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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 RetributionFoucault and the Government of DisabilityFoundational Issues in Human Brain MappingFoundations of Forensic Mental Health AssessmentFree WillFree Will And Moral ResponsibilityFree Will and Reactive AttitudesFree Will, Agency, and Meaning in LifeFree?Freedom and ValueFreedom vs. InterventionFriendshipFrom Darwin to HitlerFrom Disgust to HumanityFrom Enlightenment to ReceptivityFrom Morality to Mental HealthFrom Silence to VoiceFrontiers of JusticeGender in the MirrorGenetic PoliticsGenetic ProspectsGenetic ProspectsGenetics of Original SinGenetics of Original SinGenocide's AftermathGetting RealGluttonyGood WorkGoodness & AdviceGreedGroups in ConflictGrowing Up GirlGut FeminismHabilitation, Health, and AgencyHandbook for Health Care Ethics CommitteesHandbook of BioethicsHandbook of PsychopathyHappinessHappiness and the Good LifeHappiness Is OverratedHard FeelingsHard LuckHardwired BehaviorHarmful ThoughtsHeal & ForgiveHealing PsychiatryHealth Care Ethics for PsychologistsHeterosyncraciesHistorical and Philosophical Perspectives on Biomedical EthicsHoly WarHookedHookedHow Can I Be Trusted?How Propaganda 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Research for HireMedicalized MasculinitiesMedically Assisted DeathMeditations for the HumanistMelancholia and MoralismMental Health Professionals, Minorities and the PoorMental Illness, Medicine and LawMerit, Meaning, and Human BondageMetaethical SubjectivismMill's UtilitarianismMind FieldsMind WarsMind WarsModern Theories of JusticeModernity and TechnologyMoney ShotMonsterMoral Acquaintances and Moral DecisionsMoral BrainsMoral ClarityMoral CultivationMoral Development and RealityMoral Dilemmas in Real LifeMoral DimensionsMoral EntanglementsMoral FailureMoral LiteracyMoral MachinesMoral MindsMoral OriginsMoral Panics, Sex PanicsMoral ParticularismMoral PerceptionMoral PsychologyMoral Psychology: Volume IVMoral RealismMoral RelativismMoral RepairMoral 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 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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 EthicsPersonhood 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 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MadnessSelf-Trust and Reproductive AutonomySentimental RulesSex Fiends, Perverts, and PedophilesSex OffendersSex, Family, and the Culture WarsSexual DevianceSexual EthicsSexual PredatorsSexualized BrainsShaping Our SelvesShock TherapyShould I Medicate My Child?ShunnedSick to Death and Not Going to Take It AnymoreSickoSide EffectsSidewalk StoriesSister CitizenSkeptical FeminismSocial Inclusion of People with Mental IllnessSocial JusticeSociological Perspectives on the New GeneticsSome We Love, Some We Hate, Some We EatSovereign VirtueSpeech MattersSpiral of EntrapmentSplit DecisionsSticks and StonesStories MatterSubjectivity and Being SomebodySuffering, Death, and IdentitySuicide ProhibitionSurgery JunkiesSurgically Shaping ChildrenTaking Morality SeriouslyTaming the Troublesome ChildTechnology and the Good Life?TestimonyText and Materials on International Human RightsThe Aims of Higher EducationThe Almost MoonThe Altruistic BrainThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Forensic 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ConsentUnhingedUnprincipled VirtueUnsanctifying Human Life: Essays on EthicsUnspeakable Acts, Ordinary PeopleUp in FlamesUpheavals of ThoughtUsers and Abusers of PsychiatryValue-Free Science?Values and Psychiatric DiagnosisValues in ConflictVegetarianismViolence and Mental DisorderVirtue EthicsVirtue, Rules, and JusticeVirtue, Vice, and PersonalityVirtues and Their VicesWar Against the WeakWar, Torture and TerrorismWarrior's DishonourWeaknessWelfare and Rational CareWhat Genes Can't DoWhat Have We DoneWhat Is a Human?What Is Good and WhyWhat Is Good and WhyWhat Is the Good Life?What Price Better Health?What Should I Do?What We Owe to Each OtherWhat Would Aristotle Do?What's Good on TVWhat's Normal?What's Wrong with Children's RightsWhat's Wrong with Homosexuality?What's Wrong With Morality?When Is Discrimination Wrong?Who Holds the Moral High Ground?Who Owns YouWho Qualifies for Rights?Whose America?Whose View of Life?Why Animals MatterWhy Animals MatterWhy I Burned My Book and Other Essays on DisabilityWhy Not Kill Them All?Why Punish? 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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