CCN meeting | Sebo Uithol (Radbound University, Nijmegen, NL)

24-01-2019 from 15:00 to 16:00
Henri Dunantlaan 2, room 4.1
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On intentions and the real causes of voluntary actions

In everyday life we explain behavior (others’ and our own) by positing intentions. Cognitive neuroscience generally assumes that intentions must therefore be neural states that are the causes of our actions. In this talk I will argue that this view is deeply mistaken. Instead, our actions are caused by a complex and dynamic web of neural structures. Even though there is a division of labor in this network, the network does not resemble the hierarchical structure that is needed for a model based on intentions. I will discuss theoretical arguments as well as empirical evidence supporting the view that the notion of intention has no place in neuroscientific explanations.