When consciousness matters: A critical review of Daniel Wegner's the illusion of conscious will [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Psychology 15 (4):527-541 (2002)
In The illusion of conscious will , Daniel Wegner offers an exciting, informative, and potentially threatening treatise on the psychology of action. I offer several interpretations of the thesis that conscious will is an illusion. The one Wegner seems to suggest is "modular epiphenomenalism": conscious experience of will is produced by a brain system distinct from the system that produces action; it interprets our behavior but does not, as it seems to us, cause it. I argue that the evidence Wegner presents to support this theory, though fascinating, is inconclusive and, in any case, he has not shown that conscious will does not play a crucial causal role in planning, forming intentions, etc. This theory's potential blow to our self-conception turns out to be a glancing one
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Citations of this work BETA
Neil Levy (2009). Neuroethics: Ethics and the Sciences of the Mind. Philosophy Compass 4 (1):69-81.
Andrew E. Monroe & Bertram F. Malle (2010). From Uncaused Will to Conscious Choice: The Need to Study, Not Speculate About People’s Folk Concept of Free Will. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (2):211-224.
Marc V. P. Slors (2007). Intentional Systems Theory, Mental Causation and Empathic Resonance. Erkenntnis 67 (2):321-336.
Eddy Nahmias (2011). Why 'Willusionism' Leads to 'Bad Results': Comments on Baumeister, Crescioni, and Alquist. Neuroethics 4 (1):17-24.
Vishnu Sridharan (forthcoming). Rational Action and Moral Ownership. Neuroethics:1-9.
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