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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?
Andy Clark is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh.
Julian Kiverstein is Postdoctoral Researcher in Philosophy at University of the Edinburgh.
Tillmann Vierkant is Lecturer of Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Introduction Tillmann Vierkant, Julian Kiverstein, and Andy Clark
Part I: The Zombie Challenge
Chapter 2 The Neuroscience of Volition Adina L. Roskies
Chapter 3 Beyond Libet: Long-term Prediction of Free Choices from Neuroimaging Signals John-Dylan Haynes
Chapter 4 Vetoing and Consciousness Alfred R. Mele
Chapter 5 Determinism & Predictability Richard Holton
Part II: The Sense of Agency
Chapter 6 From the Fact to the Sense of Agency Manos Tsakiris and Aikaterini Fotopoulou
Chapter 7 Ambiguity in the Sense of Agency Shaun Gallagher
Chapter 8 There's Nothing Life Being Free: Default Dispositions, Judgments of Freedom, and the Phenomenology of Coercion Fabio Paglieri
Chapter 9 Agency as a Marker of Consciousness Tim Bayne
Part III: The Function of Conscious Control: Conflict Resolution, Emotion, and Mental Actions
Chapter 10 Voluntary Action and the Three Forms of Binding in the Brain Ezequiel Morsella, Tara C. Dennehy, and John A. Bargh
Chapter 11 Emotion Regulation and Free Will Nico H. Frijda
Chapter 12 Action Control by Implementation Intentions: The Role of Discrete Emotions Sam J. Maglio, Peter M. Gollwitzer, and Gabriele Oettingen
Chapter 13 Mental Action and the Threat of Automaticity Wayne Wu
Chapter 14 Mental Acts as Natural Kinds JoŽlle Proust
Part IV: Decomposed Accounts of the Will
Chapter 15 Managerial control and free mental agency Tillmann Vierkant
Chapter 16 Recomposing the Will: Distributed Motivation and Computer Mediated Extrospection Lars Hall and Petter Johansson
Chapter 17 Situationism and Moral Responsibility: Free Will in Fragments Manuel Vargas