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Empirical Wor1 - Empirical Work WEGNER Why does Wegner...

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Empirical Work WEGNER Why does Wegner think that conscious will is an illusion? The basic idea is that conscious will is epiphenomenal: that is, conscious will is caused by the same process that causes action; but does not itself cause action. An analogy that Wegner gives is with a ship’s compass (Ch. 9). (Actually this is a rather confusing analogy, since the ship’s compass isn’t truly epiphenomenal; it is rather that its effect on the direction of the ship is not direct; it seems that Wegner might think that the same holds for the effect of conscious will.) What are the arguments for this? There are two: (i) We are habitually mistaken about the relation between our willings and our action; we think that we have not willed an action when we have (ouija boards; facilitated communication; hypnotism; water divination); we think that we have willed an action when we have not (the I-spy game; or, less radically, where we overestimate our effectiveness).
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