Was Heraclitus a determinist

1. Scientific determinism

The neurodeterminism(also: neural determinism) states that all mental states M (especially volitional decisions!)by neural states N fully established are.

The image rights belong to: Ben Brahim Mohammed(Creative Commons)

The idea of ​​completely predetermined processeshas already experienced many forms in occidental culture and has grasped the most varied of world views. Whether the omnipotence of God, historical necessity (strict historicalism) or natural laws are seen as responsible for determined world events, all forms of determinism are linked by a central idea that is characteristic of all forms: EachEvent is predetermined!

The conception of general determinism can be formulated in the following way: Each state of a system is completely defined at any point in time by previous system states. The current state Z1, which defines the next state Z2, is therefore itself defined by the previous state Z0 (see here: problem of the ultimate justification). This view does not tolerate any exceptions.

Should an event be found that is not fixed, the conception of a deterministic development must be replaced by that of so-called indeterminism, since only indeterminism characterizes developments in which not all Events are set. It follows: Indeterminism can be connected with a "only" almost completely determined or fairly strongly determined development, determinism cannot.

With the logical connection of determinism and natural law, the idea of ​​determinism found its way into science (scientific determinism). The view that determinism is the necessary consequence of the validity of mathematically formulable laws of nature had developed for the first time following the physical laws discovered by Isaac Newton. This physical determinism, which we can also call the first natural law determinism, is based on the mathematical structure of differential equations in which these laws are formulated. Differential equations symbolize a kind of deterministic ideal; With mathematical rigor, complete definition is scientifically formulated therein. Newton's discoveries were tantamount to a revolution in the view of nature. The extraordinary success of the theories and their technical consequences reinforce the prospect that the entire physically tangible reality can be fully described with these laws of nature. And if this were the case, which seemed only logical, this reality is predetermined.

The situation changed with the discovery of quantum theory at the beginning of the twentieth century. This change was no less revolutionary than the discoveries of Newton a few hundred years earlier. The physicists even began to make the fundamentally different character of the new theory recognizable in the language by summarizing all physical theories such as Newtonian mechanics, electrodynamics, thermodynamics, optics, including the recently found special relativity under the term "classical physics" to distinguish it from quantum physics. This distinction - quantum physics and classical physics - has been preserved to this day. As a consequence of quantum theory, physical determinism was replaced by physical indeterminism (see, among others, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics).Today's physicists no longer assume that the entire development of all events in the universe has already been established.

SomeHowever, developments can very well be fixed - namely those for which indeterministic quantum physics plays no role. According to a popular view, quantum phenomena are only with small ones and cold Systems, and since the brain is large and warm, most scientists advocate a so-called neural determinism. Neuronal determinism is of the opinion that all mental processes are fixed or determined by neuronal processes. More accurate:All mental states - conscious, preconscious and unconscious - are completely and in all details determined by neural processes. This thesis, which has serious consequences for our self-image as humans, has been formulated by a number of neurobiologists and brain researchers since the end of the twentieth century, albeit not always with the express use of the name "neuronal determinism".

Its proponents regard neuronal determinism as an inevitable consequence of scientific knowledge, as a logical consequence of neurobiological theories about the structure and function of the brains and nervous systems. Formulations such as “mental processes are based on neuronal processes” or “mental processes result from neuronal processes” or “brain functions are based on mental processes” do not, of course, yet specify the assumed relationships. Nevertheless, the authors try more or less directly to express the temporal and causal sequence of the assumed brain-brain connection assumed by neural determinism: First, a brain process takes place which, and only that, produces a fully fixed mental state. This view is to be reinforced by empirical studies.

With the help of a thought experiment, the model of neural determinism can be illustrated: Let us assume that a person sits alone in a room and does not speak. The brain activity of the person is measured and registered for one minute using the most modern equipment. What the person feels, remembers, thinks, experiences in this minute - everything you do in this time occurs and goes through the head, we call the contents of their consciousness or also mental states. There are two basic approaches to mental states, firstly the subjective-qualitative experience perspective and secondly the objective-quantifiable perspective of the sciences. The one-minute stream of consciousness is contrasted with a one-minute stream of registered brain activities. Now we mentally cut up the one-minute conscious experience into time slices, each one millisecond in length, and thus get sixty thousand “mental time slices”: M1, M2, ..., M60000. Within each time slice, the entire contents of the consciousness of this person are now contained, which you "went through my head " are.

Now we also mentally cut up the one-million registered brain activity into time slices of one millisecond length each, subtracting that part of the registered neural activity that is not required to determine the mental processes and get sixty thousand "neural time slices": N1, N2, ..., N60000 . Of course, the millisecond is an arbitrarily determined time slice length and we could have chosen a different one. The selected time slice length is based on the ability of the brain "to generate synchronicity over large distances that is precise in the millisecond range." [1]

According to the conception of neural determinism, all are mental processestheir neuronal processes "afterwards" [2], as the brain researcher Wolf Singer emphasizes. This means: Time passes between the beginning of a neural process (N) and the beginning of the mental process (M) determined by (N), the determination time (D). Let us assume that for every sixty thousand neuromental determinations, the length of time is one millisecond. Then D1 = D2 = D… = D60000, the determination time is constant. This time period was also chosen arbitrarily and, for the sake of simplicity, just as large as a time slice length. There is still one small difficulty to be resolved. The first neural time slice N1 and the first mental time slice P1 begin at the same time. Since determination takes time, P1 cannot have been determined by N1, but by a neural process, let's say N0, the start of which is one millisecond before the start of the first registration. Our first neural time slice N1 determines the second mental time slice M2. The other determinations “shifted by one” behave analogously. N2 determines M3, N3 determines M4, etc.

But what happens within the period D of the determination of M by N?Neuroscientists and intellectual philosophers do not have a single answer to this question! This is why this article can only be vague in part and not make a general assessment of neurodeterminism, simply because "neurodeterminism" does not even exist. Neuroscientists say, on the one hand, that the current neuronal state determines the next neuronal state (Wolf Singer [3]). On the other hand, the “inevitable Leap"(Gerhard Roth [4]) or" phase transition "(Wolf Singer [5]) from the neural to the mental. These formulations paint at least different inner pictures of the determination of the mental by the neural. No matter how complex, dynamic, non-linear and distributively organized the neural “phase” may be, the choice of words at least suggests that there is something where you want to jump or skip over. But what are mental states such as will decisions and color perception according to their essence? And how do color sensations arise from matter (quality problem)? The representatives of the philosophy of spirit must ask themselves these questions, an overview of the answers given so far can be found here.

In the neurosciences, brain processes that underlie mental processes are described as spatiotemporal neural activation patterns. These electromagnetic patterns arise when millions of nerve cells, which can be localized in the various brain regions, show electromagnetic activity in a specifically linked and temporally coordinated manner. This is a complex-organized neuron coexistence, at least that basically Can be represented "from the outside" and objectively captured from the third-person perspective. As the thought experiment makes clear, according to neuronal determinism, every mental process can be assigned such a neural activation pattern that takes place before the mental process and defines it completely. Or in other words: If there is a psychological process, then the neural process that previously determined it is necessary (probability p is equal to 1).

On the other hand, it is not imperative that if there is a neuronal process, the psychological process that is “actually” determined by it actually occurs. The neuropsychic “leap”, the “phase transition from the material to the spiritual” [6], could be absent or disturbed.

A neural process that is able to “generate” a psychic process thus determines two things: its psychic process and the next neuronal process! This leads to the conclusion of many neurodeterminists that our entire brain-mind system and thus also our actions and volitional decisions cannot be intentionally influenced (no alternative) or not free. Of course, other neuronal processes could also be involved in determining the next neuronal process than that “section” of neuronal activity which - according to this neurobiological conception - is able to “generate” the psychological process, but the neuronal determinism remains unaffected. Again, the current state of the brain completely determines the next state of the brain. This is the neural principle. Brain researcher Wolf Singer comments on this: “In the reference system of neurobiological descriptions there is no room for objective freedom because the next action, the next state of the brain would always be determined by what has immediately preceded it. Variations would at best be conceivable as a result of random fluctuations. ”[7].

If this is the case, however, the development from one neuronal process to the next would no longer be completely neuronally determined and the indeterminism would be realized at least on the neuronal level. However, the “fluctuations” assumed by Wolf Singer have just as little to do with free will as the quantum mechanical indeterminism. Interestingly, such “fluctuations” would also be irrelevant for neural determinism itself. Firstly, these “fluctuations” are merely “coincidences” - and secondly, the requirement that all psychological processes be completely determined by neuronal processes remains unaffected. If a neural activation pattern changes due to "random fluctuations" and is therefore no longer determined by the previous state of the brain, then the brain is now logically in a different state than it would have been without these "random fluctuations". A psychological process caused by this neural process will probably now also be different from what it would have been without the randomly changed neural activation pattern; but the psychic process is still through one, through his Determined brain process.

So far, neural determinism has only been characterized with a view to mental states. But neural determinism claims more. He claims not only that the mental, but that all processes or states that are triggered, initiated or triggered by neuronal (or subsequently by mental) processes are completely determined by these neuronal processes, i.e. also those via nerve cell Motor movements controlled by muscle relationships and the autonomous processes incumbent on the autonomic nervous system such as glandular secretion. The latter - motor and autonomous processes - are after all that make up the “externally” observable and measurable part of behavior or an action in general.Thus, in addition to free will, neurodeterminism also explicitly questions freedom of action.

If the observable or measurable somatic processes are linked to the experience reports of a person, then they are characterized, for example, by Eric Kandel as "complex cognitive actions" or by Wolf Singer as "behavioral achievements": "This includes perceiving, imagining, remembering and forgetting, evaluating, Planning and decision-making, and finally the ability to have emotions. ”[8] The inadequacy of another person's inner perspective is of course not canceled out by the linguistic link between“ cognitive ”and“ action ”or between“ behavior ”and“ performance ”. Mental processes - a feeling of green or the introspective having an idea or a thought - are still not accessible to another person or a measuring device, i.e. from a third-person perspective. They can only be determined or opened up indirectly if a person reports on their experience states or if their physical processes communicate something about these states. Of course, this is and remains something completely different from direct participation or introperspective participation in or even in the midst of the inner perspective of the consciousness of another person (see also: The argument of incomplete knowledge). In short: A subjective state of experience can - according to the classical physical principles previously used in neurobiology - only ever be experienced in its connection with motor or visceral or vegetative processes mediated by the autonomic nervous system.

It is precisely the word "in" in the last sentence that marks the difficulty in explaining a "reverse phase transition" from the psyche to the body and answering related questions: How is the mind in the spoken word, like the psyche in the movement? Making a decision, for example, whatever may have happened in a person's consciousness “purely psychologically”, can only be measured externally in a motor movement or a physical change brought about by the autonomic nervous system, i.e. in a connection with the body . Ultimately, only aspects of physical bondage are recorded: motor movements, behavior, actions. Of course, the human psyche encompasses more. - A student thinks about the task (psychological process) and notes the solution (behavior).A child is ashamed (psychological process) and his face turns red (behavior). Furthermore, the question arises to what extent the above implicit assumptions are correct. Does a neurodetermined decision actually have a causal effect on the world, or is it an epiphenomenon?

In addition to “pure” neuronal determinism, some neurobiological concepts reveal other, albeit also deterministic, conceptions. Some of these are explicitly and even more directly linked to the discussion about free will, such as the motive determinism described by Gerhard Roth and Michael Pauen. [9] The differences are minor, the consequences - human behavior is completely determined - are generally identical. They express themselves in the different accents within the argument, with the help of which determinism is established; so that they appear more like shades, variants, or readings of neural determinism. While “pure” neural determinism consistently asserts the determinism of all psychological processes or mental states, that is, of all “first-person experiences” in a subjective “interior” that cannot be measured and thus not experienced “from the outside” in other "variants" rather emphasize the complete definition of human behavior or the argumentation is primarily limited to the distinction between conscious and unconscious processes.

Ultimately, all views agree on what the formulations "interconnections determine us" [10] by Wolf Singer or "we are determined" [11] by Gerhard Roth express as consistent short formulas. As a result, there seems to be sufficient justification for not making a continuous distinction between different deterministic variants. In the following sections, we will limit ourselves to “pure” determinism, but first take a look at a few differences in the argumentation.

For some neurobiologists and brain researchers, the distinction between levels of consciousness, in particular between unconscious and conscious psychological processes, comes to the fore within the argumentation. This is not necessary to justify the neural determinism. If it is assumed that every psychological process is determined by previous neural processes, then this applies to all degrees of consciousness, to unconscious, preconscious and consciously experienced psychological processes. Conscious and unconscious psychological processes undoubtedly differ, but not in the degree of their fixation. "The more conscious, the less fixed" does not apply to neural determinism. Conscious processes could - which is never the case in real life - determine the decision-making process one hundred percent, but - according to neural determinism - these one hundred conscious decision-making percentages are also determined completely and in detail by preceding neural processes. It just means that all mental states are determined by neural states, regardless of their respective level of consciousness.

In this way, neural determinism escapes the objection that conscious thoughts of consciousness might somehow limit or even cancel out the determinism of human behavior. This "pure" neural determinism is not based on the experiments of Benjamin Libet or other researchers on the so-called free will (see, among others: Libet experiment). Whenever and whether at all a content comes into consciousness; According to this conception, it is always and exclusively a result completely determined by neural processes.

The brain researcher Gerhard Roth bases his argumentation on the distinction between unconscious - anchored in the limbic system - and conscious - with significant involvement of the cerebral cortex - mental processes. [12] The reason: At the beginning and at the end of every decision-making process, only unconsciously effective neural processes of the limbic system are decisive and only they ultimately determine which action is actually carried out and not carried out. In short: The "first and the last" word has thatLimbic system!

Let us assume that the decision "vanilla or strawberry ice cream" is the result of a long process of deliberation and deliberation that begins with the appetite, the craving, the desire that leads us to the ice cream man, and ends with the corresponding ice cream cone in hand. As a temporal occurrence, a process has a beginning and an end. The Limbic System has the "first word". If conscious considerations or considerations should play a role in the decision-making process, these only happen in the meantime, before the unconsciously effective limbic system makes the final decision. Every consciously experienced strawberry wish thought can be overturned in favor of an unconscious vanilla decision made by the limbic system, without us being aware in any way of the processes that actually bring about this change in decision-making. The "first-and-last-word argument" can certainly give the impression that a restriction of determinism through conscious psychological processes is considered possible if only the conscious parts of the decision-making processes emerged late enough, even if they did last word "could have. But this is never the case. Once again: This argument is superfluous to justify "pure" neural determinism, since, according to this view, every conscious experience, every process that takes place in and with consciousness is a psychological process that is completely determined by neural processes.

What are the consequences of neural determinism? What does this mean for our thinking, our actions, our self-image? First of all, neural determinism affects all living beings with neurons and thus also humans and the entirety of their interactions. If neural determinism is true, then all psychological processes and actions of the human being are completely determined by neural processes. If, however, all psychological processes and human actions are determined by neural processes, then far-reaching consequences are connected, which are now listed and then illustrated with a few examples.

If neural determinism is true, then it is not my willful decision to take a certain action that makes me raise my hand. Rather, it is firing neurons in my prefrontal cortex that transmit signals to the premotor cortex and cause my arm muscles to contract. Depending on the action, other brain regions are also involved. When speaking, for example, the Borca area, which is located in the left hemisphere of most right-handed people, controls speech movements. The supplementary motor cortex regulates the sequence and programming of planned actions, and the and anterior cingulate cortex is responsible for emotions and pain as well as for actions. Finally, brain scans indicate that a region called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is related to the subjective experience of a decision about when and how to act.

In none of these cases does neuroscience use causally effective volitional decisions to explain any of our actions. Therefore, and because the assumption of multiple causation is highly unlikely, neurodeterminism is believed by many neuroscientists to be empirically plausible.

If neurodeterminism is true, then all of our current and future lines of argument, weighing up and attempts to justify for or against neuronal determinism have long been established. Then you are tied to your opinion by neural processes and not by the logical force or empirical plausibility of your arguments and explanations.

Should someone read this or not read it, find it plausible or nonsensical - all these considerations and decisions and the moods and feelings associated with them are the result of determined brain processes. When neuroscientists gave their articles the following headings: "We are determined" and "Interconnections determine us", this was the result of completely defined brain processes. Findings, ideas or intuitions, as well as any search for conclusive or incorrect arguments, are psychological processes and thus neuronally determined. And not only that. Which pen the authors chose, which computer they wrote on, or whether they wore a blue shirt or a sweater, all of this was determined by neurons. Even when their academic adversaries picked up a pen to put their objections on paper, this was not the result of their argumentative superiority or inferiority, but the result of determined neural processes.

In neural determinism, unpleasant sensations are just as determined as pleasant ones. All thoughts, feelings and ideas ever produced as well as all logical conclusions, refutations, justifications, defenses, convictions, considerations, in short all emotions and in general: all mental states are neuronally determined. Also the "discovery" of neural determinism itself and the thought that perhaps one neurobiologist has better arguments than another, these are all just as determined processes as all possibly opposing sensations or thoughts, because, according to Wolf Singer: "And how someone weighs up rationally, is in turn determined neuronally. "[13]Neurobiologists, neuroscientists and philosophers who advocate the view that criminals could not have acted otherwise and tried to defend this with arguments, did so because at that moment they too were neuronally determined to plead and pronounce this word sequence known as argumentation.

The idea that "knowledge" is just one of many terms within extensive systems of description that societies like ours use to name such and other processes is a neuronally determined process. The belief that this is still an argument or knowledge is neuronally determined. In any case, arguments do not convince us in such a way that there is an intrapsychic, non-neuronal mechanism inherent in the persuasion process. If we agree or disagree, it is because neural processes have determined us in this way and at this point in time. The neurobiological defense strategy is just as determined as the reference to the plasticity of the brain or the evolutionary adaptation of our cognitive apparatus to reality (evolutionary epistemology).

When a neurobiologist hoped to alleviate his listeners' displeasure with arguments, it was neuronally determined; also when he announced that we do not have to be pessimistic, because we now know that psychotherapy can also help criminals. What has to be added - like pessimism, the addition is also the result of a neuronally determined process - here a therapy is not prescribed for reasons of insight into neurobiological relationships, but because a neuronally determined doctor picks up a pen and intervenes as a result of neuronally determined processes Prepare a prescription that is sent to an equally neuronally determined psychotherapist. This, in turn, does not give therapy based on his psychotherapeutic knowledge, insights and considerations, but because he is neuronally determined to do this or something else. The psychotherapist is no less determined in his behavior than the offender. And if he does not carry out the therapy, it is because he was determined differently. Wolf Singer writes: "Someone made this decision because he was endowed with a brain that could make that decision at that moment and not otherwise."[14]

But what follows from neural determinism Not? If the idea of ​​neural determinism develops into a conviction that is as strong as, for example, the conviction that tomorrow the sun will shine somewhere on earth, then it does not necessarily mean that all human beings fall into a resigned irresponsibility and would no longer have to undertake efforts and regulations for themselves and others. Man would indeed be penetrated by his inner determination, but no man would "know" how, only that he is determined. Not to be forgotten: Resigned beliefs, irresponsible moods, insights, hopes, fears and also the opposite - all of these are psychological processes and therefore neuronally determined.

Neural determinism asserts that human actions are completely fixed, but not that these festivities are completely predictable and predictable. In addition, all actions - including calculations and predictions are actions - that are part of a resigned irresponsibility would only be the result of neuronally determined processes. So there is no point in worrying about what if neurodeterminism was true. Because then everything - this knowledge and all our mental processes before and after - would already be irrevocably established. In memory of Theodor Fontane and his literary hero, Dubslav von Stechlin, we can say that neural determinism satisfies the following view: "If I had said, done, felt or thought the opposite, it would have been just as determined." ]

Contrary to the considerations made above, there is a tendency to harmonize contradictions in some texts of the new neuroscientific literature. On the one hand, the consequences of neural determinism are emphasized, for example and in particular the complete determination of all human decisions and that no one could have acted otherwise than he did. [16] On the other hand, the same determinism is tried to harmonize with the possibility of an open future, objective or real novelty and creativity. [17] For example, Wolf Singer writes: "[...] our brains function according to deterministic laws of nature. But deterministic systems are also open and creative and can bring new things to the world." [Ibid.] That they contain contradictions must is obvious. To characterize a development as open always means that it has to be a non-fixed, i.e. an indeterministic development. A deterministic development can be unknown, but never open. Everything is fixed, regardless of whether we have knowledge of this fixed, whether we can predict it in principle or not. It is - and with it all states or processes or events that belong to this deterministic development - completely fixed from the start; so just not open, but closed.

The differentiating assignment is more difficult when judging the possibility of novelty of events, since novelty, unlike openness, can ultimately only be understood subjectively. The subjectively new relates to the person who takes note of an event. Something is new to the person for the first time, regardless of whether the development being examined is deterministic or not at the moment of becoming aware of it. If we are to speak of an objective conception of the new, this new - independent of any possible knowledge - must relate to the development itself and would thus have the same meaning as the openness mentioned above. The objectively new is that which has not yet been determined, regardless of whether any living being takes note of it or not. "In-itself-new" or objective novelty, like openness, can therefore only occur in indeterministic developments. Both are incompatible with a deterministic development. In a completely determined universe, tomorrow cannot bring anything new, since all the events it contains have been fixed since the Big Bang.

There can also be no real creativity in a deterministic process, insofar as real creativity presupposes openness and novelty. If the outcome of a process is not open, but is fixed from the start, then the process was not creative. The same applies to novelty: If nothing new arises in a process, but only what was already laid down in the initial state of the process, then it was not creative either.

Finally, an objection to neural determinism should be cited, which results from the analysis so far.Neural determinism is based on the assumptions that (a) mental states are realized through material states (naturalism) and that (b) these material states are specifically neuronal states. A mental state is thus realized through the interaction of individual neurons.

Mental states and the human brain are now among the most complex products of evolution to date. So why should nature especially with the brain - figuratively speaking - "have renounced their own foundation", namely the most fundamental and precise theory that humans have found so far and called quantum theory? The brain is felt to be the only object in the universe that scientists do not try to explain in terms of quantum theory, among other things. They justify this primarily by stating that quantum theory is a “theory of the small and cold” and that the brain is too big and warm. Later more.

A very bizarre situation arises from what has been said so far. Neuronal determinism can only seriously claim validity where neurons and neuronal processes can be found. Quantum theory and the physical indeterminism associated with it are universal and neural processes naturally take place in this universe, so that conflicts are inevitable here. We arrive at the peculiar conclusion that neural determinism is apparently compatible with a physical indeterminism that may apply everywhere, except where there are neural and mental states.

How must that in turn - from the point of view of the scientists who represent neural determinism - be interpreted with a view to evolutionary development? The physical reality that can be experienced may be indeterministic, but with the appearance of neural and mental structures, increasingly deterministic, “quantum theory-free” islands appear in this developing cosmos, in which neural determinism, especially in humans, is fully applicable. This imperative consequence - the consequence of neural determinism - is highly counterintuitive, as it meant: The more complex, livelier, perceived freer, “neural and mental” the reality, the more fixed - and the simpler, more lifeless, perceived more determined “non-neuronal and non-psychic”, the more open this world can be.

This paradigm is obviously inadequate scientifically, but as a consequence of the conception of neural determinism it is inevitable, necessary, and imperative. It accepts the physical indeterminism for all processes in the cosmos with the exception of the neural and mental. Quantum theory even leads to the fact that the fatalistic consequence “All events are predetermined”, which would follow from the universal validity of a physical determinism, does not have to follow from neural determinism in the midst of an indeterministic “environment”. Physical determinism would have the necessary consequence that the entire cosmic reality, and not just the neural and mental, is completely determined. Everything would then already be contained in the wool ball of time from the beginning, only in the moment we have named in each case "shows" the corresponding tip of the unwound wool or time thread.

Strangely enough, quantum theory “preserved” neural determinism from this “nightmare”, as Karl Popper called physical determinism. Quantum theory ensures, so to speak, that even if neural determinism were true, the indeterministic developments outside of all living beings that “carry” neurons and psyche could prevent or at least alleviate the nightmare. Of course, undetermined, indeterministic developments would only be possible in the non-neuronal and non-mental “in between”.

Our last question should be: Does the indeterministic quantum theory also apply in the neuronal and thus refute the neuronal determinism? In its simplest simplification, quantum theory is misunderstood as a theory for the "small and cold" that cannot be of importance for neurobiological questions about a "large and warm brain". Thomas Metzinger, philosopher at the University of Mainz, presents himself as a representative of this To recognize his view, whereby he prefaces his remarks with a commitment to natural law determinism: "The current state of the universe is always completely determined by the previous state [...] The brain is a medium-sized object with a temperature of thirty-seven degrees That means: quantum effects cannot play a role for the events that are responsible for our intellectual information processing. The quantum level is not relevant for the problem. "[18]

Thomas Metzinger is sitting here on an outdated idea about the scope of quantum theory. In the 21st century, experiments with quantum information will be carried out in the dayat air temperature carried out, the experimental production of which leads to quantum objects that have an expansion of over a hundred kilometers have[19] This fact alone shakes the standpoint of neural determinism. The visual process of the eye is already being investigated with quantum-theoretical accuracy. Individual photons hit the relatively large retina at body temperature. Furthermore, according to its embryological origin, the retina emerged from the so-called neuroelectroderm and "thus a part of the brain that has been shifted to the periphery". [20] There are many indications that quantum phenomena also play a relevant role in brain processes. This would affect not only the philosophical debates about free will or neurodeterminism, but also those about consciousness (mind-body problem). Perhaps we would then need a quantum-based theory of consciousness, as has already been partially described by the couple Brigitte and Thomas Görnitz.

However, if we are being honest, we must admit that whatever we have read in this essay could be true or false. At the moment we simply don't know enough about the brain as an organ to be able to judge this. Maybe it's determined, maybe indeterministic. There just seems to be one thing - according to all we currently know - not to be: the hometown of a phenomenal self, which has alternative, authorship and autonomy - that is, free will.

Is there one final straw that advocates of human free will could cling to? Yes, but it's small and fragile. Instead of going one level of description “deeper” into the world of quanta from the neuron, we can also zoom out a little and view the brain as an overall system that generates mental states. The so-called emergence theory assumes that some systems have irreducible properties that the individual system components do not yet have. Dune landscapes are a typical example of emergent phenomena. The desert is seen here as a system that creates dune landscapes and consists of grains of sand, although individual grains of sand do not yet create dune landscapes. The phenomenon “dune landscapes” is thus emergent, it cannot be reduced to individual grains of sand, but only arises when these system components interact with one another. Some scientists suspect that the brain could also have similar properties (Qualia, intentionality, free will)that we currently overlook in our technically limited observation and reductionist explanation of the brain. And yes it could. At the moment, "emergence" in connection with the brain is just a popular catchphrase, an exciting thought game that follows our intuitions, but nothing more. There are no models that could plausibly demonstrate how properties such as consciousness or free will should "emerge" when a billion nerve cells interact.

[1]See Singer W. The observer in the brain. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp; 2002: 165.

[2]See Singer W. “We need translators”. A conversation. In: Hüttemann A (ed.). On the power of interpretation of the life sciences. Paderborn: Mentis; 2008: 23.]

[3]See Singer W. The observer in the brain. 2002: 75.

[4]Cf. Roth G. What brain researchers are excited about - and in what way? In: Geyer C (ed.) Brain research and free will. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp; 2004: 78.

[5]See Singer W. The observer in the brain. 2002: 179.

[6]See Singer W. The observer in the brain. 2002: 179.

[7]Singer W. The observer in the brain. 2002, p.75.

[8]See Singer W. Interconnections determine us. 2004: 35.

[9]See Roth G. From the point of view of the brain. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp; 2009: 198-201.

[10]See Singer W. Interconnections determine us. 2004: 30.

[11]See Roth G. We are determined. Brain research frees you from illusions. In Geyer C (ed.). Brain Research and Free Will. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp; 2004: 218.

[12]See Roth G. The problem of free will from the point of view of brain research. In: Information Philosophy. 2004: 83-92.

[13]See Singer W. Who interprets thinking? Discussion between Wolfgang Prinz and Wolf Singer about neuroscience and free will. The time. Issue 29; 2005.

[14]Cf. Singer W. Who interprets thinking? The time. Issue 29; 2005.

[15]See Fontane T. Der Stechlin. In: Fontane's works in five volumes. Fifth volume. Berlin and Weimar: Aufbau-Verlag; 1991: 28.

[16]Cf. Singer W. Who interprets thinking? The time. Issue 29; 2005.

[17]Cf. Singer W. Neurobiological remarks on free will. In: Bonhoeffer T, Gruss P (ed.). Future brain. Munich: C.H.Beck; 2011: 260-261. AND Singer W. Free will is just a good feeling. Interview with Markus C. Schulte von Drach. Süddeutsche Zeitung from January 25, 2006.

[18]See Metzinger T. Philosophy of Consciousness. Is there free will? Filmed interview with Thomas Metzinger from Dierk Heimann. In: Well researched. Science on site, production by Gutenberg.tv; 2010.

[19]See Ursin R, Tiefenbacher F, Schmitt-Manderbach T, Weier H et al. Entanglement-based quantum communication over 144 km. Nature Physics 3; 2007: 481-486.

[20]See Ulfig N. Kurzlehrbuch Embryologie. Stuttgart: Thieme; 2009: 147.

Status: 2017