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Summary In other sub-categories here, we see the importance of autonomy in ethical theory, applied ethics, and political philosophy.  Just what autonomy is and what makes it possible is hotly contested.  Moral psychologists have much to say on this score; the pieces included here contribute to that discussion.
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  1. Jesús H. Aguilar & Andrei A. Buckareff (2009). Agency, Consciousness, and Executive Control. Philosophia 37 (1):21-30.
    On the Causal Theory of Action (CTA), internal proper parts of an agent such as desires and intentions are causally responsible for actions. CTA has increasingly come under attack for its alleged failure to account for agency. A recent version of this criticism due to François Schroeter proposes that CTA cannot provide an adequate account of either the executive control or the autonomous control involved in full-fledged agency. Schroeter offers as an alternative a revised understanding of the proper role of (...)
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  2. Henry E. Allison (2011). Kant's Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals: A Commentary. OUP Oxford.
    Henry E. Allison presents a comprehensive commentary on Kant's Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals (1785). It differs from most recent commentaries in paying special attention to the structure of the work, the historical context in which it was written, and the views to which Kant was responding. Allison argues that, despite its relative brevity, the Groundwork is the single most important work in modern moral philosophy and that its significance lies mainly in two closely related factors. The first is (...)
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  3. Joel Anderson & Warren Lux (2004). Accurate Self-Assessment, Autonomous Ignorance, and the Appreciation of Disability. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 11 (4):309-312.
  4. Joel Anderson & Warren Lux (2004). Knowing Your Own Strength: Accurate Self-Assessment as a Requirement for Personal Autonomy. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 11 (4):279-294.
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  5. Kristin Andrews, Ape Autonomy? Social Norms and Moral Agency in Other Species.
    Once upon a time, not too long ago, the question about apes and ethics had to do with moral standing—do apes have interests or rights that humans ought to respect? Given the fifty years of research on great ape cognition, life history, social organization, and behavior, the answer to that question seems obvious. Apes have emotions and projects, they can be harmed, and they have important social relationships.
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  6. Kristin Andrews, Vol. 6, No.
    The question of whether humans have free will, like the question of the meaning of life, is one whose answer depends on how the question itself is interpreted. In his recent book Neurophilosophy of Free Will: From Libertarian Illusions to a Concept of Natural Autonomy, Henrik Walter examines whether free will is possible in a deterministic natural world, and he concludes that the answer is "It depends" (xi). He rejects a libertarian account of free will as internally inconsistent, but argues (...)
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  7. Louise M. Antony & Joseph Levine (1997). Reduction with Autonomy. Philosophical Perspectives 11 (s11):83-105.
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  8. Carla Bagnoli (ed.) (2011). Morality and the Emotions. Oxford University Press.
    What is their relation to practical rationality? Are they roots of our identity or threats to our autonomy? This volume is born out of the conviction that philosophy provides a distinctive approach to these problems.
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  9. Carla Bagnoli (2009). The Mafioso Case: Autonomy and Self-Respect. [REVIEW] Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (5):477 - 493.
    This article argues that immoralists do not fully enjoy autonomous agency because they are not capable of engaging in the proper form of practical reflection, which requires relating to others as having equal standing. An adequate diagnosis of the immoralist’s failure of agential authority requires a relational account of reflexivity and autonomy. This account has the distinctive merit of identifying the cost of disregarding moral obligations and of showing how immoralists may become susceptible to practical reason. The compelling quality of (...)
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  10. Gabriela Basterra (2004). Seductions of Fate: Tragic Subjectivity, Ethics, Politics. Palgrave Macmillan.
    If the tragic interpretation of experience is still so current, despite its disastrous ethical consequences, it is because it shapes our subjectivity. Instead of contradicting the ideals of autonomy and freedom, a modern subjectivity based on self-victimization in effect enables them. By embracing subjection to an alienating other (the Law, Power) the autonomous subject protects its sameness from the disruption of real people. Seductions of Fate stages a dialogue between this tragic agent of political emancipation and the unconditional ethical demands (...)
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  11. Mark Bauer (2013). Multiple Realizability, Constraints, and Identity. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (4):446-464.
    Shapiro has suggested that the empirical plausibility of the multiple realizability of human-like minds is dubious, because a contrary thesis, the Mental Constraint Thesis, enjoys positive empirical evidence. The Mental Constraint Thesis states that, given the actual physical laws, there is only one way to realize a human-like mind. I will suggest, however, that the Mental Constraint Thesis is not a contrary to the empirical multiple realizability thesis relevant to psychological reduction or autonomy and, as a consequence, has no bearing (...)
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  12. William Bechtel & A. Abrahamsen, Mental Mechanisms, Autonomous Systems, and Moral Agency.
    Mechanistic explanations of cognitive activities are ubiquitous in cognitive science. Humanist critics often object that mechanistic accounts of the mind are incapable of accounting for the moral agency exhibited by humans. We counter this objection by offering a sketch of how the mechanistic perspective can accommodate moral agency. We ground our argument in the requirement that biological systems be active in order to maintain themselves in nonequilibrium conditions. We discuss such consequences as a role for mental mechanisms in controlling active (...)
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  13. William Bechtel & Adele Abrahamsen (unknown). Explaining Human Freedom and Dignity Mechanistically: From Receptive to Active Mechanisms. Philosophical Explorations:43-66.
    Mechanistic explanation is the dominant approach to explanation in the life sciences, but it has been challenged as incompatible with a conception of humans as agents whose capacity for self-direction endows them with freedom and dignity. We argue that the mechanical philosophy, properly construed, has sufficient resources to explain how such characteristics can arise in a material world. Biological mechanisms must be regarded as active, not only reactive, and as organized so as to maintain themselves far from thermodynamic equilibrium. Notions (...)
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  14. William Bechtel & Adele Abrahamsen (2007). Explaining Human Freedom and Dignity Mechanistically. Journal of Philosophical Research 32:43-66.
    Mechanistic explanation is the dominant approach to explanation in the life sciences, but it has been challenged as incompatible with a conception of humans as agents whose capacity for self-direction endows them with freedom and dignity. We argue that the mechanical philosophy, properly construed, has sufficient resources to explain how such characteristics can arise in a material world. Biological mechanisms must be regarded as active, not only reactive, and as organized so as to maintain themselves far from thermodynamic equilibrium. Notions (...)
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  15. G. C. S. Benson & T. S. Engeman (1974). Practical Possibilities in American Moral Education. Journal of Moral Education 4 (1):53-59.
    Abstract: The authors analyse and compare two of the major moral education programmes in the United States, namely, Character Education Curriculum and the Values Clarification Programme. The latter is seen to be more egalitarian and to stress the development of autonomy and choice in the child. The former tends to follow the ?bag of virtues? approach to moral education and is more directly instructional in its methods. The strengths and weaknesses of these two programmes are compared and it is concluded (...)
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  16. José Luis Bermúdez (2005). Philosophy of Psychology: A Contemporary Introduction. Routledge.
    Philosophy of Psychology i s an introduction to philosophical problems that arise in the scientific study of cognition and behavior. Jose; Luis Bermúdez introduces the philosophy of psychology as an interdisciplinary exploration of the nature and mechanisms of cognition. He charts out four influential "pictures of the mind" and uses them to explore central topics in the philosophical foundations of psychology, covering all the core concepts and themes found in undergraduate courses in philosophy and psychology, including: · Models of psychological (...)
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  17. José Luis Bermúdez (2000). Personal and Sub-Personal; a Difference Without a Distinction. Philosophical Explorations 3 (1):63 – 82.
    This paper argues that, while there is a difference between personal and sub-personal explanation, claims of autonomy should be treated with scepticism. It distinguishes between horizontal and vertical explanatory relations that might hold between facts at the personal and farts at the sub-personal level. Noting that many philosophers are prepared to accept vertical explanatory relations between the two levels, I argue for the stronger claim that, in the case of at least three central personal level phenomena, the demands of explanatory (...)
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  18. Jose Luis Bermudez (2000). Personal and Subpersonal: A Difference Without a Distinction. Philosophical Explorations 3 (1):63-82.
    This paper argues that, while there is a difference between personal and sub-personal explanation, claims of autonomy should be treated with scepticism. It distinguishes between horizontal and vertical explanatory relations that might hold between facts at the personal and farts at the sub-personal level. Noting that many philosophers are prepared to accept vertical explanatory relations between the two levels, I argue for the stronger claim that, in the case of at least three central personal level phenomena, the demands of explanatory (...)
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  19. Mark H. Bickhard (2000). Information and Representation in Autonomous Agents. Cognitive Systems Research 1 (2):65-75.
    Information and representation are thought to be intimately related. Representation, in fact, is commonly considered to be a special kind of information. It must be a _special_ kind, because otherwise all of the myriad instances of informational relationships in the universe would be representational -- some restrictions must be placed on informational relationships in order to refine the vast set into those that are truly representational. I will argue that information in this general sense is important to genuine agents, but (...)
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  20. Mark H. Bickhard (2000). Motivation and Emotion: An Interactive Process Model. In Ralph D. Ellis & Natika Newton (eds.), The Caldron of Consciousness: Motivation, Affect and Self-Organization. John Benjamins. 161.
    In this chapter, I outline dynamic models of motivation and emotion. These turn out not to be autonomous subsystems, but, instead, are deeply integrated in the basic interactive dynamic character of living systems. Motivation is a crucial aspect of particular kinds of interactive systems -- systems for which representation is a sister aspect. Emotion is a special kind of partially reflective interaction process, and yields its own emergent motivational aspects. In addition, the overall model accounts for some of the crucial (...)
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  21. Donald S. Borrett, Saad Khan, Cynthia Lam, Danni Li, Hoa B. Nguyen & Hon C. Kwan (2006). Evolutionary Autonomous Agents and the Naturalization of Phenomenology. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 5 (3-4):351-363.
    The phenomenological goal of grounding the content of conceptual thought in the background understanding of everyday, skillful coping was approached using evolutionary autonomous agent (EAA) methodology. The behavior of an EAA evolved to perform a specified motor task was identified with skillful coping. Changes in the dynamics of the EAA controller occurred when the EAA encountered an unexpected obstacle with loss of longer time scale components in its hierarchical temporal organization. These temporal (...)
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  22. Lisa Bortolotti & Matteo Mameli (2006). Deception in Psychology : Moral Costs and Benefits of Unsought Self-Knowledge. Accountability in Research 13:259-275.
    Is it ethical to deceive the individuals who participate in psychological experiments for methodological reasons? We argue against an absolute ban on the use of deception in psychological research. The potential benefits of many psychological experiments involving deception consist in allowing individuals and society to gain morally significant self-knowledge that they could not otherwise gain. Research participants gain individual self-knowledge which can help them improve their autonomous decision-making. The community gains collective self-knowledge that, once shared, can play a role in (...)
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  23. Robert Brandom (2006). Kantian Lessons About Mind, Meaning, and Rationality. Southern Journal of Philosophy 34 (1/2):1-20.
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  24. Robert Brandom (2005). Kantian Lessons About Mind, Meaning, and Rationality. Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (Supplement):1-20.
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  25. Hugh Breakey (2010). Adaptive Preferences and the Hellenistic Insight. Australian Journal of Professional and Applied Ethics 12 (1):29-39.
    Adaptive preferences are preferences formed in response to circumstances and opportunities – paradigmatically, they occur when we scale back our desires so they accord with what is probable or at least possible. While few commentators are willing to wholly reject the normative significance of such preferences, adaptive preferences have nevertheless attracted substantial criticism in recent political theory. The groundbreaking analysis of Jon Elster charged that such preferences are not autonomous, and several other commentators have since followed Elster’s lead. On a (...)
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  26. Frans W. A. Brom (2000). Food, Consumer Concerns, and Trust: Food Ethics for a Globalizing Market. [REVIEW] Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 12 (2):127-139.
    The use of biotechnology in food productiongives rise to consumer concerns. The term ``consumerconcern'' is often used as a container notion. Itincludes concerns about food safety, environmental andanimal welfare consequences of food productionsystems, and intrinsic moral objections againstgenetic modification. In order to create clarity adistinction between three different kinds of consumerconcern is proposed. Consumer concerns can be seen assigns of loss of trust. Maintaining consumer trustasks for governmental action. Towards consumerconcerns, governments seem to have limitedpossibilities for public policy. Under current (...)
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  27. Eline M. Bunnik, Antina Jong, Niels Nijsingh & Guido M. W. R. Wert (2013). The New Genetics and Informed Consent: Differentiating Choice to Preserve Autonomy. Bioethics 27 (6):348-355.
    The advent of new genetic and genomic technologies may cause friction with the principle of respect for autonomy and demands a rethinking of traditional interpretations of the concept of informed consent. Technologies such as whole-genome sequencing and micro-array based analysis enable genome-wide testing for many heterogeneous abnormalities and predispositions simultaneously. This may challenge the feasibility of providing adequate pre-test information and achieving autonomous decision-making. At a symposium held at the 11th World Congress of Bioethics in June 2012 (Rotterdam), organized by (...)
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  28. Angelo Cangelosi (2002). Language Evolution in Apes and Autonomous Agents. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (5):622-623.
    Computational approaches based on autonomous agents share with new ape language research the same principles of dynamical system paradigms. A recent model for the evolution of symbolization and language in autonomous agents is briefly described in order to highlight the similarities between these two methodologies. The additional benefits of autonomous agent modeling in the field of language origin research are highlighted.
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  29. Alain Cardon (2006). Artificial Consciousness, Artificial Emotions, and Autonomous Robots. Cognitive Processing 7 (4):245-267.
  30. Mason Cash (2010). Extended Cognition, Personal Responsibility, and Relational Autonomy. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):645-671.
    The Hypothesis of Extended Cognition (HEC)—that many cognitive processes are carried out by a hybrid coalition of neural, bodily and environmental factors—entails that the intentional states that are reasons for action might best be ascribed to wider entities of which individual persons are only parts. I look at different kinds of extended cognition and agency, exploring their consequences for concerns about the moral agency and personal responsibility of such extended entities. Can extended entities be moral agents and bear responsibility for (...)
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  31. Anthony Chemero, Ascribing Moral Value and the Embodied Turing Test.
    What would it take for an artificial agent to be treated as having moral value? As a first step toward answering this question, we ask what it would take for an artificial agent to be capable of the sort of autonomous, adaptive social behavior that is characteristic of the animals that humans interact with. We propose that this sort of capacity is best measured by what we call the Embodied Turing Test. The Embodied Turing test is a test in which (...)
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  32. Anthony Chemero, A Stroll Through the Worlds of Animats and Humans:.
    Every few years Andy Clark writes a book designed to help philosophers of mind get up to speed with the most recent developments in cognitive science. In his first two such books, Microcognition (1989) and Associative Engines (1993), Clark introduced the then-cutting-edge field of connectionist networks. In his newest one, Being There: Putting Brain, Body and World Together Again (1997), he once again provides a concise, readable introduction to the state of the art. This time, though, Clark has moved beyond (...)
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  33. Joan Chiao & T. Harada (2008). Cultural Neuroscience of Consciousness: From Visual Perception to Self-Awareness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (s 10-11):58-69.
    Philosophical inquiries into the nature of consciousness have long been intrinsically tied to questions regarding the nature of the self. Although philosophers of mind seldom make reference to the role of cultural context in shaping consciousness, since antiquity culture has played a notable role in philosophical conceptions of the self. Western philosophers, from Plato to Locke, have emphasized an individualistic view of the self that is autonomous and consistent across situations, while Eastern philosophers, such as Lao Tzu and Confucius, have (...)
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  34. John Christman (1993). Defending Historical Autonomy: A Reply to Professor Mele. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 23 (2):281 - 289.
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  35. John Christman (1991). Autonomy and Personal History. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 21 (1):1 - 24.
  36. Andrew Jason Cohen (2008). Existentialist Voluntarism as a Source of Normativity. Philosophical Papers 37 (1):89-129.
    I defend a neo-Kantian view wherein we are capable of being completely autonomous and impartial and argue that this ability can ground normativity. As this view includes an existentialist conception of the self, I defend radical choice, a primary component of that conception, against arguments many take to be definitive. I call the ability to use radical choice “existentialist voluntarism” and bring it into a current debate in normative philosophy, arguing that it allows that we can be distanced from all (...)
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  37. Vincent M. Colapietro (1985). Inwardness and Autonomy: A Neglected Aspect of Peirce's Approach to Mind. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 21 (4):485 - 512.
  38. Vincent Michael Colapietro (2006). Toward a Pragmatic Conception of Practical Identity. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 42 (2):173-205.
    : The author of this paper explores a central strand in the complex relationship between Peirce and Kant. He argues, against Kant (especially as reconstructed by Christine Korsgaard), that the practical identity of the self-critical agent who undertakes a Critic of reason (as Peirce insisted upon translating this expression) needs to be conceived in substantive, not purely formal, terms. Thus, insofar as there is a reflexive turn in Peirce, it is quite far from the transcendental turn taken by Immanuel Kant. (...)
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  39. David Cunning (1999). Agency and Consciousness. Synthese 120 (2):271-294.
    In Intentionality and other works, John Searle establishes himself as a leading defender of the view that consciousness of what one is doing is always a component of one'€™s action. In this paper I focus on problems with Searle'€™s view to establish that there are actions in which the agent is not at all aware of what she is doing. I argue that any theory that misses this sort of action keeps us from important insights into autonomy, self-knowledge and responsibility.
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  40. John J. Davenport (2007). Augustine on Liberty of the Higher-Order Will. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 81:67-89.
    I have argued that like Harry Frankfurt, Augustine implicitly distinguishes between first-order desires and higher-order volitions; yet unlike Frankfurt, Augustineheld that the liberty to form different possible volitional identifications is essential to responsibility for our character. Like Frankfurt, Augustine recognizes that we can sometimes be responsible for the desires on which we act without being able to do or desire otherwise; but for Augustine, this is true only because such responsibility for inevitable desires and actions traces (at least in part) (...)
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  41. Sanneke de Haan, Erik Rietveld & Damiaan Denys (forthcoming). Being Free by Losing Control: What Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Can Tell Us About Free Will. In Walter Glannon (ed.), Free Will and the Brain: Neuroscientific, Philosophical, and Legal Perspectives on Free Will.
    According to the traditional Western concept of freedom, the ability to exercise free will depends on the availability of options and the possibility to consciously decide which one to choose. Since neuroscientific research increasingly shows the limits of what we in fact consciously control, it seems that our belief in free will and hence in personal autonomy is in trouble. -/- A closer look at the phenomenology of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) gives us reason to doubt the traditional concept of freedom (...)
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  42. Govert de Hartogh (2007). Intending for Autonomous Reasons. In Bruno Verbeek (ed.), Reasons and Intentions. Ashgate Pub. Ltd..
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  43. Hanne De Jaegher & Ezequiel Di Paolo (2007). Participatory Sense-Making. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 6 (4):485-507.
    As yet, there is no enactive account of social cognition. This paper extends the enactive concept of sense-making into the social domain. It takes as its departure point the process of interaction between individuals in a social encounter. It is a well-established finding that individuals can and generally do coordinate their movements and utterances in such situations. We argue that the interaction process can take on a form of autonomy. This allows us to reframe the problem of social cognition as (...)
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  44. Huib L. de Jong & Maurice K. D. Schouten (2005). Ruthless Reductionism: A Review Essay of John Bickle's Philosophy and Neuroscience: A Ruthlessly Reductive Account. [REVIEW] Philosophical Psychology 18 (4):473-486.
    John Bickle's new book on philosophy and neuroscience is aptly subtitled 'a ruthlessly reductive account'. His 'new wave metascience' is a massive attack on the relative autonomy that psychology enjoyed until recently, and goes even beyond his previous (Bickle, J. (1998). Psychoneural reduction: The new wave. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.) new wave reductionsism. Reduction of functional psychology to (cognitive) neuroscience is no longer ruthless enough; we should now look rather to cellular or molecular neuroscience at the lowest possible level for (...)
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  45. Ricardo de Oliveira-Souza, Jorge Moll, Fátima Azevedo Ignácio & Paul J. Eslingerc (2002). Catatonia: A Window Into the Cerebral Underpinnings of Will. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (5):582-584.
    The will is one of the three pillars of the trilogy of mind that has pervaded Western thought for millennia, the other two being affectivity and cognition (Hilgard 1980). In the past century, the concept of will was imperceptibly replaced by the cognitive-oriented behavioral qualifiers “voluntary,” “goal-directed,” “purposive,” and “executive” (Tranel et al. 1994), and has lost much of its heuristic merits, which are related to the notion of “human autonomy” (Lhermitte 1986). We view catatonia as the clinical expression of (...)
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  46. Craig DeLancey (2001). Passionate Engines: What Emotions Reveal About the Mind and Artificial Intelligence. Oxford University Press.
    The emotions have been one of the most fertile areas of study in psychology, neuroscience, and other cognitive disciplines. Yet as influential as the work in those fields is, it has not yet made its way to the desks of philosophers who study the nature of mind. Passionate Engines unites the two for the first time, providing both a survey of what emotions can tell us about the mind, and an argument for how work in the cognitive disciplines can help (...)
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  47. Katerina Deligiorgi (2012). The Scope of Autonomy: Kant and the Morality of Freedom. Oxford University Press.
    Katerina Deligiorgi offers a contemporary defence of autonomy which is Kantian but engages closely with recent arguments about agency, morality, and practical reasoning.
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  48. Ezio Di Nucci (2008). Mind Out of Action. Dissertation, University of Edinburgh
    We think less than we think. My thesis moves from this suspicion to show that standard accounts of intentional action can't explain the whole of agency. Causalist accounts such as Davidson's and Bratman's, according to which an action can be intentional only if it is caused by a particular mental state of the agent, don't work for every kind of action. So-called automatic actions, effortless performances over which the agent doesn't deliberate, and to which she doesn't need to pay attention, (...)
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  49. Frank Dignum (1999). Autonomous Agents with Norms. Artificial Intelligence and Law 7 (1):69-79.
    In this paper we present some concepts and their relations that are necessary for modeling autonomous agents in an environment that is governed by some (social) norms. We divide the norms over three levels: the private level the contract level and the convention level. We show how deontic logic can be used to model the concepts and how the theory of speech acts can be used to model the generation of (some of) the norms. Finally we give some idea about (...)
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  50. Steve Donaldson (2008). A Neural Network for Creative Serial Order Cognitive Behavior. Minds and Machines 18 (1):53-91.
    If artificial neural networks are ever to form the foundation for higher level cognitive behaviors in machines or to realize their full potential as explanatory devices for human cognition, they must show signs of autonomy, multifunction operation, and intersystem integration that are absent in most existing models. This model begins to address these issues by integrating predictive learning, sequence interleaving, and sequence creation components to simulate a spectrum of higher-order cognitive behaviors which have eluded the grasp of simpler systems. Its (...)
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