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January 2022

A testable mind-brain theory

Journal/Book: J Mind Behav. 1999; 20: PO Box 522 Village Station, New York, NY 10014, USA. Inst Mind Behavior Inc. 421-436.

Abstract: Proceeding from the observation by Ryle (1949/1984) that I cannot prepare myself for the next thought that I am going to think, I argue that conscious acts cannot control my bodily motions or thoughts. This position is not compatible with indeterminism. I also argue that consciousness represents the irreducible and multi-modal output (across a hypothetical brain-consciousness interface) of the behavioral control system sensors necessary for the control of human behavior demonstrated by Marken (1988). My analysis supports one experimental result obtained by Libet, Gleason, Wright, and Pearl (1983), namely, that the initiation of a ''voluntary act'' is an unconscious cerebral process. I conclude that the following are not realizable: ''mental intentions'' acting on the supplementary motor area as postulated by Eccles and Robinson (1984), and ''veto,'' a conscious abort of a motor act after subjects reported ''wanting to act'' (Libet, 1985). These two items would seem to be amenable to test by studies similar to or refinements of Libet's.

Note: Article Smith RL, 2740 N Tomahawk Trail, Tucson,AZ 85749 USA

Keyword(s): BEHAVIOR


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