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Effective Intentions

Author: Alfred R. Mele
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199724987
Size: 45.30 MB
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Each of the following claims has been defended in the scientific literature on free will and consciousness: your brain routinely decides what you will do before you become conscious of its decision; there is only a 100 millisecond window of opportunity for free will, and all it can do is veto conscious decisions, intentions, or urges; intentions never play a role in producing corresponding actions; and free will is an illusion. In Effective Intentions Alfred Mele shows that the evidence offered to support these claims is sorely deficient. He also shows that there is strong empirical support for the thesis that some conscious decisions and intentions have a genuine place in causal explanations of corresponding actions. In short, there is weighty evidence of the existence of effective conscious intentions or the power of conscious will. Mele examines the accuracy of subjects' reports about when they first became aware of decisions or intentions in laboratory settings and develops some implications of warranted skepticism about the accuracy of these reports. In addition, he explores such questions as whether we must be conscious of all of our intentions and why scientists disagree about this. Mele's final chapter closes with a discussion of imaginary scientific findings that would warrant bold claims about free will and consciousness of the sort he examines in this book.

Conscious Will And Responsibility

Author: Benjamin Libet
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195381645
Size: 45.29 MB
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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.

A Dialogue On Free Will And Science

Author: Alfred R. Mele
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 9780199329298
Size: 55.55 MB
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A Dialogue on Free Will and Science is a brief and intriguing book discussing the scientific challenges of free will. Presented through a dialogue, the format allows ideas to emerge and be clarified and then evaluated in a natural way. Engaging and accessible, it offers students a compelling look at free will and science.

Free

Author: Alfred R. Mele
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199371636
Size: 13.80 MB
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Does free will exist? The question has fueled heated debates spanning from philosophy to psychology and religion. The answer has major implications, and the stakes are high. To put it in the simple terms that have come to dominate these debates, if we are free to make our own decisions, we are accountable for what we do, and if we aren't free, we're off the hook. There are neuroscientists who claim that our decisions are made unconsciously and are therefore outside of our control and social psychologists who argue that myriad imperceptible factors influence even our minor decisions to the extent that there is no room for free will. According to philosopher Alfred R. Mele, what they point to as hard and fast evidence that free will cannot exist actually leaves much room for doubt. If we look more closely at the major experiments that free will deniers cite, we can see large gaps where the light of possibility shines through. In Free: Why Science Hasn't Disproved Free Will, Mele lays out his opponents' experiments simply and clearly, and proceeds to debunk their supposed findings, one by one, explaining how the experiments don't provide the solid evidence for which they have been touted. There is powerful evidence that conscious decisions play an important role in our lives, and knowledge about situational influences can allow people to respond to those influences rationally rather than with blind obedience. Mele also explores the meaning and ramifications of free will. What, exactly, does it mean to have free will -- is it a state of our soul, or an undefinable openness to alternative decisions? Is it something natural and practical that is closely tied to moral responsibility? Since evidence suggests that denying the existence of free will actually encourages bad behavior, we have a duty to give it a fair chance.

The Power Of Fifty Bits

Author: Bob Nease
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062407465
Size: 19.54 MB
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Going beyond the bestsellers Predictably Irrational and Thinking, Fast and Slow, the first “how to” guide that shows you how to help customers, employees, coworkers, and clients make better choices to get what they truly want. Of the ten million bits of information our brains process each second, only fifty bits are devoted to conscious thought. Because our brains are wired to be inattentive, we often choose without thinking, acting against our own interests—what we truly want. As the former Chief Scientist of Express Scripts, a Fortune 25 healthcare company dedicated to making the use of prescription medications safer and more affordable, Bob Nease is an expert on applying behavioral sciences to health care. Now, he applies his knowledge to the wider world, providing important practical solutions marketers, human resources professionals, teachers, and even parents can use to improve the behavior of others around them, and get the positive results they want. Nease offers a set of powerful and effective strategies to change behavior, including: Require Choice—compel people to deliberately choose among options Lock in Good Intentions—allow people to make decisions today about choices they will face in the future Let It Ride—set the default to the desired option and let people opt out if they wish Get in the Flow—go to where peoples’ attention is likely to be naturally Reframe the Choices—set the framework people use to consider options and choices Piggyback It—connect the desired choice or behavior with something they already like or are engaged in Simplify . . . Wisely—make right choices frictionless and easy, make wrong choices more difficult And more.

Free Will And Consciousness

Author: Roy Baumeister
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019538976X
Size: 19.64 MB
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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.

Rationality Consciousness Free Will

Author: David Hodgson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190208600
Size: 57.90 MB
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In recent years, philosophical discussions of free will have focused largely on whether or not free will is compatible with determinism. 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. In particular, they give us the capacity to respond appositely to feature-rich gestalts of conscious experiences, in ways that are not wholly determined by laws of nature or computational rules. The author contends that this approach is consistent with what science tells us about the world; and he considers its implications for our responsibility for our own conduct, for the role of retribution in criminal punishment, and for the place of human beings in the wider scheme of things. Praise for David Hodgson's previous work, The Mind Matters "magisterial...It is balanced, extraordinarily thorough and scrupulously fair-minded; and it is written in clear, straightforward, accessible prose." --Michael Lockwood, Times Literary Supplement "an excellent contribution to the literature. It is well written, authoritative, and wonderfully wide-ranging. ... This account of quantum theory ... will surely be of great value. ... On the front cover of the paper edition of this book Paul Davies is quoted as saying that this is "a truly splendid and provocative book". In writing this review I have allowed myself to be provoked, but I am happy to close by giving my endorsement to this verdict in its entirety!" --Euan Squires, Journal of Consciousness Studies "well argued and extremely important book." --Sheena Meredith, New Scientist "His reconstructions and explanations are always concise and clear." --Jeffrey A Barrett, The Philosophical Review "In this large-scale and ambitious work Hodgson attacks a modern orthodoxy. Both its proponents and its opponents will find it compelling reading." --J. R. Lucas, Merton College, Oxford

The Illusion Of Conscious Will

Author: Daniel M. Wegner
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262290553
Size: 74.63 MB
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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. In this book Daniel Wegner offers a novel understanding of the issue. Like actions, he argues, the feeling of conscious will is created by the mind and brain. Yet if psychological and neural mechanisms are responsible for all human behavior, how could we have conscious will? The feeling of conscious will, Wegner shows, 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, it serves as a guide to understanding ourselves and to developing a sense of responsibility and morality. Approaching conscious will as a topic of psychological study, Wegner examines the issue from a variety of angles. He looks at illusions of the will -- those cases where people feel that they are willing an act that they are not doing or, conversely, are not willing an act that they in fact are doing. He explores conscious will in hypnosis, Ouija board spelling, automatic writing, and facilitated communication, as well as in such phenomena as spirit possession, dissociative identity disorder, and trance channeling. The result is a book that sidesteps endless debates to focus, more fruitfully, on the impact on our lives of the illusion of conscious will.

Active Consciousness

Author: Amy L. Lansky
Publisher: R.L.Ranch Press
ISBN: 9780972751452
Size: 23.12 MB
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Can you create the future of your dreams? Are paranormal abilities like seeing into the future or affecting objects with your mind really possible? And how do energetic systems of healing actually work? In this exciting and far-ranging book, former NASA computer scientist Amy Lansky, the author of Impossible Cure (www.impossiblecure.com), takes you on a voyage of discovery that weaves all of these strands together. Get ready for an exploration of the esoteric, grounded in an intriguing model of reality based on higher dimensions in space. Comprehensive, yet at the same time accessible and personal, this book invites you to not only learn about these mysterious subjects, but to develop the power of active consciousness for yourself. By including a series of exercises and experiments in meditation and self-inquiry, this book provides an experience that will transform your life and help you evolve to a new level of awareness. (For more information, see www.activeconsciousness.com.) Endorsements for Active Consciousness: Awakening the Power Within - "Amy Lansky leads us on an inspiring and thought-provoking romp through a panoply of portals to our higher dimensional selves. She's an entertaining travel guide to the minds of great scientists, mystics, and philosophers as she argues convincingly that we really can bring the improbable futures we want for ourselves into reality. Let her alter your consciousness and take you higher!" -Jane Katra, author of The Heart of the Mind and Miracles of Mind (www.janekatra.org) "This is a delightful book. Well written and intensely packed with interesting information. It made my head spin-in a good way!" -Dean Radin, author of The Conscious Universe and Entangled Minds (www.deanradin.com) "Amy Lansky's new book is an inspiring and far-ranging investigation of contemporary consciousness research. In her program to spare us from the madness around us, she draws on Rudolf Steiner, Gurdjieff, Rupert Sheldrake, Dean Radin, and many others. She is also encouraging us to explore the transformation of our consciousness as a way to increase our peace of mind, happiness, and what the Buddhists call liberation from the wheel of suffering. Who would not want that?" -Russell Targ, author of Limitless Mind: A Guide to Remote Viewing and Transformation of Consciousness (www.espresearch.com)

The Power Of Eight

Author: Lynne McTaggart
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1501115561
Size: 57.37 MB
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“This is a monumentally significant book, a once-in-a-generation work that will turn the tide in how we unleash the power of healing for each other and for the world. Drink in its meticulous and transparent scientific method, its countless uplifting stories of vivid healing breakthroughs and its breathtakingly luminous vision. Then go manifest The Power of Eight.” —James O'Dea, peace activist, former President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and author of Soul Awakening Practice Discover how to tap into your extraordinary human capacity for connection and healing, using astonishing new findings about the miraculous power of group intention and its boomerang effect, in this new book by the author of the international bestsellers The Intention Experiment and The Field. What we send out into the universe comes back to us, magnified. Although the power of intention—the energy of positive thoughts—is widely accepted as an influential force in transforming lives, the exponential power of group intention has never been explored, until now. In The Power of Eight, Lynne McTaggart, an expert on the science of spirituality, reveals her remarkable findings from ten years of experiments about how group intention can heal our lives—and change the world for the better. Drawing on hundreds of case studies, the latest brain research, and dozens of McTaggart’s own university studies, The Power of Eight provides solid evidence showing that there is such a thing as a collective consciousness. Now you can learn to use it and unleash the power you hold inside of you to heal your own life with help from this riveting, highly accessible new book.