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

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780262162371

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262162371.001.0001

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Phenomenology and the Feeling of Doing: Wegner on the Conscious Will

Phenomenology and the Feeling of Doing: Wegner on the Conscious Will

(p.168) (p.169) 9 Phenomenology and the Feeling of Doing: Wegner on the Conscious Will
Does Consciousness Cause Behavior?

Timothy Bayne

The MIT Press

This chapter examines Daniel Wegner’s claim that the conscious will is an illusion and argues that the content of the “experience of conscious will” is more complicated than has been assumed. It also suggests that, although further explanation is required to elucidate the role of the self and intention in the production of action, the phenomenology of agency is unlikely to be systematically misleading. In addition, our experience of ourselves as agents who do things for reasons does not necessarily lead us into error. After describing Wegner’s matching model of the conscious will, the chapter considers whether we experience our actions as caused by consciousness. It also looks at the argument from eliminativism.

Keywords:   action, Daniel Wegner, conscious will, illusion, self, phenomenology, agency, matching model, consciousness, eliminativism

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