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Anger and Forgiveness"Are You There Alone?"10 Good Questions about Life and DeathA Casebook of Ethical Challenges in NeuropsychologyA Companion to BioethicsA Companion to BioethicsA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to Muslim EthicsA Cooperative SpeciesA Critique of the Moral Defense of VegetarianismA Delicate BalanceA Fragile LifeA Life for a LifeA Life-Centered Approach to BioethicsA Matter of SecurityA Natural History of Human MoralityA Philosophical DiseaseA Practical Guide to Clinical Ethics ConsultingA Question of TrustA Sentimentalist Theory of the MindA Short Stay in SwitzerlandA Tapestry of ValuesA Very Bad WizardA World Without ValuesAction and ResponsibilityAction Theory, Rationality and CompulsionActs of ConscienceAddiction and ResponsibilityAddiction NeuroethicsAdvance Directives in Mental HealthAfter HarmAftermathAgainst AutonomyAgainst BioethicsAgainst HealthAgainst Moral ResponsibilityAgency and AnswerabilityAgency and ResponsibilityAgency, 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Health Services ManagementEthics in Mental Health ResearchEthics in PracticeEthics in PsychiatryEthics in PsychologyEthics in Psychotherapy and CounselingEthics of PsychiatryEthics without OntologyEthics, Culture, and PsychiatryEthics, Sexual Orientation, and Choices about ChildrenEvaluating the Science and Ethics of Research on HumansEvilEvil GenesEvil in Modern ThoughtEvil in Modern ThoughtEvolution, Gender, and RapeEvolutionary Ethics and Contemporary BiologyEvolutionary Psychology and ViolenceEvolved MoralityExperiments in EthicsExploding the Gene MythExploiting ChildhoodFacing Human SufferingFact and ValueFaking ItFalse-Memory Creation in Children and AdultsFat ShameFatal FreedomFellow-Feeling and the Moral LifeFeminism and Its DiscontentsFeminist Ethics and Social and Political PhilosophyFeminist TheoryFinal ExamFirst Do No HarmFirst, Do No HarmFlashpointFlesh WoundsForced to CareForgivenessForgivenessForgiveness and LoveForgiveness and ReconciliationForgiveness and 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Responsibility and Alternative PossibilitiesMoral Status and Human LifeMoral StealthMoral Theory at the MoviesMoral TribesMoral Value and Human DiversityMoral, Immoral, AmoralMoralismMorality and Self-InterestMorality in a Natural WorldMorality, Moral Luck and ResponsibilityMorals, Rights and Practice in the Human ServicesMorals, Rights and Practice in the Human ServicesMore Than HumanMotive and RightnessMovies and the Moral Adventure of LifeMurder in the InnMy Body PoliticMy Brain Made Me Do ItMy Sister's KeeperMy Sister's KeeperMy WayNano-Bio-EthicsNarrative MedicineNarrative ProsthesisNatural Ethical FactsNatural-Born CybogsNaturalized BioethicsNeither Bad nor MadNeoconservatismNeonatal BioethicsNeurobiology and the Development of Human MoralityNeuroethicsNeuroethicsNeuroethicsNew Takes in Film-PhilosophyNew Waves in EthicsNew Waves in MetaethicsNietzsche on Ethics and PoliticsNo Child Left DifferentNo Impact ManNormative EthicsNormativityNothing about us, without us!Oath BetrayedOf War and LawOn ApologyOn Being AuthenticOn EvilOn Human RightsOn The Stigma Of Mental IllnessOn the TakeOn Virtue EthicsOn What MattersOn What We Owe to Each OtherOne ChildOne Nation Under TherapyOne World NowOne World NowOur Bodies, Whose Property?Our Bodies, Whose Property?Our Daily MedsOur Faithfulness to the PastOur Posthuman FutureOut of EdenOut of Its MindOut of the ShadowsOverdosed AmericaOxford Handbook of Psychiatric EthicsOxford Textbook of Philosophy of PsychiatryPassionate DeliberationPatient Autonomy and the Ethics of ResponsibilityPC, M.D.Perfecting VirtuePersonal AutonomyPersonal Autonomy in SocietyPersonal Identity and EthicsPersonalities on the PlatePersonhood and Health CarePersons, Humanity, and the Definition of DeathPerspectives On Health And Human RightsPharmacracyPharmageddonPhilosophy and This Actual WorldPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of Technology: The Technological ConditionPhysician-Assisted DyingPicturing DisabilityPilgrim at Tinker CreekPlaying God?Playing God?Political EmotionsPornlandPowerful MedicinesPractical Autonomy and BioethicsPractical EthicsPractical Ethics for PsychologistsPractical RulesPragmatic BioethicsPragmatic BioethicsPragmatic NeuroethicsPraise and BlamePreferences and Well-BeingPrimates and PhilosophersPro-Life, Pro-ChoiceProcreation and ParenthoodProfits Before People?Progress in BioethicsProperty in the BodyProzac As a Way of LifeProzac on the CouchPsychiatric Aspects of Justification, Excuse and Mitigation in Anglo-American Criminal Law Psychiatric EthicsPsychiatry and EmpirePsychological Concepts and Biological PsychiatryPsychology and Consumer CulturePsychology and LawPsychotropic Drug Prescriber's Survival GuidePublic Health LawPublic Health Law and EthicsPublic PhilosophyPunishing the Mentally IllPunishmentPursuits of WisdomPutting Morality Back Into PoliticsPutting on VirtueQuality of Life and Human DifferenceRaceRadical HopeRadical VirtuesRape Is RapeRe-creating MedicineRe-Engineering Philosophy for Limited BeingsReason's GriefReasonably ViciousReckoning With HomelessnessReconceiving Medical EthicsRecovery from SchizophreniaRedefining RapeRedesigning HumansReducing the Stigma of Mental IllnessReflections On How We LiveReframing Disease ContextuallyRefusing CareRefuting Peter Singer's Ethical TheoryRelative JusticeRelativism and Human RightsReligion ExplainedReprogeneticsRescuing JeffreyResponsibilityResponsibility and PsychopathyResponsibility and PunishmentResponsibility and PunishmentResponsibility from the MarginsResponsible GeneticsRethinking CommodificationRethinking Informed Consent in BioethicsRethinking Mental Health and DisorderRethinking RapeReturn to ReasonRevolution in PsychologyRightsRights, Democracy, and Fulfillment in the Era of Identity PoliticsRisk and Luck in Medical EthicsRobert NozickRousseau and the Dilemmas of Modernity Rule of Law, Misrule of MenRun, Spot, RunRunning on RitalinSatisficing and MaximizingSchizophrenia, Culture, and SubjectivityScience and 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How Much?Why Some Things Should Not Be for SaleWisdom, Intuition and EthicsWithout ConscienceWomen and Borderline Personality DisorderWomen and MadnessWondergenesWould You Kill the Fat Man?Wrestling with Behavioral GeneticsWriting About PatientsYou Must Be DreamingYour Genetic DestinyYour Inner FishYouth Offending and Youth Justice Yuck!
This is a book about the will, what
can be learned about it from various impairments of will and from its breakdown.
It contains papers on the concept of will, the concept of its breakdown, and
the neurocognitive mechanisms of breakdown of will in schizophrenia,
depression, prefrontal lobe damage, and substance abuse.
There are nearly three dozen
contributors and co-contributors as well as twenty papers including an introductory
overview chapter by the editors, co-authored with Daniel Dennett. The authors
include philosophers like Tim Bayne, Neil Levy, Joelle Proust and Thomas Metzinger
(and Dennett, of course) and cognitive scientists, psychologists or neuroscientists
such as George Ainslie, Chris Firth, Patrick Haggard, Marc Jeannerod, Michael
Sayette, Werner Schneider, Prinz, and Sebanz. A few psychiatrists are also
represented such as Peter Liddle and Sean Spence. Authors' affiliations span
the globe, from New York to Melbourne, from Tokyo to Mainz.
Many of the authors are major figures
in their respective fields. Chris Frith, for example, is Professor of
Neuropsychology at University College London and the author of the
award-winning The Cognitive Neuropsychology of Schizophrenia (1992).
George Ainslie is the author of important papers on the topic of intertemporal
bargaining and of Breakdown of Will (2001). Similar citations can be
made for many of the other authors.
The goal of the collection is to
show the reader what the study of volitional disorder is today, and what it
might be tomorrow. This is a complex task that calls for offering some
conceptual analysis to represent different ways of botanizing the research
field, and representing main areas of empirical and psychiatric research.
Terminologically, this is not a
book to read in an airport lounge. Investigators in different fields often
fail to talk of the same phenomena in the same way. One author's so-called
goal-action episodes are another's segments of intentional activity and still another's
units of motor activity under executive control. It is challenging to keep the
locutions of twenty chapters in semantic play. For this and other reasons, it's
a collection for professionals by professionals. This is not a drawback, of
course, but just an identification of its audience. The book is intended to
advance scientific and medical understanding, not public attention.
Given the range of the contributors'
interests, the book examines a broad set of topics, such as: the phenomenology
of effort, models of self control, interconnections between cognition and
motivation, decision and affect, stress and mental disturbance, analogies
between bodily and mental action, neuroanatomical localization of a variety of
different cognitive-motivational functions, and task decomposition in decision
making and implementation of action. Several striking theses emerge, such as:
Ainslie's that rewards and pleasures must be distinguished; Bayne and Levy's
that often there is a feeling of mental effort that needs to be invested in our
actions, and that this is perhaps most vivid in cases of motivational conflict;
Frith's that some schizophrenic symptoms of action failure can only be
understood by taking into account the social context of action; Schneider's
that in depression, chronic stress may lead to changes in brain structures that
support action planning; Sayette's that the experience of craving leads to
changes in temporal cognition, causing time to seem to slow down. Just to name
Books like this -- with many
authors and fields -- sometimes fail for one of two reasons. Either they are
topically anarchic, appearing as if three or four disparate academic journals
were glued together. Or under the rule of a stiff editorial architectonic, the
authors are uncomfortably forced to address topics about which they know little
or are disinterested. The editors of this volume have sound organizational
instincts. No such faults occur in the collection. Different authors take on
different but often complementary and always enthusiastic roles. Some refer to
the work of various scientific colleagues in the book (Sayette's chapter is an
example). Some offer big synoptic pictures that try to integrate the field
(Metzinger's chapter is an example). Others explain the continued evolution of
their own work (Frith's chapter is an example). The result is a solid and
welcome collection that is informative, useful, and thought-provoking. It will
be read with profit by mental health professionals and other scientists and
professionals interested in vicissitudes of intentional action and disturbances
© 2007 George Graham
George Graham is A. C. Reid
Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University in North Carolina (U.S.A). He
is the co-editor and co-author of the Oxford Textbook of Philosophy and
Psychiatry. He can be reached via his website: http://www.wfu.edu/~grahamg and email
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