Freedom and Neurobiology : Reflections on Free Will, Language, and Political Power

Freedom and Neurobiology : Reflections on Free Will, Language, and Political Power

Description

Our self-conception derives mostly from our own experience. We believe ourselves to be conscious, rational, social, ethical, language-using, political agents who possess free will. Yet we know we exist in a universe that consists of mindless, meaningless, unfree, nonrational, brute physical particles. How can we resolve the conflict between these two visions? In Freedom and Neurobiology, the philosopher John Searle discusses the possibility of free will within the context of contemporary neurobiology. He begins by explaining the relationship between human reality and the more fundamental reality as described by physics and chemistry. Then he proposes a neurobiological resolution to the problem by demonstrating how various conceptions of free will have different consequences for the neurobiology of consciousness. In the second half of the book, Searle applies his theory of social reality to the problem of political power, explaining the role of language in the formation of our political reality.
The institutional structures that organize, empower, and regulate our lives-money, property, marriage, government-consist in the assignment and collective acceptance of certain statuses to objects and people. Whether it is the president of the United States, a twenty-dollar bill, or private property, these entities perform functions as determined by their status in our institutional reality. Searle focuses on the political powers that exist within these systems of status functions and the way in which language constitutes them. Searle argues that consciousness and rationality are crucial to our existence and that they are the result of the biological evolution of our species. He addresses the problem of free will within the context of a neurobiological conception of consciousness and rationality, and he addresses the problem of political power within the context of this analysis. A clear and concise contribution to the free-will debate and the study of cognition, Freedom and Neurobiology is essential reading for students and scholars of the philosophy of mind.

Similar Books

ISBN 10: 1603841296
ISBN 13: 9781603841290

30 Nov 2009
Derk Pereboom

ISBN 10: 0199540284
ISBN 13: 9780199540280

03 Sep 2008
Aristotle

ISBN 10: 0300115466
ISBN 13: 9780300115468

24 Jul 2007
Jean-Paul Sartre

ISBN 10: 0872204022
ISBN 13: 9780872204027

01 Jun 1998
David Hume

ISBN 10: 0393329550
ISBN 13: 9780393329551

08 Jan 2007
Slavoj Zizek

ISBN 10: 0872205541
ISBN 13: 9780872205543

01 Jun 2001
Plato

ISBN 10: 0199385157
ISBN 13: 9780199385157

26 Mar 2015
John Searle

ISBN 10: 0195157346
ISBN 13: 9780195157345

22 Sep 2005
John R. Searle

ISBN 10: 0940322064
ISBN 13: 9780940322066

01 Sep 1997
John R. Searle

ISBN 10: 0199695261
ISBN 13: 9780199695263

07 Sep 2011
John Searle

ISBN 10: 014197804X
ISBN 13: 9780141978048

25 Jan 2018
Daniel C. Dennett

ISBN 10: 0465045219
ISBN 13: 9780465045211

10 Dec 1999
John R. Searle