Synthese 199 (1-2):5175-5203 (2021)

Authors
Robyn Waller
Iona College
Abstract
Neuroscientists have located brain activity that prepares or encodes action plans before agents are aware of intending to act. On the basis of these findings and broader agency research, activity in these regions has been proposed as the neural realizers of practical intention. My aim in this paper is to evaluate the case for taking these neural states to be neural representations of intention. I draw on work in philosophy of action on the role and nature of practical intentions to construct a framework of the functional profile of intentions fit for empirical investigation. With this framework, I turn to the broader empirical neuroscience literature on agency to assess these proposed neural representations of intention. I argue that while these neural states in some respects satisfy the functions of intention in planning agency prospective of action, their fit with the role of intention in action execution is not well supported. I close by offering a sketch of which experimental task features could aid in the search for the neural realizer of intention in action.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-020-03020-4
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Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.

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