Free Will Libet-Style Experiments

2292 Words10 Pages
Free Will – Neuroscience of the mind Do Libet-style experiments show that we do not have any kind of freewill? Free will is the ability to have full authority in the decisions we make without any external restrictions and that human lives are not predetermined by fate, deities or necessity [1]. Philosophers and thinkers have been exploring the existence and extent of free will for a very long time. It started with arguments on Greek mythology like “Odysseus”, whether the gods allow humans to choose. Today it has become more of a psychological problem that is affected by causes in natural phenomena [2]. There are many stances one can take regarding free will but the two extremes are Determinism (where the belief is that there is no such thing as free will, everything is determined) and Libertarianism (where the will is free and choices are not determined). The small part of the long going argument I’ll be focusing on in this essay is on Libet-style experiments. Many determinists have used these experiments as evidence against free will. I will be putting my arguments whether that is the case. Benjamin Libet, born on the year 1916 in Chicago. He led a multifaceted life especially during the war, doing research on body temperature and clothing insulation for soldiers and emergency oxygen masks for fighter pilots. What caused him to go into the field of conscious will was because of what Hans Helmut Kornhuber and Lüder Deecke did in 1965 [3]. They were disappointed with the brain research at the time and decided to look at cerebral potentials related to voluntary movement. They did both electroencephalogram (ECG) and electromyogram (EMG) and stored it on tape. Due to a lack of technology the analysis was done by reversing the tape. Nevertheless they were able to find a negative potential that began about 0.8 seconds before the voluntary movement and called it
Open Document