Intentional Action and the Post-Coma Patient

Topoi 33 (1):23-31 (2014)
Authors
Zoe Drayson
University of California, Davis
Abstract
Detecting conscious awareness in a patient emerging from a coma state is problematic, because our standard attributions of conscious awareness rely on interpreting bodily movement as intentional action. Where there is an absence of intentional bodily action, as in the vegetative state, can we reliably assume that there is an absence of conscious awareness? Recent neuroimaging work suggests that we can attribute conscious awareness to some patients in a vegetative state by interpreting their brain activity as intentional mental action. I suggest that this change of focus, from the interpretation of motor behaviour as intentional bodily action to the interpretation of neural activity as intentional mental action, raises philosophical issues that affect the interpretation of the neuroimaging data
Keywords Argument from volition  Consciousness  Imagination  Intention  Mental action  Vegetative state
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DOI 10.1007/s11245-013-9185-8
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References found in this work BETA

Mental Action and Self-Awareness.Christopher Peacocke - 2006 - In Jonathan D. Cohen & Brian P. McLaughlin (eds.), Contemporary Debates in the Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell.
The Vegetative State and the Science of Consciousness.Nicholas Shea & Tim Bayne - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (3):459.
Mental Ballistics or the Involuntariness of Spontaniety.Galen Strawson - 2003 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (3):227-257.

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Citations of this work BETA

Are There Levels of Consciousness?Tim Bayne, Jakob Hohwy & Adrian M. Owen - 2016 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 20 (6):405-413.

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