Sperry's concept of consciousness

Inquiry 27 (December):399-423 (1984)
This paper explores R. W. Sperry's view that consciousness is ?causally? effective in directing voluntary human behaviour. This view, formulated in the course of his split brain research, presupposes an earlier theory that motor behaviour is the sole output of the brain and that mental phenomena were developed for regulation of overt response. His view of the ?causal? effectiveness of consciousness is shown to be based on a theory of emergent properties like that of Bunge. It is also shown that Sperry, like Bunge, is a materialist; appearances to the contrary are due to occasional use of standard terms such as ?materialism? and ?interaction? in unusual senses. It is argued, with specific reference to Chisholm and Searle, that Sperry's hypothesis is helpful towards elucidating the structure and dynamics of action. It is also argued that it is not, as Sperry thinks, a consequence of his position that moral values are part of brain science
Keywords Behavior  Consciousness  Epistemology  Materialism  Sperry, R
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DOI 10.1080/00201748408602027
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References found in this work BETA
Donald T. Campbell (1974). Downward Causation. In F. Ayala & T. Dobzhansky (eds.), Studies in the Philosophy of Biology. University of California Press 179--186.
Roger W. Sperry (1977). Forebrain Commissurotomy and Conscious Awareness. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 2 (June):101-26.
Richard Taylor (1969). How to Bury the Mind-Body Problem. American Philosophical Quarterly 6 (2):136 - 143.

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Roger W. Sperry (1993). A Mentalist View of Consciousness. Social Neuroscience Bulletin 6 (2):15-19.

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