Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Did My Neurons Make Me Do It?Philosophical and Neurobiological Perspectives on Moral Responsibility and Free Will$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Nancey Murphy and Warren S. Brown

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199215393

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199215393.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 18 October 2017

From Mindless to Intelligent Action

From Mindless to Intelligent Action

Chapter:
(p.105) 3 From Mindless to Intelligent Action
Source:
Did My Neurons Make Me Do It?
Author(s):

Nancey Murphy (Contributor Webpage)

Warren S. Brown (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199215393.003.0004

This chapter builds upon the preceding account of complex causal processes by considering step-by-step the increasing abilities of organisms to respond to information about their environments in increasingly flexible ways, and the neural processes that make this flexibility possible. The characteristics of goal-directedness and evaluation are present in even the most rudimentary biological activity; the distinctiveness of intelligent action lies in the organism's ability to detach itself from immediate biological and environmental stimuli, and in the character of the evaluative processes involved. Such evaluation depends on hierarchical structuring of cognitive processes such that higher animals are able to make their own actions (and in the case of humans, their own cognition) the product of evaluation. The nature of consciousness in evaluative processes is also discussed.

Keywords:   flexibility, intelligent action, evaluation, goal-directedness, consciousness

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .