Episode 6

The Illusion of Conscious Will


March 5th, 2019

51 mins 49 secs

Season 1

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About this Episode

The psychologist Dan Wegner (1948-2013) had a lot of influential work. One of his most popular (and controversial) claims was that conscious will is an illusion. He wanted to sidestep the issue of whether or not "free will" in a metaphysical sense exists, and get to the more psychological issue of why human beings have such a strong feeling that their conscious intention is what causes their actions.

Can this be right? What exactly does Wegner mean, and does this mean we should abandon moral responsibility? Rolf and Joe get into the weeds sorting out how psychological insights can inform how we think about philosophical issues.

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