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Philosophy of Action

Edited by Constantine Sandis (Oxford Brookes University)
Assistant editor: István Zárdai (University of Pécs, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy, Oxford Brookes University)
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  1. added 2014-04-23
    Ion Copoeru (forthcoming). Understanding Addiction: A Threefold Phenomenological Approach. Human Studies:1-15.
    There are many ways of interpreting the behaviours related to substance misuse and addiction, which can be sort out as three basic models: biomedical, legal, and social. They are corresponding to approaches built in different epistemic and professional frameworks, such as medicine, law, and social work. Confronted with the experience of addiction, these models appear as pre-determined by a specific scientific or professional ideology; they presuppose a pre-understanding of the phenomena. I directed, therefore, my investigation on those phenomenological paths that (...)
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  2. added 2014-04-23
    Neil Levy (2014). Addiction as a Disorder of Belief. Biology and Philosophy 29 (3):337-355.
    Addiction is almost universally held to be characterized by a loss of control over drug-seeking and consuming behavior. But the actions of addicts, even of those who seem to want to abstain from drugs, seem to be guided by reasons. In this paper, I argue that we can explain this fact, consistent with continuing to maintain that addiction involves a loss of control, by understanding addiction as involving an oscillation between conflicting judgments. I argue that the dysfunction of the mesolimbic (...)
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  3. added 2014-04-23
    Lubomira Radoilska (2013). Addiction and Weakness of Will. Oup Oxford.
    The way in which society views addiction underlies how it treats, understands, blames, or even punishes those with addictive behaviours. This fascinating new book addresses a number of paradoxes faced by current thinking about addiction and weakness of will, in particular the significance of control and intention for responsible action.
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  4. added 2014-04-23
    Neil Levy (2013). Punishing the Addict: Reflections on Gene Heyman. In Thomas A. Nadelhoffer (ed.), The Future of Punishment. Oup Usa. 233.
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  5. added 2014-04-23
    Jsbt Evans & Kenny Coventry (2006). A Dual-Process Approach to Behavioral Addiction: The Case of Gambling. In Reinout W. Wiers & Alan W. Stacy (eds.), Handbook of Implicit Cognition and Addiction. Sage Publications Ltd.
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  6. added 2014-04-23
    Reinout W. Wiers & Alan W. Stacy (2006). Implicit Cognition and Addiction: An Introduction. In Reinout W. Wiers & Alan W. Stacy (eds.), Handbook of Implicit Cognition and Addiction. Sage Publications Ltd. 1--8.
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  7. added 2014-04-23
    Kent C. Berridge & Terry E. Robinson (2006). Automatic Processes in Addiction: A Commentary. In Reinout W. Wiers & Alan W. Stacy (eds.), Handbook of Implicit Cognition and Addiction. Sage Publications Ltd. 477--481.
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  8. added 2014-04-23
    H. Waal & J. Mørland (1999). Addiction as Impeded Rationality. In Jon Elster (ed.), Addiction: Entries and Exits. Russell Sage Publications.
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  9. added 2014-04-23
    Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin (1999). Addiction and Self-Control. In Jon Elster (ed.), Addiction: Entries and Exits. Russell Sage Publications.
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  10. added 2014-04-23
    Jon Elster (1999). Emotion and Addiction: Neurobiology, Culture, and Choice. In , Addiction: Entries and Exits. Russell Sage Publications. 239--276.
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  11. added 2014-04-22
    Hannes Rusch, A Threshold for Biological Altruism in Public Goods Games Played in Groups Including Kin. MAGKS Discussion Paper Series in Economics.
    Phenomena like meat sharing in hunter-gatherers, altruistic self-sacrifice in intergroup conflicts, and contribution to the production of public goods in laboratory experiments have led to the development of numerous theories trying to explain human prosocial preferences and behavior. Many of these focus on direct and indirect reciprocity, assortment, or (cultural) group selection. Here, I investigate analytically how genetic relatedness changes the incentive structure of that paradigmatic game which is conventionally used to model and experimentally investigate collective action problems: the public (...)
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  12. added 2014-04-20
    P. Roger Turner (forthcoming). Truth and Moral Responsibility. In Fabio Bacchini Massimo Dell'Utri & Stefano Caputo (eds.), New Advances in Causation, Agency, and Moral Responsibility. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
    Most philosophers who study moral responsibility have done so in isolation of the concept of truth. Here, I show that thinking about the nature of truth has profound consequences for discussions of moral responsibility. In particular, by focusing on the very trivial nature of truth—that truth depends on the world and not the other way around—we can see that widely accepted counterexamples to one of the most influential incompatibilist arguments can be shown not only to be false, but also impossible.
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  13. added 2014-04-18
    Jonathan Grose & Cedric Paternotte (2013). Social Norms: Repeated Interactions, Punishment, and Context Dependence. Public Reason 5 (1):3-13.
  14. added 2014-04-16
    Teresa Marques & Manuel García-Carpintero (forthcoming). Disagreement about Taste: Commonality Presuppositions and Coordination. Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    The paper confronts the disagreement argument for relativism about matters of taste, defending a specific form of contextualism. It is first considered whether the disagreement data might manifest an inviariantist attitude speakers pre-reflectively have. Semantic and ontological enlightenment should then make the impressions of disagreement vanish, or at least leave them as lingering ineffectual Müller-Lyer-like illusions; but it is granted to relativists that this does not fully happen. López de Sa’s appeal to presuppositions of commonality and Sundell’s appeal to metalinguistic (...)
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  15. added 2014-04-15
    Attila Tanyi (2009). Desire-Based Reasons, Naturalism, and Tolerable Revisionism: Lessons From Moore and Parfit. Cuadernos de Anuario Filosófico 212:49-57.
    My aim in this paper is to critically assess the idea that reasons for action are provided by desires (the Desire-based Reasons Model or the Model). I start from the claim that the most often employed meta-ethical background for the Model is ethical naturalism; I then consider attempts to argue against the Model through its naturalism. I make use of two objections that are both intended to refute naturalism per se. One is the indirect version of G. E. Moore’s Open (...)
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  16. added 2014-04-12
    Nathaniel Sharadin (forthcoming). Reasons Wrong and Right. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    The fact that someone is generous is a reason to admire them. The fact that someone will pay you to admire them is also a reason to admire them. But there is a difference in kind between these two reasons: the former seems to be the `right' kind of reason to admire, whereas the latter seems to be the `wrong' kind of reason to admire. The Wrong Kind of Reasons Problem is the problem of explaining the difference between the `right' (...)
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  17. added 2014-04-11
    Felipe Ledesma (2010). El tiempo, buen colaborador. En torno a Aristóteles y el poder de obrar. In Juan-Manuel Navarro & Nuria Sánchez-Madrid (eds.), Ética y metafísica. Sobre el ser del deber ser. Biblioteca Nueva. 19-48.
    The temporality of human action is very peculiar: different from the cosmic time and even paradoxical, inasmuch as it is really a circular time. The aim of this essay is to study this circularity in the sphere of human activity through the relations between the notions of potency and habit in the Aristotelian Ethics, among others structural conditions of the action. These structural conditions are explored by Aristotle as those which make possible to judge the actions.
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  18. added 2014-04-08
    Cheng-Hung Tsai (forthcoming). Knowledge of Language in Action. Philosophical Explorations:1-22.
    Knowledge of a language is a kind of knowledge, the possession of which enables a speaker to understand and perform a variety of linguistic actions in that language. In this paper, I pursue an agency-oriented approach to knowledge of language. I begin by examining two major agency-oriented models of knowledge of language: Michael Dummett's Implicit Knowledge Model and Jennifer Hornsby's Practical Knowledge Model. I argue that each of these models is inadequate for different reasons. I present an Acquaintance Knowledge Model, (...)
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  19. added 2014-04-06
    Christian List, Three Kinds of Collective Attitudes.
    This paper offers a comparison of three different kinds of collective attitudes: aggregate, common, and corporate attitudes. They differ not only in their relationship to individual attitudes – e.g., whether they are “reducible” to individual attitudes – but also in the roles they play in relation to the collectives to which they are ascribed. The failure to distinguish them can lead to confusion, in informal talk as well as in the social sciences. So, the paper’s message is an appeal for (...)
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  20. added 2014-04-02
    Hannah Tierney (forthcoming). A Pilgrimage Through John Martin Fischer's Deep Control: Essays on Free Will and Value. Criminal Law and Philosophy:1-18.
    John Martin Fischer’s most recent collection of essays, Deep Control: Essays on Free Will and Value, is both incredibly wide-ranging and impressively detailed. Fischer manages to cover a staggering amount of ground in the free will debate, while also providing insightful and articulate analyses of many of the positions defended in the field. In this collection, Fischer focuses on the relationship between free will and moral responsibility. In the first section of his book, Fischer defends Frankfurt cases as an important (...)
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  21. added 2014-04-02
    Ezio Di Nucci (forthcoming). Avoiding and Alternate Possibilities. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-7.
    Greg Janzen has recently criticised my defence of Frankfurt’s counterexample to the Principle of Alternate Possibilities by arguing that Jones avoids killing Smith in the counterfactual scenario. Janzen’s argument consists in introducing a new thought-experiment which is supposed to be analogous to Frankfurt’s and where the agent is supposed to avoid A-ing. Here I argue that Janzen’s argument fails on two counts, because his new scenario is not analogous to Frankfurt’s and because the agent in his new scenario does not (...)
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  22. added 2014-04-02
    Oisin Deery, Taylor Davis & Jasmine Carey (forthcoming). The Free-Will Intuitions Scale and the Question of Natural Compatibilism. Philosophical Psychology:1-26.
    Standard methods in experimental philosophy have sought to measure folk intuitions using experiments, but certain limitations are inherent in experimental methods. Accordingly, we have designed the Free-Will Intuitions Scale to empirically measure folk intuitions relevant to free-will debates using a different method. This method reveals what folk intuitions are like prior to participants’ being put in forced-choice experiments. Our results suggest that a central debate in the experimental philosophy of free will—the ‘natural’ compatibilism debate—is mistaken in assuming that folk intuitions (...)
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  23. added 2014-04-02
    Oisín Deery (forthcoming). Is Agentive Experience Compatible with Determinism? Philosophical Explorations:1-18.
    Many philosophers think not only that we are free to act otherwise than we do, but also that we experience being free in this way. Terry Horgan argues that such experience is compatibilist: it is accurate even if determinism is true. According to Horgan, when people judge their experience as incompatibilist, they misinterpret it. While Horgan’s position is attractive, it incurs significant theoretical costs. I sketch an alternative way to be a compatibilist about experiences of free agency that avoids these (...)
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  24. added 2014-04-02
    Neil Levy (forthcoming). Luck and Agent-Causation: A Response to Franklin. Criminal Law and Philosophy:1-6.
    Christopher Franklin argues that the hard luck view, which I have recently defended, is misnamed: the arguments turn on absence of control and not on luck. He also argues that my objections to agent-causal libertarianism depend on a demand, for a contrastive explanation that guarantees the choice the agent makes, which would be question-begging in the dialectical context. In response to the first objection, I argue that though Franklin may be right that it is absence of control that matters to (...)
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  25. added 2014-04-02
    Markus Schlosser & Fabio Paglieri (2014). Intentions: Philosophical and Empirical Issues. Topoi 33 (1):1-3.
  26. added 2014-04-02
    Johan E. Gustafsson & Olle Torpman (2014). In Defence of My Favourite Theory. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (2):159–174.
    One of the principles on how to act under moral uncertainty, My Favourite Theory, says roughly that a morally conscientious agent chooses an option that is permitted by the most credible moral theory. In defence of this principle, we argue that it prescribes consistent choices over time, without relying on intertheoretic comparisons of value, while its main rivals are either plagued by moral analogues of money pumps or in need of a method for making non-arbitrary intertheoretic comparisons. We rebut the (...)
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  27. added 2014-04-02
    Sarah K. Paul & Jennifer M. Morton (2014). Of Reasons and Recognition. Analysis 74 (2):339-348.
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  28. added 2014-04-02
    V. P. J. Arponen (2013). The Human Collective Causing of Environmental Problems and Theory of Collective Action. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 27 (1):47-65.
    A range of multidisciplinarily arguments and observations can and have been employed to challenge the view that the human relationship to nature is fundamentally a cognitive matter of collectively held cultural ideas and values about nature. At the same time, the very similar cognitivist idea of collective sharing of conceptual schemes, normative orientations, and the like as the engine of collective action remains the chief analytic tool offered by many influential philosophical and sociological theories of collective action and human sociality (...)
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  29. added 2014-03-31
    M. Oreste Fiocco (forthcoming). Fatalism and the Metaphysics of Contingency. In Steven M. Cahn & Maureen Eckert (eds.), Freedom and the Self: Essays in the Philosophy of David Foster Wallace. Columbia University Press.
    Contingency is the presence of non-actualized possibility in the world. Fatalism is a view of reality on which there is no contingency. Since it is contingency that permits agency, there has traditionally been much interest in contingency. This interest has long been embarrassed by the contention that simple and plausible assumptions about the world lead to fatalism. I begin with an Aristotelian argument as presented by Richard Taylor. Appreciation of this argument has been stultified by a question pertaining to the (...)
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  30. added 2014-03-31
    Daniel Whiting (2014). Keep Things in Perspective: Reasons, Rationality, and the A Priori. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 8:1-22.
    Objective reasons are given by the facts. Subjective reasons are given by one’s perspective on the facts. Subjective reasons, not objective reasons, determine what it is rational to do. In this paper, I argue against a prominent account of subjective reasons. The problem with that account, I suggest, is that it makes what one has subjective reason to do, and hence what it is rational to do, turn on matters outside or independent of one’s perspective. After explaining and establishing this (...)
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  31. added 2014-03-28
    Stephen Kearns & Daniel Star (forthcoming). Weighing Explanations. In Andrew Reisner & Iwao Hirose (eds.), Weighing and Reasoning: A Festschrift for John Broome. Oxford University Press.
  32. added 2014-03-26
    Derk Pereboom (2013). Free Will. In Roger Crisp (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Ethics. Oxford University Press.
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  33. added 2014-03-26
    Derk Pereboom (2013). Free Will Skepticism and Criminal Punishment. In Thomas A. Nadelhoffer (ed.), The Future of Punishment. Oup Usa. 49.
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  34. added 2014-03-26
    Susan Blackmore, Thomas W. Clark, Mark Hallett, John-Dylan Haynes, Ted Honderich, Neil Levy, Thomas Nadelhoffer, Shaun Nichols, Michael Pauen, Derk Pereboom, Susan Pockett, Maureen Sie, Saul Smilansky, Galen Strawson, Daniela Goya Tocchetto, Manuel Vargas, Benjamin Vilhauer & Bruce Waller (2013). Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Lexington Books.
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  35. added 2014-03-26
    Andreas Klein (2012). "Ich Bin so Frei!": Willensfreiheit in der Philosophischen, Neurobiologischen Und Theologischen Diskussion. Neukirchener Theologie.
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  36. added 2014-03-26
    John Martin Fischer (ed.) (2005). Free Will. Routledge.
    Over the last three decades there has been a tremendous amount of philosophical work in the Anglo-American tradition on the cluster of topics pertaining to Free Will. Contemporary work has in some instances been in the form of lively debates between proponents of different viewpoints, and literature surrounding the area is therefore characterized by a genuine vitality. This collection selects the very best of this material and presents it in a single, accessible set of volumes.
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  37. added 2014-03-25
    Michael Cholbi (forthcoming). The Implications of Ego Depletion for the Ethics and Politics of Manipulation. In C. Coons M. E. Weber (ed.), Manipulation:Theory and Practice. Oxford University Press. 201-220.
    A significant body of research suggests that self-control and willpower are resources that become depleted as they are exercised. Having to exert self-control and willpower draws down the reservoir of these resources and make subsequent such exercises more difficult. This “ego depletion” renders individuals more susceptible to manipulation by exerting non-rational influences on our choice and conduct. In particular, ego depletion results in later choices being less governable by our powers of self-control and willpower than earlier choices. I draw out (...)
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  38. added 2014-03-17
    Thomas Nadelhoffer, Jason Shepard, Eddy Nahmias, Chandra Sripada & Lisa Ross (2014). The Free Will Inventory: Measuring Beliefs About Agency and Responsibility. Consciousness and Cognition 25:27-41.
    In this paper, we present the results of the construction and validation of a new psychometric tool for measuring beliefs about free will and related concepts: The Free Will Inventory (FWI). In its final form, FWI is a 29-item instrument with two parts. Part 1 consists of three 5-item subscales designed to measure strength of belief in free will, determinism, and dualism. Part 2 consists of a series of fourteen statements designed to further explore the complex network of people’s associated (...)
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  39. added 2014-03-13
    Ezio Di Nucci (forthcoming). Aristotle and Double Effect. Journal of Ancient Philosophy.
    There are some interesting similarities between Aristotle’s ‘mixed actions’ in Book III of the Nicomachean Ethics and the actions often thought to be justifiable with the Doctrine of Double Effect. Here I analyse these similarities by comparing Aristotle’s examples of mixed actions with standard cases from the literature on double effect such as, amongst others, strategic bombing, the trolley problem, and craniotomy. I find that, despite some common features such as the dilemmatic structure and the inevitability of a bad effect, (...)
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  40. added 2014-03-12
    Weng Hong Tang (forthcoming). Belief and Cognitive Limitations. Philosophical Studies.
    A number of philosophers have argued that it is hard for finite agents like us to reason and make decisions relying solely on our credences and preferences. They hold that for us to cope with our cognitive limitations, we need binary beliefs as well. For they think that such beliefs, by disposing us to treat certain propositions as true, help us cut down on the number of possibilities we need to consider when we reason. But using Ross and Schroeder (2012) (...)
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  41. added 2014-03-09
    Yair Levy (forthcoming). Normativity and Self-Relations. Philosophical Studies:1-16.
    The paper criticizes two prominent accounts which purport to explain normativity by appealing to some relation that one bears to oneself. Michael Bratman argues that one has reason to be formally coherent because otherwise one would fail to govern oneself. And David Velleman argues that one has reason to be formally coherent because otherwise one would be less intelligible to oneself. Both Bratman and Velleman argue in quite different ways that rational coherence is normative because it is necessary for the (...)
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  42. added 2014-03-09
    Margaret Gilbert (1989). On Social Facts. Routledge.
    In her analyses Gilbert discusses the work of such thinkers as Emile Durkheim, Georg Simmel, Max Weber, and David Lewis.
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  43. added 2014-03-08
    Joshua May (forthcoming). On the Very Concept of Free Will. Synthese:1-18.
    Determinism seems to rule out a robust sense of options but also prevent our choices from being a matter of luck. In this way, free will seems to require both the truth and falsity of determinism. If the concept of free will is coherent, something must have gone wrong. I offer a diagnosis on which this puzzle is due at least in part to a tension already present in the very idea of free will. I provide various lines of support (...)
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  44. added 2014-03-06
    Neil Van Leeuwen (forthcoming). The Meanings of "Imagine" Part II: Attitude and Action. Philosophy Compass.
    I investigate, in Part II, different approaches to the question of what makes imagining different from belief. I find that the sentiment-based approach of David Hume falls short, as does the teleological approach, once advocated by David Velleman. I then consider whether the inferential properties of beliefs and imaginings differ. Beliefs, I claim, exhibit an anti-symmetric inferential governance over imaginings: they are the background that makes inference from one imagining to the other possible; the reverse is not true, and this (...)
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  45. added 2014-03-06
    Suzy Killmister (forthcoming). The Woody Allen Puzzle: How 'Authentic Alienation' Complicates Autonomy. Noûs.
    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 disambiguating two (...)
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  46. added 2014-03-03
    Kevin Timpe (2013). Free Will in Philosophical Theology. Bloomsbury.
    Natural theology's name can be misleading, for it sounds like what is being done is a kind of theology, not philosophy. But natural theology is better understood to be primarily philosophical rather than theological for it is, most generally, the ...
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  47. added 2014-02-28
    Douglas W. Portmore, Acts, Attitudes, and Rational Choice.
    In this paper, I argue that we have obligations not only to perform certain actions, but also to have certain attitudes (such as desires, beliefs, and intentions), and this despite the fact that we rarely, if ever, have direct voluntary control over our attitudes. Moreover, I argue that whatever obligations we have with respect to actions derive from our obligations with respect to attitudes. More specifically, I argue that an agent is obligated to perform an action if and only if (...)
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  48. added 2014-02-25
    Anastasia P. Scrutton, Is Depression a Sin? A Philosophical Consideration of Christian Voluntarism.
    Among the more notable Christian understandings of depression is the idea that depression is a sin or the result of sin. While this idea is dismissed by many Christians and non-Christians, it is difficult to pinpoint what exactly is wrong with it. This paper seeks to address this problem, focusing on a common premise of the ‘depression is a sin’ claim: that it is within a person’s power to recover, such that remaining depressed is a choice. This claim is held (...)
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  49. added 2014-02-18
    Sergio Tenenbaum (forthcoming). Minimalism About Intention: A Modest Defence. Inquiry.
    ABSTRACTIntentions have recently played a starring role in theories of practical rationality. Michael Bratman?s Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999) brought to everyone?s attention the importance of plans, general intentions, etc. in the life of a rational agent and argued for various requirements governing intentions, especially future-directed intentions. At the same time, there has been a general tendency to formulate more traditional principles of practical rationality in terms of intentions. Intentions, but not actions, seem to (...)
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  50. added 2014-02-17
    Michael Bratman (1999). I Intend That We J. In Faces of Intention: Selected Essays on Intention and Agency. Cambridge University Press. 142–161.
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