- It is a truism that what we think affects what we do. We all suppose that we can change the way that people act by changing their minds. Otherwise, we would not spend billions of dollars on education, propaganda, advertising, fund-raising drives, political campaigns, or market research.
- As obvious as this point is, there lurks a philosophical scruple that makes reflective people stand back and wonder how it is possible that what we think has any causal bearing on what we do.
- The problem is that deep-seated contemporary assumptions about the nature of reality seem to leave no room for our ordinary convictions such as that what we think affects what we do. This is the problem of mental causation1: to show how, given plausible background assumptions, it is possible that what we think affects what we do.
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