CSCA Lecture - Prof. dr. Elisabeth Pacherie, Institute Jean Nicod, CNRS, Paris, France
|Date||20 April 2011|
|Time||16:00 - 17:00|
Prof. dr. Elisabeth Pacherie
Institute Jean Nicod, CNRS, Paris, France
In recent years, the sense of agency - the sense that one is the agent of an action - has become a topic of growing interest in philosophers and cognitive scientists alike. On the one hand, philosophers have investigated the various facets of the sense of agency and proposed a number of distinctions. A non-exhaustive list includes awareness of a goal, awareness of an intention to act, awareness of initiation of action, awareness of movements made, sense of activity, sense of mental effort, sense of physical effort, sense of control, experience of authorship, experience of intentionality, experience of purposiveness, experience of freedom, and experience of mental causation. On the other hand, empirical research on agency has explored a number of potential cues to agency, and different cognitive models for agency have been proposed, ranging from high-level cognitive mechanisms to low-level sensorimotor mechanisms
Despite this profusion of distinctions and models, it remains somewhat unclear how these various aspects of the phenomenology of agency are related, to what extent they are dissociable and whether some are more basic than others. It also remains unclear what their sources are and how they relate to action specification and action control mechanisms.
The purpose of this talk is to propose a conceptual framework allowing for a more precise characterization of the many facets of the phenomenology of agency and of their possible sources. The key assumption guiding this attempt is that the processes through which the phenomenology of agency is generated and the processes involved in the specification and control of action are strongly interconnected. I describe and motivate a dynamic model of intention and action specification and use it to propose an analysis of the contents, possible sources and temporal course of complementary aspects of the phenomenology of agency.
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