Agency and Self-Awareness: Issues in Philosophy and by Johannes Roessler, Naomi Eilan

By Johannes Roessler, Naomi Eilan

Lately there was a lot mental and neurological paintings purporting to teach that cognizance and self-awareness play no position in inflicting activities, and certainly to illustrate that loose will is an phantasm. The essays during this quantity topic the assumptions that inspire such claims to sustained interdisciplinary scrutiny. The publication should be obligatory studying for psychologists and philosophers engaged on motion clarification, and for someone drawn to the relation among the mind sciences and realization.

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Additional info for Agency and Self-Awareness: Issues in Philosophy and Psychology (Consciousness and Self-Consciousness)

Sample text

In either case, the correctness of the representations depends in no way on the movements being the subject's own action (rather than no action at all, or the result of someone's else action). Put differently, the content of these representations is provided by the 'highest common factor' of what is available in the case of self-generated actions and in the case of passively witnessed actions or movements alike. It is this 'common factor' conception that, at least in relation to the personal level, proponents of the first strategy reject.

But there is also the question of how the sense of effort contributes to our knowledge of ownership. Perhaps the most natural interpretation of Proust's account is this. When you automatically catch a ball thrown at you, your perception of the dynamic structure of your movement provides you with knowledge that 'my body is engaged in the action of catching a ball'. Now, a further ingredient in your overall experience is a sense of effort. It is on that basis that you make the identity judgement 'these bodily movements are under my intentional control'.

This does not require grasping the notion (x is within reach of y', a notion that can be used in thinking about things being within reach of agents other than oneself. Their understanding that something is within reach may be (causally indexical', in the sense that it consist in the disposition intentionally to reach for objects perceived to be within reach (Campbell, 1993). A major issue facing the second route is whether it is entitled to help itself to the notion of intentional behaviour. The issue, in crudest outline, is this.

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