Postmodern theories heralded the "death of the subject", and thereby deeply contested our intuition that we are free and willing selves. In recent times, the (free) will has come under attack yet again. Findings from the neuro- and cognitive sciences claim the concept of will to be scientifically untenable, specifying that it is our brain rather than our 'self' which decides what we want to do. In spite of these challenges however, the willing self has come to take centre stage in our society: juridical and moral practices ascribing guilt, or the organization of everyday life attributing responsibilities, for instance, can hardly be understood without taking recourse to the willing subject. In this vein, the authors address topics such as the genealogy of the concept of willing selves, the discourse on agency in neuroscience and sociology, the political debate on volition within neoliberal and neoconservative regimes, approaches toward novel forms of relational responsibility as well as moral evaluations in conceptualizing autonomy.Vom Verlag:
Currently, the neurosciences challenge the concept of will to be scientifically untenable, specifying that it is our brain rather than our "self" that decides what we want to do. At the same time, we seem to be confronted with increasing possibilities and necessities of free choice in all areas of social life. Based on up-to-date (empirical) research in the social sciences and philosophy, the authors convened in this book address this seeming contradiction: By differentiating the physical, the psychic, and the social realm, the neuroscientific findings can be acknowledged within a comprehensive framework of selves in neoliberal societies.
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