David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Consciousness Studies 9 (11):3-29 (2002)
In everyday life we take it for granted that we have conscious control of some of our actions and that the part of us that exercises control is the conscious mind. Psychosomatic medicine also assumes that the conscious mind can affect body states, and this is supported by evidence that the use of imagery, hypnosis, biofeedback and other ‘mental interventions’ can be therapeutic in a variety of medical conditions. However, there is no accepted theory of mind/body interaction and this has had a detrimental effect on the acceptance of mental causation in science, philosophy and in many areas of clinical practice. Biomedical accounts typically translate the effects of mind into the effects of brain functioning, for example, explaining mind/body interactions in terms of the interconnections and reciprocal control of cortical, neuroendocrine, autonomic and immune systems. While such accounts are instructive, they are implicitly reductionist, and beg the question of how conscious experiences could have bodily effects. On the other hand, non-reductionist accounts have to cope with three problems: 1) The physical world appears causally closed, which would seem to leave no room for conscious intervention. 2) One is not conscious of one’s own brain/body processing, so how could there be conscious control of such processing? 3) Conscious experiences appear to come too late to causally affect the processes to which they most obviously relate. This paper suggests a way of understanding mental causation that resolves these problems. It also suggests that “conscious mental control” needs to be partly understood in terms of the voluntary operations of the preconscious mind, and that this allows an account of biological determinism that is compatible with experienced free will
|Keywords||Brain Consciousness Experience Mental Causation Metaphysics|
|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
Komarine Romdenh-Romluc (2011). Time for Consciousness: Intention and Introspection. [REVIEW] Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 10 (3):369-376.
Similar books and articles
Benjamin W. Libet (2003). Can Conscious Experience Affect Brain Activity? Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (12):24-28.
Donald Hoffman (2008). Conscious Realism and the Mind-Body Problem. Mind and Matter 6 (1):87-121.
Max Velmans (1990). Is the Mind Conscious, Functional or Both? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (4):629-630.
Daniel M. Wegner (2003). The Mind's Best Trick: How We Experience Conscious Will. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7 (2):65-69.
Daniel M. Wegner (2004). Précis of the Illusion of Conscious Will. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (5):649-659.
Ram L. P. Vimal (2010). Consciousness, Non-Conscious Experiences and Functions, Proto-Experiences and Proto-Functions, and Subjective Experiences. Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research 1 (3):383-389.
Max Velmans (2004). Why Conscious Free Will Both is and Isn't an Illusion. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (5):677.
Max Velmans (2003). Preconscious Free Will. Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (12):42-61.
Ron Chrisley, Aaron Sloman, Matthias Scheutz & Nick Hawes (2002). How Velmans' Conscious Experiences Affected Our Brains. Journal of Consciousness Studies 9 (11):58-62.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads58 ( #29,288 of 1,102,110 )
Recent downloads (6 months)9 ( #28,748 of 1,102,110 )
How can I increase my downloads?