Is Free Will An Illusion?

Free will could just be a figment of our imagination – it might be that no one has it and never will!

From the view of neuroscience, perhaps in the very moments that we experience a choice our minds rewrite history, fooling us into thinking that this choice – that was actually completed after its consequences were subconsciously perceived – was a choice that we had made all along.

To help explain this, take for example that we see the apparent motion of a dot before seeing that dot reach its destination, and that we feel phantom touches moving up our arm before feeling an actual touch further up our arm!

“Postdictive” illusions of this sort are typically explained by noting that there’s a delay in the time it takes information out in the world to reach conscious awareness:  because it lags slightly behind reality, consciousness “anticipates” future events that haven’t yet entered awareness but have been encoded subconsciously, allowing for an illusion in which the experienced future alters the experienced past.

Here is what Neuroscientists say.

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