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Effective Intentions

Author: Alfred R. Mele
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199724987
Size: 36.25 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: 25.10 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: 19.69 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.

The Illusion Of Conscious Will

Author: Daniel M. Wegner
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262534924
Size: 68.42 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. 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."

The Conscious Brain

Author: Jesse J. Prinz
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199977070
Size: 57.58 MB
Format: PDF
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The problem of consciousness continues to be a subject of great debate in cognitive science. Synthesizing decades of research, The Conscious Brain advances a new theory of the psychological and neurophysiological correlates of conscious experience. Prinz's account of consciousness makes two main claims: first consciousness always arises at a particular stage of perceptual processing, the intermediate level, and, second, consciousness depends on attention. Attention changes the flow of information allowing perceptual information to access memory systems. Neurobiologically, this change in flow depends on synchronized neural firing. Neural synchrony is also implicated in the unity of consciousness and in the temporal duration of experience. Prinz also explores the limits of consciousness. We have no direct experience of our thoughts, no experience of motor commands, and no experience of a conscious self. All consciousness is perceptual, and it functions to make perceptual information available to systems that allows for flexible behavior. Prinz concludes by discussing prevailing philosophical puzzles. He provides a neuroscientifically grounded response to the leading argument for dualism, and argues that materialists need not choose between functional and neurobiological approaches, but can instead combine these into neurofunctional response to the mind-body problem. The Conscious Brain brings neuroscientific evidence to bear on enduring philosophical questions, while also surveying, challenging, and extending philosophical and scientific theories of consciousness. All readers interested in the nature of consciousness will find Prinz's work of great interest.

Reason Will And Emotion

Author: P. Crittenden
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1137030976
Size: 55.27 MB
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This powerful exploration of an important topic in philosophy of mind from ancient to contemporary philosophy presents an original argument against the current direction of debate and examines a wide range of philosophers from both continental and analytic traditions.

The Power Of Eight

Author: Lynne McTaggart
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1501115545
Size: 39.22 MB
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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. When individuals in a group focus their intention together on a single target, a powerful collective dynamic emerges that can heal longstanding conditions, mend fractured relationships, lower violence, and even rekindle life purpose. But the greatest untold truth of all is that group intention has a mirror effect, not only affecting the recipient but also reflecting back on the senders. 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. And you can join a series of worldwide Intention Experiments that will run on a major web television channel in 120 countries during the book’s initial publication and afterward.

Autonomous Agents

Author: Alfred R. Mele
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0195150430
Size: 71.85 MB
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Mele argues that even an ideally self-controlled person can fall short of personal autonomy and examines what needs to be added to such a person to yield an autonomous agent. "...Mele has hit his mark in this well-argued, engaging, and thought-provoking book."--The Review of Metaphysics

Free Will And Consciousness

Author: Gregg D. Caruso
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 0739171364
Size: 35.78 MB
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This book argues two main things: The first is that there is no such thing as free will—at least not in the sense most ordinary folk take to be central or fundamental; the second is that the strong and pervasive belief in free will can be accounted for through a careful analysis of our phenomenology and a proper theoretical understanding of consciousness.


Author: Alfred R. Mele
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199371628
Size: 30.54 MB
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"Scientists have forged a penetrating, coherent course in the study of human thought and action. Yet some of the same scientists have slashed out an adjacent, rough-hewn path, cutting at the roots of the belief in free will and at the groundwork of relationships among the conscious will, the mind, and the brain. Claiming to disprove the existence of free will is not only wrongheaded, Mele argues, but harmful; research shows that people who don't believe they are free are more likely to behave badly, as they sink into feeling like they aren't responsible for their actions. Putting a positive spin on this, Mele conveys what he calls the 'good news' that we are freer than we think. If we see ourselves as morally responsible for our future actions, we can begin to view ourselves as having abilities and capacities that give us considerable control over what we do. Mele takes apart the findings of neuroscience and psychology experiments often cited as irrefutably disproving the existence of free will, for example those of Benjamin Libet, and demonstrates that their results have been misinterpreted. Mele explains why the experimental findings are actually consistent with our making many of our decisions consciously and with our having considerable control over many of our decisions and actions. In order to find truth and clarity on this crucial topic, Mele argues, philosophers, scientists, and psychologists alike need to explore one another's work rather than relying on scientific findings - and a rigid interpretation of those findings- as the only key to solving the complex puzzle that is free will"--