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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 2015-03-03
    Brook Jenkins Sadler (2001). Amoralism and the Justification of Morality. Dissertation, Duke University
    Some have argued that specifically moral demands or norms are justified by the constraints of rationality. On this view, any agent who comes to doubt, challenge, or reject the authority of moral demands does so on penalty of irrationality. According to this view, the agent who asks the question Why be moral? can be given a rational justification for the demands that morality makes on her, regardless of her individual reasons and motives. ;I consider amoralism as a test case. Could (...)
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  2. added 2015-03-03
    Michelle N. Mason (2001). Moral Virtue and Reasons for Action. Dissertation, The University of Chicago
    This dissertation urges philosophers to reevaluate how they frame the question of the rationality of moral action. Its motivation is the thought that approaches to the question have suffered from mistakes in the relata. On the part of theories of practical reason, philosophers adopt an inadequate theory of action. On the part of moral theory, philosophers hold narrow conceptions of moral worth. As a result, not only have we failed to vindicate the thought that the moral agent acts well, our (...)
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  3. added 2015-03-02
    George Pavlakos & Veronica Rodriguez Blanco (eds.) (2015). Practical Normativity. Essays on Reasons and Intentions in Law and Practical Reason. Cambridge University Press.
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  4. added 2015-03-02
    William H. White (2002). Inferentialism and Practical Reason. Dissertation, Georgetown University
    This dissertation elaborates and defends a certain broad orientation in the philosophy of mind---the inferentialism of Sellars and Brandom---and explores the striking consequences of that orientation for the field of practical reason. Inferentialism aims to understand the significance of various philosophically important concepts in terms of their role in inference. In the first part of the dissertation, I use an analysis of inference to draw a distinction between two types of practical reasoning: reasoning that takes facts as reasons for acting, (...)
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  5. added 2015-03-02
    Yonatan Shemmer (2002). Desiring at Will: Reasons, Motivation and Motivational Change. Dissertation, Stanford University
    I argue that Humean theories of practical reason gain descriptive and normative advantages by accepting the view that agents can rationally choose and control their intrinsic desires . Traditional Humean theories reject this view; however, that rejection is not essential to the Humean position. Accepting the claim that people have, at times, direct and reasoned control over their desires helps accommodate the intuition that we rationally choose our goals no less than we rationally choose the means for their satisfaction, an (...)
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  6. added 2015-03-02
    Julian Nida-rümelin (1998). Structural Rationality in Game Theory. Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 5:81-93.
    When I began to think about normative questions of rationality and morality, I soon became a consequentialist. This is the natural result of questioning socially established institutional and moral rules and their metaphysical underpinnings. A critical mind cannot accept a duty to do this or that just because it is told that this duty is implied by some general principle. The immediate question is: Where does this principle come from and how is it justified? And if this question cannot be (...)
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  7. added 2015-03-02
    Ruth Chang (1997). Incomparability and Practical Reason.
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  8. added 2015-03-02
    Grant Lamond (1996). Commitments and Practical Reason.
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  9. added 2015-03-02
    Malcolm Guthrie & William Benjamin Carpenter (1877). The Causational and Free Will Theories of Volition, a Review of Dr. Carpenter's 'Mental Physiology'.
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  10. added 2015-03-01
    Dustin Locke (forthcoming). Knowledge, Explanation, and Motivating Reasons. American Philosophical Quarterly.
    According to a number of recent philosophers, knowledge has an intimate relationship with rationality. Some philosophers hold, in particular, that rational agents do things for good motivating reasons, and that p can be one’s motivating reason for -ing (acting/believing/fearing/etc.) only if one knows that p. This paper argues against this view and in favor of the view that p cannot be one’s motivating reason for -ing—in the relevant sense—unless there is an appropriate explanatory connection between the fact that p and (...)
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  11. added 2015-02-28
    Ulrike Heuer (2015). Intentions, Permissibility and the Reasons for Which We Act. In George Pavlakos & Veronica Rodriguez Blanco (eds.), Practical Normativity. Essays on Reasons and Intentions in Law and Practical Reason. Cambridge University Press. 11-30.
  12. added 2015-02-28
    Ulrike Heuer (2012). The Reasons That Can't Be Followed. Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies 8:1-14.
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  13. added 2015-02-26
    Bill Brewer (1989). Objectivity, Agency and Self-Knowledge. Dissertation, University of Oxford (United Kingdom)
    Available from UMI in association with The British Library. Requires signed TDF. ;There is a traditional conception of perception as the passive reception of information about the external world. This thesis pursues one line of development of an alternative view. The suggestion will be that fleeting subjective perceptual experience attains its status as genuinely representational of how things independently are in an objective world partly in virtue of its role as input into a system of practical thought and intentional interaction. (...)
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  14. added 2015-02-24
    G. Anthony Bruno (forthcoming). Schelling on the Possibility of Evil: Rendering Pantheism, Freedom and Time Consistent. SATS: Northern European Journal of Philosophy.
  15. added 2015-02-23
    Alexander Schlegel, Prescott Alexander, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Adina Roskies, Peter Ulric Tse & Thalia Wheatley (2015). Hypnotizing Libet: Readiness Potentials with Non-Conscious Volition. Consciousness and Cognition 33:196-203.
    The readiness potential (RP) is one of the most controversial topics in neuroscience and philosophy due to its perceived relevance to the role of conscious willing in action. Libet and colleagues reported that RP onset precedes both volitional movement and conscious awareness of willing that movement, suggesting that the experience of conscious will may not cause volitional movement (Libet, Gleason, Wright, & Pearl, 1983). Rather, they suggested that the RP indexes unconscious processes that may actually cause both volitional movement and (...)
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  16. added 2015-02-19
    Raymond Aaron Younis (2007). Nihilism Reconstruction and the Hero's Journey. In Angela Ndalianis Wendy Haslem & Chris Mackie (eds.), Super/Heroes. New Academia. 97-111.
  17. added 2015-02-18
    Arif Ahmed (2014). Evidence, Decision and Causality. Cambridge University Press.
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  18. added 2015-02-18
    Tim Mulgan (2008). Sidgwick, Origen, and the Reconciliation of Egoism and Morality. Etica E Politica 10 (2):42-71.
    Many themes of late twentieth century ethics are prefigured in Sidgwick’s Method of Ethics. In particular, Sidgwick’s ‘Dualism of Practical Reason’ sets the scene for current debates over the demands of morality. Many philosophers agree that Sidgwick uncovers a deep and troubling conflict at the heart of utilitarian ethics. But Sidgwick’s own response to that conflict is treated, not as a live philosophical option, but as a historical oddity. In the twenty-first century, few philosophers see the intimate connection between the (...)
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  19. added 2015-02-18
    Fred D'agostino (2003). Incommensurability and Commensuration the Common Denominator. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  20. added 2015-02-18
    J. Gray Cox (1984). The Will at the Crossroads a Reconstruction of Kant's Moral Philosophy. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
    This work systematically explicates and defends four key claims in Kant's moral philosophy: The human will is some form of practical reason. The supreme criterion for determining the morality of our choices is provided by an a priori moral law. We find this law to be a source of felt value; it commands unqualified respect. We must suppose the human will is free. ;Traditionally, Kant has been read as holding that these claims imply that the responsible moral agent is a (...)
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  21. added 2015-02-16
    Roman Altshuler & Michael J. Sigrist (eds.) (2015). Time and the Philosophy of Action. Routledge.
    Although scholarship in philosophy of action has grown in recent years, there has been little work explicitly dealing with the role of time in agency—a role with great significance for the study of action theory. As the articles in this collection demonstrate, virtually every fundamental issue in the philosophy of action involves considerations of time. The four sections of this volume address the metaphysics of action, diachronic practical rationality, the relation between deliberation and action, and the phenomenology of agency, providing (...)
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  22. added 2015-02-16
    Candace Vogler (2013). Good and Bad in Human Action. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 87:57-68.
    According to Aristotle, every action is aimed at some good. Neo-Aristotelians argue that all intentional actions are pursued “under the guise of the good.” Contemporary critics find this thesis either perplexing or obviously false. In this essay, I survey a recent attempt to defend the guise of the good thesis, urge that the critic will reject the defense, and sketch a novel direction for defense of the thesis based on the thought that practical reason’s orientation to the future is fundamentally (...)
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  23. added 2015-02-16
    Doug McConnell & Anke Snoek (2012). Narrating Truths Worth Living: Addiction Narratives. American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 3:77-78.
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  24. added 2015-02-16
    Brian Zamulinski (2007). Morality and the Foundations of Practical Reason. Reason Papers 29:7-17.
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  25. added 2015-02-16
    Shane Courtland (2007). Lomasky on Practical Reason: Personal Value and Metavalues. Reason Papers 29:83-104.
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  26. added 2015-02-16
    Allen Coates (2004). Value, Commensurability, and Practical Reason. Dissertation, Vanderbilt University
    Two goods are incommensurable just in case neither is better than the other, nor are they equal. Incommensurable goods pose two problems: determining which goods are incommensurable, and deciding how to make choices over those that are. In this dissertation, I develop a theory of value and show how it solves these two problems. An item is good, I argue, insofar as there are reasons to choose it. Accordingly, the comparative value of two goods depends upon the reasons for choosing (...)
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  27. added 2015-02-15
    Edmund Henden (2002). Practical Reason, Intentions and Weakness of the Will.
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  28. added 2015-02-15
    Jordan Howard Sobel (1994). Taking Chances. Cambridge University Press.
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  29. added 2015-02-12
    Wlodek Rabinowicz (1982). Two Causal Decision Theories: Lewis Vs Sobel. In Tom Pauli (ed.), Philosophical Essays Dedicated to Lennart Åqvist. Philosophical Society and Dept. Of Philosophy, University of Uppsala. 299-321.
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  30. added 2015-02-10
    Kieran Setiya (2002). Reasons Without Rationalism: A Virtue Theory of Phronesis. Dissertation, Princeton University
    An agent's character is often revealed in the contents of her practical reasoning, in the considerations to which she is sensitive and how she is moved by them, in the acts she considers, the ends she adopts, and in how she plans for the present and the future. According to an influential view, we can distinguish the assessment of practical thought as good or bad reasoning from its assessment as an expression of character. For instance, we might think that good (...)
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  31. added 2015-02-10
    David W. Lutz (1994). The Emergence of the Dualism of Practical Reason in Post-Hobbesian British Moral Philosophy. Dissertation, University of Notre Dame
    One feature common to a great variety of contemporary ethical theories that differ significantly at other points is the centrality of the dichotomy between egoism and altruism. Morality is considered to be altruistic, and therefore opposed to egoism. This understanding of the relationships among egoism, morality, and altruism stands in contrast to those of the most important ancient and medieval ethical theories. Though Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Epictetus, Augustine, and Thomas Aquinas disagree with one another elsewhere, they share the belief that (...)
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  32. added 2015-02-10
    Yossi Yonah (1988). Instrumental Rationality and Beyond. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
    My dissertation is about the scope and limits of practical rationality. Specifically, it is intended as a critical essay on instrumental rationality; it will also include some suggestions on how to go beyond instrumental rationality. ;The instrumental conception of rationality expresses a recurrent theme in modern contemporary philosophy. This theme made its first formidable appearance in the work of Hobbes, and since then it has dominated most of the debates about the objectivity of moral values, personal values, and ideals. Depending (...)
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  33. added 2015-02-09
    Michael Sevel (2014). The Constitution of Authority: A Review of Joseph Raz, Between Authority and Interpretation: On the Theory of Law and Practical Reason. [REVIEW] Jurisprudence 5 (2):430-441.
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  34. added 2015-02-09
    Robert K. Armstrong (2004). Normativity and Individualism: An Essay on Hume. Dissertation, Columbia University
    Hume's theory of practical rationality, it has been claimed, fails to account for the intrinsically social character of practical deliberation and of the norms governing action. While the standard way of pressing this critique is unsuccessful, it can be advanced in another way. It is alleged that Hume cannot explain how it is possible to act contrary to reason because he holds that practical reasons are grounded in brute desires which are beyond the reach of rational criticism. But Hume offers (...)
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  35. added 2015-02-09
    Sergio Tenenbaum (1996). The Object of Reason: An Inquiry Into the Possibility of Practical Reason. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
    Subjectivism is the mainstream view of practical reason. According to subjectivism, what has value for an agent must ultimately be grounded in what the agent actually desires. Subjectivism is motivated by a conservative view of the scope and extent of practical reason. Against this view, my dissertation argues that any coherent conception of an end must endow practical reason with a scope that goes beyond anything that subjectivism could accommodate. ;Subjectivism correctly grasps that nothing can count as an end for (...)
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  36. added 2015-02-09
    Yujian Zheng (1995). Motivation, Deliberation, and Rationality for Dynamic Choice. Dissertation, Bowling Green State University
    How can one knowingly choose against one's best judgment? This is both a traditional philosophical puzzle and a realistic problem in our everyday life. This dissertation is an exposition and examination of a recent work, by George Ainslie, with regard to its innovative explanation as well as rational solution of such a problem. With the help of the new Ainsliean model, I have also sought to offer some analysis of a number of issues that I believe are important to the (...)
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  37. added 2015-02-09
    A. R. Mele (1988). Bratman, M. E., "Intentions, Plans, and Practical Reason". [REVIEW] Mind 97:632.
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  38. added 2015-02-09
    R. Jay Wallace (1988). Practical Reason and the Claims of Morality: On the Idea of Rationalism in Ethics. Dissertation, Princeton University
    This dissertation is a critical study of rationalism in ethics: the view that acting morally is a requirement of rationality, and that all agents consequently have reason to be moral. The study attempts first to reconstruct the essential elements of the rationalist approach in ethics, and then to identify the most critical obstacles in the way of that approach. By way of reconstruction, it is argued that the rationalist in ethics needs to construe rationality as a set of ideal principles (...)
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  39. added 2015-02-09
    Mark Thornton (1985). Norman O. Dahl, Practical Reason, Aristotle, and Weakness of Will. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 5:159-161.
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  40. added 2015-02-09
    N. Cooper (1977). "Practical Reason." Edited by S. Körner. [REVIEW] Mind 86:292.
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  41. added 2015-02-09
    Barrie Paskins (1975). KÖRNER, STEPHAN "Practical Reason". [REVIEW] Philosophy 50:120.
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  42. added 2015-02-09
    Konstantin Kolenda (1968). Arthur Murphy's Theory of Practical Reason. [REVIEW] Man and World 1 (1):151.
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  43. added 2015-02-09
    David Swenson (1904). Tawell on the Practical Reason in Aristotle. [REVIEW] Journal of Philosophy 1 (22):612.
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  44. added 2015-02-07
    Attila Tanyi (forthcoming). Moral Demands and Ethical Theory: The Case of Consequentialism. In Barry Dainton & Howard Robinson (eds.), Bloomsbury Companion to Analytic Philosophy. Bloomsbury.
    Morality is demanding; this is a platitude. It is thus no surprise when we find that moral theories too, when we look into what they require, turn out to be demanding. However, there is at least one moral theory – consequentialism – that is said to be beset by this demandingness problem. This calls for an explanation: Why only consequentialism? This then leads to related questions: What is the demandingness problematic about? What exactly does it claim? Finally, there is the (...)
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  45. added 2015-02-07
    Andreas Dorschel (2015). Ästhetik des Fado. Merkur 69 (2):79-86.
    Fado, the urban folk of Lisbon and Coimbra, is an art of nuances. These nuances music takes from poetry; as ‘sung poetry’ (‘poema cantado’ in Portuguese) fados are not to be equated with ‘songs’ that turn the word into a vehicle – a dominant procedure in, e.g., rock music. Again, ‘voice’ in fado does not so much manifest individual expression; rather it is, as it were, ‘on loan’ from tradition. Keeping some distance from dance, too, fado at the beginning of (...)
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  46. added 2015-02-06
    Clayton Littlejohn (forthcoming). A Plea for Epistemic Excuses. In Fabian Dorsch Julien Dutant (ed.), The New Evil Demon Problem. Oxford University Press.
    The typical epistemology course begins with a discussion of the distinction between justification and knowledge and ends without any discussion of the distinction between justification and excuse. This is unfortunate. If we had a better understanding of the justification-excuse distinction, we would have a better understanding of the intuitions that shape the internalism-externalism debate. My aims in this paper are these. First, I will explain how the kinds of excuses that should interest epistemologists exculpate. Second, I will explain why the (...)
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  47. added 2015-02-05
    Ioannis Xenakis & Argyris Arnellos (2015). Aesthetics as an Emotional Activity That Facilitates Sense-Making: Towards an Enactive Approach to Aesthetic Experience. Springer.
    Nowadays, aesthetics are generally considered as a crucial aspect that affects the way we confront things, events, and states of affairs. However, the functional role of aesthetics in the interaction between agent and environment has not been addressed effectively. Our objective here is to provide an explanation concerning the role of aesthetics, and especially, of the aesthetic experience as a fundamental bodily and emotional activity in the respective interactions. An explanation of the functional role of the aesthetic experience could offer (...)
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  48. added 2015-02-05
    Argyris Arnellos, Thomas Spyrtou & Ioannis Darzentas (2010). Towards the Naturalization of Agency Based on an Interactivist Account of Autonomy. New Ideas in Psychology 28 (3):296-311.
    This paper attempts to provide the basis for a broader naturalized account of agency. Naturalization is considered as the need for an ongoing and open-ended process of scientific inquiry driven by the continuous formulation of questions regarding a phenomenon. The naturalization of agency is focused around the interrelation of the fundamental notions of autonomy, functionality, intentionality and meaning. Certain naturalized frameworks of agency are critically considered in an attempt to bring together all the characteristic properties that constitute an autonomous agent, (...)
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  49. added 2015-02-04
    Gunnar Björnsson & Derk Pereboom (forthcoming). Traditional and Experimental Approaches to Free Will and Moral Responsibility. In Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Blackwell.
    Examines the relevance of empirical studies of responsibility judgments for traditional philosophical concerns about free will and moral responsibility. We argue that experimental philosophy is relevant to the traditional debates, but that setting up experiments and interpreting data in just the right way is no less difficult than negotiating traditional philosophical arguments. Both routes are valuable, but so far neither promises a way to secure significant agreement among the competing parties. To illustrate, we focus on three sorts of issues. For (...)
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  50. added 2015-02-04
    A. R. C. Duncan (1957). Practical Reason and Morality a Study of Immanuel Kant's Foundations for the Metaphysics of Morals. Nelson.
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