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The Illusion of Conscious Will$
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Daniel M. Wegner

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262534925

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262534925.001.0001

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Hypnosis and Will

Hypnosis and Will

In hypnosis the person experiences a loss of conscious will. This loss accompanies an apparent transfer of control to someone else, along with the creation of some exceptional forms of control over the self.

(p.257) 8 Hypnosis and Will
The Illusion of Conscious Will
Daniel M. Wegner
The MIT Press

This chapter explains how hypnosis involves a significant departure from the everyday experience and exercise of conscious will. The hypnotized person experiences the causation of his actions in an unusual way, as being generated less by the self and more by the hypnotist. This is not only a feeling but involves a kind of actual transfer of control from person to hypnotist. What is equally odd, though, is that the range of what can be controlled changes during hypnosis. In this sense, while hypnosis may undermine the experience of will, it seems paradoxically to expand and alter the force of will. This is why hypnosis has been implicated in many of the curiosities of will, including possession, multiple personality, and automatisms.

Keywords:   hypnosis, conscious will, causation, self, hypnotist, control, possession, automatisms, multiple personality

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