David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (12):67-76 (2005)
Abstract : Libet’s famous experiments, showing that apparently we become aware of our intention to act only after we have unconsciously formed it, have widely been taken to show that there is no such thing as free will. If we are not conscious of the formation of our intentions, many people think, we do not exercise the right kind of control over them. I argue that the claim this view presupposes, that only consciously initiated actions could be free, places a condition upon freedom of action which it is in principle impossible to fulfil, for reasons that are conceptual and not merely contingent. Exercising this kind of control would require that we control our control system, which would simply cause the same problem to arise at a higher-level or initiate an infinite regress of controllings. If the unconscious initiation of actions, as well as the takings of decisions, is incompatible with control over them, then free will is impossible on conceptual grounds. Thus, Libet’s experiments do not constitute a separate, empirical, challenge to our freedom
|Keywords||Action Contingency Experiment Free Will Intention Science Libet, Benjamin|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Neil Levy & Michael McKenna (2009). Recent Work on Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Philosophy Compass 4 (1):96-133.
Similar books and articles
Benjamin W. Libet (2001). Consciousness, Free Action and the Brain: Commentary on John Searle's Article (with Reply From Searle). Journal of Consciousness Studies 8 (8):59-65.
Alexander Batthyany (2009). Mental Causation and Free Will After Libet and Soon: Reclaiming Conscious Agency. In Alexander Batthyany & Avshalom Elitzur (eds.), Irreducibly Conscious. Selected Papers on Consciousness. Winter.
Gilberto Gomes (1999). Volition and the Readiness Potential. Journal of Consciousness Studies 6 (8-9):59-76.
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Lynn Nadel (eds.) (2010). Conscious Will and Responsibility: A Tribute to Benjamin Libet. Oup Usa.
Sean A. Spence (2006). The Cycle of Action: A Commentary on Garry Young (2006). Journal of Consciousness Studies 13 (3):69-72.
Benjamin Libet, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Lynn Nadel (eds.) (2010). Conscious Will and Responsibility: A Tribute to Benjamin Libet. Oxford University Press.
Markus E. Schlosser (2012). Free Will and the Unconscious Precursors of Choice. Philosophical Psychology 25 (3):365-384.
Storrs McCall (2013). Does the Brain Lead the Mind? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (2):262-265.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads31 ( #63,544 of 1,413,279 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #30,334 of 1,413,279 )
How can I increase my downloads?