Isn't that just another way of saying that our brain is the powerhouse of our body? The brain thinks and the body responds-that isn't a particularly new concept
I get what James is saying but for me just saying that before we are consciously aware of making a decision doesn't mean that that decision is not ours. Our brain is part of us-so just because it responds to something as it informs 'us' i.e. our body and awareness, doesn't mean that 'we' (our brain included) didn't make that decision.
That's a compatibilist argument: if we are anything, we are our brain; therefore, if the brain makes choices, we make choices.
This argument doesn't stand up to scrutiny, though. That is not how free will is commonly perceived. Using the compatibilist argument, you would be forced to state that you are choosing to do everything the brain is doing. Are you currently choosing to regulate dopamine levels in your brain? No, your brain is simply doing that. It requires no effort on your part. And when I say 'you', I mean the traditional idea of who you are.