Sperry's concept of consciousness

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
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/00201748408602027
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,840
External links

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
Downward Causation.Donald T. Campbell - 1974 - In F. Ayala & T. Dobzhansky (eds.), Studies in the Philosophy of Biology. University of California Press. pp. 179--186.
The Intentionality of Intention and Action.John R. Searle - 1979 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 22 (1-4):253 – 280.
Freedom and Action.Roderick Chisholm - 1966 - In Keith Lehrer (ed.), Freedom and Determinism. Random House.
Forebrain Commissurotomy and Conscious Awareness.Roger W. Sperry - 1977 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 2 (June):101-26.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
The Claims of Consciousness: A Critical Survey.Alastair Hannay - 1987 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 30 (December):395-434.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
A Modified Concept of Consciousness.Roger W. Sperry - 1969 - Psychological Review 76 (6):532-36.
Why the Mind is Not a Radically Emergent Feature of the Brain.Todd E. Feinberg - 2001 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 8 (9-10):123-145.
Structure and Significance of the Consciousness Revolution.Roger W. Sperry - 1987 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 8 (1):37-65.
Consciousness, Free Will and Personal Identity.Roger W. Sperry - 1979 - In David A. Oakley & H.C. Plotkin (eds.), Brain, Behaviour, and Evolution. Methuen & Company.
Roger W. Sperry's Monist Interactionism.Thomas Natsoulas - 1987 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 8:1-21.
A Mentalist View of Consciousness.Roger W. Sperry - 1993 - Social Neuroscience Bulletin 6 (2):15-19.
Sperry on Consciousness as an Emergent Causal Agent.T. McMullen - 1997 - Australian Journal of Psychology 49:152-155.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

33 ( #157,421 of 2,177,988 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #317,698 of 2,177,988 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums