Article

Persons, causes and free will: Libet's topsy-turvy idea of the order of causes and "forgetfulness of the person"

Libet’s attempt to explain positive free acts (which he denies) in terms of physiological brain causes fails: Efficient causality has an inherent relation to persons; personal wills are primary/superior forms of efficient causes and the only efficient causes properly speaking instead of mere transmitters of causality; personal causation stands at the beginning of non-personal efficient causes; it is conscious; immediately experienced, known with evidence. Libet’s recognition of free veto power logically entails recognition of positive free will; Libet overlooks the natural connection between efficient and final causality and personal causes irreducible to efficient and final causes. Supposing his theory: the causes of knowledge would degenerate into irrational contents of consciousness caused by efficient causes in the brain deprived of rational justification; free actions intentionally directed at, and motivated by, the importance of states of affairs to be realized would be impossible. Libet’s test results and interpretations in no way prove the truth of the conclusion of his attempted “disproof of positive free will” but, when freed from his inadequate philosophy of persons and other equivocations and mistakes in the design of the tests confirm it. Libet’s is a topsy-turvy reversal of the true order and hierarchy of causes.

Relationships

In Collection:

Items