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Free Will and Consciousness: How Might They Work? Hardcover – July 9, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0195389760 ISBN-10: 019538976X Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (July 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019538976X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195389760
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,674,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author


Francis Eppes Professor of Psychology, Florida State University. Baumeister was included in the most highly cited scientist category by Thomson ISI, among the top 243 psychologists/psychiatrists (about 30 of whom are social psychologists). He is the author or lead editor of 21 books, including three with us -- Identity: Cultural Change and the Struggle for Self (1986); The Cultural Animal (2005); and Psychology and Free Will (2008), and two others that are currently under contract.

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In this volume, Baumeister, Mele, & Vohs - all considerable contributors to the free will "debate" - accomplish two significant objectives. First, while they are not in complete agreement with one another with regard to the nature of free will and consciousness, they are able to present their positions without rancor. Second, they are able to assemble other authorities in psychology & philosophy whose contributions on these subjects give the text more depth and breadth in its overall considerations. As a result, the text provides substantive discussions on issues that are beyond the basic compatibilism/incompatibilism arguments that are characteristic of more basic texts. For example, the text provides an essay by Stephanie Carlson which focuses on the development of conscious control and how levels of consciousness are displayed by human beings at various stages (or ages) of their development. Carlson's focus on variations of consciousness across the spectrum of human development brings more of a person-centered sensitivity to this text. Rather than assuming that the relationship between consciousness and human will are static (an impression given by many of the texts which deal with these topics), Carlson demonstrates how humans at various ages might differ in regard to their development of either consciousness or free will or both.

One of the texts additional strengths is one of style. Each of the essays concludes with a segment in which the author responds to questions about his/her views on the subject of free will and consciousness. This provides the reader with an opportunity for further clarification of the author's position(s) and gives the text a more engaging feel.
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