The amount of human voluntary control over our decisions and actions is experienced as very large. However, as beings acting within the rules of physics and psychology, this voluntary control appears to be much diminished. This is one aspect of the long-standing debate on free will, which has been baffling humans for millennia. While originally a philosophical and theological debate, neuroscience has joined this fray in recent decades.
Many now think that philosophers can no longer ignore the neuroscientific results that have been accumulating on volition, action, decision making, and so on. At the same time, neuroscientists cannot make sustained progress without understanding the deep conceptual issues that are key to the debate. This project is therefore a close collaboration between neuroscientists and philosophers who together attempt to understand how the brain enables and controls conscious, causal control of human behavior.