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Rationality + Consciousness = Free Will$
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David Hodgson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199845309

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199845309.001.0001

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Foundational Beliefs

Foundational Beliefs

Chapter:
(p.10) 1 Foundational Beliefs
Source:
Rationality + Consciousness = Free Will
Author(s):

David Hodgson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199845309.003.0002

Chapter 1 begins by considering what are my own most certain and most fundamental beliefs, and suggests that they are the most reasonable starting points for addressing questions concerning free will. Like Descartes, I ask what if anything I can be absolutely certain about; but unlike Descartes, I find that I cannot be certain about my own existence, but only that conscious experiences occur. As I explain, this is partly because of the need for a language with which to express and communicate beliefs of any complexity, and thus the dependence of complex beliefs on prior beliefs about language and language use; and this in turn requires prior beliefs about language-users and a world in which language is used.

Keywords:   Descartes, conscious experiences, language, human beings, external world

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