Front Page Titles (by Subject) Self-Determination - Literature of Liberty, April/June 1978, vol. 1, No. 2
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Self-Determination - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, April/June 1978, vol. 1, No. 2 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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“Bridging Science and Values: A Unifying View of Mind and Brain.” American Psychologist 33 (1977): 237–245.
One modern area where the controversy between free will and determinism is being fought is the mind-brain question and the concept of consciousness. Reacting against the older deterministic position, science may be able to clarify value questions by advancing a non-mechanistic theory of brain functioning. This theory would negate many mechanistic, deterministic, and reductionistic features of the earlier materialist-behaviorist doctrine and allow for a conscious causality in processing value statements.
In this nondeterministic theory, any given brain will respond differently to the same input and will tend to process the same information into very different behavioral paths depending on the brain's specific system of value-priorities. Our current concept of the mind-brain relationship thus attributes an active and causal role in brain processing to the phenomena of consciousness.
Some of the earlier but defective theories of consciousness viewed subjective experiences variously as epiphenomena, as passive parallels of brain activity, as identical to neural events, or, finally, as an artifact of our semantic system. A more adequate interpretation of consciousness is the current one which focuses on conscious thoughts as emergent properties of brain activity which do not require identical correspondence between subjective states and the neural events. Such thoughts are active, causal determinants essential to control normal brain functions. This theory asserts that the subjective properties of brain processing conform to general natural laws: that holistic or system properties can exercise causality.
This complex issue requires some qualification. We possess no empirical proof of the stated theory; however, the traditional behaviorist theory also lacks similar proof. The question comes down to a balance of credibility. During the past decade, the modified causal concept of conscious mind has become more credible than the behaviorist view.
Using the present theory, we may approach questions of value scientifically without reducing man to a neurochemical automaton. Man in this scientific image regains much of his freedom and dignity, both of which were challenged by behaviorists. Current theory in mind-brain relations allows a measure of autonomy: a person can determine his own actions based on his personal judgment, cognitive purposes, or subjective wants. Thus, freedom of choice is introduced into the causality of decision making for man. This clearly enthrones the human brain at the apex of other processing systems in its capacity to choose and select events. This neurophysiological theory appears fully consistent with rationalist views that honor man's cognitive capabilities.
Important consequences flow from whichever model of the human mind we select in reference to the mind-brain controversy. The issues of free will and the nature of man are intimately connected with such technical and scientific research.