It usually seems that we consciously will our voluntary actions, but this is an illusion.
This chapter discusses how the idea of conscious will and the idea of psychological mechanisms have an oil and water relationship, having never been properly reconciled. One way to put them together is to say that the mechanistic approach is the explanation preferred for scientific purposes, but that the person's experience of conscious will is utterly convincing and important to the person and so must be understood scientifically as well. The chapter states that conscious will is an illusion in the sense that the experience of consciously willing an action is not a direct indication that the conscious thought has caused the action. It also shows that the mechanisms underlying the experience of will are themselves a fundamental topic of scientific study.
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