, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 369-376
Date: 12 Mar 2011

Time for consciousness: intention and introspection

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Abstract

We assume that we can act—in at least some cases—by consciously intending to do so. Wegner (2002) appeals to empirical research carried out by Libet et al. (1983) to challenge this assumption. I argue that his conclusion presupposes a particular view of conscious intention. But there is an alternative model available, which has been developed by various writers in the phenomenological tradition, and most recently defended by Moran (2001). If we adopt this alternative account of conscious intention, Wegner’s argument no longer goes through, and we can retain the claim that our conscious intentions can give rise to action.