The mind's self-portrait


Abstract
Scientific psychology and neuroscience are taking increasingly precise and comprehensive pictures of the human mind, both in its physi- cal architecture and its functional processes. Meanwhile, each human mind has an abbreviated view of itself, a self-portrait that captures how it thinks it operates, and that therefore has been remarkably influential. The mind’s self-portrait has as a central feature the idea that thoughts cause actions, and that the self is thus an origin of the body’s actions. This self- portrait is reached through a process of inference of apparent mental cau- sation, and it gives rise to the experience that we are consciously willing what we do. Evidence from several sources suggests that this self-portrait may often be a humble and misleading caricature of the mind’s opera- tion—but one that underlies the feeling of authorship and the acceptance of responsibility for action.
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A Will of One's Own: Consciousness, Control, and Character.Neil Levy & Tim Bayne - 2004 - International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 27 (5):459-470.

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