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Philosophy of Action

Edited by Constantine Sandis (University of Hertfordshire)
Assistant editor: István Zárdai (University of Pécs, Oxford Brookes University, University of Hertfordshire)
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  1. added 2016-04-28
    Leslie Allan, The Principle of Double Effect.
    Absolutist systems of ethics have come in for harsh criticism on a number of fronts. The Principle of Double Effect was formulated by Catholic ethicists to overcome such objections. In this essay, Leslie Allan addresses four of the most prominent problems faced by an absolutist ethic and evaluates the extent to which the Principle of Double Effect is successful in avoiding or mitigating these criticisms.
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  2. added 2016-04-27
    Machiel Keestra, How Do Narratives and Brains Mutually Influence Each Other? Taking Both the ‘Neuroscientific Turn’ and the ‘Narrative Turn’ in Explaining Bio-Political Orders.
    Introduction: the neuroscientific turn in political science The observation that brains and political orders are interdependent is almost trivial. Obviously, political orders require brain processes in order to emerge and to remain in place, as these processes enable action and cognition. Conversely, every since Aristotle coined man as “by nature a political animal” (Aristotle, Pol.: 1252a 3; cf. Eth. Nic.: 1097b 11), this also suggests that the political engagements of this animal has likely consequences for its natural development, including the (...)
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  3. added 2016-04-27
    Mikko Salmela & Michiru Nagatsu (forthcoming). How Does It Really Feel to Act Together? Shared Emotions and the Phenomenology of We-Agency. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-22.
    Research on the phenomenology of agency for joint action has so far focused on the sense of agency and control in joint action, leaving aside questions on how it feels to act together. This paper tries to fill this gap in a way consistent with the existing theories of joint action and shared emotion. We first reconstruct Pacherie’s account on the phenomenology of agency for joint action, pointing out its two problems, namely the necessary trade-off between the sense of self- (...)
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  4. added 2016-04-27
    Corine Besson (forthcoming). Norms, Reasons and Reasoning: A Guide Through Lewis Carroll’s Regress Argument. In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity.
  5. added 2016-04-26
    Vincenzo De Florio, Interpretations of the Concepts of Resilience and Evolution in the Philosophy of Leibniz.
    In this article I interpret resilience and evolution in view of the philosophy of Leibniz. First, I discuss resilience as a substance’s or a monad’s “quantity of essence” — its “degree of perfection” — which I express as the quality of the Whole with respect to the sum of the qualities of the Parts. Then I discuss evolution, which I interpret here as the autopoietic Principle that sets Itself in motion and creates all reality, including Itself. This Principle may be (...)
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  6. added 2016-04-26
    Luca Ferrero, Intending, Acting, and Doing.
    I argue that intending and acting belong to the same genus: intending is a kind of doing continuous in structure with intentional acting. Future-directed intending is not a truly separate phenomenon from either the intending in action or the acting itself. Ultimately, all intentions are in action, or better still, in extended courses of action. I show how the intuitive distinction between intending and acting is based on modeling the two phenomena on the extreme and limiting cases of an otherwise (...)
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  7. added 2016-04-23
    Ken Levy (forthcoming). Blocking Blockage. Philosophia:1-18.
    The Blockage Argument is designed to improve upon Harry Frankfurt’s famous argument against the Principle of Alternative Possibilities by removing the counterfactual intervener altogether. If the argument worked, then it would prove in a way that Frankfurt’s argument does not that moral responsibility does not require any alternative possibilities whatsoever, not even the weakest “flicker of freedom”. Some philosophers have rejected the Blockage Argument solely on the basis of their intuition that the inability to do otherwise is incompatible with moral (...)
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  8. added 2016-04-17
    Wayne Christensen, Kath Bicknell, Doris McIlwain & John Sutton (2015). The Sense of Agency and its Role in Strategic Control for Expert Mountain Bikers. Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice 2 (3):340-353.
    Much work on the sense of agency has focused either on abnormal cases, such as delusions of control, or on simple action tasks in the laboratory. Few studies address the nature of the sense of agency in complex natural settings, or the effect of skill on the sense of agency. Working from 2 case studies of mountain bike riding, we argue that the sense of agency in high-skill individuals incorporates awareness of multiple causal influences on action outcomes. This allows fine-grained (...)
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  9. added 2016-04-14
    Alexander Stathopoulos (forthcoming). Knowing Achievements. Philosophy:1-14.
    Anscombe claims that whenever a subject is doing something intentionally, this subject knows that they are doing it. This essay defends Anscombe's claim from an influential set of counterexamples, due to Davidson. It argues that Davidson's counterexamples are tacit appeals to an argument, on which knowledge can't be essential to doing something intentionally, because some things that can be done intentionally require knowledge of future successes, and because such knowledge can't ever be guaranteed when someone is doing something intentionally. The (...)
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  10. added 2016-04-14
    Herivelto Pereira de Souza (2010). A vida e as fontes da normatividade: por uma história natural do conceito. Dissertation, Universidade de São Paulo
    A posição filosófica chamada de externismo semântico caracteriza-se pela tese segundo a qual a individuação do conteúdo de estados mentais deve recorrer a fatores que não podem ser localizados na região geralmente circunscrita pela noção mesma de mente. Tal tese implica, em todo caso, que a suposta interioridade da vida psicológica não se basta para tornar inteligível as condições de possibilidade que o pensamento conceitual requer. Assim, se fatores externos aos indivíduos são vistos como desempenhando uma contribuição decisiva na própria (...)
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  11. added 2016-04-12
    Lavinia Marin (2013). The Appeal to Expert Opinion in Contexts of Political Deliberation and the Problem of Group Bias. Annals of the University of Bucharest - Philosophy Series 62 (2):91-106.
    In this paper, I will try to answer the question: How are we supposed to assess the expert’s opinion in an argument from the position of an outsider to the specialized field? by placing it in the larger context of the political status of epistemic authority. In order to do this I will first sketch the actual debate around the problem of expertise in a democracy and relate this to the issue of the status of science in society. Secondly, I (...)
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  12. added 2016-04-12
    Erman Kaplama (2010). Introduction to Cosmological Aesthetics: The Kantian Sublime and Nietzschean Dionysian. International Journal of the Humanities 8 (2):69-84.
    This paper is founded on a close reading of Kant’s Opus Postumum in order both to explore the essential motivation that drove Kant to write a last comprehensive magnum opus and, by doing so, to show the essential link between his aesthetics and the idea of Übergang, the title of this last work. For this work contains not only his dynamical theory of matter defining motion as preliminary to the notions of space and time, and the advanced version of his (...)
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  13. added 2016-04-11
    Gunnar Björnsson (forthcoming). Outsourcing the Deep Self: Deep Self Discordance Does Not Explain Away Intuitions in Manipulation Arguments. Philosophical Psychology:1-17.
    According to manipulation arguments for incompatibilism, manipulation might undermine an agent’s responsibility even when the agent satisfies plausible compatibilist conditions on responsibility. According to Sripada, however, empirical data suggest that people take manipulation to undermine responsibility largely because they think that the manipulated act is in discord with the agent’s “deep self,” thus violating the plausible compatibilist condition of deep self concordance. This paper defends Sripada’s general methodological approach but presents data that strongly suggest that, contrary to Sripada’s contention, most (...)
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  14. added 2016-04-11
    Benj Hellie (forthcoming). Praxeology, Imperatives, and Shifts of View. In Rowland Stout (ed.), Process, action, and experience. Oxford UP
    I outline a radically `first-personal' program in <em>praxeology</em> (aka 'philosophy of practical reason'): embrace of nonpropositional imperatival content is what is characteristically practical; this embrace connects to agentive behavior 'transcendentally'---through a constraint on shifts of view, inaccessible within any single viewpoint.
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  15. added 2016-04-11
    Subhasis Chattopadhyay (2016). Review of Giorgio Agamben's Pilate and Jesus. [REVIEW] Prabuddha Bharata or Awakened India 121 (4):431-33.
    This review shows Agamben as (mis)reading Dante and misunderstanding the Jesus event.
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  16. added 2016-04-10
    Douglas W. Portmore, Maximalism Vs. Omnism About Reasons.
    The performance of one option can entail the performance of another. For instance, I have the option of baking a pumpkin pie as well as the option of baking a pie, and the former entails the latter. Now, suppose that I have both reason to bake a pie and reason to bake a pumpkin pie. This raises the question: Which, if either, is more fundamental than the other? Do I have reason to bake a pie because I have reason to (...)
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  17. added 2016-04-10
    Yishai Cohen (forthcoming). Fischer's Deterministic Frankfurt-Style Argument. Erkenntnis:1-20.
    According to the Dilemma Defense, it is question-begging against the incompatibilist defender of the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP) to assume that the agent in a deterministic Frankfurt-style case (FSC) cannot do otherwise in light of causal determinism, but is nevertheless morally responsible. As a result, Fischer (Philos Rev 119:315–336, 2010; Analysis 73:489–496, 2013) attempts to undermine PAP in a different manner via a deterministic FSC. More specifically, Fischer attempts to show that if causal determinism rules out an agent’s moral (...)
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  18. added 2016-04-10
    Sofia Jeppsson (forthcoming). Reasons, Determinism and the Ability to Do Otherwise. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-16.
    It has been argued that in a deterministic universe, no one has any reason to do anything. Since we ought to do what we have most reason to do, no one ought to do anything either. Firstly, it is argued that an agent cannot have reason to do anything unless she can do otherwise; secondly, that the relevant ‘can’ is incompatibilist. In this paper, I argue that even if the first step of the argument for reason incompatibilism succeeds, the second (...)
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  19. added 2016-04-10
    Arto Laitinen (2016). Review of Hegel's Theory of Responsibility by Mark Alznauer. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2016.
  20. added 2016-04-10
    Arto Laitinen (2015). Practices as ‘Actual’ Sources of Goodness of Actions. Philosophy and Public Issues 2015:57-70.
    This is a contribution to a special issue of "Philosophy and Public Issues" focussing on Michael Thompson's Life and Action. I first discuss the nature of actuality, then the distinction between acting on a first-order consideration and a second-order consideration, and the possibly related distinction between expressing a practice and merely simulating it. Then I turn to the topic of varieties of goodness.
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  21. added 2016-04-09
    Douglas W. Portmore (forthcoming). Maximalism and Moral Harmony. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Maximalism is the view that an agent is permitted to perform a certain type of action (say, baking) if and only if she is permitted to perform some instance of this type (say, baking a pie), where φ-ing is an instance of ψ-ing if and only if φ-ing entails ψ-ing but not vice versa. Now, the aim of this paper is not to defend maximalism, but to defend a certain account of our options that when combined with maximalism results in (...)
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  22. added 2016-04-08
    Matthew Owen (2015). Physicalism's Epistemological Incompatibility with A Priori Knowledge. Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy (3):123-139.
    The aim of the present work is to demonstrate that physicalism and a priori knowledge are epistemologically incompatible. The possibility of a priori knowledge on physicalism will be considered in the light of Edmund Gettier’s insight regarding knowledge. In the end, it becomes apparent that physicalism entails an unavoidable disconnect between a priori beliefs and their justificatory grounds; thus precluding the possibility of a priori knowledge. Consequently, a priori knowledge and physicalism are epistemologically incompatible.
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  23. added 2016-04-07
    Errol Lord (forthcoming). On the Intellectual Conditions for Responsibility: Acting for the Right Reasons, Conceptualization, and Credit. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    In this paper I'm interested in the prospects for the Right Reasons theory of creditworthiness. The Right Reasons theory says that what it is for an agent to be creditworthy for X-ing is for that agent to X for the right reasons. The paper has a negative goal and a positive goal. The negative goal is to show that a class of Right Reasons theories are doomed. These theories all have a Conceptualization Condition on acting for the right reasons. Conceptualization (...)
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  24. added 2016-03-31
    Derk Pereboom & Gregg D. Caruso (forthcoming). Hard-Incompatbilist Existentialism: Neuroscience, Punishment, and Meaning in Life. In Gregg D. Caruso & Owen Flanagan (eds.), Neuroexistentialism: Meaning, Morals, and Purpose in the Age of Neuroscience. Oxford University Press
  25. added 2016-03-31
    Errol Lord (forthcoming). The Explanatory Problem for Cognitivism About Practical Reason. In Conor McHugh Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting (eds.), Normativity: Practical and Epistemic.
    Cognitivists about practical reason hold that we can explain why certain wide-scope requirements of practical rationality are true by appealing to certain epistemic requirements. Extant discussions of cognitivism focus solely on two claims. The first is the claim that intentions involve beliefs. The second is that whenever your intentions are incoherent in certain ways, you will be epistemically irrational (given that intentions involve beliefs). Even if the cognitivist successfully defends these claims, she still needs to show that they entail (...)
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  26. added 2016-03-31
    Michael Cholbi (2016). The Denial of Moral Dilemmas as a Regulative Ideal. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (2):268-289.
    The traditional debate about moral dilemmas concerns whether there are circumstances in which an agent is subject to two obligations that cannot both be fulfilled. Realists maintain there are. Irrealists deny this. Here I defend an alternative, methodologically-oriented position wherein the denial of genuine moral dilemmas functions as a regulative ideal for moral deliberation and practice. That is, moral inquiry and deliberation operate on the implicit assumption that there are no genuine moral dilemmas. This view is superior to both realism (...)
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  27. added 2016-03-31
    Frederic Schick (2012). Understanding Action: An Essay on Reasons. Cambridge University Press.
    This is an important new book about human motivation, about the reasons people have for their actions. What is distinctively new about it is its focus on how people see or understand their situations, options, and prospects. By taking account of people's understandings, Professor Schick is able to expand the current theory of decision and action. The author provides a perspective on the topic by outlining its history. He defends his new theory against criticism, considers its formal structure, and shows (...)
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  28. added 2016-03-31
    David Sobel & Steven Wall (eds.) (2011). Reasons for Action. Cambridge University Press.
    What are our reasons for acting? Morality purports to give us these reasons, and so do norms of prudence and the laws of society. The theory of practical reason assesses the authority of these potentially competing claims, and for this reason philosophers with a wide range of interests have converged on the topic of reasons for action. This volume contains eleven essays on practical reason by leading and emerging philosophers. Topics include the differences between practical and theoretical rationality, practical conditionals (...)
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  29. added 2016-03-31
    Stanley I. Benn (2011). A Theory of Freedom. Cambridge University Press.
    This book is a major contribution to the study of the philosophy of action, moral philosophy, and political philosophy. Its central idea is a radically unorthodox theory of rational action. Most contemporary Anglo-American philosophers believe that action is motivated by desire. Professor Benn rejects the doctrine and replaces it with a reformulation of Kant's ethical and political theory, in which rational action can be determined simply by principles, regardless of consequences. The book analyzes the way in which value conflicts can (...)
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  30. added 2016-03-31
    Stanley I. Benn (2009). A Theory of Freedom. Cambridge University Press.
    This book is a major contribution to the study of the philosophy of action, moral philosophy, and political philosophy. Its central idea is a radically unorthodox theory of rational action. Most contemporary Anglo-American philosophers believe that action is motivated by desire. Professor Benn rejects the doctrine and replaces it with a reformulation of Kant's ethical and political theory, in which rational action can be determined simply by principles, regardless of consequences. The book analyzes the way in which value conflicts can (...)
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  31. added 2016-03-31
    Johan Brännmark, The Constitution of Agency: Essays on Practical Reason and Moral Psychology.
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  32. added 2016-03-31
    Joshua Gert (2007). Brute Rationality: Normativity and Human Action. Cambridge University Press.
    This book presents an account of normative practical reasons and the way in which they contribute to the rationality of action. Rather than simply 'counting in favour of' actions, normative reasons play two logically distinct roles: requiring action and justifying action. The distinction between these two roles explains why some reasons do not seem relevant to the rational status of an action unless the agent cares about them, while other reasons retain all their force regardless of the agent's attitude. It (...)
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  33. added 2016-03-31
    Joshua Gert (2006). Brute Rationality: Normativity and Human Action. Cambridge University Press.
    This book presents an account of normative practical reasons and the way in which they contribute to the rationality of action. Rather than simply 'counting in favour of' actions, normative reasons play two logically distinct roles: requiring action and justifying action. The distinction between these two roles explains why some reasons do not seem relevant to the rational status of an action unless the agent cares about them, while other reasons retain all their force regardless of the agent's attitude. It (...)
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  34. added 2016-03-31
    Sophie Botros (2006). Hume, Reason and Morality: A Legacy of Contradiction. Routledge.
    Covering an important theme in Humean studies, this book focuses on Hume's hugely influential attempt in book three of his _Treatise of Human Nature _to derive the conclusion that morality is a matter of feeling, not reason, from its link with action. Claiming that Hume's argument contains a fundamental contradiction that has gone unnoticed in modern debate, this fascinating volume contains a refreshing combination of historical-scholarly work and contemporary analysis that seeks to expose this contradiction and therefore provide a significant (...)
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  35. added 2016-03-31
    F. W. J. Keulartz, J. Swart & H. Windt, Deliberation as a Strategy in Conservation and Decision-Making.
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  36. added 2016-03-30
    Sven Delarivière (2016). Artificial Free Will: The Responsibility Strategy and Artificial Agents. Apeiron Student Journal of Philosophy (Portugal) 7:175-203.
    Both a traditional notion of free will, present in human beings, and artificial intelligence are often argued to be inherently incompatible with determinism. Contrary to these criticisms, this paper defends that an account of free will compatible with determinism, the responsibility strategy (coined here) specifically, is a variety of free will worth wanting as well as a variety that is possible to (in principle) artificially construct. First, freedom will be defined and related to ethics. With that in mind, the two (...)
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  37. added 2016-03-29
    Jan Scheffel, Mind-Body problemets olösbarhet frigör viljan.
    Mind-body problemet analyseras i ett reduktionistiskt perspektiv. Genom att kombinera emergensbegreppet med algoritmisk informationsteori visas i ett tankeexperiment att ett starkt epistemiskt emergent system kan konstrueras utifrån en relativt enkel, ickelinjär process. En jämförelse med hjärnans avsevärt mer komplexa neurala nätverk visar att även medvetandet kan karakteriseras som starkt epistemiskt emergent. Därmed är reduktionistisk förståelse av medvetandet inte möjlig; mind-body problemet har alltså inte en reduktionistisk lösning. Medvetandets ontologiskt emergenta karaktär kan därefter konstateras utifrån en kombinatorisk analys; det är därmed (...)
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  38. added 2016-03-28
    Antti Kauppinen (forthcoming). Practical Reasoning. In Daniel Star (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford University Press
    This chapter presents two contemporary pictures of practical reasoning. According to the Rule-Guidance Conception, roughly, practical reasoning is a rule-guided operation of acquiring (or retaining or giving up) intentions so as to meet synchronic requirements of rationality. According to the Reasons-Responsiveness Conception, practical reasoning is a process of responding to reasons we take ourselves to have, and its standards of correctness derive from what we objectively have reason to do, if things are as we suppose them to be. I argue (...)
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  39. added 2016-03-25
    Wayne Christensen, John Sutton & Doris J. F. McIlwain (2016). Cognition in Skilled Action: Meshed Control and the Varieties of Skill Experience. Mind and Language 31 (1):37-66.
    We present a synthetic theory of skilled action which proposes that cognitive processes make an important contribution to almost all skilled action, contrary to influential views that many skills are performed largely automatically. Cognitive control is focused on strategic aspects of performance, and plays a greater role as difficulty increases. We offer an analysis of various forms of skill experience and show that the theory provides a better explanation for the full set of these experiences than automatic theories. We further (...)
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  40. added 2016-03-24
    Jussi Backman (2007). Für das Wohnen denken: Heidegger, Arendt und die praktische Besinnung. Heidegger-Jahrbuch 3:199-220.
    Dieser Aufsatz, der sich den Interpretationen u. a. von Robert Bernasconi, Jacques Taminiaux und Franco Volpi anschließt, betrachtet Heideggers „Wiederholung“ der praktischen Philosophie des Aristoteles als eine Radikalisierung des aristotelischen Begriffs des Handelns (praxis). Die moderne „Not des Wohnens“ erweist sich als ein Ergebnis der Unterordnung der Endlichkeit und Zeitlichkeit des menschlichen Handelns in der abendländischen philosophischen Tradition unter die metaphysischen und theologischen Ideale, die aus dem anfänglichen Verständnis der Seiendheit als beständiger Anwesenheit (ousia) hervorgehen. Die Grundform dieser Unterordnung ist (...)
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  41. added 2016-03-22
    Randolph Clarke (2007). Commanding Intentions and Prize-Winning Decisions. Philosophical Studies 133 (3):391-409.
    It is widely held that any justifying reason for making a decision must also be a justifying reason for doing what one thereby decides to do. Desires to win decision prizes, such as the one that figures in Kavka’s toxin puzzle, might be thought to be exceptions to this principle, but the principle has been defended in the face of such examples. Similarly, it has been argued that a command to intend cannot give one a justifying reason to intend as (...)
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  42. added 2016-03-21
    Jussi Backman, The End of Action: An Arendtian Critique of Aristotle’s Concept of Praxis. Hannah Arendt: Practice, Thought and Judgement.
    The article re-examines the Aristotelian backdrop of Arendt’s notion of action. On the one hand, Backman takes up Arendt’s critique of the hierarchy of human activities in Aristotle, according to which Aristotle subordinates action (praxis) to production (poiesis) and contemplation (theoria). Backman argues that this is not the case since Aristotle conceives theoria as the most perfect form of praxis. On the other hand, Backman stresses that Arendt’s notion of action is in fact very different from Aristotle’s praxis, to the (...)
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  43. added 2016-03-20
    Nikil Mukerji (forthcoming). Die 10 Gebote des gesunden Menschenverstands. Springer.
    Dieses Buch erklärt anschaulich und lebensnah die zentralen Regeln vernünftigen Denkens – die 10 Gebote des gesunden Menschenverstands. Diese Regeln sind essentiell für jeden, der im Leben Erfolg haben möchte. Denn wer Erfolg haben will, muss klug entscheiden. Und wer klug entscheiden will, muss klar und vernünftig denken. Aber wie können Sie diese Fähigkeit entwickeln? Nikil Mukerji, Philosoph und Unternehmensberater, weiß Rat: Sie müssen zehn Regeln befolgen, die verblüffend einfach sind, aber sogar von intelligenten Menschen häufig verletzt werden: die 10 (...)
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  44. added 2016-03-20
    Liran Shia Gordon (2016). On the Co-Nowness of Time and Eternity: A Scotistic Perspective. International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 77.
    The paper will explore a key tension between eternity and temporality that comes to the fore in the seeming contradiction between freedom of the human will and divine foreknowledge of future contingents. It will be claimed that Duns Scotus’s adaptation of Thomas Aquinas’s view reduces the tension between a human being’s freedom and divine foreknowledge of future contingents to the question of how to conflate the now of eternity and our experience of the instantaneous now. Scotus’s account of the matter (...)
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  45. added 2016-03-19
    Manuel Vargas (2009). Revisionism About Free Will: A Statement & Defense. Philosophical Studies 144 (1):45-62.
    This article summarizes the moderate revisionist position I put forth in Four Views on Free Will and responds to objections to it from Robert Kane, John Martin Fischer, Derk Pereboom, and Michael McKenna. Among the principle topics of the article are (1) motivations for revisionism, what it is, and how it is different from compatibilism and hard incompatibilism, (2) an objection to the distinctiveness of semicompatibilism against conventional forms of compatibilism, and (3) whether moderate revisionism is committed to realism about (...)
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  46. added 2016-03-18
    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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  47. added 2016-03-18
    Paul Katsafanas (2016). Naturalism, Minimalism, and the Scope of Nietzsche's Philosophical Psychology. In Kristin Gjesdal (ed.), Debates in Nineteenth-Century European Philosophy. Routledge 326-338.
    Bernard Williams’ “Nietzsche’s Minimalist Moral Psychology”, replete with provocative and insightful claims, has been extremely influential in Nietzsche scholarship. In the two decades since its publication, much of the most interesting and philosophically sophisticated work on Nietzsche has focused on exactly the topics that Williams addresses: Nietzsche’s moral psychology, his account of action, his naturalistic commitments, and the way in which these topics interact with his critique of traditional morality. While Williams’ pronouncements on these topics are brief and at times (...)
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  48. added 2016-03-16
    Ruth Chang (2016). “Comparativism: The Ground of Rational Choice,” in Errol Lord and Barry McGuire, Eds., Weighing Reasons (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 2016. In B. Maguire & E. Lord (eds.), Weighing Reasons. Oxford 213-240.
    What, normatively speaking, are the grounds of (objective) <span class='Hi'>rational</span> choice? This paper defends ‘comparativism’, the view that a comparative fact grounds <span class='Hi'>rational</span> choice. It examines three of the most serious challenges to comparativism: 1) that sometimes what grounds <span class='Hi'>rational</span> choice is an exclusionary-type relation among alternatives; 2) that an absolute fact such as that it’s your duty or conforms to the Categorial Imperative grounds <span class='Hi'>rational</span> choice; and 3) that <span class='Hi'>rational</span> choice between incomparables is possible, and (...)
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  49. added 2016-03-16
    Kyle Johannsen (2016). Explanation and Justification: Understanding the Functions of Fact-Insensitive Principles. Socialist Studies 11 (1):174-86.
    In recent work, Andrew T. Forcehimes and Robert B. Talisse correctly note that G.A. Cohen’s fact-insensitivity thesis, properly understood, is explanatory. This observation raises an important concern. If fact-insensitive principles are explanatory, then what role can they play in normative deliberations? The purpose of my paper is, in part, to address this question. Following David Miller, I indicate that on a charitable understanding of Cohen’s thesis, an explanatory principle explains a justificatory fact by completing an otherwise logically incomplete inference. As (...)
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  50. added 2016-03-16
    Mark Jenkins (2014). Bernard Williams. Routledge.
    From his earliest work on personal identity to his last on the value of truthfulness, the ideas and arguments of Bernard Williams - in the metaphysics of personhood, in the history of philosophy, but especially in ethics and moral psychology - have proved sometimes controversial, often influential, and always worth studying. This book provides a comprehensive account of Williams's many significant contributions to contemporary philosophy. Topics include personal identity, various critiques of moral theory, practical reasoning and moral motivation, truth and (...)
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