Free Will and Consciousness by Roy Baumeister,Alfred Mele,Kathleen Vohs

Free Will and Consciousness
  • Title : Free Will and Consciousness
  • Author : Roy Baumeister,Alfred Mele,Kathleen Vohs
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • ISBN Code : 9780199741359
  • Pages : 240
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

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.


Why Free Will Is Real by Christian List

Why Free Will Is Real
  • Title : Why Free Will Is Real
  • Author : Christian List
  • Publisher : Harvard University Press
  • ISBN Code : 0674979583
  • Pages : 176
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

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 by Sam Harris

Free Will
  • Title : Free Will
  • Author : Sam Harris
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • ISBN Code : 1451683405
  • Pages : 83
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

The physiologist Benjamin Libet famously demonstrated that activity in the brain's motor regions can be detected some 300 milliseconds before a person feels that he has decided to move. Another lab recently used fMRI data to show that some "conscious" decisions can be predicted up to 10 seconds before they enter awareness (long before the preparatory motor activity detected by Libet). Clearly, findings of this kind are difficult to reconcile with the sense that one is the conscious source of one's actions. The question of free will is no mere curio of philosophy seminars. A belief in free will underwrites both the religious notion of "sin" and our enduring commitment to retributive justice. The Supreme Court has called free will a "universal and persistent" foundation for our system of law. Any scientific developments that threatened our notion of free will would seem to put the ethics of punishing people for their bad behaviour in question.In Free Will Harris debates these ideas and asks whether or not, given what brain science is telling us, we actually have free will?


Mind Time by Benjamin Libet

Mind Time
  • Title : Mind Time
  • Author : Benjamin Libet
  • Publisher : Harvard University Press
  • ISBN Code : 9780674040168
  • Pages : 272
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

Our subjective inner life is what really matters to us as human beings--and yet we know relatively little about how it arises. Over a long and distinguished career Benjamin Libet has conducted experiments that have helped us see, in clear and concrete ways, how the brain produces conscious awareness. For the first time, Libet gives his own account of these experiments and their importance for our understanding of consciousness. Most notably, Libet's experiments reveal a substantial delay--the mind time of the title--before any awareness affects how we view our mental activities. If all conscious awarenesses are preceded by unconscious processes, as Libet observes, we are forced to conclude that unconscious processes initiate our conscious experiences. Freely voluntary acts are found to be initiated unconsciously before an awareness of wanting to act--a discovery with profound ramifications for our understanding of free will. How do the physical activities of billions of cerebral nerve cells give rise to an integrated conscious subjective awareness? How can the subjective mind affect or control voluntary actions? Libet considers these questions, as well as the implications of his discoveries for the nature of the soul, the identity of the person, and the relation of the non-physical subjective mind to the physical brain that produces it. Rendered in clear, accessible language, Libet's experiments and theories will allow interested amateurs and experts alike to share the experience of the extraordinary discoveries made in the practical study of consciousness.


Free Will and Consciousness in the Multiverse by Christian D. Schade

Free Will and Consciousness in the Multiverse
  • Title : Free Will and Consciousness in the Multiverse
  • Author : Christian D. Schade
  • Publisher : Springer
  • ISBN Code : 3030035832
  • Pages : 246
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

It is hard to interpret quantum mechanics. The most surprising, but also most parsimonious, interpretation is the many-worlds, or quantum-multiverse interpretation, implying a permanent coexistence of parallel realities. Could this perhaps be the appropriate interpretation of quantum mechanics? This book collects evidence for this interpretation, both from physics and from other fields, and proposes a subjectivist version of it, the clustered-minds multiverse. The author explores its implications through the lens of decision making and derives consequences for free will and consciousness. For example, free will can be implemented in the form of vectorial choices, as introduced in the book. He furthermore derives consequences for research in the social sciences, especially in psychology and economics.


Are We Free? Psychology and Free Will by John Baer,James C. Kaufman,Roy F. Baumeister

Are We Free? Psychology and Free Will
  • Title : Are We Free? Psychology and Free Will
  • Author : John Baer,James C. Kaufman,Roy F. Baumeister
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • ISBN Code : 9780198040859
  • Pages : 368
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

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.


Is Science Compatible with Free Will? by Antoine Suarez,Peter Adams

Is Science Compatible with Free Will?
  • Title : Is Science Compatible with Free Will?
  • Author : Antoine Suarez,Peter Adams
  • Publisher : Springer Science & Business Media
  • ISBN Code : 1461452120
  • Pages : 314
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

Anyone who claims the right ‘to choose how to live their life’ excludes any purely deterministic description of their brain in terms of genes, chemicals or environmental influences. For example, when an author of a text expresses his thoughts, he assumes that, in typing the text, he governs the firing of the neurons in his brain and the movement of his fingers through the exercise of his own free will: what he writes is not completely pre-determined at the beginning of the universe. Yet in the field of neuroscience today, determinism dominates. There is a conflict between the daily life conviction that a human being has free will, and deterministic neuroscience. When faced with this conflict two alternative positions are possible: Either human freedom is an illusion, or deterministic neuroscience is not the last word on the brain and will eventually be superseded by a neuroscience that admits processes not completely determined by the past. This book investigates whether it is possible to have a science in which there is room for human freedom. The book generally concludes that the world and the brain are governed to some extent by non-material agencies, and limited consciousness does not abolish free will and responsibility. The authors present perspectives coming from different disciplines (Neuroscience, Quantumphysics and Philosophy) and range from those focusing on the scientific background, to those highlighting rather more a philosophical analysis. However, all chapters share a common characteristic: they take current scientific observations and data as a basis from which to draw philosophical implications. It is these features that make this volume unique, an exceptional interdisciplinary approach combining scientific strength and philosophical profundity. We are convinced that it will strongly stimulate the debate and contribute to new insights in the mind-brain relationship. ​


Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility by Gregg D. Caruso

Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility
  • Title : Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility
  • Author : Gregg D. Caruso
  • Publisher : Lexington Books
  • ISBN Code : 073917732X
  • Pages : 344
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility is an edited collection of new essays by an internationally recognized line-up of contributors. It is aimed at readers who wish to explore the philosophical and scientific arguments for free will skepticism and their implications.


Free by Alfred R. Mele

Free
  • Title : Free
  • Author : Alfred R. Mele
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press, USA
  • ISBN Code : 0199371628
  • Pages : 99
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

"Scientists have forged a penetrating, coherent course in the study of human thought and action. Yet some of the same scientists have slashed out an adjacent, rough-hewn path, cutting at the roots of the belief in free will and at the groundwork of relationships among the conscious will, the mind, and the brain. Claiming to disprove the existence of free will is not only wrongheaded, Mele argues, but harmful; research shows that people who don't believe they are free are more likely to behave badly, as they sink into feeling like they aren't responsible for their actions. Putting a positive spin on this, Mele conveys what he calls the 'good news' that we are freer than we think. If we see ourselves as morally responsible for our future actions, we can begin to view ourselves as having abilities and capacities that give us considerable control over what we do. Mele takes apart the findings of neuroscience and psychology experiments often cited as irrefutably disproving the existence of free will, for example those of Benjamin Libet, and demonstrates that their results have been misinterpreted. Mele explains why the experimental findings are actually consistent with our making many of our decisions consciously and with our having considerable control over many of our decisions and actions. In order to find truth and clarity on this crucial topic, Mele argues, philosophers, scientists, and psychologists alike need to explore one another's work rather than relying on scientific findings - and a rigid interpretation of those findings- as the only key to solving the complex puzzle that is free will"--


The Routledge Companion to Free Will by Kevin Timpe,Meghan Griffith,Neil Levy

The Routledge Companion to Free Will
  • Title : The Routledge Companion to Free Will
  • Author : Kevin Timpe,Meghan Griffith,Neil Levy
  • Publisher : Taylor & Francis
  • ISBN Code : 1317635477
  • Pages : 730
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

Questions concerning free will are intertwined with issues in almost every area of philosophy, from metaphysics to philosophy of mind to moral philosophy, and are also informed by work in different areas of science (principally physics, neuroscience and social psychology). Free will is also a perennial concern of serious thinkers in theology and in non-western traditions. Because free will can be approached from so many different perspectives and has implications for so many debates, a comprehensive survey needs to encompass an enormous range of approaches. This book is the first to draw together leading experts on every aspect of free will, from those who are central to the current philosophical debates, to non-western perspectives, to scientific contributions and to those who know the rich history of the subject. Its 61 chapters, commissioned especially for this volume from the world’s leading researchers, are framed by a General Introduction and briefer introductions for each of the six sections. A list of References, an annotated Suggested Reading list, and a short list of Related Topics are included at the end of each chapter.


Human and Machine Consciousness by David Gamez

Human and Machine Consciousness
  • Title : Human and Machine Consciousness
  • Author : David Gamez
  • Publisher : Open Book Publishers
  • ISBN Code : 1783743018
  • Pages : 234
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

Consciousness is widely perceived as one of the most fundamental, interesting and difficult problems of our time. However, we still know next to nothing about the relationship between consciousness and the brain and we can only speculate about the consciousness of animals and machines. Human and Machine Consciousness presents a new foundation for the scientific study of consciousness. It sets out a bold interpretation of consciousness that neutralizes the philosophical problems and explains how we can make scientific predictions about the consciousness of animals, brain-damaged patients and machines. Gamez interprets the scientific study of consciousness as a search for mathematical theories that map between measurements of consciousness and measurements of the physical world. We can use artificial intelligence to discover these theories and they could make accurate predictions about the consciousness of humans, animals and artificial systems. Human and Machine Consciousness also provides original insights into unusual conscious experiences, such as hallucinations, religious experiences and out-of-body states, and demonstrates how ‘designer’ states of consciousness could be created in the future. Gamez explains difficult concepts in a clear way that closely engages with scientific research. His punchy, concise prose is packed with vivid examples, making it suitable for the educated general reader as well as philosophers and scientists. Problems are brought to life in colourful illustrations and a helpful summary is given at the end of each chapter. The endnotes provide detailed discussions of individual points and full references to the scientific and philosophical literature.


A Dialogue on Free Will and Science by Alfred R. Mele

A Dialogue on Free Will and Science
  • Title : A Dialogue on Free Will and Science
  • Author : Alfred R. Mele
  • Publisher : OUP USA
  • ISBN Code : 9780199329298
  • Pages : 128
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

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 by David Hodgson

Rationality + Consciousness = Free Will
  • Title : Rationality + Consciousness = Free Will
  • Author : David Hodgson
  • Publisher : OUP USA
  • ISBN Code : 0199845301
  • Pages : 267
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

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, and in a way that is consistent with what science tells us about the world.


Consciousness by Christof Koch

Consciousness
  • Title : Consciousness
  • Author : Christof Koch
  • Publisher :
  • ISBN Code : 0262533502
  • Pages : 200
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

In which a scientist searches for an empirical explanation for phenomenal experience, spurred by his instinctual belief that life is meaningful. What links conscious experience of pain, joy, color, and smell to bioelectrical activity in the brain? How can anything physical give rise to nonphysical, subjective, conscious states? Christof Koch has devoted much of his career to bridging the seemingly unbridgeable gap between the physics of the brain and phenomenal experience. This engaging book--part scientific overview, part memoir, part futurist speculation--describes Koch's search for an empirical explanation for consciousness. Koch recounts not only the birth of the modern science of consciousness but also the subterranean motivation for his quest--his instinctual (if "romantic") belief that life is meaningful. Koch describes his own groundbreaking work with Francis Crick in the 1990s and 2000s and the gradual emergence of consciousness (once considered a "fringy" subject) as a legitimate topic for scientific investigation. Present at this paradigm shift were Koch and a handful of colleagues, including Ned Block, David Chalmers, Stanislas Dehaene, Giulio Tononi, Wolf Singer, and others. Aiding and abetting it were new techniques to listen in on the activity of individual nerve cells, clinical studies, and brain-imaging technologies that allowed safe and noninvasive study of the human brain in action. Koch gives us stories from the front lines of modern research into the neurobiology of consciousness as well as his own reflections on a variety of topics, including the distinction between attention and awareness, the unconscious, how neurons respond to Homer Simpson, the physics and biology of free will, dogs, Der Ring des Nibelungen, sentient machines, the loss of his belief in a personal God, and sadness. All of them are signposts in the pursuit of his life's work--to uncover the roots of consciousness.


Make/Believing the World(s) by Mark S. McLeod-Harrison

Make/Believing the World(s)
  • Title : Make/Believing the World(s)
  • Author : Mark S. McLeod-Harrison
  • Publisher : McGill-Queen\'s Press - MQUP
  • ISBN Code : 0773535934
  • Pages : 386
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

A vigorous defence of a radical ontological pluralism that requires theism and is consistent with traditional Christianity.


Surrounding Free Will by Alfred R. Mele

Surrounding Free Will
  • Title : Surrounding Free Will
  • Author : Alfred R. Mele
  • Publisher : OUP Us
  • ISBN Code : 0199333955
  • Pages : 342
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

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).


Time and Free Will by Henri Bergson

Time and Free Will
  • Title : Time and Free Will
  • Author : Henri Bergson
  • Publisher : Courier Corporation
  • ISBN Code : 0486119718
  • Pages : 288
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

Bergson argues for free will by showing that the arguments against it come from a confusion of different conceptions of time. He concludes that free will is an observable fact.


The Oxford Companion to Consciousness by Tim Bayne,Axel Cleeremans,Patrick Wilken

The Oxford Companion to Consciousness
  • Title : The Oxford Companion to Consciousness
  • Author : Tim Bayne,Axel Cleeremans,Patrick Wilken
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • ISBN Code : 0198712189
  • Pages : 672
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

Consciousness is undoubtedly one of the last remaining scientific mysteries and hence one of the greatest contemporary scientific challenges. How does the brain's activity result in the rich phenomenology that characterizes our waking life? Are animals conscious? Why did consciousness evolve? How does science proceed to answer such questions? Can we define what consciousness is? Can we measure it? Can we use experimental results to further our understanding of disorders of consciousness, such as those seen in schizophrenia, delirium, or altered states of consciousness? These questions are at the heart of contemporary research in the domain. Answering them requires a fundamentally interdisciplinary approach that engages not only philosophers, but also neuroscientists and psychologists in a joint effort to develop novel approaches that reflect both the stunning recent advances in imaging methods as well as the continuing refinement of our concepts of consciousness. In this light, the Oxford Companion to Consciousness is the most complete authoritative survey of contemporary research on consciousness. Five years in the making and including over 250 concise entries written by leaders in the field, the volume covers both fundamental knowledge as well as more recent advances in this rapidly changing domain. Structured as an easy-to-use dictionary and extensively cross-referenced, the Companion offers contributions from philosophy of mind to neuroscience, from experimental psychology to clinical findings, so reflecting the profoundly interdisciplinary nature of the domain. Particular care has been taken to ensure that each of the entries is accessible to the general reader and that the overall volume represents a comprehensive snapshot of the contemporary study of consciousness. The result is a unique compendium that will prove indispensable to anyone interested in consciousness, from beginning students wishing to clarify a concept to professional consciousness researchers looking for the best characterization of a particular phenomenon.


The Human Instinct by Kenneth R. Miller

The Human Instinct
  • Title : The Human Instinct
  • Author : Kenneth R. Miller
  • Publisher : Simon & Schuster
  • ISBN Code : 1476790272
  • Pages : 304
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

From one of America’s best-known biologists, a revolutionary new way of thinking about evolution that shows “why, in light of our origins, humans are still special” (Edward J. Larson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Evolution). Once we had a special place in the hierarchy of life on Earth—a place confirmed by the literature and traditions of every human tribe. But then the theory of evolution arrived to shake the tree of human understanding to its roots. To many of the most passionate advocates for Darwin’s theory, we are just one species among multitudes, no more significant than any other. Even our minds are not our own, they tell us, but living machines programmed for nothing but survival and reproduction. In The Human Instinct, Brown University biologist Kenneth R. Miller “confronts both lay and professional misconceptions about evolution” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), showing that while evolution explains how our bodies and brains were shaped, that heritage does not limit or predetermine human behavior. In fact, Miller argues in this “highly recommended” (Forbes) work that it is only thanks to evolution that we have the power to shape our destiny. Equal parts natural science and philosophy, The Human Instinct makes an “absorbing, lucid, and engaging…case that it was evolution that gave us our humanity” (Ursula Goodenough, professor of biology at Washington University in St. Louis).


Philosophy a School of Freedom by Moufida Goucha

Philosophy a School of Freedom
  • Title : Philosophy a School of Freedom
  • Author : Moufida Goucha
  • Publisher : UNESCO
  • ISBN Code : 9231040707
  • Pages : 279
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

Originally published in French as "La Philosophie, une Ecole de la Liberte. Enseignement de la philosophie et apprentissage du philosopher : Etat des lieux et regards pour l'avenir." - This study is dedicated to all those who engaged themselves, with vigour and conviction, in the defence of the teaching of philosophy a fertile guarantor of liberty and autonomy. This publication is also dedicated to the young spirits of today, bound to become the active citizens of tomorrow.


Neurophysiology of Consciousness by LIBET

Neurophysiology of Consciousness
  • Title : Neurophysiology of Consciousness
  • Author : LIBET
  • Publisher : Springer Science & Business Media
  • ISBN Code : 1461203554
  • Pages : 404
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

and made insignificant in practice, by selecting for study simple kinds of ex periences which are devoid of emotional content and which can be tested for reliability. A simple somatosensory ''raw feel" fulfills these characteristics (see papers nos. 2,5). In any case, if we fail to find ways to use introspective reports in convincingly acceptable studies we would give up the ability to investigate the relation between conscious experience and neural activity, something warned against by William James (Krech, 1969). Another factor in the dearth of direct experimental studies is, of course, the comparative inaccessibility of the human brain for such purposes. Meaningful investigations of the issue in question requires simultaneous study of brain events and introspective reports of experiences in an awake, cooperative human subject. Analysis by neuropsychologists of pathological lesions in the brain and the related disturbances of conscious functions have contributed much to mapping the pos sible representations of these functions. The non-invasive recording of electrical activity with electrodes on the scalp, starting from Berger's initial EEG record ings in 1929, has contributed much to the problems of states of consciousness and to various cognitive features associated with sensory inputs, but not as much to the specific issue of conscious experience.


Sick Souls, Healthy Minds by John Kaag

Sick Souls, Healthy Minds
  • Title : Sick Souls, Healthy Minds
  • Author : John Kaag
  • Publisher : Princeton University Press
  • ISBN Code : 0691216711
  • Pages : 224
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

"In his diaries, the American philosopher and psychologist William James, for whom the personal and the philosophical were never far apart, recounted how in his late twenties he was confronted with existential despair regarding the issue of free will: do humans have the capacity to act freely and meaningfully? James famously decided that his "first act of free will is to believe in free will," and declared that, "if you can change your mind, you can change your life." This belief in the efficacy of ideas on our practical beliefs and actions would lead to James becoming one of the founders of the first truly distinctively American philosophy, Pragmatism. In this book philosopher John Kaag offers an account of the life, thought, and relevance of James's philosophy for today. He argues that his brand of pragmatism was first and foremost a philosophy geared towards saving a life; namely, James's own, but with important resources and lessons for saving ours as well. James believed that philosophy was meant to articulate, and help answer, a single existential question, one which lent itself to the title of one of his most famous essays: "Is life worth living?" Through examination of an array of existentially loaded topics covered in his works-truth, God, evil, suffering, death, and the meaning of life-James concluded that it is up to us to make life worth living. He said that our beliefs, the truths that guide our lives, matter-their value and veracity turn on the way they play out practically for ourselves and our communities. For James, philosophy was about making life meaningful, and for some of us, liveable. This is the core of his "pragmatic maxim," that truth should be judged on the bases of its practical consequences. Kaag shows how James put this maxim into use in his philosophy and his life and how we can do so in our own. In his perhaps most famous and enduring work, The Varieties of Religious Experience, James devoted two chapters to exploring what he saw as two distinct types of personality, "the sick-souled" and "the healthy-minded." James himself, as Kaag shows, tended more toward the sick-souled side of the spectrum. But both types fascinated James and he thought both provided important sources for understanding not just religious experience, but for how we can think about our own orientation to the world and perhaps reorient ourselves in the process"--


Consciousness by Susan Blackmore

Consciousness
  • Title : Consciousness
  • Author : Susan Blackmore
  • Publisher : Routledge
  • ISBN Code : 1444164333
  • Pages : 560
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

Is there a theory that explains the essence of consciousness? Or is consciousness itself just an illusion? The 'last great mystery of science', consciousness is a topic that was banned from serious research for most of the last century, but is now an area of increasing popular interest, as well as a rapidly expanding area of study for students of psychology, philosophy and neuroscience. This ground-breaking textbook by best-selling author Susan Blackmore was the first of its kind to bring together all the major theories of consciousness studies, from those based on neuroscience to those based on quantum theory or Eastern philosophy. The book examines topics such as how subjective experiences arise from objective brain processes, the basic neuroscience of consciousness, altered states of consciousness, out of body and near death experiences and the effects of drugs, dreams and meditation. It also explores the nature of self, the possibility of artificial consciousness in robots, and the question of whether animals are conscious. The new edition has been fully revised to include the latest developments in neuroscience, brain scanning techniques, and artificial consciousness and robotics. The new website includes self-assessment exercises, advanced further reading, flashcards and MCQs. For all those intrigued by what it means to be, to exist, this book could radically transform your understanding of your own consciousness.


Mind and Cosmos by Thomas Nagel

Mind and Cosmos
  • Title : Mind and Cosmos
  • Author : Thomas Nagel
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • ISBN Code : 0199919755
  • Pages : 130
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

The modern materialist approach to life has conspicuously failed to explain such central mind-related features of our world as consciousness, intentionality, meaning, and value. This failure to account for something so integral to nature as mind, argues philosopher Thomas Nagel, is a major problem, threatening to unravel the entire naturalistic world picture, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology. Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history, either. An adequate conception of nature would have to explain the appearance in the universe of materially irreducible conscious minds, as such. Nagel's skepticism is not based on religious belief or on a belief in any definite alternative. InMind and Cosmos, he does suggest that if the materialist account is wrong, then principles of a different kind may also be at work in the history of nature, principles of the growth of order that are in their logical form teleological rather than mechanistic. In spite of the great achievements of the physical sciences, reductive materialism is a world view ripe for displacement. Nagel shows that to recognize its limits is the first step in looking for alternatives, or at least in being open to their possibility.


The Feeling of Life Itself by Christof Koch

The Feeling of Life Itself
  • Title : The Feeling of Life Itself
  • Author : Christof Koch
  • Publisher :
  • ISBN Code : 0262539551
  • Pages : 280
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

An argument that consciousness, more widespread than previously assumed, is the feeling of being alive, not a type of computation or a clever hack. In The Feeling of Life Itself, Christof Koch offers a straightforward definition of consciousness as any subjective experience, from the most mundane to the most exalted--the feeling of being alive. Psychologists study which cognitive operations underpin a given conscious perception. Neuroscientists track the neural correlates of consciousness in the brain, the organ of the mind. But why the brain and not, say, the liver? How can the brain, three pounds of highly excitable matter, a piece of furniture in the universe, subject to the same laws of physics as any other piece, give rise to subjective experience? Koch argues that what is needed to answer these questions is a quantitative theory that starts with experience and proceeds to the brain. In The Feeling of Life Itself, Koch outlines such a theory, based on integrated information. Koch describes how the theory explains many facts about the neurology of consciousness and how it has been used to build a clinically useful consciousness meter. The theory predicts that many, and perhaps all, animals experience the sights and sounds of life; consciousness is much more widespread than conventionally assumed. Contrary to received wisdom, however, Koch argues that programmable computers will not have consciousness. Even a perfect software model of the brain is not conscious. Its simulation is fake consciousness. Consciousness is not a special type of computation--it is not a clever hack. Consciousness is about being.


The Westminster Review by N.A

The Westminster Review
  • Title : The Westminster Review
  • Author : N.A
  • Publisher :
  • ISBN Code :
  • Pages : N.A
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:


Is Collective Cosmic Consciousness for Humanity possible? - Synergizing Spirituality and Science to manifest Micro- and Macrocosmic Peace by Dr. Mark O'Doherty

Is Collective Cosmic Consciousness for Humanity possible? - Synergizing Spirituality and Science to manifest Micro- and Macrocosmic Peace
  • Title : Is Collective Cosmic Consciousness for Humanity possible? - Synergizing Spirituality and Science to manifest Micro- and Macrocosmic Peace
  • Author : Dr. Mark O'Doherty
  • Publisher : Lulu.com
  • ISBN Code : 1312021659
  • Pages : 82
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

This book contains a dissertation, written by Mark OÕDoherty, that has been approved by the Examining Committee for the dissertation requirement for the Doctor of Theocentric Psychology degree of the University of Metaphysics. What makes this dissertation of interest for the entire global community, is that it gives concrete guidelines how to attain Cosmic Consciousness, and how oneÕs personal attunement with God can be utilized for the benefit of counseling and life-coaching on a micro-level, and to attain new insights of how humanity can be assisted on a macro-level. Especially the latter aim Ð of assisting humanity on a macro-level Ð requires not only intuition on the highest spiritual and emotional level, but also a fine scientific mind; and the realization that spirituality and science complement each other, and are both necessary for humanityÕs evolution.


The Foreign Quarterly Review by N.A

The Foreign Quarterly Review
  • Title : The Foreign Quarterly Review
  • Author : N.A
  • Publisher :
  • ISBN Code :
  • Pages : N.A
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Bergson-Arg Philosophers by A.R. Lacey

Bergson-Arg Philosophers
  • Title : Bergson-Arg Philosophers
  • Author : A.R. Lacey
  • Publisher : Routledge
  • ISBN Code : 1136957154
  • Pages : 252
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

First Published in 1999. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.


Responsibility and Control by John Martin Fischer,Mark Ravizza

Responsibility and Control
  • Title : Responsibility and Control
  • Author : John Martin Fischer,Mark Ravizza
  • Publisher : Cambridge University Press
  • ISBN Code : 9780521775793
  • Pages : 277
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

This book provides a comprehensive, systematic theory of moral responsibility. The authors explore the conditions under which individuals are morally responsible for actions, omissions, consequences, and emotions. The leading idea in the book is that moral responsibility is based on "guidance control." This control has two components: the mechanism that issues in the relevant behavior must be the agent's own mechanism, and it must be appropriately responsive to reasons. The book develops an account of both components. The authors go on to offer a sustained defense of the thesis that moral responsibility is compatible with causal determinism. This major study will interest moral philosophers, legal theorists, and those in religious studies concerned with the issue of moral responsibility.


Biocentrism by Robert Lanza,Bob Berman

Biocentrism
  • Title : Biocentrism
  • Author : Robert Lanza,Bob Berman
  • Publisher : BenBella Books, Inc.
  • ISBN Code : 1935251244
  • Pages : 200
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

Robert Lanza is one of the most respected scientists in the world—a US News & World Report cover story called him a “genius” and a “renegade thinker,” even likening him to Einstein. Lanza has teamed with Bob Berman, the most widely read astronomer in the world, to produce Biocentrism, a revolutionary new view of the universe. Every now and then a simple yet radical idea shakes the very foundations of knowledge. The startling discovery that the world was not flat challenged and ultimately changed the way people perceived themselves and their relationship with the world. For most humans of the 15th century, the notion of Earth as ball of rock was nonsense. The whole of Western, natural philosophy is undergoing a sea change again, increasingly being forced upon us by the experimental findings of quantum theory, and at the same time, towards doubt and uncertainty in the physical explanations of the universe’s genesis and structure. Biocentrism completes this shift in worldview, turning the planet upside down again with the revolutionary view that life creates the universe instead of the other way around. In this paradigm, life is not an accidental byproduct of the laws of physics. Biocentrism takes the reader on a seemingly improbable but ultimately inescapable journey through a foreign universe—our own—from the viewpoints of an acclaimed biologist and a leading astronomer. Switching perspective from physics to biology unlocks the cages in which Western science has unwittingly managed to confine itself. Biocentrism will shatter the reader’s ideas of life—time and space, and even death. At the same time it will release us from the dull worldview of life being merely the activity of an admixture of carbon and a few other elements; it suggests the exhilarating possibility that life is fundamentally immortal. The 21st century is predicted to be the Century of Biology, a shift from the previous century dominated by physics. It seems fitting, then, to begin the century by turning the universe outside-in and unifying the foundations of science with a simple idea discovered by one of the leading life-scientists of our age. Biocentrism awakens in readers a new sense of possibility, and is full of so many shocking new perspectives that the reader will never see reality the same way again.


Executive Functions by Russell A. Barkley

Executive Functions
  • Title : Executive Functions
  • Author : Russell A. Barkley
  • Publisher : Guilford Press
  • ISBN Code : 1462505376
  • Pages : 244
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

This groundbreaking book offers a comprehensive theory of executive functioning (EF) with important clinical implications. Synthesizing cutting-edge neuropsychological and evolutionary research, Russell A. Barkley presents a model of EF that is rooted in meaningful activities of daily life. He describes how abilities such as emotion regulation, self-motivation, planning, and working memory enable people to pursue both personal and collective goals that are critical to survival. Key stages of EF development are identified and the far-reaching individual and social costs of EF deficits detailed. Barkley explains specific ways that his model may support much-needed advances in assessment and treatment. See also Barkley's empirically based, ecologically valid assessment tools: Barkley Deficits in Executive Functioning Scale (BDEFS for Adults) and Barkley Deficits in Executive Functioning Scale--Children and Adolescents (BDEFS-CA).


The Independent by Leonard Bacon,Joseph Parrish Thompson,Richard Salter Storrs,Joshua Leavitt,Henry Ward Beecher,Theodore Tilton,Henry Chandler Bowen,William Hayes Ward,Hamilton Holt,Fabian Franklin,Harold de Wolf Fuller,Christian Archibald Herter

The Independent
  • Title : The Independent
  • Author : Leonard Bacon,Joseph Parrish Thompson,Richard Salter Storrs,Joshua Leavitt,Henry Ward Beecher,Theodore Tilton,Henry Chandler Bowen,William Hayes Ward,Hamilton Holt,Fabian Franklin,Harold de Wolf Fuller,Christian Archibald Herter
  • Publisher :
  • ISBN Code :
  • Pages : N.A
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Nietzsche on Freedom and Autonomy by Ken Gemes,Simon May

Nietzsche on Freedom and Autonomy
  • Title : Nietzsche on Freedom and Autonomy
  • Author : Ken Gemes,Simon May
  • Publisher : OUP Oxford
  • ISBN Code : 0191607886
  • Pages : 294
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

The principal aim of this volume is to elucidate what freedom, sovereignty, and autonomy mean for Nietzsche and what philosophical resources he gives us to re-think these crucial concepts. A related aim is to examine how Nietzsche connects these concepts to his thoughts about life-affirmation, self-love, promise-making, agency, the 'will to nothingness', and the 'eternal recurrence', as well as to his search for a 'genealogical' understanding of morality. These twelve essays by leading Nietzsche scholars ask such key questions as: Can we reconcile his rejection of free will with his positive invocations of the notion of free will? How does Nietzsche's celebration of freedom and free spirits sit with his claim that we all have an unchangeable fate? What is the relation between his concepts of freedom and self-overcoming? The depth in which these and related issues are explored gives this volume its value, not only to those interested in Nietzsche, but to all who are concerned with the free will debate, ethics, theory of action, and the history of philosophy.


The Consciousness Instinct by Michael S. Gazzaniga

The Consciousness Instinct
  • Title : The Consciousness Instinct
  • Author : Michael S. Gazzaniga
  • Publisher : Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • ISBN Code : 9780374538156
  • Pages : 288
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

“The father of cognitive neuroscience” illuminates the past, present, and future of the mind-brain problem How do neurons turn into minds? How does physical “stuff”—atoms, molecules, chemicals, and cells—create the vivid and various worlds inside our heads? The problem of consciousness has gnawed at us for millennia. In the last century there have been massive breakthroughs that have rewritten the science of the brain, and yet the puzzles faced by the ancient Greeks are still present. In The Consciousness Instinct, the neuroscience pioneer Michael S. Gazzaniga puts the latest research in conversation with the history of human thinking about the mind, giving a big-picture view of what science has revealed about consciousness. The idea of the brain as a machine, first proposed centuries ago, has led to assumptions about the relationship between mind and brain that dog scientists and philosophers to this day. Gazzaniga asserts that this model has it backward—brains make machines, but they cannot be reduced to one. New research suggests the brain is actually a confederation of independent modules working together. Understanding how consciousness could emanate from such an organization will help define the future of brain science and artificial intelligence, and close the gap between brain and mind. Captivating and accessible, with insights drawn from a lifetime at the forefront of the field, The Consciousness Instinct sets the course for the neuroscience of tomorrow.


Does Consciousness Cause Behavior? by Susan Pockett,William P. Banks,Shaun Gallagher

Does Consciousness Cause Behavior?
  • Title : Does Consciousness Cause Behavior?
  • Author : Susan Pockett,William P. Banks,Shaun Gallagher
  • Publisher : MIT Press
  • ISBN Code : 0262512572
  • Pages : 364
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

Leading scholars continue the debate over whether consciousness causes behavior or plays no functional role in it, discussing the question in terms of neuroscience, philosophy, law, and public policy.


Conscience by Patricia Churchland

Conscience
  • Title : Conscience
  • Author : Patricia Churchland
  • Publisher : W. W. Norton
  • ISBN Code : 9780393358469
  • Pages : 272
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

Distinguished founder of neurophilosophy Patricia S. Churchland explores why all social groups have ideals for behavior, even though ethics vary among different cultures, and even among individuals. Bringing together an understanding of the influences of nature and nurture, she looks to evolution to elucidate how our brains are configured to form bonds and to care; Churchland then turns to philosophy to understand how morality is transmitted through generations, and why it has become a central piece of all societies.


Making the Social World by John Searle

Making the Social World
  • Title : Making the Social World
  • Author : John Searle
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • ISBN Code : 9780199745869
  • Pages : 224
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

There are few more important philosophers at work today than John Searle, a creative and contentious thinker who has shaped the way we think about mind and language. Now he offers a profound understanding of how we create a social reality--a reality of money, property, governments, marriages, stock markets and cocktail parties. The paradox he addresses in Making the Social World is that these facts only exist because we think they exist and yet they have an objective existence. Continuing a line of investigation begun in his earlier book The Construction of Social Reality, Searle identifies the precise role of language in the creation of all "institutional facts." His aim is to show how mind, language and civilization are natural products of the basic facts of the physical world described by physics, chemistry and biology. Searle explains how a single linguistic operation, repeated over and over, is used to create and maintain the elaborate structures of human social institutions. These institutions serve to create and distribute power relations that are pervasive and often invisible. These power relations motivate human actions in a way that provides the glue that holds human civilization together. Searle then applies the account to show how it relates to human rationality, the freedom of the will, the nature of political power and the existence of universal human rights. In the course of his explication, he asks whether robots can have institutions, why the threat of force so often lies behind institutions, and he denies that there can be such a thing as a "state of nature" for language-using human beings.


Decision-making in invertebrates by Björn Brembs

Decision-making in invertebrates
  • Title : Decision-making in invertebrates
  • Author : Björn Brembs
  • Publisher : Frontiers E-books
  • ISBN Code : 2889192024
  • Pages : N.A
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

Not since Paul the octopus became famous during the 2010 soccer world cup have scientists realized that decision-making is not a capacity exclusive to the so-called 'higher' animals. Invertebrate animals show an amazing capacity for making decisions even if the external circumstances provide little or no information. This Research Topic celebrates the diversity of decision-making by showcasing the most well-studied cases in a range of invertebrate species.


Creating Consilience by Edward Slingerland,Mark Collard

Creating Consilience
  • Title : Creating Consilience
  • Author : Edward Slingerland,Mark Collard
  • Publisher : OUP USA
  • ISBN Code : 0199794391
  • Pages : 450
  • Format : Pdf - ePub
  • Language : English
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Summary:

Calls for a "consilient" or "vertically integrated" approach to the study of human mind and culture have, for the most part, been received by scholars in the humanities with either indifference or hostility. One reason for this is that consilience has often been framed as bringing the study of humanistic issues into line with the study of non-human phenomena, rather than as something to which humanists and scientists contribute equally. The other major reason that consilience has yet to catch on in the humanities is a dearth of compelling examples of the benefits of adopting a consilient approach. Creating Consilience is the product of a workshop that brought together internationally-renowned scholars from a variety of fields to address both of these issues. It includes representative pieces from workshop speakers and participants that examine how adopting such a consilient stance -- informed by cognitive science and grounded in evolutionary theory -- would concretely impact specific topics in the humanities, examining each topic in a manner that not only cuts across the humanities-natural science divide, but also across individual humanistic disciplines. By taking seriously the fact that science-humanities integration is a two-way exchange, this volume takes a new approach to bridging the cultures of science and the humanities. The editors and contributors formulate how to develop a new shared framework of consilience beyond mere interdisciplinarity, in a way that both sides can accept.