Consciousness and Cognition 21 (2):915-927 (2012)

Authors
Joshua Shepherd
Carleton University
Abstract
What are the folk-conceptual connections between free will and consciousness? In this paper I present results which indicate that consciousness plays central roles in folk conceptions of free will. When conscious states cause behavior, people tend to judge that the agent acted freely. And when unconscious states cause behavior, people tend to judge that the agent did not act freely. Further, these studies contribute to recent experimental work on folk philosophical affiliation, which analyzes folk responses to determine whether folk views are consistent with the view that free will and determinism are incompatible (incompatibilism) or with the opposite view (compatibilism). Conscious causation of behavior tends to elicit pro-free will judgments, even when the causation takes place deterministically. Thus, when controlling for consciousness, many folk seem to be compatibilists. However, participants who disagree with the deterministic or cognitive scientific descriptions given of human behavior tend to give incompatibilist responses.
Keywords Free Will  Consciousness  Experimental Philosophy
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DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2012.03.004
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References found in this work BETA

Do We Have Free Will?Benjamin W. Libet - 1999 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 6 (8-9):47-57.
Intuitions About Consciousness: Experimental Studies.Joshua Knobe & Jesse Prinz - 2008 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 7 (1):67-83.

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Citations of this work BETA

Skepticism About Moral Responsibility.Gregg D. Caruso - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2018):1-81.
On the Very Concept of Free Will.Joshua May - 2014 - Synthese 191 (12):2849-2866.

View all 29 citations / Add more citations

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