Desiderio e ragione


  • Antonio Da Re



Antonio Da Re, desiderio, ragione, Greene, Libet, Slong Soon


Desire and Reason: about some neuroethical Issues

Many neuroscientific experiments have tried to investigate the possible correlation between our brain activity and the processes underlying our moral decision- making. By analyzing the experiments conducted by Joshua D. Greene, Benjamin Libet, Chun Siong Soon, the paper addresses the limits of a scientific and objectifying approach. Although the perspective of investigation in the third-person is definitely important, this approach is not comprehensive because it merely photographs emotional (and cognitive) activity of the subject, focusing on a single moment of his/her life. In this way, however, it fails to consider the practical identity of the subject, which is gradually built up over time, and continues to build and to redefine itself in the present and in the outlook of the future. This practical identity should be investigated in the first-person perspective, considering not only the singular actions, but the individual’s plan of life. By referring to some Aristotelian distinctions, the paper argues the intimate relationship existing between desire and reason. By addressing this relationship between desire and reason, which is typical of the human nature, the normative theory of Greene (dual-process theory) is criticized. Moreover, with respect to Libet and Soon’s experiments, it is argued that our freedom is not without determinations. Indeed, freedom deals with our actions, of which we are responsible; we perform these actions on the basis of specific reasons, that are relevant for us. Therefore it is impossible to understand what freedom properly is, regardless of these reasons.