Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

Volume 58, Issue 1, 2021

Danil N. Razeev
Pages 112-124

Generative and Perceptive Models of Volition

In recent decades, scientists and philosophers have developed several naturalistic theories of consciousness, in which they try to work out some theoretical foundations for a satisfactory solution to the problem of voluntary acts, in particular the genesis of voluntary bodily movements. From the author’s point of view, depending on which concept of consciousness scientists rely on in their empirical studies of voluntary movements, volition can be understood either as a generative act or as a perceptual act. The first part of the article shows that nowadays there are two competing philosophical and scientific models of volition: the generative model (dualistic and casualistic types) and the perceptual model (strong and weak types). The second part of the article deals with some experimental data from cognitive psychology and neuroscience related to the study of voluntary movements and concludes that they are in favor of the perceptive model of volition.