What Does Neuroscience Have to Say About Free Will?

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"Hardly any question could be more important than whether human beings have free will. Of course it is of specific importance for some religions, but also for many non-religious people. Indeed, historically, many of those who rejected religion did so in the name of intellectual freedom and called themselves 'freethinkers'. The question is whether science allows us to believe in freedom of any sort, whether intellectual or moral. In the last half century, there have been claims that neuroscience was yielding evidence against the reality of human freedom. What I will discuss here is whether that is the case. My goal is not to argue either for or against the reality of freedom, but only to examine what neuroscience is at present able to say on the subject — and what it is not able to say."


This article was originally published on Society of Catholic Scientists in October 2021.


The Society of Catholic Scientists