Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Conscious Will and Responsibility – A Tribute to Benjamin Libet - Oxford Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Conscious Will and Responsibility: A Tribute to Benjamin Libet

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Lynn Nadel


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


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, editor
Duke University
Author Webpage

Lynn Nadel, editor
University of Arizona

Show Summary Details

subscribe or login to access all content.




Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Duke University Lynn Nadel, University of Arizona

Chapter 7 What Are Intentions?

Elisabeth Pacherie and Patrick Haggard

Chapter 9 Forward Modeling Mediates Motor Awareness

Francesca Carota, Michel Desmurget, and Angela Sirigu

Chapter 10 Volition and the Function of Consciousness

Tashina L. Graves, Brian Maniscalco, and Hakwan Lau

Chapter 12 Bending Time to One’s Will

Jeffrey P. Ebert and Daniel M. Wegner

Chapter 19 Lessons from Libet

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong