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Conscious Will and ResponsibilityA Tribute to Benjamin Libet$
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Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Lynn Nadel

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195381641

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195381641.001.0001

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(p.xi) Introduction
Conscious Will and Responsibility

Benjamin Libet

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter begins with a discussion of our wills as a challenge to moral and legal responsibility. It is concerned with not whether anything causes our wills but, instead, whether our wills cause anything. This question is about the effects rather than the causes of our wills. It does not ask whether our wills are free but, rather, whether our wills are efficacious. The answer affects whether or how we can control what we do (that is, our actions) instead of whether we control what we choose to do (that is, our wills). The chapter then considers the views of Benjamin Libet and presents an overview of the subsequent chapters.

Keywords:   conscious will, free will, willed actions, moral responsibility, legal responsibility

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