Consciousness, free will, and moral responsibility: Taking the folk seriously

Philosophical Psychology 28 (7):929-946 (2015)
Authors
Joshua Shepherd
Carleton University
Abstract
In this paper, I offer evidence that folk views of free will and moral responsibility accord a central place to consciousness. In sections 2 and 3, I contrast action production via conscious states and processes with action in concordance with an agent's long-standing and endorsed motivations, values, and character traits. Results indicate that conscious action production is considered much more important for free will than is concordance with motivations, values, and character traits. In section 4, I contrast the absence of consciousness with the presence of consciousness in behaviorally identical agents. Most participants attribute free will to conscious agents, but not to nonconscious agents. Focusing in particular on two leading views of free will and moral responsibility, namely, Deep Self and Reasons-Responsive Views, I argue that these results present philosophers of mind and action with the following explanatory burden: develop a substantive theory of the connection between consciousness on the on..
Keywords Experimental Philosophy  Consciousness  Free Will
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Reprint years 2015
DOI 10.1080/09515089.2014.962018
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What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
Explaining Away Incompatibilist Intuitions.Dylan Murray & Eddy Nahmias - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):434-467.

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