David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Psychology 20 (3):367–374 (2007)
Recent neuroscience and psychology of behavior have suggested that conscious decisions may have no causal role in the etiology of intentional action. Such results pose a threat to traditional philosophical analyses of action. On such views beliefs, desires and conscious willing are part of the causal structure of intentional action. But if the suggestions from neuroscience/psychology are correct, analyses of this kind are wrong. Conscious antecedents of action are epiphenomenal. This essay explores this consequence. It also notes that the traditional alternative to causal analyses of intentional action is not threatened by the putative scientific findings. This, in turn, is ironic in that defenders of the noncausal accounts of action were thought to be in opposition to the natural sciences of action whereas the analyses in the causal style were "on the side of physicalism." This result is also assessed in what follows
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Benjamin W. Libet (1985). Unconscious Cerebral Initiative and the Role of Conscious Will in Voluntary Action. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 8 (4):529-66.
Alvin I. Goldman (1970). A Theory of Human Action. Princeton University Press.
Gilberto Gomes (1998). The Timing of Conscious Experience: A Critical Review and Reinterpretation of Libet's Research. Consciousness and Cognition 7 (4):559-595.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Lynn Nadel (eds.) (2010). Conscious Will and Responsibility: A Tribute to Benjamin Libet. OUP Usa.
Zhu Xu (2010). Laws, Causality and the Intentional Explanation of Action. Frontiers of Philosophy in China 5 (2):280-293.
Robrecht Vanderbeeken (2004). Models of Intentional Explanation. Philosophical Explorations 7 (3):233 – 246.
John M. Connolly (1991). Whither Action Theory. Journal of Philosophical Research 16:85-106.
Gordon Park Stevenson (2004). Revamping Action Theory. Behavior and Philosophy 32 (2):427 - 451.
Joshua Knobe (2003). Intentional Action in Folk Psychology: An Experimental Investigation. Philosophical Psychology 16 (2):309-325.
Sarah K. Paul (2011). Deviant Formal Causation. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 5 (3).
David-Hillel Ruben (2010). The Causal and Deliberative Strength of Reasons for Action. In J. Aguilar & A. Buckareff (eds.), Causing Human Action: New Perspectives on the Causal Theory of Action. Bradford
Thomas Nadelhoffer (2005). Skill, Luck, Control, and Intentional Action. Philosophical Psychology 18 (3):341 – 352.
Alfred R. Mele & Paul K. Moser (1994). Intentional Action. Noûs 28 (1):39-68.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads52 ( #64,833 of 1,725,806 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #110,125 of 1,725,806 )
How can I increase my downloads?