On Sun, Mar 3, 2013 at 7:45 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-03-dartmouth-neuroscientist-free-neural-basis.html
> "A new theory of brain function by Peter Ulric Tse, a professor of cognitive
> neuroscience at Dartmouth College, suggests that free will is real and has a
> biophysical basis in the microscopic workings of our brain cells.
> Tse's findings, which contradict recent claims by neuroscientists and
> philosophers that free will is an illusion, have theological, ethical,
> scientific and legal implications for human behavior, such as whether people
> are accountable for their decisions and actions. His book shows how free
> will works in the brain by examining its information-processing architecture
> at the level of neural connections. He offers a testable hypothesis of how
> the mental causes the physical.
> In contrast with philosophers who use logic rather than data to argue
> whether mental causation or consciousness can exist, he explores these
> issues by starting with neuroscientific data. Recent neurophysiological
> breakthroughs reveal that neurons evaluate information they receive, which
> can change the way that other neurons will evaluate information and "fire"
> in the future. Tse's research shows that such informational causation cannot
> change the physical basis of current information, but it can change the
> neuronal basis of future mental events. This gets around the standard
> argument against free will that is based on the impossibility of
> self-causation. Tse lays out his argument in his new book titled "The Neural
> Basis of Free Will"—https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/neural-basis-free-will";
> Another nail in the coffin of simplistic physical models of consciousness. I
> noticed that his view seems to completely support my ideas about
> consciousness being longitudinal through private time rather than publicly
> accessible during any given moment. His findings seem to suggest a
> panpsychic, sub-personal, and sense-based (informational causation)
> biophysiology in which "the mental causes the physical."
> So yeah. It's not random or determined by physics, rather it is intention
> which drives physics on many different and conflicting scales.

>From this page it appears that he *does* think it is random. It has to
be either random or determined. If you say it's something else you're
making up something that is not only physically but also logically


"Peter U. Tse is a cognitive psychologist and neuroscientist at
Dartmouth who argues for a novel form of mental causation that he
calls "criterial causation."

The idea is that large numbers of neurons (a complex of cells or "cell
assembly") are likely to be involved in even the simplest thoughts and
actions. Tse argues that the brain may be able to modify dynamically
the probabilities that individual neurons are "firing." He calls this
"dynamical synaptic reweighting."

Since the process by which a pre-synaptic neuron releases chemical
neurotransmitters into the synaptic cleft is a statistical one (large
numbers of neurotransmitter molecules must diffuse across the cleft to
activate ion channel receptors on the post-synaptic neuron), Tse says
that there is some ontological randomness in the process. He argues
that this is real indeterministic chance, quantum mechanical in

How exactly such weights or probabilities of firing might work is not
understood, but Tse argues that weights would constitute
"informational" criteria as opposed to being simply physical. They
could represent mental events that supervene on the physical brain

Stathis Papaioannou

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