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Consciousness, free action and the brain

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This article has three aims. First, I want to situate an account of the consciousness of free action, a form of consciousness I will call ‘volitional consciousness', within an account of consciousness generally. To do that I have to explain -- briefly -- some general features of consciousness. Secondly I want to discuss some of the implications of volitional consciousness for the explanation of rational behaviour and the existence of the self. Finally I want to relate this whole discussion to the traditional problem of the freedom of the will, and propose ways in which the problem of free will might be solved as a neurobiological problem.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94270, U.S.A.

Publication date: 2000-10-01

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