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.
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