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Conscious Will and Responsibility
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Conscious Will and Responsibility: A Tribute to Benjamin Libet

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Lynn Nadel

Abstract

We all seem to think that we do the acts we do because we consciously choose to do them. This commonsense view is thrown into dispute by Benjamin Libet's eyebrow-raising experiments, which seem to suggest that conscious will occurs not before but after the start of brain activity that produces physical action. Libet's striking results are often claimed to undermine traditional views of free will and moral responsibility, and to have practical implications for criminal justice. His work has also stimulated a flurry of further fascinating scientific research—including findings in psychology by D ... More

Keywords: Benjamin Libet, free will, moral responsibility, criminal justice, Dan Wegner, John–Dylan Haynes, causal role, action, conscious choice

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780195381641
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195381641.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, editor
Duke University
Author Webpage

Lynn Nadel, editor
University of Arizona

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