Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya • ISSN 2075-7999
peer-reviewed • open access journal


Kotchoubey B. Embodied freedom

Full text in Russian: Кочубей Б. Воплощенная свобода
Eberhardt-Karls-University of Tübingen, Tübingen, FRG

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There is a discrepancy between the belief broadly spread among laymen, psychologists and neurosciences, that freedom of human action and volition contradicts to causality and determinism of science, and the opinion of many philosophers that this contradiction does not exist. Because post-modern science, armed with quantum indetermination, chaos theory and general systems theory, is rather tolerant to violation of strong causality, one might expect the decrease of the interest in the free will versus determinism issue, but the opposite takes place. In can be shown that voluntary activity emerges in animal behavior as a necessary consequence of behavioural complexity, i.e., that complex behavior is necessarily free. What follows from these considerations is a specific view on the nature of freedom and responsibility, which resembles the common sense notion of the corresponding concept rather than their definitions in the scientific literature. This leads to conclusion that the notions of free will and volition really contradict – not to the present-day science, but to a very popular world view. Whereas science would hardly need a change if we assume that human (and animal) behavior is free, a big part of our “folk philosophy” will have to be revised.

Keywords: action, degrees of freedom, determinism, freedom, movement, responsibility, values



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Available online 17 february 2009.

About author

Kotchoubey, Boris. Ph.D., Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, Eberhardt-Karls-University of Tübingen, Gartenstraße 29, 72074 Tübingen, FRG.
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APA Style

Kotchoubey, B. (2009). Embodied freedom. Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya, 1(3). Retrieved from [in Russian, abstr. in English].

Russian State Standard GOST P 7.0.5-2008
Kotchoubey B. Embodied freedom [Electronic resource] // Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya. 2009. N 1(3). URL: (date of access: [in Russian, abstr. in English]

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