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Unformatted text preview: The force of conscious will • Conscious will isn't only understood as an experience or a feeling. • It is also understood as a force of the mind or a causal link between mind and body / action: the force of conscious will • Problems: ◦ It does not admit of an explanation; “this view of the will makes the scientific study of it entirely out of the question” (651) ◦ We don't see our conscious intentions causing actions. We do not observe a causal connection between intentions and actions. We infer the existence of a causal connection form the regular relationship between the two. Force = Causality David Hume: causality isn't a property of an object. You do not see causation in something. You can only infer that there is a causal relationship between two objects are related in a certain way. (constant conjunction) Wegner: “In the same sense, causation cannot be a property of a person's conscious intention. You can't see your conscious intention causing an action, but can only infer this from the regular relation between intention and action. Normally, when you intend things, they happen... This is not to say that the concept of will power is useless. Rather, Hume's analysis suggests that the concepts of force of will or will power must be accompanied by careful causal inference” (652) Empirical will vs. Phenomenal Will • empirical will: this is the actual relationship between mind and action. ◦ Massively complicated set of mechanisms (subpersonal, not in control of) • Phenomenal will: The person's reported experience of will ◦ We mistake the phenomenal will for the empirical will • p. 653 - “Each of our actions is really the culmination of an intricate set of physical and mental processes, including psychological mechanisms that correspond to the traditional concept of free will...” • p. 654 - “The mind creates this continuous illusion because it really doesn't know what cause its actions...The mind has a self-explanation mechanism that produces a roughly continuous sense that what is in consciousness is the cause of action – the phenomenal will – whereas in fact....” CONCLUSION: “...unconscious and inscrutable mechanisms create both conscious thought about action and the action as well, and also produce the sense of will we experience by perceiving the thought as cause of action. SO, although our thoughts may have deep, important, and unconscious causal connections to our actions, the experience of conscious will arises from a process that interprets these connections not from the connections themselves” (656) SUMMARY: • We confuse the experience of the will for a force or a causal link. • We have the experience of conscious will when we interpret our own intentions and thoughts as the causes of our actions....
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- Fall '10
- Turing, intuition pump