Effective Intentions

Author: Alfred R. Mele
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199724987
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Each of the following claims has been defended in the scientific literature on free will and consciousness: your brain routinely decides what you will do before you become conscious of its decision; there is only a 100 millisecond window of opportunity for free will, and all it can do is veto conscious decisions, intentions, or urges; intentions never play a role in producing corresponding actions; and free will is an illusion. In Effective Intentions Alfred Mele shows that the evidence offered to support these claims is sorely deficient. He also shows that there is strong empirical support for the thesis that some conscious decisions and intentions have a genuine place in causal explanations of corresponding actions. In short, there is weighty evidence of the existence of effective conscious intentions or the power of conscious will. Mele examines the accuracy of subjects' reports about when they first became aware of decisions or intentions in laboratory settings and develops some implications of warranted skepticism about the accuracy of these reports. In addition, he explores such questions as whether we must be conscious of all of our intentions and why scientists disagree about this. Mele's final chapter closes with a discussion of imaginary scientific findings that would warrant bold claims about free will and consciousness of the sort he examines in this book.

A Dialogue on Free Will and Science

Author: Alfred R. Mele
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 9780199329298
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A Dialogue on Free Will and Science is a brief and intriguing book discussing the scientific challenges of free will. Presented through a dialogue, the format allows ideas to emerge and be clarified and then evaluated in a natural way. Engaging and accessible, it offers students a compelling look at free will and science.

Conscious Will and Responsibility

Author: Benjamin Libet
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195381645
Format: PDF, ePub
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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.

The Power of Fifty Bits

Author: Bob Nease
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062407465
Format: PDF, ePub
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Going beyond the bestsellers Predictably Irrational and Thinking, Fast and Slow, the first “how to” guide that shows you how to help customers, employees, coworkers, and clients make better choices to get what they truly want. Of the ten million bits of information our brains process each second, only fifty bits are devoted to conscious thought. Because our brains are wired to be inattentive, we often choose without thinking, acting against our own interests—what we truly want. As the former Chief Scientist of Express Scripts, a Fortune 25 healthcare company dedicated to making the use of prescription medications safer and more affordable, Bob Nease is an expert on applying behavioral sciences to health care. Now, he applies his knowledge to the wider world, providing important practical solutions marketers, human resources professionals, teachers, and even parents can use to improve the behavior of others around them, and get the positive results they want. Nease offers a set of powerful and effective strategies to change behavior, including: Require Choice—compel people to deliberately choose among options Lock in Good Intentions—allow people to make decisions today about choices they will face in the future Let It Ride—set the default to the desired option and let people opt out if they wish Get in the Flow—go to where peoples’ attention is likely to be naturally Reframe the Choices—set the framework people use to consider options and choices Piggyback It—connect the desired choice or behavior with something they already like or are engaged in Simplify . . . Wisely—make right choices frictionless and easy, make wrong choices more difficult And more.

Autonomous Agents

Author: Alfred R. Mele
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0195150430
Format: PDF, Docs
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Mele argues that even an ideally self-controlled person can fall short of personal autonomy and examines what needs to be added to such a person to yield an autonomous agent. "...Mele has hit his mark in this well-argued, engaging, and thought-provoking book."--The Review of Metaphysics

Free Will and Consciousness

Author: Roy Baumeister
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019538976X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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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.

The Power of Eight

Author: Lynne McTaggart
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1501115561
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Discover how to tap into your extraordinary human capacity for connection and healing using astonishing new findings about the miraculous power of group intention in this new book by the author of the international bestsellers The Intention Experiment and The Field. In The Power of Eight, Lynne McTaggart—whose “work has had an unprecedented impact on the way everyday people think of themselves in the world” (Gregg Braden, author of The Divine Matrix)—reveals her remarkable findings from ten years of experimenting with small and large groups about how the power of group intention can heal our lives and change the world for the better. When individuals in a group focus their intention together on a single target, a powerful collective dynamic emerges that can heal longstanding conditions, mend fractured relationships, lower violence, and even rekindle life purpose. But the greatest untold truth of all is that group intention has a mirror effect, not only affecting the recipient but also reflecting back on the senders. Drawing on hundreds of case studies, the latest brain research, and dozens of McTaggart’s own university studies, The Power of Eight provides solid evidence showing that there is such a thing as a collective consciousness. Now you can learn to use it and unleash the power you hold inside of you to heal your own life, with help from this riveting, highly accessible book.

Free

Author: Alfred R. Mele
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199371636
Format: PDF, Docs
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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.

Surrounding Free Will

Author: Alfred R. Mele
Publisher: OUP Us
ISBN: 0199333955
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In fourteen articles and an introduction, contributors explore the subject of free will from the perspectives of neuroscience; social, cognitive, and developmental psychology; and philosophy (both traditional and experimental).

The Illusion of Conscious Will

Author: Daniel M. Wegner
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262534924
Format: PDF, ePub
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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. With the publication of The Illusion of Conscious Will in 2002, Daniel Wegner proposed an innovative and provocative answer: the feeling of conscious will is created by the mind and brain; it 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 ("the most compelling illusion"), it serves as a guide to understanding ourselves and to developing a sense of responsibility and morality. Wegner was unable to undertake a second edition of the book before his death in 2013; this new edition adds a foreword by Wegner's friend, the prominent psychologist Daniel Gilbert, and an introduction by Wegner's colleague Thalia Wheatley. Approaching conscious will as a topic of psychological study, Wegner examines cases both when people feel that they are willing an act that they are not doing and when they are not willing an act that they in fact are doing in such phenomena as hypnosis, Ouija board spelling, and dissociative identity disorder. Wegner's argument was immediately controversial (called "unwarranted impertinence" by one scholar) but also compelling. Engagingly written, with wit and clarity, The Illusion of Conscious Will was, as Daniel Gilbert writes in the foreword to this edition, Wegner's "magnum opus."