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  1. Vuko Andrić (2014). Can Groups Be Autonomous Rational Agents? A Challenge to the List-Pettit Theory. In Anita Konzelmann Ziv & Hans Bernhard Schmid (eds.), Institutions, Emotions, and Group Agents - Contributions to Social Ontology. Springer. 343-353.
    Christian List and Philip Pettit argue that some groups qualify as rational agents over and above their members. Examples include churches, commercial corporations, and political parties. According to the theory developed by List and Pettit, these groups qualify as agents because they have beliefs and desires and the capacity to process them and to act on their basis. Moreover, the alleged group agents are said to be rational to a high degree and even to be fit to be held morally (...)
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  2. Tjeerd C. Andringa, Kirsten A. van den Bosch & Carla Vlaskamp (2013). Learning Autonomy in Two or Three Steps: Linking Open-Ended Development, Authority, and Agency to Motivation. Frontiers in Psychology 4.
    In this paper we connect open-ended development, authority, agency, and motivation through 1) an analysis of the demands of existing in a complex world and 2) environmental appraisal in terms of affordance content and the complexity to select appropriate behavior. We do this by identifying a coherent core from a wide range of contributing fields. Open-ended development is a structured three-step process in which the agent first learns to master the body and then aims to make the mind into a (...)
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  3. Nomy Arpaly (2003). Unprincipled Virtue: An Inquiry Into Moral Agency. Oxford University Press.
    Nomy Arpaly rejects the model of rationality used by most ethicists and action theorists. Both observation and psychology indicate that people act rationally without deliberation, and act irrationally with deliberation. By questioning the notion that our own minds are comprehensible to us--and therefore questioning much of the current work of action theorists and ethicists--Arpaly attempts to develop a more realistic conception of moral agency.
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  4. Carla Bagnoli (2011). The Exploration of Moral Life. In Iris Murdoch, philosopher. Oxford University Press.
    The most distinctive feature of Murdoch's philosophical project is her attempt to reclaim the exploration of moral life as a legitimate topic of philosophical investigation. In contrast to the predominant focus on action and decision, she argues that “what we require is a renewed sense of the difficulty and complexity of the moral life and the opacity of persons. We need more concepts in terms of which to picture the substance of our being” (AD 293).1 I shall argue that to (...)
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  5. Albert Bandura (2002). Selective Moral Disengagement in the Exercise of Moral Agency. Journal of Moral Education 31 (2):101-119.
    Moral agency has dual aspects manifested in both the power to refrain from behaving inhumanely and the proactive power to behave humanely. Moral agency is embedded in a broader socio-cognitive self-theory encompassing affective self-regulatory mechanisms rooted in personal standards linked to self-sanctions. Moral functioning is thus governed by self-reactive selfhood rather than by dispassionate abstract reasoning. The self-regulatory mechanisms governing moral conduct do not come into play unless they are activated and there are many psychosocial mechanisms by which moral self-sanctions (...)
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  6. James Bell (2007). Absolve You to Yourself: Emerson's Conception of Rational Agency. Inquiry 50 (3):234 – 252.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson famously warned his readers against the dangers of conformity and consistency. In this paper, I argue that this warning informs his engagement with and opposition to a Kantian view of rational agency. The interpretation I provide of some of Emerson's central essays outlines a unique conception of agency, a conception which gives substance to Emerson's exhortations of self-trust. While Kantian in spirit, Emerson's view challenges the requirement that autonomy requires acting from a conception of the law. The (...)
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  7. S. I. Benn & W. L. Weinstein (1971). Being Free to Act, and Being a Free Man. Mind 80 (318):194-211.
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  8. Matthew Boyle (2011). 'Making Up Your Mind' and the Activity of Reason. Philosophers' Imprint 11 (17).
    A venerable philosophical tradition holds that we rational creatures are distinguished by our capacity for a special sort of mental agency or self-determination: we can “make up” our minds about whether to accept a given proposition. But what sort of activity is this? Many contemporary philosophers accept a Process Theory of this activity, according to which a rational subject exercises her capacity for doxastic self-determination only on certain discrete occasions, when she goes through a process of consciously deliberating about whether (...)
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  9. Marilea Bramer (2011). Domestic Violence as a Violation of Autonomy and Agency. Social Philosophy Today 27:97-110.
    Contrary to what we might initially think, domestic violence is not simply a violation of respect. This characterization of domestic violence misses two key points. First, the issue of respect in connection with domestic violence is not as straightforward as it appears. Second, domestic violence is also a violation of care. These key points explain how domestic violence negatively affects a victim’s autonomy and agency—the ability to choose and pursue her own goals and life plan.We have a moral responsibility to (...)
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  10. Sarah Buss (2012). Autonomous Action: Self-Determination in the Passive Mode. Ethics 122 (4):647-691.
    In order to be a self-governing agent, a person must govern the process by means of which she acquires the intention to act as she does. But what does governing this process require? The standard compatibilist answers to this question all assume that autonomous actions differ from nonautonomous actions insofar as they are a more perfect expression of the agent’s agency. I challenge this conception of autonomous agents as super agents. The distinguishing feature of autonomous agents is, I argue, the (...)
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  11. David Copp (2005). The Normativity of Self-Grounded Reason. Social Philosophy and Policy 22 (2):165-203.
    In this essay, I propose a standard of practical rationality and a grounding for the standard that rests on the idea of autonomous agency. This grounding is intended to explain the “normativity” of the standard. The basic idea is this: To be autonomous is to be self-governing. To be rational is at least in part to be self-governing; it is to do well in governing oneself. I argue that a person's values are aspects of her identity—of her “self-esteem identity”—in a (...)
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  12. Hanne De Jaegher & Tom Froese (2009). On the Role of Social Interaction in Individual Agency. Adaptive Behavior 17 (5):444-460.
    Is an individual agent constitutive of or constituted by its social interactions? This question is typically not asked in the cognitive sciences, so strong is the consensus that only individual agents have constitutive efficacy. In this article we challenge this methodological solipsism and argue that interindividual relations and social context do not simply arise from the behavior of individual agents, but themselves enable and shape the individual agents on which they depend. For this, we define the notion of autonomy as (...)
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  13. David DeGrazia (1994). Autonomous Action and Autonomy-Subverting Psychiatric Conditions. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 19 (3):279-297.
    The following theses are defended in this paper: (1) The concept of autonomous action is centrally relevant to understanding numerous psychiatric conditions, namely, conditions that subvert autonomy; (2) The details of an analysis of autonomous action matter; a vague or rough characterization is less illuminating; (3) A promising analysis for this purpose (and generally) is a version of the "multi-tier model". After opening with five vignettes, I begin the discussion by highlighting strengths and weaknesses of contributions by other authors who (...)
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  14. John M. Doris (2009). Skepticism About Persons. Philosophical Issues 19 (1):57-91.
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  15. Andreas Dorschel (1992). Die idealistische Kritik des Willens: Versuch über die Theorie der praktischen Subjektivität bei Kant und Hegel. Meiner.
    In Die idealistische Kritik des Willens [German Idealism’s Critique of the Will] Dorschel defends an understanding of freedom as choice against Immanuel Kant’s and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s ethical animadversions. He objects both to Kant’s claim that „a free will and a will under moral laws are one and the same thing“ („ein freier Wille und ein Wille unter sittlichen Gesetzen einerlei“) (Immanuel Kant, Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten AB 98) and to Hegel’s doctrine that „freedom of the will is (...)
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  16. M. Evans (2013). The Meaning of Agency. In Sumi Madhok, Anne Phillips & Kalpana Wilson (eds.), Gender, Agency, and Coercion. Palgrave Macmillan.
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  17. Luara Ferracioli (forthcoming). The Anarchist’s Myth: Autonomy, Children and State Legitimacy. Hypatia.
    Philosophical anarchists have made their living criticizing theories of state legitimacy and the duty to obey the law. The most prominent theories of state legitimacy have been called into doubt by the anarchist’s insistence that citizens’ lack of consent to the state renders the whole justificatory enterprise futile. Autonomy requires consent, they argue, and justification must respect autonomy. In this essay, I want to call into question the weight of consent in protecting our capacity for autonomy. I argue that if (...)
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  18. K. W. M. Fulford & Lubomira Radoilska (2012). Three Challenges From Delusion for Theories of Autonomy. In Lubomira Radoilska (ed.), Autonomy and Mental Disorder. Oxford University Press. 44-74.
    This chapter identifies and explores a series of challenges raised by the clinical concept of delusion for theories which conceive autonomy as an agency rather than a status concept. The first challenge is to address the autonomy-impairing nature of delusions consistently with their role as grounds for full legal and ethical excuse, on the one hand, and psychopathological significance as key symptoms of psychoses, on the other. The second challenge is to take into account the full logical range of delusions, (...)
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  19. Shaun Gallagher (2011). Strong Interaction and Self-Agency. Humana.Mente 15:55-76.
    The interaction theory of social cognition contends that intersubjective interaction is characterized by both immersion and irreducibility. This motivates a question about autonomy and self-agency: If I am always caught up in processes of interaction, and interaction always goes beyond me and my ultimate control, is there any room for self-agency? I outline an answer to this question that points to the importance of communicative and narrative practices.
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  20. Daniel R. Gilbert Jr (forthcoming). Conventions, Autonomy, and Purposeful Action. The Ruffin Series in Business Ethics:171-176.
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  21. Moti Gorin (2014). Do Manipulators Always Threaten Rationality? American Philosophical Quarterly 51 (1).
  22. Moti Gorin (2014). Towards a Theory of Interpersonal Manipulation. In Michael Weber Christian Coons (ed.), Manipulation: Theory and Practice. Oxford University Press.
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  23. Amber Griffioen (2014). Regaining the 'Lost Self': A Philosophical Analysis of Survivor's Guilt. In Altered Self and Altered Self Experience. 43-57.
  24. Annemarie Kalis (2011). Failures of Agency: Irrational Behavior and Self-Understanding. Lexington Books.
    This book explores classic philosophical questions regarding the phenomenon of weakness of will or ‘akrasia’: doing A, even though all things considered, you judge it best to do B. Does this phenomenon really exist and if so, how should it be explained? Nacht van Descartes -/- The author provides a historical overview of some traditional answers to these questions and addresses the main question: how does the phenomenon of 'going against your own judgment' relate to the idea that we are (...)
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  25. Giorgi Kankava (2013). The Continuous Model of Culture: Modernity Decline—a Eurocentric Bias? An Attempt to Introduce an Absolute Value Into a Model of Culture. Human Studies 36 (3):411-433.
    This paper means to demonstrate the theoretical-and-methodological potential of a particular pattern of thought about culture. Employing an end-means and absolute value plus concept of reality approach, the continuous model of culture aims to embrace from one holistic standpoint various concepts and debates of the modern human, social, and political sciences. The paper revisits the debates of fact versus value, nature versus culture, culture versus structure, agency versus structure, and economics versus politics and offers the concepts of the rule of (...)
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  26. Stuart Kauffman & Philip Clayton (2006). On Emergence, Agency, and Organization. Biology and Philosophy 21 (4):501-521.
    Ultimately we will only understand biological agency when we have developed a theory of the organization of biological processes, and science is still a long way from attaining that goal. It may be possible nonetheless to develop a list of necessary conditions for the emergence of minimal biological agency. The authors offer a model of molecular autonomous agents which meets the five minimal physical conditions that are necessary (and, we believe, conjointly sufficient) for applying agential language in biology: autocatalytic reproduction; (...)
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  27. Jeanette Kennett & Steve Matthews (2009). Mental Timetravel, Agency and Responsibility. In Matthew Broome Lisa Bortolotti (ed.), Psychiatry as Cognitive Neuroscience: Philosophical Perspectives.
    We have argued elsewhere (2002) that moral responsibility over time depends in part upon the having of psychological connections which facilitate forms of self-control. In this paper we explore the importance of mental time travel – our ordinary ability to mentally travel to temporal locations outside the present, involving both memory of our personal past and the ability to imagine ourselves in the future – to our agential capacities for planning and control. We suggest that in many individuals with dissociative (...)
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  28. Suzy Killmister (2014). The Woody Allen Puzzle: How 'Authentic Alienation' Complicates Autonomy. Noûs 48 (2):n/a-n/a.
    Theories of autonomy commonly make reference to some form of endorsement: an action is autonomous insofar as the agent has a second-order desire towards the motivating desire, or takes it to be a reason for action, or is not alienated from it. In this paper I argue that all such theories have difficulty accounting for certain kinds of agents, what I call ‘Woody Allen cases’. In order to make sense of such cases, I suggest, it is necessary to disambiguate two (...)
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  29. Suzy Killmister (2013). Autonomy and the Problem of Socialization. Social Theory and Practice 39 (1):95-119.
    One of the more intractable problems in the debate over autonomy is how we should distinguish autonomy-enhancing from autonomy-compromising forms of socialization. In this paper I first survey a range of theories of autonomy, from the procedural through to the substantive, and argue that none offers sufficient resources to resolve the problem of socialization. In the second half of the paper I develop an alternative theory that can both differentiate benign from pernicious socialization and, more importantly, provide an explanation for (...)
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  30. David Kyuman Kim (2007). Melancholic Freedom: Agency and the Spirit of Politics. Oxford University Press.
    Why does agency--the capacity to make choices and to act in the world--matter to us? Why is it meaningful that our intentions have effects in the world, that they reflect our sense of identity, that they embody what we value? What kinds of motivations are available for political agency and judgment in an age that lacks the enthusiasm associated with the great emancipatory movements for civil rights and gender equality? What are the conditions for the possibility of being an effective (...)
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  31. Christine M. Korsgaard (2009). Self-Constitution: Agency, Identity, and Integrity. Oxford University Press.
    Agency and identity -- Necessitation -- Acts and actions -- Aristotle and Kant -- Agency and practical identity -- The metaphysics of normativity -- Constitutive standards -- The constitution of life -- In defense of teleology -- The paradox of self-constitution -- Formal and substantive principles of reason -- Formal versus substantive -- Testing versus weighing -- Maximizing and prudence -- Practical reason and the unity of the will -- The empiricist account of normativity -- The rationalist account of normativity (...)
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  32. Christine M. Korsgaard (1989). Personal Identity and the Unity of Agency: A Kantian Response to Parfit. Philosophy and Public Affairs 18 (2):103-31.
  33. Catriona Mackenzie & Natalie Stoljar (eds.) (2000). Relational Autonomy: Feminist Perspectives on Automony, Agency, and the Social Self. Oxford University Press.
    This collection of original essays explores the social and relational dimensions of individual autonomy. Rejecting the feminist charge that autonomy is inherently masculinist, the contributors draw on feminist critiques of autonomy to challenge and enrich contemporary philosophical debates about agency, identity, and moral responsibility. The essays analyze the complex ways in which oppression can impair an agent's capacity for autonomy, and investigate connections, neglected by standard accounts, between autonomy and other aspects of the agent, including self-conception, self-worth, memory, and the (...)
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  34. Piotr T. Makowski (2006). Autonomia w etyce I. Kanta (próba interpretacji historystycznej). Diametros 10:34-64.
    "Traditional interpretations of Kantian idea of autonomy – based on the classical texts such as Kritik der praktischen Vernunft and Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten – stress basically one point: action is autonomous only when an agent obeys the law. In this paper, the author tries to introduce an interpretation of Kant’s practical philosophy, which covers a wider perspective, resulting in the idea of “radical autonomy”. Re-reading classical texts of Kant in connection with Religion innerhalb der Grenzen der bloßen Vernunft (...)
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  35. Alfred R. Mele (2005). Motivation and Agency: Replies. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 123 (3):295 - 311.
    What place does motivation have in the lives of intelligent agents? Mele's answer is sensitive to the concerns of philosophers of mind and moral philosophers and informed by empirical work. He offers a distinctive, comprehensive, attractive view of human agency. This book stands boldly at the intersection of philosophy of mind, moral philosophy, and metaphysics.
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  36. Christian Miller (2014). Furlong and Santos on Desire and Choice. In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (ed.), Moral Psychology: Freedom and Responsibility. MIT Press. 367-374.
    Ellen Furlong and Laurie Santos helpfully summarize a number of fascinating studies of certain influences on both human and monkey behavior. As someone who works primarily in philosophy, I am not in a position to dispute the details of the studies themselves. But in this brief commentary I do want to raise some questions about the inferences Furlong and Santos make on the basis of those studies. In general, I worry that they may be overreaching beyond what their own data (...)
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  37. Cormac Nagle (2008). Freedom in the End of Life Context. Chisholm Health Ethics Bulletin 13 (4):4.
    Nagle, Cormac The supporters of euthanasia regularly air through the media their arguments for the right to have the freedom to take one's life. The emphasis on personal freedom despite present laws struck me as I read Phillip Nitschke's description of his homemade suicide pill and self-injecting apparatus. The goal, in this situation, is to give people the freedom to end their own life with the assistance of others. I want to look at the end of life period from the (...)
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  38. Eddy Nahmias & Morgan Thompson (2014). A Naturalistic Vision of Free Will. In Elizabeth O'Neill & Edouard Machery (eds.), Current Controversies in Experimental Philosophy. Routledge.
    We argue, contra Joshua Knobe in a companion chapter, that most people have an understanding of free will and responsible agency that is compatible with a naturalistic vision of the human mind. Our argument is supported by results from a new experimental philosophy study showing that most people think free will is consistent with complete and perfect prediction of decisions and actions based on prior activity in the brain (a scenario adapted from Sam Harris who predicts most people will find (...)
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  39. Tom O'Shea (2014). Autonomy and Orthonomy. Journal of Moral Philosophy:1-19.
    The ideal of personal autonomy faces a challenge from advocates of orthonomy, who think good government should displace self-government. These critics claim that autonomy is an arbitrary kind of psychological harmony and that we should instead concentrate on ensuring our motivations and deliberations are responsive to reasons. This paper recasts these objections as part of an intramural debate between approaches to autonomy that accept or reject the requirement for robust rational capacities. It argues that autonomy depends upon such responsiveness to (...)
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  40. Jeffrey Purinton (1999). Epicurus on 'Free Volition' and the Atomic Swerve. Phronesis 44 (4):253-299.
    The central thesis of this paper is that Epicurus held that swerves of the constituent atoms of agents' minds cause the agents' volitions from the bottom up. "De Rerum Natura" 2.216-93 is examined at length, and Lucretius is found to be making the following claims: both atoms and macroscopic bodies sometimes swerve as they fall, but so minimally that they are undetectable. Swerves are oblique deviations, not right-angled turns. Swerves must be posited to account both for cosmogonic collisions quite generally (...)
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  41. Lubomira Radoilska (2013). Autonomy and Depression. In K. W. M. Fulford, Martin Davis, George Graham, John Sadler, Giovanni Stanghellini & Tim Thornton (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry. Oxford University Press. 1155-1170.
    In this paper, I address two related challenges the phenomenon of depression raises for conceptions according to which autonomy is an agency concept and an independent source of justification. The first challenge is directed at the claim that autonomous agency involves intending under the guise of the good: the robust though not always direct link between evaluation and motivation implied here seems to be severed in some instances of depression; yet, this does not seem to affect the possibility of autonomous (...)
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  42. Lubomira Radoilska (2013). Addiction and Weakness of Will. Oxford University Press.
    Mental conflict not always amounts to weakness of will. Irresistible motives not always speak of addiction. This book proposes an integrated account of what singles out these phenomena: addiction and weakness of will are both forms of secondary akrasia. By integrating these two phenomena into a classical conception of akrasia as poor resolution of an unnecessary conflict – valuing without intending while intending without valuing – the book makes an original contribution to central issues in moral psychology and philosophy of (...)
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  43. Lubomira Radoilska (ed.) (2012). Autonomy and Mental Disorder. Oxford University Press.
    Autonomy is a fundamental though contested concept both in philosophy and the broader intellectual culture of today’s liberal societies. For instance, most of us place great value on the opportunity to make our own decisions and to lead a life of our own choosing. Yet, there is stark disagreement on what is involved in being able to decide autonomously, as well as how important this is compared to other commitments. For example, the success of every group project requires that group (...)
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  44. Lubomira Radoilska (2012). Autonomy and Ulysses Arrangements. In , Autonomy and Mental Disorder. Oxford University Press. 252-280.
    In this chapter, I articulate the structure of a general concept of autonomy and then reply to possible objections with reference to Ulysses arrangements in psychiatry. The line of argument is as follows. Firstly, I examine three alternative conceptions of autonomy: value-neutral, value-laden, and relational. Secondly, I identify two paradigm cases of autonomy and offer a sketch of its concept as opposed to the closely related freedom of action and intentional agency. Finally, I explain away the autonomy paradox, to which (...)
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  45. Lubomira Radoilska (2012). Personal Autonomy, Decisional Capacity, and Mental Disorder. In , Autonomy and Mental Disorder. Oxford University Press.
    In this Introduction, I situate the underlying project “Autonomy and Mental Disorder” with reference to current debates on autonomy in moral and political philosophy, and the philosophy of action. I then offer an overview of the individual contributions. More specifically, I begin by identifying three points of convergence in the debates at issue, stating that autonomy is: 1) a fundamentally liberal concept; 2) an agency concept and; 3) incompatible with (severe) mental disorder. Next, I explore, in the context of decisional (...)
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  46. Lubomira Radoilska (2010). An Aristotelian Approach to Cognitive Enhancement. Journal of Value Inquiry 44 (3):365–375.
    In this paper, I argue that cognitive enhancement cannot be epistemically beneficial since getting things right in particular and epistemic agency in general both presuppose a kind of achievement. Drawing on Aristotle’s ethics, I distinguish four categories of actions: caused, attributable, responsible, and creditable. I conclude that to the extent that cognitive enhancement is incompatible with the latter category it undermines rather than strengthens autonomous agency in the realm of cognition.
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  47. Lubomira Radoilska (2007). Aristotle and the Moral Philosophy of Today (L’Actualité D’Aristote En Morale). Presses Universitaires de France.
    This monograph provides a critical examination of autonomy in connection to moral knowledge. Drawing on Aristotle’s moral psychology, it is argued that moral judgments aim at knowledge; however, this does not undermine their action-guiding character.
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  48. Brian Ribeiro (2011). Epistemic Akrasia. International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 1 (1):18-25.
    Though it seems rather surprising in retrospect, until about twenty-five years ago no philosopher in the Western tradition had explicitly formulated the question whether there could be an epistemic analogue to practical akrasia. Also surprisingly, despite the prima facie analogue with practical akrasia (the possibility of which is not much disputed), much of the recent work on this question has defended the rather bold view that epistemic akrasia is impossible. While the arguments purporting to show the impossibility of epistemic akrasia (...)
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  49. Brian Ribeiro (2006). Must the Radical Skeptic Be Intellectually Akratic? Facta Philosophica 8 (1-2):207-219.
    Supposing you were convinced by certain radical skeptical arguments that many of your beliefs were not justifiably believed by you, what stance could/should you adopt with regard to those skeptically-problematized beliefs? This paper explores a range of possible reactions, aiming to be reasonably comprehensive in coverage though admittedly suggestive rather than decisive in its treatment of each individual reaction. In considering this variety of responses we begin to see suggestive intimations of the ways in which radical skepticism could represent a (...)
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  50. Brian Ribeiro (2002). Epistemological Skepticism(s) and Rational Self-Control. The Monist 85 (3):468-477.
    In this paper I aim to do two things. First, I attempt to illustrate an interesting pattern of argument one can find in Hume's work. Next, I employ this Humean pattern of argument to show that IF there is a cogent and intuitive argument for any form of epistemological skepticism, which despite its cogency and intuitiveness has a (literally) unbelievable conclusion, THEN we lack a very important form of doxastic self-control, which I call rational self-control (RSC), over the beliefs problematized (...)
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