Freedom and Neurobiology: Reflections on Free Will, Language, and Political Power by John Searle

Freedom and Neurobiology: Reflections on Free Will, Language, and Political Power

byJohn Searle

Paperback | September 17, 2008

not yet rated|write a review

Pricing and Purchase Info

$21.08 online 
$26.00 list price save 18%
Earn 105 plum® points

In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores

about

Our self-conception derives mostly from our own experience. We believe ourselves to be conscious, rational, social, ethical, language-using, political agents who possess free will. Yet we know we exist in a universe that consists of mindless, meaningless, unfree, nonrational, brute physical particles. How can we resolve the conflict between these two visions?

In Freedom and Neurobiology, the philosopher John Searle discusses the possibility of free will within the context of contemporary neurobiology. He begins by explaining the relationship between human reality and the more fundamental reality as described by physics and chemistry. Then he proposes a neurobiological resolution to the problem by demonstrating how various conceptions of free will have different consequences for the neurobiology of consciousness.

In the second half of the book, Searle applies his theory of social reality to the problem of political power, explaining the role of language in the formation of our political reality. The institutional structures that organize, empower, and regulate our lives-money, property, marriage, government-consist in the assignment and collective acceptance of certain statuses to objects and people. Whether it is the president of the United States, a twenty-dollar bill, or private property, these entities perform functions as determined by their status in our institutional reality. Searle focuses on the political powers that exist within these systems of status functions and the way in which language constitutes them.

Searle argues that consciousness and rationality are crucial to our existence and that they are the result of the biological evolution of our species. He addresses the problem of free will within the context of a neurobiological conception of consciousness and rationality, and he addresses the problem of political power within the context of this analysis.

A clear and concise contribution to the free-will debate and the study of cognition, Freedom and Neurobiology is essential reading for students and scholars of the philosophy of mind.

About The Author

John Searle is Slusser Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of sixteen books, including Speech Acts; Expression and Meaning; Intentionality; Minds, Brains, and Science; The Rediscovery of the Mind; The Construction of Social Reality; Rationality in Action; and Mind: An Introduction. His w...
Mind: A Brief Introduction
Mind: A Brief Introduction

by John R. Searle

$34.46

In stock online

Not available in stores

Seeing Things as They Are: A Theory of Perception
Seeing Things as They Are: A Theory of Perception

by John Searle

$26.23$29.95

In stock online

Available in stores

Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language
Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language

by John R. Searle

$46.89$58.62

Available for download

Not available in stores

Shop this author

Details & Specs

Title:Freedom and Neurobiology: Reflections on Free Will, Language, and Political PowerFormat:PaperbackDimensions:128 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.03 inPublished:September 17, 2008Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231137532

ISBN - 13:9780231137539

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of Freedom and Neurobiology: Reflections on Free Will, Language, and Political Power

Reviews

Extra Content

Table of Contents

Introduction. Philosophy and the Basic Facts1. Free Will as a Problem in Neurobiology2. Social Ontology and Political PowerIndex

Editorial Reviews

Perhaps most importantly, it sets forth a suggestive vision of the systematic connections across various philosophical fields and avenues for their further exploration.