more modest claims/versions of theism. [26:00-27:30]. L. (Interviewer). when both are non-reasoned. certain thought experiments/Gettier cases. inoculation to. This is an interpretive paradigm shift. or rather. and unnoticed influence.education4skills. If the brain automatically codes for intentional representations via Gestalt laws of grouping. say… a spiral or the letter ‘T’.philostv. Stich.

but that mental illness is not sufficiently causal by degrees. 104 . We favor the “all or nothing” scenario. this is what we need to tackle.doesn’t take one’s free will.

”361. (7/7/2011). Speech Gene Helps Birds Sing. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://theness.doi. such as universal propensities for mathematics and/or even universal moral grammar. The Brain: The Language Fossils Buried in Every Cell of Your Discover Magazine.html?ref=hp 359 (Intermediate) http://thebrain. The latter inferior parietal lobule was the last to evolve in humans and does not develop in children until they are 5-6 years old! This is about when most children start to read and write. Broca’s Area .358 We have long known and are learning more about where the areas for language are located in the human brain. 2006.e.html 357 Zimmer. (10/17/2011). [Blog file post]. (2006). (8/29/2011). “language faculty”—a biological basis for universal grammar). Cambridge Books Online. There is evidence that this same faculty may produce other abstractly patterned concepts in a similar way. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://news.1017/CBO9780511791222 105 .359.362 He believes that physically influenced universal tendencies in language are 356 Strain.357. and Other Language-Processing Areas in the Brain. either adaptively or exaptively (as a byproduct).mcgill. It’s also close to when many religions set the “age of reason/discretion” or culpability.mcgill. Science Now.356. ‘Language Protein’ May Help Build Brain Circuits. (12/4/2007). Language and Mind. Cambridge University Press. and Geschwind’s territory (where classification and labeling of concepts occur). The Bilingual Brain. Noam. Wernicke’s Area. Science Now. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://discovermagazine. UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE EVIDENCE #11: There is evidence that the brain has an innate propensity to generate and/or recognize specific universal structures in language (i. (N. Broca’s area (where speaking/motor skills are associated with language). Cambridge University Press. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://news.mcgill. (Beginner) 361 Chomsky.html (Advanced) http://thebrain.D.).com/2011/oct/08-the-brain-language-fossils- buried-in-your-cells 358 Quill. E. D. such as Wernicke’s area (where words are chosen/conceived). The Brain from Top to 26 October 2011 http://dx. C. Only rudimentary versions of the inferior parietal lobule are seen in some primates. There is increasing evidence for a genetic foundation for the ability to speak a language/verbally communicate in both humans and other animals via the FOXP2 gene.html All avaliable on 9/19/2012 360 Novella.360 Noam Chomsky famously argued for an innate “language faculty” with “universal grammar.

S. April 2007. Boston Review.369.368 may support an innate foundational approach to moral grammar as well. [Video file]. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from 106 . Tool Module: Chomsky’s Universal [Audio podcast]. but just related to a fundamental ability to recognize objects.”363 As Schwitzgebel and Cushman put it. Universal Moral Grammar: Theory. including the natural and social sciences. (N. F.371. Psychology of Learning and Motivation.5/saxe. The Moral Instinct. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. (Interviewer). 814-834. (Interviewee). Retrieved on 8/7/2011 from Psychological”364. The Brain from Top to Bottom.evidenced by how we appeal to unconscious linguistic rules. via a variety of evidence from many disciplines. that the reason specific language syntax ‘feels right’ is via an innate framework for generative grammar. on 9/19/2012 from http://www. The Five Minute Philosopher. Video retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. [p. the work of researchers like John Mikhail367.nih.nytimes.yale. J. (2001). etc. Even primates have been recently shown to recognize letters and language structure in a unique. 369 372 The Moral Sense 366 Mind & Language (forthcoming).pdf 365 Haidt. visual way. 50. (2009). J. (in press). This suggests this has to be linked to some kind of ancient ability that's not linguistic at all. E. R. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. consistent.D.ucr.pdf 367 Edmonds. E. (1/13/2008).html 368 Mikhail.html?pagewanted=3&p&_r=3 371] Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://ssrn. NPR. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://news. Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. Why Mental Pictures Can Sway Your Moral Judgment. Cushman. (9-10/2005). (6/4/2011). 3. “Moral judgment is sometimes claimed to arise mostly from automatic processes that depend little on conscious reasoning from general principles. (4/2007). Evidence.). Neuroethics & the Trolley Dilemma. 27-100. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.wjh. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from D. 954398. Monkey Do. Do the Right Thing: Cognitive science’s search for a common 364 Schwitzgebel.html 363 Loury.365. J. The emotional dog and its rational tail: a social intuitionist approach to moral judgment. As noted by cognitive psychologist Jonathan Grainger.373 where Mikhail employs twelve useful versions 362 Dubuc. (9/20/2012). New York 370 Pinker. Monkey Read? Science Now. (4/12/2012).harvard. Monkey See. J.html 373 Vedantam.sciencemag. Expertise in Moral Reasoning? Order Effects on Moral Judgment in Professional Philosophers and Non-Philosophers.] Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. “They're using information about letters and the relations between letters. Philosophy Bites podcast: John Mikhail on Universal Moral Grammar. 108. (Uploaded on 10/30/2009). Available at SSRN [pp. S. Accessed on 9/19/2012 from http://wjh1. philosophy.370 They’ve shown that in moral sense experiments.ncbi.372. ordered.nlm. B. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://philosophybites. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://thebrain. and the Future.faculty.npr. Moral grammar and intuitive jurisprudence: A formal model of unconscious moral and legal Along the same lines of reasoning.

etc. D. C.of the Trolley Car problem. (N. developmentally. The Brain Can a Single Neuron Tell Halle Berry From Grandma Esther? Discover Magazine. Academic Press. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://philosophybites. 2008). 1163422. D.D.374 highly predictable shifts in distinct moral intuition resulted. Tool Module: Chomsky’s Universal Grammar.. based upon deontic duty driven/obligatory/absolute laws. The Brain from Top to Bottom. (6/2009). even though they could have tried to explain/confabulate their shift by philosophical reasoning. Analogous to language. while the differences may be analogous to the varied content of the languages themselves. word order. J. W. these similarities may be like the ubiquitous structural use of nouns and verbs. Skitka. George Lakoff argues for more of a focus on semantic interaction as a metaphorical extrapolation from sensory-motor experience. L. #23). Bauman. There is. The subjects are often unable to explain why they’ve shifted intuitive judgment standards from deontic to consequentialist. entailing culturally crafted morality/ 375 Edmonds. halle-berry-from-grandma-esther 107 . Bartels. or environmentally influenced and then people break off into further subdivisions from there. essentially following rules that they are not even aware of. Vol. (6/4/2011). THE PSYCHOLOGY OF LEARNING AND MOTIVATION: MORAL COGNITION AND DECISION Medin. especially in terms of post-political/pre-political (though we’ll see an underlying basis for at least some of those choices as well in Evidences #19.html 377 Zimmer.376 I’ve already mentioned the Halle Barry neuron377 and “Invariant visual 374 Mikhail. Available at SSRN: Retrieved on 8/29/2011 from http://ssrn. J. Philosophy Bites podcast: John Mikhail on Universal Moral Grammar. Again..mcgill. Mikhail. Moral Grammar and Intuitive Jurisprudence: A Formal Model of Unconscious Moral and Legal Knowledge. eds.375 these kinds of specific. Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://thebrain. B. to an ethical standard based solely upon consequences/utilitarianism. 50. and wildly different cultural barriers. some considerable controversy in regards to the extent that language faculty is genetically. Mikhail observes that there is more agreement overall cross-culturally considering heuristics for basic human rights than there is when comparing languages and cultures and actual behaviors. As Mikhail argues. of course. from children as young as 4-5. sophisticated intuitive ethical shifts transcend both age barriers. (Interviewer). (Interviewee).html 376 Dubuc.). culturally acquired moral grammar/behavior is to be distinguished from innate moral intuitions. [Audio podcast]. from an applied ethical standard. Philip Lieberman argues language is a more emergent neuronal property of non-language specific machinery already there. C. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://discovermagazine. (July 20.

Fried. 5695 pp. (8/19/2004).. they would say 3. PA. “Cerebral Bases of the Number Sense in the Parietal Lobe. Radiolab podcast: Innate Numbers? [Audio podcast]. hierarchically imbedded within sentences [like Russian dolls (which I love)]—in fact. (3/7/2002)..379 If you were to ask them the number directly in-between 1 and 9. Invariant visual representation by single-neurons in the human brain.380 French cognitive scientist Stanislas Dehaene has produced very convincing neuroimaging evidence that all babies think this way naturally too and that most cultures in the world impress linear mathematics upon our children unnaturally. 306 no. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. in exponential ratios). there is at least one culture that appears to challenge the framework seen in most of the rest of the world for language. potentially independent. G. R.1094492. It must be noted that six thousand other languages do have recursion.pdf 379 Gordon.e. Kreiman. they think logarithmically (i. (2005). L. and sentences. J. Has a remote Amazonian tribe upended our understanding of language? The New Yorker. (11/30/2009).radiolab.sciencemag. tangential Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. C.upenn. (4/16/2007). Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. I. Reddy.vis.pdf 382 Colapinto.”378 All of these seem to go hand-in-hand with this idea. Science.382 Everett hypothesizes that it never arose. The Interpreter. [Lecture].edu/~rodri/papers/nature03687. Stanislas. because the culture itself never required it. shows that there is also a unique divergence of language pattern formation with the Piraha not seen anywhere else in the world: the absence of recursion (i. syntax. this remote tribe does not think or count linearly beyond the first few numbers.e. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. Vol. with the bracketed tangential idea within the parenthesed tangential idea]). not 5 (because 3x3= 9).com/reporting/2007/04/16/070416fa_fact_colapinto#ixzz1KCORnCi4 108 . they have no religion and a very limited concept of temporality.381 The work of a now ex-Chomskian linguist. J. morphology. Nature. And while there is evidence that all cultures do seem to operate from innate generative frameworks. morality—even time itself: the Amazonian Piraha. Koch. Mathematically. As Steven Pinker notes. or in a few fundamental 381 Dehaene. this very sentence is an intentional example of recursion right now. Philadelphia.1126/science. R. so suspension of judgment about the Piraha language is justifiable. Numerical Cognition without Words: Evidence from Amazonia..caltech.newyorker. 496-499 DOI: 10.abstract 380 Abumrad. For example.. mathematics.” but it doesn’t have recursion. the Piraha’s language has “phonology. 435: 1102-1107.” Pinkel Lecture. Institute for Research in Cognitive Science. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from Dehaene_PinkelTranscription_2002. Krulwich.representation by single-neurons in the human brain. 378 Quian Quiroga. P. This is because they’ve been left to their own devices (there aren’t any!) and are practically “meme-free” in many ways. Daniel Everett.ircs.

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF LEARNING AND MOTIVATION: MORAL COGNITION AND DECISION MAKING. Academic Press. I will also discuss the highly successful Statistical Prediction Rules in Evidences #21. as was shown. How can this be lined up with the notion that the mind has a moral predisposition via language? Perhaps these tendencies are subtle and/or brief ingredients in a bigger recipe or one/some will be shown to outweigh the other. 2008). a propensity for certain modes of moral grammar that are based upon physical ability is clearly problematic for obvious reasons. and philosophical evidence for some kind of universal moral grammar. Bauman. especially in terms of a view that our freedom exists in our ability to act according to our values.x Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://pantheon. His case is strong. D. but it should certainly be investigated further.pdf 384 Mikhail. Bartels. but the big question here is how much of this. Skitka. but more work needs to be done and the jury is still out. Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. Available at SSRN: Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from It’s hard to imagine that such a huge acquiescence to software of this nature in any meaningful way that would go without some major controversy.yale. Knobe. Again. eds. S. Moral grammar may just be a fundamental foundation for developmental linguistic. It would be interesting to see how a completely dispassionate arbiter such as this would perform (and along these lines. Medin. J.00666. (July 20. anthropological. J. 2009. #8. if any. Vol.THE IMPLICATIONS: Mikhail offers developmental.1468-0068. 50. L. Moral Grammar and Intuitive Jurisprudence: A Formal Model of Unconscious Moral and Legal Knowledge. 1163422. linguistic. is causation and how much is merely correlation. DOI: 10. If I am predisposed to a 383 Nichols.2007. we do seem to have two minds about it. (10/25/2007). #12) shows certain areas of the brain may favor certain ethical systems/opinions over others during ‘cerebral dialogue’ certainly puts this issue into a place of critical importance. #25).. Noûs 41 (4):663–685. neural moral systematizing (see Evidence #24).. D. That other evidence here in this book (see Evidences #5. But this does not mean that morality isn’t hardwired to some extent. W. Moral Responsibility and Determinism: The Cognitive Science of Folk Intuitions.383 Mikhail also points out that the implications for universal moral grammar suggest codified law may someday even be worked into a functional software system for the courts/lawyers/legislators that avoids our appeals to logical fallacies. In the context of free 109 . We saw in the Implications of Evidence #5 that scientists and philosophers have conducted experiments showing morality can be altered by context and possibly even by genes. C.1111/j.

consequentialist framework based upon my brain wiring (or narrative cues—see Evidence
#24), am I making as sound of a moral choice as if I am choosing based upon some other kind
of moral intuition? Again, what is the value of freedom and how free is a freedom that has been
pre-directed to some extent?
The pros and cons of the discovery, invention, and/or habituation of something like the
linear number system over our natural propensity for a logarithmic framework are debatable; as
is the extent to their mutual effect upon other internal and external systemic meta-concepts. We
do see that they are evidenced to be related. We can always view these ‘meta-memes’ as the
forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden that facilitate both wonderful and horrific god-like power.
It is argued by environmentalists that the greatest knowledge is one that engenders a small
footprint and planetary homeostasis. Another view is that any opportunity to reduce suffering or
save lives via technology is obligatory, and technology seems to have survived for at least that
reason. In the future, we may decide that technology has become too threatening… or it might
save us by allowing us to live in outer space. One thing’s for sure: the Piraha are a simple, happy
people, without religion and without technology (I’ll leave further evaluation up to the reader).



EVIDENCE #12: People have a tendency to resort to the more primal, emotional, parts
of the brain when they are forced to simultaneously multi-task too many (abstract)
decisions. It has also been shown that higher parts of the brain where moral functioning
takes place can be manipulated, overridden, and/or shut down commensurately.

There was an experiment by Stanford professor Baba Shiv385,386 based upon the results of
much earlier experiments by George A. Miller.387 Subjects in a room were given a number from
2-7 digits to remember and were then told to walk down a hallway into another room and repeat
that number to another researcher. Along the way, they were waylaid by an intern who “just
happened to be passing by” with some complimentary food for the volunteers. She had a nice
healthy fruit salad and she had a delicious, decadent, sinful piece of cake. Overwhelmingly, the
people who had higher numbers to remember (6-7 digits) were more likely to go for the cake,
while the lower numbered people (2-3 digits) were more likely to go for the healthier option.
A 2009 study reported that tiredness was commensurately related to moral behavior:

Depleted participants misrepresented their performance for monetary gain to a greater
extent than did non-depleted participants (Experiment 1). Perhaps more troubling,
depleted participants were more likely than non-depleted participants to expose
themselves to the temptation to cheat, thereby aggravating the effects of depletion on
cheating (Experiment 2). Results indicate that dishonesty increases when people’s
capacity to exert self-control is impaired, and that people may be particularly vulnerable
to this effect because they do not predict it[388] [emphasis mine].

Abumrad, J., Krulwich, R. (11/17/2008). Radiolab podcast: How Much Is Too Much? [Audio podcast].
Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
Guild, G. (10/2010). How Do You Think? Willpower: What is it really? [Web log post]. Retrieved on
9/19/2012 from
Miller, G. (1956). The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for
Processing Information. The Psychological Review. Vol. 63, pp. 81-97 Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
Mead, N. L., Baumeister, R. F., Gino, F., Schweitzer, M. E., & Ariely, D. (2009). Too tired to tell the truth:
Self-control resource depletion and dishonesty. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 594-597.
Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from


In another study, MIT cognitive neuroscientist Rebecca Saxe has demonstrated that it’s
fairly easy to intentionally alter moral perception by stimulating neurons in an area of the brain
behind the right ear known as the right temporo-parietal junction (RTPJ).389 She discovered this
to be the most active part of the brain when people are wondering what other people are
thinking,390 and so it is integral to all agential relations and theory of mind concerns, even just
thinking abstractly about what some unseen person said or did.391
As the BBC News reported, there was an experiment where

…participants were asked how acceptable it was for a man to let his girlfriend walk
across a bridge he knew to be unsafe. After receiving a 500 millisecond magnetic pulse to
the scalp, the volunteers delivered verdicts based on outcome rather than moral principle
(another example of consequence versus duty). If the girlfriend made it across the bridge
safely, her boyfriend was not seen as having done anything wrong. In effect, they were
unable to make moral judgments that require an understanding of other people’s
intentions[392] [emphasis mine].

THE IMPLICATIONS: The House of Lords Science and Technology Sub-Committee’s
report, Behaviour Change,393 argued that “nudge” priming (subtle psychological suggestions)
does not appear to have been an adequate standalone tool for social influence towards better food
choices, more exercise, less alcohol consumption, etc.—or at least that some tools are better than
others. The Shiv experiments may show just one reason why: cognitive limitations, diversions,
and/or inner competition can still trump the “nudge.” We can only pay so much attention.

Saxe, Rebecca. (7/2009). “Rebecca Saxe: How we read each other's minds.” TEDGlobal. Oxford, England.
Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
Saxe, R. & Kanwisher, N. (2003). People thinking about people. NeuroImage, 19, 1835–1842. Retrieved on
9/19/2012 from
Saxe, R. (2-3/2004). Reading Your Mind. Boston Review. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
Morality is modified in the lab. (3/30/2010). BBC News. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee 2nd Report of Session 2010–12 (7/19/2011).
Behaviour Change. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from


Does this mean we should try to limit group “think tank” interactions to less than seven if
we want to get a more productive experience? Consider the dynamics of smaller groups, where
everyone can still catalog and refer to each person’s position in conversation, contrasted with
larger parties, where conversationally overwhelmed people tend to atomize by default. Many
people feel comfortable in one situation and yet not in the other.
More importantly, since we already know that we have a regular tendency to offload
cognitive work onto the environment,394 if something like the prefrontal cortex is overused, does
the mind defer to the more primal amygdala, with its emphasis on pleasure and emotion, rather
than reason and practicality? The work of Sheena Iyengar has shown that when we have too
many options, we are less likely to participate; we actually prefer simplicity; we become less
satisfied with our choices when we do make them; and we can get choice burnout.395,396 Does
this limitation mean that ‘reason burnout’ or ‘control burnout’ (which I will show in Evidence
#19 mark the rising appeal of superstition in times of fear) or even ‘moral burnout’ may happen
to some people considerably sooner than it does to others?
For example, could some religious conservatives already be ‘maxed out’ in terms of a
sense of obligation to their in-group to the point that they don’t even have the mental capacity to
consider institutionalizing more socialistic policies? Not that we don’t all have a sense of
responsibility equally to begin with, but that it is already ‘used up’ in another domain—that is to
say that the sense of obligation is already taxed out by individually voluntary and/or theological
responsibility, while secularly principled people are more likely to extend authority to secular
institutions, like government, academia, science, etc.
That there are religious liberal majorities in other nations shows that the difference may
be more about neuronally hardwiring the narrative (see Evidence #24), but it still wouldn’t
make our capacity unlimited. If there is a limited neuronal/cognitive capacity in humans for
empathy or morality or respect or any other abstract concept associated with successful relations,

Clark, A. (1998). Embodied, situated, and distributed cognition. In W. Bechtel & G. Graham (Eds.), A
companion to cognitive science (pp. 506-517). Malden, MA: Blackwell. [pp. 8-11]. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
Iyengar, S.S., Kamenica, E. (2010). Choice Proliferation, Simplicity Seeking, and Asset Allocation. Journal
of Public Economics, 94 (7-8), 530-539. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
Iyengar, S.S., Lepper, M. (2000). “When Choice Is Demotivating: Can One Desire Too Much of a Good
Thing?” J. Personality and Soc. Psychology 79: 995–1006. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from


could there be a kernel of truth to Nietzsche’s contention that, “there is not sufficient love and
goodness in the world to permit us to give some of it away to imaginary beings”?397 (And we
could [and Nietzsche certainly would] also probably extend the use of the term “imaginary
beings” into the secular equivalent, e.g. concerning ‘natural rights,’ ‘egalitarianism,’ etc. See
Evidences #24). ‘Moral burnout’ may also contribute to apparent limitations upon our
empathy that we’ll observe more thoroughly later in Evidence #28.
Shifting gears to look at the RTPJ, what are we to make of what, in one sense, we might
portray as a physical representation of moral understanding, subject to physical health
conditioning? It does a lot more than that, but it literally does at least that. What if it’s damaged,
atrophied, or it’s electronically or chemically manipulated and the victim shows no other sign or
symptom of irregularity? While some might consider the victim to just be merely bumped into a
fairly common consequentialist/utilitarian default framework for their ethical guidance, those
and other social implications are still profound. Utilitarian systems are considered profoundly
immoral and/or erroneous by many for philosophical, religious, and/or political reasons, not to
mention a freely and erroneously chosen method of evaluation.
Concerning theory of mind, the inability to even remotely consider what others are
thinking would make one a different person in thought, deed, and personality, even if, as Saxe
says, these affected moral judgments are both somewhat minor (so far that is…) and they are
judgments of others and not of selves (so far that is…). Considering a damaged RTPJ, or even
just the natural variation of physical brain functionality between different people, wouldn’t the
difference in ability to determine what people believe, desire, or intend have at least some
bearing upon fairness in the epistemological playing field concerning morality? For example, if a
person is unable, or less able by degrees, to know whether another person is in danger from
another person who intends to harm them, and so refrains from helping the potential victim, are
they less responsible? What if the RTPJ were damaged or hyper-active to the other extreme, and
the subject inferred harmful intention that wasn’t really there, causing an ‘assailant’ harm when
‘trying to defend’ some ‘potential victim’? Are there enough cerebral differences in people for
these kinds of influences to exist, even subtly? Wouldn’t the notion of “freedom” in this context

Nietzsche, F. (1878/1914). Translated by Helen Zimmern. Aphorism 129. Human, All-Too-Human.
Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from


be inexorably tainted? Importantly, as discussed in the Introduction, these are tangible ethical
consequences of epistemological problems in the free will discussion.
The important work of Antonio Damasio has further shown that we do need well
functioning emotional equipment and connections to make rational decisions; without being able
to associate emotion with choice, we are bereft of an intelligible context of what to actually
like/want,398,399 even if our emotional primes often influence our reasoning in ways we regret,
but the big ethical question in the context of the studies above is this: If cognitive burdens affect
moral decisions all across a continuum, should a mind that just happens to be ‘fated’ with
extreme cognitive burdens, as either multiple events or as the inability to process them as
efficiently as other people, be considered on an equal ethical playing field with a mind that is not
so burdened?
The courts do recognize mental and emotional distress, but since the evidence shows that
this capacity clearly must be on a continuum, why is this kind of defense commonly only
considered applicable in extreme cases of insanity, trauma, etc.? This is to ask, why do we
consider it discretely rather than continuously (i.e. analogous in the sense of the distinction
between discrete values and continuous values in mathematics)? Is it for prudential, pragmatic
reasons, such as reducing impractical bureaucracy? Probably, but it’s also clear that the
recognition of the continuum of rational capacity should be important in other areas, such as
punitive retribution, behavior reform, and crime prevention. Again, part of the reason for
reframing the free will vs. determinism issue with ‘predispositionalism’ is to habituate a more
appropriate, more veridical, continuous frame of reference over concerns like this. Discrete
values are obviously useful, but envisioning the continuous foundation can lead to different

Mooney, C. (Interviewer), Lakoff, G. (Interviewee). (4/25/2011). Point of Inquiry podcast: George Lakoff -
Enlightenments, Old and New. [Audio podcast]. (2:30-5:50; a great summary of the implications of Damasio’s
work). Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
Brooks, D. (Interviewer), Damasio, A. (Interviewee). (2009). Part 4: How Emotion Affects Decision Making.
Antonio Damasio: This Time with Feeling. [Video file]. (The whole interview is worth watching). Retrieved on
9/19/2012 from



EVIDENCE #13: We are compelled to be attracted to specific types of people based upon
many unperceived factors. The chemicals that contribute to a physiological environment
friendly to the common romantic cycle of lust (dopamine), passion (norepinephrine), and
commitment (oxytocin) have shown us how our relationships are at least somewhat subject
to specific elements of literal chemistry down to the genes, as well as other sensory and
psychological biases.

It’s fairly well known now that sexual selection studies over recent decades have shown
that all animals instinctively seek out mates with good apparent health, good physical
symmetry,400 good access and/or potential ability to access survival/reproduction resources, good
genetic diversity,401 and other physiological indicators identifiable in a dozen different brain
regions402 not perceived before we actually consider personality… though, as one might expect
at this point, we tend to confabulate the opposite when asked.403 As science writers Kate Douglas
and Dan Jones put it:

Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov from Princeton University found that we make
judgements about a person’s trustworthiness, competence, aggressiveness, likeability and
attractiveness within the first 100 milliseconds of seeing a new face. Given longer to
look–up to 1 second–the researchers found observers hardly revised their views, they only

Edler, R. J. (2001). Background Considerations to Facial Aesthetics. Journal of Orthodontics 28 (2): 159–
168. doi:10.1093/ortho/28.2.159. PMID 11395532. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
Perrett, D.; Burt, D. M.; Penton-Voak, I. S.; Lee, K. J.; Rowland, D. A.; Edwards, R. (1999). Symmetry
and Human Facial Attractiveness. Evolution and Human Behavior 20 (5): 295. doi:10.1016/S1090-
5138(99)00014-8. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
Fischetti, M. (2/14/2011). Your Brain in Love. Scientific American. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from
Forbes, G. (1/12/2010). Reasonable Doubts podcast extra: Getting Into Someones Genes. [Audio podcast].
Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from


First Impressions Making Up Your Mind After a 100-Ms Exposure to a Face.57(3):368-74. C. doi:10. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 2007). compared with days during menstruation (Miller et al. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://blogs. E.stm 412 Declerck..D.. CA. (5/2/2006) 409 Churchland..412 make people have 404 Douglas. vol 17. (Part 9/11).youtube.. (2010).com/notrocketscience/2011/01/11/no-love-for-outsiders-oxytocin-boosts- favouritism-towards-our-own-ethnic-or-cultural-group 411 Sokol. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://news.consequentialstrangers. J. Carsten de Dreu. Evolutionary psychology is clearly relevant here). The Science Network.” The University of Edinburgh.sciencedirect. T. such as the Trolley Car Problem.405] [Emphasis mine]. it’s the red flushed skin of a female in heat. K. C. [Web log post].H. A..deanza.pdf 406 Pazda. (2006) “Patricia Churchland: What do neuroscientific discoveries imply for free will and responsibility?” Neuro Enigmas II: Large-Scale Problems in Neuroscience. “Patricia Churchland . Subjects who sniffed oxytocin were more likely to choose to save their own race when tested with classic ethical dilemmas. p 592 Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. became more confident in their snap decisions (Psychological Science.410 inhaling oxytocin has been shown to boost favoritism toward our own ethnic or cultural Sexy red: Perceived sexual receptivity mediates the red- attraction relation in men viewing woman. Jones. their hourly tips almost doubled on the days near ovulation. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. happen at the chemical level.409 In studies by Dr. Oxytocin and cooperation under conditions of uncertainty: the modulating role of incentives and social information. 117 . Patricia. Greitemeyer. 466]. (2011). D.009. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. BBC News. “In a study of 5300 strip-club lap dancers. Edinburgh. Perhaps the most influential bonding indicators though.discovermagazine. Psychological Science. Horm Behav. 410 Yong. Available on 9/19/2012 at http://facultyfiles.. UC San Diego.pdf 405 Willis. (2010). Kiyonari.J. No love for outsiders – oxytocin boosts favouritism towards our own ethnic or cultural group. Psychology 9th edition.nlm. vol 17. A. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. (1/12/2007) 407 Myers. What if. Men are more strongly wooed by the same woman in a red dress406 (for animals. New Scientist.. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.nih.1016/j. p 592)[404. Patricia. D.”407 Peptides like oxytocin have been shown to be at the core of pair-bonding and monogamy in mammals. 2010 Mar.Morality and the Mammalian Brain. David Myers writes. A. Top 10 ways to make better decisions. (ISBN 978-1-4292-1597-8) 408 Churchland.ncbi. (5/5/2007). Epub 2010 Jan 18. Boone. FirstImpressions. (1/11/2011). [p.jesp. New York: Worth T.411 It has also been shown to make people more or less cooperative in social games (depending upon if they met their gaming partner beforehand). Scotland.

bioethics.[416] Not to give the more they can literally predict the length of displays of affection and bonding415… though again. I'm spraying you with of-oxytocin-much-more-than-just-a-%e2%80%9clove-hormone%e2%80%9d/ 414 Coghlan. Vol.html 415 West. [Web log post].uc. The effects of oxytocin are conditional. (6/1/2005). New Scientist-Life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.” [Web log post]. In a 1974 study by Donald Dutton and Arthur discussions with/about the opposite sex in actual situations of physical danger (they conducted 413 love 419 Dutton. (8/28/2007)..”414 and perhaps most shockingly: to increase trust. A. Armpit Psychology: The Science of Body Odor Perception. (11/2007).radiolab. it seems to follow that oxytocin only increases positive effects in previously known/met people. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.pdf 118 . (Posted 7/12/2005). 1974.newscientist. This was shown in a double-blind study involving oxytocin and a trust game with real monetary stakes. (1974). (5/13/2009). 30. affection. Chemical Trust: An Oxytocin Oxymoron. D. That is to say that the more oxytocin there is in a mother with a child. and the trustees could choose whether to honor or violate the investors’ trust. but has sometimes been shown to increase distrust in previously unknown people. Radiolab podcast: This Is Your Brain On Love. in which the subjects played the role of either an investor or a trustee. Scientific American. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. 510-517.more or less favorable memories of their mother (depending upon their social anxiety). C. 4..cfm?id=armpit-psychology-body-odor 418 Abumrad. J. APS Observer. The dark side of oxytocin. it should be said that in the light of the more recent studies No. R. much more than just a “love hormone.scientificamerican. The investors who had inhaled the oxytocin invested 17% more money than those who received the placebo. 417 Bering. Investors could choose whether and how much money to invest with an anonymous trustee. Aron.cfm?id=2245 416 McGee. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://blogs.discovermagazine. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://blog. Some Evidence For Heightened Sexual Attraction Under Conditions of High Anxiety. and bonding commensurately. (11/29/2010).fpce. Trust me. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. or similar substances all the glory (I won’t go into the many studies on dopamine or norepinephrine or the power of androstadienone417.413 make a man temporarily more sensitive and “in the mood for cuddling. Level of Oxytocin in Pregnant Women Predicts Mother-Child Bond. G. [Audio podcast].psychologicalscience. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. sexual attraction can be influenced by situational context as well. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.418). A. E. Krulwich.

Frumin.. entitled the misattribution of arousal. D.. (2002).org/sciencenow/2010/10/scienceshot-love-conquers-all.sciencemag. but now you know it. Shushan. dangerous. Y. vol 17. THE IMPLICATIONS: Anyone who’s been in love and/or lust knows the powers these emotions have to control our will even against what we might later reason out to be a better decision.1198331 422 Pellham. Science Now. (2011). Yeshurun. Rozenkrantz. Science. beta blockers.424 Libido (and hence. Love Conquers All—Even Pain. because danger is still. The process.420 Danger is sexy. Y. and other similar studies in the same vein have confirmed the original results. What Do Dilated Pupils Mean? [Web log post].1126/science.bodylanguageexpert.425 how much does freely willed reasoning come into play when biochemical reactions that produce specific desires are not only beyond our L. S. First Impressions Making Up Your Mind After a 100-Ms Exposure to a Face. L. well. DOI: 10. but often beyond our perception… and then later confabulated as intention. K. A. that is to say with certain medications like antidepressants. specific desires) can be targeted and reduced iatrogenically. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. And considering all that is affirmed in the 100milisecond experiments from Willis and Todorov.. suggests the misattribution is between sex/romance and danger. Sobel. S.. (12/17/2010).co. The Misattribution of Arousal.422 or physically similar features of the face.. L. Roth.423 Even the mere picture of a loved one has been shown (via fMRI) to actually reduce physical pain in lovers by as much as 45%. Facial Resemblance Enhances Trust. Bioethicists are rightly worried about the availability and misuse of psychological and biochemical agents that may be or may already have been used to control. or at least influence. 1307–1312 424 Be careful though. Todorov. (2006)....html?etoc 425 Willis.surveys on a not so steady rope bridge) led subjects to greater sexual arousal/interest when recalling the interviewer than discussions with/about the opposite sex in actual less dangerous situations (on a solid bridge). Human Tears Contain a Chemosignal. I. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://youarenotsosmart.pdf 119 .consequentialstrangers. Psychological Science. subjects were affected sexually and emotionally in dramatic ways by unperceived factors as subtle as a whiff from negative-emotion related odorless tears. Body Language Expert.1198331. and opiods. (10/13/2010).421 increased eye dilation. Some see it as one of our most underestimated threats in the next 420 McRaney. (7/7/2011)..html 423 DeBruine.sciencemag. You may have sensed it. hordes of unwitting victims. In other more recent 421 Gelstein. [Web log post]. Retrieved on on 9/19/2012 from http://news. to name just a few. p 592 Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. as is typically the case after we act. FirstImpressions. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 269. J.

physiology. billiard balls). upon levels of the chemicals described above. waters carved out the valleys. to the point that the lack thereof has been clearly shown to lead to promiscuity. culture to culture. you get the impression that nature represents causality. while nurture represents something freer. Still. etc? Does knowing how and/or why a person enjoys sex diminish enjoyment in sex? Doesn’t increasing our knowledge of how we might enjoy certain experiences merely give us a greater potential to find ways to increase that joy? We have every right to point out that causation and correlation are not the same thing here and that just because these chemicals can be correlated with this kind of affect. rather than simple and/or obviously direct causality (e. but they also become completely averse to blame or prosecution. It’s just a more complex network of causal influence (including bidirectional influences. poem to poem.few decades. Couldn’t we conceive of a situation where victims are not only taken advantage of. etc. The affect is not there when the chemicals are not there. but the capacity to feel love and be monogamous depends to a major extent.). and neuroscience.g. because of the continued. even though we understand how the mountains formed via plate tectonics. it does. he said. residual. and never actually departs from the causal foundation that underpins it. In a debate with neuroscientist David Eagleman. sometimes. 120 . Which brings up another more general matter here in basic psychology: the difference between causation and correlation is in no way the same as the difference between nature vs. just as we might still appreciate a mountaintop vista. or naturally habituated influence of the ‘trusty’ chemical bonds initiated by their abusers? What are we to think of our sentimentality in light of its vulnerability to chemical adjustments? Lofty descriptions of what love is can change from person to person. to affect our behavior and free will in meaningful ways. But nurture is just a smaller set of nature. nurture (besides the fact that correlation is always quantitative and never qualitative). must this demote our appreciation of what is special or beautiful in the world? Can’t we still appreciate it all with the same intensity in our knowing of some of the underlying elements. Raymond Tallis is a very vocal critic of suggestions such as the ones I have just made concerning the power of chemicals. if not completely. When people discuss nature versus nurture. doesn’t mean they’re required… does it? Actually.

.guardian. Cognitive offloading incorporates what is external. can get rerouted right back into channels of natural propensities. Once this is granted. in the mind or in nature. IMO. a red herring. The brain… it makes you think. Semantically. Mirror neurons are internal. R. just like emergent phenomena. but they are still under a causal framework too—even quantum randomness. no more. going as far back as Plank time. and a false dilemma. Doesn't it? The Gaurdian: The Observer. Psychology textbooks will often rightly hammer home the fact that correlation is not necessarily causation (i. At the end of the day. That which is acted out in the public space (maintained by conscious human beings) that we call "culture" is at least as important [as neuroscience in predicting behavior]. (4/28/2012). the most accurate prediction will end any argument. because it’s just a higher level of complexity with more/unique utility. Of course Eagleman includes environment in his assessment of neuroscience’s impact on behavior predictability. then brain science will have a more modest role in explaining why we do things.e. even as emergent phenomena. and an even smaller one in framing social policy. the unidirectional arrow). Moving on… 426 Eagleman. for pragmatic eagleman-raymond-tallis 121 .[426] The neuroscience has as much influence and is as important *as the studies show that it is* (POST-environment). such as cognitive biases. we make a distinction between choice and fate. Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www. Tallis. but that correlation is not necessarily causation of one thing/direction doesn’t mean it is free from all causation either. no less. Tallis carries the torch for the old school humanistic agenda to champion the self under the fading light of the scientific individual. Cultural information is wired in External predictors are still predictors. D. Tallis has created a strawman. but reflect what is external.

because of right hippocampal atrophy.S.0. to give her orgasms when she brushes her teeth. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://topdocumentaryfilms. others. Friday Weird Science: When it feels really good to brush your teeth. 2004. 179-182.D.ncbi. MENTAL DISORDER EVIDENCE #14: There are neurological disorders that radically alter not only fundamental perceptions of when-it-feels-really-good-to-brush-your-teeth 431 Ramachandran. 13.). with a higher propensity for analytical thinking (plus evolution takes time!). (N. The reality of these experiences has also been bolstered by all manner of mind and body altering drugs that have also been shown to mimic and/or exacerbate these kinds of conditions in normal people. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. so we don’t all have the propensity in our genes. such as when numbers or even tones are actually experienced as colors. (2/20/2009). Lin.html 429 Chuang.. Social groups wouldn’t want everyone to be the ‘creative types’ though. synesthesia is an experience of the senses merging. especially. for other people.S. Science Now. Chen.sciencemag. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://news. (11/17/2011).S. Chang. Phantoms in the Brain.nlm.K. C. T. E. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://thesciencenetwork. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://scientopia.C.427 neurologist V. enlightenment-2-0/v-s-ramachandran 122 .C. and objects. Recent evidence is showing that the experience seems to be a result of unusually excitable neurons wiring a little too recklessly in the relevant areas. In Phantoms in the Brain. C. Overactive Neurons May Tangle the Senses. Y. UC San In 430 Sci-Curious. the results go in the opposite direction. during brain surgery. (11/1/2007).D.. [Television series].nih.430 Ramachandran has demonstrated431 that because of the crossed neural wiring and/or biochemical physiological environment. V.429.428 Consider one woman’s mind that rewired itself incorrectly. He also notes that this probably evolved for the evolutionary benefit. Lui. BBC-4. as he says. Seizure.” The Science 428 Norton. CA. Ramachandran shows how cognition affecting conditions alter awareness potential in ways that many of us are not aware of. Tooth-brushing epilepsy with ictal orgasms... Vilayanur. “Beyond Belief: Enlightenment 2. Other changes/losses of ability and/or perception that are the results of neural re-wiring via changes in biochemical/physiological environment and/or brain damage may predispose 427 Ramachandran. For example. but identity in self. [Web log post]. these people are also more predisposed to thinking metaphorically and creatively. (4/13/2004).

emotional. (2009).com/aspx/articledetail. impulsive actions with every epileptic episode. 435 enlightenment-2-0/v-s-ramachandran 434 Abumrad. Geschwind Syndrome). they have been shown to induce radical indulgences in gambling. where the emotional response to those who the sufferer sees (and even sometimes to objects. UC San Diego. (6/15/2009).433 Some drugs created to treat certain diseases have very specific strong behavioral side effects. Behavioral Manifestations of Frontal Lobe Seizures. some of which produce phenomenal. but out of sync with the rest of the brain. such as a house) is completely disconnected. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://thesciencenetwork. CA.experience in other ways. where large groups of neurons fire rhythmically and simultaneously. such as Parkinson’s drugs like Pramipexole or Ropinirole. so conditions similar to prosopagnosia may prevent people from identifying certain types of objects vs. Because they mimic dopamine. and dopamine is the main player in the reward system.435 432 Riggio.g. There is also the Capgras delusion.theatlantic. “Beyond Belief: Enlightenment 2.0. 123 . as well as seemingly arbitrary.432 Ramachandran believes that certain neural categories of inputs are artificially and perhaps arbitrarily elevated in salience and hence intense emotional significance. There are over 30 areas in the brain that involve seeing and indexing. overeating. There are at least 40 types of this experience known to date. (11/1/2007).cnsspectrums. It has also been shown that there are drugs. sex.” The Science Network. D.434.aspx?articleid=1973 433 Ramachandran. ‘spiritual’ experiences (e. such as LSD. that can simulate these conditions by altering the brain in similar ways. 2009. where the ability to recognize faces is impaired. S. Vilayanur.radiolab. to the point where they absolute don’t recognize or trust their own families or even images in the mirror and they are perceived as alien imposters (“This is not my house! That is not my wife!”).14(2):66-70 Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. living things. J. CNS Spectr. Radiolab podcast: Seeking Patterns. etc. (7-8/2011). like suddenly urgently requesting a glass of water or abruptly dropping everything and taking off running or repetitively rubbing the hands together. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. The Atlantic. [Audio podcast]. some are on the “how does this image help to direct me?” neural pathway and others are on the “what is it?” neural pathway. The Brain on Trial. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. such as with prosopagnosia. Another cognition affecting condition is temporal lobe epilepsy.

is it really fair that they would still be expected to be judged in all manner of social contexts. and hence ethics? If these experiences are on a continuum and not ‘all or nothing. to feel specific emotions. For some of those who experience 124 . prophets. but social relations. mystics. all the way to the ability to even just survive by identifying or recognizing the actual significance of certain animals or foods or by not spending every penny that they have on gambling. to identify self and others. via the mistaken assumption that free will comes after these conditional filters. including moral ones. to attribute the relative importance of something. considering these particular types of illnesses. because the ‘spiritual’ feelings produced are experienced as a gateway to understanding the ‘Truth’ of the world. J. how is a person supposed to step outside of themselves and evaluate that objectively? Some of these experiences are so profound that they override reason and intellect. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from do we just have to bite the bullet and concede to these shortcomings in the judicial system? Last.). The minds of some Ropinirole patients were so tweaked that they blew literally everything they could get their hands on—even hundreds of thousands of dollars. (8/19/2007). The Boston Globe. etc. Your brain on gambling: Science shows how slot machines take over your mind. it’s also worth noting that the Geschwind Syndrome and temporal lobe epilepsy in general seem to be a promising direction for exploring at least some supernatural/religious experience now and in history (e. just because we are unaware of the milder effects? At what point do these problems get recognized as fundamental parameters that not only affect personality and identity. How much of the resulting dogma produced in these experiences is really a product of neural function and how much of it is a product of reason? 436 Lehrer. To what measure do these fundamental misperceptions occur subtly enough to go unnoticed in the average person? These types of disabilities alter everything from people’s ability to trust.436 Even though these parameters probably exist in many people to some extent and may be subtle enough to go unrecognized.THE IMPLICATIONS: When neurons are not behaving normally. certain aspects of temporal lobe epilepsy may even become addicting.’ as the courts seem to have to frame them due to practical limitations. without special consideration.

1038/nature05631. The Neural Correlates of Moral Sensitivity: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Investigation of Basic and Moral Emotions. 908-911 (19 April 2007) doi:10. 213). Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.nature. but it has actually changed their personality. “Do you think it's okay to kill one person to save two or three others? It seems your answer may rely on the relative health or strength of particular brain areas”438. Y. Volume reduction in prefrontal gray matter in unsuccessful criminal psychopaths. Pessoa. (8/6/2007). Yang.. J. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. 446.. Mourão-Miranda. De New York: Free Press. Y. Received 3 November 2006. M.cfm?id=when-morality-is-hard-to-like 439 Moll. (2006).. 1 April 2002. This is especially true in the case of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex.nlm. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://scan. Bihrle. R.. 125 . Cushman. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. When Morality Is Hard To Like. Available on 9/19/2012 at http://weber. Hauser...437 Scientific American’s Mind Matters editor David Dobbs introduced the review with.abstract 441 Yang. D. Raine. neuroscientist Sam Harris writes: Frontal lobe injury can result in a condition known as “acquired Scientific American. Lencz.nih. Tranel. M. I. Damage to the Prefrontal Cortex Increases Utilitarian Moral Judgments. Young.... S. F. (2002).. 22(7): 2730-2736. Neural foundations to moral reasoning and antisocial behavior..oxfordjournals.. Study finds brain injury changes moral judgment. A. A.ncbi.jneurosci. (3/212007).ucsd.439. Damasio. The New York Times.” which shares some of the features of “developmental psychopathy” […] “[Moll and Oliveira- Souza] found that the correlation between gray matter reductions and psychopathy extends beyond the frontal cortex. P.[443] 437 Koenigs. S. LaCasse. (2005).pdf 443 442 Carey. Colletti.442 In The Moral Landscape. doi: 10. which helps us to feel compassion and guilt. 2005 May 15.57(10):1103-8.. The Journal of Neuroscience. T. Eslinger. The Moral Landscape. THE MORALLY CHALLENGED EVIDENCE #15: Specific types of brain damage have not only impaired some people’s ability to perceive the world in a way unrealistic enough to give them a seriously unequal playing field ethically. Available on 8/7/2011 from http://www. D.abstract 440 Raine. B. and this would explain why acquired sociopathy and psychopathy are distinct P. L. Nature. Damage to the prefrontal cortex increases utilitarian moral judgements. P. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci (2006) 1(3):203-213.html 438 Dobbs..1093/scan/nsl033.441 [emphasis mine]. (2010).. Adolphs. Biol Psychiatry. J... (2/17/2007). Andreiuolo. When neuroscience researchers Jorge Moll and Ricardo de Oliveira-Souza reviewed the Nature paper.A. R. (p. A. L.

Daily 126 . Science. seemingly aware that something was wrong with his brain.pdf 450 Churchland.allegheny. (5/20/1994). which stimulated uncontrollable rage.princeton. J. friends and family said he was “no longer Gage. “Patricia Churchland: What do neuroscientific discoveries imply for free will and responsibility?” Neuro Enigmas II: Large-Scale Problems in Neuroscience. [p. Frank.”444 David Meyers writes that “…studies of violent criminals have revealed diminished activity in the frontal lobes.. (ISBN 978-1-4292-1597-8) 446 Eagleman. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.. The Freak Accident That Left My Son Obsessed With Sex. H. 2005). which he himself regretted to the end. When it was removed. A.html 449 Burns.449. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://synapse. Swerdlow. 2000.. R. D. 99). Davidson et al. CA. Grabowski. 1999. The return of Phineas Gage: clues about the brain from the skull of a famous patient. “While it may be difficult to accept. A. T. uncharacteristic pedophilia impulse until he was diagnosed with a right orbitofrontal tumor. His personal journals chronicled his curious demise. The Science Network. He even left money and instructions to have his brain diagnosed post mortem. (1/12/2007). Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. the still anonymous forty year old man who had an increasing.448 who had severe frontal lobe brain damage from a skiing accident that made him physically aggressive and turned him into an uninhibited sex addict. Fifty-seven percent of frontotemporal-dementia patients will violate social norms. (p. Right Orbitofrontal Tumor with Pedophilia Symptom and Constructional Apraxia Sign. (7/4/2006). such as Charles Whitman.446 the Texas killer who was found to have a tumor compressing his amygdala. (2010).com/magazine/print/2011/07/the-brain-on-trial/8520 447 Damasio. New York: Worth Publishers. such as taking off their clothes in public or blatantly stealing in front of clerks or making loud 444 Ibid.theatlantic. 445 Myers. he suggests. Psychology 9th edition.pdf 448 Sheaves. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://webpub. 2003. R. his behavior went back to normal. the research strongly suggests that some people cannot learn to care about others. UC San Diego.” There is Alexander Laing. B. There is also Phineas Gage.”445 Evidence for uncontrollable immoral behavior associated with brain damage has been demonstrated by several characters throughout history.60:437-440. (Part 5/11). Arch Neural. 1996. Patricia.. May 20. The Atlantic. Damasio. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. (7-8/2011).. (2003). 689]. and the railroad foreman famous for a unique brain injury that completely changed his personality by damaging a very specific part of his frontal lobe. which play an important role in controlling impulses (Amen et al. Galaburda. The Brain on Trial..dailymail. 1994 v264 n5162 p1102(4).. Even more sobering.

sciencemag. Science Insider.theatlantic. D. 98. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. (7-8/2011). Brain Damage Found in NFL Veteran Who Took Own Life. Taylor. veterans. we all may be constantly gaining and/or losing very subtle degrees of 451 Eagleman. which can affect areas of the brain connected to mood. J. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. The Brain on Trial. A. “predisposes people to suicide.454 which I will discuss more thoroughly in Evidence 20notes.windfalldigital. The Atlantic. (2002). 297. & Poulton.. The overwhelming majority of prisoners carry these genes. (7-8/2011). Science. (5/2/2011).com/magazine/print/2011/07/the-brain-on-trial/8520 452 Travis. 851-854. D. R. the probability that you will commit a violent crime is four times as high as it would be if you lacked those genes. five times as likely to commit aggravated assault. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. I use the stronger word “predisposition” here over mere “disposition” both because of the physical physiological/genetic factor (rather than it just being internal. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://news. eight times as likely to be arrested for murder. You’re three times as likely to commit robbery. for those who prefer that term). Craig. T. but merely epiphenomenal.pdf 127 . Mill. Neuroscientist David Eagleman writes for the Boston Globe: If you are a carrier of a particular set of 454 Caspi. A.451 There is growing evidence that chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). McClay.[453] The implications are fairly obvious: some people may naturally have a more or less moral predisposition than others… and then may even gain or lose a more or less moral predisposition. and 13 times as likely to be arrested for a sexual offense.noises/singing at inappropriate times. Evidence that the cycle of violence in maltreated children depends on genotype... Martin. memory.. although how remains unclear…”452 THE IMPLICATIONS: It’s important to observe here that these examples of ‘predisposition to a change in personality’ clearly include moral behavior. J. The Brain on Trial. Moffitt. and impulse control. as well as considering the additional external factor shown in the work of Caspi et al (2002). I.html?etoc 453 Eagleman. J. In fact. The Atlantic.1 percent of death-row inmates do.

considering the unintentional ‘moral surgery’ that Alexander Laing received. In his book arguing for moral realism. 456 Marczyk. (2010). A. we don’t even need to show perfect manipulation to show a predisposition for more or less control.html#part2 457 Singer. New York.). and more compassionate view of our common humanity […] It is not that free will is simply an illusion: our experience is not merely delivering a distorted view of reality. we are mistaken about the nature of our experience […] our sense of our own freedom results from our not paying attention to what it is actually like to be what we are. most of us know that disorders of the brain can trump the best intentions of the mind. more consistent. J. these kinds of limitations on our freedom do not leave any freedom 455 Harris.458 There is no denying that the physical predisposition of the brain crucially predisposes 458 Panksepp. 128 . Sam Harris writes: Despite our attachment to notions of free will.”457 seems far-fetched at the moment… but.D. (1/28/2012). Oxford University Press. Jose Delgado in Evidence #6..[455] These examples also show behavioral unity456 between the mind and brain. A. even if just in the context of the range of choices from more or less limited to more or less it’s crucial for us to consider why. who can imagine what the future will bring? We’ve already seen the kind of manipulation that animals have endured in the mind control experiments by Dr.ebonmusings. The Moral Landscape.blogs. The idea that we may someday be able to be ‘repaired’ morally via ‘moral surgery’ or ‘cured’ with. A Ghost in the Machine: The existence of the soul. which is evidence against the notion that our moral will comes from a separate spirit within our bodies. rather. but again. when one part of the amygdala is stimulated (the medial part) with an electric current. [Web log post]. S. New York: Free Press. (1998). 1998. Sagan.nytimes. Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions. they cower in fear. As I have argued in the Introduction. The Moral Landscape.moral/immoral/amoral capacity as our brains and bodies subtly change over time. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. In any case. as Peter Singer put it. (p. for our purposes here. (N. Are We Ready for a ‘Morality Pill’? The New York Times. This shift in understanding represents progress toward a deeper. for example. animals fly into a rage and when another part of the amygdala is stimulated (the lateral part). 110-112). Part 2: The Argument from Mind- Brain Unity. a “morality pill. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://opinionator. P.

460 There is no question that evolution pulls the strings on every being on this planet. where animals have been shown to revert during operant conditioning to instinctive behavior similar to some new/modern learned behavior in a new/modern context.). is not well evidenced. though that doesn’t mean that it isn’t causal either. we can see that even the ability to feel certain emotions. Lecture by John A. motivational. Lilienfield & W. and perceptional systems. but a few things can be noted in this context.. [64:00-66:00]. W.untainted. I shouldn’t even have to mention the well known classical and operant behavioral conditioning experiments that are the predispositional webs of learned and unlearned attitudes and desires in which every organism on earth is wrapped. but it was too hell bent on denying the unique qualities of internal systems of cognition! We know now that why Skinner failed is because we have to also include the mediation of evaluative. There is fascinating evidence. certain conditioned/unconditioned stimuli overlap well and some do not. compassion. Bargh. When organisms are being conditioned. Donohue (Eds. They had the right underlying principle. Such an emotional deficit is not a choice. After all the evidence I have shown concerning animals and humans so far in the context of genetic and physiological behavioral and mind control. In S. in the context of prepared learning. [Video file]. for example.” (uploaded on 8/23/2011). Unconscious behavioral guidance systems. in this case. However. is physically limited. University of Missouri Video Services. Freedom is not added on free and clear at the end of the decision process. Also. all based upon evolutionary genetic influence. It all must pass through our dirty circuitry first. 129 . (2006). Great Ideas in Clinical Science. that is the sense that there is a causal chain in the behavioral process. New York: Routledge. It’s not all about the external world. that we have a limited capacity to 459 “TheMizzouTube. Sociopaths feel no or very little the notion that any conditioned stimulus can be associated equally well with any unconditioned stimulus. Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www. there is instinctive drift. Evolution-based learning mechanisms can contribute to adaptive and problematic learned behavior. either by classical/Pavlovian association or by reward/punishment 460 Timberlake. O. equipotentiality.. While it will be argued that we do inform ourselves and others cognitively what to be emotional about. such as those evidenced by Pavlov and his famous drooling German Shepherds or Skinner and his birds… but I guess I just did! There’s too much written on all that to include here. in one sense.459 Prepared learning is an evolutionary predisposition to learn some pairings of feared stimuli over others.

. Psychological Review. (1993). A. L. suggesting a role for evolutionary predispositions in the development of fears. Nevertheless. 464 Mineka. 170–180. Fears.. We have a biological predisposition for certain types of fear and this is just more evidence that shows how our freedom of thought is subject to natural deficit. arbitrary change. 463 Lilienfeld. (2001).”463 Certain fears that are literally.. (2007). phobias. I.462 Scott Lilienfeld tells us. Woolf. Namy.. 462 Ohman. Mechanisms involved in the observational conditioning of fear. H.. and physical manipulation. S. 108.J.”464 We do not have the ability—the freedom—to cognitively inform our fears equally it seems. N. “Mineka and Cook (1993) showed that monkeys can acquire fears of snakes by means of observational learning. 23–38. MA: Pearson ISBN-10: 0205650481 [p. Mineka.. T. these monkeys didn’t acquire fears of non-dangerous stimuli. physically easier to fear are “evolutionary memories.even be afraid of certain things. A. L.461. 178]. S. like flowers. S. and preparedness: Toward an evolved module of fear and fear learning. S. Schupp. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.. Boston. O. Psychology: A Framework for Everyday Thinking. Fear acquisition requires awareness in trace but not delay conditioning. Lynn. 461 Weike. M. A. 122. (2010). & Hamm. 483–522. 44. 130 . Psychophysiology. Cook.

(2/23/2011). E. 47–57.discovermagazine.centenary. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. S. (1999). Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://blogs. C. all this occurs without or even against the subject’s intention and will. beeblebrox-illusion-scientists-convince-people-they-have-three-arms/ 131 . Huntington’s chorea. A striking example is the ‘alien hand syndrome’ (or ‘autonomous hand’). Spence.’ Journal of Consciousness Studies] p. [‘Towards a functional anatomy of volition. Do We Have Free Will? Journal of Consciousness Studies. [Web log post].A. there are many conditions that produce involuntary actions. No. Patients with a lesion in a fronto-medial portion of premotor area may find that the hand and arm on the affected side performs curious purposeful actions.)[465] The ‘alien hand syndrome’ is not to be confused with the electronically stimulated ‘PossessedHand’ mentioned in Evidence #14. The Beeblebrox Illusion: scientists convince people they have three arms.’ Nor is it to be confused with studies where subjects have the illusion of owning a third arm. but even actual movements of body parts against their will. Tourette’s syndrome and even obsessive compulsions to act. 6. (1999). 465 Libet. pp. though some part of the mind does appropriate the same ‘controls. such as undoing a buttoned shirt when the subject is trying to button it up. 1999. The ‘alien hand syndrome’ is a product of sometimes literal split personality and is perceived as being ‘owned’ by someone else. 8–9. B. As Benjamin Libet writes in Do We Have Free Will?.D. THE BODY OTHER EVIDENCE #16: There are neurological disorders that color fundamental perceptions of identity and not only influence choices based upon trust and morality. such as: …cerebral palsy. (Cf.pdf 466 Yong. which one science writer called “The Beeblebrox Illusion”466 after a character in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe stories. and Frith.

g. (28:55- 34:15).0017208. such as in unilateral hemi- neglect [“that is not my leg!”]). The left arm/hand. why this association can be used to treat people with phantom limb 469 Metzinger.. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.pone.I.470 This has implications in itself for the subject of this book.D.467. A. Other studies have shown that the mind is highly adaptable to retrofitting its physical extension merely by even just a few moments of new sense data. The mind was fooled enough to provoke increased fear/heart rate. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. when the rubber hand was threatened with a knife wound after just a few minutes of performing the experiment. totally hidden out of view on the other side of a curtain. Thomas. CA.). when it is not functioning properly.. Ehrsson. [Television series]. [Television series]. The Illusion of Owning a Third Arm. (17:00-35:00). V. The Beeblebrox Illusion is important though. such as in schizophrenia) and physical ownership (e.1371%2Fjournal. BBC Horizen.0017208 468 James Van Der Pool (Series Producer). 132 . for example. (2009). Series: UC Berkeley Graduate Council Lectures [Show ID: 9181]. was stroked with a brush on specific parts just as the same was done to the same specific parts of the rubber hand in the visual periphery. and 470 Phantoms in the Brain. “Being No One. etc. (N. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://topdocumentaryfilms. BBC-4.plosone.” The Immortality of the Soul presented by the UC Berkeley Graduate Council.468 Thomas Metzinger considers the brain’s association of the rubber hand with a/the real hand to represent evidence for a Phenomenal Self Model (PSM).1371/journal. Berkeley. That is to say that nerve sensitivity in phantom limbs and organs is re-associated/rewired/appropriated by neighboring areas in the brain. subjects placed their right arm on a table in front of them with a realistic rubber hand next to it and a sheet to disguise the path from the rubber arm to the body. 2/2005. PLoS ONE 6(2): e17208.pone. A functional PSM explains why the association happens so easily. With the so-called Beeblebrox Illusion. (2011). Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. Conditions such as alien hand syndrome and Tourette’s actually cause one to uncontrollably manifest effects 467 Guterstam. in that it has shown that we have all have a propensity to readily incorporate physical identity parameters psychologically—even physiologically to some extent—into neurological wiring. we get problems of broken ‘mineness’ concerning both mental ownership (e. with dissociated personality[ies]. Petkova. etc.469 The Beeblebrox Illusion shows the ability for the brain to rewire itself with certain parts of the brain overtaking areas lacking in stimulation from lost with dissociated limb[s]. The Secret You. a rub on the cheek feels like it was rubbed on the phantom hand because the neighboring neural circuitry moved/re-wired into the spot where the hand used to occupy.

These are all mind/brain relationships 471 Van Duijn. When I reflect on the mind (or on myself insofar as I am simply a thinking thing). including alcoholism. Huntington’s Disease has been responsible for manifesting not only jerky physical movements. I understand that it is divisible. sensing. and compulsive behavior. (1998). PMID 18070848. p. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://neuro.C. In contrast. I cannot think of any physical or extended body that I cannot divide easily in my thought. 472 Descartes. instead I understand myself to be a completely unified and integral thing.psychiatryonline. be said to be parts of the mind. René. these people’s minds do reject ownership and connection to their own limbs even before they are cut off. or any other part of the body is cut off. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci 19 (4): 441–8. London: Penguin. sensing. Clarke. [Sixth Meditation. I certainly cannot distinguish any parts in myself. and must have surely even been mistaken for spiritual possession in days of yore. Van der Mast. contrary to Descartes’ portrayal of a supposedly undividable mind.4.M. where the patient’s mind believes that one of their limbs is not really theirs. and hypersexuality. say. (2007). E. Psychopathology in verified Huntington's disease gene carriers. an arm.441. Meditations and other metaphysical writings. aggression.. #8. senses and understands. but also “egocentrism.neuropsych.[472] It seems that the dualist Rene Descartes was never privy to the phenomena of. Trans. Nor can the faculties of willing. the latter of which can cause or worsen addictions. doi:10.that seem to even have personality behind them. if however a foot.. unilateral hemi-neglect.] 133 . Kingma. understanding.1176/appi. And even though the whole mind seems to be united with the whole body. understanding” that we saw in Evidences #14. So.19. gambling. I know that nothing is thereby taken away from the mind. 67.”471 THE IMPLICATIONS: A famous philosopher once wrote. Nor was he privy to the mental conditions producing cognitive division in “willing. for that reason alone. R. That would be enough to teach me that the mind is completely different from the body if I did not already know it adequately from other considerations. Desmond M.. E. because it is one and the same mind that wills.

473 Metzinger. (12:40-14:50) Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. there is no ‘you’ to have free will in the first place. Thomas. some of these particular patients have even lost personal local control over ‘their own’ specific thoughts and body parts! And in the case of the Beeblebrox Illusion. even when it is not attached? Consider that without personal identity. CA. part of the reason for reframing the free will vs. Berkeley. While personality and ethical conduct are clearly affected in a fundamental way by many conditions I’ve presented and that should be enough to undermine contra-causal free will (in the least. 2/2005.that make no sense in Descartes’ dualistic Cartesian Theater. immediately reprogrammable ownership. Discrete values are obviously useful. let alone of even our basic local control.” The Immortality of the Soul presented by the UC Berkeley Graduate Council. continuous frame of reference over concerns like Again. If identity exists at all. it does not exist for everyone. are also challenged. and this is separate from and in addition to the slew of philosophical arguments against contra-causal free that will be discussed later. the notions of identity. not to mention the blurring effect of the wills of multiple agents in group identity. but envisioning the continuous foundation can lead to different consequences in how we choose to treat all manner of issues. Tourette’s and ‘alien hand syndrome’ are the absence of local control (of the negative variety) and about as far from contra-causal free will as one can get. Series: UC Berkeley Graduate Council Lectures [Show ID: 9181]. These are evidences of a continuum of degrees to which we seem to be more or less biased by our physical condition. compatibilists beware!).473 Is subjectivity merely the experience of the awareness of whatever it is attached to. determinism issue with ‘predispositionalism’ is to habituate a more appropriate. If autonomy does exist at all. control. Arguing for an independent mind/spirit was much easier before we had the fantastic scientific knowledge we now have. it does not exist for 134 . “Being No One. more veridical. and therefore.

2012 vol. years after the study.474 A 26 year study475 of 442 males who were mistreated as children showed that the subjects who were both the most severely mistreated and who also had a specific enzyme mutation that confers low levels of MAOA expression (on the y chromosome. Babba. The love of a mother in early childhood has been shown to strongly predict a larger hippocampal volume by school age and is the key to memory function and stress control. I.. PNAS February 21. thus requiring both factors of severe mistreatment and genetic predisposition to lead to the worst behavior. Taylor. 109 no. Suzukia. often including criminal activity.. Beldena. J. 297. UC San Diego. especially when coupled with certain developmental conditions.g. "Predicting Adolescent Cognitive and Self-Regulatory Competencies from Preschool Delay of Gratification: Identifying Diagnostic Conditions". The study also showed that the lower the severity of abuse in early childhood between both the MAOA mutants and the non-mutants showed little to no difference later in life in anti-social behavior. CA.. 8 2854-2859 doi: 10. J. (1/4/2012). P. Developmental 135 . D. McClay. Moffitt.. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from Maternal support in early childhood predicts larger hippocampal volumes at school age. R.477 As time passed.pdf 476 Churchland. Patricia. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. “Patricia Churchland: What do neuroscientific discoveries imply for free will and responsibility?” Neuro Enigmas II: Large-Scale Problems in Neuroscience. J. T. Peake. T.. Craig. perhaps also rarely on both x’s in some women as well476) were much more likely to develop strong antisocial behavior than the severely mistreated subjects who conferred higher/normal levels of MAOA expression. Gaffreya. Barcha.S. Mischel became aware of 474 Lubya. (2002). C. J. A. W. Science.. (1990).com/ethicalemporium/site/Case%20study/Analysing%20genes/Moffitt_briefing% 20notes.. A. M..M.pnas. a marshmallow)—or if they could wait 15 minutes… two 475 Caspi. Y. (Part 6/11). & Poulton.. Nishinoa. DEVELOPMENT EVIDENCE #17: Certain genetic and/or physiological factors in early childhood seem to be indicators for progress later in life. The Science Network.. R..L.. Mischel. We’re talking as high as 85% more likely. Martin. Tillmana. suggesting the enzyme may help to moderate the child’s sensitivity to environmental insults. 851-854. Psychologist Walter Mischel once devised an experiment at Stanford where he tested the willpower of four-year-old children by offering one treat (e. Mill. Evidence that the cycle of violence in maltreated children depends on 477 Shoda.windfalldigital.1073/pnas. A. Botterona. H. (1/12/2007).N.. K.1118003109 Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.

/~hsu/blogfiles/Shoda. and a variety of other factors in the kids who could defer gratification compared to those who couldn’t. And the differences were commensurate. as there are other factors that contribute to one’s success or devotion to a discipline. Don’t! The secret of self-control.&Peake(1990). R.publicradio.. J.Mischel.. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://duende. (Interviewee).481. University of Michigan neurologist/psychologist John Jonides says will power. previously or simultaneously. J. In fact. behavior. Krulwich. income. which he later formalized into further studies by keeping in contact with some 250 of the original 500 kids over the 482 Midmorning News. job quality. to employ effective methods of distraction. [Audio podcast]. which does affect success overall. J. Miller. The true nature of genius. ““cashes out” in the real world as an ability to direct the spotlight of attention so that our decisions aren’t determined by the wrong thoughts” […] “We call that will power. J. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. it’s clear that natural gifts and curses do play some major roll in behavior. 481 Abumrad. Observations in several tests showed that significant differences well beyond chance were observed in overall (Broadcast 4/12/2010). Minnesota Public Radio. and later. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. R. (10/15/2010). Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://minnesota. Krulwich. Minnesota. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. (5/18/2009). (Interviewer). considering the possibilities for physiological advantages inherent in nature that correspond to competence in the Moffitt and Caspi study. Don’t! The secret of self-control. That a nurturing parent can be intentionally and directly responsible for the size of their Psychology 26 (6): 978– 136 .newyorker. but it’s got nothing to do with the will.uoregon. (10/15/2010). he admits that there was no conclusively established total causation directly from genetics in that particular study. health.”480 Some people have strongly cautioned using these kinds of tests as heuristics for academic funding. The New Yorker. The New Yorker.478. SAT scores.newyorker. 479 Abumrad. (5/18/2009).482 While these points are taken. Radiolab podcast: Your Future in a Marshmallow.radiolab.pdf 478 Lehrer. Radiolab podcast: Singled Out. [Audio podcast]. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www.479 THE IMPLICATIONS: While experiments such as Mischel’s have a definite element of correlation between deferred gratification and 480 Lehrer. C.radiolab.anecdotally relayed unexpected differences between the kids who could better defer gratification and the kids who couldn’t. there is speculation that some kids merely learned.

sciencemag.483 The extent to which this alters the thinking of the mother is unknown. Recent evidence shows this is not a one way street either. Testing in time will tell whether or not this kind of event would influence a woman to cross over in these ways. Mother’s who give birth to male children have been evidenced to retain male DNA in their brains for the rest of their lives. in the least. though it has been implied that it. M. might help protect her from Alzheimer's disease. I will present some differences between the sexes. Retrieved on 9/28/2012 from http://news. In a later Evidence. (9/26/2012). ScienceNow.html?ref=em 137 . 483 Phillips. Bearing Sons Can Alter Your Mind.child’s brain and capacity to remember and to deal with stress shows that we are not all equal in our oft presumed capacities.

com/13951-neanderthals-hand-dominance-language. Brain Wiring Holds Clues. (12/6/2011). The Health Risks of Being Left-Handed: Lefties Face Chance Of ADHD. Freeman. Studies show that we have a tendency to pay more attention to things on our right side more than on our left side. Creutzfeltd and G. 484 Welsh. Simon & Schuster 1230 Avenue of the Americas. because the correlating left side of the brain is where language is processed. 487 Molfese. Brain Lang. Ancient Humans Were Mostly Right-Handed.html 489 Underhill. we also tend to buy products on the right side of displays more than on the left side… But as is often the case. B.485 Environmental factors do play a role.. 79-81). NY 10020 (by Obat..000 years. in the default486. 2:356–368.488 Marketing studies489 in Paco Underhill’s book Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping have unveiled this bias in our orientation. K. Inc. but different handedness.S. as well as to reach to the right.L. LiveScience. 488 Wang.C. Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping.html 485 Binns. (1977). D.B. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. The Wall Street Journal. subjects will deny any right handed bias and confabulate unrelated reasons for purchasing the products.html 486 Rasmussen. evidenced by twins with the same DNA. 138 . Clinical and surgical studies of the cerebral speech apreas in man..livescience.livescience. S. New York. C. Environment is also possibly evidenced by lefties who had early developmental problems in the womb. About ten percent of us are “lefties” who are most likely a product of both genetics and environment. It’s a somewhat controversial idea known as brain lateralization. but that it is also a byproduct of T. There is evidence484 that not only has right-side bias been around for at least 500. P. J. Other Disorders.). during development. (p. and R. O. NY: Sringer Verlag. 238-255. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://online. What Makes a Lefty: Myths and Mysteries Persist. RIGHT-SIDE BIAS EVIDENCE #18: We have a right-side bias that we do not perceive that can even extend into moral value assessments. Cerebral localization.J. The ontogeny of brain lateralization for speech and nonspeech stimuli. pp. There is growing evidence for various physical and/or mental consequences of having language/handedness based in the right brain rather than the left. (4/29/2011). along with their handedness.). (3/21/2006). we also have a tendency to walk/turn to the right. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. LiveScience.487 left hemisphere that shifted the language center to the right side. Too.wsj. In: Zulch. (2009). Galbraith (eds. (1975). Milner. D.

In another study. Here we show that right-handers’ tendency to associate “good” with “right” and “bad” with “left” can be reversed as a result of both long. Wilson. S. & Chrysikou. right-handed people wore a bulky glove on their right hand and performed tasks.. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://people. softness. but rather focused completely on the superior color. As the study shows: Right. and negative ideas more strongly with their nondominant side. T.html 139 .[491] This has also been shown not to be mere cultural bias. Psychological Review. doi:10. who were asked to choose their favorite stocking as a free sample. Pages: 231-259 DOI: 10. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://news.casasanto. Issue: 3. (2011).and short-term changes in motor fluency.84. Cognitive Biases and Handedness. the side on which they can act more fluently.and left-handers implicitly associate positive ideas like “goodness” and “honesty” more strongly with their dominant side of space. even cockroaches have been shown to favor right-hand turns about 57% of the time!493 490 Nisbett.virginia. Telling more than we can know: Verbal reports on mental processes.pdf 491 Casasanto. (12/10/2010).492 Last. Publisher: Psychology [Web log post]. None of the explanations for preference mentioned placement.pdf 492 Novella. and durability of the stockings themselves. (1977). A classic 1977 paper490 by Nisbett and Wilson describes this experiment. which is where most of the subjects chose their product. such as certain countries having customs for which side of the road to drive on. University of Michigan. Scienceshot. (3/14/2011). then explain why it was their favorite… but the four supposedly different stockings were actually identical. Volume: 493 Meyers. The display was arranged with a marked positional effect designed to maneuver the shopper’s attention to the right. C.1177/0956797611401755 Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://www. Their good/bad value judgments were altered commensurately with the increased fluency of left hand use to ultimately resemble the good/bad value judgments of left- handed people. ScienceShot: Cockroaches Prefer Right Turns. R. Psychological Science. D. A rack of nylon stockings was presented to subjects in a shopping mall. When Left is “Right”: Motor fluency shapes abstract concepts.1037/0033-295X.

physorg. and when posing for a picture with others. 'Faultless' ignorance: strengths and limitations of epistemic definitions of confabulation. MIT what’s most important about many of these seemingly innocuous biases is the fact that subjects deny that their results were influenced by bias. make sure you stand on the chooser’s right side. light is 494 A Glove On Your Hand Can Change Your Mind. (2009). Epub 2009 Sep 20. While most libertarians argue that free will is more often a product of reasoning/deliberating reflectively (as we will see later in the Challenges). Oh.”496 This is also a bias that I would think of right away when one makes the argument that our free will is manifest when we sometimes make snap decisions between two seemingly arbitrary options.nih.)..umd. I showed you a little sample from a Statistics text book showing our propensity to favor choosing the number 3 75% of the time when it is presented as 1 2 3 4. God is associated with light/white 496 Carruthers. the ball is thrown on the roulette table and you impulsively bet on black over red. (3/10/2011). Conscious Cogn. Is this a product of our right-side bias? It certainly is consistent with it.nlm. This bias is way more disturbing than one might think at first glance. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://www. and regularly insist that they made decisions based upon other factors. for example. (2006).18(4):952-65. Second. especially in moral situations. The far left choice is only at 5%. Conscious experience versus conscious thought. It’s clear that confabulation is not exclusive to the mentally ill or brain damaged.THE IMPLICATIONS: In the Introduction.”494 This kind of arbitrary influence is alarming. L. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://drum. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://www. P.. for at least three reasons: first. dark. If you’re ever in a line up to be chosen for something bad.E.lib. Some examples might be: the right hand of God is where the righteous are. now you know which side to stand on. Cox. Physorg. R. such as execution..html 495 Bortolott. here we have examples of people who literally associate what is “good” with space on the right side and what is “bad” or “less good” with space on the left side.pdf 140 .495 Philosophy professor Peter Carruthers writes of this study. to the point where “even a few minutes of using the left hand more fluently than the right can reverse right-handers’ judgments of good and bad. the particular internal sway of the right-sided bias toward one of two spatial choices shows that this kind of mapping can correlate via predisposed association in any aesthetic domain. In Uriah Kriegel & Kenneth Williford ( Consciousness and Self-Reference. 2009 Dec. “the subject has no access to the process of interpretive thinking that generated their higher-order belief.

. on and on. that the brain makes with the data it encounters.radiolab. they are examples that could serve as a foundation for ‘the Manipulation Argument’499 that incompatibilists argue undermines any meaningful responsibility of an agent. Monitor on Psychology. 33.12].com/randolph-clarke-and-stephen-kearns 141 . why it would favor one way over another.apa. ‘off’.. R. certain prescription medication can radically increase addictive tendencies. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://www. [6:15-12:30]. (1/18/2011). We simply can’t know all the conceptual neuronal connections and the extensions to those What if we imagine just turning that predisposition down to a more subtle level? Isn’t that where most of us commonly reside? At what point on the continuum does free will come and go? 497 Clay. R. On the problem of free will. Kearns.associated with ‘on’ vs. J.7. (6/15/2009).philostv. [Audio podcast]. certain numbers are associated with God [e. Third. S. R. especially since it appears to be influenced to some extent by subjective experience.html 498 Abumrad. this is an example of how manipulation tools in marketing behavior can be used to steer someone toward a product or place that they never intended to buy or visit. 3. 38-43. as already noted. [Video file].g. A.g. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://www. such as gambling498) and someone tempts that person with a glass of water or the drug or the opportunity to gamble… is their free will on par with someone who is not physically predisposed to acquiesce? Don’t the numbers of those who cave in bear this out? Many people would intuitively agree that these are victims who have lost their capacity for free will in at least some crucial respect. Radiolab podcast: Seeking Patterns. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://www.497 Consider a more extreme version of this situation for illustration: if a person is dying of thirst or has an addiction to an extremely addictive substance and/or is biochemically predisposed to be addicted (e. they do try to manipulate us and it works. (2002).org/2009/jun/15/seeking-patterns 499 Clarke. Advertising as science [Electronic version]. Krulwich.

(14:10-15:30.caltech. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://www. The Brain Can a Single Neuron Tell Halle Berry From Grandma Esther? Discover Magazine. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. literally neurologically imbedded and connected to circuits in the brain500 and relevant narratives are constructed and characterized in hierarchies based upon intuitive similarities. direct causation [conservative] vs. G. [Audio podcast]. Old and halle-berry-from-grandma-esther 502 Quian Quiroga. 435: 1102-1107. ScienceNow. R. metaphors (which have recently been shown to be grounded in sensory perception503) and phrases heard can serve as codes that provoke mental routing to more or less liberal or conservative moral systems. (4/25/2011). (2005). Old and New.504 One study supporting this showed that voters can be completely swayed 500 Mooney.vis.” It is metaphorical extrapolation from sensory-motor experience. Reddy.g.pointofinquiry.pdf 503 Telis. George Lakoff - Enlightenments. (Interviewer). C. Lakoff. (4/25/2011). Point of Inquiry podcast. George Lakoff - Enlightenments.html?ref=em 504 Mooney.sciencemag. I’ve already mentioned the Halle Barry neuron501 and “Invariant visual representation by single-neurons in the human brain. 21:25-end). C. (Interviewer).g. Nature.”502 Though major synaptic changes in the mind usually only happen with particularly traumatic/salient events. Fried. 142 . Koch.. G. G.. (6/2009). (Interviewee). Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://discovermagazine. favoring in-group nurturance [conservative]. Metaphors Make Brains Touchy Feely.) and thus sometimes perpetuating polemically entrenched positions in the brain even before ‘reasoning’ can get a neutral start. L. (14:10-15:30. G. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://news.. [Audio podcast].org/george_lakoff_enlightenments_old_and_new 501 Zimmer. militancy [progressive]. C. Invariant visual representation by single-neurons in the human brain. system causation [progressive]) and specific emotions (e. certain political (Interviewee). POLITICAL AFFILIATION EVIDENCE #19: Certain physiological factors account for some psychological propensities that can lead to the adoption of certain political philosophies and/or group identity (you’re your body has something to say about which political/social/religious sect you choose to identify with). Point of Inquiry podcast. This combines the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and Eleanor Rosch’s prototype theory. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://www. 21:25-end). C. These include concepts (e. (2/7/2012).org/sciencenow/2012/02/metaphors-make-brains-touchy-fee. I. George Lakoff says that all language is essentially “framing. etc.pointofinquiry. the latter deviating from the standard Aristotelian method of mental classification based upon semantic definitions. Kreiman..

com/doi/10. Study finds left-wing brain.2004. (9/10/2007). e! Science News. And So Are You! The Atlantic..506 The work of psychologist Jonathan Haidt attempts to show links between specific ideological principles and psychological profiles. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://www. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://www. Psychological Science. 508 Hiel. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://onlinelibrary. date posted: April 14. Openness to Experience and Boundaries in the Mind: Relationships with Cultural and Economic Conservative Beliefs. Social Science Research Network. The Los Angeles Times Obituaries. I. Issue 4. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://esciencenews. D.1177/0956797611421206 Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://pss.0. 2 187-195 doi: 10. preference for sexual exclusivity and being more nocturnal. (2/23/2011).org/Home.0022-3506.ted. February 2012 vol.cfm?abstract_id=872251 143 . For example.latimes.. atheism. A. M.sagepub. J.507 Haidt points out that some studies508. “The physical difference between liberals and conservatives?” TEDTalk. (2/2008). (2/24/2010).nove l.are. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://papers.and. loyalty (in-group). & Graham. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://blog. (10/15/2010).510even actual lower cognitive ability has been shown511 to correlate with conservativism. Watch Your Grammar. (12/2011).html 506 Collins.php 514 Haidt.values. Busseri.theatlantic. Science Now.x. and for men (but not women). Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://news.wiley.evolution 513 MoralFoundations.00276. Volume 72. Jonathan.505 while another study showed that subjects respond to fighting crime more or less strongly depending upon the metaphor 512 Intelligent people have 'unnatural' preferences and values that are novel in human evolution. (6/18/2004). (Updated 3/9/2011). N. comparing crime to a “beast” invoked much more passion than comparing it to a “virus” and both were way more effective than associating the effort with any political party. ScienceShot: Tough on Crime? Depends on the Metaphor. J.2004.x/abstract 509 Gellene.preferences. pages 659–686. Monterey. [Web log post]. (1/5/2012). (in press. Journal of Personality.story 510 Klein. D.html?etoc 507 Haidt.ssrn. I Was Wrong..politically by a mere change in grammar. CA.509 have shown conservatives to be less ‘open to new When morality opposes justice: Conservatives have moral intuitions that liberals may not recognize.1111/j.unnatural.514 505 Collins. Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes Lower Cognitive Ability Predicts Greater Prejudice Through Right-Wing Ideology and Low Intergroup Contact.513 there are five fundamental moral values shared to some degree by everyone: caring (protecting). Under Haidt’s Moral Foundations respect (for tradition and legitimate authority). Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://news.0022-3506.people.virginia. right-wing brain. liberalism. Social Justice Research. 23 no.00276..’ Though we must never forget to correct for confirmation bias. Liberals better tolerate ambiguity and fairness (justice). N.human. and purity. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://faculty. G. In studies based upon these 511 Hodson. A similar study512 showed more intelligent people have ‘unnatural’ preferences and values that are novel in human evolution.B. August 2004DOI: 10. Psychology and Sociology. 2007). Science Now.

Ditto.1016/j. C. (8/20/2010. A further study concerning libertarians in the same vein showed: 1) stronger endorsement of individual liberty as their foremost guiding principle and correspondingly weaker endorsement of other moral principles. Current Biology. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 2012. Last revised: November 05.0268 Retrieved 9/20/2012 from http://ts-si.html?hpid=topnews 517 Dodd.liberals were shown to value caring and fairness considerably more than the other three.W. T. S. while liberals react more strongly to positive images. whereas liberals tend to have a larger anterior cingulate The Washington (9/19/2008).2011. S. 2010). J. Jacobs. (4/7/2011). 2) a relatively cerebral as opposed to emotional intellectual style.ssrn. Retrieved 9/20/2012 from http://www. M. 07 April 2011 DOI: 10. 518 Keim. (2012). Conservatives Scare More Easily Than Liberals. Understanding Libertarian Morality: The Psychological Roots of an Individualist Ideology.sciencemag.”518 This seems to be confirmed by a more recent study showing actual differences between conservatives and liberals in the size of certain parts of the brain: …political conservatives tend to have a larger right amygdala.wired.017 144 ..520] 515 Iyer. (4/7/2011). Startle Response Linked to Politics.[519. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://papers. and Blue? Science Now. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://news.html?etoc 520 Kanai. Does Your Brain Bleed Red. G. conservatives were shown to scare/startle more easily than liberals516 and conservatives react more strongly to negative images. Feilden.. 519 Miller. B.1098/rstb. Say Scientists.B. Gruszczynski.cub. M. and Hibbing.D. (9/18/2008). G. R. Social Science Research Network. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://www.. White. Rees.03.R.[515] In another study.2011. Haidt. C. Graham... J. 367(1589): 640- 649. J.M. though each was valued far less than liberals valued caring and fairness. Firth. and 3) lower interdependence and social relatedness. Political Orientations Are Correlated with Brain Structure in Young Adults. differently.cfm?abstract_id=1665934 516 Vedantum.. Balzer.. “People are experiencing the world. We have very different physiological orientations. while conservatives valued all five equally. R. a region involved in detecting threats and responding to fearful stimuli. A.. Wired Science.washingtonpost. an area that becomes active in situations involving conflict or uncertainty.517 University of Nebraska political scientist John Hibbing said of this.The political left rolls with the good and the political right confronts the bad: connecting physiology and cognition to preferences. experiencing threat. Koleva. Smith..

however. B.. This Is Your Brain on Politics. Knapp.. though this study may have had some control issues. misunderstandings of the ideologies themselves. Some other interesting studies in this context are one showing that when people are imitated.html?etoc 522 Stel. political defectors make us wonder how such results can be true. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://www. as well as the plasticity of our neural networks don’t guarantee anyone a place in any ideology based upon our physiology. Being mimicked makes you a prosocial voter. always be aware of psychological and philosophical tendencies toward bias.. M. G.wired. Experimental Psychology. Wired Science. we’ll see that there is a 521 Collins. because they are real. cultural) that further influence our opinions and become part of the blur of group identities. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://www. they are more likely to vote pro-social/left-wing521. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://psycnet. even when it seems the group opinion is absurd to us. 2011. 523 Iacoboni. Jamieson. Available on 9/20/2012 from http://www. This Is Your Brain on Hillary: Political Neuroscience Hits New Low in New York Times. B. and it can influence a person to join one or another political party.nytimes. doi: 10. For example. as well as how both these biases and the facts of these studies may be exploited by others to influence our decisions. It’s easy to see a picture of the world where we have much less objectivity than we 145 .g. K. Kaplan. plain old circumstance. We should. Science Now. M.. br 525 Miller. Fitzgerald. (2008).. they amplified ‘like’/‘don’t like’ polling reactions to politicians and parties. but take it cautiously. strong knee jerk reaction against this kind of work. Of course. ScienceShot: Copycats Make Democrats. Harinck. 2008 Jun 13. Growing Pains for J. until we realize that such defectors might be physiologically on the fence between two ideologies as well. T.524 THE IMPLICATIONS: Researchers often do warn us to proceed cautiously when interpreting these studies525 and I think most people will have an immediate.H. N. 79-84. There is nonetheless a growing body of evidence for physiological predisposition.. Last. When it comes to making choices that conform to our in-group. We must take this information.html?_r=2&ref=opinion&oref=slogin 524 Keim. F.320(5882):1412-4. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://news. K. Science. environment.522 and another study523 showing that the fMRI brain scans of swing voters can offer temporarily usable information. Vol 58(1). mostly via semantic “frame”/code neural routing.scribd. (11/11/2007). but also behaviorally in terms of reactions to novelty. with all of its ancillary beliefs (e. (1/28/2011). The New York Times Opinion.sciencemag.1027/1618-3169/a000070. J. (11/12/2007). Freedman.

betterdaystv. 527 Episode #20: Constructing Social Reality. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://www. the videos527. E. check out how Solomon Asch’s classic experiments on conformity526 showed just how far we are willing to go in order to stay with the in-group. [TV series]. Aschs Conformity Experiment. (1955). Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://www.learner. Discovering Psychology with Philip Zimbardo. S. I’ll get to that in the Evidences below.html?pop=yes&pid=1517 [7:00-8:00] 528 “NLP” (uploaded 5/1/2011). but for now.mountain of evidence showing we often cave in to the majority opinion 146 . Opinions and social pressure. (2001).528 of these experiments are really worth investigating further. 526 Asch. [Video file]. WGBH Educational Foundation. 193. Scientific American.

000. we will more often choose the safe bet of $1.R. This is to say that we consistently react differently regard losses and gains.500 end 529 Arkes. and/or effort in humans. exhibit more normatively correct behavior than do adults. we start with $2.000 (the potential is now $1.” TEDTalks. when placed in an economic situation akin to a sunk cost one. Our primate cousins have shown that this particular bias seems to be deeply imbedded in our ancestors as well.”529 There is a common confabulation attempt with people suffering from this bias to associate the stance with a desire not “to waste” as well. The sunk cost effect/fallacy is used to describe a bias toward endeavors that is commensurate with our investment in money. The sunk cost bias is related to a propensity for risk taking over losses.pdf 530 Santos.591. It has been shown that the so- called ‘lower’ animals have never demonstrated this bias though.500 total guaranteed) or a gamble with that guaranteed $500 between a result of either $0 or $1. Ayton.530 In the reverse scenario For example.html 147 . The Concorde fallacy describes the same condition as it applies to some animals. (1999). The Sunk Cost and Concorde effects: are humans less rational than lower animals? Psychological Bulletin 125: 591–600. no matter how much time/effort they put into something. “Laurie Santos: A monkey economy as irrational as ours. with the same odds of risk and value.1037/0033-2909. which economists refer to as loss aversion bias.000. we are more optimistic about a desired result in chance determined number games if we have more control choosing the numbers. England.5. Perhaps they realize when it’s better to give up. This bias exacerbates another propensity for risky decision making in order to avoid loss. when we are offered a guaranteed $1. Oxford.125. 7/2010. When it comes to gambling.000 or $2. P. and/or effort in that endeavor.500 rather than risk going for the $2. doi:10. Laurie.000 after the coin is flipped). Even “young children. H. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://www. time. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://americandreamcoalition. RISK EVIDENCE #20: We have a bias toward endeavors that is commensurate with our investment in and are put into the situation where we will lose a guaranteed $500 (for a guaranteed $1. time. even when they are the same amount. plus the option of an additional guaranteed $500 ($1. and we do not see it in the context of risk taking over gains.ted. with 35 million years’ worth of precedent.

322 (5898). an irrational commitment to losing investments with an increased riskiness and propensity for delusion at the panic of loss can obviously make a bad situation worse.. (2008). Here’s the interesting part: when the context is reversed to loss. M. risk is the spice of life and is even a key ingredient for meaning. (2008). control bias makes us think that we are instilling some kind of intelligence into the equation that increases the odds in our favor. and evidence of confabulation does tend to be “wishful thinking. Turnbull.full. based upon irrational justifications. via testosterone. Galinsky. (1991). NeuroReport. B. J.pnas. Available on 9/20/2012 at http://www-psych. with the exact same odds of risk and value. 115-117 DOI: 10. Issue 2.ncbi. Science. June 1991.1126/science.pdf 533 Burger. when actually. J. (2004).scu.stanford. Wishful reality distortions in confabulation: A case report. 148 .. and even viewing erotic 535 Fotopoulou. Kuhnen. importantly.531. Wimmer. we are more prone to seeing illusory patterns when we lose control. Nucleus accumbens mediates the influence of reward cues on financial risk-taking.1159845. It must also be said though. J. “Stay away from Vegas. This often results in the commonly heard phrase.E. P.result) or we can gamble with that second $500 again to try to double it (for an end result of either $1. Why? Hormonal changes and dispositions can affect risk taking propensity.000).534 THE IMPLICATIONS: This is the kind of evidence that makes one want to say. Vol 42(6) 2004.532 Also. we will more often tend to take the risk. Neuropsychologia. “at least I tried. A.” The implications on the social level are 531 Coates. especially in a world where we are constantly told to trust our instincts.. “Endogenous steroids and financial risk taking on a London trading floor.nlm. Considering the way investments work in the modern world. Pages 196-204. C. Journal of Research in Personality. when it comes to gambling.nih. M.. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://www. our lack of special intuition keeps the odds at no better than chance.pdf 532 Knutson. that for many people. Lacking Control Increases Illusory Pattern Perception.533 Last. Solms.. baby!” It’s no surprise that for some survival advantage we would evolve to be a generally optimistic species. (2008).” Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 105(16):6167-72 Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from” Perhaps this is just ad hoc. Winkielman. “at least I tried. 727-744.000 or $2. Volume 25. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://www. G.M. cortisone.”535 but the combination of these related propensities creates a dangerous vortex of bias that can ultimately devastate some and thrill others (the lucky ones). The effects of desire for control in situations with chance-determined outcomes: Gambling behavior in lotto and bingo players.pdf 534 Whitson. 19(5): 509-513. Schnerring-ME-1982. A. Herbert... Again.

1207/S15327957PSPR0501_5.15. our propensity for optimism bias is well documented. N.1. if possible? Again.1521/jscp. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 15 (1): 1–8.537 536 Weinstein.obvious in terms of the way our financial markets are set up. (2001). Unrealistic Optimism: Present and Future. This particular bias is best demonstrated in evaluations of group risk as opposed to individuals. any bias that can be exploited and get us to part with our money is something we want to try to counter fundamentally. Personality and Social Psychology Review 5 (1): 74–95. D. Shepperd. doi:10. They are most often and most accurately based upon our own direct and indirect comparisons536 of ourselves in the light of others. our poor ability to self-report doesn’t matter so much here. 537 Helweg-Larsen. doi:10.pdf 149 .1996. but does consistently show a tendency to favor the in-group.1. (1996).. A. Rather than concentrating on tweaking the system. William M. shouldn’t we concentrate more on increasing its immunity to our M. J. Do Moderators of the Optimistic Bias Affect Personal or Target Risk Estimates? A Review of the Literature. K. Concerning our intuition that we are injection more of our clever intelligence into random scenarios.. Fortunately. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://users.dickinson.

Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://dx. Even more basic environmental factors.. ENVIRONMENT EVIDENCE #21: There is evidence that seemingly innocuous environmental or personal conditions like cleanliness. Mood. An. and for what it’s worth. The causality analysis of climate change and large-scale human crisis. but more so after lunch: how food-breaks sway the decisions of judges. H. Science 322 (5908): 1681–5. PNAS. and are confabulated afterwards as purely determined by how-food-breaks-sway-the-decisions-of-judges 539 Danziger. Y. substantially affect moral and/or value judgments. Got War? Blame the Weather. poopy diaper. JPSP.541 also prime people into misattributed value judgments. from icky.1073/pnas. Li. 1983. yucky. Q. will cue subjects to litter more in the area. N. (10/3/2011).babson. Extraneous factors in judicial decisions. S. rotten 538 Yong. (10/3/2011). The spreading of disorder. and Avnaim-Pesso. wars) with unusually bad It’s probably not surprising to most people that general mood could affect our value judgments. E.html 542 Zhang. Science isorder_Science_Express.pnas.g. Steg. L. S. such as whether or not there is graffiti on a wall. (2011). D. There is a body of evidence that shows that all manner of disgust in different domains. B. J. Justice is served.. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://faculty. Pei..543 Environmental primes are especially evidenced in terms of cleanliness and purity overall. tactile. in all the senses: ocular. PNAS. Levav J. PMID 543 K. doi:10.doi.1104268108 Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. One study even showed that something like hunger significantly effects judges enough to give significantly harsher decisions just before lunch and more lenient decisions just after lunch. Retrieved on 9/20/2012 from http://blogs.. [Web log post].discovermagazine. When there was no graffiti. G. L. C. L. doi:10.rug. very few people littered. and mood. one study even documents a correlation between large scale human crises in history (e. and Judgements of Well-Being: Informative and Directive Functions of Affective States.pdf 541 Schwarz. olfactory. ambiance. even mental imagery.. 540 Keizer. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www.html 150 . Wang. (4/11/2011). such as weather and lighting. S.542. and the prime set the norm. Lee.1073/pnas. (12/2008). Zhang.1161405..ppsw.539 “The Spreading of Disorder”/“broken windows theory”540 shows us that environmental factors. & Clore. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://news.1126/science. Lindenberg..

upset.jesp. such as Nantucket Nectar juices. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 47 (6). T. J.sciencedirect. (2008). J. afraid. and confused…” The researchers correctly predicted that “experimentally induced disgust would make moral judgments more severe but that this effect would be limited to participants who were more sensitive to their own physical sensations. The God Delusion. Haidt. the students that had to copy a passage from the Koran or The God Delusion rated the beverage as significantly more disgusting (even though it was identical).”544 A similar study. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www- psych.006 Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. namely. Clore. either on dirty desks in dirty rooms or on clean desks in clean rooms. various cleaning products. then did intermediary tasks where some copied passages from the bible. etc.2011. A. S.fieldofscience. R. relaxed. as well as “a series of rating scales to what extent they were feeling various emotions. The subjects. and others. L. Sony CD cases. Richard Dawkins’ infamous atheistic manifesto.%20&%20Jordan%20(2008)%20- %20Disgust%20as%20Embodied%20Moral%20Judgment. & Preston. angry.%20Haidt.545 under the guise of marketing tests for a new beverage.. has a correlative effect upon value judgments. pig sty disgust to perceived unconventional sex type disgust. DOI: 10. 1225-1230. Gross gods and icky atheism: Disgust responses to rejected religious beliefs. the Qur’an. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://epiphenom. 544 Schnall.05. others. Their moral disgust at having to write out this stuff translated into physical disgust. Is The God Delusion more disgusting than the Koran? [Web log post]. (9/6/2011). happy. In one study.stanford. & Jordan.. disgusted. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Snickers disgust to messy. 34. had subjects taste a drink made with one gallon of water and one cup of lemon juice. depressed. where participants who hand-copied both ethical and unethical stories were offered parting gifts afterwards. (2011). 1096–1109. tasted and rated the drink. Energizer batteries.%20Clore. cluttered. 546 Rees.. As religious sociologist science blogger Tom Rees writes of the study: On the second taste test. who were all Christians.pdf 545 151 . participants filled out questionnaires pertaining to moral scenarios. sad. G.[546] This fit nicely with an earlier 2006 study by Chen-Bo Zhong and Katie Liljenquist.1016/ Disgust as embodied moral judgment. The participants who copied stories about unethical behavior were far more likely to take the cleaning products than those who copied ethical stories. public policy.

S. V.umn. Galinsky AD. C.”548As it was written in the 2008 abstract of related work by Schnall. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www.x.. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. Benton.pdf 548 Zhong. 1451-2 PMID: 16960010. Raschdorf. Lieberman. (New York. 103- 122 DOI: 10. 313 (5792). [549] Other studies confirm that different domains of disgust overlap and that there is a definite relationship between biological and moral disgust. 2010 Mar 1.short 549 Schnall. J. THE IMPLICATIONS: We seem to have some very deep connections to our evolutionary past and these studies on disgust clearly appear to chalk up one for evolutionary psychology.1467-9280. Lieberman. & Griskevicius. (2010).1111/j. The more primal parts of the brain that relied upon olfactory abilities long before the other senses and 547 Liljenquist K.550. Weisbrod.ncbi. D. N. Mentzel.547 Other similar studies consistently confirmed the ability to ‘cross-cleanse’ disgust in different domains. Psychological Science. and Harvey: After having the cognitive concept of cleanliness activated (Experiment 1) or after physically cleansing themselves after experiencing disgust (Experiment 2).Y. 19 (12). Incest. 1219-1222 DOI: 10. 20 (9). C. & Kiehl.. & Harvey. 1529-1546 DOI: 10. (2008).com/science/article/pii/S0028393210000801 152 ..sciencemag.nlm. K. W. S. H. Microbes. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www.pdf 552 (2008). Infection.). T.. Clean scents promote reciprocity and charity. S. 1735-1741.. Journal of Personality and Social The smell of virtue: clean scents promote reciprocity and charity. A. Washing away your sins: threatened morality and physical cleansing. & Miltner..rotman. C. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www.2008. and morality: Individual differences in three functional domains of disgust. H. (2010). 550 Schaich Borg. Zhong CB.sciencedirect. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www.. (2006). D. Schmidt. Psychol Sci.21(3):381-3.551 It should be noted that while much has been evidenced in the many studies on disgust. With a Clean Conscience: Cleanliness Reduces the Severity of Moral Judgments. No impairment of recognition and experience of disgust in a patient with a right-hemispheric lesion of the insula and basal ganglia. This has been called the “Macbeth Effect.. J. Liljenquist.debralieberman. Science. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. Benton. and Iniquity: Investigating the Neural Correlates of Disgust and Morality. 97 (1).nih. mating. J.1037/a0015474. K..2008.pdf 551 Tybur. (2009).. one recent study has shown that disgust in the right brain was either not eroded by damage like it has been shown to in the left brain552 (more likely) or that all the earlier studies were faulty (less likely). 48(6).1162/jocn.utoronto. participants found certain moral actions to be less wrong than did participants who had not been exposed to a cleanliness manipulation. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.20109.

“When based on the same evidence. P.abstract reasoning were more developed still contribute to our conflation of “purity” and “goodness. Comparative Efficiency of Informal (Subjective. and Law. J. M. Dawes [Web log post]. “Empirical comparisons of the accuracy of the two methods (136 studies over a wide range of predictands) show that the mechanical method is almost invariably equal to or superior to the clinical method…”555 And as it was put by Michael Bishop and J. Better Decisions through Science.D. Epistemology and the psychology of human judgment. Is there anything can we do about neutralizing priming biases to get the most objective judgments and predictions possible from experts in public and private institutions of law. Oxford University Press.optionToBuy&id=1997-02834-005 556 Bishop. Psychology.”556 553 Swets. D. such as by incurring favor in religious groups or by avoiding dangerous comestibles or deadly STDs. 554 Galef. 153 .. In any case. Food.cfm?fa=buy. (1996). serve to make us vulnerable to error via venal epistemology that clearly has an important and direct relationship with our moral sense. Further. Bias.553 which use formal.. this may have evolved as a tendency toward better hygiene. They have been shown over many decades to actually significantly outperform the clinical diagnostics of many experts based upon human judgment. Public Policy. etc. (4/14/2011). algorithmic. Trout.unive. this could have bolstered evolutionary advantage in other ways too. J. Jun 1996. (10/2000). until it endures robust predictions. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://psycnet. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://measureofdoubt. even after the mental conversion of physical purity into a propensity for sexual or moral purity. (p. even if completely unnoticed. medicine. the connections exist. (Chapter 2). and Justice: a Case for Statistical Prediction Rules. 293-323. and objective procedure in an equation. the predictions of human experts for problems of social prediction. J. the predictions of SPRs are at least as reliable as. Impressionistic) and Formal (Mechanical. Algorithmic) Prediction Procedures: The Clinical–Statistical decision-making 555 Grove. This simply cannot be dismissed from any discussion about moral judgments. Scientific American.apa. as much evolutionary psychology must be. welfare. W. (2005)... 82) Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://venus.? Some people suggest utilizing SPRs: Statistical Prediction Rules.554 As Grove and Meehl put it in the abstract of their groundbreaking 1996 paper. Monahan. Vol 2(2). J. and along with all the other kinds of priming.” Speculatively. and are typically more reliable than. Trout.

ca/Site_Published/internet/SiteContent. (10/29/2011). (N. Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care. Daniel Kahneman: How cognitive illusions blind us to reason. a winning combination consistent with the illusion-extract?INTCMP=SRCH 558 Research Department Violence Risk Appraisal Guide: A Brief Summary. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. just. The Observer.QueryId.aspx? ody.D. Other effective actuarial tools are the VRAG (Violence Risk Appraisal Guide) and the SORAG (Sex Offender Risk Appraisal Guide).guardian.557 perhaps SPRs would be welcome there as well.mhcp. in the very least. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. None of these researchers advocate for solely statistical prediction.Id=1680 154 . D. Hear hear! Don’t be afraid of the numbers! 557 Kahneman.on. Given that repeated studies of stock market analysts show results no better than chance.).558 as well as the Apgar score helpful in assessing the health of newborn babies.

and Vespia. E. B.” American Economic Review 84: 1174-1194.565. T. (1994).edu/stories/May10/AttractivenessStudy. and Biddle. Teaching Well? Linking Liking. and Learning.1371/journal.cornell. v34 n1 p5-10 2007. Attractive People May or May Not Be Better Lawyers.pdf 561 Stalcup. Looks. and approachable teachers had students who said they learned more.”562 “For lawyers. penalize the unbeautiful. Retrieved on 8/7/2011 from http://www. had higher grades. (N. good-looking. who in turn earn 1 to 13 percent less than those deemed good-looking. PLoS ONE.pdf 563 Hill. “Beauty and the Labor Market. R. Study uncovers why jurors reward the good-looking. K. “a new Cornell study that has found that unattractive defendants tend to get hit with longer.). A. (5/11/2010).” 563 And on the other side of the spectrum. field A1 of the medial orbitofrontal cortex [mOFC]). Teaching of Psychology. (2011). The Plainness Penalty: Lookism in Western Culture. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://abovethelaw.D. When one of the faces was digitally altered to make it ugly and 559 Landman. BEAUTY EVIDENCE #22: There is evidence that aesthetic evaluations substantially affect value judgments—even moral ones.pone. and liked the class better. (3/26/2010). and are then confabulated afterwards as determined by reason. Toward A Brain-Based Theory of Beauty. But They Do Get Paid More.561 Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay “found that likable.html 565 Yong. well- dressed.”564 Considering our perception of what is beautiful. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. D. Why Looks Matter.doi.eiu. 566 Ishizu. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. Studies show that “‘plain’ people earn 1 to 15 percent less than people with average not-be-better-lawyers-but-they-do-get-paid-more 564 Lowery. (7/6/2011). Beauty is in the brain of the beholder.. & Studies were done showing subjects images of two different types of people for evaluation. Retrieved on 8/7/2011 from http://faculty. [Web log post]. Women’s Health. harsher sentences—on average 22 months longer in prison. G.txwes. Cornell Chronicle Online..e. Looking Good.ux1.”559. (2007).566 Beauty is contextual 560 J.womenshealthmag. K. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://dx. Above The Law. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://angelastalcup.560. attractiveness alone can account for up to a 12% difference in earnings.0021852 155 . a recent study may have substantially narrowed down the area of the brain that correlates with the subjective experience of beauty (i. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://blogs.pdf 562 (2/16/2010).discovermagazine.

Are we in control of our own decisions? TEDTalks.. Bad gossip affects our vision as well as our judgment. (Filmed 12/2008).pdf 569 Yong. THE IMPLICATIONS: Dan Ariely said about his “third option” studies above.1201574 Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www.1126/science. What’s worse is that these kinds of aesthetic biases can get further distorted by other kinds of biases. we’ll just have to try to compensate. Bliss-Moreau. L. including marketing/financial ones: when a third option is presented that looks like a less attractive version of one of the other options. nice guy or gal gets pushed out of the picture. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://blogs. (5/21/2011). people will choose the better of those two.. Combine this with a bias for favoring good looks and it’s a recipe for disaster if you meet a femme fatale or a Don Juan.html 568 Siegel. by writing books ‘n’ stuff (wink wink).. The Visual Impact of Gossip. such as the recent study that “bad gossip affects our vision as well as our judgment. but you’d get in trouble if you kept inviting that person to join you on dates! Joking aside. E. Science http://dx. The issue is not whether we are absolutely able or unable to decide whether we favor the beautiful. E. who do you want to take with you? You want a slightly uglier version of yourself.. but that we already have the propensity to do so to some extent. yet still attractive option.. (5/19/2011). Available on 9/19/2012 at 567 Ariely. that beauty is largely determined by the capacity and/or healthy functioning of one or more particular parts of the brain is clearly unsettling for that very reason. Similar … but slightly as-well-as-our-judgment 156 .then presented as a third option.”568. Dan Ariely asks. no matter which face was the third competitor! This was shown to be a general tendency in many “If you ever go bar hopping.”567 Ha! It might give you a better chance. ignoring the remaining more different. Biases are the amount that we favor something after we think we have already compensated. E. [Web log post].northeastern.discovermagazine. the implications are fairly obvious here: the neurophysiological influence of beauty tangibly or intangibly compels us to favor it over the not so beautiful in matters of value that may be completely unrelated to beauty. & Feldman Barrett. I guess for those of us who may be a little more challenged in this way (ahem). E. D. the better looking version was considered the best overall. This is not a shocker to most people. Nor is it difficult to see how the quiet.ted. at least when it concerns favoring beautiful people. Also.569 They showed that we are more likely to notice faces associated with negative comments.

So biases of different sorts fold into each other and build up in layers of delusion and collusion. Is there a ‘you’ that consciously acknowledges and tears through all these layers of bias to make unaffected decisions every day? How would it be able to do so? How would you know? 157 .

cogsci. Are You There God? It's Me.. concepts.F.rpi. Cognition. 572 Bering. (2011).. pp. psychological. McNamara.. Brain. Andy Thomson shows how recent fMRI scans “ground religious belief in evolved adaptive mechanisms” related to our phenomenal theory of mind commonly used in social interaction (“what is he/she thinking?”).. Murphy. such as. ‘entering’ and ‘leaving’ a rectangle “house” with a swinging ‘door.63(2):227-33. these beliefs provoke some substantially predictable behavior. we are able to discern the actual locations in the brain of the fundamental dimensions of religious belief. Once acquired.html 571 Gergely G. How our innate theory of mind gives rise to the divine creator. Boston. 243-259. 1944). (4/1944). RELIGION EVIDENCE #23: There is evidence that the propensity for the acquisition of and perpetuation of religious belief often has natural neurological.pdf 574 Khan. 57. Reasoning about the psychological intentional states in who (in this case ‘what’) we perceive to be ‘others’ is known as a theory of mind. Slate. The American Journal of Psychology.572 This is consistent with research that “autistic individuals are more likely to be atheist because they lack a fully fleshed ‘theory of mind’…”573. An Experimental Study of Apparent Behavior. [Web log post]. In a 1944 experimental study. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://blogs. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. A reply to Premack and Premack. M. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://csjarchive. 2 (Apr. Atheism as mental deviance. P. J. both positive and negative. and as Heider. God’s perceived level of 570 Heider. Velazquez. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. (5/1997).571.L. or imagery.all-about- psychology. Religious Belief Systems of Persons with High Functioning Autism. (9/18/2011). C. Simmel and others have shown. Vol. Fritz Heider and Marianne Simmel showed in a stop motion animated movie570 that some simple cutout triangles and a circle had an extremely high probability of being overwhelmingly perceived as representing actions and intentions of agents as they moved around. even infants experience this tendency when viewing inorganic two dimensional objects on a screen.html 573 Caldwell-Harris. No. Teleological reasoning in infancy: the infant's naive theory of rational action.slate.discovermagazine. and sociological origins. and Simmel..’ etc.. F. and can be instantiated with subtle priming containing religious language. Via Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. 1997 May. MA.574 Dr.’ ‘fighting’ with ‘each other. and Csibra 158 . T. (Posted on 2/1/2011).

Andy Thomson .577 Whether or not a person with a more developed or a more anemic fusiform gyrus has more or less of a propensity to infer agency in nature remains to be seen. “Why We Believe in Gods . Losing Your Religion: Analytic Thinking Can Undermine Belief.575 For example. (1/9/2012).Why Religion is Natural (And Science is Not).com/2012/01/how-your-genes-can-affect-your-response. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from G.e. in a rushing river. D. as a byproduct.html 581 Rees. we mistake the wind for Safety in numbers. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://web. Point of Inquiry podcast: Robert McCauley . Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. (1/9/2012).wjh. T. it’s also been shown that we have a propensity to perceive safety in numbers580 (affected by the D4 dopamine receptor?581)… which may help explain why a general-purpose “need to belong” drives belief in 575 Thompson.harvard.579 In terms of sociological evidence for the inclination to form religion. Georgia.fieldofscience. 578 Shenhav. Aside from an innate propensity for a teleological theory of mind. [Web log post]. has also contributed to our propensity to anthropomorphize the world (i.1037/a0025391 Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from 576 Trafton. (4/26/2012). etc.. in the jungle.fieldofscience. September 19).edu/~jgreene/GreeneWJH/Shenhav-Rand-Greene-JEPG11.html 159 . and doctrinal/experiential knowledge.”578 This is even to the point that analytical think has been shown to undermine belief.” American Atheist 2009 convention in Atlanta. [Audio podcast].com/article. M. (2011.576 which has presumably been selected by evolution because it helped us to find people in the dark. T. Philosopher and cognitive scientist Robert McCauly points out how our everyday access to these mechanisms makes it feel natural to yell at our cars and our computers. (6/16/2011). McCauly. Advance online publication. doi: 10. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://epiphenom.pointofinquiry. R. & Greene. (Interviewer). Divine Intuition: Cognitive Style Influences Belief in God.involvement.html 577 Scientific American. (Interviewee). prefer anthropomorphic poetry. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://epiphenom. as if they have agency.pdf 579 Krakovsky. A. etc… but. to give the world human-like qualities. Andy. J. studies have shown that “the extent to which one believes in God may be influenced by one’s more general tendency to rely on intuition versus reflection. A. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www..cfm?id=losing-your- religion-analytic-thinking-can-undermine-belief 580 Rees. How your genes can affect your response to religion. C.American Atheists 09. (4/23/2009). God’s perceived emotions. such as the early animists and pagans who saw a god or goddess in everything in nature). [Web log post].scientificamerican. Rand. How does our brain know what is a face and what’s not? MIT News Office. (5/5/2011). there is a part of the left brain called the fusiform gyrus that is accessed when we try to identify facial patterns. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

D. or in a secular 591 Tracey. [Audio podcast]. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://epiphenom. Solt and Habel showed that “unequal incomes lead to societies becoming more religious…” and “…increasing the average economic well being of people makes them less religious. Luke.html 592 Greenberg. Martens. (7/14/2011).”586 This is compatible with evidence that atheism increases with the quality of life. S.587. and Grant. Social Science Quarterly. M.fieldofscience. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://ccr. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. (4/12/2012). For Chimps. [Web log post].html 590 (5/8/2011).. (4/12/2011). 1990). T. Reasonable Doubts podcast: RD extra: Denying Death.psychologytoday. AAAS:ScienceNow.fieldofscience. (1990). [Web log post].” which even primates have shown to favor. The Human Beast. E.591 In groundbreaking Terror Management studies on the mortality salience hypothesis by Greenberg. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://whyevolutionistrue.. Available on 9/21/2012 at http://news. N. J. T. & Myers.sciencemag. Hart.html 583 Rees.1037/a0024402 585 Strain. A general-purpose “need to belong” drives belief in God.. Well that settles it: income inequality really does go hand in hand with people-if.. P.2011. Solomon.physorg. Pyszczynski.. J. A Cross-National Test of the Uncertainty Hypothesis of Religious Belief.html?ref=em 586 income-inequality.588. such as those that bolster our religious J. the popularity of religion is “conditional on societal circumstances. DOI: 10.. D. N. J. (2011). F. Death anxiety prompts people to believe in intelligent design.God582 in an overwhelmingly religious world… which may help explain why religion only makes for happy people if there’s a lot of it about. & Solomon (et evidence 589 death-anxiety-prompts-people-in9/21/2012 telligent.589 It has been shown through Terror Management Theory research that control related death anxiety prompts people to make choices that deny death and emphasize enduring actions. Pyszczynski. why are so many dropping out? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology DOI: 10.abstract 588 Barber. J.1177/1069397111402465. our contributions to science or art or our children/family. T. Cross- Cultural Research. (3/30/2011).”584 such as “majority rules. [Web log post].apa. “Terror Management: How Our Worldviews Help Us Deny Death.583 That is to say. (2011).com/content/early/2011/05/08/1069397111402465. Habel. T.00777.585 Also. 92: 447– 587 Barber. A. PLoS ONE. the Majority Rules.x. 1069397111402465 doi: 10. Tay. (8/3/2011).” Center for Inquiry. T. Lyon. reject evolution: research. as well as to believe in intelligent design (ID).1111/j. L.fieldofscience. (2010). Evidence for terror management theory II: The effects of mortality salience on reactions to those who 160 . Economic inequality.wordpress. and religiosity.html 584 Diener. Kirkland.sagepub. Michigan. The religion paradox: If religion makes people happy.. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://epiphenom. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://itunes. D. Veeder. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://epiphenom. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://psycnet. relative S. Religion only makes for happy people if there's a lot of it about. (5/11/2011).592 half of a group of Christian subjects were reminded of their own death 582 Psychology Today.590.1540-6237..doiLanding&doi=10. Rosenblatt.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The group reminded of their own death earlier thought more negatively of the Jew than the Christian. [13:00-end]. At the end of the questionnaire. [Video file].through primes in a questionnaire and half were not. “…deep religious convictions [that] enable people to be less defensive—less likely to rise in defense of their worldview—when reminded of death (Jonas & Fischer. J. Vol 58 (2). Christian psychologist David Myers goes on to frame the research in a different way that emphasizes this “esteem” as. New York: Worth Publishers. [Web log post]. Psychology 9th edition. 563]. 2006. 115-117 DOI: 10. A. even “just thinking about absent control makes people more likely to embrace superstitions”596 [emphasis mine].com/notrocketscience/2008/12/lacking_control_drives_false_conclusions_conspiracy_theor ies. D.[593] TMT researchers often contend that even just the mere awareness of the existence of a competing world view is enough to evoke in-group prejudice effects and increased self- [p.1126/science. Norenzayan & Hansen. 2006). Galinsky. (2010). There is evidence that (a) belief in religious deities and secular institutions can serve as external forms of control that can compensate for manipulations that lower personal control and threaten or bolster the cultural worldview. Ed. (2008).”595 As the award winning science writer Ed Yong says about that study. Lacking control drives false conclusions.abstract 596 Yong. death — part one. While admitting much of this dark evidence about TMT (“…death anxiety increases prejudice—contempt for others and esteem for oneself [Koole et al. 2006]”). one Jew. The subjects who were not reminded of their own death did not think more negatively of the Jew than the de 594 Myers. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. 322 (5898). Available on 9/21/2012 from http://www.. As we have already seen in Evidence #20. Whitson and Galinsky showed that “lacking control increases illusory pattern perception. pp308- 318.”594 There is a mountain of work being done on TMT. (ISBN 978-1-4292-1597-8) 595 Whitson. (Posted 12/27/2008). one Christian. I’ll leave it to the reader to investigate the controversy further.php 161 . conspiracy theories and superstitions. Lacking Control Increases Illusory Pattern Perception Science. they were introduced to two fictitious characters. (Uploaded on 4/18/2012). Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://scienceblogs.1159845. 593 “TheraminTrees” (also known as QualiaSoup).youtube.

600 There are also studies that show the vaguest perception of another agent’s presence in a secular context has the same effect of thwarting cheating/immorality. A. I. “For God (or) country: The hydraulic relation between government instability and belief in religious sources of control. a camera. Science Daily. and a disregard for nuance (a willingness to mentally blot 162 .scientificamerican.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 99(5): 725-739. flashing “government” or “father” or again. for example. flashing “God” or “Jesus” or eyes on a screen. (b) religious conviction can also serve as compensatory personal control after experimental manipulations that lower other forms of personal or external 602 Kay. Michigan.cfm?id=religious-experiences-shrink-part-of- brain&WT. A. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://epiphenom.ncbi.. Religious Belief as Compensatory Control. “The Roots of Morality: Does Religion Play a Role or is the Tail Wagging the Dog?” Grand Rapids Community College Psychology Lecture Series. C. Punitive gods stop cheaters. Religious Experiences Shrink Part of the Brain. McGregor.602 This leads to a wealth of both positive and disturbing studies that evidenced a correlation between religion and authoritarianism (see this important footnote concerning authoritarianism603. (5/31/2011). Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. eyes. For example. (2011). recent evidence shows that people who have had a life changing religious experience are more likely to have hippocampal atrophy (a shrunken part of the brain). 38-48. 14.599. (1:18:30-1:25:00). in the negative sense. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www.. A. Much secular priming.sciencedaily. both positive and negative. Shepherd.fieldofscience. on a screen. and Galinsky. [Web log post]. is actually interchangeable with religious priming. Personality and Social Psychology Review. Scientific American.. though they worry more. an inability to accept Grand Rapids. authoritarianism has more to do with a willingness to punish. Religious beliefs provoke substantially predictable behavior.yorku. though they are more carefree about life’s troubles. for example.pdf 598 Newberg. T.mc_id=SA_CAT_MB_20110601 599 Rees. (2010).601. K... Luke.[597] Perhaps also related to control absence. S>N. Punitive gods have been shown to stop cheaters.htm 601 Galen.nih.html 600 Religious Beliefs Impact Levels of cheaters. This is especially true when it comes to authority figures. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from 603 As social scientist Jonathan Weiler notes. Compassionate gods encourage them. or even just a poster of eyes hung over a ‘you keep track’ hotel mini & Nash. S. (Posted on 4/23/2011). Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www.598 which is hypothesized by those researchers to stem from religiously related stress. (2010). Gaucher. A. a mirror. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www... (8/5/2011).nlm. Blatz. compassionate gods encourage them.604): 597 Kay.

V. generosity in a dictator’s game (Shariff & Norenzayan. Corneille. 2007). European Journal of Social[608] THE IMPLICATIONS: The importance of religion as the great repository of our rich ethical. When God sanctions killing: Effect of scriptural violence on aggression. when it was based more upon faulty Freudian psychology. 2009) … [as well as] activate[d] more abstract morality of moral integrity: it decreased hypocrisy (Carpenter & Marshall. (2003). Psychological Bulletin. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://sitemaker. C. in secular schools. in my opinion. A justification-suppression model of the expression and experience of prejudice. These are what motivate many & Saroglou. …religious priming can increase racial prejudice (Johnson. R. 2007). A. 41.. [Audio podcast]. Weiler. no matter how positive or negative. 2010).Authoritarians Versus Reality. Key. and decreased retaliation (Saroglou. E. 414–446. many people are first exposed to morality in the context of religion. Michigan. & Busath. “The Roots of Morality: Does Religion Play a Role or is the Tail Wagging the Dog?” Grand Rapids Community College Psychology Lecture Series. He also notes that identifying authoritarianism has a much more sound/consistent methodology now than it had 40-60 years ago. Key. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from 605 Crandall. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://psycnet. 898-903. will have to acknowledge the implications of these powerful experiences forming the epistemic out key points of an opposing argument) than it does merely propping up authoritative systems. Point of Inquiry podcast: Jonathan Weiler . emotional support. S.bushman/files/BRDKB07.pdf 608 Van Pachterbeke. aggression (Bushman.umich. Psychological Science. Hansen. 604 Mooney.W. 2007).. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://onlinelibrary. (Interviewer). Any scientific information about religion. 163 .M. and support of ethnoreligious terrorism (Ginges.. J. When authoritarianism meets religion: Sacrificing others in the name of abstract deontology. and psychological history should earn it a solid place in the studies of every human being on earth—even. 129.cfm?fa=buy. Das. 2009) and increased honesty (Randolph-Seng & Nielsen. & Busath. (2011).. (48:00-end ).606]). & Saroglou. Study 3) But religious priming also: …increased accessibility of prosociality-related words and the willingness to volunteer (Pichon. B. & Eshleman. C. G. (Interviewee). 2009.. C.1002/ejsp. Das.optionToBuy&id=2003-00782-007 606 C. (2007). Ridge. Freyer.. cooperation and charity donation (Preston & Ritter. Ridge. & Norenzayan. and a very useful framework for metaphysical realty—even including extremely convincing phenomenal experiences. (2011). Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. & Van Cappellen. Luke. metaphysical. J. 2010 [and 605. Grand Rapids. 607 Bushman. & LaBouff. bolstered by the highs of family and community acceptance. (11/21/2011). 2007[607]). Boccato. M.D.

even if some of the inherent propositions are desirable and/or do correlate with the world objectively.1162/BIOT_a_00052). Science has had something to say about religion though. and Spandrels in Evolutionary Explanations of Morality. etc. as our propensity to count only the hits and ignore the misses makes us more indebted to the god prayed to as the hits pile up. Exaptation. Summer 2010. adaptations. 5. (8/23/2011). Evolved intuitive heuristics are always a systemic compromise to some extent. especially socially. at least to the extent that our epistemic limitations actually relate veridically. The evolutionary arguments in the philosophy of religion concerning the origins of these effects could be. We saw examples like mistaking natural patterns for designed patterns. why they are not) and how it could have evolved. experiencing death anxiety. (Posted Online 3/15/2011).J. Should a non-believer be compelled to do so. or they could be exaptations/ We can see that the incorporation of intuitive heuristics that evolved to aid us in the world practically. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. as she reinforces the belief exponentially and her philosophical worldview is affected by a psychological issue. it would be difficult to impossible to reason a believer out of some fundamental or ancillary religious belief that they experienced their way into. negative.609 illusion/delusion via loss of control. and applied philosophy intersect.610 We can see how religion reinforces its grip exponentially via biases like the observational selection bias during prayer. selected for because of both direct and indirect fitness effects. E. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://news. or neutral. B.1162/BIOT_a_00052 164 . selected for because of directly beneficial fitness effects. Does Religion Influence Epidemics? Science Now. 3. Adaptation. mistaking intention-like movements for the movements/intentions of agents. is one area where psychology. the need to belong/safety in numbers/family replacement. By-Products. It seems that science has shown us some pretty compelling non- supernatural reasons for why people are drawn to religion (or in the case of the autistic. They take cognitive shortcuts and will favor/reinforce fictions if they aid in our survival or 609 Pennisi.sciencemag. Pages 223-227 (doi:10. The evolution of morality has been considered by many scholars to have evolved for one or both reasons as well.html?ref=hp 610 Fraser. and much of it can be perceived as positive. in the least.framework in a fundamental way. MIT press Journals.mitpressjournals. piggybacked upon our already adaptable socially influenced neural network. No. This is a systemic vortex for the believer. especially if one promises to be more loyal/pray more in order to get those hits (“please just do this for me god and I will devote myself more”). especially social science.

165 . Time and again throughout this writing: even delusional experience trumps the data for us in the end. for example. trust. and the ensuing philosophy based upon those presuppositions. constructed by those who are ignorant of the manifestation of all the biases discussed in this book. etc. because failure to do so can range from a colossal waste of time to flat out disaster. parsimony. but science and philosophy—especially religious philosophy. it could be love. because we know that experience can be evidence too. or just plain hope.. identifying consistency. empirical testing. is merely the first step in the scientific method. empirical testing. It shouldn’t have to be said that all manner of natural propensities toward reinforcing and entrenching illusory pattern perception are a threat to personal freedom in a world actually free from these illusions.g. peer review/independent verification. The thing to take home here is that when all the best investigatory elements are applied (e. even if. intuition alone is not enough. they can sometimes bring out the better in us. that is: why technology/science works. serves to identify why we should think that all of these elements constitute the best method for investigating objective reality. in limited ways. etc. Intuition alone is not enough. Can be. Secular people are just as vulnerable. Again. the resulting consistency. need to be employed together to identify intuitive biases and go beyond them. and the results will often indicate where it’s in our best interest to continue to work as if a proposition is true or not true. I tend to think that the nature of a super-salient miracle experience probably gives the subject a feeling that mass skepticism somehow only validates them/it as more special anyway.). and agenda should tip the scales away from them when discussing historical method and/or metaphysical objectivity in terms of probabilities by default. This is true even when starting ‘in the middle’ with naturalistic suppositions. The same intuition often used as a foundation for a metaphysical worldview. parsimony. peer review/independent verification.pleasure. Philosophical principals are still intertwined in the scientific process. but will not concede that the mountains of scientific and historical evidence for mistake. Doesn’t have to be a ‘god’ experience that trumps the data for us either. Intuition in the initial abduction/hypothesis is then followed by other crucial steps that aim toward getting us closer to objective data. Some will admit scribal errors and other kinds of basic mistakes. delusion. etc. Nor can we ignore the implications of holy books or any historical evidence for that matter. illusion. such as when identifying consistency.

especially for those who already have a propensity for authoritarianism.612 but what exactly are they? A quasi-dimensional. for many religious people. For example. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://en.naturalism.wikiquote. The counter-challenge made by the evidence here is that even rationalism is often too little. probably (Interviewee). C. even if it’s highly unlikely. until one ‘rises above it’ by engaging with the part of ourselves capable of rational abstract reasoning. Of course.”611 The universe is wacky cracky. Dark Energy and the Runaway 166 . [1:01:45-1:07:05]. 611 An unsourced attribution is given to Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach. Old and New. animal impulses. Point of Inquiry podcast: George Lakoff - Enlightenments. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. 2008). cognitive biases could just be ‘original sin’ and evidence of ‘The Fall’ of Adam and Eve. and given certain qualifications and caveats) reliable.pointofinquiry. [Audio podcast]. We just can’t say for sure. where the most severely mistreated children who also had a specific enzyme mutation were 85% more likely to develop strong antisocial behavior. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. “From a theistic point of view. for example. In a Christianity Today review of Richard Dawkins’ book. Is Naturalism Self-Defeating? [Web log post].com/watch?v=vPkGEVgOJK0 613 Clark. socially. partially ontologically curtained other reality that houses spirit beings? Ummm. the famous Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga wrote. dark energy (which pushes) and dark matter (which pulls)… We know that they make up 96% of the universe. (4/25/2011). what George Lakoff calls “strict father” theists. a notion that the human condition is one of irrational. “even a stopped clock is right twice a day. God and his perfect morality are the impetus for this. Lecture by Alex Filippenko at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. While this is still harmonizable theologically for those who would concede it. it must also be noted that biases or even pure delusion do not rule out the possibility for the existence of the supernatural or something like it. and we must always keep in mind that in some instances.614 Just as we saw in Evidence #17. They just give us more possible explanations for what may really be happening in the mind and in the world. For many theists. [Video file]. T. as the old saying”613 There does seem to be. (Interviewer). Available on 5/19/2013 at http://www. The God Delusion. too late to get around innate cognitive and behavioral biases epistemically. we'd expect that our cognitive faculties would be (for the most part. (3/2007). It is still a significant problem in the context of perceived theological certitude or any 612 “UCtelevision” (Uploaded on Mar 13.htm 614 Mooney. Lakoff. G. but who can say without a doubt that dark matter or dark energy don’t bridge the natural and supernatural worlds? Perhaps consciousness produces that bridge in some way.

The epistemic problem is especially significant considering what is.abstract 616 Christina.476. 618 Erkwoh. 1254-1258 DOI:10. praying).. Buck. 27 August 2004: Vol. hypnosis. Still. G.615 Liberal theists are in a better place to reap the rewards in many ways.. The Neural Basis of Altruistic Punishment. even if liberal theists are sometimes more likely to fare better socially because theistic belief has pragmatic to-the-hair-dryer 617 Jaynes. I saved it for last): it’s been shown that we are more likely to project our beliefs and desires onto God as commands. Converse. V. A. (2009). especially because it’s been shown that these are the people with more of an inclination to voluntarily incur costs to punish violations of social norms. J. Delbosc. 35. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://freethoughtblogs..1100735. Believers’ estimates of God’s beliefs are more egocentric than estimates of other people’s beliefs. Schnyder. from split-brains to alien hands. anthropomorphism. Proceedings of the National 167 . (11/30/2009). we do this in order to more readily actualize them. arguably. The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. and schizophrenia as examples617. “reasoning about God’s beliefs activated many of the same regions that become active when people reasoned about their own beliefs”620 615 De Quervain.htm 620 Epley. Listening to the Hair Dryer: Why Nice Religion is Still Problematic. Treyer.. this has no bearing upon the ontological issue of supernatural veridicality and the implications of perpetuating an erroneous and presumptuous epistemological system. E.sciencedaily. Analogy #37. R. G. U. (1976). 272-279 619 Believers' Inferences About God's Beliefs Are Uniquely Egocentric. the psychologist Julian Jaynes has argued for a bicameral mind that has internal dialogue by using religion (e. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. B. N. To play off of Sam Harris’ analogy on this point.1126/science.616 if you believe that your hairdryer is telling you to do good deeds. As I’ve noted several times already.619 Presumably.J. Willmes. just because they turn out to actually be good deeds doesn’t mean that there isn’t still a serious epistemic problem: you think it’s coming from your hairdryer and who knows what kinds of recommendations for future deeds will arise from that.. A. J. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Eming-Erdmann.religious people with a propensity for authoritarianism also seem to be more likely to acquire a potentially volatile combination.. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. As this amazing fMRI evidence has shown. It would still be a non-sequitur. Science.. 305 no. Science Daily. possession. (10/13/2011). Kunert. Schellhammer.. D.618 Several Evidences here also allude to the propensity for it as well. M. & Cacioppo. the most important recent scientific evidence concerning religion that I will present (yes.. 5688 pp. U. Fehr. (2002).. A..A. [Web log post].. Monteleone. H. Command hallucinations: Who obeys and who resists when? Psy-chopathology.

. our brains do not recognize god as an “other” being. 3616-3622 DOI: 10. A. other than ourselves. 109 (10). (2012). Moving on… Academy of Sciences. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www.. when we think about god.pnas.621 This doesn’t have to be a bad thing. How Christians reconcile their personal political views and the teachings of their faith: Projection as a means of dissonance 621 Ross. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. reasoning about conversations with real people. L. showed all other real people to be represented by different areas of the brain. Lelkes.[emphasis mine].1117557109 168 . & Russell. God does very well seem to be a representation of our personal ideals.1073/pnas. 21533-21538. Y. That is to say. 106. and I’ll talk more about why in the Conclusion of the book.

Opinions and social pressure. 628 Trout.php?vid=19441 625 Dik. (1955).623.betterdaystv. The influence of social groups on goal contagion. IN-GROUP/OUT-GROUP EVIDENCE #24: We think that our beliefs result largely from consciously reasoned conclusions. New York. 169 . K. & Aarts... 31-35. which focuses on the ‘hits. Aarts. even when implicitly primed. infer and pursue the goals perceived in others’ behavior. 193. 727−737.. 623 Episode #20: Constructing Social Reality. 44. WGBH Educational Foundation. [Video file]. This is known as confirmation bias. C. actually strengthen our cultural biases. J. 104). V. Gollwitzer.. H. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. B. (2009). 43. including a tendency to deny irrational bias in ourselves. & Jefferis. but we default primarily to our cultural in-group agendas.D. R. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www.. without conscious intent. a phenomenon termed goal contagion. H. P. (2008). [TV series].html?pop=yes&pid=1517 [7:00-8:00] 624 “NLP” (uploaded 5/1/2011). it’s also been shown that we are biased to look for and/or promote that which confirms what we already believe. (2007). 1555-1558. S. 622 Asch. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. I have already mentioned the well known behavior experiments on conformity by Solomon Asch that show the extent to which people in our proximity can affect our choices. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Some core identity values are strong enough to outweigh and/or negate any amount of subsequent reasoning to the contrary by out-group members. Viking/Penguin. especially whenever we encounter data challenging those in-group agendas.626. Behavioral cues to others' motivation and goal pursuits: The perception of effort facilitates goal inferences and contagion. & Hassin.. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www.”625. G. which is known as availability bias628 (which I will discuss in more detail in the next Evidence).learner. These kinds of challenges.622. Payne.. Scientific American. (2001).e. E. Goal contagion: perceiving is for i. 23–27. H. 626 Aarts. Discovering Psychology with Philip Zimbardo. Aschs Conformity Experiment. yet readily infer it in It’s also been shown that “research demonstrates that people spontaneously.’ A common way to play out confirmation bias is via the most salient information available. The Empathy Gap: Building Bridges to the Good Life and the Good Society. 87. 627 When we have more freedom to seek out answers. even when we have serious doubts about agreeing with them. (p.’ while ignoring or downplaying the ‘misses. E. R. (2004). 627 Loersch.

This was confirmed by several experiments using fake newspaper articles and/or fake scientific studies about controversial topics that challenged the known political.pdf 630 Warburton.. D. (2010).R. Hanko. It is to devise and evaluate arguments intended to persuade”629 as well as that “reason is for overcoming trust bottlenecks.e. [Audio podcast]. (Interviewer).sperber. (8/15/2011).”630.x 636 McRaney. and/or cultural views of the subjects.2010. C.pointofinquiry.pdf 632 Kunda. H.dan.html 631 Todd. (8:00-10:40). (9/25/2011). A.”632 This is what some have called “motivated reasoning. G. Psychol Bull.634 When our worldview is threatened with a belief challenging hypothesis or conclusion by an anonymous or out-group member—even implicitly—we overwhelmingly tend to strengthen our biases.ncbi. ( 170 . (5-6/2011 issue).637. (12/14/2010). Point of Inquiry podcast: Dan Kahan .. H. The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science. “scientific impotence”635).com/2011/09/dan-sperber-on-the-enigma-of-reason. (11/1990). 40 (3). and we shift our standards or claim that science lacks the ability to prove or disprove it either way (i. DOI: 10. Sperber. Galinsky.1111/j.nih. (16:00-16:40.638. N. Mussweiler.The American Culture War of Fact.nlm. Mercier and Sperber hypothesized. When Focusing on Differences Leads to Similar Perspectives. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www.631 Social psychologist Ziva Kunda found. religious.639 We are even biased to perceive cognitive biases themselves as stronger and more prevalent in others than in ourselves. 1990 Nov.636.108(3):480-98. [Web log post]. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. (6/10/2011). C. D. 25:00-27:15) Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. but their ability to do so is constrained by their ability to construct seemingly reasonable justifications for these conclusions.pointofinquiry. 637 Mooney.1017/S0140525X10000968. D. The case for motivated reasoning. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. K. [Audio podcast]. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://philosophybites. Philosophy Bites podcast: Dan Sperber on the Enigma of Reason. Point of Inquiry podcast: Did Reason Evolve for Arguing? . D.Hugo Mercier. “there is considerable evidence that people are more likely to arrive at conclusions that they want to arrive at. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://youarenotsosmart. (2/14/2011).gov/pubmed/2270237 633 Mooney.1559-1816. more than in the control group. The Scientific Impotence Excuse: Discounting Belief-Threatening Scientific Abstracts Journal of Applied Social Psychology. ). “… the function of reasoning is argumentative. Mercier. (Interviewer).com/politics/2011/03/denial-science-chris-mooney 634 Mooney. Psychological Science 2011 22: 134. Mother Jones. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 57–111 doi:10. (Interviewee).640 629 Mercier. A.1177/0956797610392929 Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://social-cognition. Sperber. (2010). The Backfire though Mercier argues that reasoning does not need to be emotional to be biased. Kahan. D. and really has more to do with group identity and fear of reprisals from other in-group members. 34.. T. [Audio podcast].org/did_reason_evolve_for_arguing_hugo_mercier 635 Munro. since it’s even shown in abstract and mathematical tests. (Interviewee)..00588.” and is often saturated with emotional salience. 579-600 DOI: 10. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://motherjones.uni-koeln. (Interviewee). Why do humans reason? Arguments for an argumentative theory. (Interviewer).

Proc Biol process]. like Mercier. G. A. (2004).psych. 643 Bohannon. Science... B.1111/j. (1/25/2011).x.x/abstract 640 Pronin. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://news. 1254-1258 171 . E. 305 no..00588. 781-799.1559-1816. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://artisresearch. anthropologist Scott Atran has shown that “sacred values. Point of Inquiry podcast: Dan Kahan . S. 579-600 DOI: 10. I have to trust somebody.. (3/2012). War as a moral imperative (not just practical politics by other means).” described as “deontological [duty based] reasoning and parochial commitment. PMID: 21325334 [PubMed . then we are inclined to allow a change of position or at least consider it more readily. Buck. B.wiley. Reier. L. Political Behavior. 32(2):303-330. When Corrections Fail: The Persistence of Political Misperceptions.1111/j. M. As Dan Kahan says. The Scientific Impotence Excuse: Discounting Belief-Threatening Scientific Abstracts Journal of Applied Social Psychology.sciencemag.springerlink. (2010).645 Another study shows that “many people voluntarily incur costs to punish violations of social norms.html?etoc 644 Berns. C. C. immune to bargaining) and probably run deeper than the evidence showing their relationship with specifically violent conflict.643 It has already been mentioned (Evidence #5) that some important studies have shown these sacred values to occur in different parts of the brain than where cost-benefit/utilitarian type values occur.2010. [Web log post].”646 Positive and negative emotions seem to have a role in the distribution of reward 638 Nyhan. 3. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 646 De Quervain. Fischbacher. Prietula. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. J. Psychological Review. G.The American Culture War of irrationa. Atran.. Schnyder. “what I believe is a function of who I believe. Survey Says: War Is the Irrational Choice. Principle: The Neurobiology of Integrity. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. (Interviewer). DOI: 10. S.”642 trump the hereto favored rational behavior models that are more likely to employ consequential reasoning/cost benefit analysis. U. E.. (2010).644. (Interviewee). Kahan.. D. The Neural Basis of Altruistic Punishment.1098/rstb. On the other hand. S. (2/14/2011).com/doi/10. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from Wired Science.pointofinquiry.pdf 645 Keim.2011. J. [Audio podcast].. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. (2/15/2011).e. Objectivity in the eye of the beholder: Divergent perceptions of bias in self versus others. Ginges. T.cornell. Schellhammer. (1/24/2012). J.278(1720):2930-8. Moore. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://rspb.” Kahan.1007/s11109-010-9112-2 Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. 2012. Fehr. M. M. The price of your soul: neural evidence for the non-utilitarian representation of sacred values.. (29:30-32:40).pdf 641 Mooney. if the challenge comes from someone perceived to be an in-group member and/or authority figure that we trust.641 In the consideration of specifically violent conflict. E.00588. Atran hypothesizes that these unassailable sacred values are “immune to tradeoffs” (i... 367 (1589): 754 DOI: 642 Ginges J.wired. Ross.. 27 August 2004: Vol.pdf 639 Munro.. Gilovich.2010. Science Now.1559-1816. places a lot—maybe even the majority of weight—in reasoning upon the influence of in-group identity. Anderson. 40 (3).. U. 5688 pp. Bell. Epub 2011 Feb 16. Profit vs. Atran. D. 2011 Oct 7. S. Treyer..

whereas negative affect bound people to cultural norms. Galinsky. Last in the context of conflict. Who I Am Depends on How I Feel: The Role of Affect in the Expression of Culture. 2009.nih. The extreme willingness of adults to go to almost any lengths on the command of an authority constitutes the chief finding of the study and the fact most urgently demanding explanation. the less that they feel constrained by their cultural norms in terms of value expressions. W.nlm. the ability to excuse oneself from moral standards) has been shown under certain conditions. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://harpers. Obedience to Authority. merely in obedience to authority figures. as another study found.2009. the happier people are. subjects were shown to be more likely to harm others against their 648 Bandura.emory.1126/science. 20 (3): 340 DOI: 10. S. As Stanley Milgram later described his famous experiment. Though no one was really getting shocked. subjects at a control center sent what they thought were increasingly painful shocks to another ‘participant’ in the other room when they did not answer certain questions correctly… all because they were sternly pressed to continue by the researchers.abstract 647 Ashton-James. A. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. Maddux. a propensity for moral disengagement648 (i. Stark authority was pitted against the subjects' strongest moral imperatives against hurting others. New York: Harper & Row. Psychological Science. Chartrand. Moral disengagement in the perpetration of inhumanities. Harper's Magazine. authority won more often than not.02299.[649] In the Hofling hospital experiment. (2009). and. especially in experiments regarding authority and obedience. (1999). Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www.1467- 172 . Abridged and adapted from his book. In the famous Milgram experiments. 21 out of 22 nurses were convinced to knowingly give overdoses to patients on the authority of phone calls from doctors they had never even DOI:10.pdf 649 Milgram.and punishment based upon cultural values too if. A. Personality and Social Psychology Review.1111/j. “positive affect [emotion] allowed individuals to explore novel thoughts and behaviors that departed from cultural constraints.ncbi.. T.x Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www.. with the subjects' ears ringing with the screams of the (12/1973).. “The Perils of Obedience”.des.”647 So. I set up a simple experiment at Yale University to test how much pain an ordinary citizen would inflict on another person simply because he was ordered to by an experimental scientist.

intellectual positions. The ‘prison guards’ and the ‘inmates’—even the ‘superintendent’ Philip Zimbardo. (Interviewer). they were fake WGBH Educational Foundation.e. [Audio podcast]. Sperber says that reasoning defaults to trying to justify prima facie intuition. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://philosophybites. Our culture is saturated with confirmation bias. The famous Stanford prison experiment651 also demonstrated moral disengagement when the subjects were shown to internalize their authority or obedience roles well beyond the scope of the intended 14 day study. unless core identity values are challenged. (8/23/2011). a genuine miracle is proclaimed.learner. An experimental study of nurse-physician 655 Warburton. N. 651 Episode #19: The Power of the Situation.html 652 Radford.html 173 .html 653 Abumrad. Mercier admits that reasoning defaults to producing a biased argument for personal and 650 Hofling. when it comes to core “sacred values. Radiolab podcast: Games. availability bias). Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://news. ). to a dangerous point where it had to be abandoned after just 6 days in. nearly every time someone survives a plane crash or their heartbeat is revived. (1966).. (4/30/2010). Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www.654 …or.radiolab. presumably. 171-180. N. (2001).650 Thankfully. (Interviewees). Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. Goldschmied. Perhaps that will always perpetuate our drive to challenge the status quo in the form of disconfirmation bias. (Interviewers). ‘Drowned’ Boy Reveals the Psychology of Miracles.met. 654 Engber. Discovering Psychology with Philip Zimbardo. K. R.. Philosophy Bites podcast: Dan Sperber on the Enigma of Reason. [Audio podcast]. Krulwich. whether it’s sports teams. who was the lead researcher—all claimed to suffer negative effects from their roles. On the Winning Side. that we default to disregarding nuance in favor of the superficially obvious (i. (Interviewee). D. animated shapes[!]653. even though the probabilities for these happening have been shown to be far from uncommon. The Underdog Effect: Why do we love a loser? Slate. [45:30-57:30]. businesses.slate.652 We have a robust bias to emotionally favor the underdog/minority. 141. B. Discovery News it’s consistently 80-90%. (8/12/2011).655 Also. (2:40-2:45. D.discovery. Engber.. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. C. Wheeler. THE IMPLICATIONS: Perhaps I should have listed this one first to give the reader a better context for my own reasoning here. (9/25/2011). Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. [TV series]. Sperber. The implications of an underdog bias seem scary in the context of a democracy… is that why we seem to go back and forth between parties every 4-8 years? The studies seem to downgrade the power of this bias though. D.” That is to suggest that it seems as if we default to favoring the underdog.

F. Coming out in the age of the Internet: Identity de- marginalization' from virtual group participation.. 658 McKenna.. Why do humans reason? Arguments for an argumentative theory. M.1017/S0140525X10000968.658 Not that novelty can’t be a distraction in the wrong direction. 660 Price. vol. 4th edition. though as both Dan Kahan and Mercier point out.778. ultimately creates a division of labor that is productive. This kind of discourse though. (8/15/2011). Chapter 28. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. DOI:10. (Interviewer). Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. as it applies to every two people/groups that will ever be engaged in discussion. if not the most important findings in my whole work here. (2002).pdf 174 . H.169. W.1126/science. R. Crapo.660 The last major implication in Mercier and Sperber’s study661 is that because our beliefs have such a strong in-group influence. but the biggest in-group seems most loyal to the position of not defending any position with the appearance of strong conviction. 34. (6:00-7:30.J.. Belmont. It would be a fallacy of the middle ground to think that the truth is always in the synthesis of the compromised thesis and antithesis. D. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. It’s often considered distasteful in many other cultures. H. Bibcode 1970Sci. K. agreement is not the ultimate goal. I think this is one of the. 657 Myers. but a bias towards disproving what our cultural competitor says. 57–111 doi:10.especially in-group agendas.dan. if we honestly actually want to influence others in different cultural circles to see our views and not just beat our chest to impress any in-groupers.778M. 19:00-22:00). G. J.. forever: in any dialogue of potential conflict. but they both emphasize that reasoning can still be productive with out-group challengers in a unique way that is most productive overall. European Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. and Ormiston. A. The point is that more diverse information leads to more creativity and possibility. CA: Wadsworth.D. Discussion effects on racial attitude. [Audio podcast].. 661 Mercier. and Anglo-Americans”). African-Americns. Science 169 (3947): 778–779. (2010). C.pointofinquiry. while 656 Mooney. Y.. Mercier.656 Non-controversial discussion in echo chambers between like-minded people will rarely lead to emergent thought.sperber. D. Cross-cultural perspectives in Introductory Psychology. (1998). Point of Inquiry podcast: Did Reason Evolve for Arguing? . 659 Nemeth. Bishop. C.3947. H.. respectful engagement is. (“Gimme a Break! Patterns of Cooperation Among Mexican- Americans. This is when confirmation bias also entails a disconfirmation bias towards the opponent—not merely a bias towards our own desires. 524-535. A. (Interviewee). people often spend so much effort trying to find the right in-group position to defend with strong conviction and loyalty. 74 (September).659 Ironically. we must make every effort to highlight some significant agreement and reduce polarization. even if distasteful and/or instantiated for egoistic reasons. 37. (1970).169.657. Bargh.Hugo Mercier. (2007) Creative Idea Generation: Harmony versus we can increase mutual influence and tolerance. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. with more data getting critically treated. G.

by and large.simultaneously decreasing the extreme polarities. [15:00-22:00. C. until we do.’ ‘honor. (Interviewer).org/content/278/1720/2930 175 .” Sacred values range from unassailable supernatural duty concepts to analogously unassailable secular concepts like ‘inalienable rights. Proc Biol Sci. Considering the already loaded term “sacred values” this redefinition to 662 Mooney. since we can’t know another’s core values. While several studies and issues in this book do seem to require directly addressing the age old philosophical. political. For example. S.278(1720):2930-8. we disengage from our reasonability when our core values are process]. religious. Jeremy Ginges and Scott Atran frame the “sacred values”662 bias in their work663 as “deontological reasoning and parochial commitment. but what can we learn from our biases that we can apply to the modern world? Can the effects of these biases be curbed somewhat by intentional countermeasures. Atran. (in process 10/2011). S. but have also actually found ways to be more objectively accurate when ascribing values. as the studies suggest. Teach every teacher to teach this one thing to every child.pointofinquiry. 31:15-]. (Interviewee). and if so. but how we perceive that our reasoning itself actually cashes out. PMID: 21325334 [PubMed .’ ‘reason.royalsocietypublishing. I do appreciate that there are some conscientious examples of framing by researchers also cited in this work that not only seem to seek to disarm bias in the perception of their work.’ ‘recognition. in every discussion and every debate throughout their education… (I’ll discuss this in more detail in Evidence #32). to what extent? Presenting common ground is still important by default. It would be great if that’s all we had to do to produce world peace. 2011 Oct 663 Ginges J.’ etc. Incurring personal costs in order to “punish violations of social norms” and the propensity for tribal nepotism seem like highly favorable traits to evolve for valuable coalition bonding. by simply instantiating an awareness and a habit to always intentionally seek out and explicitly present common ground before we continue. War as a moral imperative (not just practical politics by other means). It seems that how we frame our intention and the intention of others does not only have a specific affect upon how we are perceived. [Audio podcast]. Point of Inquiry podcast: Scott Atran - Violent Extremism and Sacred Values. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. Epub 2011 Feb 16. (8/29/2011). Atran. but unfortunately.” Sacred values are a reified abstract in-group commitment that also allows for secular interpretations in the formation of cultural/political/philosophical “isms. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://rspb. or scientific delineations and relationships (and such framing cannot be further reduced or avoided).

Dan Kahan uses anthropologist Mary Douglas’ Cultural Theory (of risk) in his in-group distinctions. Democrat and finds that the value stratification that he used for his studies is not only less overtly polemic. [Audio podcast].org/george_lakoff_enlightenments_old_and_new 176 . individuality) and via what she terms “high grid” and “low grid” (i. [4:00-8:00. Kahan. Point of Inquiry podcast: Dan Kahan .pointofinquiry.665 Anti-pragmatists might charge these researchers with being overly accommodating and ask. C. D. Lakoff. because it’s easier to cover more subjects who may not be as philosophically/politically sophisticated. really just using manipulative psychological tools to bolster their own agendas?” From the three examples above.664 George Lakoff talks of framing value conception for in-groups dually in terms of a ‘strict father family’ (following rules) vs. He finds too much overlap when dividing by the typical ideological divisions.e. 18:00-20:10]. 664 Mooney. (Interviewee). Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. the ‘nurturing parent family’ (morality is nurturance). atheism conflict in at least some instances. Point of Inquiry podcast: George Lakoff - Enlightenments. but also more accurate and robust.The American Culture War of Fact. atheists or liberal vs. (2/14/2011). where core values are split in two major ways: via what she terms “high group” and “low group” (i. it seems to me that these researchers have merely found better ways to ask the right questions when possible. “Is ignoring the most salient group delineations really the most practical direction for science education or are researchers.pointofinquiry. (Interviewee). [Audio podcast]. hierarchal class stratification vs. both of which we all have to some extent for different issues. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. [20:45-37:00]. conservatives or Republican vs. C. a more egalitarian framework). like politicians. (Interviewer).org/dan_kahan_the_american_culture_war_of_fact 665 Mooney. (4/25/2011). Old and New. collective control vs.e.include the secular justifiably diffuses a potential theism vs. (Interviewer). such as theists vs. G.

pointofinquiry.html 177 . Trout that are increasingly evidenced in the scientific literature are the previously mentioned availability heuristic666 (i. which is often the result of the availability heuristic and exacerbates the problem further. (Interviewer). Chabris. MORE COGNITIVE BIASES EVIDENCE #25: We have several cognitive biases that sometimes work well as quick and dirty intuitive heuristics. the omission bias668 (where we fail to recognize certain bad consequences of inaction and/or blame ourselves for action that was actually right according to the odds.fpanet. 667 Grothe. 666 Trout. In the middle of the video. [Videorecording].D. it seems more easily predictable than it actually is and/or would be again). That we ignore so much that is right in front of us bolsters the evidence for the availability HelpYourselfbyKnowingtheOdds 672 Simons. Some cognitive biases noted by J. He created one classic video672 where the viewer is instructed to “count how many times the players wearing white pass the basketball” in a scene with three players in white and three players in black all moving around randomly and passing the balls around rapidly. He also notes the popular base rate neglect670.D. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. (2009).J. 670 Ibid. (10:00-12:45).com/videos. Point of Inquiry podcast: Part one: The Empathy Gap. (9/3/2009). Trout.671 (where we fail to realize that we are unable to estimate the relative frequency/probability of events). Daniel Simons performed several attention tests to show this. (19:40-21:35). but unlucky). The Invisible Gorilla. C.D. confusing the high probability that a reason will come to mind with a high probability that it will explain the problem in question). (p. New York. D. J.theinvisiblegorilla. (12/19/2011). D. (1999). J. Viking/Penguin. so we favor them as useful. (11:30-17:45). Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. Base Rate Neglect: Help Yourself by Knowing the 668 Ibid. D. but they get us into trouble in other contexts where we need a larger and more accurate pool of data. (Interviewee). [Audio podcast]. 104). The Empathy Gap: Building Bridges to the Good Life and the Good Society.e. and the hindsight bias669 (because an effect is in the past. (22:30-22:45). 671 Zuckerman. The Original Selective Attention Test. as well as the overconfidence bias667 (where our overconfidence doesn’t correspond to reality). 669 Ibid.

[Audio podcast]. Trout. politicians would say that suicide prevention vs.html 675 Grothe.D. For example. Fallacy: Misleading Vividness. as they are related. Point of Inquiry podcast: Part one: The Empathy Gap. (9/3/2009). but the point is that we need an honest “recalibration” of what the science actually says in public policy to trump biased argumentum ad 673 Spiegel. can steer us in the wrong direction in other contexts. Half of the people who watched were so focused on the task that they did not even notice the gorilla at all. Fallacy Tutorial Pro 3. D. then walks out of view. stops and beats its chest. J. how easily something comes to mind) and the representativeness heuristic (subtly different. C. and misleading heuristics. NPR.pointofinquiry. Why Seeing (the Unexpected) is Often Not Believing. (Interviewee). Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. [Audio podcast].org/features/fallacies/misleading-vividness. gun control in schools is a false dichotomy. A.0. heuristics like the availability heuristic ( 674 Labossiere. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www.673 THE IMPLICATIONS: I originally intended to discuss the availability heuristic in tandem with the confirmation bias. such as in political legislation and social 178 . is really a much more detrimental issue for school kids according to social data inadequately filtered by our biased heuristics. but there is too much to say about each one independently. such as when we need[ed] a good guess in a hurry and science is/was not available.npr. because we can address both. (Interviewer). while teen suicide. (Especially 17:45-19:35). Several other tests have shown this to be a common phenomenon.someone in a gorilla suit walks slowly through the scene. Trout shows how the same biases that have probably evolved as good intuitive heuristics. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www.pointofinquiry. we notice that they are all related and exacerbate each other in different ways anyway. (Posted 6/20/2011). (9/10/2009). in that it is specifically how salient/memorable and/or emotive something is) can produce base rate neglect/the fallacy of misleading vividness674 and provoke politicians to choose to focus on legislation based less upon what the science shows are actually bigger and/or more frequent problems than what is just dominant in the media.D. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. Point of Inquiry podcast: Part two: The Science of the Good Society.675 To be fair.J. Trout asks us to consider the uproar over the Columbine school shootings and resulting attention to gun control in Congress. and as we go through the cognitive biases. etc. (1995). M. neglects. though more quiet in the news.

J. E. J. (1/5/2009).677. Lieberman. (2012). Peanut Butter and Paternalism. The question is.sciencemag.679 Of course. B. People get very suspicious when they hear phrases like “social engineering. Effective Ad? Ask Your Brain. skeptical complaining is a good thing to keep ourselves in check. polling could go that way too. J. We are already looking to fMRI to document influence.”676 We’ve already seen one such outside strategy suggestion in Evidence #21 by Trout and others in the form of improvement by applying actuarial methods like Statistical Prediction Rules. as well as the effects of unintentional internal intra-social engineering: our cognitive biases. From Neural Responses to Population Behavior: Neural Focus Group Predicts Population-Level Media Effects. 2012. Available on 9/21/2012 at http://news.678 but depending upon technology.D. creative social engineering. Berkman. especially in advertising. There is a middle ground that is reasonable. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. could create policies and environments that innately thwart biases on the social level before they can even get a foothold or be recognized as such.psychologytoday. As Trout notes. 19).html?ref=em 679 Trout. “how much do we want to limit our ‘now selves’ for the benefit of our ‘future selves’?” As Trout illustrates.1177/0956797611434964 678 Lee. T. [Web log post]. New York. What I’m talking about is systematizing awareness and strategies to counteract them. This can be accomplished using what Trout calls “outside strategies.D. E. D. ScienceNow. So there is good reason to welcome organizing society in a way that thwarts our unhealthy and inaccurate cognitive shortcomings without an unrealistic fear of losing crucial freedom. The Empathy Gap: Building Bridges to the Good Life and the Good Society.” but we are already products of constant negative social engineering: the media and advertising. we do allow seat belt and helmet laws. But we base these laws (hopefully) upon risk probabilities that cash out to goods intended for our future selves and which most laypeople are largely unable to calculate or even address at all. 677 Falk.populum and reasoning heuristics only meant for immediate response. Viking/Penguin.. DOI: 10. 179 . we just about always complain about paternalistic laws that impose a restriction upon some freedom. (2009). including all manner of health and safety laws. Psychological Science. M.J. It’s been shown that statistical measures help defeat the failure of poor self- reporting and we are poorly aware of how much we are actually influenced. 676 Trout. along with some modest. ( They will also help steer us around our weaker willed desires toward our higher aims when they conflict. but still allow people to drive themselves. (4/27/2012).

Much is being written by philosophers and social scientists about our responsibility toward future selves and more will be in decades to come. It will be interesting to see how much this affects the conversation about free will. 180 . I will discuss now selves and future selves more in the Challenges section regarding identity.

. C.S.. G. and Goode (2006).680 We’ve seen that in addition to all the sensory priming.. 181 . We suggest that these primes lead to individual-focused behavior because they activate similar underlying concepts (e.. control)”[683. L... R. for example. Vohs. Goals can be activated and perpetuated nonconsciously. (2010). Reddy. Krishna Savani. Trö A. R. K. and Gruenfeld (2006) found that priming power (i.. Galinsky. makes people engage in more self-interested behaviors. S. H. Primes of money and/or power have been shown to make us more self- centered. 391-398.caltech. 435: 1102-1107. There is evidence of neuronal categorizing right down to single neurons representing objects in the world—at least as persons anyway. [p. 21. Lee-Chai. neuronal representations seem to be wired in such a way that even our world views and long term goals are affected when we are primed by them. J.681. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://discovermagazine. R. These representations seem to have impact in other social domains as well. R. Inesi. Barndollar.. What counts as a choice? U. Gollwitzer. Naidu. which is associated with individual influence and control. (2005). V. Fried. 681 Zimmer. Americans are more likely than Indians to construe actions as choices.. Kreiman.684. et al (2010) discusses: recent findings about the effects of primes that promote attention to the self at the expense of other people. C. Kumar. (6/2009). P. In a study contrasting how Americans and Indians choose.685] [emphasis mine]. Likewise.. Markus. (2001). influence. Magee. 81:1014-1027. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://www. Koch. The Brain Can a Single Neuron Tell Halle Berry From Grandma Esther? Discover Magazine. I.. Invariant visual representation by single-neurons in the human halle-berry-from-grandma-esther 682 Quian Quiroga. Nature.682 As we have seen in Evidences #19 (politics) and #23 (religion).. K. 680 Bargh.pdf 683 Savani... The automated will: Nonconscious activation and pursuit of behavioral goals.vis.sagepub. Meade. GOALS AND LONG-TERM PRIMES EVIDENCE #26: Some primes have more enduring effects upon goals and character unconsciously. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. semantic priming is equally pervasive and well-evidenced. 6]. & Berlia.g. N. A. independence.e. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://pss. found that priming money. the capacity to influence other people) reduces willingness to adopt other people’s perspectives. Psychological Science. and can deeply affect our behavior long term at the expense of others.

(2006). 687 Vohs. M. Inesi.. they showed that people who were primed with money were “less helpful than were participants not reminded of money..”687 They also showed some positive effects. 62..03. L. In addition to the Galinski et al (2006) showing that people primed with power are less willing to assume another’s perspective. doi:10. Goals.kellogg. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. Psychological Science. Aarts. they were ultimately less empathetic.jesp. E.(2010).1016/j. R. In another study by Vohs..689 and that a recently evidenced unconscious reward component. R. Goode (2008).. and were more likely to have a tendency to presume that others did not have the same quality of privileged information. Aarts. taking%20psych%20science%202006. and they also preferred solitary activities and less physical intimacy.sciencemag. as Bijleveld. Nicole Do conscious thoughts cause behavior? Annual Review of Psychology. “Across these studies. and Goode (2008). evidence of unconscious reward motivation suggests that “rudimentary mechanisms operating without conscious intervention play an important role”691 in goal formation. H. & Vohs.psych. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. D. H. Meade.093008. Kathleen D. 17(3). 17.002 691 Bijleveld. Custers. and feel”686 [emphasis mine].csom. and Miranda R. free of any conscious intervention. & Goode. J. In short. & Aarts. power was associated with a reduced tendency to comprehend how other people see.1146/annurev.. 690 Bijleveld.131126. “Merely Activating the Concept of Money Changes Personal and Interpersonal Behaviour. A. D. Advance online publication..umn. 865–869. (2006). K.northwestern. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. (2011). Science. K. D. 208-212. R. & Gruenfeld.1037/a0027615 182 . H. H. D. E. Masicampo. Adaptive Reward Pursuit: How Effort Requirements Affect Unconscious Reward Responses and Conscious Reward Decisions. A. Aarts 2011.”690 While conscious control offers the ability to conserve energy and change strategies in order to acquire rewards. (2011a).2011.. E. C. Annual Review of Psychology. Meade. M. 2010.. 689 Dijksterhuis. 1154–1156.pdf 688 Baumeister. 331−361. such as that they sought more work and worked harder. Mead. E. R. attention. F. There is evidence that conscious task rewards can actually thwart motivation when they over-focus on the 685 Galinsky.” Current Directions in Psychological Science.. The psychological consequences of money. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.. doi:10.. doi: 10. N. 1068–1074. think. put it. (2012). Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. Power and perspectives not taken. “has a favorable effect by itself. 314. Once the money is in sight: Distinctive effects of conscious and unconscious rewards on task performance. Magee.pdf 686 Ibid. those primed with power were also shown to be less accurate in adducing the emotional expressions of others. J. and (un) consciousness. “people can often weigh the relative importance of attributes quite well unconsciously” and “that subliminal motivation can have long-lasting effects on executive 684 Vohs. Custers. 61: 467e490.

Long-lasting effects of performance contingent unconscious and conscious reward incentives during cued task-switching. R. for the purpose of this book. 21(2): A. Also threatened to an unknown extent is the notion that our ability to reason over time purifies our control. This is the kind of evidence that really comes into play when discussing what I will call the endurance argument: the notion that time allows for the establishment of special identity and/or a long term decision-making process that creates a space for free will. Lecture by John A. One might think that perhaps studies like these should be used to rebuke public displays of wealth. (2012).1016/j..”692 Also. Hansenne. personality can be a factor in whether a person benefits more from conscious or unconscious 183 . It plays an actual roll in our non- conscious decisions that affect goal driven behavior. C. We’ll see later that this counts for creativity in general. but then what of those who are inspired to work harder—maybe just hard enough to get by—when they wouldn’t have been able to do it otherwise. As John Bargh has shown. Bouquet. What do these studies imply about how people in well-to-do cosmopolitan cities perceive the world by default.control processes. Personality modulation of (un)conscious processing: Novelty seeking and performance following supraliminal and subliminal reward cues. J.693 THE IMPLICATIONS: Considering the power of priming. 694 “TheMizzouTube. one thing should be clear at this point: environment has a powerful impact on our lives. it’s our conscious mind that really gets the credit.doi. as opposed to country folk? Are people in places where money and power are displayed generally less empathetic. (2012). A.. we can see that. [Video file]. studies showing priming of achievement have worked wonders as well.05. Cortex. J. Bargh. This doesn’t have to be negative though. as it was put 692 Capa.. Consciousness and Cognition. Dufour. and ambitious? The stereotypes may be there for a good reason. G..” (uploaded on 8/23/2011). M. Dreher.cortex. C. [26:00-30:00]. The ability of primes and biases to affect us unconsciously and over the long term undermine the notion that when it comes down to making a decision. 2012. and Capa.694 And conscious task driven achievement rewards are often a well established failure in comparison. L.. Quoidbach. I will address this argument at length in the Challenges. Available on 9/21/2012 at http://www. without the inspiration? What if these primes compel people to be stronger and better informed in order to compete? Whatever the consequences. http://dx. R.018 693 Bustin.2012. M. Unconscious behavioral guidance systems.

184 . “even subtle reminders of money elicit big changes in human Vohs. and Goode (2008).”695 695 Ibid. Meade.

(1997). V. Science. J. B...pdf 701 Morrison. E. 702 Jackson. How do we perceive the pain of others: A window into the neural processes involved in empathy. NeuroImage.plosone.. & Roberts. T.699.abstract 700 Hein. J. (2007). C. Perception and action planning. & Flash. Batson. 24.. W..705..A.. J. Empathy for pain involves the affective but not the sensory components of pain. Hendler. B.708.. 19.706 and disgust707 -it has even been shown to happen in animals. Mirror neurons are experience related neurons that automatically fire in us after merely perceiving the experience of others. & Moriguchi.702.pdf 185 .D. Testing Sumulation Theory with Cross-Modal Multivariate Classification of fMRI DATA. 697 Ezel. V. Anton. Gallese.sciencemag. G..701. 42-58. I feel how you feel but not always: the empathic brain and its modulation. Seymour. 153-158.N.. autonomic and somatic responses are generated to some degree in a subject.L. C. I. BioPsychoSocial Medicine.. (2004). T.sagepub. P. 104. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://home. Vicarious responses to pain in anterior cingulate cortex: is empathy a multisensory issue? Cognitive & Affective Behavioral Neuroscience..pone. Gazzola. L.697. 335–46. 22-65.0003690 698 Eran Dayan.. N. di Pellegrino. Neuron. Wicker. & Decety..704 touch.. Frith. unless inhibited.uzh. Neural representations of kinematic laws of motion: Evidence for action-perception coupling. J. J. 1157-1161.698 which is a theory that links motor (movement) and perceptual (audio/visual) representations via mirror neurons (i. D. The neural substrate of human empathy: effects of perspective-taking and cognitive appraisal.sciencedirect. Singer. Lloyd. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://emr. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://neulaw. (2004). perception and action share the same code in the brain.. 42. Dolan. R. Y. C.696. (2008). EMPATHY EVIDENCE #27: We have the neural underpinnings for a predisposition for empathy… like it or not! This is to say that.709 696 703 Lamm. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. T. 2008.. Keysers. especially salient experience. T. (2005). Opin. Giese. PNAS.socialbehavior.e. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. There is growing evidence for Wolfgang Prinz’s common coding theory. Curr. 771-779.pdf 704 Singer. O’Doherty. N. 20582- 20587 699 Decety.A. Neurobio. A. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. Meltzoff..springerlink.. J.700 This has been shown to occur in the context of Plos One 3(11) e3690. H. Kaube. The empathic brain and its dysfunction in psychiatric populations: implications for intervention across different clinical conditions. (2004). Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www... (2008).. 270-278. Gazzola. C. Available on 9/21/2012 at http://www.L. 18(2). especially primates. V. 303. & Decety. merely by the awareness of the experience of another agent. (2007). Common coding may be in addition to separate coding).. 9: 129-154. Casile.. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. (2007). A touching sight: SII/PV activation during the observation and experience of touch. 1. C.abstract 705 Keysers.1371%2Fjournal.

B.pdf 708 Keysers.. C.cs. H.713 Even feeling other people’s pain doesn’t necessarily lead to pro-social behavior. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Ideomotor learning predicts/anticipates/directs future movement based upon what it has ‘learned’ from desirable responses. indeed. Both of us disgusted in my insula: the common neural basis of seeing and feeling disgust. 44. K. Gazzola. Lahey. It must be understood though. Empathy and the brain. (2005).%20(Vision- touch%20synaesthesia). 128. Gallese. Behavioral cues to others' motivation and goal pursuits: The perception of effort facilitates goal inferences and contagion.46:2607–14. B. 291-312. Plailly.html 714 Decety.. K. and Akitsuki. The influence of social groups on goal contagion. (1952). Neuropsychologia. V. Somatosensory activations during the observation of touch and a case of vision-touch synaesthesia. (2008).phs. who seemed to sadistically enjoy the experience of others suffering more.”710. and Akitsuki.W. E. Ward. Neurology and the mind-body problem. we might think that only something like the concept of free will can accommodate it. that some studies have shown that predispositions to empathy may still have complex parameters.. ScienceNow.. (2009). Michalska. R. V. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. G.. a phenomenon termed goal contagion.. Michalska. emotions and sensations. (5/7/2012). Biol Psychol. Aarts... 1571-1583. G. i. as was shown in kids with conduct disorder. 727−737. Rizzolatti. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. Y. Who caused the pain? An fMRI investigation of empathy and intentionality in children. J.. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://news. Again. Dik and Aarts note and bolster “research demonstrat[ing] that people spontaneously. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 1555-1558. 713 Dewar. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. Brain. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://fasphilosophy. Y. C. American Scientist. Payne. but not all of the evidences for predisposition are threatening to our humanity. S. (2003). Bird.sciencemag. C.pdf 707 Wicker. 80(2): 203. 711 Loersch.711 Because of the link between motor action and perceptual consequences. Dogs Feel Your Pain. (2008)... 40..pdf 709 Marcos Z.bcnnic. 712 Sperry.715 though as one may expect. K. B. J. some may underpin that too. 43. H.html?ref=em 710 Dik. 40. (2009). J. (2008). G.. Keysers. there is the opportunity for what is called ideomotor learning. [Web log post]. going back to Roger Sperry712 and William without conscious intent.uoa. Atypical Empathetic Responses in Adolescents with Aggressive Conduct Disorder: A functional MRI Investigation. G.46 715 Decety. 655-664.. Frith. Pierre Royet. Curr Opinion Neurobiol. (2007). Neuron... 186 .e. & Jefferis. D.rutgers.. & J.B. this is atypical. C. Expanding the mirror: vicarious activity for actions. J. Bristow. THE IMPLICATIONS: When we do not understand that we are actually predisposed to empathy.parentingscience. infer and pursue the goals perceived in others’ behavior. 706 Blakemore.714.

though the experience of empathy before bias corruption seems to sit less comfortably with the doctrine of original sin. The existence of functional mirror neurons in the context of certain popular religious theologies is also interesting to consider. Perhaps the greatest bias we possess is for our self-preservation. at least in the short term. and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” Gen. I want to highlight them so we can work with them or against them. as my goal here is to illustrate all the ways in which we are pulled in different directions in the world.e. often beyond our conscious desires. 6:5/8:21). nihilistic (i. Though there will never be an end to theistic rejoinders from infinite points of view on just about any topic as long as humans exist. What I don’t want to do is ignore them or downplay them. That said. 14:1 and “…the wickedness of man was great in the earth. whichever is appropriate. as a result of the fact the we found ourselves on the Savanna two million years ago or so at the bottom of the food chain and were selected for those cooperative dispositions that moved us to the top 187 . I will discuss some of the more popular theological implications for these Evidences further in the Challenges section. what may be most important here is to recognize that even if we accept the most reductive. because both ultimately serve our survival/social needs and quality of life needs. for coordination. as the philosopher Alex Rosenberg has noted. Perhaps. as the Christian theologian might reply. amoral) “scientistic” conception of the world. One could say that rather than being inherently evil. this is where our corruption lies (i. The theist might also retort that the corruption lies in frontloading of moral biases seen in Evidence #4. It should go without saying that the balance is important. as it doesn’t get enough time for a reasoned veto. human life is still: …largely the result of selection for cooperation. Theists are certainly not the only ones with a pessimistic opinion about the nature of human moral predisposition.e. We do have an egoistic drive in competition with our empathetic drive. “…there is none that doeth good” Ps. for altruism. perhaps it should even be listed as an Evidence. It is true that biases may come after the initial empathy that may negate it (and we shall see more of this in the next few Evidences) or that a ‘fast’ heuristic is an even more likely source of a bias. would be inherently sympathetic enough to want to eradicate it. we actually understand the pain of others to some extent and.

716 Flanagan. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from flanagan-and-alex-rosenberg 188 . (10/6/2011). [Video log post]. [100:00-103:00]. of the food chain.[716] [emphasis mine]. A. we are going to be unable to do enough about them to endanger ourselves or anybody else.. O. Rosenberg. Owen Flanagan and Alex Rosenberg on the significance of naturalism. And those dispositions continue to be in force in the early twenty-first century and will continue to be in force so long as the environment remains reasonably stable to make most of us quite non-nihilistic in our fundamental dispositions […] even when we recognize the illusory character of the drivers of human social life.philostv.

e. the ‘identifiable victim’ effect). this dropped again to 31%. As he writes: Most people are caring and will exert great effort to rescue individual victims whose needy plight comes to their attention. When they thought there was one other Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://faculty. & Latané. This correlates with the work of Paul Slovic that showed evidence for something a little different: he showed a propensity for individuals to commensurately avoid helping other individuals as they are perceived to be a part of larger and larger groups experiencing the same problem (i. Bystander Effect.babson.. Bibb Latané and John Darley conducted several experiments that showed the bystander effect. the less chance for the individual to give aid. but they also denied that the numbers had any influence in their decisions and reaction time. 377–383. And when they thought there were four other people. [Web log post].com/psychology_d/templates/student_resources/0155060678_rathus/ps/ thusly: Latané and Darley sat a series of college students in a cubicle amongst a number of other cubicles in which there were tapes of other students playing (the student thought they were real people).html and retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. One of the voices cries for help and makes sounds of severe choking. often become 717 Darley. 8. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.[718] The subjects claimed to not only be unaware of the influence of the number of bystanders. however. J.D. this dropped to 65%. (1968). M.717 It is described on changingminds. 85% rushed to help. (N. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://changingminds. both the number of bystanders that are present and the number of people in distress correlate to the likelihood that a bystander will give that person aid. When the student thought they were the only person there.htm 189 . D. Bystander intervention in emergencies: Diffusion of responsibility. OBLIGATION EVIDENCE #28: In a situation where one or more people are in distress and need of aid. That is to say: the larger the distressed group. These same good people.html 718 Straker.

numbly indifferent to the plight of individuals who are “one of many” in a much greater
problem. […] One fundamental mechanism that may play a role in many, if not all,
episodes of mass-murder neglect involves the capacity to experience affect, the positive
and negative feelings that combine with reasoned analysis to guide our judgments,
decisions, and actions.[719]

THE IMPLICATIONS: We’ve seen some of the neural underpinnings for the capacity for
empathy, but there is also evidence that it is limited. We might think that in a scenario where
there are more people around, one would feel more encouraged to help a person in distress,
because there is more support around, but this is not the case.
Consider the recent case of Good Samaritan Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax,720 who was stabbed
while thwarting a mugging on the streets of New York, left bleeding to death with at least 20
people noticing over an hour, yet none helping. It was all caught on surveillance camera. One
person even stopped to take a picture and continued on. Would you consider this bias as a factor
that would influence your (moral) decision to help or not if you had not been made aware of it?
If this example is really just correlation without causation, with actual good reasons why people
do not help each other when there are more people around, what would they be? Is altruism
really just something like ‘egoism in disguise’?
We know that our individual choices are strongly influenced by social norms. We are
likely to conform to a group opinion when one is made to feel incompetent or insecure; the group
has at least three people; the group is unanimous; one admires the group’s status and
attractiveness; one has made no prior commitment to any response; others in the group observe
one’s behavior; or one’s culture strongly encourages respect for social standards.721
When considering our propensity for altruistic behavior, or any behavior in our decision-
making process, perhaps even more deeply imbedded than social norms, are the sociobiological
effects of internal physiological responses to certain stimuli. There are many to consider. I’ve

Slovic, P. (4/2007). “If I look at the mass I will never act”: Psychic numbing and genocide. Judgment and
Decision Making, Vol. 2, No. 2, April 2007, pp. 79–95. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from
Davis, L., Milberger, M., and Santichen, K. (4/25/2010). Good Samaritan Left for Dead on City Sidewalk.
ABC News’ Good Morning America. Available on 8/7/2011 from
and video file retrieved on 9/21/2012 from
Myers, D. (2010). Psychology 9th edition. New York: Worth Publishers. [p. 682]. (ISBN 978-1-4292-1597-8)


already mentioned the effects of the neurotransmitter oxytocin in the context of pair-bonding, it’s
also crucial in social behavior. In some experimental games of neuroeconomics, “45% of
oxytocin-treated subjects demonstrated the maximal trust level, versus 21% in the placebo
group.”722 Zak et al (2007), showed that “oxytocin subjects were 80% more generous than
placebo subjects in a money-gifting generosity game; these effects were twice as potent as the
endogenous effect of altruism (one-sided giving)”723,724 [emphasis mine], and “oxytocin subjects
were more mindful of generous human intentions.”725
Another important parameter of neuroeconomic studies was the resulting indication that
even though oxytocin does stimulate common reward circuitry (e.g. food and drink),726
oxytocin’s influence was not merely a generalized effect on risk taking or optimism (i.e. a
hedonistic decision heuristic), but was a “specific effect on social decision making,” in that
oxytocin was shown to produce the “first mover” effect: to inspire “approach,” as in initiative,
which is crucial when getting the “pay it forward” ball rolling. What the bystander effect needs is
initiative and it seems that oxytocin provides it.
In other sociobiological studies, reflexive bodily responses during computer viewings of
black and white faces evidenced prejudice in the brain (the amygdala) and in certain facial
muscle reactions.727,728,729 In similar studies, viewers were asked to press a button and ‘shoot’
men who popped up on a screen holding a gun, while not ‘shooting’ the men holding a bottle or a
flashlight. Both teams found that the black men that popped up on the screen holding harmless
objects were more often mistakenly shot by both white and black subjects than were the white

Kosfeld, M., Heinrichs, M., Zak, P.J., Fischbacher, U., Fehr, E. (2005). Oxytocin increases trust in humans.
Nature. 2005;435:673–6. Available on 9/21/2012 at
Zak, P. J (2007), The Neuroeconomics of Trust, in: R. Frantz (ed.), Renaissance in Behavioral Economics,
MacDonald, K., & MacDonald, T. (2010). The peptide that binds: A systematic review of oxycotin and its
prosocial effects in humans. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 18(1), 1-21. doi:10.3109/10673220903523615 [p.5].
Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from
Ibid. [p.9]
Ibid. [p.4]
Cunningham, W.A., Nezlek, J.B., & Banaji, M.R. (2004). Implicit and explicit ethnocentrism: Revisiting
the ideologies of prejudice. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30, 1332–1346. Available on 9/21/2012
Eberhardt, J. L. (2005). Imaging Race. American Psychologist, Vol 60(2), Feb-Mar 2005, 181-190. doi:
10.1037/0003-066X.60.2.181 Available on 9/21/2012 at
Vanman, E. J., Saltz, J., Nathan, L., Warren, J. (2004). Racial Discrimination by Low-Prejudiced Whites:
Facial movements as Implicit Measures of Attitudes Related to Behavior. Psychological Science 15: 711-714.
Available on 9/21/2012 at


men.730,731,732 It’s clear that our immediate instincts can be trained and they may spill over into
our ‘reasoned’ judgment as biases.
Darley and Latané’s work identified a decision-making process for intervention in the
bystander effect. Three things must happen in order for people to help: they must notice the
incident, then they must recognize the situation as an emergency, and then they must take
responsibility and help.733 The more people that are observed not helping evokes a diffusion of
responsibility (and diffusion of responsibility is probably why that movie with all your favorite
actors doing cameos in it also has most of them giving the most mediocre performances of their
careers). It becomes easier to either ignore the incident or to fail to recognize the situation as an
emergency. After observing thousands of people in these situations, researchers have discovered
several other factors that will increase our odds in helping others, in addition to the ones already

 We are in a more alert frame of mind
 We have the time to help
 We’re in a good mood
 We’re feeling guilty
 The person is somehow similar to us
 We are in a small town[734]

So far, with all of these propensities in mind, can we really view our tendency toward or
away from altruism as something ideologically pure? Even animals have shown behavior that

Correll, J., Park, B., Judd, C. M., & Wittenbrink, B. (2002). The police officer’s dilemma: Using ethnicity
to disambiguate potentially threatening individuals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83,
1314–1329. Available on 9/21/2012 at
Correll, J., Park, B., Judd, C. M., & Wittenbrink, B. (2007). The influence of stereotypes on decisions to
shoot. European Journal of Social Psychology, 37,1102−1117. Available on 9/21/2012 at
Greenwald, A. G., Oakes, M. A., Hoffman, H. (2003). Targets of Discrimination: Effects of Race on
Responses to Weapons Holders, 39 J. Experimental Soc. Psychol. 399 (2003).
Myers, D. (2010). Psychology 9th edition. New York: Worth Publishers. [p. 713]. (ISBN 978-1-4292-1597-8)


would put many humans to shame.735,736,737,738,739 Does the ‘egoism in disguise’ theory seem a
little more likely now, considering all of these fast-track heuristics and subterranean influences?
What about moments where people give their lives for others? That happens a lot more than we
know. Does it matter that they were motivated by or can be explained by social exchange theory
or social norms or sociobiology or theology or utilitarianism or tit-for-tat reciprocal altruism?
Yes, it matters because we want to maximize that behavior.
These results may relate to other evidence here concerning some possible physical
limitations upon empathetic response, such as the “moral burnout” hypothesized in Evidence
#9. Peter Singer has noted in The Life You Can Save,740 that people are willing to make huge
sacrifices to save a life in our immediate sphere of attention, such as to jump into a lake with a
$500 suit on to save a drowning baby, but are not willing to make the same sacrifice or even a
much smaller sacrifice to save the lives of people out of our immediate attention, such as to send
far less than $500 to aid destitute children who will surely die without it. Nationally, more than
26,000 children under five die each day of preventable causes.741
It seems pretty clear that the former scenario is more instinctually housed via immediate
and salient emotional provocation, while the latter can be contemplated from an armchair and
shuffled to the analytical part of the brain. This is exactly why we need to systematize social
programs. There’s no getting around the increased efficacy favoring our least salient selves that
we would admittedly ascribe equal importance and responsibility to in any given moment. That
is to say that as we consider this right now, we can’t think of a moment when Singer’s two

Muehlhauser, L. (Interviewer), Pierce, J. (Interviewee). (11/16/2009). Conversations from the Pale Blue Dot
podcast: 010: Jessica Pierce – Animal Morality. [Audio podcast]. [4:30-end]. Available on 9/21/2012 at
Yong, E. (8/6/2011). Charity of the apes – chimps spontaneously help each other. [Web log post]. Available
on 9/21/2012 at
Morell, V. (7/26/2011). Asian Elephants Are Social Networkers. [Web log post]. Science Now. Available on
9/21/2012 at
Binns, C. (2/28/2006). Case Closed: Apes Got Culture. Live Science. Available on 9/21/2012 at
Schmidt, R. E. (12/8/2008). Not just your kids: Dogs can think ‘no fair’ too. Associated Press. Available on
9/21/2012 at
Grothe, D.J. (Interviewer), Singer, P. (Interviewee). (6/19/2009). Point of Inquiry podcast: Peter Singer -
The Life You Can Save. [Audio podcast]. (7:30-9:30). Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from
UNICEF. (2008). State of the World's Children Report. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from


examples are justifiably different, even if we have a propensity to miss or make those distinctions
all the time in our daily lives.
Slovic’s work is just more evidence in the case against intuition as our primary guide to
morality. More than just intuition is needed in moral evaluation. It’s important to recognize
limiting factors when they exist and to consider that they may or may not be directly related to
whatever it is that facilitates empathy directly (e.g. mirror neurons). There’s a long way to go in
the research to map out all our limitations, but we see things that demand our attention.
Considering that behavioral/cognitive research like this is in its infancy, how many other factors
like the bystander effect do you suspect may affect your decisions without you knowing it?
The last thing to discuss about the bystander effect is how this predisposition might cash
out intellectually. Social media often does not require that we justify ourselves every time we
press “like” or post a superficial strawman caricature of our cultural competitor, such as a bad
photo of them with an ad populum or ad hominem sound byte. We often don’t feel that we have
to explain why we approve or disapprove, just show that we do approve or disapprove,
superficially. As much of the evidence in this work shows, if the main reason that beliefs are
adopted in the first place is merely that the in-group majority believes them and we fear reprisals,
whether we realize that or not, then through social media, an intellectual diffusion of
responsibility will seem to justify and habituate the promotion of empty propaganda, i.e. “I don’t
need to defend it intellectually; surely someone else somewhere else has already done that, since
so many people believe it. I’ll just keep pushing it until I get an explanation.”
I admit that as the data continues to role in, it may be perceived as more accurate for me
to have combined some of these Evidences, such as the priming biases, empathy related issues,
moral predispositions, etc. and perhaps separated out other Evidences more than I have, such as
intention biases, other moral predispositions, etc., but the correlations are always in flux to some
extent and some effects are more evidenced than others. It is my hope that the reader will get
enough of a taste of these problems in the challenge to generally accepted folk intuitions of free
will to investigate the science further on her own.



EVIDENCE #29: Certain experiments have shown biases that may be based upon gender

Men and women have been shown to have significantly different intuitive response to
classic thought experiments, such as the ‘Chairman of the Board’ thought experiment described
in Evidence #4 where women were actually shown to be more likely to ascribe knowledgeable
intention in the case of blame.742,743 This is especially true in cases of judicial judgment over
These results seem to be due more to an enduring propensity for empathy in women745
(for the victim), than they do to authoritarian assertions about fairness,746,747 which would also
explain why women are more liberal in cases related to civil liberties.748 As Singer et al (2006)
put it, “Both sexes exhibited empathy-related activation in pain-related brain areas (fronto-
insular and anterior cingulate cortices) towards fair players. However, these empathy-related
responses were significantly reduced in males when observing an unfair person receiving
pain.”749 And as CUNY philosophy professor Jesse Prinz adds, “When men watch wrongdoers

Edmonds, D. (Interviewer), Knobe, J. (Interviewee). (8/28/2010). Philosophy Bites podcast: Joshua Knobe
on Experimental Philosophy. [Audio podcast]. [11:20-12:30]. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from
Buckwalter, W., Stich, S. (10/26/2010). Gender and Philosophical Intuition. [pp. 17-18]. Retrieved on
9/21/2012 from
Coontz, P. (2000). Gender and judicial decisions: Do female judges decide cases differently than male
judges? Gender Issues. Volume 18, Number 4, 59-73, DOI: 10.1007/s12147-001-0024-7 Retrieved on 9/21/2012
Mestre, M.V. (2009). Are women more empathetic than men? A longitudinal study in adolescence.
The Spanish Journal of Psychology. 12:76-83. 2009. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from
Singer, T., & Steinbeis, N. (2009). Differential roles of fairness - and compassion-based motivations for
cooperation, defection, and punishment. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1167 (1), 41–50.
Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from
Harenski, C.L., Antonenko, O., Shane, M.S., Kiehl, K.A. (2008). Gender differences in neural mechanisms
underlying moral sensitivity. Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience, 3, 313-324. Retrieved on 9/21/2012
Tajuana, M., Johnson, S.W., M. Gubala., S.M. (2002). ‘‘The Impact of Gender and Race
in the Decisions of Judges on the United States Courts of Appeals.’’ Prepared for delivery at the
annual meeting of the 2002 Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, Ill. Available on 9/21/2012 at
Singer, T., Seymour, B., O'Doherty, J.P., Stephan, K.E., Dolan, R.J., Frith, C.D. (1/26/2006). Empathic
neural responses are modulated by the perceived fairness of others. Nature; 439:466-9.


getting punished, there is activation in reward centers of their brains, whereas women’s brains
show activation in pain centers, suggesting that they feel empathy for suffering even when it is
As it was shown in Evidence #20, our propensity for taking risks increase when we
experience loss, with hormonal changes and/or (pre)dispositions via testosterone, cortisone—
even when viewing erotic pictures. While women are more sensitive to testosterone than men,
studies have shown that testosterone is naturally found about ten times more abundant in men,
thus suggesting an increased male vulnerability to risk and impatience by default.751 Men have
been shown to decrease testosterone production via fatherhood, which improves sympathy,
marriage longevity, and child rearing.752,753
Prinz has also noted754 several other studies that show differences in gender outcomes,
such as that “women were twice as generous in a game that involved dividing $10 with a
stranger,”755 that “women are more likely than men to reciprocate acts of kindness,”756 and that
“women tend to be more egalitarian then men, and men are more likely to be either completely
selfless [or] selfish.”757 Tend and befriend758 is an alternative stress response to fight or flight that
brings the inner nurse out in people and is typically seen more in women. Some researchers

Prinz, J. (5/18/2010). Sex on the Bench: Do Women and Men Have Different Moral Values? Retrieved on
9/21/2012 from
Barber, B., Odean, T. (2/2001). Boys will be Boys: Gender, Overconfidence, and Common Stock
Investment. Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 116, No. 1, 261-292. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from
Lee T. Gettler, Thomas W. Mcdade, Alan B. Feranil, Christopher W. Kuzawa. Longitudinal evidence that
fatherhood decreases testosterone in human males. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011;
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1105403108 Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from
Norton, E. (10/12/2011). Fatherhood Decreases Testosterone. Science Now. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from
Prinz, J. (5/18/2010). Sex on the Bench: Do Women and Men Have Different Moral Values? Retrieved on
9/21/2012 from
Eckel, C.C., & Grossman, P.J. (1996). “Altruism in Anonymous Dictator Games,” Games and Economic
Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 181-191, October. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from
Croson, R., Gneezy, U. (2008). Gender differences in preferences. Journal of Economic Literature, 47(2):
448–74. DOI:10.1257/jel.47.2.448 Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from
Andreoni, J. & Vesterlund L. (2001). Which is the Fair Sex? Gender differences in altruism. The Quarterly
Journal of Economics, 116(1), 293-312. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from
Taylor, S.E., Klein, L.C., Lewis, B.P., Gruenewald, T.L., Gurung, R.A.R., & Updegraff, J.A. (2000).
Biobehavioral responses to stress in females: Tend-and-befriend, not fight-or-flight. Psychological Review,
107, 411–429.


This is not to say that we can’t ultimately overcome them. etc.consider tend and befriend to be a result of higher levels of oxytocin. 273-277. [31:00-36:00].761 As noted in related Evidences above. cultural. T. on and on. gender. sexuality. (10/18/2010). politics. from what it looks like at this point. All that said. outliers. [Video file]. so we must take them individually with a pinch of salt—it’s the collective context that is really most significant. with more variation depending upon who they are interacting with and hired/appointed by. but we should try to recognize them if they are there. the average differences are just that.E. and considering the emotionally charged implications inherent in even discussing the possibilities that there may be some gender essential differences. party commitments do seem to have a stronger influence than gender. class. S. Sex on the Bench: Do Women and Men Have Different Moral Values? Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. religion. (though they won’t deny it either). Tend and befriend: Biobehavioral bases of affiliation under stress. (2006)..psychologytoday. this research is in its infancy. and any individual can be anywhere on a continuum in 761 Prinz. cultural biases are still relevant. socializations. Even so. 15. As with most biases in a biological context of race. it nonetheless 759 Taylor. It may be fairly obvious that men are this way and women are that way. Stich. but what should be observed is that we take for granted that there can be physiological. women-and-men-have-different-moral-values 197 . the focus in these Evidences for my purpose here is not constrained to genetic biases.. role demands. THE IMPLICATIONS: Jesse Prinz and the researchers in these studies are often very clear about their apprehension in concluding that they are necessarily documenting evidence for a kind of gender essentialism based upon ‘hard wiring’ genetics. The problem. gender bias sits in a larger context with many competitors. The focus should not be upon the novelty of predisposition in gender either. (5/18/2010). Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www.philostv. considering the amount of variables. and sexual reasons for paradigmatic shifts that put us on fundamentally unequal playing fields at times.760 is that these studies are often limited by small sample sizes. Current Directions in Psychological Science. J.759 so this latter evidence may be a result of that also. For the individual. cultures. S. locations. time frames. As Prinz notes though. etc. as Stephen Stich notes. 760 Gendler.

762 whether these differences are the result of the push of nature or the pull of nurture (as psychologist David Myers might put it). ‘intuitively. etc. sexual receptivity. If our conscious minds really are a consensus of subterranean forces (i. A woman’s ability to better detect olfactory chemical cues (e.pdf 198 . J. who is evidenced to have a better capacity for spatial tasks might better understand. I want you to think about these differences in a completely different context now. mechanical.’ situations where that is more relative (e.g.yalelawjournal. while a man. See Evidence #13) will make them seem more “intuitive” in some instances. ‘intuition’ itself is limited and not magical.seems intuitive to many that women and men have different ways of seeing the world that are often complementary. such as when enduring empathy in women for the victim can lead to harsher judgments than the fairness punishment judgments more pronounced in male ‘wiring. I want to propose that women and men really do anchor each other to produce a perceived acceptable middle ground in some unique ways.e. a motivational middle ground between more (generally) emotional/empathetic women and (generally) principled men in a way that is socially advantageous. the moral role of the citizen as part of a balanced collective? ‘Collective morality’ is something to consider in this collection of Evidences in the context of responsibility. artistic. Consider that there are perceptual clues that are contingent upon physical/physiological abilities. So. gender does matter. Consider the mutual codependence that both a man and a woman have with each other in that both are required to procreate. What would this mean in the context of the moral role of the individual vs.L. as we are crucially social animals. a mixture of sub-control and conscious control).org/pdf/114-7/peresie. (5/3/2005). even differing motivations can produce resulting judgments that are actually similar. then collective morality would seem to be an intuitive expansion of that internal heuristic socially and sexually. Available on 9/21/2012 at http://www. It would be easy to see why this would have evolved as such. This creates a window for a unique kind of social balance that may have always been in play since the beginning. Yale Law Journal 114(7): 1759–90. teardrop smells.g. linguistic. armpit odor telling whether or not someone just watched a happy or sad movie. We’ve also seen that in at least some respects. etc.). 762 Peresie. Are men and women fundamentally different? Yes and no.’ People have argued that in certain situations like these. That is to say. Female Judges Matter: Gender and Collegial Decisionmaking in the Federal Appellate Courts.

”763 If we have evolved social behavior in much the same role driven way. Consider that it has been noted that behavior in animals is often mistaken for intention (see Evidence #6). The propensity for this individual task benefits the colony when the rains come and the lip around the hole keeps the water out. (2/4/2011). 199 764 Swaiman. will all the parties (all the other ants) be judged in context of when our behavior made sense each time? Not likely. So. (1999). Ashwal. 763 Dennett. This is reasoning that favors the mean (average) over the mode (majority). “Applying the Intentional Stance to Non-Humans: Can it take the strain?” Presentation at UCLA symposium: How like us are they? Human and Non-human Primate Cognition. Pediatric Neurology: Principles and Practice. The long run regularity runs inbetween. K. C. [Conference]. Philadelphia. Of course. 1999: 719-728. read it again until you do. fundamental heuristic for successful collective morality. required to be off the mark for the individual in order to balance out their counterpart for the greater good in the middle. If what is perceived as good and right is truly based upon a folk heuristic that every fair result should be a (simplified Hegelian) synthesis of every thesis and antithesis we can posit (in this case. one ant might have a genetic propensity to build up a lip around any hole that it might find. S. But when the ant is separated from the colony. then it may be best for you to be at number 2. Chapter 45. If you don’t get that. Mosby Co. Daniel. When an infant automatically employs motor behaviors like the sucking reflex. a compromise between the empathy of women and the principles of men). It may be the most crucial. F. when it comes time to be judged for our actions. but there are instances where it works. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://vimeo. Intention is often more difficult to ascribe than we think. PA.V. our behavior may also very well be contextually sensible or nonsensical. then the moral position of the individual will be. does it do so because it chooses to survive or is it just a reflex?764 Context means everything to the success of predisposition. by functional necessity. Most crudely put: if your goal is for society to be at the number 3 and your partner is a number 4.. not everything can work this way. there are possible conflations and category errors. its repeated behavior to continue to ‘build a lip’ in other contexts might be nonsensical—even detrimental. For example. but even that doesn’t tell the whole story. This is the kind of predisposition that we observe in all life and philosophers and scientists do their best to delineate modes of intention with what Daniel Dennett calls “the intentional stance. such as in the kinds of push-pull type psychological predispositions mentioned. Third Edition.

with Nash equilibrium.g. The moral and/or strategic implications of individuals contingent upon parter/group contexts are hinted at in some of the other Evidences here (e. neuroeconomic games in Evidence #28) and may be explored more deeply in the complex world of John von Neumann’s game theory. religious. and/or political delineations in terms of reinforcing in-group/out-group distinctions. It doesn’t have to be gender differences that put this into play. where the success of all the players in a game cannot be strategically improved unilaterally. for example. though natural physical delineations can exacerbate cultural. 200 . All of these parameters can have some influence in something as comprehensive as game theory.

. reaction time. Intelligence. Head. Psychology 9th edition. Science Daily.768 There is evidence from the largest intelligence study in the history of the world. (2004). They found that a variant in a gene called HMGA2 affected brain size as well as a person’s intelligence. NeuroImage. DNA is comprised of four bases: A.1038/ng. R. 31..sciencedaily. DOI: 10.” 771 Science writer Elaine Schmidt writes Project ENIGMA investigators also discovered genes that explain individual differences in intelligence.2250 Available on 9/21/2012 at http://www. size. K. C.. they’re more sensitive to touch.. and intelligence. and computer science.nature. Stelmack.767 Speaking of sex differences. 768 Myers. Stein et al. J. Intelligence. attention. J. involving over 21. M. D.. R. and 100 organizations that they have finally tracked genes that contribute to brain health (correlating to disease). 200 scientists. E. New Genes Linked to Brain Size. 767 McGarry-Roberts.T. 2012. New York: Worth Publishers. People whose HMGA2 gene held a letter “C” instead of “T” on that location of the gene 765 Haier. R.432-433]. Available on 9/21/2012 at http://www. R. (2006). Nature Genetics. INTELLIGENCE EVIDENCE #30: The range of our capacity for intelligence can be limited or enhanced to some extent by our genetic women are better spellers.766 Neural processing speed also correlates with intelligence. Cosmos.2250. (2010).770 Senior author Paul Thompson said. (ISBN 978-1-4292- 1597-8) 769 First intelligence gene discovered. Intelligence.1359-1365. 766 Colom. We know that there is a correlation with higher intelligence and more gray matter in areas linked to language. Identification of common variants associated with human hippocampal and intracranial volumes. A.769. (4/15/2012). (1992). E. 23(1): 425-433. B. have better verbal fluency (men at verbal analogy) and word 770 Jason L. Jung. Structural brain variation and general intelligence. Campbell. and event- related potentials. Men score better in math problem solving. and memory. R. R.htm 201 . Available on 9/21/2012 at http://www. Distributed Brain Sites for the g-factor of intelligence.765. and they have better emotion detectors.html 771 Schmidt. R. (4/16/2012). (2012). T and G. physics/geometry/spatial ability.cosmosmagazine.000 subjects. M. “We found fairly unequivocal proof supporting a genetic link to brain function and intelligence. K. Alkire. taste.. Jung. 16:289–313. and odor. Yeo. NeuroImage. & Haier. [pp.

M. Aronson. K. Harvald. PMID 7473032. D. N. & Nigam.776 Stereotype threat is the dark side of the Pygmalion effect: students do better/worse than others based upon expectations (of that student) alone. 8988-8999 202 . C. etc. Longevity is moderately heritable in a sample of Danish twins born 1870-1880. 775 Myers. Just worrying if someone else believes it is enough. class. Gerontol 48:B237-B244 774 Klahr. (1995). Yarkoni. gender. J. Braver..777 You don’t even have to believe in it. W. testing because of confounds like testing bias. C. This shows that there are both genetic and environmental effects at play in acquiring intelligence.775 when tests inadvertently require the subject to know cultural parameters in order to answer correctly. 15. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.69. M. Psychology 9th edition. 773 McGue. ISSN 0022-3514. (1966). Louis have announced that they’ve found a way to incorporate fMRI techniques to assess crucial aspects of general ‘fluid’ intelligence (also showing how crucial global connectivity in this LPFC region [a hub] is to intelligence. 380-447..W. Medical Daily. pp. [p. In W. documenting up to 10% difference between subjects). The Journal of Neuroscience 27 June 2012. Vaupel. (2010). H.5. N. brain.. J.).medicaldaily. The equivalence of learning paths in early science instruction: Effects of direct instruction and discovery learning. which is (crucially) lower than there is between identical twins reared together. D. 32 (26). 1966. IQ Tests: Brain Imaging Can Reveal Intelligence Levels. it is the stereotype effect... 437]. . Available on 9/21/2012 at http://www. 661 – 667. 777 Azrin.htm 779 Cole. and it creates a negative emotional affect that can thwart learning. B. (2004). The future is now. and researchers from Washington University in St. (2012). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 69 (5): 797–811. M. Holm. There is also an evidenced lower correlation of intelligence similarity between fraternal twins reared together than there is between identical twins reared apart.778.. Psychological Science. Holz. doi:10. J. When it is negative and based upon race. Stereotype threat and the intellectual test performance of African Americans.S. New York: Worth Publishers.T.1037/0022-3514. (1993). Repovš...797. We also know that there are many problems in I. G. though. Anticevic. (8/1/2012).Q. 778 Brice.773 Methods of learning are not equal however: direct instruction has been shown to be more effective than “discovery learning” (77% vs. Global Connectivity of Prefrontal Cortex Predicts Cognitive Control and Intelligence. 776 Steele. T. 23% solved similar problems774). Pp. possessed larger brains and scored more highly on standardized IQ tests[772] [emphasis mine]..779 772 Ibid. Honig (Ed.. Punishment. Operant behavior: areas of research and application. and stereotype threat. (ISBN 978-1-4292-1597-8). M. W. Goodbye. A.

Supreme Court ruled that it would be “cruel and unusual punishment” to execute the mentally retarded. 781 Spearman. (1999). H. Harvard professor Howard Gardner is well known for his 8 (or 9) intelligences. cultural knowledge. improvising on an instrument. L.THE IMPLICATIONS: In the Republic. what is considered intelligent can change too. we see that it is not so easy to define as nicely as we might like. memory. New York: Worth Publishers. Age differences in fluid and crystallized intelligence.780 these might include working with our hands. (1967). for “general” factor intelligence) was later split into “fluid” intelligence (what Horn and Cattell described as “…the ability to perceive relationships independent of previous specific practice or instruction concerning those relationships. [p. Psychology 9th edition. 26. playing sports. pp. The American Journal of Psychology 15 (2): 201–292. (2010). “General Intelligence. Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century. That said (and let’s never forget that was said). In 2002. 107-129. B. negotiating emotional situations. And intelligence is important for reasons that we often fail to consider. C. So now we are able to see via technology how inherited biological components may contribute to our intelligence.2307/1412107. semantic knowledge.). we must always be vigilant and never forget our worse than embarrassing history regarding the treatment of people against their will in the 780 Gardner. etc. Acta Psychologica. It’s the fluid intelligence testing correlations with fMRI mapping of regions in the Lateral Prefrontal Cortex (LPFC) that allowed the Cole et al. 782 Horn J. & Cattell R. 783 Myers. or living without leaving a footprint. it seems. (1904). navigating natural spaces. New York: Basic Books.” For thousands of years now. Now. “No two persons are born exactly alike. some people have been able to narrow down definitions of general intelligence that are useful. an IQ score (below 70) can determine life or death in America for criminals.426].” Objectively Determined and Measured. (2012) researchers to make the kinds of predictions about intelligence that were actually statistically significant. the U. D. Culturally. but each differs from the other in natural endowments. Plato once wrote. When we set out to distinguish between what ‘intelligence’ really is.S. doi:10. we have had intuitions that certain people are better suited for certain tasks. The gold standard of Charles Spearman’s still widely accepted “g”781 (yes. (ISBN 978-1-4292-1597-8) 203 .”782 such as in IQ tests) and “crystal” intelligence (which relies upon experience. one being suited for one occupation and the other for another.783 Of course.

context of intelligence. Like Plato, we all want to have people in the societal positions best suited
for them; unlike Plato, we have enough of a good reason now to know that that should never be
forced or systematized in a coercive way. We can vote democratically to put a smart politician in
office or recommend a smart person for a particular job, but that’s the extent it should go for
reasons of which I shouldn’t have to argue.
In Evidence #7, I discussed how freedom is directly affected by epistemology, because
the more you know how to do, the more you are able to do. This, of course, is only part of the
picture, as you may know how to do a lot, but be physically unable to do anything at all (and a
very inept person may be very capable, physically). It would be the person with the right
combination of knowledge and physical or manipulative ability who has the most freedom, but it
would still be “local freedom.”



EVIDENCE #31: We have heuristics that allow priming to bias our abstract estimation
of range, in the numerical sense and in the sense of value. Numbers in our sense sphere
affect numbers we are estimating.

A robust heuristic known as the “anchoring effect” shows that our general epistemic
predictions are influenced commensurately by priming in the environment. Science writers Kate
Douglas and Dan Jones describe a classic experiment784 by Amos Tversky and Daniel
Kahneman, for which Kahneman won the Nobel Prize in 2002, where participants were asked to:

[…] spin a “wheel of fortune” with numbers ranging from 0 to 100, and afterwards to
estimate what percentage of United Nations countries were African. Unknown to the
subjects, the wheel was rigged to stop at either 10 or 65. Although this had nothing to do
with the subsequent question, the effect on people's answers was dramatic. On average,
participants presented with a 10 on the wheel gave an estimate of 25 percent, while the
figure for those who got 65 was 45 per cent.[785]

Kahneman’s book “Thinking, Fast and Slow” lists a slew of erroneous cognitive
processing examples that he and many other scientists have documented over the last half of a
century (many that are in this work). As Slate Magazine writer Daniel Engber puts it,

Kahneman designates no fewer than three biases (confirmation, hindsight, outcome), 12
effects (halo, framing, Florida, Lady Macbeth, etc.), four fallacies (sunk-cost, narrative,
planning, conjunction), six illusions (focusing, control, Moses, validity, skill, truth), two
neglects (denominator, duration) and three heuristics (mood, affect, availability).[786]

Tversky, A., Kahneman, D. (1974). Judgment under uncertainty: Heuristics and biases. Science, 185, 1124-
1130. Available on 9/21/2012 at
Douglas, K., Jones, D. (5/5/2007). Top 10 ways to make better decisions. New Scientist. [p.4] Retrieved on
9/21/2012 from
Engber, D. (10/26/2011).The Effect Effect: Daniel Kahneman and the language of popular psychology.
Slate Magazine. Available on 9/21/2012 at


THE IMPLICATIONS: Since we’re nearing the end of the Evidences, I wanted to show
Kahneman’s list so that anyone interested in the biases, effects, heuristics, etc. that I’ve discussed
can see that there is so much more for the reader to explore out there… and the list just keeps
growing (I like to say this word with an Al Pacino/Tony Montana accent, “cockaroashes!”).
Kahneman won the Nobel Prize for this work and that should give you an idea of how serious
and relevant it is. “Thinking, Fast and Slow” is an update of that 1974 work. The concepts of fast
and slow thinking refer to the contrast between how ‘quick and dirty’ heuristics affect
fast/reactive thinking (represented by the “experiencing self”) and how those and other biases
affect slow, normative reasoning (represented by the “remembering self”).
As I pointed out in Evidence #19, a propensity for “openness to experience” gives one
a propensity for adopting liberal ideology. McElroy and Dowd’s (2007) work demonstrates that
the Big-Five personality trait of “openness to experience” is more susceptible to the anchoring
effect.787 This makes sense. Previously, I mentioned the false consensus effect: a defense
mechanism that is the tendency to overestimate the tendency to which others share our beliefs
and behaviors, e.g. “everybody cheats on their taxes, rolls through stop signs, and flirts, even
when they are married.” Add this anchoring effect propensity to the false consensus effect and
we have a serious epistemic problem in the liberal community. I would hypothesize that this
creates a propensity for credulous thinking—even conspiracy type thinking. It must be
remembered that there are real conspiracies, but I’m talking about watching out for the ones that
we still cling to even when we have less and less good evidence. Again, we must be aware of the
sunk cost fallacy (Evidence #20)!
McElroy, T., Dowd, K. (2007). Susceptibility to anchoring effects: How openness-to-experience influences
responses to anchoring cues. Judgment and Decision Making, Vol. 2, No. 1, February 2007, pp. 48–53.
Available on 9/21/2012 at



EVIDENCE #32: When we feel that our freedom is threatened, we assert it by acting
contrarily to the desires of authority figures, rules, and laws.

Studies have shown that people do the opposite of what’s expected of them in order to
assert their freedom when their freedom feels threatened. It’s called ‘reactance.’ It’s important to
note that children are more vulnerable than adults and men seem to be more vulnerable than
Because of reactance, we see a “boomerang effect” where forbidden alternatives become
more enticing. It’s not surprising that there is evidence of reactance as a principle factor in
adolescent smoking and alcohol initiation, peer intimacy—just about any adult hedonic
As we might expect (and as was discussed in Evidence #24), reactance can be reduced
by avoiding core values. It can also be reduced by highlighting the similarities between agents,
the credibility of the source/data, and low controlling/autonomy positive language.791,792,793

THE IMPLICATIONS: I think it’s clear why this should be last: this is the kind of scenario
where we intuitively feel like we’ve achieved some sort of ‘freedom to do otherwise.’ In reality,
reactance is so predictable that clever parents (and manipulators in general) have been exploiting
it since the dawn of time, by using reverse psychology on their children, until the kid gets wise

Hammock, T., Brehm, J. W. (1966). The attractiveness of choice alternatives when freedom to choose is
eliminated by a social agent. Journal of Personality, 34, 546-554.
Brehm, S. S. (1981). Psychological reactance and the attractiveness of unobtainable objects: Sex
differences in children's responses to an elimination of freedom. Sex Roles, Volume 7, Number 9,937-949
Miller, C. H., Burgoon, M., Grandpre, J., Alvaro, E. (2006). Identifying principal risk factors for the
initiation of adolescent smoking behaviors: The significance of psychological reactance. Health
Communication 19, 241-252.
Silvia, P. J. (2005). Deflecting reactance: The role of similarity in increasing compliance and reducing
resistance. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 27, 277–284.
Mercier, H., Sperber, D. (2010). Why do humans reason? Arguments for an argumentative theory.
Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 34, 57–111 doi:10.1017/S0140525X10000968. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from
Miller, C. H., Lane, L. T., Deatrick, L. M., Young, A. M., Potts, K. A. (2007). Psychological reactance and
promotional health messages: The effects of controlling language, lexical concreteness, and the restoration of
freedom. Human Communication Research, 33, 219-240.


and you need to bust out the double reverse psychology—haha! This is not recommended
though, because it ultimately undermines the authority of the parent and habituates
manipulation.794 The best kind of manipulation is defensive and corrective, which is one of the
main themes of this book. It’s something to think about and a good way to end the Evidences of
predisposition for erroneous thinking about objective reality and control.

Gottman, J.M. (1997). Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child: The Heart of Parenting. New York:
Fireside, Simon and Schuster. [p. 212].



First things first: it’s important to point out right away that our everyday language has a
long history of being structured paradigmatically around the concept of dualistic free will (i.e. a
body driven by a spirit). When determinists use expressions like “I chose” or “we can change” or
“they decided” out of convenience, it does not mean that contra-causal free will is veridical or
that our intuitive use of such language gives evidence to its ontological weight. We use these
words, at least in part, because the semantic habit is still appropriate in a very functional sense:
we, pragmatically defined, are still a functional part of the causal chain. One merely needs to re-
designate some properties in order to make semantic room for our causal interaction, for
example, as metaphor. This may prove difficult to habituate conceptually or it may even prove to
be unnecessary, if our language evolves with our shifting consciousness over time.
There is an analogous problem with moral language couched in the context of religious
framing to the point where they are commonly conflated. For example, a “spiritual person” is
considered to be one who is ethically attentive; a “soulful person” is one who is considered to be
empathetic, etc. I’ll hit on the language problem a bit more throughout the challenges below, but
what’s important to remember is that even if our subconscious mind “chooses,” “changes,” or
“deliberates” before we are consciously aware of it, it is still a pragmatically defined us making
decisions within the causal process. Linguistic concerns about orgination in the context of both
identity and responsibility will be addressed. Moving on…


“You never really change like they say; you only become more like yourself…”
- Jane’s Addiction795

I want to make an important distinction between two different views of predisposition,
and it is the central point of this book. I can make an analogy for each view. The difference is
between tunnels and tracks. If we imagine that we are ever tunneling through our lives in the
world like rodents or ants in the earth, we can imagine that we would prefer to travel in any
already existing tunnels that we would happen to come upon. More often than not, these would
facilitate our tasks and we’d use them. So, even though these tunnels would represent tendencies,
they would still be tendencies that are a product of our choices. This ‘tunnels scenario’
represents our phenomenal predisposition.
Now consider a scenario where our bodies are trains, on a planet that has a limited
network of tracks that overlap. As it is in life, there are reasons why tracks tend to be directed in
certain directions, from and toward places for one reason or another. Sometimes, these tracks go
to places that we don’t prefer to visit like we did when they were first built; consider, for
example, our predispositions for fats, sugars, and salt that kept us alive on the Savannas when
food was scarce (I don’t want to ignore the hunger problems that still exist though). And unlike
the tunnels, these tracks are not as forgiving in how much you may divert from where you may
go, and you are limited to crossing points of tracks. This analogy represents our causal
predisposition. Later on, I will revisit this tracks analogy with some modifications to address
some other free will models that have been proposed by philosophers.
The libertarian free will theorist wants to assert that digging or tunneling is an exercise of
our freedom, especially when (or with some philosophers like Robert Kane, only when) there is a
forked path and the choice has a moral imperative. What I am arguing is that the overwhelming
majority of our thought and action is actually much more analogous to the ‘tracks scenario’ than
it is to the ‘tunnels scenario,’ because even our phenomenal tunnel preferences seem to be
guided by our causal track limitations; that is, because of the magnetic pull to stay on the tracks.
It’s what the Evidences above were all about. For reasons given in the Introduction, the
conscious, phenomenal tunnel preferences experience (which is admittedly sufficiently
redundant to say!) was probably selected for some psychological evolutionary benefits and may

Jane’s Addiction. (2011). End to the lies. Album: The Great Escape Artist. [CD]. LA: EMI


211 . as we saw in the Evidences and will discuss more in the section Endurance and Identity.continue to have them. but for cockroaches. ScienceShot: Cockroaches Prefer Right Turns. even if. such as about the type of decisions made. And now when someone says. 57% measured for roaches796). Still.” you can think of it as loaded wordplay that evokes something important about the way the world actually is: there’s the right track… and there’s the track that’s left. Ignoring those biased underpinnings condemns us to the same fate as those who ignore history. even cockroaches. our inability to see the tracks underneath our wheels doesn’t make them disappear and we will suffer worse consequences by ignoring them. there are other biases evidenced to affect long term goals and more ‘reasoned’ decisions even more strongly. when you consider all the typical everyday A or B type decisions where your conscious reasoning may have been trumped by just enough ride-side bias to be considered attributed to that bias. Consider the evidence for right-side bias that we saw in Evidence #18. but we still don’t know which track is the correct track. but for the sake of argument). and partially because we more often prefer to think that the right track is the right track. Again. that 7% difference between a 50-50 choice is a matter of life and death. have this bias—for arbitrarily favoring one side over another in a typical. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://news. we might know which track goes right and which track goes left. We might be tempted here to consider the work of George Lakoff and John Bargh presented in the Introduction and in several Evidences above showing strong metaphorical semantic priming influence in neural encoding. you have a clear bias—presumably all creatures. there are some considerations here. everyday binary decision (again. but we still can’t evade the evidenced percentage of right side bias that remains after all this. Presuming humans are about 43% to 57% as well. That is to say. could you honestly say that it hasn’t affected your life in some very important ways? I won’t do the calculations.html 797 Ibid. And just because a more reasoned decision may be better able to evade something like a quickly chosen handedness bias (it actually doesn’t. because apparently pest control experts plan on using this information to more effectively find them and kill them. and the statistics work is not as cut and dry as it may seem. For “warm” hands predicting “warm” 796 Meyers. (12/10/2010). “You’re on the right track. C. So here we are on the Midnight Special.797 Admittedly. Scienceshot.

etc. “Fine. and the idea that we will just go against the grain in order to get freedom is something that philosophers have criticized as. Last. [60:00-65:00]. [Video file]. because sometimes even a biased heuristic can be accidentally right..” you say.. I’ll always be right… it may make humans even more likely to go right than insects. correct!” But it’s still problematic. to be the most divine state that humans can participate in (psychologists often call it “flow”). In this context. since it is fundamentally arbitrarily biased and therefore unreasonable.” (uploaded on 8/23/2011). reactionary. Unfortunately. or if it is like it is with so many other encoded metaphors. I’m unable to confirm the history of that word and as Bargh tells us. some of these metaphors are hard-wired. I don’t mean secular in the sense that if we reversed asceticism to deny our denial (double-reverse psychology!). “rough”/difficult. Another version of cosmic reactance in the secular sense was under Nietzsche’s radar. I’ll do the opposite. “Whatever my nonconscious self desires. 798 “TheMizzouTube. we’d end up with hedonism… but I guess we would and that could be considered a principle too! Body trumps/denies spirit. Lecture by John A. but others are learned early in life or merely unconsciously suggested. but in secular thinking. continuing in the bigger metaphor.thoughts. Cosmic reactance has been addressed by philosophers not only in the context of religion. So much so that he framed it in metaphysical opposition to the reactionary disposition. “then I’ll always pull the switch that puts me on the left track!” Which is like saying. it’s called asceticism. Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www. You’re no freer than before and now you’re consigning yourself to a disposition of reactance (Evidence #32). Unconscious behavioral guidance systems. that way. but that even insects have this right-side propensity gives us reason to think otherwise. It’s the big picture of so many tracks of predisposition that we ride upon in nocturnal oblivion that should concern us most. from body and world denying monotheistic religions to body and world denying eastern religions. “heavy”/serious. it might be that our propensity for the direction right is what originally inspired the usage of the word “right” to mean “correct” etymologically. when you lose all track of 212 . He considered working or playing in that deeply hypnotic creative space.—“hard” and “soft” furniture even highly predicted “hard” and “soft” opinions of those people sitting on it. University of Missouri Video Services. well.798 We might presume that perhaps we prefer the direction ‘right’ because we prefer to be ‘right’ (as in correct). Bargh. establishing it as a principle. It’s also the kind of thinking that underpins much religious thinking.

he isn’t clear. but he frames it divinely (i. Creation energy. but a heightened exploratory awareness with a complete surrender to the cosmic play of both randomness and non- randomness. and as we shall see. but to get back on track(!). neither randomness nor non-randomness offer anything like libertarian freedom either. but identifying biased underpinnings and keeping them in our awareness is not trivial in the least. we’ll see that reactance seems to be an exaptive feature of the same mechanism that provides Responsibility).e. I will talk about both flow and reactance more in depth in the sections Emergent Phenomena. 213 . Functionalist Illusions. success. this book is intended to be of a more practical nature. “Yes sir. and other physiological drugs. as I did throughout the Evidences. so to a very limited extent) and many artists of all types have this intuition that the psychological space of ‘flow’ does offer or alter possibility in a unique way. It may be the truly greatest ‘space’ a head can be in. that perhaps ‘flow’ isn’t a special phenomenal freedom. This might seem like a trivial proclamation from Captain Obvious. rather. there are often arbitrary predispositions that you’re not considering. as “Dionysian”). I will continue to allude to these implications repeatedly throughout the Challenges. I am having a little fun with metaphysical speculation here. implying a godish creation power to some extent (obviously he was an atheist. I can get ‘lost’ with my guitar for hours and hours. concerned with the consequences of empirically observed issues of control and epistemology that aren’t as easy to dismiss on those grounds.with the implication that this creation energy is imbued with… well. awareness is not freedom. Yet the combination of the three is sufficient for a kind of phenomenally ecstatic experience without having to posit supernatural metaphysical freedom. There certainly is a salient contrast with the everyday pedestrian. and Responsibility (where perhaps most importantly. especially when considering how their mere existence should inform and qualify your worldview. right up there with love. No sir. Of all the deciding factors in your typical conscious decisions. As I have already argued in the Introduction. I’d suggest.” EAT WORK SLEEP OBEY. I love it. but here I’d depart from the idea that ‘flow’ is somehow in metaphysical contrast to a kind of reactionary disposition sympathetic to… fatalistic puppetry. The Cogito Model.

F..F. and while in the air wonders whether he should jump or not. Oxford: Clarendon Press 802 Strawson. Determinists are in the realm of unknown outcomes that are causally affected. (Interviewers).) 1968. P. most deterministic ‘choices’ do not fall into this camp. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://mind.html 800 Johnson.”802 Determinism does not necessarily mean that you don’t have any local control. L. filing away randomness for a moment to make a point. Beahan. or to hopelessly try to avoid. (ed.. Ridley. Oxford: Oxford University Press. “Freedom and Resentment. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://philosophybites.pdf 214 . [Audio podcast]. 2].com/2010/12/paul-russell-on- fate. CONFUSING VARIETIES OF DETERMINISM It has been noted by many determinists799. Dennett describes these people as perceiving as if they have no contribution to the outcome of choice. summed up and experienced consciously. can affect an outcome. but. Russell. D. The philosopher Paul Russell writes: 799 Warburton. even though determined by antecedent causes. also in the realm of causally affected outcomes have a particular. P. while for the fatalist. (Interviewee). Reasonable Doubts podcast: RD Extra: Jeremy's appearance on the Don Johnson Radio Show. And THAT is the kicker: a predetermined outcome. it is too late in this case. one’s actions cannot affect a predetermined outcome.ucsd. (1984). as in. [Audio podcast].” Reprinted in Strawson. is that a determinist’s actions and decisions. Fletcher. P. (6/7/2010).. known. podcast/id266671828 801 Dennett. Studies in the Philosophy of Thought and Action. P.” The fatalist needs a positive prediction in their epistemic domain with which to work. [p. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://itunes. determinism is only ‘fated’ in the weaker sense that when all the contingent forces are at play subconsciously.800 that free will proponents often make the mistake of confusing determinism with what philosopher Daniel Dennett would call local fatalism and have only a vague understanding of what determinism and contra-causal free will really mean consequentially (and/or they refuse to acknowledge different types). F. as he defends. “pre-known” or “predestined” or “fated. Of course. Philosophy Bites podcast: Paul Russell on Fate. D. (Commentators). J. (Interviewer). B. declared outcome to meet. (Interviewee). (12/30/2010). (1962). while fatalists. we are only made aware of the limited remainder of options (if more than one) made for the final executive decision.801 The distinction we need to make. Arguably. Strawson wrote that the “identification of the will with the act […] is compatible with the truth of the determinist thesis. such as when a person jumps off a bridge. Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting.

html 805 Clark. ourselves. (12/30/2010)..”805 Whether this is true of Russell’s notion of responsibility. Philosophy Bites podcast: Paul Russell on Fate. Why reading defenses of hard determinism makes people morally worse. [Audio podcast]. conceive of ‘fate’ in quite different terms. then even those crumbs of conscious decision are predisposed to a predictable extent that is often much better than chance. and maybe they have. essentially supernaturalist construal of moral agenthood.. It’s as if a devil says.’ is in 215 .” Then the angel says. (3/23/ fate. and yet still he argues that “agents may be legitimately held responsible in circumstances where they are subject to fate. at 01:37 PM).ubc. called the ‘responsibility-compatibilist[803] [Emphasis mine]. evidently. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://philosophybites. “but we are also still *interacting* with the external world in a way that we.typepad. University of British Columbia. In the section on Responsibility. P. T.pdf 804 Warburton. “Non-conscious elements create a fundamental character that makes even our conscious planning determined. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://gfp. “but if strong predispositions create a fundamental basis for our decisions. I’ll discuss why some philosophers think determinism doesn’t negate responsibility. Compatibilists and incompatibilists.arts. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://faculty. are a *part* of that causal expression. [Web log comment]. For the compatibilist. Russell goes a bit farther than Dennett in one sense. “Is there any good reason to think that those are 803 Russell. though just about every professional determinist and compatibilist thinks they’ve found a way out of the responsibility problem. “So there are some unpredictable elements of human behavior. You won’t ever know what all the causal factors are in the human decision-making process.” Then an angel says.” Then the devil says. (1998).”804 The eminent naturalist philosopher and determinist Tom Clark writes. Compatibilist-Fatalism. Russell. (Interviewer). a person is subject to fate only if their circumstances are such that they are unable to causally contribute to the course of events in some relevant respect. making the case that there are some significant elements of fatalism that can (must) be conceded by compatibilists. We can and do causally influence choice from within…” Then the devil says. (Interviewee). captured in conscious results from the contingent process of our mental life that *experiences the confrontation of forces*. “compatibilists endorse a notion of non-consequentialist desert that as far as I can see can only be justified on a libertarian. P. N.

. compatibilistic.naturalism. As it has been noted by determinists. Now. determinism. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from podcast/id266671828 216 . because fatalism doesn’t allow for causal interaction of the agent (says the human).”806 This is different than having a literal or proverbial gun to your head for each decision.” I admit this thought-exercise uses a broad brush that fails to capture the nuance of many position. That depends upon what is actually happening in the decision making process. and/or randomness at some stage within the decision making-process make enough of a difference.Rise of the Machines. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://itunes. as fatalism is often characterized. As Tom Clark puts it. Galen. The Flaw of Fatalism.. when we keep improving predictability and narrowing the gap over time?” This dialogue shows how a “fatalistic devil” is contrasted with an angel that can be viewed as predispositionalistic. Maybe metacognition. Clark writes: 806 Clarke. Fletcher. to which we should keep an open mind. those reasons still do not have enough merit to stand as a default position. “Those are rational rejoinders. In every comparison between fatalism vs. L. J. So fatalism denies even local control.807 our will itself is determined both consciously and subconsciously. “Maybe. deterministic. emergence. both because we don’t realize what is actually possible and because we don’t know the ratio of sub-control in every action—even the extent to which we can characterize it as the “agenda” of our ‘subconscious software. predispositionalism. So for us. and libertarianism. if the angel were to continue on as a compatibilist or libertarian. you can see how fatalism differs. T. D. because we are both part of the process of change and unaware of the it might reply to the devil’s closing point with.’ and that is only perceived freedom. RD69 Determinator 4 . that is.’ Perhaps one could say that we are only up to our neck in the Styx. compatibilism.something other than a problem of our epistemic limitations. skillfully pursued desire can have far-reaching effects indeed.” The predispositionalist and determinist will say. [Audio podcast]. Again. but in light of the science. it participates. Local control is the extent of our ‘freedom. there is a balance of causality and our interaction within that causality. (7/1998). partially in the context of a conscious ignorance of most of those contingent forces. “by being embedded in the causal matrix [rationality and desire] inevitably have their effects. and/or even libertarian at this point. [Web log post].htm 807 Beahan. interaction does not negate the causality. and a strong. (24:45- 104:45).

the more predictable that is too… this is what makes fatalism appealing. The amnesiac in Evidence #3 is probably about as close as we Clark. 808 Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://www. This is why the technology all around you works. As it has been shown in the Evidences (see Evidence #27). the same result would recur. so context is fundamentally relevant to the mind at any given moment.. with millions of cells constantly dying and constantly replaced. even if we decide to default away from them. genetic and environmental. Just as my antecedents. But the more we are able to map out the variables of the human mind. Why? Because the human mind is not an obligate (closed) system like the lotto machine is. So don’t forget about me. Science aims to map out what is consistent in this scenario and it is able to do so with precision when all or the overwhelmingly majority of the variables are known. I too have causal power to influence the world. T. if not impossible proposition to ever deliberately test for conclusively. It is facultative. If the context were exactly the same as the lotto ball machine internally and externally would we do/think the same as before? I think there is evidence that it would (consider Evidence #3). (3/2008).org/demoralization. but it would seem to be enough to thwart exact predictability. and we may never rule out the angel’s final objections. and with old memories falling away and new thoughts shaping a new mind in an exponentially new context? It’s true that we usually don’t change that much from second to second. had the causal power to create me in all my glory. Is the lotto machine example analogous to human causality internally? If all the contingent internal variables were just so again in the mind.naturalism.htm 217 . using a methodological causality. would we do the same again? Not quite. People and their wills aren’t disempowered when we explain them in terms of antecedent causes. You can’t logically attribute power to the world and not to the agent. Don’t Forget About Me: Avoiding Demoralization by Determinism [Web log post]. our minds have mirror neurons that necessarily incorporate the external world.[808] When all the plastic balls in a lotto machine are facing in just so directions and then the air machine is turned on and the air pressure moves at just such a speed in just so directions for a specific amount of time and then the numbers come out in some particular order… if you were to repeat all of those contingencies in just the same way. First and perhaps most obviously.. but that seems like a very difficult. wouldn’t an aging body be different from second to second.

there are ordered hierarchical categories of being that supervene upon one another. just as certain thoughts are more appealing consciously or unconsciously.htm 218 . based upon physical connections to certain conscious or unconscious desires. and Bock tell us. 202). Even if there is some kind of random influence in the mixing of the balls. R.g. Here is the visual link to that 809 De Veaux. P. MA: Pearson Education.g. some kind of non-randomized filter at the end of the process would be more accurate (and the analogy holds for biological evolution in general as well). Should we consider that what endures beyond both determinacy and acausality is therefore actually a free will or an acausal spirit? The evidence that cognitive biases are often consistent across race. gender. Nietzsche. 810 Heidegger. 2. see Evidence #18) or even consciousness (e. So..”809 We’ve seen in the Evidences that not only are we compelled toward one thought/action or another by so many forces that we are not aware of. still close enough to show enduring predispositions. given the evidence for particular biases and heuristics in this book. Krell. San Francisco: Harper and Row. Vol. Inc. Is this free will? No. (D. Retrieved 9/21/2012 from http://www. such as that all the balls were not equal and their size or weight made them more likely to drop. D. Stats: Data and Models (3rd Edition). Separating the two is a metaphysical false dichotomy.F. 26. This is to say that social groups supervene upon living beings which supervene upon cells which supervene upon molecules. D. the lotto ball machine as an analogy for causality in thought would be more accurate if the machine had some reason to favor certain numbered balls over others. F. Trans. Velleman. (2012). it’s rewriting the software from within the software. In ontology (the study of being).810 We are process. M. E. by a responsive veto driven feedback loop in our awareness towards a kind of re-habituation over time. Boston. (1991). “It’s not easy being random. but that these are non-conscious tendencies that seem to be running on software that is only more or less assailable.will get—close enough to be eerie—and most importantly for this work. see Evidence #1) evidences body based predisposition and Internalism. Bock. As statisticians De %20Nietzsche's%20Fundamental%20Metaphysical%20Position. Or if you prefer to frame it as Nietzsche expressed it: becoming is stamped with the character of being.. and age (e.faculty. if and when it is assailable at all.g. (Original work published 1954). see Evidence #4). etc. p. and yet are often irrespective of immediate context (e.umb. Ch. Velleman.

for example.). They say that the body supervenes upon the spirit/mind. so the classic internal/external categorical definitions are not as clean as I would like. then we can say that. to my mind. say it doesn’t. as predispopsitionalism does incorporate the external internally (e. vindicates the philosophy of mind internalists in this respect: the mind is what the brain does. Again. Available on 9/21/2012 at http://en. Each category must fundamentally have everything necessary to produce the next category. Later. This will become important to remember later. but first.svg 219 . but philosophy of mind externalists.D. let’s consider contra-causal libertarian free will in the context of theism.wikipedia.illustration:811 At first.g. cells obtain supervenience upon (are a product of) molecules (and only molecules). etc. If all the elements are represented in a statement of supervenience. (N. When it comes to the philosophy of mind. Philosophy of mind internalists say it does. via mirror neurons). the category it supervenes upon must provide all it needs to exist.e. such as those who believe that the spirit is separate from the body (i. 811 Levels of existence. I’ll talk a little more about emergent phenomena and the possible implications for free will and predisposition via quantum it may be easier think of it as social groups are made from living beings which are made from cells which are made from molecules. we want to know if the mind supervenes upon neuronal activity in the brain. substance dualists). I have shown evidence here that. It’s a bit more complicated than that though. for something to obtain.

It’s a consequence of the notion that the body is a puppet for the spirit. desire. nor satisfy all three necessary parameters listed in the Introduction (i. theological commitments). and the origin of every action can always be traced beyond the self. to obey. Retrieved on 9/21/2012 from http://itunes. (Commentators). love. because there are consistently good reasons to choose them that push the ratios beyond chance. because it shows that we are fundamentally disproportionally challenged in our abilities to understand. Reasonable Doubts podcast: RD Extra: Jeremy's appearance on the Don Johnson Radio Show.’ That is to say that they are considered connections to predispositions. by accompanying appeals to supernaturalism and appeals to ignorance/possibility. Unfortunately. that the kinds of biases in this book are either mistakes of science or they are freely chosen ‘tunnels. calculate. meaningful reasons for action. Fletcher. that there may really be a more fundamental itinerary in their position required by consistently harmonizing an ancillary worldview (i. J. B.. D. but they are merely descriptions of what people choose. DETERMINISM AND THEISM What I mean to impress upon you is that what is so important about the evidence in this book has implications about our worldviews that cannot be ignored. communicate.e. [Audio podcast]. Ridley. Many theistic free will advocates have a difficult time grasping why superficial locally fatalistic presumptions are really a mischaracterization of determinism. Some say the agent is not responsible for their fate. Sometimes it seems. Beahan. and proper origin). Free will proponents are often not able to explain how free will works empirically or produces agential control needed for morality. many theistic worldviews operate under the premise that everyone gets the same fair shot at proving they are good persons and a one size fits all list of rules is just fine. we often hear about biblical support for predestination—which is really a form of fatalism. since they had no choice. Galen. known as the responsibility objection. The differences between determinist/compatibilist philosophers are often problems in standardizing terminology. they still agree that empirical evidence roots their views and that there are constraints upon our freedom. (Interviewers).com/podcast/reasonable-doubts- podcast/id266671828 220 . (Interviewee).. This means that some umbrella type rules and laws can often be inappropriate. (6/7/2010). such as Christianity. except that it allows for causal participation and responsibility… somehow. resist.812 In some forms of theism. and perhaps most importantly for this section. The 812 Johnson.. ability to do otherwise. L.

Now we have a spirit that can be causally independent of the material body. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www2.pdf 221 . Evanston. Since such an initiation is a first. D. for many people. Religious philosophers have put way too many versions of free will accommodating gods on the market to discuss here. & Paulhus. action not caused 813 Carey. as long as some god is in control or is the only one who gets to see the future and hence. Many theists of most varieties do advocate free will today. The chain of causality must be acknowledged pertaining to action. go-to Christian apologist J. Though there are epistemological differences and predestination still allows for causal interaction. the two are also often delineated by many theists in terms of function. I will briefly address the implausibility of dualism here and more thoroughly later in the section The Causal The same process that makes bacteria evolve in the short term makes larger creatures evolve over the long term. from barely deistic to hyper-personal. Moreland analogizes the miraculous freedom of the spirit with Aristotle’s prime mover cosmological argument for the existence of god. and since most of the claims are unassailable by their supernatural nature. be in control of it.psych.P. who can willfully and temporarily steps in and out of the causal chain when it wants to take a peek (or whatever it wants—with gods. This is where substance dualism theology saves the day and allows for a kind of predeterminism that sometimes retains libertarian free will and is seen as a-okay. “…a first mover is not subject to laws in its initiation of action. spontaneous. which allows for non- causal choices and preserves free will and still allows for the prophetic action of a god. (2009. determinism is not. L. predestination is known to some extent. that is. The situation is analogous to when creationists erroneously delineate between microevolution and macroevolution in function rather than measure. July). While there is a genuine difference concerning epistemology in predestination and determinism. I only address it here briefly in the most general ways that theism is understood. IL. but they are the same thing in reality. anything goes).813 For example. predestination could not be salvaged from fatalism. because predestination still allows for causal participation and responsibility. theological predeterminism still has the causal problems of determinism in the context of predispositions for behavior built in too. Are Free Will and Determinism Incompatible? Poster presented at the 1st Annual meeting of the Association for Research in Personality.ubc. But without dualism. J.predestined agent is usually portrayed as necessarily contributing to their fate and so is still responsible.

I guess you could say that I am a philosophy of mind internalist and Collins is a philosophy of mind externalist/dualist (though. again. As I noted above.nationalgeographic.e.sciencemag. The Recalcitrant Imago Dei Human Persons and the Failure of Naturalism. the well-known theistic physician-geneticist Francis Collins argued against determinism thusly: You're talking about genetic determinism. but the crucial point here is that developmental factors in the unique experience of each individual twin interacting with the world in different contexts actually physically change (i. who have exactly the same DNA but often don't behave alike or think alike. ScienceNow. but I’ll point out now that Dr. UK: SCM Press. 47). the category that an order supervenes upon must provide all that it needs to exist.[815] I’ll address the kind of causal claims made by j.P. the genome does a whole lot more than just code for protein. The flavor of vanilla does not obtain 814 Moreland. 211: 36. Human Genome Is Much More Than Just Genes. predispositionalism internally incorporates the external world in ways we don’t often realize as well. a prior event. I think we all. That is so far away from what we know scientifically! Heredity does have an influence not only over medical risks but also over certain behaviors and personality traits. in order to obtain ontological supervenience. it amounts to the absolute origination of initiatory movement…”814 Other Christians go a less supernatural route.html?ref=em 222 .html 816 rewire) their neurological connections and set up unique neuronal/physiological predispositions for each twin so that they are no longer physically identical internally. 2007. Collins is crucially remiss in his statement above. E. (2009). whether we are religious or not. (p. the notion that their supposedly identical physicality attached to different personalities disproves determinism is false. 815 Horgan. They show the importance of learning and experience—and free will. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://ngm. recognize that free will is a reality. which implies that we are helpless marionettes being controlled by strings made of double helices. so the language is not appropriate really). (9/5/2012). Available on 9/22/2012 at http://news. The Causal Vacuum. Moreland later in the section.P. Thus. and as I mentioned above. National Geographic. J. Francis Collins: The Scientist As Believer. As Collins correctly implied.816 It’s true that I am arguing that our mental properties supervene on our physical properties. But look at identical twins.

which recognizes that different physical properties can manifest similar mental states (e. Sharp Brains. are still not guaranteed to curb more fundamental forms of predisposition. even developmental neuronal ‘wiring’ changes and/or stochastic neuronal influence. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://machineslikeus.g.sharpbrains. D. (ISBN 978-1-4292-1597-8) 223 .supervenience upon seashells and rock salt. On free will-4: The implications of modern physics for determinism. [Web log post].e. or more charitably. there are possible stochastic neuronal factors818 to consider as well. theory of mind philosophers widely accept multiple realizability. the neurons of the twins themselves would have to be identical in order for the exact same personality to supervene upon both sets of neural patterns. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www. for there to be identical personalities. external interaction. and most importantly in the context of predispositionalism. a man and a woman can both show “happiness”). 595]. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say that the point was belied. rather than missed. Psychology 9th edition. which I will discuss further in The Cogito Model. That means exactly identical experiences too… throughout their whole lives! It would be a category error to say that each twin could obtain on each other’s DNA when the neural patterns were not the same. such as via mirror neurons. as I showed with 817 Michelon. In this case. (11/12/2010). Also. but by vanilla beans and all of the components that underlie the biological ability to taste. Last. New York: Worth Publishers. (2010). Brain Plasticity: How learning changes your brain. It’s a mistake to think that because twins could have different personalities. perhaps he doesn’t believe in the ever-increasing evidence for the plasticity of the brain and coding. (2/26/2008). physics-determinism 819 Myers. It doesn’t. if pressed. I presume that Collins would probably not disagree with this. Collins’ argument is a low redefinition strawman to imply that all determinists only have regard for genetic considerations in causal interaction between beings and the world and belies the significant physical changes internally garnered by their developmental relationship to varied external causal influence (i. that they are also immune to shared cognitive and behavioral biases any more than they are immune to genetically inherited illnesses (as the famous schizophrenic Genain quadruplets have shown819).com/blog/2008/02/26/brain-plasticity-how-learning-changes-your-brain 818 Singham. so far. [p. and I will dismantle that thoroughly in the section Emergent Phenomena. but as smart as he is. but all we need to know is that they can’t help Collins here. M.817 Another point of contention might be whether supervenience itself negates causality. P. if indeed the latter does occur.

by creating some influence in the womb to make him/her not sexually predisposed to that kind of crime. as well as the example of God interfering with the free will of Pharaoh in Exodus 14 when he hardens his heart. obligating us. “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy. [21:55-25:00. 18:22.the unsuitability for the obligate lotto ball machine as an analogy for facultative causality in the mind above). 14:9). (Interviewer). It may be objected that God’s gift of freedom to men does not mean that he cannot control their wills. a child molester’s free will. It makes very little sense.. say. in light of the bible verses above. Last. 2 Chron. 28:30- 29:30]. L. to interfere with a child molester’s free will. so that he is unable to be merciful. have also pointed out that there are plenty of examples in the bible of God interfering with people’s free will. 2:11. The Apostle Paul even speaks of God’s propensity to harden hearts in Rom. say. but forget or belie that it often happens to children not even at the age of reason. The freer we are. (3/7/2010). and others. Sounds reasonable. (Interviewee). religious apologists also commonly tout the ‘soulbuilding’ value of suffering itself in order to bolster God’s clemency. that is. sending lying spirits/prophets (1 Kings 22:23. right? In fact. Maitzen. that God is no longer omnipotent. Ezek. and whom he will he hardeneth” [emphasis mine]. Mackie even wrote about interfering with free will as an argument against the coherency of God’s divine attributes in the Problem of Evil: …if men’s wills are really free this must mean that even God cannot control them. 4:10. J. then the consequence of this position is that God will not prevent the suffering of. it is so important that it’s what prevents him from interfering with all the profound suffering in the world. the more God enjoys our triumph over evil (when we do triumph).com/?p=7086 224 . Jer. 20:7). infants who die of bone cancer. Philosopher Stephen Maitzen820 has pointed out that if there is some kind of intrinsic value that makes free will trump suffering in value. Maitzen notes that even we are often obliged to interfere with people’s free will all the time. 9:18. S. Conversations from the Pale Blue Dot podcast: CPBD 025: Stephen Maitzen – Can Theism Ground Morality? [Audio podcast]. that God would not interfere with. Moving on… Another claim that Christian theologians have commonly defended is that only libertarian free will can satisfy God in our relationship to him. Maitzen. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://commonsenseatheism.L. Indeed. while still expecting us—in fact. intentionally creating confusion and delusion (2 Thes. but that he always refrains from 820 Muehlhauser.

L. 200-212. and if he is wholly good. pp. so those are no help pragmatically. “well. over to intention.CO%3B2-2 225 . we may ask. it appears that a good case can be made that his absolute freedom is not the magic bullet that theists would hope for. what did we intend to do?” and the free will issue is no longer front and center—in fact. 5:21-28. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://links. J. regardless of being free to act upon such thoughts. because we were unable to predict them. the various sects often disagree about fundamental issues. that its freedom is a value which outweighs its wrongness. No. can be maintained only in the form that God has made men so free that he cannot control their wills […] it remains impossible to hold that an omnipotent God binds himself by causal or logical laws”[821] [emphasis mine]. the only explanation could be that even a wrong free act of will is not really evil.0. where we have already murdered or committed adultery in our hearts. it may honestly be better to seek to standardize methods of external/offline cognitive processing when appropriate (e. I have already shown that without omniscience. But why. So we ask. but does not. then. So. leaving one to 821 4423%28195504%292%3A64%3A254%3C200%3AEAO%3E2. The monotheist may counter that God is the Ultimate Offline Processor and we must trust the holy books: perhaps our intuition can somehow skirt our biases if divinely influenced (i. I will discuss more about responsibility specifically near the end of the challenges.jstor. Vol. New Series.g. considering that it doesn’t effectively serve as a magic bullet functionally in human action either. 64. 254. That’s no surprise. But this is utterly opposed to what theists say about sin in other contexts.e. while the subject of freedom and necessity inherent in the nature and actions of God has taken up volumes of theology. The present solution of the problem of evil. Mind. in terms of ascribing responsibility. This is largely because our epistemic limitations force us to shift the primary functional value. so that there would be a loss of value if God took away the wrongness and the freedom together. controlling their wills. for theists or non- theists. and with cognitive biases. #25). (4/1955). but intervene when he sees them beginning to will wrongly? If God could do this. Evil and Omnipotence. Jesus showed that sin is purely intentional anyway. should God refrain from controlling evil wills? Why should he not leave men free to will rightly. when it comes to Christianity. Consider Mat. Consider all of the choices we make where the consequences are exactly the opposite of what was intended. SPRs see Evidences #21. divine revelation). Unfortunately.

4.823 he wanted to do something at the level of what Newton did: uncover an invisible. Noam Chomsky debates with Michel 226 .chomsky. Human Nature: Justice versus Power. as Noam Chomsky argued. S. believer and non-believer alike. several models for consciousness have been proposed.htm on 9/22/2012 824 Kagan. doesn’t it seem that naturalism has failed to account for the most important effect of all: the subject? Theists want to not only ask how it is that physicalism/materialism has produced an organization of material in just such a way that it has complex qualitative self-awareness. [Web log post]. since none of us are omniscient and holy books leave much to be desired in terms of accessibility to clarification. using a meritocratic combination of history. [Video file post].. even for its own adherents. detectable by the hard sciences. Foucault. On free will-5: Models of how the brain works. but our answers can only go as far as the evidence implies. It is completely understandable why a theist would want to plug a soul into the free will equation. F. always keeping in mind the potential for the 822 Singham. 6. [27:45-29:40]. (Uploaded by YaleCourses on Oct. 2008). Introduction to Plato's Phaedo. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www. Arguments for the existence of the soul. M. science.. and philosophy as our guide to refine rehabilitation. and a life span. N. yet objective reality. based upon how the mind works. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://blog. desires. In any case. The one that resonates with most theists has been the Cartesian model of dualism proposed by Rene Descartes: The dualist paints the picture as follows: SPIRIT/WILL>CONSCIOUS MIND>UNCONSCIOUS MIND>ACTION The monist paints the picture as follows: INTERNAL/EXTERNAL FORCES>UNCONSCIOUS MIND> CONSCIOUS MIND>ACTION[822] It’s unknown whether Descartes was trying to support theological convictions or. etc.wonder why a salvation plan would be so epistemologically remiss. we can only appeal to what has worked best up until now. in the chain of cause and effect from the dawn of time. Elders. (1971). social engineering. (11/12/2010).edu/singham/2010/11/12/on_free_will5_models_of_how_the_brain_works 823 law. Over the but why? These are genuinely motivating questions. Available at http://www. Part II.

recovering in bed for seven months from an osteotomy related to that accident). "Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics". If our thoughts have such a strong impact upon how these microscopic entities in our bodies behave (psychoneuroimmunological evidence shows that it does827). The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition). crudely put. It’s to erroneously say.stanford. I bounced to the left and died under that car. then it’s not too fantastical to consider that thinking might somehow hold the secret for how consciousness itself links all the life from all these levels of existence together in some amazing way.logical fallacy argumentum ad ignorantiam. For example. until the day where it is not possible to be alive in any of them… and I cease to exist. I fantasize that perhaps these worlds within worlds can only connect via our thoughts. Psychology 9th edition. When I was a teenager. I think substance dualism is like that. yes. (2008). a large macrophage digesting bacterium in the body. I think substance dualism is like that. D. and if it hasn’t. when I observe microscopic images of. Of course. I have thought about physicist’s notion of the Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. I was hit on my scooter by a drunk driver and I spent two years in casts (and over two decades later I am. Are Viruses Alive? Scientific American. I mean that it really engenders some great fantasy. (ISBN 978-1-4292- 1597-8) 828 Vaidman. but not” 826 Villarreal. as I write this. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www. where. which may even be considered to be ‘alive’ or have ‘quasi-life’ with their own behaviors (like a virus is considered ‘quasi-alive’826).edu/archives/fall2008/entries/qm-manyworlds 227 . L. I imagine that kind of life as also made up of an amalgam of relatively smaller particles. say. (12/2004). 534-538]. that every competing idea is equally tenable. Zalta (ed. Edward N. Upon many occasions.). I’m only aware of life in the worlds where I am alive.825 For this reason. 825 The Argument from Ignorance is erroneously thinking that truth depends upon whether we know if the premise has been proven false. The world of science is fantastic. In an analogous way. [p. I fantasize that in many worlds. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://plato. Sci-fi.scientificamerican. and so on… until I’m compelled to look in the other direction and imagine our massive universe to be an unimaginably small particle within some other massive universe of giant living beings. (2010).cfm?id=are-viruses-alive-2004 827 Myers. every little possibility splits off and creates a separate alternate reality.828 or something like it. rather than bouncing to the right to live. L. we cannot dismiss dualism out of hand and must argue based upon reasoning within the scope of relevant evidence that we are familiar with functionally. “You can’t prove unicorns don’t exist? Then they are as likely to exist as anything else. New York: Worth Publishers.

[Video file post]. 829 Kagan . but not an independent phenomenon. Just like a smile. 2008).). and body. qualifying as an actual belief with the most merit. which are bound and bolstered further emotionally. there is a point when we go into mental representations that are only conceptually real. 6. even if they are inevitably equally implausible because of the concluding speculations. these are metaphysical fs&feature=relmfu 228 . it’s the result of a process and may actually represent the process. [0:00-8:10]. independent from the mouth. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www. because they have some basis in fact and a nice internal consistency on the surface that’s fairly Yale philosophy professor Shelly Kagan notes that for the physicalist. In this case. Part I. when we are not careful and we ontologically reify the often used semantic framing of ‘the mind’ as a noun for convenience. the mind is really the result of a special process based upon the ability of the particular combination of physical substance that can support it. The mind is still a rare and amazing phenomenon.g.829 When we look at the example I showed earlier of the ordered hierarchical categories of being that supervene upon one another (e. They may seem to be based upon the way the world really is at times and may also seem to have an internal consistency. but then they end with some highly speculative metaphysical leaps. and I wouldn’t ever try to convince anyone that they are—and I don’t really believe either one is—but it’s pleasurable to think that they could be true. The confusion arises. but there is no “group” floating around in space. Sometimes in philosophy we can get carried away with fantastical ideas too. as a category error. That’s a far cry from accepting them as the most plausible default worldview though. etc. it’s a functioning body that the mind supervenes upon. the two examples I presented do appear to have more science behind them than the notion of contra-causal free will. At the end of the day. I couldn’t say that either case is actually true. social groups supervene upon living beings which supervene upon cells which supervene upon molecules. (Uploaded by YaleCourses on Oct. S. Actually. The people in a “group” are real. That’s about as far as I feel I should go with them. the ‘mind’ is not a thing that is independent from the brain/body any more than a ‘smile’ is a thing. These ideas that I entertain have some evidence-based elements preceding them. 3. teeth. Arguments for the existence of the soul.

Socrates. etc. singularity.600-forgetfulness-is-key-to-a-healthy-mind. reason.833 Here. The allusion is that a healthy body and mind have a similar relationship. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://humanistcontemplative. 6. [6:00-20:00]. (Uploaded by YaleCourses on Sep. complexity. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www.834 This means that she can remember almost everything. S. destructibility. (2/16/2008). Simmias argues that harmony can be destroyed by altering the physical.831 and others. they could point to a woman identified as “AJ. (it’s the body that is imperfect). 30.” who has hyperthymestic syndrome. as the soul is necessarily supposed to represent perfect 834 Marshall. New Scientist. especially of the brain in particular. We’ve seen that a variation of degrees does exist in the relationship between mind and body throughout this book in terms of physical health.830. way that a physical body and a mind might also relate commensurately: by degrees of ‘harmoniousness. S. 8. In the scientific literature. and the dualist.832 have also shown that philosophers as far back as Socrates have been making the case for dualism using metaphors that can actually be shown to support physicalism and reject dualism in light of the kind of evidence we’ve seen in this very book. morality. Forgetfulness is Key to a Healthy Kagan. the opposite is the case. [Web log post]. [24:00-end]. Plato. what is really broken down in degrees by the destruction of the physical is just our epistemic access to these perfect entities. 8.) [Video file post]. 30. but not exact. 2008). (2006). etc.newscientist. Plato. For Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www.) [Video file post]. Part III: Arguments for the immortality of the soul (cont. Kagan notes that Socrates never really addresses this argument directly (perhaps because he thinks he has already argued successfully for the soul earlier in the dialogue). 2008). Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www. Simmias' Harmony Socrates’ Arguments For A Distinct Soul Dissected. (Uploaded by YaleCourses on Oct. immutability.T. D. and not varying degrees of 832 831 Kagan.html 833 Kagan. Plato. it’s capacity for harmony is great and if it is damaged and out of tune. would reply that harmony is not really broken. (Uploaded by YaleCourses on Sep.html 229 . creativity.’ If the lyre is soundly constructed and in tune. 9. in the Phaedo. reasonability. 830 Kagan. simplicity. Part IV: Arguments for the immortality of the soul (cont. 2008).blogspot. This commensurate relationship has not been observed to exist between a mind and a soul and seems to be illogical in principle anyway. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www. Socrates’ character Simmias argues that the physical capacity/condition of a harp to be harmonious relates to the abstract idea of perfect harmony in a similar. Part III: Arguments for the immortality of the soul (cont. S.) [Video file post]. [24:00-end].

the quality of the brain and body does affect the quality of the mind.blogspot. We up the ante when we become jaded sensually and become “connoisseurs” as our baselines of experience shift. or a harp (as noted in the Introduction. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://humanistcontemplative. today. in music. the difference between measure and kind—between quality rather than quantity has also been overlooked. But is this really so? How can it be so in any meaningful way when it comes to the retrieval of personality supposedly located ‘offsite’ in a soul? As we have seen throughout this book. or with reflective tile. the timbre of any instrument will be affected interactively by the environment in which it is played.html 230 . Ultimately. AI. Whether a brain. In the context of as I have defined it.” she doesn’t know what she hasn’t learned either. More generally. Humanist blogger DT Strain has noted835 that evidence like the Libet study and genetic propensities (and I would add the other evidence I’ve presented) shows that the body leads the mind and not vice versa. The Platonist might contend that every difference in quality is merely a difference in quantity. When a sound is made in a padded room. the way we interact with the world is influenced by the physical in real time and the way we act is what defines who we are. Simmias' Harmony Socrates’ Arguments For A Distinct Soul Dissected. and integrity of the intonation. and robots would be better analogies). [Web log post]. the tension in the strings. For example. we can also point to how the influence of the gradual internal evolution of aesthetics standards for what one considers ‘harmonious’ relates to the external rejection or reinforcement of those standards socially. computers. D. THAT would be evidence for substance dualism.T. but the dualist can: her physical nature allows her perfect epistemic access to it. In the case of “AJ. (2006). a unique dissonance quality is empirically verifiable between any two notes in terms of quantity by the number of waves in the frequency. it may necessarily reflect external context in its identity to some degree as well (and I will further argue that in depth in Endurance and Identity). and the principle of parsimony should guide us not to invent superfluous parameters when we don’t need them. But the quality of the ‘harmony’ that predisposes/influences our choices and perspectives is itself in the quality of the physical substrate/wood. for example. or underwater—even in the presence of gasses—the timbre and sometimes the pitch itself will be altered. This is what 835 Strain.including uncanny details. How is this so? Doctors can’t explain it. a body.

[Blog file post].physorg.sciencemag. First life: The search for the first replicator.newscientist.pointofinquiry. #23.html 844 Wogan.844.psychologytoday.html?full=true 843 Scientists take first step towards creating 'inorganic life. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://anthropology. Considering physicalist models.naturalism. (11/21/2011). And that we still have not been able to create life from inorganic matter shows how far we have to go validating any of their premises empirically.841 it’s very difficult to avoid getting locked into the Cartesian Theatre. Issue 2825. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www.837. #24).nytimes.psychologists call adaptation-level [Web log post].org/ J. T. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. T.psychology-lexicon.D. New York Times. Review: The Problem of the Soul Two Visions of the Mind and How to Reconcile Them by Owen Flanagan. Blackmore. [Audio podcast]. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Point of Inquiry podcast: Gerald Woerlee and Susan Blackmore .836 As it was shown in the Evidences (e. A1.300-first-life-the-search-for-the-first- replicator. mere humans don’t have the luxury of having it all in hand like the gods do—not that theistic or dualistic theories actually ‘explain’ consciousness anyway.842. W. Scientists Explain Why Animals Want Things But Objects Don't. (7/28/2011). Deacon (who unites evolutionary theory and information theory in a unique way: as the “narrowing of possibility”). neuroscientist Mark Hallett has this to say about consciousness as we know it now: 836 Adaptation-level phenomenon. I. but the hard problem of consciousness is… well.). Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. New York: W. (5/2009). Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www.html 837' (9/12/2011). (8/2002). Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. (2011).edu/content/incomplete-nature-how- mind-emerged-matter 838 Sherman. Consciousness Revolutions: Review of The Ego Tunnel by Thomas Metzinger. (18:00-20:30). Terrence W. (8/15/2011).htm 840 Clark. (1/7/2011). Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. ‘It’s Alive! It’s Alive!’ Maybe Right Here on Earth. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. have posited interesting versions of how consciousness may have arisen outside of the dualistic model. (N. we often thoughtlessly collude non-consciously to ‘like’ what the in-group likes. As Susan Blackmore notes. I think that we suppress our fundamentally interactive identity in order to get the psychological benefits of an illusion of autonomy. T.berkeley.845 As for cognitive science.840 to name just a naturalists like Dan Dennett. Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter. T. At (2/27/2012) (Interviewee). Can a Simple Model Explain the Advent of Cells? Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://news. [Blog file post].htm#Flanagan 841 Viscontas. and Owen Flanagan. M. Even so.html?pagewanted=all 231 . S.839 Francis Crick. D. W. Norton and Company. 838 Thomas Metzinger. though progress is being made. Psychology Glossary online. (Interviewer).Near-Death Experiences and Consciousness. hard and everyone has some holes to death_experiences_and_consciousness 842 Marshall.html?etoc 845 scientists-explain-why-animals-want-things-objects-dont 839 Clark.

(4/26/2007). It is likely that this network of structures includes the insula. that our mental properties supervene on our physical properties. 2011. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://pss. because there’s just no way to evidence any distinction between the two.1177/0956797611399294. And if the mind and the spirit are not the same thing… then Houston.jsessionid=11527EC4E7318AA3C369E43489462EE4 847 Aarts.clinph. along with a western tradition that focuses on individuals. since we can tenably start with the evidenced causality pertaining to physical material. The sense of agency comes from the appropriate match of volition and movement feedback. Still. rather than in the East.847 the tradition of contra-causal free will is often strongly perpetuated by some religious prejudice that requires it.03. never say never. Psychological Science. the physical transcends the causal. maybe someday a soundly designed out of body experience experiment will vindicate the dualist. (2/11/2011).019. While the subjective experience of free will is surely the most salient reason for its survival.1016/j.sagepub. the challenge for the theist is to show how. 118(6): 1179–1192. K. we have a problem. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://ukpmc. where societies tend to be more collectivist/holistic and determinism is more prominent. with activation as well of the global neuronal workspace. Volitional control of movement: the physiology of free will. because all the evidence collected here shows us that the mind really is what the brain does (as it has been said ad nauseam by naturalists). doi: 10. Clin doi: 10. 2007 June.. On the Foundations of Beliefs in Free Will Intentional Binding and Unconscious Priming in Self-Agency. H. Within this network. 846 Hallett. likely centered on the parietal area. February 11. This. even if they could produce unassailable reasons why.2007. and may even be a necessary byproduct of ethical and/or metaphysical harmonizing of texts and tenets in the evolution of the doctrine in question. M. the perception of volition is generated.[846] We are beginning to better map out networks and where more and more specific conscious phenomena originate… but clearly there is more work to do to flesh out a working 232 . Parietal and frontal areas maintain a relatively constant bidirectional communication. is why it is so difficult for determinism to be the dominant paradigm. let alone a testable one. and van den Bos.

and Theological 850 Big Questions in Free Will: Scientific. We can more readily employ a healthy skepticism internally and externally that uses empirical evidence and the scientific method to guide us more reliably. [21:30-51:30]. even fatalism.4 million grant850 over 4 years to explore the scientific evidence for and against free will. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. as stated above. Decenter to Be Centered. including versions of Christianity. Reasonable Doubts podcast: RD29 Free Willy vs The Determinator. which are compatible with the strongest forms of determinism. Fletcher. [Audio podcast]. and they are all related to each other via causality. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www. The John Templeton Foundation is a well funded organization that seeks to bridge the gap between science and religion. the naturalistic ‘crane’ of empirical consistency. Even psychology. (1/15/2009). As noted by the deterministic podcasting professors at Reasonable Doubts. Galen. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://itunes. we also realize that we don’t need to believe everything we hear in our internal dialogue. not 233 . rather than the ‘sky hook’ of an arbitrarily ungrounded ghost in the machine. Philosophical.” operate upon the notion that we can learn about ourselves by observing causal consistency. [Blog file post]. L. again.849 which is the common result of meditation. we also find it makes more sense pragmatically to encourage healthy practices like decentering. This is an actual foundation to work from. a $4. and is one way to practice observing our internal dialogue. though. J. J. social science. D.848 by dropping the illusion of dualism. There are several religions. what some have called the “soft sciences. they awarded Florida State University philosopher and free will 849 Winner. (10/29/2008).. but actually interactive agents intertwined with an environment that is constantly impressing unconscious behavioral and cognitive biases upon us. using. That the Templeton Foundation was motivated to spend so much money on this type of research is evidence for how significant the kinds of results in this book are to many theistic worldviews.psychologytoday.freewillandscience. When we realize that we are not independent unimpressionable souls. 848 Alfred Mele.. In 2010. and history. Determinism is the foundation of the naturalistic world view in the same way that empirical evidence is the foundation of science. as Daniel Dennett famously put it.

477. USA.D. Oxford University Press. A.1038/477023a. Yours to Decide Fate. P. [855] 851 Smith. “if [complete predictability] turned out to be true. Y.and microscopic situation.informationphilosopher. (4/2010).com/news/2011/110831/full/477023a. P. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. 855 Clark. Mele. Neuroscience vs philosophy: Taking aim at free 853 Alfred Mele. (6/13/2009).html 852 Nurse.). Nature. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. K.852 has toyed with several two stage compatibilist and soft libertarian 854 Mele. (N.naturalism..”851 though he has debated psychologist Daniel Wegner (see Evidence #2) on the subject of conscious will in 2009.. not that the same exact brain state in the same exact conditions could produce two or more different choices.htm#templeton 234 . perhaps impossible to test for.853 As the Florida State University press release for the grant puts If the situation doesn't contain that reason. Mele is “officially agnostic about the truth of compatibilism” and has publically stated. Wegner. to specify it would necessarily limit the contra-causal freedom of the agent by showing why a particular choice was made. something difficult. A. 23-25 (2011). Knights Templeton on Quest for Causa Sui. Free Will. the ultimate results will always be somewhat elusive and susceptible to ‘moving the goalpost’: …what sorts of findings about the brain would suggest that it has a capacity to make contra-causal choices? Libertarian freedom asks a lot: it requires that given the complete and total macro. [Web log post]. (8/31/2011).” Tom Clark has argued that both the JTF and perhaps Mele are looking to validate specifically libertarian free will with that money. Y. (2009). and is more sympathetic to that direction. D. N. his last book854 “was an effort to debunk those claims [that conscious will is an illusion]” and that he “falls clearly in the pro-free will camp. T. It seems likely that further research into the brain will show why particular choices are made.. Neither or Both? N. then the choice is in some sense arbitrary and inexplicable. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Haggard. doi:10. If the total situation contains that reason. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://worldsciencefestival. that would be a threat to free will..nature. Effective Intentions: The Power of Conscious Will. she could have done otherwise but for some reason did not. but no matter how much money one throws at it. including the agent herself.

Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://bookofconcord. Philosophical. and Theological Investigations. Last. It’s difficult. Like naturalists. all of the following defenses are often appropriate to varying theistic arguments. Sikhism. since many of the opponents of determinism are against it for theological reasons. W. to be objective about naturalistic foundations when one starts with theological presumptions. Jonathan 857 Wainwright. these do include theological treatments on free will as well. Jonathan Edwards.e. (First published 1/15/ It must be said that there are plenty of brilliant philosophers and psychologists represented there who don’t have anything to do with religious advocacy too. Hinduism. substantive revision 8/6/2009). etc.857 Martin Luther. but it must be said here that there are still several prominent western theists in history for whom versions of strong and soft determinism and/or predeterminism (i. one could see it in versions of the doctrine of karma in Buddhism. fatalism) were doctrinal. The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Lutheran Church. Edward N.stanford. we will encounter the subject of religion throughout the rest of this book. Zalta (ed. 856 Big Questions in Free Will: Scientific. (1580). Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www.1 858 The Epitome of the Formula of Concord. they see themselves as an integration of self and nature that they experience as unique. and open theists who are comfortable with determinism. panentheists.php 235 . in the east. We’re talking millions of theists over time. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://plato. if not impossible. such as John so let’s hope they consider this. Jainism.858. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2009 Edition).freewillandscience. There are also countless pantheists. direct manifestations of the cosmos… it’s just that they also add a unified Divine teleology into the equation. So what has the research uncovered so far? A list of winning studies is available here856 and yes. As we move through the Challenges.

I mention this after the last section because many philosophers—even some libertarians 860—will argue it’s really just one step removed from dualism in what it needs. Simple indeterminism. They are only considered sufficiently causal reasons if they are reasoned out. I will further illustrate some of the problems agent-causality shares with dualism. Its main characteristic is that it is to be distinguished from event causality. in its basic form. The Causal Vacuum. the agent. #6. rather than does the necessary work at the end of the day. doesn’t accept brain states. A Contemporary Introduction to Free Will. is immanent (as Roderick Chisholm put it. 63]. The Causal Vacuum. perhaps… the buck stops. #24. New York: Oxford University Press. (1983). reasons we are unaware of/uncertain about. [pp. 860 Kane. R. say. mere simple indeterminism. perhaps agent causality needs dualism.861 Also. It should be said now that predispositionalism sees agent and event causality as a false dilemma. [pp. 1983. ed. as causal explanations (it’s important to note that indeterminacy means uncertainty. like classic agent causality. and Endurance and Identity). (2000). This is to say that indeterministic reasons. which. especially theistic ones. One of the better theistic philosophers is agent-causalist Timothy O’Connor. M. In the section below. in that its source. to briefly mention agent causality.” reprinted in Free Will. Evidences #27. New York: Oxford University Press. T. not acausal or non-causal and that is how I will use it throughout the book). [p. unique element in the causal ‘chains’ where. AGENT CAUSALITY It makes sense to me. 236 . [p. R. (2005). Oxford: Oxford University Press. are not considered ‘reasons’ by O’Connor because they are not realized. 85-95]. following Determinism and Theism. 57-63]. for example. in the context of an ‘unmoved mover’859) and enduring. is at least as old as Aristotle and still enjoys favoritism by some libertarian philosophers today. it really merely stipulates and defines. 862 O’Connor. since they are causally intertwined by internal/external interaction evidenced throughout this book (see Introduction: Bargh. 861 Ibid. and as libertarian Robert Kane suggests. 34]. Persons and Causes: The Metaphysics of Free Will. Sound reasonable? 859 Chisholm. “Human Freedom and the Self. Gary Watson. He believes that agent causality is our best bet because it at least identifies an explainable.862 He argues that agent causality does more work than.

(4/14/2010). Available on 9/22/2012 at http://commonsenseatheism. 62-63]. (Interviewer).1080/13869790902838472?journalCode=rpex20 865 Kane. New York: Oxford University Press. the philosopher Randolph Clarke does accept reasons such as these to be causal explanations probabilistically (as do I/predispositionalism). O’Connor’s most recent work864 focuses on the reasonability of a premise that tries to accommodate the varying degrees of freedom elicited by our intuitions in thought experiments and in empirical research. motives. Issue 2. T. And this notion seems to be central to O’Connor’s overall metaphysical worldview in the context of ultimate explanation: unless we avoid indeterminstic elements like the influence of brain states and put all of our eggs into the origination issue basket and ‘plug the hole’ so responsibility can be ascribed. 2009 DOI:10.Well. [Audio podcast]. then he makes agent-causality superfluous865 (and I agree). then moods. it’s enough to see that we can’t discount the effects of arbitrary biases that we saw in the Evidences. reasons. Degrees of freedom. (Interviewee). 237 . Unlike other agent-causalists. 863 Muehlhauser. A Contemporary Introduction to Free Will. brain states. but for now. and/or some strange unknown non-conscious reasons. When most agent-causalists consider actions preceded by 864 O’Connor. Most agent-causalists don’t accept that certain elements in causal chains/co-emergent networks like reasons. you know where I stand on this. [pp. O’Connor fears that if he allows things like brain states to count as sufficiently causal. O’Connor. O’Connor and Carl Ginet reply that if Clarke accepts these kinds of factors as causal. beyond the agent. T. beliefs. Volume 12.863 This is not a surprising position for any theist. and moods are justified as sufficiently ‘causal’ in explaining free actions. and motives would not be included. (2009). moods. [29:15-46:15]. Philosophical Explorations: An International Journal for the Philosophy of Mind and Action. then because one event can be traced back to another. and I will answer that in detail in the section Responsibility. perhaps preceded by or co-emergent with choices. then we have an unending supply of mere ‘unsatisfying’ brute descriptions. (2005). we won’t be able to effectively delineate the kind of orgination we need to establish responsibility. and yet he thinks he can somehow simultaneously salvage agent-causality (I do not). R. L. Conversations from the Pale Blue Dot podcast: 035: Timothy O’Connor – Theism and Ultimate Explanation. but not present in so many current models on all sides. To disregard the kinds of influence on our decisions that this book describes is to belie too much about their causal influence. The origination issue by itself is a reasonable Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www.

Cynthia Klohr). H. especially when these reasons are shown to actually do predictive work in human behavior and elsewhere. 262]. namely the adequacy of everyday explanations. ISBN 0262232146 868 Kane. Mass.. Mass. 261-262].”866 That is to say that the use of something like foundationalism (i. 10]. [pp. this leaves very little left (what exactly?) to explain how agents are both motivated to “tip the balance” between potential choices868 and to explain how the brute fact that the buck stops with agents isn’t as equally unsatisfying as reasons leading to events. 7:13-14. let alone merciful Creator. brain states. Cambridge.. 866 Walter.. H. Neurophilosophy of free will: from libertarian illusions to a concept of natural autonomy. As uncharitable as it may be. Ironically. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Cambridge. and moods) hanging in the remainder of the equation. (2001). Jesus unambiguously said that most of us are bound for hell in Matt. people themselves hang in this “remainder of the equation” that certain theodicies claim god uses to justify free will in his salvation plan. its history. according to agent causality. turns against itself.”869 To say that agency is more satisfying because it is more “explanatory” becomes less satisfying when we realize there are still unaddressed reasons (motives. This is what should define a “reason”. and so on…”867 Robert Kane also argues that because modern agent- causality proponents want to avoid the pitfalls of substance dualism. as Walter writes. 869 Watson. 238 . Gary Watson writes that the agent-causalist merely “labels what libertarians need. its natural properties. Again. A Contemporary Introduction to Free Will. for my purposes. London: MIT Press. “The main argument for the assumption of agent causation. [pp. etc. predisposition is all I need. In terms of presenting an omni-benevolent. such as violating natural laws. [p. G. “the definition of the agent may not include any properties that could be captured by the categories of event causation. (1982). (Trans. New York: Oxford University Press. like its body. Free Will. (2001). Cynthia Klohr). [pp. ISBN 0262232146 867 Walter. requiring a soul. our reason shows it has causal power. (Trans. the evidences in this book show reasons like brain states carry equal or sometimes better currency in predicting action. 62-63]. The evidence is that they do work and cannot be ignored. Neurophilosophy of free will: from libertarian illusions to a concept of natural autonomy. the brute fact of this exploited remainder—this means to the end hanging in the balance of that handful of believers that do pass the test—seems strikingly unsatisfying to me. there are self-justifying basic beliefs) falls short when. we have to consider that someone who would ignore this kind of evidence has other philosophical commitments. it may also be noted that in the context of ethics and many versions of Christianity. R. (2005). As somewhat of a side point that should probably be in the religion section. Henrik Walter writes. London: MIT Press.e.

so we must look towards what influences our intuition that favors agency when we appeal to it. regardless of whether they have free will or not? Is a mother who leaves a knife by her infant considered negligent or do we appeal to the child’s free will? Aren’t humans similarly relatively ignorant enough not to be responsible in a way that requires eternal punishment? Wouldn’t we all choose god if we knew what he knew? Of course we would. Two questions for the theistic agent-causalist are: why should a specific remainder of souls be more satisfying than an infinite remainder (i. beyond our epistemic limitations. say. because it shows that even agency is only reducible to its own dissatisfying brute facts. Nizkor Project.D. but I think it is interesting that this brute fact of leftovers for the theist would not be unsatisfying here in its lack of elegance that would be expected in a divine plan.870 while also considering concepts at the edge of or. a 870 Fallacy: Appeal to Consequences of a Belief. an infinitely regressive multi-verse. taking into account the fallacy of desired consequence.nizkor. we would be remiss if we did not consider that this evidence of anthropomorphism may. “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. and choices of some philosophers in such a way as to ‘tip the scales’ in favor of preferring causal-agency as a more ‘satisfying’ metaphysical brute fact than something like a TOE (“theory of everything”).831.347. be an example of a brain state contributing to the emotions.html 239 . in itself. 144.). why would the universe be set up for there to be the *brute fact* of. Moving on… Aristotle said. in order to get a few to worship him forever. It is about the responsibility of god before the universe was even created whether or not to create the kind of world where most of its inhabitants would need to be eternally punished.000 going to heaven? Even if it were a nice round number… why that number? I bring this up. with.” To what extent is this actually possible. if the ‘entertained thoughts’ are also evolutionarily/physiologically/psychologically preferred? Considering the strong evidence for our propensity to infer agency in the world (Evidence #23).org/features/fallacies/appeal-to-consequences. (N. this complaint is really in the realm of ethics. Would YOU create such a world knowing these consequences? Wasn’t this perfect Trinity already perfectly satisfied enough to reject using people as means to ends. 7. say. The issue has nothing to do with free will.e. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www. beliefs.603 people going to hell. in an infinite multi-verse) and why would there be *this particular number* of remaining agents in the Divine Agent’s plan? That is to ask. in principle. Again.

other potential ways of starting fresh causal chains in thinking. D. This is because metacognition itself cannot not provide free will without deeply grounded origination or deeply grounded alternative possibility. where the theistic philosopher ‘sound engineer’ sits in a conjoined control booth that looks onto a bigger band room through a window. represented by a statue of Jesus in the center of the band room. Cushman. Expertise in Moral Reasoning? Order Effects on Moral Judgment in Professional Philosophers and Non-Philosophers. [Audio podcast]. assembling hypothetical metaphysical scenarios in the band room (i. (2009). (Interviewee). along with other representations in the room. as we shall see. sacred values (see Evidence #24). (14:00-15:30). ideas). 27.). Downward Causation and the Neurobiology of Free Will. 292.pdf 240 .org/Z5235Y. Coincidentally.e. 2009.872. metacognition). Ellis. O’Connor.faculty. (8/28/2010). she may assemble a scenario that entails a world with a god in it. and our predisposition for (divine) agency detection (see Evidence #23). It’s not about perception of actual physical representation. R. Now imagine the theistic philosopher is in the control room. [p. (Eds. F. the analogy is limited to thinking about thinking (i. In order to ‘objectively’ imagine a scenario/world/concept 871 Murphy. I’d like to use metacognition for a thought experiment in the context of theistic philosophy. O’Connor and some other theistic philosophers (such as Nancey Murphy) rely on the ability of metacognition (i. F. J. Mind & Language (2012). (2012).html 873 Schwitzgebel. the way a theistic philosopher turns over ideas in her mind may correlate to an analogy like the following: imagine a recording studio. 4]. E. predispositionalism). It’s been shown that philosophers can have their special kinds of biases. Knobe. with a little homunculus viewing the world. but in this scenario. or. we’ll see that they’re right that metacognition is powerful in what it provides us in models of ‘hierarchical selves’ in terms of responsibility.pdf 872 Edmonds. T.871 Later. Philosophy Bites podcast: Joshua Knobe on Experimental Philosophy. (Interviewer). ISBN 978-3-642-03204-2 Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www. I can’t help but think of Dennett’s criticism of the Cartesian theater here.e... VIII.thedivineconspiracy. Murphy. but it still falls short in enough crucial ways not to grant the kind of freedom that libertarians want.subjective network of physical/physiological grounded internal/external influence (e. G.873 Considering the Evidences here for the way we deal with intention (see Evidence #4). Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://philosophybites.. thinking about thinking) to do some heavy lifting in supplying freedom metaphysically.ucr. 135-153. such as via quantum stochasticity.g. in the section Responsibility. N. such as how their views change when the mere order of evidence is presented differently.

we still have pervasive agency detection software. (Interviewee). theistic in-group. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. either in a 874 Mooney. (5/5/2011). authority. affecting our intuitions and (hence) decisions. R.874 This leads to another important question that I will only briefly consider. This kind of humility may even come down to what it means to have a good education. with stronger emotional agency connections to value judgments. But what if we recognize that we are sometimes biased to infer agency where it doesn’t exist and there also just happens to really be divine agency in or behind the cosmos anyway? We would be excluding a fact of the world based upon supposing it to be a bias. [15:00-16:15]. as we all should be.without a god in it while 241 . though it would be a confusing design to make an agency detector as unreliable as it is. and sacred values biases running unnoticed in the background.pointofinquiry. that has influence on her. Many laypeople that rely on folk intuitions about agency often are not so inclined to even do that. Darwin illustrated this by writing about a guard dog barking at a curtain moved by the wind. to attempt to entertain thoughts objectively in ‘philosopher mode.Why Religion is Natural (And Science is Not). [Audio podcast]. Point of Inquiry podcast: Robert McCauley . Now. it doesn’t mean there is no divine agency or some kind of vague teleological force. she may temporarily remove the Jesus statue and put it into the hallway. and one that extends to animals as well. etc. McCauly. (Interviewer). why should there be a mystery element concerning the existence of the Agent or the Plan at all? At the end of the day. Even if we recognize reasons for a tendency to intuitively favor deism when the big questions reach a stale mate. This possibility must be conceded with some humility.’ even if his particular agency detection wiring may be just enough to ‘tip the scales’ in favor of agent causality and motivate him to find philosophical justifications afterwards. when it was really appropriate on some level. behind the engineer. the more reasonable theistic philosophers like O’Connor are humble enough. That is to say that even when we think we are considering hypothetical non- divine agency scenarios objectively. if a divine plan is ultimately about behavior. and that theists in particular are more likely to be neuronally wired to those representations in a more pervasive way (see Evidence #24). the point of some of the evidence in this book is to suggest that it might be a more accurate analogy to say that even when the theistic engineer puts the Jesus statue in the hallway to temporarily entertain non-theistic worldview scenarios in the band room… there would be another unrecognized god/agency statue in the control room itself. C. family. intention biases.

The scientific method that evidences biases like those seen in this book goes a step further and institutionalizes independent confirmation. as well as still humbly requiring that we never completely close the door on new evidence that may modify our current models. motivation to challenge said or at home. where the academic value standard of honestly trying to reason objectively is inculcated enough to perhaps have some affect upon the cognitive dissonance in the theist and non-theist alike. 242 .

1038/459164a. (2009). including the argument from ignorance or miraculous/supernatural “explanations. because predispositionalism is more concerned about human behavior and (higher) probabilities in human behavior. 164-165 doi:10. V.877 that there are quantum fluctuations not only in the world. should the utility in the definition of randomness in quantum randomness amount to something other than the utility in the common definition of randomness that I will be using (thankfully. [Web log post]. as well as the implications of the indeterminacy in Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. that is not and has never been an issue. such as in the release of synaptic vesicles and the opening and closing of ion channels. known for the aforementioned uncertainty principle) have argued876. Quantum Gods. Though I am not a physicist and am merely going to attempt to treat the concepts of randomness and uncertainty philosophically. 875 Stenger. QUANTUM RANDOMNESS In his book Quantum Gods. for example. 459. apparently not as far as strong libertarian free will.D. there are proponents of free will. It should also be said earlier than later that quantum randomness that breaks up the chain of global determinism/fatalism is irrelevant to predispositionalism. who do understand the arguments and genuinely still disagree with actual rebuttals that go beyond merely proposing misrepresentations of modern physics or determinism. though for Penrose and Heisenberg. M. but in the brain. and while they are still the scientific minority. misunderstood concepts like quantum randomness. (N. making it suitable for a more robust kind of free will than classic determinism or even typical compatibilism allows. That said. then that needs to be explained how it is different. He notes that it has been untenably appropriated in order to allow for gods and supernatural events/miracles by appeals to. (5/14/2009). alleviating the need for me to understand quantum mechanics). 243 .875 physicist Victor Stenger set out to refute the New Age/liberal theistic exploitation of modern physics. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Is free will an illusion? Nature. This is still controversial.).” For example. As far as I know.informationphilosopher. some highly regarded scientists like Roger Penrose and Martin Heisenberg (the son of Werner Heisenberg. NY: Prometheus 876 Roger 877 Heisenberg. both theistic and non-theistic. there seems to be increasing evidence to support it.

A. my lab has demonstrated that fruit flies. R. R. were he aware of it..882 These are evaluations based upon an “automatic effect of superficial features of a person. 73-79. [p.880. animals have to find a module that is adaptive.). Psychology 9th edition. D. Their brains. (ISBN 978-1-4292-1597-8) 882 Bargh. Insufficiently equipped.. discard and reconfigure their options. O. The physiology of how this happens has been little investigated. and motivational” and not merely “the shadow of a ‘real’ conscious mind” as so many of us have been led to believe for so long.D. Perspectives on Psychological Science. K.informationphilosopher.879.881 The work of John Bargh and Ezequiel Morsella has also evidenced the unconscious mind influencing creativity and spontaneous behavior. C. Heisenberg writes about some observations of a species of small flies called Drosophila that persuaded him to incorporate quantum stochasticity into his free will model: The activation of behavioural modules is based on the interplay between chance and lawfulness in the brain. continuously preactivate. They can solve problems that no individual fly in the evolutionary history of the species has solved before. (N. Cerebral Cortex. & Fink.. On the benefits of not trying: brain activity and connectivity reflecting the interactions of explicit and implicit sequence 879 Fletcher. can modify their expectations about the consequences of their actions. Unconscious implicit learning need not be limited to humans.. A. I supplied research that has revealed unconscious implicit learning. The unconscious mind. (2008). 883 “TheMizzouTube.”883 This is information that might have changed Heisenberg’s mind. Current Directions in Psychological Science. 244 . (2003). R. 880 Frensch. P. they’ve given us a tenable picture of the unconscious as “perceptual. New York: Worth Publishers. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Lecture by John A. [Web log post]. C. 1002–1015. Corlett. Rünger. Honey. 3. and evaluate their possible short-term and long-term consequences.. evaluative. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www. But there is plenty of evidence that an animal’s behaviour cannot be reduced to responses.. Bargh. A. insufficiently informed and short of time. & Morsella. G.. 15. (2010). 13-18. 878 Two-stage models for free will. For example. E. but most importantly. 881 Myers. Implicit learning.. in situations they have never encountered. [8:30-10:00]. In the introduction. 12. P. Zafiris. D. [Video file]. J. 562]. Unconscious behavioral guidance systems. Our experiments show that they actively initiate behaviour [878] [emphasis mine]. (2005). P. D.” (uploaded on 8/23/2011). in a kind of random walk. Zilles.

there is also evidence that “birds may use quantum effects to “see” Earth’s magnetic field”884 and so. Wired Magazine. In the Blink of Bird’s Eye. 884 Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www. unfamiliarity with difficult quantum randomness has produced folk versions of an unrefined quantum free will model which implies that the mental process—again—the firing of synaptic vesicles and the opening and closing of ion channels. It’s hard to know for sure how this model could be coherently fleshed out. Fortunately. either truly random or perhaps mistakenly perceived as undetermined until they are observed/decided upon. In the case of the birds. as we shall see.wired. While Heisenberg’s quantum free will model is more refined. I can only speculate here that information travels inter-dimensionally like/as quantum particles. The jump itself is a non sequitur. remember that free will needs both meaningful reasons for action and the ability to do 245 . we don’t really need to know the details. just in a different way. L. a Model for Quantum Navigation. For example. but random. and so would also negate the agent’s free will. Also our cognitive biases distort our perception of the decision’s context unconsciously to some extent before even the most random/‘free’ computation would have a chance to be decided upon (still unconsciously). has some element possibly analogous to the Casimir effect. The consequence would mean that every decision is not chosen. Predispositionalism is less concerned with Grossman. I would not deny that quantum effects extend this kind of freedom. That the increase in possibility for the bird is acausal isn’t a problem for predispositionalism. but it is not a metaphysical kind of freedom from influence any different than possibility increased by letting another person out of a cage or by gaining an epistemically derived potential for freedom via the acquisition of knowledge. given that truly random thoughts would seem to go on for quite some time before relevant or useful ideas would come to mind in a timely succession. because even if we can’t presume random and free are the same thing in cognition in any meaningful way or the thoughts would translate to gobbledygook. it only gives them more of an opportunity to become entrenched in them. quantum effects may be salient enough to grant these animals more of a certain type of freedom: local freedom. because it doesn’t negate the predisposed behaviors. in one sense. because the standard reply to ‘acausality/randomness equals freedom’ is that it is a category error/conflation anyway. (1/27/2011). so decisions still cannot evade many of the kinds of precognitive biases that are evidenced in this book.

causality than it is with control. This is yet another reason why this book is not framed from the perspective of good old fashioned determinism and it brings us to a discussion of two-stage systems… 246 .

[Web log post]. then will.typepad. Like Penrose and Heisenberg. again like Penrose and Heisenberg. atomic 886 The Cogito 887 Doyle.888 It’s important to note that quantum mechanics is still considered mechanical in one sense. even within probabilities. which “appear to be continuous and highly deterministic”—things like planets with orbits that “are predictable to a very high degree of accuracy” still emerged from quantum chaos that strong determinists untenably ignore in order to biasly idealize the world. Consistent and Coherent. which puts the overall effect of quantum randomness into question at the macro level. Determinism is an illusion. and reliable enough to run the most accurate clocks and machinery in the world ( 247 .” yet asserts. and even human behavior? Is Doyle conflating quantum randomness with our epistemic limitations because we often appeal to predictable consistency at the macro level. the more prediction power statisticians 885 The Information Philosopher Website. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www.html 888 Doyle. nuclear weapons). (N. Martin Heisenberg on Free Will.e. I’d probably give him a hug. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://gfp. B. A Free Will Tutorial: How Adequate Determinism and Modest Libertarianism Give Us a Corrected and Completed. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www.). technology. Part 4/8.informationphilosopher.informationphilosopher. [Multimedia]. rather than certainties.”887 I will say right away that this model has at least one notable strength that I appreciate as a predispositionalist: an emphasis on probabilities. that “irreducible randomness invalidates any demonstration of strict causality.D.886 which treats quantum stochasticity much more reasonably: as a refined version of the two-stage process.informationphilosopher.” because even these physical objects. [Web log post]. Comprehensive Compatibilism. Why is there so much demonstrable.). perceived to be somewhere between compatibilism and libertarianism.885 It’s a real public service and if I ever met him. “first there is a random generation of alternative possibilities […] Then an adequately determined will selects […] First free.D. Doyle admits that “quantum indeterminism is normally only important on a microscopic scale of atoms and molecules. (N. B. and what role does quantum randomness really play when considering so much reliability in science. (5/17/2009). THE COGITO MODEL Harvard astrophysicist and philosopher Bob Doyle has put together an amazing online collection of information about all things free will. he holds the Cogito Model. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. even though the more truly random data is. Like Penrose and Heisenberg. But nuance gets the best of us eventually and we find a way to delineate our views.

we should also question whether quantum randomness has biological salience consciously.skeptic. and their speed across the distance of the synapse are about three orders of magnitude too large for quantum effects to be influential. Zeno’s Paradox and the Problem of Free Will. M.actually have? Is he is considering it in the sense that birds (might) use it for navigation? That can’t be it. Of course. P. that the initial state can never be specified with sufficient accuracy to enable the prediction of final outcomes.[891] 889 Molé. NY: Prometheus 248 . On free will-4: The implications of modern physics for determinism.’ As deterministic physics professor Mano Singham writes at machineslikeus. (p. So chaotic system are deterministic (hence do not allow for free will) but unpredictable. [Web log post]. This is to ask: is the mechanical randomness interactive with consciousness? Does it translate [a]causally and at what stage in the process? Michael Shermer writes. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. despite the seeming randomness in experimental results”889 [emphasis mine].com/eskeptic/11-04-27 890 Singham. (2009). for its reliable consistency. in a more aware way than how birds might use it instinctively. 9).com: […]chaos theory is strictly deterministic. Systems that are chaotic have to obey certain types of laws and it is not clear that the brain is a chaotic system [890] [emphasis mine]. [Physicist Victor] Stenger computes that the mass of neural transmitter molecules. Skeptic. It should also probably be noted here in the context of modern physics that chaos theory is a somewhat misleading label in one sense and I mention this to counter the presumption that modern physics implies that ‘anything goes. not all complicated systems are chaotic. but like atomic clocks and nuclear weapons. because they use it not in order to cash in on random products. 10(4). (11/12/2010). Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from physics-determinism 891 Stenger. V. (2004). “some physicists maintain that quantum mechanics equations contain hidden variables that cause determinism to prevail. As Phil Molé writes in Zeno’s Paradox and the Problem of Free Will. What it says is that certain systems are so sensitive to the specification of their initial state. Furthermore. There is no micro-macro connection. Quantum Gods.

). the quantum and thermal noise/errors generated in the brain are what give us previously unavailable its translation to free will and/or moral responsibility is a separate question. 10). So even if there was quantum indeterminacy in the brain. Free Will and Luck. creative options. [Web log post]. wet. NY: Oxford University Press 893 Noise. Unspecified . so that for all practical purposes determinism rules in the brain” (2002. Mind. [Web log post]. is arguing for a more compatibilist position that the grand eternal causal chain going all the way back to the Big Bang is broken by quantum fluctuations.894 Doyle. Free Will and Luck. It’s important to note here that this is where Doyle opts for a more moderate position than the strong libertarian/contra-causal free will notion where quantum randomness simpliciter allows for all uncaused thought. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. but he brings up other types of noise and/or errors that function in the same way. And as Alfred Mele writes in his book. (12/7/2005). the randomness objection: randomness does not equal agential freedom. (N. that quantum indeterminacy might even exist in the brain is only the half of it: One possibility. thus avoiding both a fatalistic chain of events and the loss of free will by over-imposing randomness. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. and massive as neurons of the brain. (p.htm 249 . 86). Another is that any indeterminism in the human brain is simply irrelevant to free action and moral responsibility[892] [emphasis mine].” So for these two stage compatibilists. T. (2006). such as thermal. Doyle admits “molecular biologists have assured neuroscientists for years that the molecular structures involved in neurons are too large to be affected significantly by quantum noise”893 [emphasis mine]. He does this by admitting. as David Hodgson reports. emergent. p. neural—even quantum noise is still not completely ruled out yet.informationphilosopher. quantum mechanical indeterminacies quickly cancel out. It gives us access to alternative possibilities for action that are generated freely.D.html 894 Clark. and presumably Heisenberg and Penrose.e. is that “in systems as hot. and so makes a distinction between acceptable adequate or local 892 Mele. “Quantum randomness does not directly cause our actions. So Doyle does address this question and also seems to avoid the problem of the first “standard reply” above (i.comment on Henry Stapp's Quantum Interactive Dualism. because the agent still has no control).naturalism.

informationphilosopher.D. prudence suggests retaining a more agnostic position there for now. but he realizes that this “sacrifices it for the observational predictions made by real observers”897 and so still leans toward putting a point in the indeterminism camp. The first is well-suited for use with a philosophical free will hero that I will call the Dionysian improviser: imagine a person who sets out mentally to ‘let the universe speak through her’ via the kind of chaotic creation energy experienced during 895 Carroll. The picture that remains gives us two possible objection routes to take against Doyle’s use of the “first free. 897 Ibid. Again. physicist Sean Carroll writes. that’s all that should be required for this kind of discussion. he sees a restoration of “[…] determinism at the level of the fundamental equations”896 ultimately via the possibly deterministic many-worlds hypothesis. it does appear to be true that the way we humans operate by default is best summed up by Doyle when he writes. Concerning general relativity. not strict/global determinacy. We are merely one of those instantiated possible wave 896 Ibid.”898 so let’s move ahead. [Web log post]. In the end. is fundamentally statistical.[895] Concerning quantum mechanics. because we can only get so small and even the top cosmologists don’t agree on quite a lot. S.discovermagazine. these kinds of GR phenomena are very far away from our everyday lives.html 250 . given that we really do not know the exact nature of the perceived randomness of quantum behavior due to our epistemic limitations. there’s really no relevance to discussions of free will. 898 The Illusion of Determinism. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://blogs. then will” model. the study of what we know. behaviors. remembering also that predispositionalism is about high probability in the predictability of behavior and the lack of awareness concerning influence and control over thoughts. where each quantum fluctuation can play itself out constrained only by cosmic possibility. and actions. GR violates global determinism in the strict sense.determinism and unacceptable strict or global determinism. the study of what exists. but certainly obeys local determinism. [Web log post]. taking this as a given. (N. is fundamentally probabilistic. On Determinism. “Epistemology. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. (12/5/2011).).

In this case. the development of creative alternative possibilities for thought and action. (N. then will.899 “first free. Imagine that this self-aware robot temporarily runs some randomized idea software for part of its functioning.D. because one observes that they’ve allowed for a higher percentage of chaos on the continuum of intentional control. as well as the excitement over ‘happy accidents." These thoughts may be our own. The second possible objection is to say that Doyle seems to be equivocating in his use of the term “free” when he says “first free. then will. plays a major role. and the latter. But does freedom really reign? What exactly is happening when our Dionysian improviser is going back and forth between her impulses to flail her arms wildly or to strike the bow aggressively or softly. then abandon them? Let’s revisit our AI model in the Introduction. [Web log post]. or to stay within a certain tempo or follow a motif." more than "from us. either slowly or at imperceptible quantum speed. in addition to or alternating back and forth with the non-randomized choice software.” as it still remains unclear as to how the now randomized thoughts could be truly free if they are consistently relevant and useful to the thought at 251 . as nature personified. even when choosing from new emergent options. let alone all the biases we don’t know about.).e. remembrances of past experiences or ideas that are relevant to the current situation. Doyle says: In the first "free" stage.artistic/musical improvisation (i. Would this really give the robot free will… or would it just be alternating between randomness and causality at whatever speed? Unless they are simultaneous. a kind of Nietzschean ‘free spirit’) or even via special meditation/prayer.informationphilosopher. still lacks at least some of the ability to do otherwise (than what the biases predispose). But they also may be random variations of past experiences and contain many immediate sensory inputs we can not 899 William James. This is especially true when saturated with all the biases in this book. Random thoughts appear to "come to us. etc. She may choose to dance wildly and she may choose to move her fingers so as to be able to play her violin… but there are still both a heightened allowance and a heightened acceptance of error. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www.’ plus the overall sensation that randomness. our control is probably minimal. there is an almost tangible sensation that freedom reigns. the former lacks the free will requirement of meaningful reasons for action. This can be considered in accord with Doyle’s Cogito Model adopted from William James.” back and forth.

S. With this in mind. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Regress Type Arguments Are The Single Biggest Problem In All Of Fundamental Science And Philosophy.). has put together a fun website all about randomness that actually does that kind of training with games and tests903). Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. as statisticians tell us. [Web log post]. 115. Nevertheless. Can people behave randomly?: The role of feedback. (12/11/2011). At some point our decisions must stick and have some consistency or we would be schizophrenic and incoherent. The two 900 Control.html 901 Vongehr. Even if quantum randomness is salient to consciousness. then he must concede that they are ultimately considerably filtered through non-random processes before the will gets its chance. between thoughts/choices. TN.’ we still prefer to overwhelmingly choose the number 3 and the direction ‘right.html#references 252 . even when we try to ‘behave randomly’ by choosing a number between 1 and 4 or we choose a direction ‘at but that is not a default ability (Rhodes College in Memphis. “It’s not easy being random.” whether that randomness is a product of machines or of living things. we may have some control over the time we allow our minds to consider new possibilities[900] [emphasis mine]. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://faculty. Random alternatives may be generated internal to our minds or come into us from external events that are random and outside our control. 62 -75. doesn’t necessarily cash out with equal probability.science20. the ‘measurement problem. it will not necessarily filter randomness in a non-random way through the biased filter of how our physical world actually is ontologically.’901 Again. 903 Rhodes College website. as we saw in the Introduction and in Evidence #18. it seems like the world is really more like ‘first random… then predisposed processing/filtering through the objective macro- world fashioned by what spilled out at Plank time… then conscious report.D. in this case. (N. if we try to integrate the Cogito Model. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www.informationphilosopher. (1986). [Web log post]. al_science_and_philosophy-85402 902 Neuringer. If Doyle wants to make the “random thoughts” relevant so that we are not thinking a hundred thoughts of ‘gobbledygook’ between each thought we can actually utilize. Randomness between events.’ with action coming both before and after the conscious report—maybe even before the processing/filtering.’ Studies have shown that we can train ourselves to behave randomly using feedback. control that suggest new possibilities to us.

The additions do not make it any less biased. More choices do not necessarily equal more control. not strict determinism. given the options to dig or tunnel… or to do something novel. the focus of this book is upon the science of predisposition. The tracks represent our causal predisposition. these analogies aren’t perfect. but they would still be a product of our choices. there is little reason to think that the addition of noise errors will negate the non-random causally determined thoughts in the sense that the non-randomized choice software is still going to lean its decisions toward its biases from whatever options it has. perhaps they would have some very rough ability 253 . our phenomenal predisposition. The tunnels represent observed tendencies. I could stray a bit from the original tracks analogy to accommodate the Cogito Model as I see it. which are less malleable tendencies (less malleable because we are unaware of the manipulation. In either of these objections. random noise additions included. say magnetically. the quantum options would simply compel us to shift to the most similar option that still appeals to our same contextual and body-based biases. or how to stop it). Again. Admittedly. the origination. While two stage theorists might still prefer the tunnels scenario. it seems reasonable that the random options adopted would still have to appeal to the biases and would usually be chosen because they have the ability to further entrench the agent in that bias by appealing to them.stage model belies the most interesting part: the middle. even if deterministic fatalism does not. The ‘first free. and predisposition endures beyond the Cogito Model. So even Doyle’s more modest compatibilism. presents no real challenge to my use of predisposition here functionally. does us no good if there is still predisposition in the filtering afterwards. but they do some work at showing these particular differences. especially considering a dominant non-conscious mind responding to the most salient ‘options’ in the basement before the conscious mind event gets the ‘awareness report’ of what ‘options’ made the cut.’ however ‘truly’ random it is (as opposed to the kind of so-called ‘psuedorandomness’ that most computers generate). If the causally determined non-randomized choice software is always running. I might say that while the trains would always still be pulled to stay on the tracks. Here I will remind the reader of my tunnels and tracks analogies at the beginning of the Challenges. just slightly less predictable. that breaks the cosmic A to Z strict determinism chain.

in say. I bring this up now in the context this section. but they would still be pulled back onto other very real tracks of predisposition that are not the same as an open road or a tunnel. Here. the philosopher cannot say ceteris paribus: “all things being equal” with such a comparison. would really only make the trains ‘jump the tracks’ of predisposition or go off road temporarily in this modified version. If they do make a difference in the way Doyle proposes. “Austin-style” examples. (N. how much of a difference they actually make will have to be something for the statistical scientists of the future to determine. of course.). That’s how a heuristic or bias would operate if imbedded biologically. etc. [Web log post]. the tracks would be unseen. So even though Doyle says that quantum noise “can have a major effect—if it is part of a thought.. (Fischer.g. the air blowing in the quantum effects actually facilitate predisposition in this way? Something to consider. Vargas.thedivineconspiracy. some minor random variables. (p.pdf 905 Causa Sui. such as in “Austin- style” examples or quantum noise.) (2007).”905 the biases are still there to change the odds. will not upset the machine’s favoring of those particular balls that are heavier or fit in the hole better. random noise could be considered our greatest opportunity for change or it could be considered an error of thinking that wastes our time by possibly even entrenching us further in our biases… or both (analogous to mutations in evolution)! 904 Kane. MA: Blackwell. Four Views on Free Will.informationphilosopher. and that’s what the evidence is showing. They may even be a more direct route to where the other track was headed. socially. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. What if. so the significance is still in question in that way too. J..html 254 . because randomness. At the end of the day. temporarily go “off road”/“off track” (e.904 novelty in exaptive thought) to another track and do so without totally derailing. 17) Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www.M. via quantum noise. R. There would also be more tracks overlapping than we see in this world and. this is to say that with some of the balls more likely ‘biased’ to drop because of size or weight differences compared to the other balls. Using the lotto ball machine analogy D. environmentally.D. M. because the Cogito Model is true.

disabilities and so on. That our neuronal re-wiring in response to our interaction with the external world creates causal explanations is what I believe will be further shown in science as technology progresses. some with expiration dates and susceptibility to change. It’s important to note the difference between contrastive explanations and causal though interactive.” which immediately puts all of us at a disadvantage. It must also be remembered that any exhaustive explanation relies upon epistemic perfection. or having parents with friends in high places. [p. The point is that there are at least two varieties of luck that determine our futures. Is our freedom the extent to which we can alter that predictability by reason/contrastive explanations? Those are influenced as well. desires. Free Will Skepticism in Action. There is external luck—winning the lottery. the intelligence. (2005).pdf 255 . As Tamler Sommers sees it. passions. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. but don’t see them as deterministic explanations (which I will call causal explanations). in terms of creating a “proof. Certain predispositions are more plastic than others.[906] Why should luck be a problem for libertarians? Because there is no way to distinguish it from how actions are brought about without causal influence.naturalism. perhaps I should briefly mention what has come to be a thorny crown for some libertarians: luck. 6]. discipline. as libertarians need contrastive explanations to defeat luck. T. others without expiration dates and 906 Sommers. Libertarians deny that the kinds of influence that we’ve seen all throughout this book that increases predictability in behavior are causal explanations. and not (never IMO) causally independent. These internal factors have enormous causal influence over our futures. for example. LUCK Before I wrap up on theories pertaining to or relying upon randomness in some way. it must be viewed as a matter of tendencies. I will generally default to the simple observation that the scientific method does some work in showing that predictability in human behavior can be increased in situations where decisions are influenced before reasoning can be applied (as is shown throughout this book). Chapter 5 of his Doctoral Dissertation at Duke University.[3] And then there is internal luck: the talents we possess.

R. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://discovermagazine. I adduce that those accounting claim scenarios where the world is exactly the same. there would be no predisposition and libertarian free will would seem way more plausible. not that they are necessarily undetermined..susceptibility to change. Nature. Nos. since they/the mind are causally intertwined by internal/external interaction of subject and environment evidenced throughout this book. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Reflections on an Argument from Luck. then I agree with Randolph Clarke909 (perhaps for a slightly different reason) that the accounting claim is a red herring that’s a day late and a dollar short. If they are provided. let alone a contrasting one. C. even one infused with some random possibility. Koch. THAT means that sufficient causal explanations can always be provided in principle.vis. 1 & 2. 256 . L. I. As I have noted. as both a physical representation and a causal explanation.pdf 909 Clarke. The Brain: Can a Single Neuron Tell Halle Berry From Grandma Esther? Discover Magazine.. in the least. predispositionalism sees agent and event causality as a false dilemma. C. Again. Indeterminacy is only R. well before a decision (Clarke’s opinion may differ). Fried. Philosophical Topics 32. but with two possible different outcomes actually contain two minds that are. (2005). based upon the notion that personality itself can be a result of an accumulation of self-forming actions 907 Zimmer. G. that there are tendencies that rely upon probability is due to our epistemic limitations. halle-berry-from-grandma-esther 908 Quian Quiroga. in principle.908 for every brain state changes subtly for every decision that we presume to be able to choose between alternate possibilities. such as Robert Kane. (6/2009). Reddy.. A very complex causal pathway. one predisposed toward one path. not the same neuronally.caltech. There are libertarians who argue that our responsibility does not require contrasting explanations. If everything could be changed on the spot. then that neuronal change serves. may have an actual probability worth saying “that’s going to happen” if we had the capacity to know it. the other to the other. Invariant visual representation by single-neurons in the human brain. it becomes two minds. 435: 1102-1107. (2004). 47-64. because they believe that the many of the kinds of predisposition I have outlined in this book actually create a precedent for “free” action.. If the physical neuronal representation907. because it can no longer be analogized as ‘one mind before a fork in the road’. Let me be clear about this: if the slightest neuronal change is what makes a person favor one equally desirable decision over another. The accounting claim is that there could be two scenarios that are exactly the same that lead up to opposing decisions.

While we are straying ever further from the luck issue now and into responsibility and identity.912 Philosophy professor. Zalta (ed. since our character was created by free actions. "Virtue Ethics". say. (1996). The Significance of Free Will. “Most of [neuroscientists’ and psychologists’] discoveries involve statistical correlations that are compatible with indeterminism. Thankfully. scientists have evidenced that for me..” Sometimes it’s difficult to know when philosophers mean “true randomness” or “uncertainty” when they say “indeterminacy. but not that actions are free from causal influence in any meaningful way because of it. #18. (1996). It seems to me fairly obvious that we would more often fall back on what is familiar internally and confabulate it externally afterwards.(SFAs910) that have built up over time. etc. Edward N. [p. when we have all the physical propensities and familiarities that we surely default to when uncomfortably uncertain. R. 130]. as the virtue ethicists contend. It just seems utterly unconvincing to me that uncertainty would breed freedom. New York: Oxford. As the idea goes. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2012 Edition).” Fortunately.) and it’s especially not in a way that would automatically exonerate second generation actions based upon such ignorance. as with virtuous action (hailing back to the virtue ethics of Aristotle911).” especially “quantum indeterminacy. The Significance of Free Will. Rosalind. has also suggested that indeterminacy does some work at providing 912 Kane. That includes evidence of moral biases. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://plato. Eddie Nahmias.) (7/18/2003). And I have already described what happens when we encounter indeterminacy. the reply is the same to both when it comes to predispositionalism. as Kane believes. it’s important to show here the problems with the foundation for what is supposed to be 910 Kane.. the neurobiological level. This goes as long as those original actions that made up the character were actually free. 911 Hursthouse. its predispositions are free as well. New York: Oxford. I certainly agree that we habituate action.stanford. 257 . where many philosophers prefer to think the freedom resides (we saw otherwise in several Evidences #4. Moreover. It’s just like it is for actual true quantum randomness in the brain: we still reroute to more fundamental predispositions. formed during genuine bouts of moral conflict that generate higher levels of quantum indeterminacy (uncertainty) in the brain. such. rather than bravely explore new territory at these moments. and that recent scientific discoveries do not threaten free will. it is implausible to think that indeterministic interactions at the microphysical level never have an effect on the way things happen at. R.

. and so on. say. for example. (1990). nothing remains untainted. The agent acts in accordance with her values. because even so-called SFAs born free in genuine moral conflict are then squeezed through the filters of biased processing. Fischer all appeal to scenarios where there is no desirable alternative action to the morally good action available in order to show that it is not the alternative possibility that grounds responsibility.. unconscious learning processes. Fischer describes a popular scenario to illustrate the problem: …a baby has fallen into a swimming pool in front of you and is in immediate danger of drowning. we can answer this question by describing the agent's heredity. But then we may ask why she has that particular system of values If. on the one hand. Susan Wolf illustrates the problem of identifying a self- made. New York: Oxford University Press 258 . as many have argued. then the agent seems to fit the problematic model of the nonautonomous agent. and she wants to perform it because she wants something else to which the action in question is perceived as a means. to circumnavigate the luck problem. (pp. because there simply is no other desirable alternative. but her values are a result of forces external to herself. rather than that our non-conscious self and/or events form our character (or the interaction of the three)? The onus is upon the philosopher to describe a completely free action where there was no causal influence and the ability to do otherwise. Freedom Within Reason.[913] When we see the kind of evidence that I’ve shown for. her most significant recent experiences. 13-14). responsible character: An agent. this would be extremely 913 Wolf. performs some action because she wants to perform it. S. All you have to do is bend over and pick the baby up. in order to get to this kind of character that gets to perform free actions… but as I argue in the Introduction and throughout this book. why should we presume that self-forming actions ever form our character. Levy. and J. And even virtuous actions are often done instinctively or. her upbringing. Wolf. But why does she want that something else? Perhaps because the pursuit of that goal offers the best chance of satisfactorily realizing her complex system of values.

59. 1. that Kane’s excuse “proves too much: it implies that agents are responsible not only for the actions they choose. Dialectica. for now it’s enough to suggest. but I do very much doubt that it is what grounds your moral responsibility. Levy finishes with a thought experiment 914 Fischer. [915] There are some interesting issues of identity with Kane’s proposition of a free SFA infused character that I will deal with later. but also for the counterfactual actions which were equally available to them. In addition to the above objections to the appeal to no need for explanations. M. Contrastive Explanations: A Dilemma for Libertarians. Since it is so obvious what you should or slamming on the brakes. you would not feel that your freedom was enhanced if there was some indeterminacy in your decision-making process. as Levy has shown. and nothing speaks in favour of hitting the child. Libertarianism and Avoidability: A Reply to Widerker. 259 . and we may suppose that there are no other morally relevant reasons. Vol. […] does the existence of this alternative possibility ground your moral responsibility for your decision? I do not deny that the alternative possibility exists.ox. (2005). prudence – speaks in favour of hitting the brakes. morality.pdf 916 Ibid. (2005). It is just obvious what you should do.[914] Levy has his own version: Imagine you are faced with a choice. the part that chooses option A or B. 915 Levy. N. J. 51-61 Key: citeulike:577383 Available on 9/22/2012 at http://users. And it does not seem to me plausible to say that this kind of possibility is what grounds your moral responsibility for your decision. No. easy for you. For what would such an alternative possibility be like? It would be the possibility to judge best something for which there are no good reasons—failing to bend over and save the baby.”916 Levy shows via a clever thought experiment that the externalized mechanism of Kane’s SFAs. is indeterministic to the point where the resulting action deserves no praise or blame. even though all of Kane’s conditions were met. Everything – rationality. (1995). between hitting a child who has darted out in front of your car. Faith and Philosophy 12: 122-25.

not merely cleverly positioned indeterminacy or character.J. Taking Luck Seriously.917 similar to the ones I shared in Evidence Michael Zimmerman. The responsibility of the two assassins is not equal. pp. luck can make the agent more or less responsible. because the consequences matter. One hits and kills and the other hits a bird flying by. (2002). He posits a scenario where two assassins shoot at their target. He shows that intuitively. 917 Zimmerman. 553–576. 260 . Journal of Philosophy 99. M.

P. we do not therefore list alcohol in the ingredients. but especially in this kind of endeavor. Zeno’s Paradox and the Problem of Free Will.htm 919 Molé. for example the process of making wine. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://psychclassics. 261 . acausal or unpredictable afterwards. nor the produced alcohol. “Emergent phenomena” is an expression used to signify an emergence of significantly novel possibility that sprouts from a combination of known phenomena. it eats the sugar and produces alcohol. kills the yeast when there is too much of it and fermentation stops. neither is the process of thinking. Skeptic. with the primary products being forms. Emergence is a secondary product of a process too.yorku. (2004). J. The Reflex Arc Concept in Psychology. Some writers have made the case that emergent phenomena undermine determinism: One reason that determinism does not imply an absence of alternatives is the role of emergent phenomena in complex systems […] Emergent phenomena are novel.skeptic. where correlation is not necessarily causation. When attempting to create wine. we must be especially vigilant against what American philosopher John Dewey called the historical fallacy. Emergent phenomenon themselves are not merely affected by their surroundings. But just as the wine making process does not make the process. 10(4).[919] 918 Dewey. acausal or unpredictable for that reason! This is true even if the results that supervene upon a process are not reducible to that process. it’s merely a product of the process. As yeast is added to the mashed grapes.918 so that we do not frontload causal elements that are actually a product of the process. where psychology and philosophy meet. Let us observe. and/or ideas/thoughts that lead to the emergence of novel secondary products with causal and influential qualities that are essential unpredictable beforehand. nor the produced thoughts. and unpredicted by our knowledge of the system […] This is a feature of complex systems often overlooked by strict determinist deniers of free will. but interact dynamically with other parts of the system. which in turn. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. (1896).ca/Dewey/reflex. EMERGENT PHENOMENA As in all psychology. J. doi:10. then our predictability improves a little. (4/2009). Retrieved 9/22/2012 from http://www. we have made a contra-causal numbers-of-neuronal-and-nonneuronal-cells-make-the-human-brain-an-isometrically-scaledup-primate- brain/# 922 Drachman.922 so expecting beings to be perfectly predictable because they follow causality is not a reasonable expectation. 921 Azevedo. Filho. Ferretti. We can look at this lack of awareness from another view. Only a god would have perfect access anyway and such a god would already know about the emergent phenomena. 513 (5): 532–41. (8/11/2008). R. (2005). A fatum is unpropitious. Molé highlights our epistemic limitations over the causality we can’t predict in both charges. As it has been said by determinists like Stephen Pinker.. [Video file]...1002/cne. Martin Heidegger writes eloquently about Nietzsche’s expression amor fati: Amor fati is the transfiguring will to belong to what is most in being among beings. Grinberg. Equal numbers of neuronal and nonneuronal cells make the human brain an isometrically scaled-up primate brain.1212/01. L. Neither is the assumption that because we may be aware of the dominant influences that are propelling us toward a decision and yet choose to override it..21974. PMID 19226510 Retrieved 9/22/2012 from http://www.neurology. Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will. Herculano-Houzel.extract 262 . doi:10..mendeley.W. and/or fatalism.920 the human brain has anywhere from eighty six to a hundred billion neurons921 and even a three year old child has an estimated quadrillion synapses connecting them. even if we are only aware of the superficial inner dialogue that drowns out the din of subconscious forces underneath. R. That override is not an example of contra- causal free will. that’s predestination. The Journal of Comparative Neurology. the will to override is itself determined. J. PMID 15985565. Carvalho. Emergent phenomena merely make the etiology more complex and less predictable and the property of novelty shouldn’t divert our attention from the fact that this is fundamentally an epistemic issue.0000166914.. Do we have brain to spare? Neurology. Determinism is not about predictability per se. just like with chaos L. Farfel. WNL. indeterminacy.L. This charge has nothing to do with the actual chain of causality. It’s merely ignorance. R.R. S. D.38327. but that is not the same thing as freedom. Once we know what a process produces. 64 (12): 2004–5. and devastating to the one who merely stands there and 920 Unseenstrings. F. Even though a nematode worm like Caenorhabditis elegans with 302 neurons may be a much better candidate for predictability.E.M. disruptive. (0:30-0:45) Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www.. Leite. there are still external causal factors to predict.

Trans. (N. In fact. 263 .faculty. that he also had some words for those scientific absolutists who would reify and impose ‘cause and effect’ upon the will. 198-208). What is apparent is that Nietzsche 923 Heidegger.e. however.). not “causes and effects””924 [emphasis mine].edu/gary_zabel/Courses/Spinoza/Texts/Martin%20Heidegger%20- %20Nietzsche's%20Fundamental%20Metaphysical%20Position. what he calls the Dionysian.htm 924 Ibid. His knowing this is nothing else than the knowledge which of necessity resonates in his love. knowledge is possible “As error concerning itself. etc.F. San Francisco: Harper and Row. which in his day was making extraordinary assertions based upon logical fallacies and poor evidence. 26. Nietzsche. Some have also made the case that he did flirt with that). 2. this was a paradigm that was lost when Plato’s reified entities paved the way for scientific advancement. That fatum is sublime and is supreme desire.D. as will to deception. This kind of creative nature is an intrinsically active component of being that is also intrinsically interactive. The Dionysian expression is a highly nuanced view and it’s debatable whether this view contradicts determinism per se. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Becoming as invention volition self-denial. For Nietzsche. M. the overcoming of oneself not a subject but a 926 Ibid. For Nietzsche.umb. (Original work published 1954). Vol. (D.925 It should be said though.926 Many scholars believe this attitude was perhaps more against the institution of science. as it is not necessarily an assertion of contra-causal free will. (1991). Perhaps this stance merely reflected a more complex or even incomplete position about the will. Retrieved 9/22/2012 from http://www. places where he felt narrative was more appropriate. such as that the size of the brain implied superior race.informationphilosopher. that is. 925 Friedrich Nietzsche. (i. to one who appreciates and grasps the fact that he belongs to his fate insofar as he is a creator. he derides free will as a scandalous artifice of theologians enforcing responsibility. but also the ascription of good and evil in philosophy and religion. [Web log post]. and his doctrine of the Eternal Return of the Same can ultimately be seen as a fatalistic metaphysical model entailing the affirmation of an eternally unchanging repetition of the same events.[923] For Nietzsche (and possibly Heidegger). establishing creative. lets it whelm him. p. as will to power. mistake and error sprouting from ecstatic creativity are the impetus that (best) guides our knowledge and experience. Krell. Social Darwinism. one who is ever resolute [to participate]. Ch.

destroying old patterns and creating new ones. 4. even chess playing computers and music making machines following non-random general heuristics can still create novel phenomena that can be plausibly framed as ‘creative’ in a natural way. Also like quantum noise. Studies show what many artists already know: creativity has value in itself and/or is the most important part of the equation—even beyond survival—in fact. Arguments for the existence of the soul. T. as opposed to strict determinism. and random or not. 8 573-578 929 Kagan. including randomness. we could also draw an analogy from emergence via creative errors by the way that evolution works via natural 928 Amabile. Part II. [Video file post]. it may merely gives us more novel pathways to further entrench those biases. The laws of physics underlying every production of novel emergent phenomena by certain forces/objects should simply then be considered to have the possibility to produce said phenomena once it has been produced.most ‘valued’ the phenomenal expression of freedom and that is still consistent with determinism via the constraints of our epistemic limitations and some variant of illusionism. 927 Green. does not negate biased tendencies evidenced in the science of behavior. (20/1/2004). Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www.929 Like quantum noise. S. Nothing evades the laws of physics to allow for contra-causal free will. but it generally still fails to thwart predisposition. They’re called secondary effects and tertiary effects and so-on. (1982). ‘taking advantage’ of mutation adaptively. There’s no reason to think that internal and external mechanisms of bias won’t exploit the function of emergent novelty. 2008). or whatever. it would be interesting to hear what he would think about predispositionalism in the phenomenal realm. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www.fastcompany. [38:50-41:15]. randomness. the self-correcting mechanisms in our ‘software’ merely utilize a built-in propensity that compels us to ‘play’ and create novelty. (Uploaded by YaleCourses on Oct. B. by willful assertions of the creative sort or not. creativity will serve to “update” our software. It’s still there. as we have seen. Fast Company Magazine. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. even if the original functional utility of combined forces/objects becomes unrecognizable via emergent phenomena in the categorical hierarchy of ontology. emergence may or may not break the chain of strict determinism back into the dawn of time. Children's Artistic Creativity: Detrimental Effects of Competition in a Field Setting. The 6 Myths Of Creativity. competition kills creativity. but the crucial point is that the emergence of novelty via occasional 264 .927. Introduction to Plato's Phaedo.928 In any case. As we saw above concerning quantum noise. As Shelly Kagan notes. M.

And as noted by determinists. it would give animals the same novel. such as Daniel Dennett. suggest that we consider quantum randomness to be a ‘pre-agential’ parameter that only we can and do appropriate for special agential freedom in the special way our special human brains operate? That is to ask. first free. then this may be a problem for many people who do not believe that animals have free will (or a soul that communicates with the body via quantum randomness). Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. (12/12/2011). D. [Audio podcast].pdf 932 Shook. New York: Free Press.930 many theistic free will proponents who argue from quantum randomness in the brain have a big problem to deal with: the fact that every neural network operating with the same quantum release of synaptic vesicles and the opening and closing of ion channels—including the likes of. (Interviewee). Perhaps they don’t consider anything at all. THE HUMAN ANIMAL If quantum randomness is what offers us free will and the way it does that is not unique to humans.pointofinquiry. J. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. or like-wise. That is to say that if quantum randomness is what gives humans free will. Dennett. are only humans free in a meaningful way because our brains or souls have special access in a way that other animals cannot… or is that special pleading? If animals have quantum based free will like humans do. (Interviewer). creative options that it does for humans. 931 Horgan. Evidence that our closest primate relatives ‘wire up’ 930 Harris. J. would deny animals have any kind of free will even close to what humans have because animals cannot recognize reasons for action. it depends on which animal were talking about. neither before nor after the action. We could ask: does the theistic dualism model. This is especially true in the context of some popular theology and I think it’s important to consider this in depth. Scientific American. (2010).wireheading. then will. ( 265 . because the kind of connection that’s implied in this book incorporates all life on this planet in a special way.932 Perhaps animals don’t consider as many options when acting and so seem/are less free for that reason. what happened to Delgado’s charging bull931 in Evidence #6? It seems an animal’s free will is at least as subject to manipulation as a human’s is. Even many non-theistic compatibilists. the two stage model. say. 103). the result of an undeveloped or absent prefrontal cortex. Of course. (10/2005). The Moral Landscape. as Dennett suggests. and they are purely instinctual beings. would also have free will in a meaningful way. S. chickens and bats. The Forgotten Era of Brain Point of Inquiry podcast: Daniel Dennett - The Scientific Study of Religion.

N. (8/26/2011). as in neither freely moral nor eternal like a human soul. Do Animals Have Souls? [Web blog post].org/sciencenow/2012/02/human-brains-wire-up-slowly-but-.html 266 .org/apcontent. For most 936 Dutilh Novaes. it may be behavior based. because we perceive such a great divide between human and non-human conscious ability in the most crucial ways.newappsblog. I will briefly diverge to address the crux of the dualist’s argument here. Human Brains Wire Up Slowly but Surely. The missing hominids. (3/31/2005).g. Neanderthals) are now extinct. William Rowe’s Evidential Argument from Evil. and religions that believe animals embody reincarnated souls. But there is also increasing scientific evidence that challenges so much popular theology and it shows something more like a continuum in the capacity for moral reflection. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. The Evidential Problem of Evil. C. ScienceNow. There are two rejoinders to this that remind us that. developmental predisposition. J. (2/1/2012).934 but in much popular western theology. shows that our more ‘plastic’ human brains really do also allow for ‘wiring’ based more upon experience. first. this apparent divide in cognitive abilities between humans and animals is really only perceptually exacerbated by the fact that all the cognitively intermediary hominids ( so perhaps that there is such a firm line drawn is an affirmation of pragmatic intuitions for convenience and/or parsimony. 2.iep.sciencemag. this amounts to a difference between each in kind rather than in measure and is evidence for the human soul. these kinds of alterations open up a huge can of worms. Experience is no more intrinsically veridical than genetic predisposition and we must keep that in mind. 933 Cohen. etc. many. if not most dualistic free will theists in the West have affirmed that non-human animals are automata without free will for another reason: the dualistic soul/spirit in humans is what gives us our miraculous capacity for free will.utm.933 This said. so non-humans are completely excluded in principle. for no apparent reason theologically.936 as well as the fact that there is still an obviously wide continuum of cognitive ability within the non-human world itself.html 934 Thompson. there is no moral dimension for non-humans. [Web blog post]. Historically. especially in regards to salvation and theodicies concerning evil and suffering. Sometimes the animals’ souls are requalified as different. favorable for adaptability. contrary to what Darwin posited. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. (1999). Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. but for different justifications. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://news.aspx?category=11&article=582 935 Trakakis. B. There are some exceptions. and non-theists for that matter.apologeticspress.neuronally much more quickly than humans do. such as the Seventh Day Adventists. It may sometimes feel intuitively true and many theists/dualists have argued that.

U.html?ref=em ) have no bearing on any of the evidence provided here and most of his general theories have been independently evidenced by other research anyway [noted here] or even corrected before the work was actually published [much of it was not even published]. (11/16/2009). I think it’s valuable to take what Daniel Dennett calls the “intentional stance”: to apply intentions and L. and will endure after him—in fact. 2001.Y.tufts. [4:30-end]. That said. the march towards continuity between human and animal has been inexorable—one misconduct case won’t make a difference” and “…it is a rare uniqueness claim that holds up for over a decade” [see De Waal.eurekalert. (9/15/2009). No Joke: Pigeons Ace a Simple Math Test.nytimes.943. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://opinionator. Conversations from the Pale Blue Dot podcast: 010: Jessica Pierce – Animal Morality. (11-12/2008). (2/17/2008).blogs. some have used his scandal to try to discredit the whole of evolutionary science. J. [Audio podcast].org/pub_releases/2008-02/hu-spf021408. (2001).946 937 It should be noted that the ethical violations committed by Marc Hauser (apparently including fudging some data Carpenter. What Makes the Human Mind? Harvard Magazine.sciencemag. (Interviewer) Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www.sciencemag. (10/17/2010). In any case. A. Scientific American. V.cfm?id=how-animals-have-the-ability-to-count&page=2 944 Emmerton J. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://commonsenseatheism. etc. (12/22/2011). An argument that some version of “humaniqueness. Morals Without God? N. 940 Muehlhauser. M. 938 942 Morell.animallanguageinstitute. Avian visual cognition. editor. even many of his cultural competitors couldn’t agree more that humans are exceptional. exists independently of his violations. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://news. A. with a minimal understanding of actual representations of more or less quantities and the difference between cardinal and ordinal numbers)942.” as the banished937 evolutionary scientist Marc Hauser called it in a naturalist context. Investigation Concludes. while recognizing when we are unduly anthropomorphizing and need to stop.939 is evidence for a soul with free will because of its uniqueness parameter would be a non-sequitur that can be applied to the uniqueness of any animal. Times Online. Scientist postulates 4 aspects of 'humaniqueness' differentiating human and animal cognition. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from 941 The Animal Language Institute. These are:  Complex language941 (even non-linguistic mathematical ability. but as Frans De Waal wrote. F. [9/6/2012]. these are still ethics violations nonetheless and show the value of stringent peer review.php 939 Pettus.scientificamerican. More Animals Seem to Have Some Ability to Count: Counting may be innate in many species. the basic idea of ‘humaniqueness’ that there are fundamental ways in which humans are exceptional precedes Hauser. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. “In the field of cognition. Harvard Psychology Researcher Committed Fraud. It’s worth checking out the links here though that several non-human animals have some of the same abilities/components that we recognize as crucial to personhood940 and even free Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www.S. (Interviewee).htm 267 . Birds’ judgments of number and quantity.944. Pierce. S. to other living creatures and see what ]. so it must be shown that the ways in which humans are themselves unique apply uniquely as evidence for a soul and free will.html 943 Tennesen.938.G. In: Cook psychology-researcher-co. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://news. Science Now.

How Smart Are Animals? [Television series episode]. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://news.discovermagazine. (8/18/2011).html?ref=em 950 [4:30-end].pbs. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://news. How Smart Are Animals? [Television series episode]. [Web log post]. C.sciencemag. Too. ScienceNow.html 956 DeGrasse Tyson. [Executive Editor]. (2/9/2011). (2/6/2012). 3. [Print version: page 14].org/video/1777525840 955 Choi. Case Closed: Apes Got Culture. N. H. [Web log post]. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://video. S. (0:00-16:30). J. No. [Audio podcast]. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://news. Asian Elephants Are Social Networkers.livescience. Science Now. (Interviewer). Aha! Elephants Can Use Insight to Solve Problems. Pierce. Science Now.sciencemag.951.html 948 Morell. Scientific American. Charity of the apes – chimps spontaneously help each other. (11/1/2012). Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Video: Not Just Parroting Back: Alex the Parrot Knew His Numbers. [Executive Editor]. (9/17/2012). NOVA. C. (8/5/2011). Science netwo. Vol.pbs. V. Guest Post! It’s About Time: Delving Into Animals’ Memories. (8/6/2011). Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://blogs. (2/28/2006).org/sciencenow/2012/11/video-not-just-parroting-back- al. J. E. L. NOVA. Available on 11/2/2012 at http://news.sciencemag. WGBH/Boston. Do Tayras Plan for the Future? Science Now. (27:00-28:00). (3/2007).apa.sciencemag. [Executive producer].html?ref=em&elq=a9db609434ad482da7ef9460c14e5ee2 949 Morell. (7/26/2011). [Web log post].com/thoughtful- animal/2011/08/09/about-time-animals-memories 268 . Whodunit? Crows Ask That Question. Monkey Math. 951 Yong. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://news.html?ref=em 947 Fields. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://blogs. Live Science. 38. S. (11/16/2009).org/sciencenow/2011/08/do-tayras-plan-for-the-future. Monitor Staff. N.livescience. (2/9/2011). Conversations from the Pale Blue Dot podcast: 010: Jessica Pierce – Animal 954 DeGrasse Tyson. WGBH/Boston.scientificamerican.953  Representational self-awareness954  Theory of mind955  Hyper-intelligence956 and episodic memory957  Socially coordinated creativity on demand958 945 Dingfelder. (Interviewee). Fine. V. to. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www.952. Live Science.aspx 946 Morell. (8/9/2011).  Planning (such as hiding food in many places and later retrieving the treasures that were closest to spoilage first)947  Problem solving948  “Causal reasoning”(!)949  Reciprocally altruistic communities with complex social behavior (including fairness and/or hierarchal status awareness)950. Chimps Can Get Inside Others' Heads Just Like Fine. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://video. [Executive producer].com/notrocketscience/2011/08/08/charity-of-the-apes- %e2%80%93-chimps-spontaneously-help-each-other 952 Morell. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from 957 Goldman.html?ref=em 953 Binns. S.

W. (2/24/2011). F.. J. Guest. Turtles use the Earth’s magnetic field as a global GPS.968). jealousy: N. Rats Feel Each Other's Pain. Not just your kids: Dogs can think ‘no fair’ too. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www.. E. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://commonsenseatheism. M. Conversations from the Pale Blue Dot podcast: 010: Jessica Pierce – Animal Morality. (17:00-27:00). D. Cook.sciencemag. S. T. (Interviewee).discovermagazine. McCarthy. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://news.964 …on and on… They have some of these same abilities/components we recognize as crucial to personhood and free will even if they have these abilities separately or in diminished capacities (not to mention the cognitive abilities some animals have that humans would die for965. 329. (10/24/2009). Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://opinionator.html 960 Derbyshire.. B.. C. Pierce. NOVA. (8/5/2010). Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. it’s just that no other animal has evolved what seems to be the overall 958 DeGrasse Times Online. R. Science Now. [4:30-end]. 964 Schmidt. A. Olfactory Detection of Human Bladder Cancer by Dogs: Proof of Principle Study.dailymail.  Abstract reasoning and tool use959  The ability to feel a significant level of emotion/empathy ( 965 Willis. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://video. Guiana Dolphins Can Use Electric Signals to Locate Prey. J. A. R.g. turn-funerals. [Web log post].960 mice and chimps who refuse to take food if it hurts another. M. other animals have evolved these kinds of cognitive traits because of evolutionary pressures.pbs. (Interviewer). Just like humans. Times writer Frans De Waal writes. Tool-Using Animals.html?ref=em 967 Yong.. NOVA Science Now.scientificamerican. [Executive Editor].ncbi.Y.pbs.966. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from 959 VanCott. DailyMail. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://news.blogs. [Executive producer].org/sciencenow/2011/07/guiana-dolphins-can-use- electric. earth%e2%80%99s-magnetic-field-as-a-global-gps 968 Hecker. Church. Retrieved on 11/13/2012 from http://www. L.msn.sciencemag.. T. [Interactive Media]. R.msnbc. C. “A dog will repeatedly perform a trick without rewards. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://blogs. (12/8/2008). Bransbury. D. (2/2/1998). Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from 966 Morell.nlm. Science Now. Magpies grieve for their dead (and even turn up for funerals). J. [Audio podcast]. Morals Without God? N. Associated Press. How do whales and dolphins sleep without drowning? Scientific American. C. (7/26/2011).html 961 Muehlhauser. 712. (2/9/2011).cfm?id=how-do-whales-and-dolphin 269 .nytimes. N. (12/8/2011).com/?p=4819 962 Ferber. How Smart Are Animals? [Television series episode].. grieving elephants and magpies. (2004). Fine. M. V.html 963 De Waal. (11/16/2009). BMJ. Church. N.961 “rats with trapped cagemates [that] were motivated to learn how to free them”962)  Sensitivity to fairness (e. (10/17/2010). but refuse as soon as another dog gets pieces of sausage for the same trick”) WGBH/Boston.

It’s true that humans have a more holistic ‘flood light’ type of intelligence. On a 969 Gibbons. That these human qualities are a step or two away in their evolution from the abilities that animals already have and/or are plausible emergent outcomes of combinations of already possessed abilities is strong evidence for the plausibility of their emergence via exaptation. and uniquely human freedom. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www. writes: Naturalists are typically materialists or physicalists who regard man as merely an animal organism. What is evolutionary But if man has no immaterial aspect to his being. On the other end of the spectrum concerning then we’re not qualitatively different from other animal species. whether you call it a soul or mind or whatever. The frontloading of a soul is just unnecessary and extreme when we see the spread of emergent phenomenal qualities that seem to be arbitrarily dispersed here and there based upon the animal’s unique cerebral setup. For example.969 That a greater concentration/combination of abilities in human brains allows for increased emergent novelty via exaptation is the typical effect novelty in almost any context of emergence. dominating combination of mental abilities. ScienceNow. nor do they have the ability to cook their food and generate such a high stock of neurons. only humans are able to repurpose the same tool. rather than the typical animal’s ‘laser like’ intelligence. the most celebrated living Christian apologist (arguably).mapoflife. religion.html?ref=em 970 Map of Life: Convergent Evolution Online ( 270 .970 and it’s a much more plausible. Available on 10/27/2012 at http://news. A. Raw Food Not Enough to Feed Big Brains.). parsimonious vehicle for explaining an exceptional form of freedom for the human animal than frontloading humans with souls for free will (presumably to fulfill theological commitments). But it would be strange to suggest that because of examples like these we should suddenly throw out the exaptive novel emergence we see evident in evolution all over the place. William Lane Craig. excluding occasional evolutionary convergence. Another difference is that while animals have been shown to use a tool for a single purpose.D. there have been ethical challenges to naturalists by some religious apologists that it would be “speciesism” for naturalists to exclude animals from moral considerations. (10/22/2012).

) The Collected Works of Jeremy Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://spot. p. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. materialistic anthropology there’s no reason to think that human beings are objectively more valuable than rats. And – note well – she has it in virtue of the very same special-making properties […] That she has a material mind is of no consequence. J. (2008). 271 .1017/S0034412510000740 [p. first published 1789. give license to those who do to treat them immorally.pdf 973 QualiaSoup. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. chapter 17.[972] Another rebuttal to Craig’s “speciesist” charge against naturalists has been to point out that “if no moral dimension exists for non-human animals. the person thus constituted has special moral significance. Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation. evidenced above.A. Jeremy.[971] Aside from the most apparent reply that morality should be fundamentally connected to what we actually value. Oxford University Press. as it is enough.veritas. Antony. and Hart. (Uploaded on 11/6/2011).H. 283.colorado. If it makes her self- aware.aspx?cid=14 972 Morriston. (eds. [Video file].L. Religious Studies. Christian philosopher Wes Morriston replies to Craig’s argument with an ‘at the end of the day’ rebuttal (that I have never denied as a possibility when outlining the moral continuum above): When molecules are arranged in such a way as to constitute a living human organism having a first-person point of view. So the sense in which humans should be considered “special” is limited morally. capable of rational reflection. let alone that there exists increasing evidence that we share various combinations of faculties critical to moral decision-making. Louise. 2008. there is no reason to deny that she has moral worth. the real speciesist would be Craig’s god”973 and that such a god intentionally sets a standard that trivializes non-human violence. Morality 3: Of objectivity and oughtness. It should also be said that just because some animals don’t have certain or similar capacities for moral awareness or intelligible language does 974 Bentham. as Jeremy Bentham famously argued. H. this edition Burns. (2011). in itself.974 that they feel pain. [1:20-1:35]. ‘Is God necessary for morality?’ Video of a debate at the University of Massachusetts on 10 April. God and the ontological foundation of morality. 10].org/Campus/Recordings. just as we would hope to convince some hyper-advanced aliens that 971 Craig. W. Page 1 of 20 f Cambridge University Press 2011. 1996. William Lane. and so on. doi:10.

2 (Feb. Let’s return to an animal’s laser- like focus on free will itself. but it is doubtful. which is such a disturbing and specious claim for such a high profile apologist that I will not even respond to it.came down to snack on us. rather than continuously delineated.g. 272 .975 Other (presumably non-theistic) libertarians like Mark Balaguer are less threatened by free will in animals: it might very well turn out that parakeets have free lane-craig-argues-that-animals-cant-feel-pain/ 976 Balaguer. no different than the scale that we use for humans. (10/04/2012). etc. seeming to anticipate this kind of rebuttal to his worldview has adopted the extreme theological position that animals actually aren’t aware enough to feel the pain that their bodies appear to be reacting to. in principle. or dignified. at this level.wordpress. Now. earthworm actions might be just as undetermined as human actions are. J. the perceived value of human identity.). Why Evolution is True. William Lane Craig argues that animals can’t feel pain. While this is a huge diversion that could be a book of its own. Craig. M. pragmatic concerns. that they are appropriately nonrandom. 195]. (1999). the perceived value of potential for or lost capacity for moral awareness. Here is another situation where we might want to keep in mind the distinction between what is discretely delineated. 93. or human – it is the braininess of our brains. Philosophical Studies: An International Journal for Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition Vol. Retrieved on 12/28/2012 from https://whyevolutionistrue. though others have. No. Libertarianism as a Scientifically Reputable View.. [p. If we are free. 1999). I have no idea how far down the evolutionary scale freedom extends. then the seat of this freedom is not anything particularly noble. I generally agree with Singer in this respect.[976] Some philosophers like Peter Singer contend that humans generally avoid the continuum of moral significance grounded upon certain combinations of capacities that contribute to each animal’s unique awareness which is and should be. [Web log post]. 975 Coyne. though there are other considerations that require more extensive treatment than I’m willing to go into here (e.

but as illustrated by theoretical physicist Mano 980 The problem actually highlights the difficulties in coherently explaining how a free will model could ever avoid pervasive adequate causal effects that circumnavigate even acausality via predisposition. though it still doesn’t provide evidence that the remaining will is still impervious to other predisposing the classic Cartesian dualistic model looks something like this: Genes/Environment/Stochasticity ↓ Will → Conscious Thoughts → Unconscious Neural Activity → Action[979] I would suggest a model that looks more like the following: Genes/Environment/Stochasticity ↓ Conscious Thoughts/Will ↔ Unconscious Neural Activity → Action[980] 977 Clark. whether she employs quantum randomness directly 977 or indirectly.). (11/12/2010). [Web log post]. [Web log post]. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Let’s go back to the basic theory of dualism and see what we know so far in light of the Evidences in this book… Rene Descartes argued that the mind and body are separate and independent of each other.informationphilosopher.htm 978 Agent-Causality. as a (mere) causal chain-breaking event in agent causality. (12/7/2005). Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. There are several flavors of dualism. were a causal option to be removed by stochastic factors. T. ( on Henry Stapp's Quantum Interactive Dualism. Mind. the challenge is much more difficult for the contra-causal libertarian dualist. M. Unspecified . THE CAUSAL VACUUM We’ve seen that the two stage model is reasonably evidenced and modest in the context of choice. [Web log post]. In terms of explaining stochasticity and its incorporation into a coherent free will model. On free will-5: Models of how the brain works. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://blog.html 979 Singham. 273 .

Second. based upon internal definitions. First. we can’t portray thoughts as bouncing off of each other in the way that two billiard balls bounce off of each other… or can we? Wouldn’t that be a kind of category error? Yes and no. even in at least some deterministic ways enough to create predispositions. When talking about causality in the context of determined thought. Simpson’s paradox). whether we are consciously aware of them or not. When we looked at the list of hierarchical ontological categories in the Introduction. when actual “living beings” became a mental representation of “social groups”). I’ll argue that there is no passive mental experience physically. Notice the crucial two way arrow allowing both Genes/Environment/Stochasticity and Unconscious Neural Activity to affect/signal both Conscious Thoughts/Will to the left and action to the right. I’ll argue that there is automatic semantic categorizing. regardless of perfect consistency with external definition (causality is not dependent upon being right.g. I’m going to argue that mental representations in human perception. all automatically and non-consciously. we always try to be wary of committing a category error. In the context of causal free thought. and it’s true that even strictly within mental representations there can be category errors (e. you may have noticed that there was a point when physical things became mental representations (i. My shopping list shows just one way that categories can be treated erroneously. While they aren’t exactly the same.e. What is 274 . are still not free of causality.

Value encoding in single neurons in the human amygdala during decision-making. to in-groups cues. Science News.982. L. Jenison. Invariant visual representation by single-neurons in the human brain.caltech. Nature. neural coding in Evidence #6. and which I later believe motivates me to join the House of the Twilight Eye cult—even for that image. How the brain shops: Research locates neurons associated with valuing objects. even with words that are primed so quickly. Koch. (1969).983. 2011.. Women.986 The work of George Lakoff987 in Evidence #24. (1/29/2011). such as a green sun with a thousand eyes that I imagined in the shower. This is not well evidenced. G. A. 8) Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. (6/2009). C. D.pdf 985 Koerner. The Brain: Can a Single Neuron Tell Halle Berry From Grandma Esther? Discover Magazine. 983 Zimmer. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Berkeley: University of California Press 987 Lakoff. (2000). The structure is probably not as important as the semantic content itself and its relationship to how important social ties are coded (e. Psychology 9th edition. [p. I.984 until it eventually cashes out as action. the automatic linguistic categorizing of my experience by my brain fundamentally uses physical processes along the way. G. R. “Towards a full pedigree of the Sapir–Whorf Hypothesis:from Locke to Lucy" Chapter in Pütz & Verspoor (2000:17).crucial is that there is enough linguistic categorical consistency based upon the physical coding of those definitions alone). (2005).sciencenews. Kay. that we 981 R.vis. (1987). L. C.981. 31:331-338. (2011).179 #3 (p. Basic Color Terms: Their Universality and Evolution. That is to say that even for the wildest emergent such as recent evidence for some of the parameters of the old Sapir–Whorf hypothesis. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://discovermagazine. 435: 1102-1107. etc.). 233]. Fried. University Of Chicago Press 988 Myers.. 986 Berlin. It’s important to make a distinction between what I’m saying here and something like a kind of “linguistic determinism” that says that our experience is completely limited by our language. Let’s consider choice in the relationship between two epistemological factors: predisposition via sense perception (i. Oya. Rangel. Reddy. Howard.. E.g.pdf 982 Sanders. to personality traits. fire. (ISBN 978-1-4292-1597-8) 275 . and all the evidence for semantic primes has changed the game since the 1960s.caltech. phenomenal experience by acquaintance) and even just a weak causal contingency when accessing information. Journal of Neuroscience. Vol.988 We know from the evidence that we automatically do quick non-conscious association with words. P. (2010). New York: Worth Publishers.rnl. M. It was rejected in the 1960s by Berlin and Kay’s important experiments on color association ambiguity between cultures. Kreiman. including neural coding.985 which is a kind of linguistic relativity that posited that the structure of language affects behavior.. and dangerous things: What categories reveal about the halle-berry-from-grandma-esther 984 Quian Quiroga. H. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www.

PMID 6681741.989 some concepts are contingent upon categorization of other concepts. and we must account for this influence in our interaction with each other and the world. animals have many crude versions of mental qualities that humans have.” In any case.psychologytoday. T. J. [Audio podcast]. They still predispose us. I am concerned with the epistemological moment of impact—the reception of that narrowing.. As philosopher Tim Crane noted in the context of animal consciousness. ultimately. as I have said. waves. the classic false belief test990 shows when children have enough of a grasp upon the categorizational element of language that they can have a theory of mind.might not see them. 991 Sherman. (1983). Perner. even if and when we don’t understand it. physically received and then representationally coded for in sensory experience. [Web log post]. when I speak of ‘information’ here. Even if the ‘knowledge’/‘narrowing of information’ were post-reception (I don’t think it is. but if it were). Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://philosophybites. but in one sense—the sense I’m using it here to counter contra-causal free will—it fails to account for the fact that the impetus for this ‘narrowing’ is still contingent upon physical vehicles (e. “information is not a thing. doi:10. Philosophy Bites podcast: Tim Crane on Animal Minds. scientists-explain-why-animals-want-things-objects-dont 276 . but they don’t have a language that is as complex as ours and abstract linguistic categorization does seem to limit them in what they are able to believe. this is probably as close as we can get to “linguistic determinism. J. (Interviewee). (11/21/2011). neurons. there would still be a perceived point of transference of informational change 989 Warburton. At Last. Jeremy Sherman (discussing the work of physicalist Terrence Deacon).g. In this sense. For example. as both an ontological ‘thing’ and as pure process transported by effectual things. (11/2/2011). There still must be a point of connection/impression. This is not the same claim as something like “linguistic determinism.html 990 Wimmer.1016/0010- 0277(83)90004-5. Beliefs about beliefs: Representation and constraining function of wrong beliefs in young children's understanding of deception. N. though.) to be. Cognition 13 (1): 103–128. Predispositionalism in external and internal interaction with general semantic description doesn’t require perfect global determinacy in communication anyway. As I noted in The Human Animal. (Interviewer). Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Scientists Explain Why Animals Want Things But Objects Don't. photons. It’s a narrowing of possibility. etc. it does posit constant causal changes neuronally.” An objection might be made right away that. They still affect us. as it was put by evolutionary epistemologist Dr.”991 This may or may not be true depending upon the semantic context. (16:00-end).

Arbitrary is not necessarily random. like a point when film has the image impressed upon it or recording tape has sound impressed upon it. via acquaintance.e.’ by including the relevant physical ‘things’ upon which.” I’m going to ask a long and complicated question now. We might even get routing influence from the etiology of words like “be-cause” in everyday language. it cannot. but they don’t seem to employ randomness in any of it. developmentally wired neural pathways (see Evidence #24).’ perhaps analogously. Even if it did employ randomness. we would not have the experience at all and the experience itself is required for the will to have any awareness at all. because the language itself steers thoughts/decisions via subjective. they still have a significance that has causal influence. While that might be the same type of causal action in every culture. and causality just because it’s not a wine glass smashed in a fireplace. especially if associated with salient experience. random noise would be more likely to merely make the train jump to another track going in the same direction. The phenomenal world does not escape predisposition. without them. 277 . even if not veridical or determined or it is categorized as gibberish. let alone to act freely within the experience of a normally functioning brain.’ for it to be truly free. post-decision… all without claiming to have any meaningful causal influence? Just by the very definition of ‘contra-causal free will. That is to say that the definition itself can make some sort of a causal contribution in the way it is causally pre-defined and causally organized when accessed mentally. how can an impression/idea travel to a non-causal dimension (i. with causally effective content upon dimensional reentry. Plainly. You may need to read it twice: Even if we say that thoughts don’t have to be determined to be causal. “duh. ‘true’ or ‘pure’ information is contingent to transfer to human experience (i. Even the more reasonable Cogito Model does not plausibly address the non-random causality in automatic semantic categorizing. Brains are habituated to employ both semantic categorizing and reasonability in very specific ways that may be arbitrary. This is how I will use the term ‘information. in the coding). like a digital file that is ‘unzipped. influence. Otherwise. even if definitions are universally contingent.’ and yet somehow still carry the information enough to invoke a decision… to then be ‘re-pressed’ somehow.e. just contextually inappropriate. we just go. and yet have a different significance. a causal vacuum) where a sense impression is ‘unpressed.

even non-consciously. 278 . Reddy. Psychological Science 15: 711-714. Vol 60(2).R. as light hits the eye.caltech.998 This is all built in to the phenomenal experience whether we like it or not. Nathan. Nezlek. invokes what we can call linguistic predispositionalism: language. Racial Discrimination by Low-Prejudiced Whites: Facial movements as Implicit Measures of Attitudes Related to Behavior. E. Discovering Psychology with Philip Zimbardo.. Fried. L.ncbi.vis.”999 As vague as this present kind of ‘mind reading’ is. (10/23/2012). (10/6/2010). [TV series].nlm. C. even if sometimes arbitrary. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Science Daily. on and on. For example. L.997. Feb-Mar 2005.. R. MIT. 181-190.technologyreview.995 comes into play. (2001).2.. American Psychologist. even if the readings are limited to some subjective.html?pop=yes&pid=1517 995 Norton. L.996. developmentally produced categorical scaffolding for each person. Again. & Banaji. 30. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://psycnet. They still become wired in as a predisposition. Technology Review. All phenomenal beholding is interactive—even empirically observable—to the point where we can “accurately predict which of a thousand pictures a person is looking at by analyzing brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).pdf 993 The Salk Institute.60. neurons are firing992—even just purely mental experience and/or awareness of context begins to evoke the biases in this book. 435: 1102-1107. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. always influences the 992 Quian Quiroga.html?ref=em 996 Cunningham. we can still distinguish between mental thoughts about faces or tools or sports.. Invariant visual representation by single-neurons in the human brain. From Eye to Brain: Researchers Map Functional Connections Between Retinal Neurons at Single-Cell Resolution. where viewings of black or white faces evidenced automatic prejudice in the brain (the amygdala) and in certain facial muscle reactions.. the change in data moves from source to agent. Saltz. W. J. Again. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. I. (3/5/2008). Available on 10/23/ 2012 at http://news.1037/0003-066X. (2004). as light hits the eye. these kinds of biases were set up semantically by cultural/external 998 Vanman. as it was shown. doi: 10. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www. E. From here we can consider what I presented in Evidence #28.. these are clearly not always randomized thoughts/firings. 1332–1346. or sound hits the ear. E. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. J. Mind Reading with Functional MRI.sciencemag.learner.htm 994 Episode #25: Cognitive 999 Singer.. The point is that all communication. Imaging Race. (2005).B. ScienceNow. 997 Eberhardt. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. when detectable. Warren. Koch. even though.nih. WGBH Educational Foundation. J. (2005). G. (2004). with high degrees of accuracy. Identifying the Brain's Own Facial Recognition System. J. What’s key here is that there is no such thing as passive there is retinotopic mapping993 and our bias to pay more attention to images that look like faces994. for every M. when detectable. Implicit and explicit ethnocentrism: Revisiting the ideologies of prejudice..

a decision. If you acknowledge even just the impression of any idea or thing in order to consider it. New data. however right or wrong the description actually is.) and their personality is altered to some extent. the context of their behavior is altered to some extent. There are clearly parts of the Casimir effect analogy that break down. purely observational dimension that can negate the impressions of things. even in just accessing those determined definitions semantically as concepts (i. how could a reasoning agent escape the regression of influences that come together to make definitions. and even the definition’s causal parameters necessary to think about them… and then somehow. caused by) the thing or idea itself. accept. and yet supposedly not influence. Even a conscious veto is a causal reaction. but in the least. this causally neutralized identity with causally neutralized information jumps back from this anti-causal chamber into the causal dimension. It may not appear behavioral. in the context of contra-causal dualism. and often—much more often than we admit— predisposes their behavior to some extent.e. There is no way for causality to be coherently neutralized for a 279 . new mind. to some extent. analogously mirroring the countless inter-dimensional. but also the semantic category that *causally defines* that thing or idea.e. etc. there is no such thing as passive experience—even in the simplest event in purely mental experience. there is always a causal reaction to it (e.g. ideas. So if thoughts themselves are fundamentally causal. which by the definition of “contra-causal” is necessarily not a reaction… from the other side? Isn’t it information? Considering the causal chain of influences that come together to make definitions. randomly jumping particles like the Casimir effect? No. and accessing descriptions are themselves all predisposed in another sense via semantic compliance. ignore. the parameters of the definition itself is made up of inescapable causal facts) in order to make that ‘contra-causal’ free choice? It can't be done. Can our decisions really remain “free” from causal influence by instantaneously stepping into a hypothetically non-causal. repeating this process for gazillions of thoughts and actions. I’m being conservative with this really. Again. in real time… constantly.subject’s thought causally to some extent. you not only allow yourself to be impressed by (i. the descriptions. because describing. deny. because if the subject receives thoughts. Your brain will immediately categorize the linguistic/semantic experience instinctively in ways that change who you are by what you know. we should ask the question: what is it that goes inter-dimensionally to influence.

2002). but it doesn’t mean that we can reify that mental experience ontologically into a “thing”. So what is it that goes inter-dimensional to (not) influence a decision from the other side if there is neither causally tainted sense impression nor causally tainted information? There’s nothing left. Vol. Where does the wellspring originate for the contra-causal will? As Tom Clark puts it.” but the event will never really happen. self-consistent enough to work with—without losing control of their perception in the world. This kind of phenomenal motivation. but neither allow for uncaused interaction with a non-predisposed entity. the freedom to perceive correctly. T. “Suppose we had such freedom: on what basis would we choose?”1000 All this and we have completely assumed that the subject is going to receive information that is accurate enough—or at least.strong libertarian response. Applied Ethics: Science and Freedom. Free Inquiry Magazine.php?section=library&page=clark_22_2 280 . The free will proponent may reply that just because one has a distorted view of what the factors are in the ‘decision making process. 2. Num. it is also either random information or it is caused. it means that the multitudes of impressions we have about something are collectively summed up for us by the time we experience that thing. still doesn’t escape causality. (Spring.’ which is to say that the conscious part incorporates some of the already distorted results of the subconscious process. that is to say. even if it’s causal influence is as indirect as it gets. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. even including the suggestive impressions for ideas/objects that are as of yet still not experienced. I hope I have shown. Information is either causally perceived or it is not perceived. 1000 Clark.secularhumanism.” even if they do claim to experience some subjective choice making process that is unaware of all the manipulation underneath? Is there a different ‘you’ that is separate from what the brain is doing? Each choice we make is a mental experience of neural activity. We can be emotionally moved and motivated into action by the line “the cow jumped over the moon. even if it disappears into another dimension and comes back. would you consider a hypnotized or brain-washed person to be “free. it doesn’t mean that one still can’t freely choose between the distorted decisions… but when you consider that if another agent or Mother Nature herself could exploit this and alter your perceptions in just such a way so as to steer you exactly where they want you to go in your decision… have you really made a ‘free’ choice? That is to also ask. No etiology to speak of. These are determinants related to the most similar past experiences.

Like all emergent phenomena. evidencing and becoming further entrenched in the predispositions from the personality and character that enjoy or despise it. it is still at the mercy of its internal and external context. 281 .

S. (7/13/2011). If we know the exact quantum state of all of our atoms and forces. Benjamin Libet1001). it seems to strike an 1001 Singham. Given our lack of complete microscopic information. FUNCTIONALIST ILLUSIONS There are many determinists who have asserted that the freedom of the conscious will is an illusion and. (11/22/2010). indeed. suffering some serious consequences.discovermagazine. the question we should be asking is. or baseball. On top of that and related to that. asserting the meaninglessness of free will is like asserting the meaninglessness of time. other compatibilists. two stage systems) or a compatibilism where systems of responsibility are justified (i. this book shows evidence that might seem to support that. [Web log post]. But we don’t know legal-implications-free-will-simply-veto-power 1002 Carroll. and therefore who cares? What we are trying to do is to construct an effective understanding of human beings. and some who still call themselves determinists. On free will-10: Ethical and legal implications of free will as simply a veto power. Aside from a compatibilism that is defined by a break in the eternal chain of perfectly determined events since the dawn of time by elements of randomness (i. that it is at least as real as any metaphysical process we name and call “real”: The problem with this is that it mixes levels of description. [Web log post]. Physicist Sean Carroll argues pragmatically that free will is so ingrained in what it means to be human. and we never will. M. in principle Laplace’s Demon can predict our future. Available on 9/22/2012 at as-baseball/ 282 . It is considered by him and many other free will agnostics to be such an integral part of our experience. semi-compatibilists). evolution. so ingrained in our epistemology and the nature of time and experience that it’s possible that we really can’t do without it without perhaps. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://machineslikeus.e. not of electrons and nuclei. Free Will Is as Real as Baseball. may focus agnostically upon our epistemic limitations. Discover Blogs: Cosmic Variance. No one is omniscient and we are unable to completely identify the causal chains and simply hold that we are therefore (and/or for other reasons) justified in defaulting to free will friendly standards of responsibility functionally in law (e.e. “does the best theory of human beings include an element of free choice?[1002] To Carroll.g.

We need to see ourselves as RMR [robustly morally responsible] in order to perform acts that conflict with our self interests. This may even be extended by some1004 to suggest that we implicitly or explicitly consider illusionism: the theory that it could be in our best interest to willfully pretend that something is or isn’t true. How far are we willing to reduce? Why stop at neurons? These are genuine concerns. Free Will Skepticism in Action. it has intrinsic value as mere process). even though it may not be true. which is similar to illusionism in holding that sometimes it’s in our best interest to use whatever works. This is closer to what Sean Carroll describes above (i.overly ‘reductionist’ nerve in a lot of people. We need to view ourselves as praiseworthy in order to sacrifice our self interests to help others. (66:30-end). some processes may have elements necessary to our getting along in the world ( 283 .e. free will. (Interviewee). time) while others do not (e.g. but it is also a simple fact of human psychology. Illusionism is a smaller subset of functionalism. The determinist asks. “Can I get along without perpetuating the idea that nothing is influencing my choice [or rather. (10/10/2008).[1003] It should always be remembered that prudential/pragmatic/functionalist arguments against determinism are arguments from utility. already influenced my choice before I even realized it]?” Yeah. have made arguments against accepting determinism in paradigmatic thought: Vain it may be. though in 1003 Sommers. Smilanski. Chapter 5 of his Doctoral Dissertation at Duke University. S. Free Will: the Good Absurd. A variation of this is to accept the concept as valuable enough in itself to justify itself in other domains. 14].naturalism. like Tamler Sommers. Blogging Heads. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. we could say “who cares?” and continue to find pragmatic value in the presumption of volitional possibility. (2005). Shedding the illusion of RMR would therefore cause us to drastically reduce our charitable donations. But when humans metaphysically reify and name processes.pdf 1004 Wilkinson. (Interviewer). the process of mowing the lawn). but the question in the mind of determinists is “what might a world utilizing a more veridically correct metaphysical perspective discover as a consequence of such a paradigm shift?” Even some determinists. even if it isn’t true. W. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://bloggingheads. [Videofile]. [p.

as a product of active or passive nihilism1007) is beyond the scope of this book. Philosopher’s Digest. can your decision to do the right thing be fully disinterested and morally pure. an inadvertent appeal to the fallacy of desired consequence. M. Sinhababu. functionalist/prudential rationale cannot reify libertarian free will. 5-36. affective value.” In The New Nietzsche: Contemporary Styles of Interpretation.e. Philosopher Nadeem J. Z. not to require any other kind of justification (“Art understands that its illusions are illusions without the illusions themselves being undermined”1006). at 11:40 AM). others appear to be more agenda driven—or further. because only if you believe that whatever you do you will not become worthy or unworthy on that account. there are several who do so implicitly. Nietzsche and Morality. Why reading defenses of hard determinism makes people morally worse. in the least. (1985). we should be aware that a functionalist rationale would still boil down to merely that. “Nietzsche and Metaphysical Language. (2007). He writes: “The Ethical Advantages of Hard Determinism” is a paradox: a non-hard-determinist cannot gain the height of moral worth that a HD 1006 Hussain. 2007. 2007. While the complexity of Nietzsche’s worldview and how it incorporates. There don’t seem to be many free will advocates operating under the pretext of illusionism explicitly. The Philosopher's Annual 27. Patrick Grim. though as we shall see. S. N. In addition to any evidence that a loss in free will belief may be functionally detrimental. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [Web log comment]. (4/13/2008. pp. edited by David B. or merely recognizes illusionism (i. [This article first appeared in B. 1007 Haar. While some philosophical applications of illusionism seem to be more palliative. Saul Smilanski is a philosophical illusionist regarding free will who has identified an intriguing paradox concerning determinism. 284 . Hussain argues that the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche proposed or at least tolerated “honest illusions” that have enough value in themselves. But then hard determinists don’t believe in (free will dependent) moral worth. eds. 157-191]. tolerates. Cambridge: The MIT Press. Allison. So the height of moral worth is attained when it is impossible[1005] [emphasis mine]. 1985. Ian Flora and Alex Plakias. the thing or method referred to may actually exist ontologically. because determinism is currently popular among some of the high 1005 Smilanski. Honest Illusion: Valuing for Nietzsche’s Free Spirits. Apparently.the broader sense of functionalism. Leiter & N. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://gfp. eds.typepad.

Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://pss.[1010] •Have a less positive view about expected career success [and] are given more negative work performance G..[1009] •Recommend more punitive measures for behavioral C. Inducing Disbelief in Free Will Alters Brain Correlates of Preconscious Motor Preparation: The Brain Minds Whether We Believe in Free Will or Not. Masicampo. F. 2 S. 43-50.profile naturalists and atheists. February 2009 vol. the determinists: •Are more aggressive and less helpful towards others. M.1008 via their propensity to recognize the implications of the kind of science in this book regarding religion. there are and have been millions of theistic [pre]determinists). and. N. Social Psychological and Personality Science. Kühn. E. Carson Weitnauer. Lambert. D. R.sagepub.1015] 1008 Weitnauer. doi: 10. (4/22/2011). J. Brass. 5 613-618. (1982). F. within the brain structure. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. (2009)... T.. and Barchilon. Personal philosophy and personnel achievement: Belief in free will predicts better job performance.1177/001872678203501101.short 1010 Viney. F. Psychological Science. 1009 Baumeister.1014. & Brewer. [Web log post]. DeWall. Baumeister. Waldman.short 285 . Pers Soc Psychol Bull. W.[1011] •Have a far lower “readiness potential”.umn. T. K..1013. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://hum. L. to take action.1177/0146167208327217. F. N. Sean Carroll AND as it has already been said. November 1982 vol. Does Belief in Free Will Lead to Action? [Press release]. Fincham.. Prosocial Benefits of Feeling Free: Disbelief in Free Will Increases Aggression and Reduces Helpfulness. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://psp. C. 35 no. doi: 10..psychologicalscience.1177/1948550609351600. 22 no. May 2011 vol..pdf 1012 Harrington. (5/23/2011).[1012. religious apologists are citing pragmatic social psychological evidence against determinism in order to disparage atheism (though there are dogmatically anti-deterministic atheists like Raymond Tallis. J.abstract 1011 Stillman. Sartori. (2010).reasonsforgod. 11 939-949 doi: 10. R. “Attitudes toward Punishment in Relation to Beliefs in Free Will and Determinism” Human Relations. D. One Christian apologist from simpleapologetics.sagepub.. (3/23/2011). has noted that there have been some studies that purport to show that determinism priming encourages anti-social behavior: When researchers compare people with a belief in determinism with those who believe in free will. doi: 10.php/news/releases/does-belief-in-free-will-lead-to- action. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. arguably.html 1013 Rigoni.. Vohs. D. Atheism and the Denial of Reason. 35 no. Massimo Pigliucci.sagepub.csom. E.1177/0956797611405680.

British (7/5/2011). 2008 Jan.. at the end of the Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www2. as well as randomness and free 1015 Keim. & Schooler. In addition to the studies above. they do attempt to delineate between fatalistic determinism and scientific determinism. but several of their examples are vague and can fairly easily cross-over. Disbelieving Free Will Makes Brain Less Free. Reasonable Doubts podcast: RD87 The Unintelligent Design of Sex. [Audio podcast]. Galen.L. The subjects were measured afterwards by the 1994 Paulhus and Margesson Free Will and Determinism (FAD) scale. Vancouver. An excellent rejoinder1016 to these charges by the professorial podcasters at Reasonable Doubts does the public a great service and I will draw heavily from their critical analysis and identification of several problems in both Weitnauer’s overall argument above and in the studies themselves.wired. J. J. Unpublished manuscript University of British Columbia... but 1014 Weitnauer.19(1):49-54.carlsonschool. Fletcher. Childhood environment will determine your success as an adult. Wired Science. D. Atheism. 1019 APPENDIX A: FAD-Plus: Free Will and Scientific Determinism. Your genes determine your future. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Consider some of the standards for “scientific determinism” that could easily be considered “fatalistic determinism. D. The value of believing in free will: Encouraging a belief in determinism increases cheating. B. L. W. A.reasonsforgod. Schieber. Psychological Science.. (5/27/2011).psych. the Doubtcasters also consider the pragmatic trend setting 2008 study by Vohs and Schooler1017 showing that determinism priming increased the subject’s tendency to cheat. with the exception of the 2009 Baumeister. Many.ubc.” such as: 1016 Beahan. C. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Parents’ character will determine the character of their children. (2008). [16:30-39:30]. at least some of the researchers that use the FAD standards are using specifically fatalistic determinism as the benchmark in the studies. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www.umn. if not most or all of the key determinism primes were from quotes by Francis Crick from his book. Margesson. [Web log post]. 24. The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul.[1019] What’s worse is that. J. The first criticism that can be leveled upon the researchers in the above studies is that key terminology of the primes was philosophically all over the place.. (1994). (8/7/2011).html 1017 Vohs.1018 In the FAD scale.pdf 1018 Paulhus. Masicampo. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://doubtreligion. K.blogspot. and DeWall study.pdf 286 . 21. Free Will and Determinism (FAD) scale. Determinism and Social Problems. D.

Brass. 2008 1021 Carey. this view is actually fatalism.then still lumping fatalistic determinism and scientific determinism together as generic determinism anyway (what logical fallacy expert Julian Baggini calls low redefinition1020) when summing up their studies for the public or in their (3/23/2011). We cannot change that.. J.ubc. W. more charitably. 1023 Vohs.umn.”1025 This shows either the researcher’s misunderstanding of the kind of determinism that most people who call themselves “determinists” believe in or. The value of believing in free will: Encouraging a belief in determinism increases cheating. & Paulhus. it makes no sense to put effort into actions and to be motivated. J. May 2011 vol.1021 Why? This has important philosophical consequences that offend and misrepresent the majority of reasoned determinists who are not fatalists and soft/adequate determinism. San Antonio. [Web log post]. (4/22/2011). “If we are not free. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www2. The Independence of Free Will and Determinism in Judgments of Moral Responsibility. L. or. Does Belief in Free Will Lead to Action? [Press release]. it merely appeals to more popular folk notions of it. Psychological Science.[1022. doesn’t mean 1020 Baggini.psych. J.1177/0956797611405680. Kühn.pdf 1022 Crick. consider this quote from Francis Crick used to prime for determinism (out of an entire anti-free will essay [chapter?] that was used): Although we appear to have free will.pdf 1024 Rigoni. doi: 10. Low Redefinition. probably stand as the closest philosophical positions to predispositionalism. T. K.1023] Concerning the study showing that determinism priming decreased Readiness Potential1024 (Readiness Potential is discussed in Evidence #1). (7/1/1995). David Rigoni. the lead author.php/news/releases/does-belief-in-free-will-lead-to- action. Schooler.sagepub. The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul.psychologicalscience. M. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Inducing Disbelief in Free Will Alters Brain Correlates of Preconscious Motor Preparation: The Brain Minds Whether We Believe in Free Will or Not.short 1025 Harrington. (2/9/2004). Psychological Science. (1/2011). D. in fact. G. arguably. F. As I have discussed here. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://pss.carlsonschool. Just because Francis Crick (or David Rigoni) is a high profile scientist. D. stronger forms of compatibilism/semi-compatibilism.butterfliesandwheels... Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www.19(1):49-54. (2008). As for the primes. Poster presented at the 12th Annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.html 287 . 22 no. commented. 5 613-618. D. our choices have already been predetermined for us. S. Even one researcher from the creator of the FAD scale did this.

The hazards of claiming to have solved the hard problem of free will. your sense of personal identity and free will. We are not privy to the entire essay that was used from Crick’s book beyond a few quotes. The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul. Baer. are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. such as: Agency and responsibility are tied to meaning. (in press).psych. “why should we worry about the future. Psychology and freewill. 2006). & R. & Vohs.. Contrary to what Crick said. J.ucsb. Schooler. A.that he’s not susceptible to “lazy reasoning”/fatalism (i. 1997).). K. Proulx.e.1027] Quotes like this one incorporate value cues/narratives and so are fairly overt allusions to nihilism. […] Beyond the psychological palatability afforded to each position. 288 . and being robbed of agency likewise robs one of meaning (Heine. we can see what happened. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Baumeister (Eds. there is also the moral component. we can “change that” and do “change that” whenever we interact with other agents and causally influence each other’s behavior via behavioral feedback loops in our intertwined causal chains and still be determinists (and predispositionalists).edu/research/meta/publications/Brett/Schooler's%20Publications%20copy/8. if it is something we cannot change?”). In J. It’s not surprising that priming subjects with fatalistic lazy reason will produce fatalistic lazy reasoning in the subjects. Consider another quote from Crick’s book.pdf 1028 Ibid.D. F.[1028] 1026 Crick. crowned in a paper by Vohs and Schooler explaining their “cheating” study: “You. but if this quote from the top of the paper explaining the study was used or is an essential distillation of their perspective of determinism.C. 1027 Shariff.F. The question of free will has always been tied to the moral implications of the argument (Pereboom. Generally. It’s also important to note that Vohs and Schooler do make a few important concessions. Kaufman.F. J. New York: Oxford University Press.[1026. your memories and your ambitions. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Who you are is nothing but a pack of neurons. (7/1/1995).” your joys and your sorrows. the predictions made about the consequences of an eroding sense of free will differ systematically with the position they are trying to advance. & Vohs..

S. Whether or not the subjects of these studies were demotivated by inaccurate fatalistic priming or whether they were demotivated by confusion about the moral/value significance of determinism/fatalism (which I will discuss more in depth below in the sections on Responsibility and Retributivism) or whether or not they were demotivated by a perceived/misperceived destruction of their sacred values (see Evidence #24). When presented with abstract questions. H. people tend to say that determinism is consistent with moral responsibility.. 331 no. DOI: 10.[1031] 1029 Clark. Imagine the difference if they were primed with THAT instead. especially at a young age. it’s probably a safe bet to say that the subjects were not properly informed about the actual implications of being causally interactive agents with the capacity for local control and the ability to participate as a unique expression of the cosmos. Is Belief in Free Will a Cultural Universal? Mind & Language. 25: 346–358. but when presented with concrete cases of wrongdoing. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. but people give conflicting responses on whether determinism would undermine moral responsibility.x Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Science 18 March 2011: Vol. S. including that the “majority of participants said that (a) our universe is indeterministic and (b) moral responsibility is not compatible with determinism.2010. and Sirker. J. 1401-1403. T. (2009) does explicitly concede that the subjects were “laypeople. (2010). Wouldn’t a quote like Crick’s quote containing the reference to a “sense of identity. be necessarily tied to a loss of value/moral concepts? Baumeister. (3/2011).naturalism. but what about the cultural implications? Some studies by researchers suggest that many crucial aspects of free will belief do transcend A.”1030 Shaun Nichols writes: In the case of free will. [Web log post]. et all. Nichols.01393. 6023 pp.1126/science.1029 It’s easy to see how not delineating between perceived proper causal and moral implications would be a major flaw in a study. Chatterjee.abstract 289 .htm 1030 Sarkissian. doi: research suggests that people in a diverse range of cultures reject determinism. Experimental Philosophy and the Problem of Free Will.sciencemag. Don’t Forget About Me: Avoiding Demoralization by Determinism. S.1468-0017. people tend to maintain that determinism would undermine responsibility. (3/2008). De 1031 Nichols.” so folk notions of free will were expected. Knobe.” in addition to other parts of that quote. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www...1192931.1111/j. F. This seems to be at least partially because some of the researchers themselves had a bias of determinism as fatalism de facto.

S. J. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://arts. Americans are more likely than Indians to construe actions as choices. K. Zanna. Kumar. Psychological Science. 12].15. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 89. [p.[1035] It makes sense that determinism primes given to people in/from a country where a value dependence upon free choice is not as personal and pronounced as it is in America would not have such a demoralizing effect. Snibbe.. 4]. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. K. American children showed an increased tendency to endorse the free will to act against social constraints..nlm. N. Let your preference be your guide? Preferences and choices are more tightly linked for North Americans than for Indians. & Conner. While it may be true that free will belief is generally culturally ubiquitous. M.. (2005). Kitayama. Zanna.. R.. Kushnir. & Berlia. A. S. S. Psychological Science. is already commonplace. What counts as a choice? U. A Comparison of Nepalese and American Children’s Concepts of Free Will. 21.. T. 861-876.. R...cogsci. Kitayama. V. N.. H. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Spencer.pdf 1033 Krishna Savani. & Sullivan.1037 This shows yet another value parameter concerning choice different than in both American and Indian studies (the origin of the latter still 1032 Chernyak.rpi. A. Markus. such as in India. etc. 290 . 1036 Hoshino-Browne. 294-310. & Suzuki. while Nepalese children showed a decreased tendency.. S.researchgate. Proceedings of the 33rd annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. (in press). 1035 Savani. 527–533. H. where the notion of causal-friendly karma and/or a caste system. 391-398. Wang. V. On the cultural guises of cognitive dissonance: The case of Easterners and Westerners. R.nih... Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://csjarchive. (2008).1033 who’s shown that “Americans are more likely than Indians to construe actions as choices”1034 and also that: …the expression of preferences in choice is not as central to agency in urban middle- class Indian contexts as it is in North American contexts and that the link between personal preference and choice is shaped by what it means to be a good agent in a given context. Another study comparing American and Japanese subjects showed that “choice does not become meaningful for people in East Asian contexts unless other people are 1034 Savani. (2010). S. H.S.1032 The Doubtcasters cite the work of Krishna Savani. R. E. Markus.. P.. K. 95. Is there any “free” choice? Self and dissonance in two cultures. S. A.. (2004). [p. Q. Naidu. one study has shown that “with increased age. in addition to conflicting cultural opinions concerning determinism’s undermining of responsibility.. T.pdf 1037 Kitayama.” They also showed that there can be an increasing “cultural divergence over time” in free will endorsements.uwaterloo.ncbi.”1036. &

(1992). free. 56. In search of realistic optimism: Meaning. 117-124. R. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. (1986). American Psychologist. and reduced empathy for a disadvantaged individual (Study 5). & Berlia. 1039 Schneider. The effects of positive and negative thinking on performance in an achievement situation. N. when it doesn’t have profound implications… it isn’t a concern! There are other studies that show “a little realism can be good. 391-398. 1041 Norem. though Savani. The positive power of negative thinking. The author hypothesizes that the distress may be a result of the free will priming inducing too much perceived responsibility. D. Culture is also definitely a parameter of concern when priming something that has such profound implications for it. V.. which argues that 1038 Savani. Compartmentalization of positive and negative self-knowledge: Keeping bad apples out of the bunch. (2010).1040. Kumar. R. E. J.. K. et al (2008) cites good reasons to believe that it is different than in Japan). knowledge. 1042 Showers.1042 Consider the work of Barry Schwartz. Although we found these effects among American participants. C. Psychological Science. 51. 1036-1049 291 . New York: Basic Books. [p.being vague. V. it had no influence on Indians’ empathy. 62. K. reduced support for public policies aimed at benefiting society (Study 2). several parameters of free will value are culturally dependent. S. 6].[1038] So.1041. H. Naidu. 250-263. Study 5 provided initial evidence that these effects of choice are likely culture-specific: Whereas choice reduced Americans’ empathy for a disadvantaged child. (2001). J.” it also found that it affected Americans in some negative ways— even in some ways that did not affect Indians: We found that merely activating the concept of choice led to reduced support for affirmative action (Study 1). Americans are more likely than Indians to construe actions as choices. Markus. 3. 1040 Goodhart. higher levels of victim blaming (Study 4). 21. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. and thus has many positive consequences for individuals’ motivation and well-being. and just as importantly. (2001). The Savani study below showed that even though “choice makes North Americans feel more in control.. and independent. What counts as a choice? U.S.”1039 This includes realistic anxiety over possible future failure.. and warm fuzziness. increased support for policies aimed at expanding individual rights (Study 3). S.

(ISBN 978-1-4292-1597- 8) 1045 Vohs. Hence. 2000 Jan. It’s an internal locus of control. (2008). The last relevant concession that Vohs and Schooler also make in their ‘determinists are cheaters’ study is: …note that simply doing nothing is coded as cheating. 1043 Schwartz. Psychological Science. One significant task for a future psychology of optimal functioning is to deemphasize individual freedom and to determine which cultural constraints are necessary for people to live meaningful and satisfying lives. 2008 Jan. […] unduly influenced by the ideology of economics and rational-choice theory. who were doing mental calculations of math problems. freedom. that science shows exacerbates Free will is about control.1044 as opposed to an external locus of control. New York: Worth Publishers. Although participants were instructed to press the space bar to avoid receiving the answers.nlm. with resulting increases in people’s dissatisfaction with their lives and in clinical depression. K. All of his conclusions run throughout this book. rather than immoral behavior 1044 Myers. the anti-free-will essay may have induced passivity generally. where you feel responsible. autonomy. their failure to do so—counted as cheating—may not have been deliberately unethical. where you blame the external world. 578].55(1):79-88.pdf 292 . (2000).umn. D.[1045] So.nih. The value of believing in free will: Encouraging a belief in determinism increases cheating. The tyranny of freedom. & Schooler. [p.19(1):49-54. D.ncbi. freedom can be experienced as a kind of tyranny. and that when that happens. modern American society has created an excess of freedom. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. there might have been an indifference factor: perhaps the subjects. but let the answers come up on the screen below because they wanted to check their answers and were either able to do the calculations before the answers appeared or were able to avert their eyes. Psychology 9th edition. (2010).[1043] This is crucial information about deterministic and predispositionalistic worldviews that is absolutely noteworthy here. did do the problems honestly. J. Self-determination. W.carlsonschool. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. and self-determination can become excessive.. Am Psychol. B.

D. it seems that we have a propensity for reifying unassailable metaphysical propositions for pragmatic/psychological/emotional/social reasons. “I conclude that the most one can say about the implications of free will skepticism on childrearing is this: It may—may-not be a good idea to express one’s [free will] skepticism to an adolescent child. (Interviewer).php/news/releases/does-belief-in-free-will-lead-to- action.1049. Edis. any metaphysical propositional ‘fix’ that cannot. Point of Inquiry Podcast: Taner Edis - Science and Nonbelief. 162-165] 1050 Grothe. No Free Will? AHHHHH!!! Is Giving up on Free Will Really So Bad? [Web log post]. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www.1048 A bait and switch implication that the ontology of free will would somehow be bolstered by pragmatic concerns would be on par with suggesting that the most socially successful theological groups must also therefore correlate ontologically (an example of post hoc ergo propter hoc). as it is most relevant to this book. long term effects will most likely be different after the shock wears off and people reflect on how their situation is really not much different than it was before. (2007).pdf 1048 T. It has also been argued by optimistic X-Phi professor Tamler Sommers that the negative pro-social effects of determinism primes are merely immediate effects. 28]. Theoretical physicist and religious skeptic Taner Edis considers religion in the context of economical Rational Choice Theory. (3/23/2011).pointofinquiry. (Interviewee). Amherst. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. whether they are veridical or not.psychologicalscience. Chapter 5 of his Doctoral Dissertation at Duke No Soul? I Can Live with That. As shown in Evidence #24. Free Will Skepticism in Action. these kinds of studies only imply pragmatic problems concerning the application of determinism and do not really challenge the actual ontology of determinism or predispositionalism and even these researchers admit this about determinism when pressed. [pp. In this consumer sense. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www.html 1049 293 . T. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. (6/6/2008). [Audio podcast]. T.psychologytoday. be challenged is perceived 1046 Sommers. T.1050 where theistic concepts are ‘purchased’ for their structural function as a thought ‘product’ and are categorized and ‘bought’ rationally and economically from the marketplace of ideas in order to make subjective sense of the world according to an awareness of their personal needs.naturalism. literally in the realm of 15 minutes or so. Science and Nonbelief.”1047 It should already be obvious that. T. Does Belief in Free Will Lead to Action? [Press release]. (2005). Prometheus. in principle. [24:00-29:00]. [ ahhhhh 1047 Sommers. (4/2/2008).1046 It should also be said that Sommers gives Smilanski’s illusionism a kernel of credit when he says.

Unfortunately.). And as it was discussed in the context of theism. which actually do make certain people more meaningful to us than anyone else in the world. some sacred values do require the purchase of (i. and therefore build up enough of the right synaptic connections (as memories) and ‘trust’ hormones (see Evidence #13).e. at least as far back as Nietzsche) and scientists (see Evidence #24).’ ‘animal rights. secular versions do exist (e. that it can be merely circumstantially true for some 294 . ‘human rights. such as in the ‘loss of free will’ studies above.’ etc. ‘sacred values’ are not limited to religious concepts. we would still have to weigh the pros and cons. we need to believe that someone finds us to be more special than anyone else in the world. considering the notion of a ‘one true love’ or a ‘soul mate’—perhaps our most ubiquitously cherished notion on the planet—we often feel that there are difficult consequences worth enduring to perpetuate it. even if they were all tenable pragmatic concerns. Assuming this is desirable or even intellectually possible in the light of the growing evidence. at the end of the day.’ ‘honor. While functionalist/prudential rationale cannot actually reify libertarian free will. vertical or not. the metaphysical reification of) other sacred values and libertarian free will can be quite serviceable as an ancillary purchase. may show how these kinds of underlying motivations can perpetuate the free will concept and.g. Perhaps the difference in this case and that of the reification of libertarian free will is that we can actually make it true to some extent by continuing to believe it. Maybe we feel obligated (by our worldview) to perceive some cosmological coherence to our emotional lives. show how it may merely originate from consumer motivation as an underlying structure for other beliefs. For example. We may experience ourselves and/or our mates falling in love several times with other people or even to more than one person at the same time and yet we perpetuate the ‘soul mate’ ideal justifiably rational in a strong enough sense to self-validate the use of subsequent. ancillary ad hoc reasoning to bolster its defense or the defense of a more general worldview that rests upon it.’ ‘duty.g. so there’s no reason to exclude ‘free will’ from being both ‘purchased’ and metaphysically unassailable in the same light. perhaps. As already noted by philosophers (e. The real issue for studies that show a loss in free will belief may be harmful (and that can repeat their results in other cultures and/or after their flaws are accounted for and cleaned up) is whether or not we should take seriously the option of the illusionist and incorporate free will into our worldviews for pragmatic reasons. determining whether or not free will provides fundamental emotional/psychological support.’ ‘rational integrity.

no one has done it satisfactorily.typepad. Are illusionism and functionalist arguments the last resort of what P. T. (3/2008).org/demoralization.) 1968. which is what holding them responsible entails. illusionism must fall short of actually instantiating policy. [Web log post].still doesn’t make it necessarily. political. Why reading defenses of hard determinism makes people morally worse. obscuring our only source for a fair deterrence foundation. at the end of the day.ucsd. P.htm 1052 Clark.naturalism. Clark notes: In my view. “we don’t have to suppose people (kids for instance) *ultimately* deserve praise or blame to make rewards and sanctions justly contingent on their behavior.html 1053 Strawson. as opposed to merely objective and/or relative morality. P. Tom Clark has argued against the notion that determinism should be considered demoralizing for some time. Compatibilists don’t 1051 Clark. “Freedom and Resentment. (1962). ontologically true for everybody… nor should any physiological basis for the experience of love be demoralizing. (ed.”1052 This seems to also imply that our moral heuristics are based upon vestigial remnants of specifically absolute “ultimate” morality and dualism.F. because it is ultimately non-veridical. While the suspension of disbelief has surely been a valuable cognitive resource for psychological. Strawson famously called “panicky metaphysics”?1053 Humanity has certainly shown a proclivity for the suspension of disbelief when it comes to our love of temporarily reifying fiction in art and entertainment. Clark asks the difficult question to the advocate of libertarian freedom: what does ultimate control require from us in the context of responsibility that local control does not? It’s hard to articulate what that might be and as far as I Studies in the Philosophy of Thought and Action. at 03:19 PM). Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Oxford: Oxford University Press. it merely passes the buck. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://gfp. T.F.pdf 295 . Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://mind. [Web log comment]. Don’t Forget About Me: Avoiding Demoralization by Determinism. the proper expression of reactive attitudes is that they should be constrained by the humane and practical requirement that deliberately inflicted harms should accomplish some good that can’t be accomplished in any other way.” Reprinted in Strawson. Again. (3/22/2008. epistemological reasons (allowing us an escape route from polarized positions in internal deliberation) and may even have evolved as such. He contends that people could become demoralized if they confuse ultimate control with local control1051 but.F.

hold that view. T. at 01:37 PM). [Web log comment]. Why reading defenses of hard determinism makes people morally worse.html 296 . Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://gfp. 1054 and by keeping the myth of LFW alive. (3/23/2008. illusionists help to block the possibility of ever achieving it[1054] [emphasis mine].

1058 How can we qualify Mr. The sanctions of customary criminal law: A study of social control.1056. 1057 Corkin. the body) and a conscious awareness with a local compilation of memetic entities and other phenomena (i. Organic amnesia.). Moliason’s personhood/soul/spirit? We saw examples of the undermining of folk identity in the Introduction and throughout the Evidences by the reordering of conscious/subconscious hierarchy in decision-making (Evidences #1.O. #2). distributed and solidified throughout the brain. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. 1058 Milner.1055 Human identity is typically viewed by many philosophers as something of an enigma: we know it when we see it. the kind of memory we employ learning sports or a musical instrument. his implicit. 30-35).e. etc.. 4(2):249-259.Clinical Course and Experimental Findings in HM. (1984). Consider the “identity” of Henry Moliason. [42:15-44:00]. Macmillan: New York. S.e. A. (10/6/2011).) did show improved and-alex-rosenberg 1056 Shimamura. P. Seminars in Neurology. who. procedural memory (i. it is not as easy as it seems to parse out the ramifications of identity when we look more closely at how arbitrary and predetermined so many of the essential components came to exist. [Video file]. (1964 – 1965). we lose some of that confidence. Nigerian Law Journal. (1992). 1:180-81. Lasting Consequences of Bilateral Medial Temporal Lobectomy . Rosenberg. A. by the ability to reorder physiological/neural representations in the brain (Evidence #6)—even to have corporeal factions and cerebral 1055 Flanagan. it was undermined by the continuous tampering/rewriting of our memories in real time (Evidence #3). memories of experiences and information.e. spent the last 55 years of his life with extreme anterograde amnesia. Encyclopedia of Learning and Memory (pp. He was completely unable to retain any new memories and could only remember the first 15 years of his life. after botched brain surgery removing too much of the hippocampus. Interestingly. but he couldn’t remember what he ate or did or who he met five minutes previous.philostv.1057 His very identity was frozen in time for 55 years. In L. Identities like ‘chairs’ or ‘tables’ are often framed by philosophers merely as the result of “local equilibria” or “real patterns” in the physical cosmos. Owen Flanagan and Alex Rosenberg on the significance of naturalism. and yet… on closer inspection. ENDURANCE AND IDENTITY What better to follow a discussion of illusionism than with the concept of identity? While it is true that ‘each one of us’ putatively represents both local material (i. 297 . A. O. the mind). Squire (Ed.

by attenuating causal necessity with a network of multiple ordered goals and desires rather than single cause and effect instances. and identity is contingent upon. by evidence that ethical. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www. G. [p. libertarian philosopher Thomas Pink writes: What does action involve? I have claimed that the one thing that it does involve. and social identity all supervene on physical identity (Evidences #15. #16. #15. #14. #19. #11. and by the multi-interpretive ramifications of our primary dependence (and moral interdependence) upon group/social identity (Evidences #4. #25. via a free spirit with primary conscious directives.. ontological. I showed how our identity seems to barely splinter off from other animals in a lucky way. #31. #16). a continuum of delusion and confabulation (Evidences #9. Still. #18. Ellis. Collectively. For example. In the Causal Vacuum. Heidelberg: Springer. #19. #5. these arguments and Evidences don’t imply anything like what the substance dualist proposes and one would think that they’d have a lot to answer for in terms of advocating libertarian contra-causal free will via the old folk notions of identity. both qualitatively. I showed how an identity with a contra-causal body/spirit duality at its core is incoherent. #24. And it is equally clear that my goal or 1059 Murphy. long-term planning1059/purposiveness is one of the last great refuges: the Mount Olympus of libertarian free will advocates. #7. #6.F.hemispheres with different personalities and possibly to share mind (Evidences #6.4]. and quantitatively. that does make it a genuine action.thedivineconspiracy. #24). #24. #29). #30).. #23.pdf 298 . #20. some libertarian free will advocates will try to redirect our focus on causation by diluting identity temporally. it is clear that I must be crossing on the basis of a prior desire or decision to cross. from theological dualists to agent causality philosophers show that along with the kind of emergent thought already discussed. #10. #14. N. In the Human Animal. #13. by evidence that the mind operates upon. essentially uncoupled from physical constraints. Downward Causation and the Neurobiology of Free Will. Berlin. ISBN 978-3-642-03204-2. by positing a special difference between having long term goals and short term desires. There’s still a lot more to say about identity though. #8. (2009). is purposiveness […] When I cross the road deliberately and intentionally.R. O’Connor. The works of modern libertarians. that is to say. #26.

1063 where the subjects train their minds to habitually deemphasize pain by watching visual representations of it in an fMRI live imaging feedback loop. Thernstrom. in real time. Krulwich. An example that might seem to bolster Pink’s position is the efficacy of cutting edge pain management techniques. J. New York: Oxford University Press. it does not appear to come from any prior desire. (Interviewees). without any desire or other passive motivation having pushed us so to decide. 93-94).1062. 1062 Community Academic Profile: 1063 Abumrad.. Radiolab podcast: Loops.” though the former ideas about “purposiveness” are a little more complex and should be addressed. Free Will: A Very Short Introduction. Mackey. which thoughts can deemphasize that pain.radiolab. R. (p.’ the idea that all ‘action has purposiveness’ must explain how teleology exists metaphysically in all ‘actionary’ inorganic matter. Virtual Reality and real- time fMRI Applications of real-time fMRI Phase II.stanford. T. (6/7/2007). It must come from the object of this same prior motivation. For example.[1060] He also contrasts this notion of purposiveness (i. M. Instead the goal comes from the decision’s own nature.. Available on 9/22/2012 from http://med. First. and if it does (in some latent form). 1061 Ibid. (2004). having goal oriented desires). (Interviewers). with a more brute assertion about another type of freedom: the idea that “sometimes we can just decide to do things. S. (p. from what I wanted or intended to do in crossing the road […] This goal that my decision has does not appear to come from any prior cause at all. then the most obvious rejoinder is: why is this form of purposiveness so incredibly predictable? If a chemical reaction contains purposiveness.”1061 A mere lack of conscious awareness of our motivations resolves the naked assertion that “sometimes we can just decide to do things. with the pain shown on a screen as flames over certain parts of the brain. but necessity. The mind ‘sees’ the pain as it increases and decreases in real time and discovers. then it seems not to offer us an example of freedom or contingency. [51:30-end]. Shawn Mackey Current Research 299 . 1060 Pink. 92). giving itself the tools to reverse the bad habit and enforce pain-free thinking habits then and in the future. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. when it comes to ‘action.e. without any desire or other passive motivation having pushed us so to decide. purpose in crossing must come from this same cause. [Audio podcast].

etc. etc. and/or a special identity within the salience of any long term continuity. “this person has an identity because they have a desire that has lasted X amount of time. ownership/property. lasting X amount of time? Just because we choose to focus our microscopes to a point where we can arbitrarily ascribe an identity to these types of objects (in this case. what I’ll call the endurance argument. It’s also interesting that even though the will of the original person actually becomes ever estranged from the desires of the most recent incarnation. There are hierarchies of desires both qualitatively (i. first/second/third order desires.) and quantitatively (i.’ That some desires endure long enough for us to feel compelled to ascribe the holder with a special identity in ontological terms is unwarranted. and the change is perceived as evidence of some kind of freedom ultimately. and probably selected for evolutionary advantage. convenience.. Of course I’m me and you’re you! That seems absurd! But how about the microorganisms crawling on your arm… are they you too? Can we take those away? And the red blood cells? And the bacteria? Most importantly.” can we therefore say. rewriting and reascribing them to new selves that are less than the ‘yesterday you. 300 . for reasons of context. The identity bias is perhaps even more deeply imbedded than our control addiction and very difficult to dislodge. they merely eliminate the wills of former selves. short term and long term desires). The feedback loop example above highlights the contrast between short term and long term desires and/or a hierarchical ordering of desires that seemingly evidence a possible place for indeterminacy—more broadly. ‘you’ are still perceived by self and others as both the original person and the new person. desires about desires. there is our automatic-self to address. The impression is not only that temporality seems to negate the causal process by seeming to keep all of the changes internal. Still.e. A qualitative example is when an addict desires [2nd order] to overcome their addiction desire [1st order]. humans) with overlapping qualities? At what point would a desire or its holder become causally free and why then? I will argue that the ‘setting’ for which we focus our microscopes in freedom and identity alike is perspectival. If we say. but also because the process shows evidence of (‘freer’) long term goals behind (‘less free’) short term desires and with each having a qualifiable identity. in order to support our more functional/practical desires. changes in identity do not bestow free will. of the same person.e. arbitrary. “this person is free because they have a desire that has lasted X amount of time”? Why would it be so that a person is ‘free’ just because they have a desire. or several overlapping desires.

47-50. & Vohs. 1065 Custers. Unconscious behavioral guidance systems. such as Custer and Aarts. [Video file].. Bargh. and things associated with those goals. 1066 “TheMizzouTube. In Baumeister. theory and applications (pp. [26:00-30:00]. A (2004).com/watch?v=pWSC48EUg-8 301 . Achievement and performance goals 3. Science. Automatic self-regulation. resumption. New York: Guilford. The evidences in this writing should be enough to allow us to be reasonably skeptical of Pink’s assertions. Lecture by John A.1064 As Custers and Aarts put it. recent discoveries “.. 1. F. and confabulated to ‘have always been that way. there is already a lot of evidence for unconscious goal motivation. 1068 “TheMizzouTube. Handbook of self-regulation: research. & Bargh. places. 151 – 170). then they can be affected over the long term. University of Missouri Video Services. [Video file]. H. Bargh. 329. over long periods of time not merely in the moment 1067 Fitzsimons. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www.” (uploaded on 8/23/2011).” (uploaded on 8/23/2011). Kurt Lewin’s “signatures of a motivational state. (p. J. R. They demonstrate that under some conditions.1068 which give the unconscious some of the core qualities often associated with independent agency.’ Bargh notes how these unconscious primes can contain some of the same core elements of conscious primes. He and other researchers. [32:45-40:00]. R. (2010).challenge this causal status of conscious will. including. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www.” including persistence. reinvented ad hoc. K. (Eds.”1065 For as much stock libertarians put into goal directing identity. As John Bargh says. show that they can be. Lecture by John A. Unconscious behavioral guidance systems. These unconscious goals are necessarily behavioral and enduring externally or they wouldn’t have been 1064 Ibid. just like our memories.). The unconscious will: How the pursuit of goals operates outside of conscious Information process goals 2.1067 This is because our representations of people and things associated with our goals that persist every time we access those goals are. M. if motivations or goals can be unconsciously primed and correspond to and consequences for mood and motivational strength. Aarts. 92). Priming affects how we treat goals.. Interpersonal goals[1066] This is the evidence that crushes the endurance argument (or what Richard Double calls “delay libertarianism”). actions are initiated even though we are unconscious of the goals to be attained or their motivating effect on our behavior.. University of Missouri Video Services. vulnerable to primes from both the past and present. G. D. and the persons.

The Non-reality of Free Will.”1070 I basically argued this from a slightly different angle in the Causal vacuum. I’m not even sure that it needs that extra ontological boost. delay libertarianism “does not show how we could rationally select either choice given the actual occurrence or non-occurrence of the delays. the contrast between short term and long term identity is really just a distraction from the fact that you were participating in causal parameters all along the way. New York: Oxford University Press. R. With so much evidence for unconscious predispositional influence over both the short and long term. [p. At the end of the day. besides venal subjective phenomenal experience. but differently (or not act) given the exact same reasons. what Robert Kane calls “dual rational control. In a 1069 Double. reifying free will based upon the endurance of certain desires is a category error and the length of the desire or of the network of desires that constitute the emergent property does not correlate to its freedom from causality itself. let alone presume it is happening at all? Double thinks that “the delay theory […] fails to produce a sort of indeterminacy libertarians want. Aside from the fact that it’s difficult enough to reasonably describe how most long term plans and goals can’t be evidenced by source motivations. (1993). as each reaction is still based upon a consciously and/or unconsciously motivating set of data. What about intention? Does it represent our identity enough to allow for libertarian freedom? We saw how our intention was frontloaded with moral biases in Evidence #4. As he writes. even if manipulatable both in the short term and less so over the long term. 302 . 213] 1070 Ibid. Related to that context.”1069 He also complains that the ability to act rationally. it’s just that it has a more extensive network of causal relations. even the rare seemingly arbitrary sudden desire to “be a race car driver” or “jump out of a plane before I die” may still has an average of 98% non-conscious influence upon your decision that you are just unaware of. but it this case. knowingly or unknowingly. This is another reason why I chose to frame this book as predispositionalism. with no evidence for unique conscious control that non-conscious mechanisms aren’t also doing.selected for. bolstering the “motivating set of data” with our knowledge of neural coding.” seems impossible. why should we presume to default to the dominance of conscious influence on decision. rather than the determinism: I wanted to highlight the point that factors like non-conscious influence and cognitive biases may exist and endure in much the same way that long term plans and goals endure.

Kearns. Four Views on Free Will. M. Kane posits an “ultimate responsibility” using Aristotle’s argument for virtue ethics: “…if a man is responsible for the wicked acts that flow from his character. “quick and dirty” actional decisions that are automatized in some way (just as the heart does not wait for a decision to beat) seem to be evidence for some kind of connection between intention and biology/physiology.pdf 303 . They don’t necessarily even if he trusts his intuition that ultimately.. (Fischer.) (2007). in general. 1073 Kane. Vargas.. why should the delayed veto be exempted from predispositional influence? In the section Luck. because if actions are truly free. I ask. But what about long term decisions not to decide or to delay the decision? Do they have any part of that automatization? Do they have just enough to plug Kearns’ hole? Again. many philosophers require this of libertarians in order to distinguish their actions from 1072 Ibid. (1/18/2011). Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www. actions in general are intentional. What explains the jump from an intention to an action? Does it depend on the unique quality of the intention? In some instantiations that follow intentions. This is even if. I discussed Robert Kane’s SFAs. Kearns worries that reasoned explanations to actional choices are different in a crucial way.”1073 Kane admits that unless 1071 Clarke. he must at some time in the past have been responsible for forming the wicked character from which these acts flow.1071 both Randolph Clarke and Stephen Kearns seem to agree that actions. On the problem of free will. that the step from reasoned explanations to actional choices is equal.1072 Kearns’ worry may be tenable. [Video file]. R. 14) Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www. R. (p. MA: Blackwell. Pereboom. intending to try to score a goal doesn’t count as intending to score a goal… though one may ask: is trying not actually intending or is it merely an indirect admission that the perceived probability of failure is higher? Accepting a low probability for success doesn’t necessarily negate intention if intention is on a continuum. because the actional choice is sort of an ‘answer’ to the intention itself. D. which seems to allude to Double’s objection to Kane’s “dual rational control” as well. J.M. As I already explained in Luck.thedivineconspiracy. S. are intentional at the end of the day. [54:00-end]. however.discussion about free will on Philosophy TV. as they agree.. then some of those options won’t be in accord with prior goals and need their own explanation to be justified as actional intentions.

for Kane. (1990).. not only must the agent's behavior be governable by her self.M. if you like — and this must in turn be governable by her (still deeper?) self. Pereboom. M. as it is not the only conceivable underlying principle for [ultimate] responsibility. To continue now though and say that we have free actions because we need them for Ultimate Responsibility would be a fallacy of desired consequence. The only way to stop this regress is to suppose that some acts in our life histories must lack sufficient causes altogether. and hence ultimately responsible for. J. MA: Blackwell.. R. then her control of her behavior is only intermediate. 16) Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www. and therefore superficial. Inspired by Robert Kane. (pp. Vargas. and hence must be undetermined.pdf 304 . the infinite regression of insufficient reasons goes back to birth and there is still no ultimate responsibility. if we are to be the ultimate sources or grounds ad infinitum. (Fischer. Susan Wolf describes the problem In order for an agent to be autonomous. The origination issue will be resolved to my satisfaction in the section on Responsibility. is the moment when we create our characters that can then perpetuate that freedom in secondary and tertiary choices. Four Views on Free Will. D. Freedom Within Reason. so to speak.) (2007). This. Kane believes that the indeterminacy that facilitates this end to infinite regress happens when we are engaged in a real moral conundrum and the brain creates a state of indeterminacy.[1075] As I have also noted. But if there are no forces behind the agent making the agent what she is. her self must in turn be governable by her self — her deeper self. (p. S. etc. making the agent what she is.thedivineconspiracy. 1074 Wolf. then her identity seems to be arbitrary […] The condition of autonomy seems at once impossible and necessary for responsibility. but it’s important to keep in mind as we watch all the parts that comprise identity dissolve as they are delineated.[1074] Robert Kane addresses the problem thusly. it seems. If there are forces behind the agent. 13-14).sufficient reasons are shown to exist in our past. New York: Oxford University Press 1075 Kane. our own wills […] Free will (in contrast to mere free action) is about self-formation. It shows how and why responsibility is so intuitively related to identity.

and the environment. (p. were. based upon Kane’s work and Aristotle’s virtue ethics. somehow. pp. Mele calls this view “daring soft libertarianism. Should we presume that because they are both in the body proper and that the character governing those decisions is comprised of decisions made by the body proper. (2007). etc. in that we do NOT consistently increase and decrease in virtue. [ but ignores how humans actually behave ethically. actually increases in virtue and does some work to make deliberative habits. the character formed by those rare free moral actions.cornell. 2007. Cornell University Philosophical Explorations 10. including cognitive offloading and mirror neurons. 163-72.pdf 1077 Ibid. Virtue ethics is not evidenced to be true. 2]. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www. Mele argues …it may be that by earlier character-forming decisions. On Alfred Mele’s Free Will and Luck.Alfred Mele’s “daring soft libertarianism” rests upon the same cryptic notion of responsibility through character building over time.”[1077] So for Mele. then we should be able to say the same thing about those as well. 1076 Pereboom. considered foundational enough to justify events caused by the agent down the road. based upon who we are.”[1076] As Mele himself writes that this gradual process might make an agent less egoistic in time. it is also. The approach also belies the fuzzy identity issues involving the way we change over time. It can’t be repeated enough that in Evidences #24 and #27 we saw evidence for spontaneous. 15). she has significantly affected the probabilities that govern her decision. and in their present behavior agents shape future practical probabilities. We are a complex ethical mish mash. with actions that might progressively “have reinforcing consequences that help to produce in him increased concern for the welfare of those around him. because if and when they are really arbitrarily produced predispositions. 305 .arts. for which the agent is morally responsible. that that makes them “free”? As Derk Pereboom writes. D. Through their past behavior such agents shape present practical probabilities. It’s important to note here that these deliberative habits in this case are able to justify responsibility. I think that Mele’s/Kane’s/Aristotle’s approach is clever. This increased concern would presumably have an effect on his evolving deliberative habits.

1080 Loersch. V. 1079 Aarts. Why should we presume emergence is freeing? Metaphysics is tricky business. Psychology Glossary online.). I don’t see any reason why a libertarian’s use of emergent phenomena as a metaphysical platform for breaking causal orbit couldn’t be equally applied here in the sense that adaptation-level phenomena might create layers of emergent identity that thwart as much control as it supposedly would gain freedom commensurately. but personally. We’ve also seen it in all sorts of other ways. If our achievements fall below the neutral point defined by prior experience.1079. R. It’s easy to see how our predisposition to (re)calibrate “our present experience and to form expectations for the future” in itself creates identity issues. & Hassin. okay. (N. […] we use our past to calibrate our present experience and to form expectations for the future. H. we experience success and satisfaction. 44.html 306 . Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. & Jefferis.. (2007). H. not just that memory or bit of knowledge or desire. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Success and failure.unconscious goal contagion. G. E. Aarts. 1555-1558.D. but there you are… and. The influence of social groups on goal contagion. via mental diseases and even simple gains and losses of knowledge over time. 43. If our achievements rise above those expectations. Behavioral cues to others' motivation and goal pursuits: The perception of effort facilitates goal inferences and contagion.. you subtly readjust everything to some extent. R. Gollwitzer. In Evidence #3. Goal contagion: perceiving is for pursuing. 727−737. C. 87. It’s hard for me to imagine that anything I could ‘catch’ would make me more free.psychology-lexicon. 1080 It seems funny that the goals that supposedly make one free are unconsciously contagious. (2004). adaptation-level phenomenon is an important concept in this context. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www. we feel dissatisfied and frustrated[1081] [emphasis mine]. Of course. they’re a little fun too! 1078 Dik. Psychology Glossary online defines it as: the tendency to adapt to a given level of stimulation and thus to notice and react to changes from that level. our physical predisposition creates limitations on the ways that we can change. B. In psychology.1078. satisfaction and dissatisfaction. H. Payne. 1081 Adaptation-level phenomenon. are relative to our prior experience. 23–27. because when you change. I’ve already said a lot about the impact of memory loss and reformulation in identity. K.. (2008).. & Aarts...

. but there are some things we can ask and some things we can say. if anything. “Who is that that performing so many tasks that I didn’t reason out?” But let’s go down a different path now. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://citeseerx. [p. Do you think that when you suffer physical pain or enjoy physical pleasure that it does not literally affect others to some extent? It does. 9 (4):625--636. Let’s go outward. classifications. This is a huge topic that goes beyond the scope of this book.1082 I have already argued throughout the Evidences for cognitive offloading in social systems via mirror neurons and other social mechanisms. So with that. Many western cognitive scientists will concede cognitive distribution to the environment in a weaker sense. etc. but are compelled to concede much more when it comes to “mentally simulating external events” interactively. I’ve said that I believe we have evolved to prefer an identity bias that separates us from the world in a fairly superficial manner (unrealistically favorable in every way of course).1. zipping up and down our jacket. One thing that we can ask is: does the mind employ cognitive distribution in the environment in such a fundamentally interactive way that environment itself should be included in our cognitive identity? More holistically inclined eastern metaphysical thought has helped us to be aware that key elements in the concept of the ‘self’ can be viewed as facultative constructs that extend outside of the body in reified I’ve given a whole bunch of evidence for sub-control/non-conscious identity. Even the splitting of our own brain hemispheres to leave to non-identical personalities puts us in a pickle when trying to identify which side is “us”. (2002). let’s get down to some specifics about the odd nature of Cognitive distribution is when we use the environment to think for us.psu. These have even been evidenced in animals.8295&rep=rep1&type=pdf 307 . as we watch our hands fight with each other. such as in hierarchies. I’ve already given a great deal of evidence for empathy via mirror neurons in Evidence #27. Six Views of Embodied Cognition. Identity has a funny way of changing as you focus in and out. John Bargh has shown that 1082 Wilson. groups.124. especially when we trust and care a great deal for them.1. contextual relationships. based upon what we see: our bodies. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. It helps to see what we can find that is essential to it. M. 7-11]. contrasts. We extend this physical border to our cognitive identity as well.

Bargh. 1086 Rumelhart. Parallel Distributed Processing: Explorations in the Microstructure of 1084 Chemero. “Schemata and Sequential Thought Processes in PDP Models”.”1085. but by merely perceiving what others in their group are doing they do the same thing. McClelland. 308 . M.fandm. including his classic thought experiment with David Chalmers introducing Otto and his notebook. University of Missouri Video Services. Rumelhart. T.”1084 Chemero and Silberstein talk about David Rumelhart’s early example of working out a math problem on a chalkboard. Philosophy of Science. 7–57. and the PDP Research Group (eds. where “the cognitive system included the brain. who expanded the notion that thought is “ecologically embedded in a body and an environment. [Video file]. the chalkboard and the act of writing on the board. 75 (1):1-27. et al. Silberstein.pdf 1085 Ibid. Lecture by John A. She discusses the contributions of J.” She also mentions Andy Clark and his argument for the environment as a mental facilitator functionally and socially.[1083] This takes ‘in-group preferences’ to a whole other level! The subject of cognitive offloading has controversial parameters.).. (1986). D. J. Gibson. Clark shifts the philosophical emphasis from analysis of the brain to analysis of a human’s kinesthetic interaction with an ecological and social space. MA: MIT Press. vol. After the Philosophy of Mind: Replacing Scholasticism with Science. they can all move as one unit […] they’re not thinking about this. They’re not deciding to move one way or the other. J. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from https://edisk. so there’s a direct link between perception and action. He points out that large-scale social projects. but even some of the top ‘post philosophy of mind’ western philosophers of cognitive science and neuroscience would say that the “winner would probably be on the reductionist end of the spectrum” and still also “believe that holistic science has had enough success to make it worth pursuing in the such as a building project or a disaster relief effort. (2008). Laura Weed gives an excellent overview of the extended mind in the philosophy of mind. Cambridge.1086 In Philosophy Now magazine. Psychological and Biological Models. [13:00-end].” (uploaded on 8/23/2011). in D.chemero/papers/chemsilberphilsci08. occur 1083 “TheMizzouTube. Unconscious behavioral guidance systems. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www. …flocks of birds and herds of antelope and schools of fish have incredible synchrony and movement..

however misinformed it is? Remember how quickly the mind rewires itself in the Beeblebrox Illusion. as long as we’ve captured them on video and plugged them into the eternal internet. only that the negative consequences and implications should always be considered and prepared for.g. Consider also our increasing externalization of memory to technology and social media. not in his brain. Clark. it’s in our phones. Is there a better way to become immortal without actually being immortal? And since we usually choose what we post. considering that the mind has evolved to perceive the body itself as an extended instrument for the survival of the mind. such as that of a “cyborg. How much does our proximity to this technology make an ontological difference in defining our identity when it comes to cognitive offloading (e. the threat of a knife wound to the rubber hand is enough to trigger the autonomic nervous system Evidence #16. 1087 309 . We don’t need to remember contact information anymore. They argue that Otto’s memory is literally in the notebook.-Feb.[1087] It seems hard to deny that a more extreme example of cognitive offloading. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://philosophynow. across a considerably extended space and through the intersection of many people’s minds. L.g.” with an additional computer brain and wireless internet built in. Philosophy of Mind: An Overview./2012). would not include the qualitative capability of her technical hardware in an intuitive description of her overall identity. via a computer or a calculator) or in accomplishing physical tasks (e. and are not limited to neuronal firings in any individual brain. In just a few minutes. in a joint paper with David Chalmers. (Jan. discusses the fictional example of Otto. with a motorcycle or a wrench or a knee brace). I’m not arguing that this is or isn’t a bad thing. along with beeping reminders for appointments (it seems like my mother’s goes off ten times a day). a man with memory problems who remembers the location of a library (and other useful pieces of information) by writing it down in a notebook. We don’t need to remember events anymore. This really will be the only posthumous identity that most of will ever have. Philosophy Now. it’s often what we would consider to be the best of us that lives on long after death (and negative press may help to thwart anti-social tendencies in a more profound way than the more slowly spreading bad reputations of yore).

S. Metaphysicians sometimes refer to identities as ‘space-time worms’1088 in order to rectify the real world identity problem of constant small changes that happen over the existence of the identity.pdf 310 . let alone the obvious exchange of food/air/waste with our environment interactively. it still benefits us to exercise our minds. G. Personal identity. The Brain: Can a Single Neuron Tell Halle Berry From Grandma Esther? Discover Magazine. 11. [16:45-33:05].’ How consistent these patterns are depends upon the 1091 Zimmer. because most anything that reduces the ignorance of history is probably a good thing. Episode 4: What is the Nature of Personal Identity? Closer to Truth. I. Koch. (2005). can the environment. 2008).com/2009/jun/15-can-single-neuron-tell- halle-berry-from-grandma-esther 1092 Quian Quiroga. In this case. L. (Uploaded by YaleCourses on Sep. R. Part I: Identity across space and time and the soul theory [Video file post]. 30. is constantly exchanging particles/energy. because they are not all equal. C. Available on 9/22/2012 at Even the body itself. at least to some extent.’ it depends upon which parts Nature. but the desired uniqueness in our identities are at constant risk of being smudged out by the identity of other persons or groups in that sphere. though holistic physiology of the body does affect the brain interactively and they simply cannot be completely disentangled. Reddy.1090 I tend to agree. 2008). Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www.caltech. In a class on Death at Yale (PHIL 176). nor. It is often more appropriate to view identities as consistent information patterns.closertotruth.. (2011). especially when viewed from a molecular perspective.. R. C. (Uploaded by YaleCourses on Sep.. (6/2009). keeping them active and autonomous. [22:00-end]. Kagan leans toward the brain as being the crucial house of identity. Personal identity. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from 1089 Kurzweil. Not only is the barrier between self and others fuzzy in this way. S. slowly and subtly.. Available on 9/22/2012 at Identity-Raymond-Kurzweil-/632 1090 Kagan. 435: 1102-1107. 30. Part II: The body theory and the personality theory [Video file post].1089 rather than as ‘stuff. Fried. for their overall health (and some even define “health” itself as “increased autonomy”). documenting history in such a salient way gets my vote. as we shall see. so its commonly perceived boundaries are literally nebulous. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www. While some theorists may lean toward the torso. philosopher Shelly Kagan taught that even though body parts may change and the generally perceived identity still exists as a ‘space-time worm. Personal identity.1092 in the brain hold the memories that make up our 1088 Kagan. PBS [Video File]. Invariant visual representation by single-neurons in the human brain. If neuronal patterns1091. We just need to understand that in this externalizing of our identity to interact with others via social technology. 10.

say. Where would the ‘persons’ be? Following the brain as the house for identity is still ambiguous. Remember that our experience of identity as memory is facilitated by our synaptic connections in the brain. as well as the “personality view” of identity (which I won’t get into). … You must admit the presence of a heap sooner or later. Part IV. which stands in opposition to the dualistic “soul view.). so where do you draw the line?[1094] 1093 SoPM&feature=endscreen&NR=1 1094 Hyde.. [00:00-36:00]. long after fertilization).’ which is the term for the branching off of identity commensurate with the branching off of the neurons.” discussed earlier. He notes that even if we ascribe the soul to one half of the Edward N. Charles Goodman. Would you describe two grains of wheat as a heap? No. who are the product of a split zygote. What matters? [Video file post]. Professor of eastern religion. Zalta (ed. It’s difficult for the folk notion of the soul to survive these kinds of challenges without the same “no branching” caveats. it seems that what we normally consider to be our identities are defined by both matter and process. 311 . Dr. is equally troubling for all three views in trying to nail down where the ‘person’ is by following the parts. This hazy boundary allows what has been called the sorites paradox: the fallacy of the heap: Would you describe a single grain of wheat as a heap? No. as Goodman puts it. #6.. 2008). S. etc. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://plato. (Uploaded by YaleCourses on Sep. which literally physically correlate to what we think mentally to some extent (see Evidences #3. 13. #24). This is “the body view” of identity.. asks us to consider a hypothetical scenario where future nano-bots were able to rearrange 1% of those neurons in our brain that correlate to our identity to match up to Napoleon’s brain. 30. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www.and so on. would it still be you? How about 2%? . Personal identity.identities. we are always left with a living thinking half brain without a soul (and many have asked us to consider what happens to a soul in the case of the formation of monozygotic twins. physical (brain and body) parts. to correspond to 1% of Napoleon’s mind. Kagan notes that the problem of ‘fission.1093 He gives a thought experiment involving three men who surgically exchange brain hemispheres and torsos in such a way that each torso has the two brain halves of the other two men. "Sorites Paradox". So… after a 1% change in our neural wiring. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition). Identity-Peter-van-Inwagen-/176 1096 Kurzweil. [pp. famed metaphysician and identity specialist Peter van Inwagen (a non-dualistic theist!) poses a thought experiment where God collects all the original atoms to recreate Socrates at sixty years old and. PBS [Video File]. (2011). Publisher: University of Chicago. Ray Kurzweil talks1096 about how some Alzheimer’s patients now have actual machinery in their brains. even though machinery is commonly perceived to be a non-biological ‘pattern. an integral ‘assemblage of molecules’ that actually replace the lost. Costumed in Confusion. Episode 4: What is the Nature of Personal Identity? Closer to Truth. etc. We can still see that a perception can help us to ‘expand the circle’ in terms of not only fuzzy metaphysical identity. Which one would be Socrates? This shows the kind of philosophical conundrums that can be a result of thinking that identity is merely the same ‘ then again. A History of Christian Thought: From Its Judaic and Hellenistic Origins to Existentialism. build character. 1098 Christopherson. 33. we witnessed perhaps the first large scale Christian media source concession that science 1095 Von Inwagen. Zarathustra Speaks! [Web log post]. (New York: Simon and Schuster).’ In the June 2011 issue of Christianity Today. (1968). psychologically. PBS [Video File]. etc. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www.1098. In the PBS series Closer to Truth. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://download. Page: 198 1099 Tillich. personal responsibility. Even if we have limited direct participation in the world around ‘us’ because of distinctions ‘we’ perceive that can limit those specific kinds of causation. Episode 4: What is the Nature of Personal Identity? Closer to Truth. the existentialist Christian philosopher Paul Tillich wrote that “the more Nonbeing that Being can take into itself.%20Paul%20- %20The%20History%20of%20Christian%20Thought%20(Christian%20Library)%20(philosophy).’ It is literally part of their thinking process and these patients are very protective of it as part of their ‘selves. (2011). There are other signs that Christianity may be heading towards a more obscure theology of Identity-Raymond-Kurzweil-/632 1097 Price.1099 in the sense of provoking ourselves to face our fears.closertotruth. P. Volume: Ph. but also ethically. R. (11/6/2011). R.pdf 312 . (1995). and ‘group morality. collects all the other original atoms to recreate Socrates at seventy years old1095 (because we know that the molecules change constantly and by ten years none of them would be the same).D.’ In the same show. socially. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www. J.closertotruth. the stronger it will be”1097.’ Long live the cyborg! We don’t have to exclude western religious paradigms altogether to rethink our traditional notions of identity either. What is integral? Everything. dead neurons and allows them to think. As it was noted by biblical scholar Robert Price.tales. The Concept of Nonbeing and Its Role in Paul Tillich’s Thought.. 73].

we realize that it is an impossible task 1100 No Adam. (6/2011). D.’ by scientists.e. BioLogos and the June 2011 “Christianity Today” Editorial. If part of my brain that made me crazy enough to be a dangerous murderer were to be completely fixed. No. Christianity No Gospel. Scripture often calls groups of people by the name of their historical head. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://biologos.1101] Let’s bring identity home now to policy/law based upon the notion that we have libertarian contra-causal free will. many selves. Page 61.shows no genetic evidence for a literal ‘first couple’ (i. we can still conceive of Adam and Eve as leaders of that original population.e. 2011)—that if both biblical and scientific clues suggest a larger population contemporary with Adam and Eve (Whom did Cain marry? Whom did God protect him from?).christianitytoday. 55. [Web log post]. Christianity Today tries to adapt theologically by suggesting that perhaps we should consider spreading the blame of original sin upon populations. Adam and Eve). (6/6/2011). Vol. as in ‘corrected. it would be fairer to view our existence as a plurality of many. That suggestion has the virtue of embracing both a prehistoric couple and a prehistoric population. but because of the vagueness (i. Thus some have suggested—as does John Collins in “Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?” (Crossway.[1100. Israel is an obvious example. consider how unfair it would be to continue to cast me as an evil murderer afterwards (see Evidence #15). If we’re going to isolate the relevant identity of a particular agent to specific temporal states. No Eve. Scripture also holds groups of people morally responsible for the actions of some of their members. since biblical groups/tribes were held responsible collectively for the actions of individuals in those groups: Hebrew thought offers one clue to resolving this tension: The corporate nature of 313 . After reminding us of the mistakes of condemning people like Copernicus and Galileo. At times. sorites paradox) involved in trying to delineate between each of these many oblique selves as combinations of changing qualities. that the contrary is the case.html?start=1 1101 Falk. So are Canaan and Cush. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. 6.

or even should. even each contextual change. including some randomized software to bolster emergent data. I contend it is different with each change. especially when procrastinating 314 . to what extent is a life largely or even partially controlled by an overwhelmingly non- conscious controller. even if we consider it the same overall object after each small replacement… until it isn’t. Just like with the concept of free will. considering that we seem to use our conscious minds as a feedback loop for our benefit. what happens when we lose or erase memories (see Evidence #3) as our identities change and new identities delete the old ones bit by bit. but these conscious and physical snapshots of our continually developing present identities in our limited awareness merely serve the functional needs of perpetuating the kind of consciousness that endures robustly.without arbitrary conventional classifications. regulating our heart beat or breathing regularly. Even as we lose and gain key qualities of our identities. though our perception is otherwise. erasing unrealized emergent identity contingent upon seemingly less significant conscious data? When we consider “up-to-us-ness. build or deconstruct all ontological reality around them as well.” what exactly is the “us” in that consideration? Should we presume that that 2% necessarily represents all of or only what is most essential about our (proposed) identity? It may represent ‘all of us’ in some ways. including a propensity to focus only on that 2%. we feel a stable identity. Neither mind nor body is isolated from an interactive flux. it doesn’t mean that we need to. and as we saw in the Evidences. Returning to our robot with the ability to access only 2% of its software. Slowly replacing the parts of anything will eventually create a new object. for example. still “freely controlled”? Thoughts and actions only serve potential future ‘selves’ anyway. arbitrarily classified human identities to still be functionally useful for praise and blame. over certain issues. we find that its identity is couched in all the same things mentioned above. including all unrealized non-conscious reaction to external influence. Again. if our freedom somehow lies in the emergent data from the randomized programs. Even though we consider those evolved. whether it’s 15 seconds afterwards or 15 years. But it clearly doesn’t in other ways either. there’s no enduring ‘self’ beyond the illusionist functionality that we’ve arbitrarily incorporated into functional semantic concepts. as our conscious experience is not to be trusted in. What else do we not entrust to our conscious awareness? Again.

It’s no different than when we say that these five people are a “group” and then five minutes later. It seems identity is conceptual at best and perhaps even nominal. preparing for the limitations of old age or avoiding eternal punishment in an afterlife).com/2012/02/25/business/another-theory-on-why-bad-habits-are-hard- to-break-shortcuts.” but that is exactly what is at stake here: folk notions of identity are challenged to the core. our non-conscious identity or any combination of those with our incorporation of social identity ( Tallis.1102 Often. because it presumes a “self” in order to keep itself from being “self-contradictory. This gamble is considered a safe bet if enough people are perceived to take it seriously (another evolutionarily adaptive heuristic). our thoughts and actions are biased toward a temporal proximity to our most current snapshot: the present. The brain… it makes you think. (2/24/2-120. Bad Habits? My Future Self Will Deal With That. in itself. so when Tallis says ““WE” are sometimes deceived” and ““WE” are usually or always deceived. we say that they aren’t.[1103] The heart of Tallis’ critique and not a very good one. Available on 9/22/2012 at http://www. delusions and hallucinations. delusions. commonly perceived as dangerous enough to trump any bias for the present (e. still internal causally!). The New York Times. Raymond Tallis believes that the loss of control perceived by determinists and neuroscientists is an epistemic sham that leaves us in a relatively identical position to the one we perceive.html?pagewanted=all 1103 Eagleman. but it doesn’t.” he hasn’t specified who “we” is: our conscious identity. but of eagleman-raymond-tallis 315 . Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. He charges that the proposition that we are cognitively affected by are biases and heuristics in a meaningful way is either a truism (we are sometimes deceived about the nature of reality and why we do things) or self-contradictory (we are usually or always deceived about the nature of reality and why we do things). there are illusions. Yes. A. Nothing has really changed ontologically. (4/28/2012). some thoughts and actions are learned to prevent circumstances later in life or after life. dreams. R. As Susan Blackmore might 1102 Tugend.responsibility. D. dreams or hallucinations.nytimes. but we could not recognise them for what they are unless the vast majority of our experiences were not illusions. Doesn't it? The Gaurdian: The Observer. confirm the perpetual existence of a spirit or a reified enduring identity.g.

because the model is outdated. put together to suit the need at hand. While libertarians who confuse determinism with fatalism (and actual compatibilist- fatalists like Paul Russell) may find identity issues to be unsettling because of concern over neglecting origination issues. We may have language habits. even if the propensity for anthropomorphism is biologically imbedded (see Evidence #23). Tallis’ framing of the questions themselves are non-sensical. or knee-jerk reactions? Our more or less conscious (than those) awareness of who is near us? Our more or less conscious (than that) awareness of how dry our mouth is? Or how about our least conscious awareness of our internal organ regulation? Consciousness is a post hoc recollection—an assemblage of any one or more of these phenomenal states. Pessimism over identity loss is merely a matter of recalibrating our compass to recognize the benefits of a more causally integrated metaphysical outlook. but that doesn’t make them veridical. This will take time to cover all the bases and allay the fears that contribute to default worldviews that have a propensity for asserting supernatural parameters.ask: which of all the conscious identities are you referring to? Our awareness of our long term plans. 316 . a pragmatic model for identity is not too difficult to extrapolate for that context either. immediate plans. once we establish a plausible naturalistic model for responsibility.

ubc. Philosophical Explanations. even if not necessarily its ultimate origin. which I’ve already argued against throughout the book by the evidence for the impossibility of passive experience. they are also concerned why so many determinists are remiss about acknowledging origination as the most important factor in the determination of responsibility. [p. I’m talking about the ones that make us get up and have cookies with our parents when we are sleepwalking (I did this).ca/prussell/Journals/Fatalism%20Final. It’s also often demonstrably not true.”1106 Unfortunately. P. That is to say that you must be able to freely choose between two possibilities. to adopt a theory of origination proper (i. to our oblique sense of external identity as well. if any. Compatibilist-Fatalism. 1106 Audi.e.pdf 1105 Nozick. (Oxford: Oxford University Press). rather than having to settle for ‘responsibility’ that they perceive to be superficially ‘corrected’/’adjusted. “one powerful reason to adopt a volitional theory: it supplies a causal factor which genetically unifies actions in terms of a common kind of origin.arts. and Reason. Intention. to the practical impossibility of delineating which. non-conscious motivation and cognitive biases. The backward-looking way to ground responsibility has to do with the origin of the action: you must be able to show that the origin of the action is within the agent’s control. Ithaca. in the psychology of the agent.”1105 Philosopher Robert Audi writes that there is. RESPONSIBILITY Historically. 317 . including automatic mental semantic categorizing of deterministic neural coding (to some extent. [pp. 1104 Russell. (1981). University of British Columbia. as Robert Nozick puts it. ‘Deep’ responsibility should be able to be ascribed directly. (1993). [p. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://faculty. etc. R. enough for predispositionalism). NY: Cornell University Press. the forward-looking way that libertarians have tried to ground responsibility has been positive contribution in the freedom to choose between two or more possibilities. 313]. (1998). Action. Paul Russell notes1104 that the chief concern libertarians have about determinism is the latter. as so many Evidences here attest.’ and based upon another forward-looking pragmatic assessment of contribution. in similar ways that they attest to the implausibility of a forward-looking grounding of responsibility in human consciousness. we will lack “originatory value. 79]. from genetically inherited predisposition that absolutely affects our decisions. motivations come from reasoning and not our non- conscious processes. identity issues. etiology limited to the body proper) just because it makes life easy would be a fallacy of desired consequence. R. 3-4]. It’s a fear that.

which says that an agent is not responsible for an action unless the agent has chosen it. even after these random events in the decision- making process… Then it’s back to considering the ‘direct identity’ issue for determinists. and it is a third thing to ask what it would be like. In one attempt. That is to say that there is still a tendency for right side bias. etc. if any?” and so are identity issues in the context of intention. Non-volitionalists either find responsibility in other areas than choice or they dismisses it altogether (i.e. I am not much 318 . Also in the spotlight here is volitionalism. P. naturally produced moral sentiment anyway.e. for example. pump my blood. not to suffer them. F. the particular conditions in which they do or do not seem natural or reasonable or appropriate. “how much ‘actual freedom’ do motivational brain states leave us in choice. constant memory redaction. Do ‘I’ breathe. so they may contend that their thoughts have this “originatory value. is controversial. theoretical concerns could not supersede our robust. what it is like.such as the neuronally codified external influences via mirror neurons. Is there a path to ‘deep’ responsibility that doesn’t involve freedom per se? The answer. so ‘deeply’ held reactions (i. as one would expect.” My argument is that there is still an enduring influence that circumnavigates (supposed) causa sui mental events and appears to serve the functional negation of acausality as freedom anyway. etc.. unless you want to put sleepwalkers on the stand. Focusing in on what constitutes a choice is important here. it is another to ask about the variations to which they are subject. Strawson famously showed that clinical. and sleepwalk? Can the ‘me’ that produces non-conscious action be dismissed as non-influential in the production process of conscious choice? How? That humans are “the ultimate source” of our action based upon location in the body proper is not enough. Two-stage compatibilists could say that they restart causal chains in thought constantly. nihilism). resentment) are ‘deep’ enough for the compatibilist to be on par with a libertarian’s ‘deep’ responsibility: It is one thing to ask about the general causes of these reactive attitudes I have alluded to.

University of British Columbia. it is still merely an ad hominem attack unless it is grounded.e. even when we incur costs. “What is at stake here is our conception of ourselves as (actively) ordering nature. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. does not rule out the fact that resentment does motivate us in deep ways psychologically (and Nietzsche has often been touted as the first real psychological philosopher).ucsd. Fischbacher. V.abstract 1109 Russell.1126/science.sciencemag. P. 1254-1258 DOI:10. Treyer. and perhaps even more with the third[1107] [emphasis mine]. 5688 pp. E. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from ignorance. (ed.1108 under a psychological framework of reactance (Evidence #32). 7).”1109 While there is some evidence to support this. rather than being (passively) ordered by nature. theologically/supernaturally? Russell writes.pdf 319 . U. This was to the extent that the resentment of the slave class compelled them to appropriate Platonic entities in religious terms (as Christianity) and to metaphysically describe themselves ontologically as “absolutely good” and the out-group (non-Christians) as “absolutely bad. suffering. “Freedom and Resentment..) 1968. A.ubc. The Neural Basis of Altruistic Punishment. Studies in the Philosophy of Thought and Action. Fehr. If it is grounded.F. Strawson’s approach brings up an interesting side point that’s worth exploring briefly: our propensity to dispense our sense of justice.. And this to the extent that the reactance frames an entire worldview in the same way that the presumption of libertarian free will can frame a worldview. a metaphysical commitment. We could even consider it as metaphysically imbedded in a more general way. etc.F. Schellhammer. but I am with the second. Philosophers like Nietzsche have spoken of the kind of resentment (“ressentiment”) that precludes morality in the sense that it motivates us to reify morality polemically. Schnyder. M. to dualism. the spirit). Buck. U.1100735. (p.. D..” Reprinted in Strawson.arts.. Compatibilist-Fatalism. rooted in an identity that transcends the physical (i. manifesting as ressentiment against a physically contingent mortal existence. P. Do similar moral sentiments like ressentiment influence free will incompatibilists’ requirement for origination justification because they have a deeper commitment. if moral realism is the right model (I don’t know if it is or isn’t). (1998). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://faculty. concerned with the first question. 305 no. (1962). with the potential for transcending ressentiment. Science.” However much of this is actually true. 27 August 2004: Vol. then the incompatibilists’ 1107 Strawson. P. out of our control and subject to time.pdf 1108 De Quervain.

72 (April):205-20. Mass. (p. C. G. […] It is simply incorrect. [see CH. however. Journal of Philosophy. Whether or not the idea of libertarian free will precedes reactance or vice versa is an interesting question as well.” While offering a naturalistic model for the capacity to consider alternatives. because the requirement itself is incoherent and inappropriate. 1. which show our ability to criticize/veto ourselves by the natural ability to recognize multiple inner identities. (1/14/1971). on this account. but what’s more interesting and relevant here is the fundamental mechanism that produces reactance in the first place.1112 and Gary Watson. 5-20 Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. “something that is essential to being capable of moral conduct and an appropriate object of moral sentiment” and “provide a substantial account of self-determination and self-control without any appeal to indeterministic metaphysics. D.cuny. and how philosophers have found a ground for responsibility itself in that fundamental mechanism… Russell correctly notes that what we might call Strawson’s ‘deep experience’ approach still leaves the determinist/compatibilist “without some account of the relevant capacities required of moral agents. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://philpapers.1113 These ‘hierarchical’ selves.: MIT Press. Elbow Room. that this sort of higher- capacity involves no contra-causal or libertarian metaphysical commitments. to suppose that any agent in a deterministic framework 1110 Ibid. he argues: It is a general capacity of this nature that distinguishes fully responsible human adults from animals and children who (in some degree) do not enjoy such a capacity and thus are not (fully) responsible. pp. 320 . 1111 Dennett. Cambridge. 2]. by the addition of “various models of ‘hierarchical’ or ‘real self’ theories” laid out in the work of people such as Daniel Dennett.”1110 He sees that weakness as being satisfactorily filled though. 1112 Frankfurt.requirement may be merely a fallacy of desired consequence with any ‘answer’ to their requirements being incoherent and inappropriate.brooklyn. H.1111 Harry Frankfurt.pdf 1113 Watson. (1984). Vol. Free Agency. 5). as Russell puts it. and for his purpose. 68. The crucial point remains. Russell finds it prudent to consider how we can justify responsibility and identity and Strawson’s approach comes into play. No. Since we can’t know for sure if it is grounded. Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person Author(s): The Journal of Philosophy. (1975)

The difference is subtle. Because of our epistemic limitations regarding the ability to track the evidence is just too strong. That is to say that the will often thwarts itself even before action. that we act within causality representing these factions (selves). on the other hand. the mentally handicapped. #16).pdf 321 . It seems pretty apparent that the factions in hierarchical selves are merely battling each other based upon causal influences that appeal to conflicting desires inherent in any non- omniscient being with only partial awareness. as I and others have argued. This is because responsibility is not grounded upon actual external possibilities. is incapable of altering or amending his character and the structure of his own will[1114] [emphasis mine]. As non-intuitive as it is. but aside from the capacity for hierarchal selves. while the remaining “practical reasoners” are expected to be capable of knowing and obeying socially constructed laws de facto. This doesn’t negate the grounding though. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://faculty. we need to consider the real possibility that physically delineated factions are directly or indirectly represented in deliberation as a first step. grounds those very desires in the action. even if it is still indeterminate. Does ignorance of complex causal influence upon motivation make choices free? I’ve given evidence and argued that it does not. by some of the evidence in this book (see Evidences #8. Compatibilist-Fatalism. but crucial. 5]. and it represents a present-looking grounding for responsibility (how ‘bout that?!). #15. Ignorance in the context of responsibility. [p.arts. or animals). One thing that’s important in the context of my goal in this book is to show that these ‘hierarchical’ selves also highlight unsuccessful factions in the divided will itself. but upon the (multiple) internal factions that need representation. What do these factions represent? Corporal/cerebral regions (Evidence #8)? Sentient/non-sentient regions (Evidence #1)? The pull of the direction of the reasoning itself? Arguments for the whole or for the part? Is it always based upon abstract ideas relating externally or do the desires and biases of actual corporeal regions play some role in deliberation? Some day we may be able to put actual percentage guestimations on these and tighten them up. P. (1998). Also.ubc. we are 1114 Russell. is perceived to sometimes commensurately absolve the actor in the ethical sense (consider children. it just complicates it. University of British Columbia.

who are also often dualistic theists and libertarian incompatibilists. really… but what of the non-theistic moral realist semi-compatibilist? I don’t want to get sidetracked by that rabbit trail here either. But is this the default for ontological or pragmatic reasons? Inevitably. but we can ask: how can moral realists with an absolutist view of morality consistently justify the exoneration of children. we do default to: ignorance of the law is no excuse. socially. but the difference between ignorance of physical laws in the universe and ignorance of socially constructed laws is categorical and should not be conflated ontologically. this dissonance is rationally and/or psychologically satisfied by theological parameters of spiritual reward or punishment in the afterlife (where all are considered culpable when pressed). where these kinds of objective facts about desire are considered on par with objective facts about distance. It seems that retributive punishment is a vestigial organ of the same. A brief example would be something like desirism. They might ask. as well as its epistemic context. “How can absolute moral law be excused by ignorance if absolute physical law is not excused by it?” And again it’s true that. for whom good and bad actions are objective and/or absolute. That is beyond the purview of this book. a distance question is both relative and objectively factual in a general sense (e. often theistic free will dualism mindset that has perpetuated the ancient notion of a little god-like homunculus that ‘drives’ our bodies 322 . and so is a conversation ender. This may be contested by moral realists. how far are you from Disneyland?). That is to say that to conflate physical laws and socially constructed laws is often considered a category error. as the latter deals with value and the former does not. just like the laws of nature.tempted to conflate the first scenario regarding causality with the second one regarding responsibility. the former not being as restrictive as the latter in essential ways. but suffice it to say that non-theistic moral realists have long struggled to assert that the crucial differences lie in the distinction between objective and absolute morality. or animals via ignorance in society? For many moral realists. Prudential/pragmatic/functionalist arguments against determinism by libertarians commonly make the charge that there’s no way to assign responsibility to a determined agent if no one can help what they do. we are compelled to consider the nature of individual and social responsibility in its ontological context. the mentally handicapped. These are particularly unassailable parameters empirically.g. as I noted in the Introduction. Let’s return to the more common arguments though.

Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Again. Radiolab podcast: Stochasticity.g.D.html#rama1998 1117 Vohs. Determined agents still have their causal powers. 1116 Marczyk. but from ideas and emotions. We marvel and/or are disgusted by their unique part in the world’s moral expression. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. we have role responsibility as proximately autonomous beings. beliefs. (1992). (6/15/2009). A Ghost in the Machine: The existence of the soul.).. 2008 Jan. B. by Bruce Waller. their cumulative values. R. D.htm#Waller2 1119 Abumrad. Indianapolis & Cambridge: Hackett. as possible. and behaviors that interact within the world. we might think that only something like the concept of free will can accommodate it. We must never forget that the experience of empathy has the power to compel us all to perform and encourage pro-social behavior. In some crucial sense. this is what is seen to preserve their identity. K.. and so it makes sense that the perceived loss of free will (e. when we do not understand that we are actually predisposed to empathy. W. Ethics.1118 Even if randomness is incompatible with responsibility. [Audio podcast]. Schooler. this includes predispositions for empathy that we saw in many of the evidences. thoughts. A. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. and if necessary.toward our various destinies (Spinoza’s metaphor was that we create a kingdom within a kingdom1115). J. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. The ‘seat’ for this “ghost in the machine”1116 somehow mediates between two worlds in such a way that the driver is always at least partially shielded in some incoherent sense from not only the material world. would still protect ourselves from any danger they might present as effectively. Psychological Science. [Web log post] (N.102 (Part III. but especially in Evidences #27. Review: Freedom Without Responsibility. The value of believing in free will: Encouraging a belief in determinism increases cheating.19(1):49-54. Krulwich. [Web log post].’ Agents contribute their personal internal narrative to the mix (which itself is a construction of the mind created for and perpetuated by adaptive selection in evolution) and therefore have well enough identity and may play well enough of a unique part in the world to coherently receive ‘blame’ and ‘credit’ in the prudential/pragmatic/functionalist sense via the identifying bodies that define them. Preface).org/2009/jun/15 323 . (11/2005). translation by Samuel Shirley. This is crucial to understand about agents in society.pdf 1118 Clark. (2008).1119 incompatibilist libertarians believe contra-causal free will is necessary for J. As determinist and naturalist Bruce Waller put it. because responsibility is 1115 Spinoza. T. in the Vohs et al “cheating” study1117 discussed above) would naturally cause demoralization via the loss of any ‘emotivation.carlsonschool. yet as compassionately.naturalism.radiolab.

g. Fischer allows for ethical responsibility even in a deterministic worldview. Semi- compatibilist J.g. Pereboom. Green. [originally published in 1788]. Semi-compatibilism says that even a completely causally determined world is still compatible with agential local control (Fischer’s version is called “guidance control”).e. The critique of practical reason. as well as when one is perpetuating misperceptions about metaphysical untruths (i. it is also compatible with ethical responsibility—at least naturalistic responsibility. or origination resolution. It is this responsibility that is most important. M. if they chose to try to ground responsibility. both when recognizing a wider perspective concerning how an agent is to be accountable. New York: Longman. and Company. or merely some form of local/guidance control (e. possibly 1120 Kant. It may not be grounded. alternative possibility. even when that local control does not argue for a “deep” or “ultimate” responsibility with justified praise or blame at all (e. Perhaps we could draw a similar analogy between fundamentalist religious folk and more liberal believers who still perpetuate the same literature because they don’t take literally. (1927). and hence.g. again. Strawson) and/or an awareness/recognition of hierarchical selves (e. since the free will issue is ambiguous.incompatible with determinism. because the infinite causal regression negates any possibility for responsibility. More work needs to be done). they want the praise and blame. Fischer). Waller. 324 . K. T.g. while more strongly enforcing the causality. Whether it is grounded by deep phenomenal experience (e. and there are a million and one hybrids of all the fun stuff in-between them. Kant called compatibilism a “wretched subterfuge … and … a petty wordjugglery”1120 If compatibilists and semi-compatibilists or semi-compatibilists and determinists have merely semantic differences in terminology. Russell[?]. that isn’t required of predispositionalism though. confusing future generations who might have yet another way to interpret it. Dennett. I. cake and eat. Predispositionalists would add external selves here. Abbott. Frankfurt. Role responsibility appears to be of the same sort in the crucial ways. as inappropriate deontological residue). Clark. people like Clark and Waller would say that those semantic differences count. Some incompatibilist determinists agree that responsibility is incompatible with determinism. Incompatibilists like Clark and Waller recognize that compatibilists and semi- compatibilists want to salvage too much by still calling it “compatibilism”. Watson. Trans. Other incompatibilists and naturalists (and this predispositionalist!) are happy just to be able to entertain reasonable theories of responsibility that don’t require contra-causality.

N.. [Audio podcast]. so just as we prepare for the kind of determined behavior we see constantly evidenced from these various temperaments. we often hear that if we are ever able to discover that someone has a determined propensity for immorality. F. as well as expecting certain behaviors from people going through temporary hormonal/physiological issues. Murphy.. Fischer’s. Fletcher. as we are not omniscient beings and will never know 100% whether or not a person will commit a crime based upon physiological standards alone. 292. (Eds. drug problems. It’s enough to know that there are tenable naturalistic models that serve our ethical needs without hocus pocus. Downward Causation and the Neurobiology of Free Will. people on certain medications with side effects. PTSD. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://itunes. T. Moving on… Back to prudential/pragmatic/functionalist arguments made by free will proponents in the context of responsibility. Russell’s. Ellis.1122 we already do take preventative measures to some extent with people who are having psychological issues. [p. pregnant or menstruating women.thedivineconspiracy. G.. It’s especially true in this country (the USA).. there should be no shock at the notion that we might exercise (institutionally) 1121 Murphy. from circumstantial to innate. ISBN 978-3-642-03204-2 Available on 9/19/2012 at http://www. as I have nothing to complain about them in the context of predispositionalism (the challenges against them are theirs to defend) and they have been written about ad nauseum already. R. but neither responsibility nor any of these ‘hierarchical selves’ models require deeply grounded origination nor deeply grounded alternative possibility. as there are more options than that. Remember that some philosophers rely on the ability of metacognition to do some heavy lifting in supplying freedom metaphysically. criminal records. Reasonable Doubts podcast: RD34 Determinism… One Last Time. It would surely never extend to preventative incarceration. none of these models require deeply grounded origination or deeply grounded alternative possibility. (2009). Galen.). etc. 4].g.. O’ podcast/id266671828 325 .. VIII. or Waller’s models here. D. J. It’s beyond the scope of this book to treat Strawson’s.pdf 1122 Beahan. 2009. then others might be morally obligated to constrain or even incarcerate them in advance… but this is a false dichotomy. e.. teenagers in puberty.1121 They’re right that metacognition is powerful in models of ‘hierarchical selves’ for providing responsibility. etc.predispositionalism). Importantly. As determinists have argued. where the principle is that we are innocent until proven guilty anyway. (2/19/2009). this is why metacognition itself does not provide free will.

(Interviewee). and therefore morally. L... The implications of this fact alone are perhaps the most important. that’s how you’ll be predisposed to evaluate moral decisions. Galen. and a kind of procedural experience. a continuous framework seems to be more appropriate for so many of these issues than a discrete one that frames the facts as more black and white. D. even if 1123 Johnson. Fletcher.some kind of cautionary observation or intervention of people who. Beahan. (6/7/2010). If one part of the brain or the other is healthier. etc). because again. (Interviewers).com/podcast/reasonable-doubts- podcast/id266671828 326 . a spirit). Considering the evidence. J. our fundamental ethical playing field is. such as when our knee jerks at the hit of a hammer. D. as much as they are compelled to try. It seems that most ‘neurophilosophers’ lean toward a position of incompatibilism. we observe a whole continuum in deliberation from basic reflex all the way to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in the natural world that is highly predictable and consistent when correlating to empirically verifiable conditions. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://itunes. for the first time in history. [Audio podcast].apple. or there is more of a propensity for a certain gene. but lies on a continuum.1123 this is analogous commensurately to what extent even free will proponents will make responsibility concessions for the volitionally. There is no argument from any philosopher that can negate the powerful significance of this kind of predisposition. As it has been observed.g. where both genetic and cerebral factors appear to predispose one toward either cost-benefit (utilitarian) or sacred value type moral judgments. mentally challenged. responsibility is clearly not an on/off position. helpless (e. children. There’s no reason not to consider all the examples in the long winded sentence above when trying to ground origination as well. such as in Evidence #5.e. (Commentators). indeed.. Reasonable Doubts podcast: RD Extra: Jeremy's appearance on the Don Johnson Radio Show. Considering the myriad of ways that even people who are considered perfectly normal and healthy are still compromised volitionally. for example. may have brain damage/gray matter reduction in areas of the brain that we know (or will know) are subject to uncontrollable rage or process critical moral decision making. Ridley. B. All it takes is an honest acknowledgement of this continuum of harmful intention that most libertarians already concede to some extent. It’s perfectly reasonable to distinguish between a kind of reactionary experience. shown to be potentially exceedingly disparate in a meaningful way. like when our temporal lobe engages its consequential options in computation… but that doesn’t mean that the latter is the result of some kind of supernatural autonomy (i.

1125] Concerning expected responsibility in rational choice theory. After all. T.html 1126 Gilovich. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. 1-2. which affects disciplines from law and economics to medicine and political science. bad parents. Daniel Kahneman. Proponents of the theory do not insist that people never make mistakes in these calculations. "Heuristics and Biases: Then and Now". were they responsible for? No 1124 eagleman-on-morality-and-the-brain. Heuristics and Biases: The Psychology of Intuitive Judgment. (Interviewee). (2002). (5/22/2011). Griffin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. “To what extent was it his biology. N.pdf 327 . This puts us in a strange situation. Dale Griffin. say.” because “we are never going to be able to untangle our genes and our environment”: As we become more skilled at specifying how behavior results from the microscopic details of the brain. D. a just legal system cannot define culpability simply by the limitations of current technology […] The crux of the problem is that it no longer makes sense to ask. and to what extent was it him?”[1124. but they do insist that the mistakes are unsystematic. the likelihood of a given candidate winning an election or the odds of surviving a surgical intervention. (7-8/2011). we must rethink a legal system that assumes that we are all fundamentally “practical reasoners. (Interviewer). more defense lawyers will point to biological mitigators of guilt. ISBN 9780521796798. exactly. Gilovich and Griffin write that: The theory of rational choice assumes that people make them and make them well. that the rational actor will follow the elementary rules of probability when calculating. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://assets. and bad luck – which of these quantities. bad 1125 Warburton. D. The In Thomas Gilovich. for example. and more juries will place defendants on the not-blameworthy side of the line. Eagleman. Philosophy Bites podcast: David Eagleman on Morality and the Brain. pp.. The Brain on Trial. D.[1126] Neuroscientist and determinist author Sam Harris puts the issue thusly: The men and women on death row have some combination of bad is a ratio of influence on a continuum. As David Eagleman notes. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://philosophybites.theatlantic. The model assumes.

pointofinquiry. [Audio podcast].org/scienceinsider/2011/12/courtroom-neuroscience-not-ready. secular humanist. S. In fact. (23:50-26:50). 1128 Reardon. and yet we have every reason to believe that these factors determine his character throughout life. who himself has scolded the recent rash of neuroscientist’s books as ‘irresponsible. “he’s not really doing philosophy. Mr. (p. philosopher Raymond Tallis (who one of his intellectual competitors Patricia Churchland calls the “Archduke of Misinformation”) would undoubtedly describe the quotes above as “neurotrash”—even.sciencemag. (Interviewee). the courts are not yet ready to accept scientific evidence of this sort. 328 . Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. (12/12/2011). ScienceInsider.” Even the fellow secular humanist compatibilist Daniel Dennett thinks his attacks seem more like caricatures than arguments. “intellectual illness. The pugnacious retired neuroscientist. (And this from Dennett. is where our human consciousness is to be found. (Interviewer). (12/12/2011).’ because they explicitly or implicitly imply strict determinism rather than adequate determinism/soft determinism/compatibilism. 109). Courtroom Neuroscience Not Ready for Prime Time. ironically. Point of Inquiry podcast: Daniel Dennett - The Scientific Study of Religion. physician. woven out of the innumerable interactions that our brains make possible. Gazzaniga says. “is not located 1127 Harris. D. the community of minds.html 1129 Shook. Our system of justice should reflect our understanding that each of us could have been dealt a very different hand in life. New York: Free Press. human being stands as author to his own genes or his upbringing. S.1128 not least while there are still strong advocates to the contrary.[1127] Still. J. The Moral Landscape.” which is why “analyzing single brains in isolation cannot illuminate the capacity of responsibility.” so a clear image of what Tallis actually proposes is difficult to see.” This. it appears that Tallis supports some kind of free will via emergent phenomena (sometimes quoting Michael Gazzaniga): …the true locus of [mental] activity is not in the isolated brain but “in the group interactions of many brains. (2010). He’s doing propaganda. “Responsibility” (or lack of it). Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://news. it’s immoral not to recognize just how much luck is involved in morality itself.1129) In one piece for the Wall Street Journal though.

R.[1130] Marc Parry writes that for Tallis. evidence for predispositionalism circumnavigates emergent phenomena and stochastic factors that social situations produce. “Who’s in Charge?” and Terrence Deacan’s book. perhaps most importantly in terms of social responsibility. “Incomplete Nature”). semantically. within which our freedom operates and our narrated lives are led. whether genetically. with unrecognized in-group biases and frontloaded intentions. for the purposes of this book. Tallis and Gazzaniga are obviously aware of these influences. In terms of predispositionalism. (Dual book review/comparison of Michael Gazzaniga’s book.' The Chronicle of Higher Education. those being the arrangements of neuronal wiring of the participants (however they came to be. a social contract”—an emergent phenomenon. perceive. via prototype theory. “The human sphere encompasses a ‘community of minds […] woven out of a trillion cognitive handshakes of shared attention. Rethinking Thinking How a lumpy bunch of tissue lets us plan.html 1131 Parry.wsj. don’t consider them adequately causal.’”1131 A response to both Tallis and Gazzaniga is that the so called “terms of the agreement” in a social contract are affected by the parameters at play. The Wall Street Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://online. irreducible to brain activity. in the brain. etc. As I have already discussed. etc. calculate. linguistic determinism. (10/9/2011). reflect. are merely abstract entities is true in one sense. unless he is claiming that either ‘what is in the brain has absolutely nothing to do with responsibility. developmentally. but at least in Tallis’ case..” It is “an interaction between people. Raymond Tallis Takes Out the 'Neurotrash. imagine—and exercise free will. That the concepts of ‘responsibility’ or ‘social contract’ or ‘personhood’. 1130 Tallis. Tallis’ quote above seems to be making a strawman argument (and several philosophers and scientists have charged him with such a tendency [including the example in Evidence #13]). but one can’t negate the parameters that predispose those individual persons and they include causal influence from real interpersonal feelings and physical reactions. M. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://chronicle. [see Evidence #24]). reflexive unconscious determined social interaction via mirror the/129279/#disqus_thread 329 . etc. or he’s claiming that this kind of emergent phenomena between more than one mind creates a kind of freedom that negates any kind of relevance of predisposition as I have argued for it. they are sufficient. (11/12/2011). and this includes.’ which would be a very difficult position to hold.

Even with highly probable consequences. This is where predispositionalism is subtly less constrained in the same way that stronger varieties of determinism are. as it focuses on the fact that there exists influence leading to higher probabilities of actions. 330 . and that such influence does some consistent work in undermining free will. we can say that we have enough reliable evidence/information to mark a significant loss of control in a meaningful way in social situations.

or intervention—these are merely fringe benefits. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://philosophicaldisquisitions. etc.1136 Since retributivists have intrinsic value to work with.pdf 1133 Sommers.F. etc. (Interviewee). Moore on Justifying Retributivism (Part Two).naturalism. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. [Web log post]. rehabilitation. you simply deserve to suffer. “Perhaps a retributive streak is necessary to motivate the type of behavior that wins battles. they don’t consider the emotional element of revenge satisfaction to be the primary motivation in principle. or their predisposition for that view via an already held predisposition for authoritarianism. F. because a worldview that takes causality. (1962). Notice that I didn’t say “…a worldview that takes causality. Reasonable Doubts podcast: RD30 FW v D2: Judgment Day.” Reprinted in Strawson. Studies in the Philosophy of Thought and Action.. should line up reasonably with their position on retributivism. (Interviewer). “Freedom and Resentment. more 1132 Strawson. such as by using thought experiments. Moore on Justifying Retributivism (Part One). [p.ucsd. free will.”1133 some determinists argue that the chief aim of retribution is suffering for its own even if it often is in practice. …should affect how they think about retributivism. not protection. deterrence. P. might influence their position on free will.F. [Web log post].apple. As Tom Clark said. J. determinism. Strawson[1132] Even if some determinists like Tamler Sommers have conceded that. 13.html 1136 Danaher.) we have some belief in the utility of practices of condemnation and punishment” -P. (2005). I bring up the issue here. Free Will Skepticism in Action. etc. J. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://mind. (1/22/2009). P.” That’s because one’s view on retributivism. RETRIBUTIVISM “…savage or civilized. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from part.pdf 1134 Beahan. “Retribution is the idea that you should be punished whether or not it serves any public good or personal benefit for you or anyone else. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://philosophicaldisquisitions. Oxford: Oxford University Press. T. brief. (ed. seriously. [Audio podcast]. Chapter 5 of his Doctoral Dissertation at Duke University. free will. 13]. p. doubts-podcast/id266671828 1135 Danaher. determinism.blogspot.”1134 It is the theory of punishment that holds the simple brute fact that wrong doers deserve to suffer based upon intrinsic values even before desert1135 and is sometimes argued for intuitively via reflective equilibrium. (9/7/2011). which affects public policy. T. (9/8/2011). J.blogspot.html 331 . determinism.

V. especially via behavioral biofeedback. D..1126/science. C.. J. Print version: page 34. D. June 2009. Zanna (Ed. (Vol.1138.1143. T. as well as being a crucial element in decision-making. aggression. Monitor Staff. Fehr. D. (2004). Old and New. Discrete emotions and persuasion: The role of emotion-induced expectancies. Schellhammer. CA: Elsevier. considering the study showing that authoritarian types have more of an inclination to voluntarily incur costs to punish violations of social norms. 40. (1999). R. Rucker.. a great summary of the implications of Damasio’s 332 .abstract 1143 Mooney. & Braverman. M.. E.. Psychological aspects of retributive justice.. In M. 305 no. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Point of Inquiry podcast: George Lakoff - Enlightenments. Wegener. Just as it was discussed in the Introduction.. K. E. The Neural Basis of Altruistic Punishment. (2008). 1254-1258 DOI:10.1144 but most of us do already recognize its limitations 1137 Bushman.).. D. 27 August 2004: Vol. pp. in measure and/or in kind. U. (Interviewer). L. 1138 Price. J.1140. 30. No. Science. Vol 40. D. A.1100735.1139 Catharsis has also been shown to prime prejudice. People who took revenge felt worse later. & Mullen. revenge for catharsis doesn’t work. M. (Interviewee). 2001. D. Catharsis. The real danger of any system based upon that kind of standard is that it is merely phenomenally real and doesn’t necessarily correlate to reality or our values proportionately.apa. J. 1141 Skitka. and persuasive influence: Self-fulfilling or self-defeating prophecies? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. It has been shown that even though it seems intuitive for many that getting revenge would purge emotion.. & Darley. 86.cfm?abstract_id=1031193 1140 DeSteno.. Revenge and the people who seek it. [Audio podcast]. even if they still had more of a sense of regret over not getting revenge. It has been shown that we do appeal to both reasoning and emotional satisfaction in revenge. 6.1141 1139 Carlsmith.1142 we see that there is another emotional element in revenge to contend with: connection to social identity. & Stack. certain heuristics have evolved to serve us in immediate situations that are inappropriate in others. B. my intuition says that this is more likely). 193-236). we can reason about it. In any case. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. M. U. Political tolerance and coming to psychological closure following the September 11. (2:30-5:50.1137 while people who did not get revenge were still happier overall. (2004).. J. Bauman. P. (4/25/2011). 1142 De Quervain.ssrn.. F. Fischbacher. Emotion is one of those heuristics.fundamentally (in fact. C. Petty. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. W.sciencemag. Baumeister. 76. This can incorporate defending the punishment via emotion tied to unassailable sacred values and religious parameters (see Evidence #23). Buck. San Diego. Schnyder. Emotion is an indispensible indicator in human experience. Treyer. 743– 43– 56. Lakoff. R. (6/2009). Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://papers. M. 367-376. terrorist attacks: An integrative approach. E. 5688 pp. G... A.

99 Journal of Criminal Law & Crimonology 489. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. UC San Diego. as it is written by the Murder Victims Families for Human Rights activists. Northwestern University. It’s really more of a ‘behind the scenes’ indicator of subjective. [Video file] 1152 Radelet. CA. (1975). Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights. [pp. (The whole interview is worth watching). (2009).youtube. I. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://deathpenalty. (Interviewee).1149. The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment: Evidence from a 'Judicial Experiment.deathpenaltyinfo. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from https://www. J. Part 4: How Emotion Affects Decision Making. (1974).1150. 741 (1977). Patricia. 44.wm. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. but still prefer to keep the argument squarely in terms of intrinsic value. Economic Inquiry. (1975).p df 1148 Palmer.1155. Andenaes and the Theory of Deterence. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.1154. Punishment and 1151 Ehrlich. (1/12/2007).1147.htm 1146 Churchland. Rubin. T. Some retributivists have employed the age old “eye for an eye” punishment exchange rationale known in Latin as lex talionis.pdf Graphs for studies retrieved 333 . “Patricia Churchland: What do neuroscientific discoveries imply for free will and responsibility?” Neuro Enigmas II: Large-Scale Problems in Neuroscience.pointofinquiry. (2009). (2003).1148. (1975). (Part 11/11). 65 Am. Econ. No.jstor.) 1149 Andenaes. Lacock.. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://scholarship.1156 and for some like Columbia law professor Jeffery Econ. J. Paper 520.. The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment: A Question of Life and Death. Damasio. [Web log post].. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Do Executions Lower Homicide Rates? The Views of Leading Criminologists. Crime. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://fora. J.1151 other studies have still left the majority (88%) of criminologists 1145 “A Brief Background on Capital Punishment. Capital Punishment and Deterrence: Some Further Thoughts and Additional Evidence.1152. 512–535]. M. and Shepherd. Pol.ncjrs.” (N.D. 397 (1975).1157 the work). Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www.and just about no one today would try to reify a system of punishment based upon that alone. Rev.aspx?ID=15518 1150 Gibbs.procon. Antonio Damasio: This Time with Feeling. this line of thinking leads to certain absurdities in practice. (Interviewer). A. “Do we rape rapists? Do we burn down arsonists’ homes? Do we beat batterers? Why does homicide fall into a different category of crime and punishment?”1145 Others may reject lex talionis. Vol. I. D. Faculty 1144 Brooks. Punishment and Deterrence.1146 While some studies seem to have shown that more severe punishment effectively deters crime. New York: Elsevier.willsworld. P. functional issues. H. 85 1147 Dezhbakhsh. Isaac Besides defending retributivism on unassailable sacred values parameters. 3 (2006). but as it has been shown. one positive defense of classic retributive justice that seems to need further evaluation is the unknown extent to which humans need retributive justice for social order/cohesion. The Science Network.

J. it would be a false dichotomy to think that we must choose between prevention and strong punishment..1 (1996). Strong determinist Derk Pereboom said of this. [Audio podcast]. The Death Penalty: No Evidence for Deterrence. B. 1-16. P.. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://pun. (Interviewee).abstract 1155 Donohue. J. University of Virginia Law.libsyn. #17). V. “The desert issue here is basic in the sense that the agent.1177/14624749922227757. (1978). (4/2006). Deterrence and the death penalty: the views of the experts. Jacqueline Cohen and Daniel Nagin (eds). Consider this thought experiment: A man robs a bank. R.A. would deserve the blame or credit just because on 9/22/2012 from http://www. M. L. logical. The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment: An Assessment of the Estimates. October 1999 vol. The strength of a sentence may still be based upon deterrence and not necessarily revenge satisfaction. Wolfers. Philosophy Bites podcast: Victor Tadros on Punishment. 1 no. Washington. J.pdf 1156 Klein. Filatov. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. DC: National Academy of Sciences. Clark.skepticism has a lot to do with the implications of the evidence for sociopathic predisposition discussed here (see Evidences #15. Fagan Says. no. not consequentialism tadros-on-punishment 334 effective-deterrent 1153 Radelet. Punishment & Society. he gets in a car accident [killing a pedestrian] and suffers severe brain damage to the point where he remembers absolutely nothing about his past life. 87. Tadros. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://philosophybites. or epistemic problems leading to paradoxical standards when in the context of determinism1158 or predispositionalism. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. 2. As he is trying to escape.. All he wants to do after he gets better is help others. 1154 Austin. (Interviewer). Hardyman. and Henry. Consequentialists can oppose punishment/retributivism and reply that it is the retributivist system that allows for superfluous desert. so the debate over some kind of qualification of effective deterrence rages on. doi: 10. D. it doesn’t matter either way. (4/11/2006). 336-60 in Alfred Blumstein. The Impact of ‘Three Strikes and You’re Out’. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology. but sometimes seems to have ethical. (7/3/2011).deathpenaltyinfo. Capital Punishment Does Not Deter Murder. though is certainly not required by consequentialism. N. Deterrence and Incapacitation: Estimating the Effects of Criminal Sanctions on Crime Rates.virginia.. Punishment can be reasonably compatible with consequentialism. Economist’s Voice. (1999). V.sagepub. In one sense. pp. 1157 Williams.. but the courts want to lock him up for life.. to be morally responsible. (1996). J. E.htm 1158 Warburton.

[and Fischer.. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://commonsenseatheism. V. (10/15/2011). but the narrative doesn’t have to be so. Maitzen.] (2007). Four Views on Free Will. Oxford University Press. Vargas.”1160 These duties serve to deter others). 1160 Tadros. UK philosopher Victor Tadros. J. L. It incorporates both the ‘backwards looking’ element of a retributive system and the ‘forwards looking’ element of consequentialist deterrence. the M’Naghten Rules or the Model Penal Code). R. As philosopher Stephen Maitzen put it: Juries never ask if the defendant had libertarian freedom when he committed the crime before deciding to convict the defendant. D. is compatible with the framework of determinism and even more so with predispositionalism.she has performed the action… and not by virtue of consequentialist considerations. [24:45-27:00].. has composed a tenable quasi- deontological theory of punishment (“the duty view”) that is neither based upon knee jerk retributive emotional responses nor religious texts.”1159 It could be said that in one sense. The Ends of Harm: The Moral Foundations of Criminal Law. some determinists are moral realists.g. (p. Determinists are often consequentialists in the realm of punishment. S. (3/7/2010).com/?p=7086 335 . 1161 Muehlhauser. libertarian free will just isn’t part of our ordinary moral background. though consequentialist considerations are in effect as a deterrent to others who might attempt to fake memory loss in order to take advantage of such a standard. He places the emphasis on duty based deterrence (“the permission to punish offenders is grounded in the duties that they incur in virtue of their wrongdoing.M. nor strictly retributivist thinking. M. Conversations from the Pale Blue Dot podcast: CPBD 025: Stephen Maitzen – Can Theism Ground Morality? [Audio podcast]. Oxford.[1161] Any recognition by the courts of limitations upon the will that is in effect—that is. Victoria AU: Wiley-Blackwell. which might actually allow for more flexibility in this context. (Interviewee). It should be noted that libertarian free will in the context of law is largely ignored. which is a good indicator of its ad hoc nature. in the context of criminal behavior by reason of insanity (e. So unless the criminal law is way out of whack with ordinary moral assumptions.. Judges don’t instruct juries to pay any attention to that. Kane. this is true for the individual. A consistent libertarian free will advocate would have to contend that 1159 Pereboom. The challenge is discovering and fleshing out the ethical bones that accommodates both a legal view like this and all the scientific evidence before us. (Interviewer). MA. 86).

recent citings of Viney. 183). rather than emphasizing revenge toward dangerous people. It recognizes a healthy balance. even if they find value it in when it is appropriate.sagepub. could not. As Stephen Pinker argues. November 1982 vol. Waldman.1162 by religious apologists shows that the framing finally seems to be going the other way. We are that community.. It’s true that we must produce credible and effective deterrents to criminal behavior in a balanced way.abstract 1163 Pinker. Recognizing predisposition neither gives us a free pass on crime nor does it set us up to be judged like unfeeling robots.. nor do they over-value rehabilitation.” In fact. or even creation of pain in others. et al. “Feel my pain. “Attitudes toward Punishment in Relation to Beliefs in Free Will and Determinism” Human Relations. 11 939-949 doi: 10. the perpetuation of the notion of contra-causal free will is a threat to the efficacy of determinism in law. or intervention. as I showed in Evidence we still must give our full attention to: …the other parts of the brain (primarily in the prefrontal cortex) that could have inhibited the behavior by anticipating how the community would respond to it. [1163] No one would disagree that punishment is one of the most difficult burdens in life. even follow from any possible motivation. Any caricature of determinists as ‘soft on crime’ is fallacious. doesn’t mean that determinists or predispositionalists don’t value protection.1177/001872678203501101. there is 1162 Viney. W. J. (1982). perpetuation. And for all we know now… we may find out someday that the same generally desirable capacity for empathy we possess might sometimes also entail a propensity to underwrite an unconscious acceptance. just in order for us to feel more deeply understood empathetically. and Barchilon. The Blank Slate. S. Both the heroes and the villains of countless tales have been motivated by the phrase. and our major lever of influence consists in appealing to that inhibitory brain system. 35 no. Just because one prefers a more empathetic and accurate framework for justice. D. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://hum. (1982). deterrence. (p.actions in crime do not. indeed. New York: Viking Penguin. 336 . In this way. (2002).

Biol Psychol. Michalska. and containment. These progressive ideas are not new. B.e. “there but for the grace of God. just now further evidenced by science... because it is natural. and Akitsuki. While it would be naïve to think that the desire for retribution can just be hand-waved away.evidence that children with conduct disorder got a sadistic rush from their stronger empathetic ability. (2008). but it is re-qualified. empathy. go I” rather than the modern notion that unless even a sequestered criminal continually suffers. deterrence.46 1165 Decety. 1164 Decety.’ Pragmatically. J. K. have a larger share in the blame. J.1165 Whatever extent that retributive justice for social order/cohesion is necessary must be considered in the light of actual empirical evidence and adaptability/habituation. The information collected here emphasizes a policy of prevention.. It would be to encourage the principle in John Bradford’s. and compassion—even if we would still restrain and/or incarcerate them as needed. Atypical Empathetic Responses in Adolescents with Aggressive Conduct Disorder: A functional MRI Investigation. it cannot be or should not be curbed). internally and externally. we are moved into a position of humility.1164. an overall long term goal that reduces these desires at the source via education should not be abandoned on those grounds. Neuropsychologia. Lahey. Y. Y.. and Akitsuki.46:2607–14. When we truly recognize that even the most dangerous person can only do what they are predisposed to do within the context of the influential forces that they have experienced throughout their lives. Responsibility is still present. Who caused the pain? An fMRI investigation of empathy and intentionality in children. That would be an appeal to the naturalistic fallacy (i. (2009). 80(2): 203. K. not merely the convenience of wishful thinking that free will pre-validates it ontologically. Michalska. 337 .B. the environment and everyone in it. justice is not being served and therefore there is no ‘closure. rather than a spirit of vengeance..

Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. D. Knobe. Daniel Kahneman: How cognitive illusions blind us to reason. Mind & Language (2012). who have been shown to “have different views about whether a philosophical principal is true. no one is immune to biases. Philosophy Bites podcast: Joshua Knobe on Experimental Philosophy. (Interviewer). on a more direct track of our who don’t. but that the external world has one hand on the wheel. J.pdf 1168 Trout. Ever ridden on Space Mountain at Disneyland? This analogy has its limitations too.Arthur Schopenhauer After reviewing the evidence in this book. D. even including professional philosophers. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www.1167 Professional economists/analysts will also sometimes still bring in ideology or the sunk cost fallacy1168 or repeatedly fail to acknowledge when their predictions are literally equal to chance. 27. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://philosophybites. [Audio podcast]. (Interviewee).1166. The illusion-extract?INTCMP=SRCH 338 . (2012). (8/28/2010). and not the other way around. but that the tracks are obscured by darkness is an important inclusion of our conscious ignorance of the bulk of the etiological network.html 1167 Schwitzgebel. (14:00-15:30). Perhaps we should envision a network of rollercoasters in the dark. As far as we know. Do Economists Wear Seatbelts? Stubborn beliefs in the economist's research market. [Web log post]. certain folk notions of reality seem to fall away. co-emergent with it developmentally. It’s difficult to see what is left to allow a ‘contra-causal decision’ that isn’t a product of the world. I gave the phenomenal and causal analogies for tunnels and tracks. F.. depending on the order in which the examples were given. IN CONCLUSION “Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills” . Neither will help the contra- causal free will good/200903/do-economists-wear-seatbelts 1169 Kahneman.1169 1166 Edmonds. ‘Jumping the tracks’ may give them more opportunities to entrench themselves in even deeper ways. Even if and when there are truly random noise options and emergent phenomena available. J. Expertise in Moral Reasoning? Order Effects on Moral Judgment in Professional Philosophers and D. It’s becoming increasingly clear that not only do the brain and body ‘drive’ the mind.ucr.” This is opposed to lay people. 135-153 Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. (3/2/2009). (10/29/2011). these are not evidenced to curb our biases.faculty. or in the very least.psychologytoday. E.

com/neurologicablog/index. disease. 1048 DOI: 10. from its primary development of cognitive pattern platforms in infancy. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://theness. where we. and/or damage. This includes everything from automatically. causally. Science 317.1142175 1174 Jha. S. if there is such a thing.1126/science. A. Scientists develop technique to induce out-of-body experiences.php/still-more-misdirection-and-illogic-from-egnor 1172 Ray. neuronally and linguistically categorized unconscious perception to conscious planning and reasoning reliably correlating with alterations in the material body/brain in a highly predictive manner. And as some have noted. The Guardian. (9/18/2011). H.1171 is robustly challenged with the above presented evidence of how we perceive knowledge. the false dichotomy of contra-causal free will vs. predictably. All of this evidence occurs before we even start to argue about dualism on purely philosophical grounds. but claims to the former are very rare (though scientists can now mentally reproduce the experience1173. who denies the ever-increasing evidence for embodied cognition1170. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://theness. C. [Web log post]. [Blog file post]. p. Sunday Argument #8: Against dualism.blogspot. Not only all that. just merely in the wrong concentration and combination. S. While quantum randomness may break down the chain of global determinism/fatalism enough to make indeterminacy and humble defeasibility our default bottom line. but we also now know that other animals possess many of the same kinds of abilities that give humans our more complex mental awareness. near death ‘out of body’ experiences should always occur and functioning brains with no evidence of mind should be commonplace too. Still More Misdirection and Illogic from Egnor. to the many here evidenced facets of its typically active cognitive biasing.php/more-on-god-of-the-gaps 1171 Novella. (8/23/2007). (8/9/2011). lose any ability to detect any evidence of a separate mind/spirit from the brain.html 1173 Ehrsson.1174) and the latter is unheard of. accepting contra-causal free will has important practical consequences in the context of responsibility. a literal ‘split personality’ in the two brain hemispheres (is there a mind/soul for each?)… all the way to its commensurately degraded epistemic abilities affected by age. This is what predispositionalism is all about. Predispositionalism 1170 Novella. we also know that we don’t need perfect knowledge to have practical knowledge. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from until death. We’ve also seen that the substance dualist. (2007). More on God of the Gaps.1172 if dualism is metaphysically 339 The Experimental Induction of Out-of-Body Experiences. As we have also seen. willful memory reconstruction. absolute determinism. (7/8/2011). knocking down the cosmic strawman.

Be ever aware of the physical to mental connection evidenced in this book and work with them pro-actively. E. D. Psychopathology: Experimental models. Control requires knowledge. Get lots of sleep and you will have less of a chance of behaving unethically. The more beautiful person standing on your right might not be the better person for the job or more trustworthy. Considering predisposition and theology. It’s something that must go beyond the fear of a loss of control. And it is a natural. Psychological and behavioral influences on gastrointestinal lesions in animal models..1176 Try exercising to boost your dopamine and serotonin. a way that allows the agent to acquiesce and then let go… rather than fighting against the world. And when you have conflict with someone. Maser & M. Seligman (Eds. they are not necessarily incompatible. San Francisco: Freeman. Snyder (Eds. J. (pp. Recognize your most compassionate self as vindicated and fully accept your own part in a causal cosmos that will often not appeal to your desires. Consider also the prevalence of priming and confabulation and in-group biases in social situations and allow compassion to temper your judgement by habituating it. DC: American Psychological Association. by way of more stress hormones. and the recognition of our onion-layers of predisposition is knowledge. not supernatural woo. Keep your world clean and organized and you and others will have more of a propensity to respect that. Enjoy the benefits of human consciousness that afford you the great ability to be able to explain yourself to others. Washington. 1176 Reivich. It seems that a long term loss of control can negatively influence health. but doing away with dualistic illusions will encourage us to focus more on how to prevent and repair rather than merely upon satisfying the revenge instincts of victims in a world where contra- 1175 Weiss. Learned optimism: The measurement of explanatory style. we are in the causal chain as well. In J. P. K. 340 . & Gillham.). Again. Positive psychological assessment: A handbook of models and measures.1175 but I believe this can be—should be—perceived as a training of the mind to come to grips with reality in a deeper way. which will alter your overall explanatory style. which can. In S. so we are not helpless. (1977). J.R. 57- 74). we just need to find a way to live in flow and declaw the negative stress. be affected by your efforts. Take a hot shower when you are lonely or depressed. (2003). to some extent. always make an effort highlight the points of agreement.). J. Train yourself to alter your fundamental perception of your locus of control. knowing that there are probably many more reasons to scrutinize our gut feelings. because it resides in your perception. M. Lopez & C. and know the best time to negotiate (after lunch!).focuses on identifying the more predictable thoughts and behaviors that escape our conscious awareness and origination. noble aim. Optimism can be learned to some extent.

nor are they fated to abject pessimism. Simply put: determinism allows for a platform of societal compassion that is literally not even conceptually possible with libertarian free will (without great special pleading). but we react to our own caused experiences.causal free will makes prevention and rehabilitation hopeless. the less you are going to blame them. neuroscience. [Audio podcast]. This is ontologically built in to the way things are. but can we blame the elephant? Clearly. known and unknown. Reasonable Doubts podcast: RD30 FW v D2: Judgment Day. Not only that. because they and/or their gods often hold people eternally. J. Using Jonathan Haidt’s example from the beginning. #4) will cash out to a compassionate. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. but we should be very wary of assuming that we can justifiably blame anyone in a way that affords them a kind of “deep responsibility. we may hold the rider responsible. The Ethical Advantages of Hard Determinism. actions. doubts-podcast/id266671828 341 . acting morally when there is no actual responsibility creates a more altruistic action (even if he ultimately thinks there are enough other reasons to still hide the truth of it from ourselves). libertarian free will is seriously remiss when it comes to being accountable to what we observe empirically in psychology. Think about that: if the spirit is truly free from all influence. T. S. we still have concern for each other and experience feelings and desires. forgiving disposition to a degree that even many theologies cannot defend. and physics. That too is a matter of responsibility intellectually. (Interviewer). Saul Smilanski also argued1177 that if deterministic incompatibilism were true. As noted by Tom Clark.1178 we don’t have to be self-caused in order to hold each other responsible or to be moral. we guard ourselves from any danger. (1/22/2009). see Evidences #27.” Compassion is a mindset worth habituating and there is a least as much justification for it. (Interviewee). 54 (2):355-363. Determinists are in no danger of being excluded from participating in ethical systems. Our natural predisposition for empathy (that is when a normal healthy brain is functioning properly. and desires. 1178 Beahan. #15 and when post hoc fairness judgment and other biases are accounted for see Evidences None of this requires a ghost in 1177 Smilansky. originally culpable/sinful. as it is contra-causally immune to habituated rehabilitation. you just better hope that people do the right thing. It’s very simple: the more helpless you know people are. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://itunes. Even after knowing that we could not act in any other way than how we are compelled to act by all the forces at play. (1994). Also. regardless of our desires.

With reverence and humility. (Interviewee). A. All that said. empathy. Delbosc. on getting free of free will. Schroeder. The Buck Stops—Where? Living Without Ultimate Moral Responsibility.sciencedaily. Converse.e. we can exercise a very satisfying feature of the mind and ask.the machine or any supernatural basis for causality or free will when desiring a world where people treat each other how we would want them to treat us. direct manifestations of the cosmos. (Interviewer).com/releases/2009/11/091130151321. B. Strawson. if you weren’t perfect.naturalism. it is an experience of grounding. in contrast to ad hoc absolute theistic 1180 Sommers. rather than an experience of transcendence and caprice. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from ethical systems. I want to suggest something that you might not expect to hear. L. who represent all that I would seek in this world. and integrity. as no one actually brings herself into existence… at least that we know of! Even without the myopic self-importance ascribed by so many supernatural philosophies. 21533-21538. G. [Audio podcast]. we can still recognize an integration of self and nature when we experience our roles as always unique. each one with a burst of dopamine. (3/2003). if you 1179 Muehlhauser.. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://commonsenseatheism. “You. T. (7/25/2010). Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Monteleone.1179 and while we must always hold up our desires to the light of reason. N. interviewed by Tamler Sommers.htm#causasui 1181 1182 Believers' Inferences About God's Beliefs Are Uniquely Egocentric. 106.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doesn’t mean that we aren’t also a part of that network or that our motivation for happiness isn’t justified by the same desires that actually do define our relationships.pnas.1182: as long as we actively eliminate our internal authoritarian representation. This is as close as we can get to being causa sui1180 without actually doing/being it.. Conversation from the Pale Blue Dot podcast: 057: Tim Schroeder – Desire and Morality.A.htm 342 . this is an experience as profound as any religious experience.. (Interviewee). Just because causal powers contributed to the creation of what we recognize as our selves. even desirism itself). & Cacioppo. (11/30/2009). Galen Strawson. When fully contemplated and realized. T. but that’s in accord with the evidence to some extent1181. (2009). even as an admitted atheist. Science Daily. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://www. Integrity? What about all the biases and delusion and confabulation? The integrity comes from admitting these illusions as a necessary part of our being and becoming (as philosophers like Nietzsche witnessed—if there is a philosopher like Nietzsche!). Desire is caused too. Believers’ estimates of God’s beliefs are more egocentric than estimates of other people’s beliefs. they can never be ignored as an element in the equation for individual and social fulfillment (i. (Interviewer). G. J. for example. we can take a look deep inside and meet our “god” (or goddess or ‘higher power’ or Tao or Zen or ubermensch—whatever).

though. if you didn’t even exist beyond the very experience of this inner dialogue. and the stage hands. just the facts of life.weren’t all powerful or all knowing or eternal. without any dangerous dogma or delusion. it’s probably a good time to remind the reader of my early intention. (12/2/2010). It’s the best we can do: be honest about the propriety of our ideals in the context of the evidence. the things that we see and are aware of. that the authoritarian representation be delineated. you will gain all the benefits that any theist actually gets from prayer and meditation. to over-argue for predispositionalism by arguing for determinism: We should view ourselves as a stage play that is unfolding. [Web log post]. And you are connected to the cosmos. even though we know deep down that this is not the case. The stage setting and the actors are like the conscious 343 . Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://machineslikeus. because there is someone there: you. the last two items in this metaphor representing the laws of science […] During a good performance we forget that the actors are playing predetermined roles and view them as responding spontaneously to their surroundings. the sound crew. unconsciously. no special powers. as this is an externalizing element of imposition worth negating. Don’t use the word ‘god’ if that bothers you (hello bristled eliminativists!). without reifying or perpetuating any supernatural being or domain or theology. and now that I am near the end. Physics professor Mano Singham has produced an appropriate metaphor that captures how we should interpret the world through a deterministic lens. We should enjoy our lives and ourselves in the same way. I do again stress. help me understand… what could I do… to help you? How could we help each other?” And without pretending that you’ve done anything more than reflectively engage your ideal-self. but the performance also requires the participation behind the scenes of many unseen groups like the lighting crew. consciously. and causally. And you don’t have to feel like you’re lying or being disingenuous or even habituating delusion. Predispositions are trails of light that swirl all around you and run through you. That’s not New Age woo. all obeying the instructions of the director and the playwright.[1183] 1183 Singham. stated in the Introduction. On free will-16: A sense of self in the absence of free will. M. no Deepak Chopra.

will prove to be a very good thing. including the role it allows us to experience consciously. wherever possible. not failing to take into account that we do often incorporate live stimuli from our external surroundings when sleeping. don’t they serve as our self-scripted plays every night? It’s been reported that “researchers have found that when we move in our dreams. ultimately. S. Determined or Dream Movements Translate to Real Life.sciencemag. finding the consistency in the world—in our predisposition. That our eyes are determined to see and our cells are determined to replicate beyond our mental control does not make us afraid.html 344 . deferring more respect to the primacy of our subconscious mind and all its decisions. (10/27/2011). When we take part in dreams fabricated internally by our non-conscious mind.”1184 It certainly feels like reality when in the dream moment. Retrieved on 9/22/2012 from http://news. should not rob us of pleasure any more than knowing how the taste buds on the tongue work with the pleasure centers in the brain would make ice cream any less delicious. in my opinion. 1184 Reardon. our brains fire in the same pattern as when we move in the real world. even when we have dreams that take for granted the experience of flapping our arms and landing on the sun for a picnic as a real possibility. will bring us closer to how the world actually works and that. as they can make the world less predictable. Science Now. Do we take free will for granted in this world in an analogous way? Experiencing the causal world as an integral participant is no different than it has always been. Likewise. That causal chains may have an element of acausality in them that goes beyond our mere ignorance of the causal network is more frightening.

the other part changes to the same degree. Commensurate: related by degrees. along with Utilitarianism/Consequentialism and virtue ethics). in idea only (not concrete). Bias: a systematic misrepresentation of the (larger) population. Compatibilism: the view that free will and determinism are compatible. Confabulation: To guess without realizing you’re guessing. Affective: of or pertaining to emotional experience. random. if one part changes. Consequentialism: a philosophical system of ethics based upon an obligation to consequences. reason. but not necessarily random either. 345 . rules. dependent upon factors. Acausal: not causal. Apologist/apologetics: a person/discipline that defends criticisms of theology. The ability to defy causality and perform a wholly or partially uncaused action. then to believe and assert it. Related to Utilitarianism. Contingent: not necessary. and/or make a decision. Deontology: a philosophical system of ethics based upon an obligation to duty. mental. HELPFUL VOCABULARY Abstract: theoretical. and/or and absolute standard (one of the Big 3 ethical systems. with almost pathological certainty. Contra-causal: not causal. falsifiable. Agency/agent: the conscious experience of being able to think. Counterfactuals: Hypothetical alternate realities. Defeasible: capable of being disproven.

causal history. it’s true because it works.g. ALSO: *VAR: Strict or global determinism: a philosophical view that causality has never been interrupted since the beginning of time. mistakenly thinking that you are loved might make you happier and healthier. since they had no choice. whether or not you actually are). Determinism: a philosophical view that everything happens for causal reasons. “It doesn’t work because it’s true. epistemological): the study of how we know. Dualism/ (Substance) Dualism: the philosophical view that the mind and body are metaphysically independent. but it is and has been constantly interrupted by quantum randomness. The origin of every action can always be traced beyond the self. testable. how we acquire knowledge. *VAR: Adequate or local determinism/ causality: a philosophical view that causality exists and is largely influential at the macro level. enough to significantly change even macro events. rather than what is objectively real. Fatalism: the strongest version of determinism that doesn’t allow for any agency that can fundamentally change some pre-known outcome in the world. Some argue that emergent phenomena undermine determinism. reward or punishment. Epistemology (epistemic. Some say the agent is not responsible for their fate. causation. Empirical: evidential.Desert: a condition of deserving praise or blame. Facultative: optional.” 346 . William James said. Emergent phenomena: significantly novel possibility that sprouts from a combination of known phenomena. Functionalism/functional value: value that serves a practical purpose but might not be objectively real (e. Etiology: the study of origination. “Why” answers for how things are the way they are.

Metacognition: The ability to think about thinking itself. some incredibly small particle). thoughts. because they obscured the epistemic path to creative integrity. Nihilism: the absence of a philosophical system of ethics or one where there is no real basis for morality. agency. existence.) Incompatibilism: the view that free will and determinism cannot be compatible. 347 . Monism: philosophical view that the world (universe) is all made of one substance (i. denial of death. unfalsifiable. causality. Indeterminacy: uncertainty. time. Metaphysical: pertaining to abstract forms. etc. being. had a much more nuanced definition that incorporated different stages. and it did not necessarily cash out to harmful behavior. etc. The word “libertarian” in this context has nothing to do with the political movement. Illusionism: the idea that we should accept certain metaphysical illusions as truths because it is to our benefit (i. truth. Intrinsic value: has value in any context. active. passive. Considered by some to allow special freedom on a metaphysical level. free will. religion. The opposite of relative value. ultimate grounds. Indefeasible: not capable of being disproven. as well as first principles. he charged that the most ‘moralistic’ impositions were just nihilistic masks in one sense.e.e.. but are evidenced by physics. Local control: freedom only to the extent that we are actually able to move or are constrained.Heuristic: intuitive rule of thumb in our thinking. Meritocracy: based upon evidential merit. just behavior without an ontological foundation. Libertarian/contra-causal free will: the philosophical view that one has free will that is free from causality. In fact. substance. Multi-verse: the requalification of the universe as containing many universes like the kind that we observe and infinite others that we haven’t observed. Nietzsche however.

‘external’ context) and highlight the fact that ‘external’ context and all the reasons that affect the will actually do some work in predisposing us towards actions. ontological). not for moral instruction or to keep people safe. Retributivism: punishment for the sake of punishment. Explains most by saying least (though it has to actually explain without substituting in another mystery [e. Pragmatism/pragmatic value/prudential: similar to functionalism. Omniscient: all knowing. Predispositionalism: The addition of the “pre” in “predispositionalism” will serve to include both the inner characteristics of general “dispositionalism” (i. Ontology: the study of being. Parsimony: economy and elegance of explanation.e. how things come to be and what is objectively real (ontic. succinct. since they had no choice. magic.]). god.Objective: real.e. the predestined agent is usually portrayed as necessarily contributing to their fate and so is still responsible. Reify: to make real conceptually or ontologically. regardless of opinion. Some say the agent is not responsible for their fate. Emphasis on the practical—even that what is practical is real in an important sense. thinks that what is functional is what is most important. Phenomenal: sense experience. supernatural. Originatory value: intrinsic value that allows for responsibility based upon a sufficient indication of origin. Debatably similar/identical to fatalism. accept. etc.g. internal attribution within a commonly perceived ‘personal identity’) plus situational attribution (i. Predeterminism/predestination: events that must happen are known and cannot be avoided. rather than reasoned experience. 348 .

Subjective: a personal experience which may or may not correspond to objective reality. Volitionalism: an agent is not responsible for an action unless the agent has chosen it. 349 .bbc.. for the intrinsic value of engaging virtuous action produces flourishing. D. people still have genuine responsibility. Veridical: corresponds to objective reality. BBC Sub-control: thoughts. The Trolley Car Problem: A classic thought experiment ubiquitous in ethics involving a runaway trolley that will either kill four people or can be diverted to kill one person.Semi-compatibilism: the view that even if free will and determinism are not compatible. What if. Stochasticity: lacking predictable order. Teleology: of or pertaining to purpose. in its most simple definition. has a fat man on footbridge. intention. Subconscious: part of the mind that isn’t in our awareness. an attempt to explain away a challenge to the (evidential) “problem of Evil” (why there is suffering and/or evil). Theodicy: generally.1185 Utilitarianism: a philosophical system of ethics based upon an obligation to the greater good. A good person concentrates on maximizing action that is in accord with their virtues. Virtue ethics: a philosophical system of ethics based upon habituating virtuous action so as to make it fundamental to one’s character. Simpliciter: purely. who can be pushed off to stop the train) and much has been written about it in many disciplines. goal orientation. Is it ethical to do so? There have been many versions (most popular. 1185 Sokol. Free will is often used as a theodicy. Retrieved on 9/19/2012 from http://news. (5/2/2006). and behavior wholly or partially influenced by non-conscious elements in the brain/body.

we think. 350 . LOGICAL FALLACIES ad hoc: made up to explain something after the fact (consciously or unconsciously). non sequitur: does not follow logically. because both options can be chosen. Special pleading: granting special privileges without explaining why. argumentum ad ignorantiam: argument from ignorance. therefore.” But ignorance to the facts does not make every remaining possibility equally probable. False dilemma/dichotomy: an unnecessarily forced choice. Genetic fallacy: the merit of an argument is demoted based upon irrelevant issues of origin. Red herring: a distraction from the real issue. that every competing idea is equally tenable. post hoc ergo propter hoc: just because something comes after something. the first thing caused it. only because it seems like the most desirable option. erroneously thinking that truth depends upon whether we know if the premise has been proven false. it cannot be or should not be curbed. Fallacy of desired consequence: a proposition must be true. e. Correlation doesn’t require causation. Naturalistic fallacy: because it is natural.g. set up to more easily knock down. and if it hasn’t. “you can’t prove unicorns don’t exist? Then they are as likely to exist as anything else. Strawman: a weaker version of the real argument. Category error: conflating different ontological or epistemic domains.

music stuck in your head. remote control mice. A list of topics and sub-topics in this book involve subjects like: cognitive biases. revenge. political predisposition. artificial intelligence. not whether we can trace all causal networks back to Planck time. for the extent of predisposition in human beings. honest liars. both empirical and philosophical. quantum freedom. Pee Wee Herman. these breaks would simply compel us to shift ('jump tracks') to the most similar option that still appeals to our same contextual and body-based biases. the concept of Halle Barry. jealous dogs. alien hands. cognitive offloading. This book is a philosophy/ psychology hybrid that attempts to integrate the external emphasis prominent in failed behaviorism with the modern evidence for cognitive systems that still automatically incorporate the external world via mirror neurons. I also became convinced of a more appropriate term with which to reframe the age old free will vs. while the label determinism simply isn’t accurate as an umbrella term. Hey Andrew… what’s your book about? I originally created this book for one reason: I wanted to have one source with all of the best evidence. Illusionism. body parts that fight with each other. etc. determinism debate: predispositionalism. Rather than causal breaks offering freedom. Too much emphasis is placed upon whether or not causal chains are broken and not whether behavioral predisposition endures and circumvents any proposed break in the chain. priming. defying causality. This is because even the label compatibilism belies the pervasive extent of causal influence on behavior. and this is what matters in predispositionalism. In considering the state of the current scientific evidence and coexisting treatment in philosophy. Science never ceases to reveal more and more internal and external mechanisms of predisposition. so we know that they must stick at some point. whether by salient quantum randomness/ noise/ indeterminacy or emergent phenomena. a set of new tracks potentially even more entrenched behaviorally than before the proposed quantum/emergent effects. I argue that such a hypothetical causal break. because it doesn’t account for quantum randomness. rewriting 351 . is even more likely to get rerouted right back into channels of natural physical and mental propensities and biases in the mind or in nature anyway. as is proposed in some versions of two-stage compatibilism. Issues of control and origination naturally lead to issues of identity and responsibility.

mirror neurons. evil neuroscientists (of course). luck. having an orgasm when you brush your teeth. disgust. Lotto balls. the number 3. two headed babies. love drugs.” tunnels vs. I will occasionally update parts that would benefit from revision. moral burnout. cockroaches that prefer to turn right. and non-conscious identity that performs simple mathematical calculations up to four seconds before we even experience a conscious decision to do so. unfree gods. autonomy. marshmallows. If needed. “the Dionysian Improviser. a causal vacuum. tracks. moral surgery. as new evidence or ideas emerge. cyborgs. manipulation. 352 . hierarchical selves. sexy danger (of course). baking a cake. moral breeding. a history of previous versions can be found in the tabs. interviewing God. moral grammar. collective morality. ghosts in the machine (of course). runaway trolleys (of course). risk. as long as I don't stray too far from the copyright. NOTE: the beauty of an ebook is that I can revise it at will.memory. creation energy.