Agency, consciousness, and executive control

Philosophia 37 (1):21-30 (2009)

Authors
Andrei Buckareff
Marist College
Jesús H. Aguilar
Rochester Institute of Technology
Abstract
On the Causal Theory of Action (CTA), internal proper parts of an agent such as desires and intentions are causally responsible for actions. CTA has increasingly come under attack for its alleged failure to account for agency. A recent version of this criticism due to François Schroeter proposes that CTA cannot provide an adequate account of either the executive control or the autonomous control involved in full-fledged agency. Schroeter offers as an alternative a revised understanding of the proper role of consciousness in agency. In this paper we criticize Schroeter’s analysis of the type of consciousness involved in executive control and examine the way in which the conscious self allegedly intervenes in action. We argue that Schroeter’s proposal should not be preferred over recent versions of CTA.
Keywords Agency  Intentional action  Causal theory of action  Consciousness  Executive control
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-008-9123-y
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References found in this work BETA

The View From Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
Motivation and Agency.Alfred R. Mele - 2003 - Oxford University Press.

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