David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Mind 104 (416):695-711 (1995)
In this paper I am not so much concerned with movements of the mind, as movements of the will. But my question bears a similarity to that of the tortoise. I want to ask whether the will is under the control of fact and reason, combined. I shall try to show that there is always something else, something that is not under the control of fact and reason, which has to be given as a brute extra, if deliberation is ever to end by determining the will. This is, of course, a Humean conclusion, and the only novelty comes in the way I wish to argue for it. I believe that many philosophers think, erroneously, that Hume relies on a naive and outdated conception of facts, or on an even more naive and outdated conception of reason, in order to put passion on their throne. My tortoise defends Hume: what we do with our premises is not itself construed as acceptance of a premise. As it stands the project is only described metaphorically. Presumably everything, including movement of the will, is under the control of facts in some sense, for even if they are only facts about our physiology or chemistry, still, they make us move. I am interested only in cognitive control, or control by the apprehension of fact and reason.
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