In daily life we take it for granted that our minds have conscious control of our actions, at least for most of the time. But many scientists and philosophers deny that this is really the case, because there is no generally accepted theory of how the mind interacts with the body. Max Velmans presents a non-reductive solution to the problem, in which 'conscious mental control' includes 'voluntary' operations of the preconscious mind. On this account, biological determinism is compatible with experienced free will. Velmans' theory is put to the test by nine critics: Ron Chrisley, Todd Feinberg, Jeffrey Gray, John Kihlstrom, Sam Rakover, Ramakrishna Rao, Aaron Sloman, Steve Torrance and Robert Van Gulick.
Max Velmans is Reader in Psychology at Goldsmith's College, London. His books include Understanding Consciousness (Routledge, 2000), Investigating Phenomenal Consciousness: Methodologies and Maps (John Benjamins, 2000) and The Science of Consciousness: Psychological, Neuropsychological and Clinical Reviews (Routledge, 1996).