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Can neuroscience eliminate free will?

Event Dates:
23 April 2023
Jie Yin (Fudan University)

Can neuroscience eliminate free will? Maybe not…yet. Neuroscientific findings from the well-known Libet experiment may be used as evidence by those who believe that free will is an illusion. A world without free will may be the case, excepting those who hold to hard determinism. By temporarily setting aside the objections raised against the Libet experiment, Dr Yin attempts to demonstrate that compatibilism may still be able to save free will by appealing to thought experiments like Pereboom’s four-case manipulation argument. Furthermore, even if the Libet experiment or the manipulation argument fail to convince someone, they may still find that their belief in free will matters.

Jie Yin, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the School of Philosophy & Institute of Technology Ethics for Human Future, Fudan University in China. She works on a wide variety of topics in bioethics, philosophy of medicine and Kant. She received training from medical school (B.M./Fudan University) as well as philosophy department (MPhil/Fudan University, PhD/SUNY Albany). Dr Yin teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on neuro-ethics, health justice, medical ethics, nursing philosophy, Kant and political philosophy.