“Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Neuroscience?” Neuroscience’s impact on our notions of self and free will (*)

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(*) Resumo do artigo “Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Neuroscience?” Neuroscience’s impact on our notions of self and free will, de Rui Vieira da Cunha [1] & João Bettencourt Relvas [2], publicado em The Human Sciences after the Decade of the Brain (edit. por: Jon Leefmann and Elisabeth Hildt, 2017).

ABSTRACT

Neuroscience is coming to age but not all of its advancements spell good news for everyone. For some, neuroscience might obliterate the assumption that a society is based on rational and self-ruling persons wholly responsible for their actions whilst offering in exchange merely a mechanist and reductionist vision of a collective made of irrational and neuron-ruled bodies deprived of free will and moral and legal responsibility.

In this paper, we will examine some neuroscientific findings related to the self and free will and assess the real impact of those neuroscientific findings. We conclude that neuroscience alone is unable to undermine the assumption of the rational and self-ruling person with free will and worthy of moral and legal responsibility.

KEYWORDS: free will, humanities, neuroscience, personhood, self.

Reference: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128042052000033

[1] Rui Vieira da Cunha: MLAG (Mind, Language and Action Group) – Institute of Philosophy, School of Arts, University of Porto (FLUP) | i3s – Institute for Research and Innovation in Health, University of Porto, Portugal | IBMC – Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Porto, Portugal | CPBS – Católica Porto Business School rui.cunha@ibmc.up.pt

[2] João Bettencourt Relvas: i3s – Institute for Research and Innovation in Health, University of Porto, Portugal | IBMC – Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Porto, Portugal | FCUP – Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto jrelvas@ibmc.up.pt

[**] Fotografia retirada de FabrikBrands.

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