Show Summary Details
Page of

date: 20 September 2021

p. 826. Conscious willlocked

p. 826. Conscious willlocked

  • Susan Blackmore


Do we have free will? ‘Conscious will’ considers this question and shows that the issue raises strong feelings because freedom implies responsibility. Part of the problem lies with determinism, which some philosophers accept is incompatible with free will. They argue that either determinism is false or free will must be an illusion. The timing of conscious acts, using the experiments of Benjamin Libet, and psychologist Daniel Wegner's theories on the illusion of conscious will are discussed. Even if free will is an illusion, it is a very powerful illusion and so the feeling of being free carries on, even for people who no longer believe it is true.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.