Free will and cognitive science still remains; “Are freely

Free Will, in relation to cognitive science, is not an easy argument to solve. Free Will is as defined by the Stanford Dictionary to be, “the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one’s own discretion.” Which means that all humans have the ability to freely act. The notion of free will is difficult to interpret, but pivotal to both individual and social life. For centuries scientists and philosophers have questioned how freedom is feasible in a planet dominated by physical determinism. This however, can be contested by scientists and scholars as to act freely and completely voluntary are superseded by a particular electrical charge in the brain that begins before any alleged act of free will. Studies have shown that a conscious function has the ability to control the outcome of that persons actions; meaning it can reject the act itself. Therefore, free will is not excluded. Finding this information put limitations on how we view free will and how it operates. It can be argued that it would not institute a voluntary act but it could command a performance of that act. The further these findings were looked into, information was revealed that these actions influence the outlook of guilt and duty. However, the question of free will and cognitive science still remains; “Are freely voluntary acts subject to macro- deterministic laws?” Or “Do these appear without such restriction, non-determined by natural laws and ‘truly free’?” I shall present Benjamin Libet’s thoughts as an experimentalist whose outlook about these basic philosophical opposites. 
Analysing the points in relation to cognitive science and free will, cognitive science can either support or refute these ideas, or lead to a reformulation/elimination of the question of their relationship. Though to do this we must take into account the five main threats to the relationship between cognition and free will. The first is determinism. If the brain can be proven to be deterministic then there could be a threat between cognitive science and free will, which is debatable to the individualistic definition of what free will is. This means that if cognitive scientists were able to show the brain as a responsible cause for deliberate choice/decision making, then it could be perceived as threatening to free will.  Although, it is unlikely that cognitive science will ever be able to present information to prove this, as there most likely would not be enough compelling evidence to fully support this. As deterministic systems can present stochastic, indeterministic behaviour. In response to any hypothetical verification in favour of determinism, scientists have stated that the brain itself, and any specific area of the brain, function as casual systems, there could always be the possibility that an trigger somewhere else in the brain that acts as an effect to the operation systems, which would leave the process ultimately indeterministic.
In Libet’s argument of the position of free will in cognitive science, it can be postulated that, though he is not a determinist, implied that humans do not have free will. Libet primarily focused on the unconscious actions found in decisions and considered as free and voluntary. Libet’s interpretation of the so-called readiness potential, seems to favor a sort of decline of the concept of freedom. Libet believed that we have the authority to choose to not act on any urges, referencing free will to be “free won’t”. Since accounts of consciousness of a resolution to predate the action by about 200ms that leaves the representative regarding 100-150ms to impede the action. As Libet stated, it leaves enough time for “free won’t” to repress the action. This led Libet to question, what causes the ‘Veto’. Libet postulated that the rejection is not a corporal motion, so indication too small measure. Similarly, in the “Performance of ‘self-paced’ voluntary acts” experiment that was carried out by Kornhuber & Deecke, (1965), they studied the electrical change that was recordable on the scalp at the vertex. When looking at ‘Bereitschaft- potential’ or ‘readiness potential’, they withdrew this “constraint on freedom of action; subjects performed a simple flick or flexion of the wrist at any time they felt the urge or wish to do so.” This raised questions to whether we can ever truly compare subjective and objective timings. Libet proposed that this kind of action is a question representative of a model of free will. In this experiment we are programmed to press the theoretical button. 
Libet heavily suggest that firstly; it should be not attributable to any “external” controls or pressures to influence the event of the voluntary act under analysis: i.e, it should be endogenous. Secondly, Libet argued the subject of the matter should feel that they wanted to do this action on their own accord, and feel that they could control what is being done, when to do it or when not to do it.  Despite this, studies show that many actions lack the second attribute of Libet’s argument. An example of this is – according to Libet, “when the primary motor area of the cereal cortex is stimulated, muscle contradictions can be produced in certain sites in the body.” There are many disorders of the mind which act in a similar difference when actions and will occur. One of these is the involuntary actions of cereal palsy, Tourette’s syndrome and even obsessive compile disorders, which go against the act of free will as they are involuntary disorders. This viewpoint touches upon the threat of naturalism between cognitive science and the concept of free will. Naturalism as a threat is similar determinism, as they are both based on what is meant by free will, and can only threaten according to the definition. Under the assumption that the mind only functions according to natural laws, meaning there are no non-natural entities, such as a soul, in our being. When analysing this in relation to naturalism and the mental state, scholars have questioned whether free will would truly be threatened. This would be the case only if free will requires operation of non-natural entities. Therefore, as Libet postulates we can never truly have free will as there are parts of the mind that limit and go against our nature to act freely. 
However, though Libet was a main influence to the relationship of cognitive science and free will,  Jon-Dylan Haynes suggested the possibility of a long-term determinants of human purpose that would advance the reactive aim observed. Haynes began by investigating each region of the brain in order to decide how much information each region had relation to the result of a motor resolution. Haynes continued to identify if any main brain activity selectively was able to for see the result of the subject’s selection, rather than reflecting potentially nonspecific preliminary procedures. In Haynes recent work there was an increase in focus on investigating the veto. Haynes questioned that if a subject is told that their brain is ready to act, can they reject it? Haynes argued that this is possible, but only up to a point. “Thus, a network of high-level control areas can begin to shape an upcoming decision long before it enters awareness.” In relation to cognitive science does this mean we can continue to keep our traditional idea of free will? I believe that findings such as these make it harder to just accept that free will defined as a choice we make, as even if we try to repress actions in our brains we are unable to, which contradicts free will as its traditional concept. In some lights, we have free will in relation to the idea that if we want to walk from point a to b we are able to, or if we wish to say something we can. However, the concept that free will is truly our free thoughts of something seems questionable, as Libet and Haynes have postulated.
Beyond this, the relationship between cognition and free will can be questioned in relation to the surrounding environment/society. If we are conditioned by society, do we ever truly have free will? Or if we do have free will, is it limited and or repressed? When researching into this topic systems in our mind such as habit forming can be used to help provide answers to these questions. Habit forming notes that we condition ourselves to follow a certain path of doing something, and whether we are really responsible for it if it is cause of habit. Habit forming also uses the influence of society, as do we just follow our habits because society suggests we do so or is it actually a action of free will. Although, some habits are not that of a small, insignificant scale. They can be actions that go against our best nature and learnt behaviour such as sky diving. Despite this, which is a conscious decision to sky dive or something of a similar nature, we do not want to have actions happen for no purpose as it acts as an involuntary assumption of our best nature. In order to fully understand the relationship between cognition and free will, there needs to be a clear concept of what free will actually means and how it relates to mental and a cause. Free will has been dubbed throughout years of research to be an illusion to the human mind. According to some scholars, determinism can be established directly within ourselves. This statement however, may conclude that free will is ultimately an illusion. Under the deliberation that free will acts as a condition, this condition would be unsuited with determinism as it interpreted.
In conclusion, cognitive science implies that free will is a construct that can never really be true. Arguably, this is due to the lack of a clear definition that is established in relation free will. Free will can be influenced by surrounding factors such as society, force of habits etc. We have free will to a certain extent of what we consciously do and how we do it and when we choose to not do it. However, these are all influenced by a part of our mind that gives us the normality to walk from a to b, or do sky dive out of a plane. Though we consciously are making the choice to do this action, it can possibly be influenced by a deeper part of our determinate mind. If we have an involuntary disorder that results in a action that goes against our choices, do we arguably have free will? If someone is born a mute their minds do not allow them the capability to function in a way that, therefore, are they born without free will? Ethically, in some parts of the world people are denied free will out right from the people in a position of power. Free will is an elusive but pivotal idea. Scientist have concluded that for many years we understand that the functioning of the brain has the knowledge of the existence of free will and also the belief that we have free will. Along with this, we know of the incompatibility of free will and determinism that leads to free will being seen as an illusion of sorts. This ultimately adds to the idea of free will being a concept we can never attain as we are never truly free to consciously make our own choices in life, as each part of our mind functions in a pre-determinate nature.