Essays on Freedom of Action (Routledge Revivals)

Routledge
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Essays on Freedom of Action, first published in 1973, brings together original papers by contemporary British and American philosophers on questions which have long concerned philosophers and others: the question of whether persons are wholly a part of the natural world and their actions the necessary effects of causal processes, and the question of whether our actions are free, and such that we can be held responsible for them, even if they are the necessary effects of casual processes. This volume will be of interest not only to those who are primarily concerned with philosophy but also to students in those many other disciplines in which freedom and determinism arise as problems.
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Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Jun 3, 2015
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Pages
216
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ISBN
9781317516132
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Free Will & Determinism
Philosophy / General
Philosophy / Social
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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What is it for you to be conscious? There is no agreement whatever in philosophy or science: it has remained a hard problem, a mystery. Is this partly or mainly owed to the existing theories not even having the same subject, not answering the same question? In Actual Consciousness, Ted Honderich sets out to supersede dualisms, objective physicalisms, abstract functionalism, externalisms, and other positions in the debate. He argues that the theory of Actualism, right or wrong, is unprecedented, in nine ways. (1) It begins from gathered data and proceeds to an adequate initial clarification of consciousness in the primary ordinary sense. This consciousness is summed up as something's being actual. (2) Like basic science, Actualism proceeds from this metaphorical or figurative beginning to what is wholly literal and explicit—constructed answers to the questions of what is actual and what it is for it to be actual. (3) In so doing, the theory respects the differences of consciousness within perception, consciousness that is thinking in a generic sense, and consciousness that is generic wanting. (4) What is actual with your perceptual consciousness is a subjective physical world out there, very likely a room, differently real from the objective physical world, that other division of the physical world. (5) What it is for the myriad subjective physical worlds to be actual is for them to be subjectively physical, which is exhaustively characterized. (6) What is actual with cognitive and affective consciousness is affirmed or valued representations. The representations being actual, which is essential to their nature, is their being differently subjectively physical from the subjective physical worlds. (7) Actualism, naturally enough when you think of it, but unlike any other existing general theory of consciousness, is thus externalist with perceptual consciousness but internalist with respect to cognitive and affective consciousness. (8) It satisfies rigorous criteria got from examination of the failures of the existing theories. In particular, it explains the role of subjectivity in thinking about consciousness, including a special subjectivity that is individuality. (9) Philosophers and scientists have regularly said that thinking about consciousness requires just giving up the old stuff and starting again. Actualism does this. Science is served by this main line philosophy, which is concentration on the logic of ordinary intelligence—clarity, consistency and validity, completeness, generality.
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