Nav: Home

Did My Neurons Make Me Do It?: Philosophical and Neurobiological Perspectives on Moral Responsibility and Free Will | Paperback

by Nancey Murphy (Author), Warren S. Brown (Author)


List Price: $40.95  
Price:  $34.81
You Save:  $6.14 (15%)
Available:  Usually ships in 24 hours
FREE Shipping on Qualified Orders
» View Details


Binding:  Paperback
Publisher:  Oxford University Press
Edition:  1st Edition
Page Count:  352 Pages
Publication Date:  August 17, 2009
Sales Rank:  1370236th



EDITORIAL REVIEWS


Product Description
If humans are purely physical, and if it is the brain that does the work formerly assigned to the mind or soul, then how can it fail to be the case that all of our thoughts and actions are determined by the laws of neurobiology? If this is the case, then free will, moral responsibility, and, indeed, reason itself would appear to be in jeopardy. Nancey Murphy and Warren S. Brown here defend a non-reductive version of physicalism whereby humans are (sometimes) the authors of their own thoughts and actions. Did My Neurons Make Me Do It? brings together insights from both philosophy and the cognitive neurosciences to defeat neurobiological reductionism. One resource is a "post-Cartesian" account of mind as essentially embodied and constituted by action-feedback-evaluation-action loops in the environment, and "scaffolded" by cultural resources. Another is a non-mysterious account of downward (mental) causation explained in terms of a complex, higher-order system exercising constraints on lower-level causal processes. These resources are intrinsically related: the embeddedness of brain events in action-feedback loops is the key to their mentality, and those broader systems have causal effects on the brain itself. With these resources Murphy and Brown take on two problems in philosophy of mind: a response to the charges that physicalists cannot account for the meaningfulness of language nor the causal efficacy of the mental qua mental. Solutions to these problems are a prerequisite to addressing the central problem of the book: how can biological organisms be free and morally responsible? The authors argue that the free-will problem is badly framed if it is put in terms of neurobiological determinism; the real issue is neurobiological reductionism. If it is indeed possible to make sense of the notion of downward causation, then the relevant question is whether humans exert downward causation over some of their own parts and processes. If all organisms do this to some extent, what needs to be added to this animalian flexibility to constitute free and responsible action? The keys are sophisticated language and hierarchically ordered cognitive processes allowing (mature) humans to evaluate their own actions, motives, goals, and rational and moral principles.

SIMILAR PRODUCTS


John Wesley's Moral Theology: The Quest for God and Goodness

John Wesley's Moral Theology: The Quest for God and Goodness
by D. Stephen Long (Author)
You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit

You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit
by James K. A. Smith (Author)
The Blackwell Companion to Christian Ethics

The Blackwell Companion to Christian Ethics
by Stanley Hauerwas (Editor), Samuel Wells (Editor)
Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating

Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating
by Norman Wirzba (Author)
Body, Soul, and Human Life: The Nature of Humanity in the Bible (Studies in Theological Interpretation)

Body, Soul, and Human Life: The Nature of Humanity in the Bible (Studies in Theological Interpretation)
by Joel B. Green (Author), Craig Bartholomew (Series Editor), Joel Green (Series Editor), Christopher Seitz (Series Editor)
Subversive Sabbath: The Surprising Power of Rest in a Nonstop World

Subversive Sabbath: The Surprising Power of Rest in a Nonstop World
by A. J. Swoboda (Author), Matthew Sleeth (Foreword)
Neuroscience, Psychology, and Religion: Illusions, Delusions, and Realities about Human Nature (Templeton Science and Religion Series)

Neuroscience, Psychology, and Religion: Illusions, Delusions, and Realities about Human Nature (Templeton Science and Religion Series)
by Malcolm Jeeves (Author), Warren S. Brown (Author)
Whatever Happened to the Soul?  Scientific and Theological Portraits of Human Nature

Whatever Happened to the Soul? Scientific and Theological Portraits of Human Nature
by Warren Brown (Author), Nancey Murphy (Editor), H. Newton Malony (Editor)
Becoming Culturally Oriented: Practical Advice for Psychologists and Educators

Becoming Culturally Oriented: Practical Advice for Psychologists and Educators
by Nadya A Fouad (Author), Patricia Arredondo (Author)
Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies? (Current Issues in Theology)

Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies? (Current Issues in Theology)
by Nancey Murphy (Author)

Best Science Podcasts 2018

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2018. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Circular
We're told if the economy is growing, and if we keep producing, that's a good thing. But at what cost? This hour, TED speakers explore circular systems that regenerate and re-use what we already have. Guests include economist Kate Raworth, environmental activist Tristram Stuart, landscape architect Kate Orff, entrepreneur David Katz, and graphic designer Jessi Arrington.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#504 The Art of Logic
How can mathematics help us have better arguments? This week we spend the hour with "The Art of Logic in an Illogical World" author, mathematician Eugenia Cheng, as she makes her case that the logic of mathematics can combine with emotional resonance to allow us to have better debates and arguments. Along the way we learn a lot about rigorous logic using arguments you're probably having every day, while also learning a lot about our own underlying beliefs and assumptions.