Neural Decoding and Human Freedom

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The Greek god Momus is said to have expressed dissatisfaction with human
beings because our state of mind cannot be readily discerned. It would
have been better, Momus thought, if we were born with a window into
our breast so that our mental states could be easily recognized. Developments
in functional neuroimaging may be starting to provide the kind of
window that Momus desired, for in certain contexts functional magnetic
resonance imaging data can provide useful clues to a person ’ s state of
mind. This chapter considers the implications of such developments for
questions concerning the nature of human freedom and autonomy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFree Will and Moral Responsibility
EditorsWalter Sinnott-Armstrong
Place of PublicationMassachusetts USA
PublisherThe MIT Press
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780262321471
ISBN (Print)9780262026680, 9780262525473
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameMoral Psychology
PublisherThe MIT Press

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