A Study Into the Psychology of Free Will

My goal is to perform an investigation of free will from a scientific standpoint. My research will culminate in a paper. This paper will aim to build support for the view that we lack free will by exploring psychological studies through a philosophical point of view. The particular studies I will be exploring have demonstrated that our brains can make decisions anywhere from two to six seconds before we consciously register these decisions. I would like to look at how these studies relate neuroscience to the study of free will. I would like to note that I do not expect to create a comprehensive proof that we lack free will from these studies, but rather I would like to try to focus on connecting the topic of free will in philosophy to these studies in psychology to help build a focused, scientific argument for the idea that we lack free will.

As I mentioned above, my research will begin with exploring Libet’s studies on decision making. I also plan on reading Who’s in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain by Michael Gazzaniga and Consciousness Explained by Daniel C. Dennett. Furthermore, I will explore various anthologies of free will including the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Oxford Handbook of Free Will both of which discuss not only the philosophy of free will, but also how it relates to neuroscience.