- Published: June 8, 2015
In his article titled Will Neuroscientific Discovers about Free Will and Selfhood Change our Ethical Practices?, author Chris Kaposy refutes the claim that neuroscience cannot determine our core beliefs about ourselves. Kaposy offers three reasons to be skeptical of such a significant change. He mentions that first, people are most unlikely to be responsive to scientific claims that somehow undermine or threaten their identity. Second, people may believe that neuroscience solely controls our free will, however, they would keep these views in isolation and never actually incorporate them into their practical lives. Finally, Kaposy offers the compatibilistic view in which he states that if people are willing to endorse or identify with their motivations, then their actions have some source within themselves, and thus are not coerced by some other mechanical process as previous neuroethicists have mentioned.
After reading the article, I must align my views with those of Kaposy. I believe that the brain does play some influence over our free-will to a certain extent; however, our free-will predominantly arises from our moral and conscious desires. As I read this article, I asked myself whether or not free-will could be influenced by some other factors. I was particularly thinking about how complications in the amygdala or some other part of the brain may cause a person to change their normal behavior patterns and thus in essence, change the will of that person. While this may occur, I realized that this change can no longer constitute a Free-will. Because there is some other uncontrollable mechanism coercing the brain to change behavioral patterns, free-will is no longer free and the argument is illogical. Kaposy closes the article with the fact that such radical changes in the perception of neurology and its supposed effect on our free-will is much too drastic, and therefore would never materialize into a legitimate concern.