This question represents the second I have asked in relation to an argument I posted here approximately a year ago, which aims at a proof for the impossibility of free will.
It is inappropriate to attach this question to the initial post, as it would constitute a distinct third question (find the second question here), confuse the answer stream, and miss out on the potential consideration of many users who have already visited the original post over the past year and are unlikely to encounter any addition to it. This question also seems to constitute an interesting question in its own right, and to therefore warrant this dedicated post.
The premise at stake is:
- A decision is an act. Therefore, in order for a decision to be voluntary, a person must decide to decide it.
(An act is defined here as "A thing done").
I am motivated to ask this question after email communication with an internationally-noted philosopher of mind (not identified here, as I haven't obtained consent to do so). I presented the argument in question, and they happened to agree that - if only in their opinion - it was sound, but remarked that to define a question as an act is philosophically controversial. I'm honestly astonished they took the time to respond to my email and I don't want to pester them with follow-up questions. Regardless, I'm raising the question here because I'm interested in the diversity of (informed) response that Philosophy Stack enables, and primarily because any strong refutation of decision as action would likely prove fatal to my (long-cherished) argument.
The question is:
Where an act is defined as 'a thing done', how might a decision be defined if it is to be defined as something other than an act?
Kitajima & Toyota (2013) state, "Decision-making is the act or process of choosing a preferred option or course of actions from a set of alternatives".
McCall (1987) raises this very question, but I don't have access to the entire article to examine any answers he provides.
"Is a decision an action?", he asks. "If so, what sort of action? Must decision be preceded by deliberation?".
Any insight into this realm would be most welcome, whether as answers, quotes and/or references.