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Distributed Cognition and the Will: Individual Volition and Social Context (Bradford Books) [Paperback]

Don Ross , David Spurrett , Harold Kincaid , G. Lynn Stephens

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Book Description

July 27, 2007 0262681692 978-0262681698 1

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.


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Don Ross is Professor of Economics and Dean of Commerce at the University of Cape Town, and Research Fellow in the Center for Economic Analysis of Risk at Georgia State University.. He is the author of Economic Theory and Cognitive Science: Microexplanation (MIT Press, 2005), companion volume to Midbrain Mutiny.

David Spurrett is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Cognitive Science Program at the Howard College Campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Harold Kincaid is Professor in the School of Economics and Director of the Research Unit in Behavioural Economics and Neuroeconomics at the University of Cape Town. He is the coeditor of Distributed Cognition and the Will: Individual Volition and Social Context and What Is Addiction? (both published by the MIT Press).

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More About the Author

David Spurrett is Professor of Philosophy at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, in South Africa. His research focuses on topics in the philosophy of science and cognitive science. He's a former editor of The South African Journal of Philosophy. Between 1998 and 2001 he was a visiting research fellow in philosophy at King's College, London. He was awarded the Vice-Chancellor's Research Award for 2002 at the University of Natal, as well as a President's Award by the National Research Foundation. In 2003 he was awarded a Distinguished Teacher's Award at the University of Natal. For the Easter term of 2003 he was the Colenso Scholar at St John's College, Cambridge.

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