Why doesn't consciousness defeat the determinism argument? If a person consciously decides to order a hamburger instead of a cheeseburger the next time he goes to a restaurant, what force is controlling him to delude himself?

One typical way of thinking of such examples is this: perhaps the sequence of conscious mental states we enjoy is a causal sequence, so "causation" would be the "force" you are asking about. Perhaps the purely determinist laws of neuroscience dictate her sequence of brain states, which in turn dictate her sequence of mental states, generating her "conscious decision process" by which she eventually concludes she will order a hamburger. Perhaps event he deterministic sequence generates/dictates all the "feelings" she feels to, including the feeling of compelte freedom from external forces ... After all we are NOT typically aware of what is causing our mental states, are we? So even our "feeling of freedom," our "sense" of controlling our thoughts and decision processes, may be generated by entirely deterministic causal networks .... It seems to me, then, that consciousness could not itself defeat the determinism argument because our sequence of conscious states could easily be deterministically generated, despite their content ....

hope that's useful!


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