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FREE WILL ACCORDING TO JOHN DUNS SCOTUS AND NEUROSCIENCE

Authors

  • Sally K. Severino

    1. Sally Severino is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a Felician Associate of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. She may be reached at 1050 Joshua Drive SE, Rio Rancho, NM 87124-1258, USA; e-mail: skseverino@gmail.com.
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Abstract

Abstract.  This paper examines two views of free will. It looks first at the fourteenth-century religious insights of John Duns Scotus, one of history's seminal thinkers about free will. It then examines what current neuroscience tells us about free will. Finally, it summarizes the past and present views and concludes by answering two questions: Does free will refer to an absence of external constraint, or does it refer to a human ability to decide in an acausal manner?

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