When consciousness matters: A critical review of Daniel Wegner's the illusion of conscious will [Book Review]

Philosophical Psychology 15 (4):527-541 (2002)

Authors
Eddy Nahmias
Georgia State University
Abstract
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
Keywords Consciousness  Illusion  Science  Will  Wegner, D
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DOI 10.1080/0951508021000042049
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References found in this work BETA

Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason.Michael Bratman - 1987 - Center for the Study of Language and Information.

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Citations of this work BETA

Conscious Action/Zombie Action.Joshua Shepherd - 2016 - Noûs 50 (2):419-444.
The Five Marks of the Mental.Tuomas K. Pernu - 2017 - Frontiers in Psychology 8.
Agency, Authorship, and Illusion.Eddy Nahmias - 2005 - Consciousness and Cognition 14 (4):771-785.

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