Submited on: 06 Feb 2011 08:19:48 PM GMT
Published on: 07 Feb 2011 06:55:02 PM GMT
Free Will and Imagination
Posted by Dr. Leonid Perlovsky on 03 Mar 2012 05:37:59 PM GMT

Dear Dr. Sara,


Your comment is excellent. Free imagination is an excellent example of free will. It demonstrates that Dr. Libet’s experiments and related discussions doubting existence of free will are fundamentally misguided.


But an idea that free will is an imagination is wrong. Free will actually exists and guide our actions.


My article on free will has three main points:

1)      Free will actually exists

2)      Philosophical difficulties about free will are misguided by an idea about the mind being a logical system, which is wrong. The difficulties belong to logic, not to the mind, and not to the correct understanding about brain-mind functioning

3)      Free will is a mental representation (like all other ideas; along with neural mechanisms, connecting our ideas to our behavior). Representation of free will has ancient biological roots extending back to Amniotes, and in some way even to more ancient mechanisms. A large part of human representation of free will has been developed in cultural evolution. The content of this representation actually affects our behavior.


Leonid Perlovsky

Free Will and Imagination
Posted by Dr. Leonid Perlovsky on 03 Mar 2012 05:20:57 PM GMT

Dear Dr. Sara,


I completely agree with you that imagination is an excellent illustration of human's actually having free will. When compared to free imagination, it is becoming obvious that Libet's experiments and all the discussions about non-reality of free will are fundamentally misguided.


In this way your comments is an excellent contribution to this most imortant topic.


But free will is not an imagination. There are three main ideas in my paper:

1) Free will actually exists

2) Philosophical discussions about difficulties associated with this idea are misguided by a belief that the mind is a logical system. These difficulties are difficulties of logical models of the mind, which are wrong models, but the is no difficulty in the mind

3) Free will is related to a mental representation, partly inborn with long evolutionary history (possibly beginning with Amniotes) and partly developed in the course of human cultural evolution. The mental representation of free will and its content actually directs human behavior. So, I repeat, free will actually exist.


Leonid Perlovsky