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Free Will and Modern Science

Richard Swinburne (ed.)

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
January 2013
ISBN:
9780197264898
eISBN:
9780191754074
Item type:
book
Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:
10.5871/bacad/9780197264898.001.0001
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind

Do humans have a free choice of which actions to perform? Three recent developments of modern science can help us to answer this question. First, new investigative tools have enabled us to study the ... More


Libet and the case for free will scepticism1

TIM BAYNE

in Free Will and Modern Science

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
January 2013
ISBN:
9780197264898
eISBN:
9780191754074
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:
10.5871/bacad/9780197264898.003.0003
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind

This chapter examines what is arguably the most influential rebutting objection in the current literature, an objection that appeals to Benjamin Libet's studies concerning the neural basis of agency. ... More


Effective Intentions: The Power of Conscious Will

Alfred R Mele

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
May 2009
ISBN:
9780195384260
eISBN:
9780199869909
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195384260.001.0001
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology, General

This book has both a negative aim and a positive aim. The negative aim is to show that some recent influential scientific claims about free will, consciousness, and action‐production are not ... More


Psychology and Free Will: A Commentary

Alfred R Mele

in Are We Free?: Psychology and Free Will

Published in print:
2008
Published Online:
May 2008
ISBN:
9780195189636
eISBN:
9780199868605
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195189636.003.0018
Subject:
Psychology, Social Psychology

This chapter is a commentary on the others, concentrating on themes that link many of them. It provides conceptual background on free will, distinguishes among distinct philosophical positions on the ... More


Criminal and Moral Responsibility and the Libet Experiments

Larry Alexander

in Conscious Will and Responsibility: A Tribute to Benjamin Libet

Published in print:
2010
Published Online:
January 2011
ISBN:
9780195381641
eISBN:
9780199864911
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195381641.003.0018
Subject:
Psychology, Cognitive Psychology

This chapter analyzes how Libet's experiments bear on criminal and moral responsibility. More specifically, it addresses the question of whether Libet has demonstrated that the consciously willed ... More


Libet’s Challenge(s) to Responsible Agency

Michael S. Moore

in Conscious Will and Responsibility: A Tribute to Benjamin Libet

Published in print:
2010
Published Online:
January 2011
ISBN:
9780195381641
eISBN:
9780199864911
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195381641.003.0019
Subject:
Psychology, Cognitive Psychology

This chapter examines the neuroscientific challenges stemming from the kind of experiments begun in the early 1980s by Benjamin Libet and his associates. It argues that Libet's work is ... More


Why Libet’s Studies Don’t Pose a Threat to Free Will

Adina L. Roskies

in Conscious Will and Responsibility: A Tribute to Benjamin Libet

Published in print:
2010
Published Online:
January 2011
ISBN:
9780195381641
eISBN:
9780199864911
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195381641.003.0003
Subject:
Psychology, Cognitive Psychology

This chapter reviews Libet's main claims, and the implications he drew from them about free will and responsibility. It considers first whether, on the supposition that the claims are correct, the ... More


Conscious Will and Responsibility: A Tribute to Benjamin Libet

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Lynn Nadel (eds)

Published in print:
2010
Published Online:
January 2011
ISBN:
9780195381641
eISBN:
9780199864911
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195381641.001.0001
Subject:
Psychology, Cognitive Psychology

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 ... More


Libet on Free Will: Readiness Potentials, Decisions, and Awareness

Alfred R. Mele

in Conscious Will and Responsibility: A Tribute to Benjamin Libet

Published in print:
2010
Published Online:
January 2011
ISBN:
9780195381641
eISBN:
9780199864911
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195381641.003.0004
Subject:
Psychology, Cognitive Psychology

Benjamin Libet contends both that “the brain ‘decides’ to initiate or, at least, prepare to initiate [certain actions] before there is any reportable subjective awareness that such a decision has ... More


Lessons from Libet

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

in Conscious Will and Responsibility: A Tribute to Benjamin Libet

Published in print:
2010
Published Online:
January 2011
ISBN:
9780195381641
eISBN:
9780199864911
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195381641.003.0020
Subject:
Psychology, Cognitive Psychology

The real question that Libet's experiments raise is whether our conscious wills cause the willed actions. What is at issue is the effects rather than the causes of conscious will. The question is ... More


Neuroscience and Free Will

Alfred R. Mele

in Effective Intentions: The Power of Conscious Will

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
May 2009
ISBN:
9780195384260
eISBN:
9780199869909
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195384260.003.0004
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology, General

Benjamin Libet claims to have discovered that conscious intentions to “act now” are never among the causes of corresponding intentional actions and that all free will can do is to veto conscious ... More


 Free Will and Neuroscience

Alfred R. Mele

in Free Will and Luck

Published in print:
2006
Published Online:
February 2006
ISBN:
9780195305043
eISBN:
9780199786015
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0195305043.003.0002
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology

This chapter argues that neuroscientist Benjamin Libet’s data do not justify his assertion that “the brain ‘decides’ to initiate [certain actions] before there is any reportable subjective awareness ... More


Libet and the Criminal Law’s Voluntary Act Requirement

Gideon Yaffe

in Conscious Will and Responsibility: A Tribute to Benjamin Libet

Published in print:
2010
Published Online:
January 2011
ISBN:
9780195381641
eISBN:
9780199864911
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195381641.003.0017
Subject:
Psychology, Cognitive Psychology

This chapter explains the meaning and explores the historical sources of the voluntary act requirement in law. It argues that in many ways, even incorporating Libet's discoveries, there is no reason ... More


Neuroscience and Causes of Action

Alfred R. Mele

in Effective Intentions: The Power of Conscious Will

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
May 2009
ISBN:
9780195384260
eISBN:
9780199869909
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195384260.003.0003
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology, General

This chapter defends two theses: first, Benjamin Libet's data do not justify his assertion that “the brain ‘decides’ to initiate [certain actions] before there is any reportable subjective awareness ... More


Do We Have Free Will?

Benjamin Libet

in Conscious Will and Responsibility: A Tribute to Benjamin Libet

Published in print:
2010
Published Online:
January 2011
ISBN:
9780195381641
eISBN:
9780199864911
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195381641.003.0002
Subject:
Psychology, Cognitive Psychology

This chapter presents a classic essay in which Benjamin Libet lays out his basic experimental results and draws philosophical lessons regarding free will and responsibility. He argues that the ... More


The Phenomenology of Agency and the Libet Results

Terry Horgan

in Conscious Will and Responsibility: A Tribute to Benjamin Libet

Published in print:
2010
Published Online:
January 2011
ISBN:
9780195381641
eISBN:
9780199864911
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195381641.003.0015
Subject:
Psychology, Cognitive Psychology

This chapter focuses on the phenomenal character of agentive experience—i.e., what it is like to experience oneself as the conscious author of one's behavior. Experiences with this distinctive kind ... More


The Threat of Shrinking Agency and Free Will Disillusionism

Thomas Nadelhoffer

in Conscious Will and Responsibility: A Tribute to Benjamin Libet

Published in print:
2010
Published Online:
January 2011
ISBN:
9780195381641
eISBN:
9780199864911
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195381641.003.0016
Subject:
Psychology, Cognitive Psychology

Whereas the traditional free will debate focused on the free part of “free will”—with an emphasis on alternative possibilities and the ability to do otherwise—many of the new threats from psychology ... More


Are Voluntary Movements Initiated Preconsciously? The Relationships between Readiness Potentials, Urges, and Decisions

Susan Pockett and Suzanne C. Purdy

in Conscious Will and Responsibility: A Tribute to Benjamin Libet

Published in print:
2010
Published Online:
January 2011
ISBN:
9780195381641
eISBN:
9780199864911
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195381641.003.0005
Subject:
Psychology, Cognitive Psychology

Libet's data show that EEG readiness potentials begin before the urge to move is consciously felt. This result has been widely interpreted as showing that spontaneous voluntary movements are ... More


Free Will: Theories, Analysis, and Data

Alfred R. Mele

in Does Consciousness Cause Behavior?

Published in print:
2006
Published Online:
August 2013
ISBN:
9780262162371
eISBN:
9780262281690
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262162371.003.0011
Subject:
Neuroscience, Behavioral Neuroscience

This chapter examines the concepts that inform the recent experimental studies of intentional action. Drawing on a distinction between unconscious urge and conscious decision, it argues that the ... More


Volition: How Physiology Speaks to the Issue of Responsibility

Mark Hallett

in Conscious Will and Responsibility: A Tribute to Benjamin Libet

Published in print:
2010
Published Online:
January 2011
ISBN:
9780195381641
eISBN:
9780199864911
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195381641.003.0007
Subject:
Psychology, Cognitive Psychology

This chapter describes an experiment designed to time the thought (T) of movement without relying on introspective data or retrospective reconstruction. It shows that T occurred later than observable ... More


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