The Illusion of Conscious Will - Daniel Wegner

Updated: Jan 9, 2019


An immensely important piece of work. When we think we're deciding something, doing something or saying something, we infer from our behaviour why we do what we do.

Unfortunately, Professor Wegner passed away far too early. He's top of my list of dead people I'd like to have to dinner.

In this latest edition, Daniel Gilbert and Thalia Wheatley do an admirable job of forewording and introducing the great man. Was he a bumbler or a pointer? Jump straight into the thoughtful text and find arguments that will frighten, disturb and awaken you. All told by an author whose fascination with the subject is infectious.


My own book, Unthink, can be thought of as a follow-up to Wegner's book. Why do we infer our minds from the outside-in? What benefit does it give us, and what effect do these inferences have on our behaviour? And how does the illusion of conscious will fit in with consciousness more broadly?