The Biology of Human Behavior & Individuality: Is there Free Will?
What are we to make of our predicament as biological creatures? Biologically, our behavior is directly caused by our neurology responding to environmental stimuli in the context of our acute and chronic hormonal situation which was significantly shaped by our perinatal environment and its biology, not to mention the random factors inherent in our individual genetics which are also governed by the population genetics of our direct lineage which was shaped by the ecological factors that govern the complex of gene-environment interactions in that population plus the effects of millions of years of evolutionary history.
Given this biological causality, what does it mean to be an individual human being? What does it mean that our individuality is the result of both random and deterministic biological processes? Is our individuality not "us", but the imposition of our biology upon us? Is life simply our biology running the show giving us an illusion of free will? If our biology is responsible for who we are and how we behave, what are we? And do we really have free will?
Follow the link for three Robert Sapolsky videos that pursue these questions and more. Two of the videos are from his "Human Behavioral Biology" course which is free to watch in its entirety on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=EC848F2368C90DDC3D (25 videos, nearly 37 hours). You can watch the videos as edutainment: they are excellent.