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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 2014-10-30
    Simon Kittle (forthcoming). Vihvelin and Fischer on 'Pre-Decisional' Intervention. Philosophia:1-11.
    Vihvelin argues that Frankfurt-style cases should be divided into two kinds, according to when the trigger for the intention takes place: either prior to the agent's choice or after it. Most agree that only the former, which I call pre-decisional intervention, stands a chance of removing all of an agent's alternatives. Vihvelin notes that both sides in the dispute over whether there is a successful case of pre-decisional intervention assume that if there is a successful case, then it will be (...)
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  2. added 2014-10-29
    Daniele Porello & Nicolas Troquard (2014). A Resource-Sensitive Logic of Agency. In Ios Press (ed.), Proceedings of the 21st European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI'14), Prague, Czech Republic. 2014. 723-728.
    We study a fragment of Intuitionistic Linear Logic combined with non-normal modal operators. Focusing on the minimal modal logic, we provide a Gentzen-style sequent calculus as well as a semantics in terms of Kripke resource models. We show that the proof theory is sound and complete with respect to the class of minimal Kripke resource models. We also show that the sequent calculus allows cut elimination. We put the logical framework to use by instantiating it as a logic of agency. (...)
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  3. added 2014-10-27
    Amir Saemi (2014). On John Laird's “Value and Obligation”. Ethics 125 (1):235-237,.
    Unjustly forgotten, Laird’s “value and obligation”, I shall argue, is of great relevance to contemporary moral philosophy. To this aim, I will explore three main theses of Laird’s paper which are as follows: (T1) We can’t understand judgments of value and obligation in terms of mere feelings and desires. (T2) Desire must be guided by cognition of some value. (T3) Judgments of rightness and obligation must be grounded in judgments of value.
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  4. added 2014-10-26
    Sarah Moss (forthcoming). Time-Slice Epistemology and Action Under Indeterminacy. In John Hawthorne & Tamar Gendler (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology 5.
    This paper defines and defends time-slice epistemology, according to which there are no essentially diachronic norms of rationality. First I motivate and distinguish two notions of time-slice epistemology. Then I defend time-slice theories of action under indeterminacy, i.e. theories about how you should act when the outcome of your decision depends on some indeterminate claim. I raise objections to a theory of action under indeterminacy recently defended by Robbie Williams, and I propose some alternative theories in its place. Throughout this (...)
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  5. added 2014-10-25
    Rebekah L. H. Rice (forthcoming). Reasons and Divine Action: A Dilemma. In Kevin Timpe Dan Speak (ed.), Free Will and Theism: Connections, Contingencies, and Concerns. Oxford University Press.
    Many theistic philosophers conceive of God’s activity in agent-causal terms. That is, they view divine action as an instance of (perhaps the paradigm case of) substance causation. At the same time, many theists endorse the claim that God acts for reasons, and not merely wantonly. It is the aim of this paper to show that a commitment to both theses gives rise to a dilemma. I present the dilemma and then spend the bulk of the paper defending its premises. I (...)
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  6. added 2014-10-25
    Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (forthcoming). The Epistemology of the Precautionary Principle: Two Puzzles Resolved. Erkenntnis.
    In a recent paper in this journal (forthcoming), Carter and Peterson raise two distinctly epistemological puzzles that arise for anyone aspiring to defend the precautionary principle. The first puzzle trades on an application of epistemic contextualism to the precautionary principle; the second puzzle concerns the compatibility of the precautionary principle with the de minimis rule. I argue that neither puzzle should worry defenders of the precautionary principle. The first puzzle can be shown to be an instance of the familiar but (...)
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  7. added 2014-10-25
    Yair Levy (forthcoming). Brennan, Eriksson, Goodin, and Southwood, 'Explaining Norms' (OUP 2013). [REVIEW] Mind.
  8. added 2014-10-25
    Yair Levy (2014). Money Pumps, Diachronic and Synchronic. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy:XX.
    The Money Pump argument is designed to demonstrate the irrational flaw of having cyclic preferences, by showing how the irrational agent is vulnerable to exploitation. The argument faces some longstanding objections, which point out how one may avoid the threat of exploitation without resolving the associated irrationality. Recently a new, synchronic version of Money Pump has been put forward which promises to undercut those standard objections. However, I argue that the synchronic Money Pump cannot deliver on its promise: parallel objections (...)
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  9. added 2014-10-21
    Frank J. Hoffman (2001-2002). “Karma in Buddhism and Jainism: Karma, Rebirth, and the Question of Transferability of Karma”. Indian Philosophical Annual 23.
  10. added 2014-10-16
    Luara Ferracioli (forthcoming). The Anarchist’s Myth: Autonomy, Children and State Legitimacy. Hypatia.
    Philosophical anarchists have made their living criticizing theories of state legitimacy and the duty to obey the law. The most prominent theories of state legitimacy have been called into doubt by the anarchist’s insistence that citizens’ lack of consent to the state renders the whole justificatory enterprise futile. Autonomy requires consent, they argue, and justification must respect autonomy. In this essay, I want to call into question the weight of consent in protecting our capacity for autonomy. I argue that if (...)
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  11. added 2014-10-13
    Timothy Lane & Georg Northoff (forthcoming). Is Depressive Rumination Rational? In T. W. Hung (ed.), Reason and Rationality. Elsevier.
    Most mental disorders affect only a small segment of the population. On the reasonable assumption that minds or brains are prone to occasional malfunction, these disorders do not seem to pose distinctive explanatory problems. Depression, however, because it is so prevalent and costly, poses a conundrum that some try to explain by characterizing it as an adaptation—a trait that exists because it performed fitness-enhancing functions in ancestral populations. Heretofore, proposed evolutionary explanations of depression did not focus on thought processes; instead, (...)
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  12. added 2014-10-13
    Carrie Figdor & Mark Phelan (forthcoming). Is Free Will Necessary for Moral Responsibility?: A Case for Rethinking Their Relationship and the Design of Experimental Studies in Moral Psychology. Mind and Language.
    Philosophical tradition has long held that free will is necessary for moral responsibility. We report experimental results that show that the folk do not think free will is necessary for moral responsibility. Our results also suggest that experimental investigation of the relationship is ill-served by a focus on incompatibilism vs. compatibilism. We propose an alternative framework for empirical moral psychology in which judgments of free will and moral responsibility can vary independently in response to many factors (including beliefs about determinism). (...)
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  13. added 2014-10-11
    Joshua Shepherd (forthcoming). Scientific Challenges to Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Philosophy Compass.
    Here I review work from three lines of research in cognitive science often taken to threaten free will and moral responsibility. This work concerns conscious deciding, the experience of acting, and the role of largely unnoticed situational influences on behavior. Whether this work in fact threatens free will and moral responsibility depends on how we ought to interpret it, and depends as well on the nature of free and responsible behavior. I discuss different ways this work has been interpreted, and (...)
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  14. added 2014-10-11
    Joshua Shepherd (forthcoming). Conscious Action/Zombie Action. Noûs.
    I argue that the neural realizers of experiences of trying (that is, experiences of directing effort towards the satisfaction of an intention) are not distinct from the neural realizers of actual trying (that is, actual effort directed towards the satisfaction of an intention). I then ask how experiences of trying might relate to the perceptual experiences one has while acting. First, I assess recent zombie action arguments regarding conscious visual experience, and I argue that contrary to what some have claimed, (...)
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  15. added 2014-10-11
    Joshua Shepherd (2014). Deciding as Intentional Action: Control Over Decisions. Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-17.
    Deciding as Intentional Action: Control over Decisions. . ???aop.label???. doi: 10.1080/00048402.2014.971035.
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  16. added 2014-10-10
    Brendan Dill & Richard Holton (2014). The Addict in Us All. Frontiers in Psychiatry 5 (139):01-20.
    In this paper, we contend that the psychology of addiction is similar to the psychology of ordinary, non-addictive temptation in important respects, and explore the ways in which these parallels can illuminate both addiction and ordinary action. The incentive salience account of addiction proposed by Robinson and Berridge (1993; 2001; 2008) entails that addictive desires are not in their nature different from many of the desires had by non-addicts; what is different is rather the way that addictive desires are acquired, (...)
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  17. added 2014-10-09
    Matthew A. Benton (2014). Knowledge Norms. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:0-00.
    Encyclopedia entry covering the growing literature on the Knowledge Norm of Assertion (and its rivals), the Knowledge Norm of Action (and pragmatic encroachment), the Knowledge Norm of Belief, and the Knowledge Norm of Disagreement.
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  18. added 2014-10-08
    Patrick Todd (forthcoming). Future Contingents Are All False! On Behalf of a Russellian Open Future. Mind.
    There is a familiar debate between Russell and Strawson concerning bivalence and ‘the present King of France’. According to the Strawsonian view, ‘The present King of France is bald’ is neither true nor false, whereas, on the Russellian view, that proposition is simply false. In this paper, I develop what I take to be a crucial (and unnoticed) connection between this debate and a different domain where bivalence has been at stake: future contingents. On the familiar ‘Aristotelian’ view, future contingent (...)
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  19. added 2014-10-02
    Jonathan Way (forthcoming). Reasons as Premises of Good Reasoning. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    Many philosophers have been attracted to the view that normative reasons are premises of good reasoning – that for some consideration to be a normative reason to φ is for it to be the premise of good reasoning towards φ-ing. However, while this reasoning view is indeed attractive, it faces a problem accommodating outweighed reasons. In this paper, I argue that the standard solution to this problem is unsuccessful, and propose an alternative, which draws on the idea that good patterns (...)
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  20. added 2014-09-30
    Gunnar Björnsson (2014). Essentially Shared Obligations. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 38 (1):103-120.
    This paper lists a number of puzzles for shared obligations – puzzles about the role of individual influence, individual reasons to contribute towards fulfilling the obligation, about what makes someone a member of a group sharing an obligation, and the relation between agency and obligation – and proposes to solve them based on a general analysis of obligations. On the resulting view, shared obligations do not presuppose joint agency.
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  21. added 2014-09-29
    Randolph Clarke (2014). Agency and Incompatibilism. Res Philosophica 91 (3).
    This paper is part of a symposium discussing Helen Steward's A METAPHYSICS FOR FREEDOM. Steward argues for what she calls Agency Incompatibilism: agency itself is incompatible with determinism. This paper examines what Steward presents as her main argument for Agency Incompatibilism and finds it wanting.
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  22. added 2014-09-29
    Randolph Clarke (2014). Omissions: Agency, Metaphysics, and Responsibility. Oxford University Press.
    Philosophical theories of agency have focused primarily on actions and activities. But, besides acting, we often omit to do or refrain from doing certain things. How is this aspect of our agency to be conceived? This book offers a comprehensive account of omitting and refraining, addressing issues ranging from the nature of agency and moral responsibility to the metaphysics of absences and causation. Topics addressed include the role of intention in intentional omission, the connection between negligence and omission, the distinction (...)
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  23. added 2014-09-25
    Andras Szigeti (2014). Collective Responsibility and Group-Control. In Julie Zahle & Finn Collin (eds.), Rethinking the Individualism-Holism Debate. Springer. 97-116.
  24. added 2014-09-19
    Caroline T. Arruda (forthcoming). Review: Margaret Gilbert, Joint Commitment: How We Make the Social World. [REVIEW] Ethics 125 (1).
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  25. added 2014-09-19
    Marcus Arvan (forthcoming). How to Rationally Approach Life's Transformative Experiences. Philosophical Psychology.
    In a widely discussed forthcoming article, “What you can’t expect when you’re expecting”, as well as in a forthcoming book, L.A. Paul uses the notion of transformative experience to challenge culturally and philosophically traditional views about how to rationally make major life-decisions, most specifically the decision of whether to have children. The present paper argues that if the problem Paul presents has no direct solution—if there is no way to defend the philosophically and culturally dominant approach to rational decision-making for (...)
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  26. added 2014-09-18
    Carolyn Dicey Jennings & Bence Nanay (forthcoming). Action Without Attention. Analysis:anu096.
    Wayne Wu argues that attention is necessary for action: since action requires a solution to the ‘Many-Many Problem’, and since only attention can solve the Many-Many Problem, attention is necessary for action. We question the first of these two steps and argue that it is based on an oversimplified distinction between actions and reflexes. We argue for a more complex typology of behaviors where one important category is action that does not require a solution to the Many-Many Problem, and so (...)
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  27. added 2014-09-18
    Arif Ahmed (2014). Dicing with Death. Analysis 74 (4):587-592.
    You should rather play hide-and-seek against someone who cannot predict where you hide than against someone who can, as the article illustrates in connection with a high-stakes example. Causal Decision Theory denies this. So Causal Decision Theory is false.
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  28. added 2014-09-17
    Jonathan Birch & James A. R. Marshall (2014). Queller's Separation Condition Explained and Defended. American Naturalist 184 (4):531-540.
    The theories of inclusive fitness and multilevel selection provide alternative perspectives on social evolution. The question of whether these perspectives are of equal generality remains a divisive issue. In an analysis based on the Price equation, Queller argued (by means of a principle he called the separation condition) that the two approaches are subject to the same limitations, arising from their fundamentally quantitative-genetical character. Recently, van Veelen et al. have challenged Queller’s results, using this as the basis for a broader (...)
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  29. added 2014-09-17
    Gianluca Verrucci (2011). Azione Come Autocostituzione. Normatività Ed Agency in Christine Korsgaard. In Mara Meletti Bertolini (ed.), Ragion pratica e immaginazione. Mimesis. 79-103.
  30. added 2014-09-17
    Gianluca Verrucci (2010). Ragion pratica e normatività. Il costruttivismo kantiano di Rawls, Korsgaard e O'Neill. Mimesis.
  31. added 2014-09-16
    Wolfgang Ertl (2004). Schöpfung und Freiheit. Ein kosmologischer Schlüssel zu Kants Kompatibilismus. In Norbert Fischer (ed.), Kants Metaphysik und Religionsphilosophie. Meiner. 43-76.
    I examine two recent accounts of Kant's version of compatibilism, i.e., Hudson's reconstruction of Kant as an "anomalous monist" avant la lettre, and Wood's interpretation along the lines of a modified version of Boethius's "eternity solution". To retain the advantages of both strategies, yet avoid their respective shortcomings, I suggest approaching Kant's doctrine from his theology lectures and their concept of universal providence. This (probably Molinist) notion, an integral element of the regulative use of reason, allows Kant to regard, in (...)
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  32. added 2014-09-12
    Alfred Mele (forthcoming). Free Will and Moral Responsibility: Does Either Require the Other? Philosophical Explorations:1-13.
    This article explores the conceptual connections between free action and action for which the agent is morally responsible. Questions addressed include the following. Can agents who are never morally responsible for anything sometimes act freely? Can agents who never act freely be morally responsible for some of their actions? Various compatibilist and incompatibilist responses to these questions are discussed, as is the control over their behavior that ordinary agents attribute to themselves.
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  33. added 2014-09-12
    António Zilhão (forthcoming). Free Will and Rationality. Axiomathes:1-14.
    In this paper I analyse different justifications for the claim that the minor premise of the libertarian argument is true, namely, intuition, van Inwagen’s argument from moral responsibility and an argument from rationality. I claim none of these is satisfactory. I conclude by suggesting a possible way of interpreting the meaning of the free will intuition libertarians claim we have.
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  34. added 2014-09-12
    Oisín Deery, Taylor Davis & Jasmine Carey (forthcoming). Defending the Free-Will Intuitions Scale: Reply to Stephen Morris. Philosophical Psychology:1-7.
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  35. added 2014-09-12
    Yair Schlein (2014). Fatalism, Determinism and Free Will as the Axiomatic Foundations of Rival Moral World Views. Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism 22 (1):53-62.
    One of the prominent questions of moral thought throughout history is the question of moral responsibility. In other words, to what measure do human actions result from free will rather than from being subordinate to a common “predetermined” law. In ancient Greece, this question was associated with mythical figures like Moira and Ananke while in recent times it is connected with concepts such as determinism and compatibilism. The argument between these two world views crosses cultures and historical periods, giving the (...)
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  36. added 2014-09-12
    Charles Devellennes (2014). Choice, Blind Spots and Free Will An Autopoietic Critique of Isaiah Berlin's Liberalism. Philosophy and Social Criticism 40 (9):895-911.
    This article shows that the concept of choice is central to Isaiah Berlin’s liberalism. It argues that his valuing of choice is anchored in a particular conception of human nature, one that assumes and presupposes free will. Berlin’s works sketch a metaphysics of choice, and his reluctance to situate himself openly in the debate on free will is unconvincing. By introducing the theory of autopoiesis, this article further suggests that there is a way to take Berlin’s value pluralism seriously, by (...)
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  37. added 2014-09-11
    Eddy Nahmias, Jason Shepard & Shane Reuter (2014). It's OK If 'My Brain Made Me Do It': People's Intuitions About Free Will and Neuroscientific Prediction. Cognition 133 (2):502-516.
    In recent years, a number of prominent scientists have argued that free will is an illusion, appealing to evidence demonstrating that information about brain activity can be used to predict behavior before people are aware of having made a decision. These scientists claim that the possibility of perfect prediction based on neural information challenges the ordinary understanding of free will. In this paper we provide evidence suggesting that most people do not view the possibility of neuro-prediction as a threat to (...)
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  38. added 2014-09-07
    C. G. Pulman (ed.) (forthcoming). Hart on Responsibility. Palgrave Macmillan.
  39. added 2014-09-07
    Derek Baker (2014). The Abductive Case for Humeanism Over Quasi-Perceptual Theories of Desire. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 8 (2):1-29.
    A number of philosophers have offered quasi-perceptual theories of desire, according to which to desire something is roughly to “see” it as having value or providing reasons. These are offered as alternatives to the more traditional Humean Theory of Motivation, which denies that desires have a representational aspect. This paper examines the various considerations offered by advocates to motivate quasi-perceptualism. It argues that Humeanism is in fact able to explain the same data that the quasi-perceptualist can explain, and in one (...)
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  40. added 2014-09-06
    Antti Kauppinen (forthcoming). Favoring. Philosophical Studies:1-19.
    It has become common to take reasons to form a basic normative category that is not amenable to non-circular analysis. This paper offers a novel characterization of reasons in terms of how we ought or it would be good for us to think in response to our awareness of facts, and thus rejects such Reason Primitivism. It also responds to six potential challenges to the view and argues it has certain advantages over competing reductionist proposals.
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  41. added 2014-09-06
    Brian Kim (forthcoming). The Locality and Globality of Instrumental Rationality: The Normative Significance of Preference Reversals. Synthese.
    When we ask a decision maker to express her preferences, it is typically assumed that we are eliciting a pre-existing set of preferences. However, empirical research has suggested that our preferences are often constructed on the fly for the decision problem at hand. This paper explores the ramifications of this empirical research for our understanding of instrumental rationality. First, I argue that these results pose serious challenges for the traditional decision-theoretic view of instrumental rationality, which demands global coherence amongst all (...)
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  42. added 2014-09-02
    Timothy Lane (2014). When Actions Feel Alien: An Explanatory Model. In Tzu-Wei Hung (ed.), Communicative Action. Springer Science+Business. 53-74.
    It is not necessarily the case that we ever have experiences of self, but human beings do regularly report instances for which self is experienced as absent. That is there are times when body parts, mental states, or actions are felt to be alien. Here I sketch an explanatory framework for explaining these alienation experiences, a framework that also attempts to explain the “mental glue” whereby self is bound to body, mind, or action. The framework is a multi-dimensional model that (...)
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  43. added 2014-09-02
    Amber Griffioen (2014). Regaining the 'Lost Self': A Philosophical Analysis of Survivor's Guilt. In Altered Self and Altered Self Experience. 43-57.
  44. added 2014-08-31
    Moti Gorin (2014). Towards a Theory of Interpersonal Manipulation. In Michael Weber Christian Coons (ed.), Manipulation: Theory and Practice. Oxford University Press.
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  45. added 2014-08-31
    Moti Gorin (2014). Do Manipulators Always Threaten Rationality? American Philosophical Quarterly 51 (1).
  46. added 2014-08-27
    Olle Blomberg (forthcoming). Shared Goals and Development. Philosophical Quarterly.
    In 'Joint Action and Development', Stephen Butterfill argues that if several agents' actions are driven by what he calls a "shared goal"—a certain pattern of goal-relations and expectations—then these actions constitute a joint action. This kind of joint action is sufficiently cognitively undemanding for children to engage in, and therefore has the potential to play a part in fostering their understanding of other minds. Part of the functional role of shared goals is to enable agents to choose means that are (...)
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  47. added 2014-08-26
    Terence Rajivan Edward, Astrology, Fate and Causation.
    Some philosophers assert that astrology is a false theory. The simplest way to argue against all astrology is to identify a proposition that any kind of astrology must be committed to and then show that this proposition is false. In this paper I draw attention to some misconceptions regarding which propositions any kind of astrology is committed to.
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  48. added 2014-08-25
    Nada Gligorov (2014). Undermining Retributivism. APA Newsletter on Philosophy and Medicine 13 (2):7-12.
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  49. added 2014-08-25
    Timothy Lane (2014). When Actions Feel Alien: An Explanatory Model. In Tzu-Wei Hung (ed.), Communicative Action. Springer Science+Business. 53-74.
    It is not necessarily the case that we ever have experiences of self, but human beings do regularly report instances for which self is experienced as absent. That is there are times when body parts, mental states, or actions are felt to be alien. Here I sketch an explanatory framework for explaining these alienation experiences, a framework that also attempts to explain the “mental glue” whereby self is bound to body, mind, or action. The framework is a multi-dimensional model that (...)
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  50. added 2014-08-23
    Adam Feltz & Florian Cova (forthcoming). Moral Responsibility and Free Will: A Meta-Analysis. Consciousness and Cognition.
    Fundamental beliefs about free will and moral responsibility are often thought to shape our ability to have healthy relationships with others and ourselves. Emotional reactions have also been shown to have an important and pervasive impact on judgments and behaviors. Recent research suggests that emotional reactions play a prominent role in judgments about free will, influencing judgments about determinism’s relation to free will and moral responsibility. However, the extent to which affect influences these judgments is unclear. We conducted a metaanalysis (...)
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