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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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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

Free Will as a Social Institution

Free Will as a Social Institution

(p.257) 13 Free Will as a Social Institution
Does Consciousness Cause Behavior?

Wolfgang Prinz

The MIT Press

This chapter examines consciousness as a social institution rather than a naturally given mental capacity. More specifically, it views consciousness as a matter of social construction and not as brute fact of nature. In this sense, consciousness is causally efficacious for the control of behavior, regardless of what the neuroscience suggests. The chapter considers whether consciousness causes behavior in the context of voluntary action, volition, and free will. It also discusses moral evaluation of action, how the concept of free will lines up with maxims of scientific psychology, the distinction between perception and reality, causal closure and determinism, indeterminism and waiving explanation, and action-decisions. The chapter concludes with broad perspectives on conscious experience and consciousness.

Keywords:   consciousness, social institution, behavior, voluntary action, volition, free will, perception, reality, determinism, indeterminism

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