Rational choice: a problem of philosophy of mind and neuroscience
Cognitive science, and especially neuroscience, currently addresses the philosophical problem of human free choice. This article proposes addressing this problem with the methodology of a confrontation between a phenomenological analysis of human decisions and some main points of philosophy of mind and of neuroscience. The author offers a proposal for the meaning of a ‘free’ decision, within the context of intentional actions. While avoiding dualism, which is linked to a pure opposition between a disincarnate act of will and a merely physiological account of what is going on in the brain, the author proposes a unitary conception of intentional cognitive/emotional circuits both in animals and in human beings. Neural activations are just one dimension of those circuits and they need to be analyzed at the intentional level. Truth and good as a permanent background in human intentional powers provide the root of free choices, as essentially different from animal choices.