“Synderesis, reasoning and emotions for moral decisions”
A philosophical approach to the theories regarding moral decisions from a fundamental neuro-ethics point of view. My objective is to analyse and contrast the knowledge on the neural correlates of moral decisions. While there is a relationship between rational decisions and emotional decisions, this has implications for deeper human philosophical problems, which leads to more general questions about the freedom of the individual and their actual ability to make their own decisions based on moral judgements, empathy and the control, or lack of control, of impulses. From a neuroscience perspective, the problem of freedom is viewed with suspicion because, according to several authors (Vgr. Libet and Youngren), we would be at the mercy of what the brain dictates, even unconsciously. This requires a philosophical framework that carefully analyses studies with control groups, for example, made up of patients with abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex (the ventromedial, the dorsolateral and the orbitofrontal). The results that are currently being obtained with these studies yield a fertile field for significant philosophical research that will aid us in uncovering what the mechanisms through which we make our own decisions are – if we really are making them. The path from the biological to the mental seems very risky, but there are elements that will perhaps enable us to defend free will and the concept of person, beyond what medicine and some scientists deem possible. Are we just a mind created by the brain itself that makes us believe that there is a self?