Description : We all seem to think that we do the acts we do because we consciously choose to do them. This commonsense view is thrown into dispute by Benjamin Libet's eyebrow-raising experiments, which seem to suggest that conscious will occurs not before but after the start of brain activity that produces physical action.Libet's striking results are often claimed to undermine traditional views of free will and moral responsibility and to have practical implications for criminal justice. His work has also stimulated a flurry of further fascinating scientific research--including findings in psychology by Dan Wegner and in neuroscience by John-Dylan Haynes--that raises novel questions about whether conscious will plays any causal role in action. Critics respond that both commonsense views of action and traditional theories of moral and legal responsibility, as well as free will, can survive the scientific onslaught of Libet and his progeny. To further this lively debate, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Lynn Nadel have brought together prominent experts in neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, and law to discuss whether our conscious choices really cause our actions, and what the answers to that question mean for how we view ourselves and how we should treat each other.
Description : Do we consciously cause our actions, or do they happen to us? Philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, theologians, and lawyers have long debated the existence of free will versus determinism. With the publication of The Illusion of Conscious Will in 2002, Daniel Wegner proposed an innovative and provocative answer: the feeling of conscious will is created by the mind and brain; it helps us to appreciate and remember our authorship of the things our minds and bodies do. Yes, we feel that we consciously will our actions, Wegner says, but at the same time, our actions happen to us. Although conscious will is an illusion ("the most compelling illusion"), it serves as a guide to understanding ourselves and to developing a sense of responsibility and morality. Wegner was unable to undertake a second edition of the book before his death in 2013; this new edition adds a foreword by Wegner's friend, the prominent psychologist Daniel Gilbert, and an introduction by Wegner's colleague Thalia Wheatley. Approaching conscious will as a topic of psychological study, Wegner examines cases both when people feel that they are willing an act that they are not doing and when they are not willing an act that they in fact are doing in such phenomena as hypnosis, Ouija board spelling, and dissociative identity disorder. Wegner's argument was immediately controversial (called "unwarranted impertinence" by one scholar) but also compelling. Engagingly written, with wit and clarity, The Illusion of Conscious Will was, as Daniel Gilbert writes in the foreword to this edition, Wegner's "magnum opus."
Description : Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility is an edited collection of new essays by an internationally recognized line-up of contributors. It is aimed at readers who wish to explore the philosophical and scientific arguments for free will skepticism and their implications.
Description : In this challenging book, David Hodgson takes a fresh approach to the question of free will, contending that close consideration of human rationality and human consciousness shows that together they give us free will, in a robust and indeterministic sense, and in a way that is consistent with what science tells us about the world.
Description : Neil Levy presents a new theory of freedom and responsibility. He defends a particular account of consciousness—the global workspace view—and argues that consciousness plays an especially important role in action. There are good reasons to think that the naïve assumption, that consciousness is needed for moral responsibility, is in fact true.
Description : This volume is aimed at readers who wish to move beyond debates about the existence of free will and the efficacy of consciousness and closer to appreciating how free will and consciousness might operate. It draws from philosophy and psychology, the two fields that have grappled most fundamentally with these issues. In this wide-ranging volume, the contributors explore such issues as how free will is connected to rational choice, planning, and self-control; roles for consciousness in decision making; the nature and power of conscious deciding; connections among free will, consciousness, and quantum mechanics; why free will and consciousness might have evolved; how consciousness develops in individuals; the experience of free will; effects on behavior of the belief that free will is an illusion; and connections between free will and moral responsibility in lay thinking. Collectively, these state-of-the-art chapters by accomplished psychologists and philosophers provide a glimpse into the future of research on free will and consciousness.
Description : This book contributes to understanding of the contemporary relationship between Muslims and the Western societies in which they live, focusing particularly on the UK. Chapters reflect on the nature of multiculturalism, as well as a wide range of specific aspects of daily life, including religious dialogue, gender, freedom of speech and politics.
Description : This is a comprehensive reference work that provides an exhaustive guide to scholarship on the perennial problem of free will.
Description : John M. Doris presents a new account of agency and responsibility, which reconciles our understanding of ourselves as moral agents with psychological research on the unconscious mind. Much philosophical theorizing maintains that the exercise of morally responsible agency consists in judgment and behavior ordered by accurate reflection. On such theories, when human beings are able to direct their lives in the manner philosophers have dignified with the honorific 'agency', it's because they know what they're doing, and why they're doing it. This understanding is compromised by quantities of psychological research on unconscious processing, which suggests that accurate reflection is distressingly uncommon; very often behavior is ordered by surprisingly inaccurate self-awareness. Thus, if agency requires accurate reflection, people seldom exercise agency, and skepticism about agency threatens. To counter the skeptical threat, John M. Doris proposes an alternative theory that requires neither reflection nor accurate self-awareness: he identifies a dialogic form of agency where self-direction is facilitated by exchange of the rationalizations with which people explain and justify themselves to one another. The result is a stoutly interdisciplinary theory sensitive to both what human beings are like—creatures with opaque and unruly psychologies-and what they need: an account of agency sufficient to support a practice of moral responsibility.