Grey Walter: The Non-intentional Consciousness

There is so much to think about here–in how we interpret legal intention, the least of it.

Dr. Rinaldi's Horror Cabinet


Grey Walter was another of the marginal figures in the Macy Conferences and pioneer of the cybernetic field, but he is best known for his biomedical engineering and the development of electroencephalography (EEG) and in his engineering of modern technology work on radar.1 But as Johnston observes he was known for one other astounding thing. –

He also developed a method of measuring what is called the readiness potential in human subjects, which permits an observer to predict a subject’s response about a half to one second before the subject is aware of any intention to act. As Walter J. Freeman notes, this cerebral phenomenon can be interpreted as evidence “that intentional actions are initiated before awareness of such actions emerges, and that consciousness is involved in judging the values of actions rather than in the execution of them.” (ibid. 47) The notion the our conscious mind is non-intentional rather than intentional…

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