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Does Consciousness Cause Behavior? - MIT Press Scholarship Online
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Does Consciousness Cause Behavior?

Susan Pockett, William P. Banks, and Shaun Gallagher


Our intuition tells us that we, our conscious selves, cause our own voluntary acts. Yet scientists have long questioned this; Thomas Huxley, for example, in 1874 compared mental events to a steam whistle that contributes nothing to the work of a locomotive. New experimental evidence (most notably, work by Benjamin Libet and Daniel Wegner) has brought the causal status of human behavior back to the forefront of intellectual discussion. This multidisciplinary collection advances the debate, approaching the question from a variety of perspectives. The contributors begin by examining recent resear ... More

Keywords: intuition, conscious selves, voluntary acts, Thomas Huxley, mental events, steam whistle, locomotive, Benjamin Libet, Daniel Wegner, human behavior

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780262162371
Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013 DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262162371.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Susan Pockett, editor

William P. Banks, editor

Shaun Gallagher, editor

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