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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. Argyris Arnellos, Thomas Spyrtou & Ioannis Darzentas (2010). Towards the Naturalization of Agency Based on an Interactivist Account of Autonomy. New Ideas in Psychology 28 (3):296-311.
    This paper attempts to provide the basis for a broader naturalized account of agency. Naturalization is considered as the need for an ongoing and open-ended process of scientific inquiry driven by the continuous formulation of questions regarding a phenomenon. The naturalization of agency is focused around the interrelation of the fundamental notions of autonomy, functionality, intentionality and meaning. Certain naturalized frameworks of agency are critically considered in an attempt to bring together all the characteristic properties that constitute an autonomous agent, (...)
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  3. Nomy Arpaly (2002). 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. Paul Benson (2005). Authority and Voice in Autonomous Agency. In Anderson Joel & Christman John (eds.), Autonomy and the Challenges to Liberalism. Cambridge University Press 101-126.
    How can any of my actions genuinely be my own? How can they be more than just intentional performances, with whatever investment of my will that involves, but also belong to me in the special way that makes me autonomous in performing them? How, in other words, can any of my actions be my own in such a way that they arise from or manifest my capacities for self-governance? -/- The literature on autonomous agency employs a number of metaphors to (...)
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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. Michael Cholbi (forthcoming). Paternalism and Our Rational Powers. Mind.
    According to rational will views of paternalism, the wrongmaking feature of paternalism is that paternalists disregard or fail to respect the rational will of the paternalized, in effect substituting their own presumably superior judgments about what ends the paternalized ought to pursue or how they ought to pursue them. Here I defend a version of the rational will view appealing to three rational powers that constitute rational agency, which I call recognition, discrimination, and satisfaction. By appealing to these powers, my (...)
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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. John M. Doris (2009). Skepticism About Persons. Philosophical Issues 19 (1):57-91.
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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. Luara Ferracioli (2015). The Anarchist's Myth: Autonomy, Children, and State Legitimacy. Hypatia 30 (1):370-385.
    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 anarchists' 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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  20. Christopher Evan Franklin (2015). Self-Determination, Self-Transformation, and the Case of Jean Valjean: A Problem for Velleman. Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2591-2598.
    According to reductionists about agency, an agent’s bringing something about is reducible to states and events involving the agent bringing something about. Many have worried that reductionism cannot accommodate robust forms of agency, such as self-determination. One common reductionist answer to this worry contends that self-determining agents are identified with certain states and events, and so these states and events causing a decision counts as the agent’s self-determining the decision. In this paper I discuss J. David Velleman’s identification reductionist theory, (...)
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  21. 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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  22. 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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  23. Michael Garnett (2015). Freedom and Indoctrination. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 115 (2):93-108.
    It has been alleged that compatibilists are committed to the view that agents act freely and responsibly even when subject to certain forms of radical manipulation. In this paper I identify and elucidate a form of compatibilist freedom, social autonomy, that is essential to understanding what is wrong with ordinary indoctrination and argue that it also holds the key to understanding what goes wrong in more fanciful manipulation cases.
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  24. Michael Garnett (2015). Agency and Inner Freedom. Noûs 50 (1).
    This paper concerns the relationship between two questions. The first is a question about inner freedom: What is it to be rendered unfree, not by external obstacles, but by aspects of oneself? The second is a question about agency: What is it to fail at being a thing that genuinely acts, and instead to be a thing that is merely acted upon, passive in relation to its own behaviour? It is widely believed that answers to the first question must rest (...)
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  25. Michael Garnett (2014). Autonomy as Social Independence: Reply to Weimer. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (1):155-159.
    I defend my pure social account of global autonomy from Steven Weimer's recent criticisms. In particular, I argue that it does not implicitly rely upon the very kind of nonsocial conception of autonomy that it hopes to replace.
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  26. Michael Garnett (2014). The Autonomous Life: A Pure Social View. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (1):143-158.
    In this paper I propose and develop a social account of global autonomy. On this view, a person is autonomous simply to the extent to which it is difficult for others to subject her to their wills. I argue that many properties commonly thought necessary for autonomy are in fact properties that tend to increase an agent’s immunity to such interpersonal subjection, and that the proposed account is therefore capable of providing theoretical unity to many of the otherwise heterogeneous requirements (...)
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  27. Michael Garnett (2013). Taking the Self Out of Self-Rule. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (1):21-33.
    Many philosophers believe that agents are self-ruled only when ruled by their (authentic) selves. Though this view is rarely argued for explicitly, one tempting line of thought suggests that self-rule is just obviously equivalent to rule by the self . However, the plausibility of this thought evaporates upon close examination of the logic of ‘self-rule’ and similar reflexives. Moreover, attempts to rescue the account by recasting it in negative terms are unpromising. In light of these problems, this paper instead proposes (...)
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  28. Michael Garnett (2011). Practical Reason and the Unity of Agency. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (3):449-468.
    This is a critical review essay of Christine Korsgaard's Self-Constitution: Agency, Identity, and Integrity (OUP 2009).
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  29. Daniel R. Gilbert (1992). Conventions, Autonomy, and Purposeful Action. The Ruffin Series in Business Ethics:171-176.
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  30. Moti Gorin (2014). Do Manipulators Always Threaten Rationality? American Philosophical Quarterly 51 (1).
  31. 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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  32. Amber Griffioen (2014). Regaining the 'Lost Self': A Philosophical Analysis of Survivor's Guilt. In Altered Self and Altered Self Experience. 43-57.
    Although there has been much discussion regarding shame and guilt, not enough has been said about the complexities of the relationship between the two. In this paper, I examine one way in which I take shame and guilt to interact – namely in cases of so-called “survivor’s guilt” among victims of trauma. More specifically, I argue that survivor’s guilt may represent a kind of response to feelings of shame – one which is centrally tied to the central philosophical notions of (...)
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  33. Steve Jones (2012). Gender Monstrosity: Deadgirl and the Sexual Politics of Zombie-Rape. Feminist Media Studies 13 (4):525-539.
    Deadgirl (2008) is based around a group of male teens discovering and claiming ownership of a bound female zombie, using her as a sex slave. This narrative premise raises numerous tensions that are particularly amplified by using a zombie as the film's central victim. The Deadgirl is sexually passive yet monstrous, reifying the horrors associated with the female body in patriarchal discourses. She is objectified on the basis of her gender, and this has led many reviewers to dismiss the film (...)
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  34. 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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  35. 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 (...)
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  36. Paul Katsafanas (forthcoming). Autonomy, Character, and Self-Understanding. In Iskra Fileva (ed.), Questions of Character. Oxford
    Autonomy, traditionally conceived, is the capacity to direct one’s actions in light of self-given principles or values. Character, traditionally conceived, is the set of unchosen, relatively rigid traits and proclivities that influence, constrain, or determine one’s actions. It’s natural to think that autonomy and character will be in tension with one another. In this paper, I argue that this is a mistake: while character influences and constrains choice, this poses no problem for autonomy. However, in particular cases character can affect (...)
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  37. 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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  38. 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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  39. Suzy Killmister (2014). The Woody Allen Puzzle: How 'Authentic Alienation' Complicates Autonomy. Noûs 48 (2):729-747.
    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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  40. 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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  41. 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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  42. 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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  43. Christine M. Korsgaard (1989). Personal Identity and the Unity of Agency: A Kantian Response to Parfit. Philosophy and Public Affairs 18 (2):103-31.
  44. P. E. Langford (1988). Autonomy. Review of Metaphysics 41 (3):622-624.
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  45. 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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  46. Piotr T. Makowski (forthcoming). Reasons for Being Flexible. Desires, Intentions, and Plans. In Timo Airaksinen (ed.), Desire: The Concept and its Practical Context. Transaction Publishers
  47. 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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  48. Andrew McAninch (2015). Activity, Passivity, and Normative Avowal. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (2):n/a-n/a.
    The idea that agents can be active with respect to some of their actions, and passive with respect to others, is a widely held assumption within moral philosophy. But exactly how to characterize these notions is controversial. I argue that an agent is active just in case her action is one whose motive she can truly avow as reason-giving, or her action is one whose motive she can disavow, provided her disavowal effects appropriate modifications in her future motives. This view (...)
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  49. 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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  50. 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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