The Illusionist and the Folks. On the Role of Conscious Planning in Intentionality Judgments

Illusionism is a prominent hypothesis on action control, according to which acts that we consider voluntary are nevertheless caused by unconscious brain events, and thus our subjective experience of consciously willing them is ultimately illusory. Illusionism can be understood as either an ontological thesis or a phenomenological claim, but both versions are vulnerable to a line of attack based on the role of long-term planning (distal intentions) in action control. According to this objection, the evidence upon which illusionism rests is confined to short-term (proximal) intentions, thus it is not sufficient to justify broader conclusions on the causal inefficacy of conscious will. In this essay we reconstruct the logic of this objection against illusionism, clarify why surveying folk intuitions on conscious distal intentions is essential to the debate, and present a study where the role of conscious planning in intentionality judgment is clearly revealed, alongside other relevant findings - i.e., a gender effect on intentionality attributions, a moral influence on responsibility judgments, and confirmation of mechanistic incompatibilism.

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Felletti, Silvia
Paglieri, Fabio
Carfax Publishing., Abingdon, Regno Unito
Philosophical psychology (2016).
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Felletti, Silvia; Paglieri, Fabio/titolo:The Illusionist and the Folks. On the Role of Conscious Planning in Intentionality Judgments/doi:/rivista:Philosophical psychology/anno:2016/pagina_da:/pagina_a:/intervallo_pagine:/volume
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