Conscious Agenthood – Try it Out

January 6, 2011

It’s an interesting exercise to regard oneself as a conscious agent. Put aside the notion of free will and simply regard yourself as a conscious agent.

Observe your own hand reaching for the coffee cup. Could consciousness of that act merely be awareness of what you are yourself doing? In what way would the experience of free will be different?

Even decisions conceived in consciousness are implemented in (or by) the unconscious. That is why we often fail to do what we ‘know’ we should. Wang Yangming said that failure to act on what we ‘know’ was failure to actually know. It was this disjuncture he was getting at.


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