Making a Scientific Case for Conscious Agency and Free Will Book

Making a Scientific Case for Conscious Agency and Free Will

  • Author : William R. Klemm
  • Publisher : Academic Press
  • Release Date : 2016-02-11
  • Genre: Medical
  • Pages : 118
  • ISBN 10 : 9780128052891

Making a Scientific Case for Conscious Agency and Free Will Excerpt :

Making a Scientific Case for Conscious Agency and Free Will makes a series of arguments that certain human behaviors are impossible to explain in the absence of free will, and that free will emerges from materialistic processes of brain function. It outlines future directions for neuroscience studies that can harness emerging technologies and tools for systems-level analysis. All humans have the sensation that they consciously will certain things to happen and that, in the absence of external constraints, they are free to choose from among alternatives. This notion of free will is deemed obvious by the average person based on common experience. Free will is frequently defended with arguments stemming from social, legal, philosophical, and religious perspectives. But these arguments appeal to consequences—not causes—of choices and decisions. In the past 3 decades, debate has raged within the scientific community over whether free will is in fact an illusion. Because free will would require conscious agency, the supporting corollary is that consciousness itself cannot do anything and is merely an observer rather than an actor. Considers arguments for and against free will from religious, social, legal, and neuroscience perspectives Provides thorough coverage of the manifold human behaviors that can be explained only by free will, from consciousness to creativity Outlines future directions for further neuroscience research into the topic

Why Free Will Is Real Book

Why Free Will Is Real

  • Author : Christian List
  • Publisher : Harvard University Press
  • Release Date : 2019-05-06
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 176
  • ISBN 10 : 9780674239814

Why Free Will Is Real Excerpt :

Many scientists and scientifically-minded philosophers are skeptical that free will exists. In clear, scientifically rigorous terms, Christian List explains that free will is like other real phenomena that emerge from physical laws but are autonomous from them—like an ecosystem or the economy—and are indispensable for explaining our world.

Free Will Book
Score: 3
From 23 Ratings

Free Will

  • Author : Sam Harris
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • Release Date : 2012-03-06
  • Genre: Religion
  • Pages : 96
  • ISBN 10 : 9781451683400

Free Will Excerpt :

Sam Harris, bestselling author of THE END OF FAITH takes on one of today's liveliest issues: whether or not we actually have free will.

Free Will and Modern Science Book

Free Will and Modern Science

  • Author : Richard Swinburne
  • Publisher : OUP/British Academy
  • Release Date : 2011-12-01
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 260
  • ISBN 10 : 0197264891

Free Will and Modern Science Excerpt :

Do humans have the kind of free will which makes them morally responsible for their actions? Essays by distinguished scientists and philosophers investigate whether neuroscience, Quantum theory or mathematics show that human behaviour is or is not fully determined by prior brain states.

Free Will and Consciousness Book

Free Will and Consciousness

  • Author : Gregg D. Caruso
  • Publisher : Lexington Books
  • Release Date : 2012
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 313
  • ISBN 10 : 9780739171363

Free Will and Consciousness Excerpt :

This book argues two main things: The first is that there is no such thing as free will—at least not in the sense most ordinary folk take to be central or fundamental; the second is that the strong and pervasive belief in free will can be accounted for through a careful analysis of our phenomenology and a proper theoretical understanding of consciousness.

The Illusion of Conscious Will Book
Score: 4.5
From 2 Ratings

The Illusion of Conscious Will

  • Author : Daniel M. Wegner
  • Publisher : MIT Press
  • Release Date : 2003-08-11
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 440
  • ISBN 10 : 9780262290555

The Illusion of Conscious Will Excerpt :

A novel contribution to the age-old debate about free will versus determinism. Do we consciously cause our actions, or do they happen to us? Philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, theologians, and lawyers have long debated the existence of free will versus determinism. In this book Daniel Wegner offers a novel understanding of the issue. Like actions, he argues, the feeling of conscious will is created by the mind and brain. Yet if psychological and neural mechanisms are responsible for all human behavior, how could we have conscious will? The feeling of conscious will, Wegner shows, helps us to appreciate and remember our authorship of the things our minds and bodies do. Yes, we feel that we consciously will our actions, Wegner says, but at the same time, our actions happen to us. Although conscious will is an illusion, it serves as a guide to understanding ourselves and to developing a sense of responsibility and morality. Approaching conscious will as a topic of psychological study, Wegner examines the issue from a variety of angles. He looks at illusions of the will—those cases where people feel that they are willing an act that they are not doing or, conversely, are not willing an act that they in fact are doing. He explores conscious will in hypnosis, Ouija board spelling, automatic writing, and facilitated communication, as well as in such phenomena as spirit possession, dissociative identity disorder, and trance channeling. The result is a book that sidesteps endless debates to focus, more fruitfully, on the impact on our lives of the illusion of conscious will.

Did My Neurons Make Me Do It  Book

Did My Neurons Make Me Do It

  • Author : Nancey Murphy
  • Publisher : OUP Oxford
  • Release Date : 2007-06-14
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 352
  • ISBN 10 : 9780191526916

Did My Neurons Make Me Do It Excerpt :

If humans are purely physical, and if it is the brain that does the work formerly assigned to the mind or soul, then how can it fail to be the case that all of our thoughts and actions are determined by the laws of neurobiology? If this is the case, then free will, moral responsibility, and, indeed, reason itself would appear to be in jeopardy. Nancey Murphy and Warren S. Brown here defend a non-reductive version of physicalism whereby humans are (sometimes) the authors of their own thoughts and actions. Did My Neurons Make Me Do It? brings together insights from both philosophy and the cognitive neurosciences to defeat neurobiological reductionism. One resource is a 'post-Cartesian' account of mind as essentially embodied and constituted by action-feedback-evaluation-action loops in the environment, and 'scaffolded' by cultural resources. Another is a non-mysterious account of downward (mental) causation explained in terms of a complex, higher-order system exercising constraints on lower-level causal processes. These resources are intrinsically related: the embeddedness of brain events in action-feedback loops is the key to their mentality, and those broader systems have causal effects on the brain itself. With these resources Murphy and Brown take on two problems in philosophy of mind: a response to the charges that physicalists cannot account for the meaningfulness of language nor the causal efficacy of the mental qua mental. Solutions to these problems are a prerequisite to addressing the central problem of the book: how can biological organisms be free and morally responsible? The authors argue that the free-will problem is badly framed if it is put in terms of neurobiological determinism; the real issue is neurobiological reductionism. If it is indeed possible to make sense of the notion of downward causation, then the relevant question is whether humans exert downward causation over some of their own parts and processes. If all organisms do this to some exten

Decomposing the Will Book

Decomposing the Will

  • Author : Andy Clark
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Release Date : 2013-02-25
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 368
  • ISBN 10 : 9780199876877

Decomposing the Will Excerpt :

There is growing evidence from the science of human behavior that our everyday, folk understanding of ourselves as conscious, rational, responsible agents may be radically mistaken. The science, some argue, recommends a view of conscious agency as merely epiphenomenal: an impotent accompaniment to the whirring unconscious machinery (the inner zombie) that prepares, decides and causes our behavior. The new essays in this volume display and explore this radical claim, revisiting the folk concept of the responsible agent after abandoning the image of a central executive, and "decomposing" the notion of the conscious will into multiple interlocking aspects and functions. Part 1 of this volume provides an overview of the scientific research that has been taken to support "the zombie challenge." In part 2, contributors explore the phenomenology of agency and what it is like to be the author of one's own actions. Part 3 then explores different strategies for using the science and phenomenology of human agency to respond to the zombie challenge. Questions explored include: what distinguishes automatic behavior and voluntary action? What, if anything, does consciousness contribute to the voluntary control of behavior? What does the science of human behavior really tell us about the nature of self-control?

Free Will  Causality  and Neuroscience Book

Free Will Causality and Neuroscience

  • Author : Bernard Feltz
  • Publisher : Brill / Rodopi
  • Release Date : 2019-11
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 184
  • ISBN 10 : 9004372911

Free Will Causality and Neuroscience Excerpt :

This book aims to show that recent developments in neuroscience permit a defense of free will. Through language, human beings can escape strict biological determinism.

Free Will and Consciousness Book

Free Will and Consciousness

  • Author : Roy Baumeister
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Release Date : 2010-07-09
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 240
  • ISBN 10 : 9780190452872

Free Will and Consciousness Excerpt :

This volume is aimed at readers who wish to move beyond debates about the existence of free will and the efficacy of consciousness and closer to appreciating how free will and consciousness might operate. It draws from philosophy and psychology, the two fields that have grappled most fundamentally with these issues. In this wide-ranging volume, the contributors explore such issues as how free will is connected to rational choice, planning, and self-control; roles for consciousness in decision making; the nature and power of conscious deciding; connections among free will, consciousness, and quantum mechanics; why free will and consciousness might have evolved; how consciousness develops in individuals; the experience of free will; effects on behavior of the belief that free will is an illusion; and connections between free will and moral responsibility in lay thinking. Collectively, these state-of-the-art chapters by accomplished psychologists and philosophers provide a glimpse into the future of research on free will and consciousness.

Islamic Psychology Book

Islamic Psychology

  • Author : G. Hussein Rassool
  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Release Date : 2021-03-31
  • Genre: Psychology
  • Pages : 517
  • ISBN 10 : 9781000363081

Islamic Psychology Excerpt :

Islamic Psychology or ilm an-nafs (science of the soul) is an important introductory textbook drawing on the latest evidence in the sub-disciplines of psychology to provide a balanced and comprehensive view of human nature, behaviour and experience. Its foundation to develop theories about human nature is based upon the writings of the Qur'an, Sunna, Muslim scholars and contemporary research findings. Synthesising contemporary empirical psychology and Islamic psychology, this book is holistic in both nature and process and includes the physical, psychological, social and spiritual dimensions of human behaviour and experience. Through a broad and comprehensive scope, the book addresses three main areas: Context, perspectives and the clinical applications of applied psychology from an Islamic approach. This book is a core text on Islamic psychology for undergraduate and postgraduate students and those undertaking continuing professional development in Islamic psychology, psychotherapy and counselling. Beyond this, it is also a good supporting resource for teachers and lecturers in this field.

The Learning Skills Cycle Book

The Learning Skills Cycle

  • Author : William R. Klemm
  • Publisher : Rowman & Littlefield
  • Release Date : 2017-03-01
  • Genre: Education
  • Pages : 195
  • ISBN 10 : 9781475833232

The Learning Skills Cycle Excerpt :

This book's ideas demonstrate how students are not adequately taught the learning skills necessary for superior academic achievement. The major reason schools are failing is that there is less emphasis on teaching students how to learn, the focus is on what to learn instead. This book provides teachers and parents with many concepts and tactics that they can use to teach children how to learn more efficiently and effectively. This book identifies and explains those skills and frames them as interacting in a mutually interacting and reinforcing cycle that I call the Learning Skills Cycle.

Are We Free  Psychology and Free Will Book

Are We Free Psychology and Free Will

  • Author : John Baer
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Release Date : 2008-02-25
  • Genre: Psychology
  • Pages : 368
  • ISBN 10 : 9780190293475

Are We Free Psychology and Free Will Excerpt :

Do people have free will, or this universal belief an illusion? If free will is more than an illusion, what kind of free will do people have? How can free will influence behavior? Can free will be studied, verified, and understood scientifically? How and why might a sense of free will have evolved? These are a few of the questions this book attempts to answer. People generally act as though they believe in their own free will: they don't feel like automatons, and they don't treat one another as they might treat robots. While acknowledging many constraints and influences on behavior, people nonetheless act as if they (and their neighbors) are largely in control of many if not most of the decisions they make. Belief in free will also underpins the sense that people are responsible for their actions. Psychological explanations of behavior rarely mention free will as a factor, however. Can psychological science find room for free will? How do leading psychologists conceptualize free will, and what role do they believe free will plays in shaping behavior? In recent years a number of psychologists have tried to solve one or more of the puzzles surrounding free will. This book looks both at recent experimental and theoretical work directly related to free will and at ways leading psychologists from all branches of psychology deal with the philosophical problems long associated with the question of free will, such as the relationship between determinism and free will and the importance of consciousness in free will. It also includes commentaries by leading philosophers on what psychologists can contribute to long-running philosophical struggles with this most distinctly human belief. These essays should be of interest not only to social scientists, but to intelligent and thoughtful readers everywhere.

Free Book
Score: 4
From 1 Ratings


  • Author : Alfred R. Mele
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Release Date : 2014-09-02
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 192
  • ISBN 10 : 9780199371631

Free Excerpt :

Does free will exist? The question has fueled heated debates spanning from philosophy to psychology and religion. The answer has major implications, and the stakes are high. To put it in the simple terms that have come to dominate these debates, if we are free to make our own decisions, we are accountable for what we do, and if we aren't free, we're off the hook. There are neuroscientists who claim that our decisions are made unconsciously and are therefore outside of our control and social psychologists who argue that myriad imperceptible factors influence even our minor decisions to the extent that there is no room for free will. According to philosopher Alfred R. Mele, what they point to as hard and fast evidence that free will cannot exist actually leaves much room for doubt. If we look more closely at the major experiments that free will deniers cite, we can see large gaps where the light of possibility shines through. In Free: Why Science Hasn't Disproved Free Will, Mele lays out his opponents' experiments simply and clearly, and proceeds to debunk their supposed findings, one by one, explaining how the experiments don't provide the solid evidence for which they have been touted. There is powerful evidence that conscious decisions play an important role in our lives, and knowledge about situational influences can allow people to respond to those influences rationally rather than with blind obedience. Mele also explores the meaning and ramifications of free will. What, exactly, does it mean to have free will -- is it a state of our soul, or an undefinable openness to alternative decisions? Is it something natural and practical that is closely tied to moral responsibility? Since evidence suggests that denying the existence of free will actually encourages bad behavior, we have a duty to give it a fair chance.

Conscious Will and Responsibility Book

Conscious Will and Responsibility

  • Author : Walter Sinnott-Armstrong
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Release Date : 2011
  • Genre: Medical
  • Pages : 278
  • ISBN 10 : 9780195381641

Conscious Will and Responsibility Excerpt :

We all seem to think that we do the acts we do because we consciously choose to do them. This commonsense view is thrown into dispute by Benjamin Libet's eyebrow-raising experiments, which seem to suggest that conscious will occurs not before but after the start of brain activity that produces physical action.Libet's striking results are often claimed to undermine traditional views of free will and moral responsibility and to have practical implications for criminal justice. His work has also stimulated a flurry of further fascinating scientific research--including findings in psychology by Dan Wegner and in neuroscience by John-Dylan Haynes--that raises novel questions about whether conscious will plays any causal role in action. Critics respond that both commonsense views of action and traditional theories of moral and legal responsibility, as well as free will, can survive the scientific onslaught of Libet and his progeny. To further this lively debate, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Lynn Nadel have brought together prominent experts in neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, and law to discuss whether our conscious choices really cause our actions, and what the answers to that question mean for how we view ourselves and how we should treat each other.