Recent scientific findings about human decision making would seem to threaten the traditional concept of the individual conscious will. The will is threatened from "below" by the discovery that our apparently spontaneous actions are actually controlled and initiated from below the level of our conscious awareness, and from "above" by the recognition that we adapt our actions according to social dynamics of which we are seldom aware. In Distributed Cognition and the Will, leading philosophers and behavioral scientists consider how much, (...) if anything, of the traditional concept of the individual conscious will survives these discoveries, and they assess the implications for our sense of freedom and responsibility. The contributors all take science seriously, and they are inspired by the idea that apparent threats to the cogency of the idea of will might instead become the basis of its reemergence as a scientific subject. They consider macro-scale issues of society and culture, the micro-scale dynamics of the mind/brain, and connections between macro-scale and micro-scale phenomena in the self-guidance and self-regulation of personal behavior. Contributors: George Ainslie, Wayne Christensen, Andy Clark, Paul Sheldon Davies, Daniel C. Dennett, Lawrence A. Lengbeyer, Dan Lloyd, Philip Pettit, Don Ross, Tamler Sommers, Betsy Sparrow, Mariam Thalos, Jeffrey B. Vancouver, Daniel M. Wegner, Tadeusz W. ZawidzkiDon Ross is Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Finance, Economics, and Quantitative Methods at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Professor of Economics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. David Spurrett is Professor of Philosophy at the Howard College Campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Harold Kincaid is Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Ethics and Values in the Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. G. Lynn Stephens is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. (shrink)
Stephens and Grahamset themselves an apparently modest task, to understand why people who experience alien voices and inserted thoughts do not believe that they themselves are the source of these experiences. However, it soon becomes clear that there are many connected issues here. In eight short chapters, they address the phenomenology and ontology of consciousness, the phenomenology of alien voices, inserted thoughts, obsessive-compulsive thoughts and feelings, and other cases of unusual experience often associated with psychopathology, including brief discussion of multiple (...) personality disorder. They survey some of the main empirical explanations of the phenomenology, set out the shortcomings of these theories, and end by proposing their own schematic account. (shrink)
Discusses the psychological self-knowledge of philosopher G. Lynn Stephens who contends that both the overarching assertion that humans have psychological stress at all and each specific ascription of a psychological state to oneself requires justification by inference. Objectivity of moral and aesthetic values and the analysis of modal discourse; Role of certain qualities of objects in interactions among objects; Irrefragable reasons requirement of each psychological self-ascription.
This chapter is about susceptibility to one type of division within our selves that can occur within self‐conscious experience and is present in certain mental disorders. This is the separation between experiencing oneself as subject and as agent. The chapter considers some disorders of self‐consciousness and examines the role that this particular division may play in those disorders. Companion to consciousness studies is not completed without attention to the philosophical psychopathology of self‐consciousness. The chapter also examines the case of verbal (...) auditory hallucinations. Investigators often say that hallucinations involve “loss of ego boundaries” or “internal/external confusion”. The chapter presents a case of alienated self‐consciousness, and explores the phenomenon of thought insertion. According to the standard or traditional account of thought insertion, the patient is aware of her own thoughts, but denies that they are hers and attributes them to someone else. So, thought insertion certainly seems to constitute alienated awareness of one's own thoughts. (shrink)