Philosophy of Mind, Mental Causation and Free Will

Over the last few years in secondary school, Theresa became obsessed with understanding how the human mind works -with all the naïvety that only teenagers can have. She started reading books on the brain, neuropsychology, and came in touch with the Philosophy of Mind.

This topic, the question about the relation between mind and body, stuck with her and became a focus topic in her Philosophy studies. She took classes, read and thought a lot about the question of Mental Causation: How can we explain the feeling that our thoughts, ideas, beliefs, emotions, plans can have affects on our body, as they provoke us to move somewhere or perform other bodily actions?. Also the question if we can keep up the concept of free will while also accepting physical determinism, was bothering her.

Theresa found an idea of the swiss Philosopher Peter Bieri quite valuable, at least when it comes to the classification of different intuitions but also theories on the Mind-body problem. Peter Bieri, in 1996, came up with a Trilemma: three sentences which taken all together all incompatible with each other. However, rejecting any single of the three statements leaves the other two being perfectly compatible.

So Theresa would like to invite the reader to carefully read the three statements and then choose which one they want to reject for the sake of gaining compatbility of the other two.

Think about the following three statements and click on the ONE WHICH YOU WOULD LIKE TO REJECT to explore some theories on the Philosophy of Mind which match your personal decision