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Recovering from Libet’s Left Turn into Veto-as-Volition:A Proposal for Dealing Honestly with the Central Mystery of Libet (1983)

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Author(s): Conal Boyce

Journal: Advances in Molecular Imaging
ISSN 2161-6728

Volume: 02;
Issue: 01;
Start page: 17;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: LIBET | Volition | Free Will | Free Won’t | Mental Timing | Ethics | Hypnotherapy | Rossi &amp | Cheek | Hinduism | Neurophysiology | Readiness Potential | Bereitschaftspotential | EMG Onset | Downward Causation | Unconscious Processes

ABSTRACT
With certain topics the general reader experiences a double-whammy wherein one must peer through a curtain of needlessly obscure jargon to try glimpsing something that is inherently weird in nature. Bell’s nonlocality was once such a topic, but authors have had considerable success over the years in showing where the line is between the enigma itself (in nature) and the human-made oddities surrounding it (in physics). Libet-ology has yet to undergo that de-mystifying process. Accordingly, our first order of business here is to restate its basic tenets in plain English so that only nature’s inherent puzzle is left on the table, free of certain peculiarities of the existing technical literature. We also address the question of the central topic versus its byways, as alluded to by ‘left turn into veto-as-volition’ in our title. (On the final page of Libet’s landmark paper, there is an effort to resurrect free will in the same breath that implicitly just killed it. In this way, the founder of the field placed it into perennial disarray and left its true message in obscurity for decades.) In the ensuing parts of the paper, we look outside the field to see how hypnotherapy and Hinduism might shed light on it.

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Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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