From In Search of Memory,
“…the laws of physics and chemistry can explain even some aspects of how mind functions – the signalling of the nervous system and therefore the control of behaviour” (Kandel 83).
What is the meaning of free will if everything we do is determined by the laws of physics and chemistry?
So the choices and decisions that we make are based on how the brain is set up, how it is wired at the time of the decision. The way that the brain is wired is dependent on the person’s experiences and memories.
So we say that people make decisions based on who they are, on their own priorities, which come from their personal experience. But in the end, this is just particular wiring in the brain, and its just following rules of physics and chemistry.
So you could create an experience that is designed to create a certain pathway in the brain that would lead to a particular decision later on. Also, you could do this the other way: if you know enough about someone and their past experiences, you can manipulate them into making choices by framing their priorities in the right light.
So do we have free will?