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[Will is Conscious But Not Free]

Philosophy Date: May 2011

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The effect of unconscious stimuli on motor actions and emotions is discussed. The nature of human will is examined through review of experiments on correlates of brain activity during volitional actions.

The presented experiments suggest that decision-making is performed unconsciously and that we become aware of a decision by a self-interpretation process up to 10 seconds after it has been made. A decision can be modulated by conscious will before it is executed. The non-deterministic nature of will is explained and 'conscious' will is differentiated from 'free will'. Experiments with meditation practitioners are presented that suggest a possibility of minimizing unconscious brain activity and enhancing volitional control.



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