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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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Neurosociety Ahead? Debating Free Will in the Media

Neurosociety Ahead? Debating Free Will in the Media

(p.338) (p.339) 16 Neurosociety Ahead? Debating Free Will in the Media
Does Consciousness Cause Behavior?

Sabine Maasen

The MIT Press

This chapter examines the idea of a neurosociety and the public debate in Germany regarding the link between consciousness and behavior. Should criminals be viewed as responsible and guilty, or “just” as deviant and dangerous? Should children be educated on the basis of their self-proclaimed needs and talents since their developing brains always know best what they need? Issues such as these are debated as highly questionable implications of brain research for notions of person, responsibility, and free will. The argument is that the self has a capacity to reflect and sort out inner and outer conditions for action, rather than being fully determined by them. Today, a concerted scientific effort focuses on free will and consciousness, volition, perception, reflection, and action.

Keywords:   neurosociety, Germany, consciousness, behavior, brain research, free will, self, volition, perception, action

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