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Neural Plasticity and Volition

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This may already be covered in another topic, but I conducted a search and found none... so... I have some questions:

Are children volitional?

I'd like to see your answers and ask more questions based on those answers.

I am particularly interested in neural plasticity as it relates to development, responsibility and future success.

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Are there growth stages / development or are we born absolutely volitional?
That has the scent of a false dichotomy. We are born with the faculty of reason and analogously with the faculty of volition, just as we have a visual faculty that allows us to see things (that is, plain sensing, not conceptualization). But the faculty of X does not meaning "having X" (similarly, we are born with the faculty of language but not born with language). Volition means chosing between two actions, which means that the mind must present the being with two units (action A or action B ). Rand indicates ("Abstraction as Volition" -- Appendix to ITOE p. 150) that full volition develops in humans, though it has a primitive kind of volition in being able to look or not look. Even that may not exist in newborns, but I'm not sure if that question can be addressed scientifically. So in short, the potential for free choice probably exists from birth, but the concrete ability to make a particular choice does not. Edited by DavidOdden
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That has the scent of a false dichotomy. We are born with the faculty of reason and analogously with the faculty of volition, just as we have a visual faculty that allows us to see things (that is, plain sensing, not conceptualization). But the faculty of X does not meaning "having X" (similarly, we are born with the faculty of language but not born with language). Volition means chosing between two actions, which means that the mind must present the being with two units (action A or action B ). Rand indicates ("Abstraction as Volition" -- Appendix to ITOE p. 150) that full volition develops in humans, though it has a primitive kind of volition in being able to look or not look. Even that may not exist in newborns, but I'm not sure if that question can be addressed scientifically. So in short, the potential for free choice probably exists from birth, but the concrete ability to make a particular choice does not.

Wow...You're pretty smrt. I Don't think I could improve on your answer in any significant way.

I just wanted to add regarding the 'look, not look' issue, that as I understand it takes infants some time to develop the ability to focus and visually isolate objects as seperate entities, up and above actual identification.

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I just wanted to add regarding the 'look, not look' issue, that as I understand it takes infants some time to develop the ability to focus and visually isolate objects as seperate entities, up and above actual identification.

Rand asserted this very thing, that humans start with sensations and fully develop their perceptual faculty over time.

However, Binswanger gave a talk at OCON this year on perception, and during Q&A he specifically addressed this question and split with Rand's view on the topic. He said that he believes that this is not true, or at least has the ability to not be true. Rather he said that there was evidence that newborns are born with the perceptual faculty intact.

His evidence: a 2 hr old colt running beside its mother. His assertion was that if a colt could stand in minutes and be running in 2 hrs it must have been born with it's perceptual faculties intact and complete. Now wether this is the case in human babies is a little tougher to discern, but the potentiality is there.

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