Free Will and the Brain: Neuroscientific, Philosophical, and Legal Perspectives

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Walter Glannon
Cambridge University Press, Sep 18, 2015 - Psychology
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Neuroscientific evidence has educated us in the ways in which the brain mediates our thought and behavior and, therefore, forced us to critically examine how we conceive of free will. This volume, featuring contributions from an international and interdisciplinary group of distinguished researchers and scholars, explores how our increasing knowledge of the brain can elucidate the concept of the will and whether or to what extent it is free. It also examines how brain science can inform our normative judgments of moral and criminal responsibility for our actions. Some chapters point out the different respects in which mental disorders can compromise the will and others show how different forms of neuromodulation can reveal the neural underpinning of the mental capacities associated with the will and can restore or enhance them when they are impaired.

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About the author (2015)

Walter Glannon is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Calgary. His research interests are primarily in the areas of bioethics and neuroethics, and he has published on free will and moral and criminal responsibility, with a focus on how cognitive and clinical neuroscience has influenced how we conceive of and assess these concepts and associated practices. His publications include Brain, Body and Mind: Neuroethics with a Human Face (2011), Bioethics and the Brain (2007) and Biomedical Ethics (2005). In 2010 he was the recipient of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation for the project 'Diminishing and Enhancing Free Will'. Free Will and the Brain is the product of this project.