“Time and brain: A complex dialogue between philosophers and neuroscientists on consciousness and free will”
Time, as the French philosopher Bergson said and many scientists can observe, constitutes the phenomenon of consciousness as a temporal continuity. Memory constitutes our personality based in our connection to our past; freedom opens our life to the future by the election of something new; and consciousness is that inexplicable continuity between past and future that forms the present by the relation to what surrounds us. Thus, time is inevitably related to consciousness and free will, as it is related also to subconscious and causality. This relationship is, as neuroscientists show, through brain, as the brain itself would have all the properties needed to assure memory, awareness and future planification. Neuroscientists, then, can be tempted to exclude philosophy of their conclusions, as if they could easily solve the problem by their own means. But can they in fact do it? The complex theme of time and free will will be an opportunity to develop the philosophical underlying content of scientific conclusions, that manifest itself in the variety of theories and interpretations. From the difficult definition of “free will” to the epistemological limits of some theories, we will set a dialogue between philosophers and neuroscientists, to distinguish but to also complement both disciplines. Some renowned scientists as Libet, Searle, Filevich, Fuster or Manes, and some sharp philosophers as Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Bergson, Sartre and Bartra, will show us that the dialogue between science and philosophy is neither simple nor impossible, but in fact undoubtedly fruitful.