Effective Intentions

Author: Alfred R. Mele
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199724987
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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.

Conscious Will and Responsibility

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

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.

Rationality Consciousness Free Will

Author: David Hodgson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190208600
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In recent years, philosophical discussions of free will have focused largely on whether or not free will is compatible with determinism. In this challenging book, David Hodgson takes a fresh approach to the question of free will, contending that close consideration of human rationality and human consciousness shows that together they give us free will, in a robust and indeterministic sense. In particular, they give us the capacity to respond appositely to feature-rich gestalts of conscious experiences, in ways that are not wholly determined by laws of nature or computational rules. The author contends that this approach is consistent with what science tells us about the world; and he considers its implications for our responsibility for our own conduct, for the role of retribution in criminal punishment, and for the place of human beings in the wider scheme of things. Praise for David Hodgson's previous work, The Mind Matters "magisterial...It is balanced, extraordinarily thorough and scrupulously fair-minded; and it is written in clear, straightforward, accessible prose." --Michael Lockwood, Times Literary Supplement "an excellent contribution to the literature. It is well written, authoritative, and wonderfully wide-ranging. ... This account of quantum theory ... will surely be of great value. ... On the front cover of the paper edition of this book Paul Davies is quoted as saying that this is "a truly splendid and provocative book". In writing this review I have allowed myself to be provoked, but I am happy to close by giving my endorsement to this verdict in its entirety!" --Euan Squires, Journal of Consciousness Studies "well argued and extremely important book." --Sheena Meredith, New Scientist "His reconstructions and explanations are always concise and clear." --Jeffrey A Barrett, The Philosophical Review "In this large-scale and ambitious work Hodgson attacks a modern orthodoxy. Both its proponents and its opponents will find it compelling reading." --J. R. Lucas, Merton College, Oxford

The Power of Fifty Bits

Author: Bob Nease
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062407465
Format: PDF, Docs
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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.

The Conscious Brain

Author: Jesse J. Prinz
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199977070
Format: PDF
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The problem of consciousness continues to be a subject of great debate in cognitive science. Synthesizing decades of research, The Conscious Brain advances a new theory of the psychological and neurophysiological correlates of conscious experience. Prinz's account of consciousness makes two main claims: first consciousness always arises at a particular stage of perceptual processing, the intermediate level, and, second, consciousness depends on attention. Attention changes the flow of information allowing perceptual information to access memory systems. Neurobiologically, this change in flow depends on synchronized neural firing. Neural synchrony is also implicated in the unity of consciousness and in the temporal duration of experience. Prinz also explores the limits of consciousness. We have no direct experience of our thoughts, no experience of motor commands, and no experience of a conscious self. All consciousness is perceptual, and it functions to make perceptual information available to systems that allows for flexible behavior. Prinz concludes by discussing prevailing philosophical puzzles. He provides a neuroscientifically grounded response to the leading argument for dualism, and argues that materialists need not choose between functional and neurobiological approaches, but can instead combine these into neurofunctional response to the mind-body problem. The Conscious Brain brings neuroscientific evidence to bear on enduring philosophical questions, while also surveying, challenging, and extending philosophical and scientific theories of consciousness. All readers interested in the nature of consciousness will find Prinz's work of great interest.

Reason Will and Emotion

Author: P. Crittenden
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1137030976
Format: PDF, Docs
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This powerful exploration of an important topic in philosophy of mind from ancient to contemporary philosophy presents an original argument against the current direction of debate and examines a wide range of philosophers from both continental and analytic traditions.

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.

Talking to Our Selves

Author: John M. Doris
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191047325
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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John M. Doris presents a new account of agency and responsibility, which reconciles our understanding of ourselves as moral agents with psychological research on the unconscious mind. Much philosophical theorizing maintains that the exercise of morally responsible agency consists in judgment and behavior ordered by accurate reflection. On such theories, when human beings are able to direct their lives in the manner philosophers have dignified with the honorific 'agency', it's because they know what they're doing, and why they're doing it. This understanding is compromised by quantities of psychological research on unconscious processing, which suggests that accurate reflection is distressingly uncommon; very often behavior is ordered by surprisingly inaccurate self-awareness. Thus, if agency requires accurate reflection, people seldom exercise agency, and skepticism about agency threatens. To counter the skeptical threat, John M. Doris proposes an alternative theory that requires neither reflection nor accurate self-awareness: he identifies a dialogic form of agency where self-direction is facilitated by exchange of the rationalizations with which people explain and justify themselves to one another. The result is a stoutly interdisciplinary theory sensitive to both what human beings are like—creatures with opaque and unruly psychologies-and what they need: an account of agency sufficient to support a practice of moral responsibility.

Active Consciousness

Author: Amy L. Lansky
Publisher: R.L.Ranch Press
ISBN: 9780972751452
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Can you create the future of your dreams? Are paranormal abilities like seeing into the future or affecting objects with your mind really possible? And how do energetic systems of healing actually work? In this exciting and far-ranging book, former NASA computer scientist Amy Lansky, the author of Impossible Cure (www.impossiblecure.com), takes you on a voyage of discovery that weaves all of these strands together. Get ready for an exploration of the esoteric, grounded in an intriguing model of reality based on higher dimensions in space. Comprehensive, yet at the same time accessible and personal, this book invites you to not only learn about these mysterious subjects, but to develop the power of active consciousness for yourself. By including a series of exercises and experiments in meditation and self-inquiry, this book provides an experience that will transform your life and help you evolve to a new level of awareness. (For more information, see www.activeconsciousness.com.) Endorsements for Active Consciousness: Awakening the Power Within - "Amy Lansky leads us on an inspiring and thought-provoking romp through a panoply of portals to our higher dimensional selves. She's an entertaining travel guide to the minds of great scientists, mystics, and philosophers as she argues convincingly that we really can bring the improbable futures we want for ourselves into reality. Let her alter your consciousness and take you higher!" -Jane Katra, author of The Heart of the Mind and Miracles of Mind (www.janekatra.org) "This is a delightful book. Well written and intensely packed with interesting information. It made my head spin-in a good way!" -Dean Radin, author of The Conscious Universe and Entangled Minds (www.deanradin.com) "Amy Lansky's new book is an inspiring and far-ranging investigation of contemporary consciousness research. In her program to spare us from the madness around us, she draws on Rudolf Steiner, Gurdjieff, Rupert Sheldrake, Dean Radin, and many others. She is also encouraging us to explore the transformation of our consciousness as a way to increase our peace of mind, happiness, and what the Buddhists call liberation from the wheel of suffering. Who would not want that?" -Russell Targ, author of Limitless Mind: A Guide to Remote Viewing and Transformation of Consciousness (www.espresearch.com)