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  1. G. E. M. Anscombe (1979). Under a Description. Noûs 13 (2):219-233.
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  2. 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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  3. Lynne Rudder Baker (1981). Why Computers Can't Act. American Philosophical Quarterly 18 (April):157-163.
    To be an agent, one must be able to formulate intentions. To be able to formulate intentions, one must have a first-person perspective. Computers lack a first-person perspective. So, computers are not agents.
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  4. Vincent Blok (2013). The Power of Speech Acts: Reflections on a Performative Concept of Ethical Oaths in Economics and Business. Review of Social Economy 71 (2):187-208.
    Ethical oaths for bankers, economists and managers are increasingly seen as successful instruments to ensure more responsible behaviour. In this article, we reflect on the nature of ethical oaths. Based on John Austin's speech act theory and the work of Emmanuel Levinas, we introduce a performative concept of ethical oaths that is characterised by (1) the existential self-performative of the one I want to be, which is (2) demanded by the public context. Because ethical oaths are (3) structurally threatened by (...)
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  5. Michael E. Bratman (2004). Three Forms of Agential Commitment: Reply to Cullity and Gerrans. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 104 (3):327–335.
  6. Michael E. Bratman (2001). Two Problems About Human Agency. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 101 (3):309–326.
    I consider two inter-related problems in the philosophy of action. One concerns the role of the agent in the determination of action, and I call it the problem of agential authority. The other concerns the relation between motivating desire and the agent's normative deliberation, and I call it the problem of subjective normative authority. In part by way of discussion of work of Harry Frankfurt and Christine Korsgaard, I argue that we make progress with these problems by appeal to certain (...)
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  7. Brian Bruya, Aesthetic Spontaneity: A Theory of Action Based on Affective Responsiveness.
  8. Brian J. Bruya (2010). The Rehabilitation of Spontaneity: A New Approach in Philosophy of Action. Philosophy East and West 60 (2):pp. 207-250.
    Scholars working in philosophy of action still struggle with the freedom/determinism dichotomy that stretches back to Hellenist philosophy and the metaphysics that gave rise to it. Although that metaphysics has been repudiated in current philosophy of mind and cognitive science, the dichotomy still haunts these fields. As such, action is understood as distinct from movement, or motion. In early China, under a very different metaphysical paradigm, no such distinction is made. Instead, a notion of self-caused movement, or spontaneity, is elaborated. (...)
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  9. Michael Gorr & Terence Horgan (1982). Intentional and Unintentional Actions. Philosophical Studies 41 (2):251 - 262.
  10. Adrian Haddock (2005). At One with Our Actions, but at Two with Our Bodies. Philosophical Explorations 8 (2):157 – 172.
    Jennifer Hornsby's account of human action frees us from the temptation to think of the person who acts as 'doing' the events that are her actions, and thereby removes much of the allure of 'agent causation'. But her account is spoiled by the claim that physical actions are 'tryings' that cause bodily movements. It would be better to think of physical actions and bodily movements as identical; but Hornsby refuses to do this, seemingly because she thinks that to do so (...)
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  11. Mikael M. Karlsson (2002). Agency and Patiency: Back to Nature? Philosophical Explorations 5 (1):59 – 81.
    The distinction between acting and suffering underlies any theory of agency. Among contemporary writers, Fred Dretske is one of the few who has attempted to explicate this distinction without restricting the notion of action to intentional action alone. Aristotle also developed a global account of agency, one which is deeper and more detailed than Dretske's, and it is to Aristotle's account (with some modifications) that the bulk of this paper is devoted. Dretske's sketchier theory faces at least two ground-level problems. (...)
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  12. Shenbai Liao (2009). Aristotle's View on “the Right of Practice”: An Investigation Into Aristotle's Theory of Action. [REVIEW] Frontiers of Philosophy in China 4 (2):251-263.
    The concept of right or fit is an important element entailed, but not fully articulated, in the concept of action or practice in Aristotle’s theory of virtue; which, however, turns to be of the utmost importance in later Western ethics. Right is concerned with both feelings and actions, and is not the same for all individuals. It lies in between the two extremes of the spectrum of practical affairs, yet by no means equidistant from them. This account of the concept (...)
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  13. Eric Marcus (2012). Rational Causation. Harvard University Press.
    Introduction -- Rational explanation of belief -- Rational explanation of action -- (Non-human) animals and their reasons -- Rational explanation and rational causation -- Events and states -- Physicalism.
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  14. Carlos J. Moya (2000). A Proposal About Intentional Action. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 9:55-63.
    In this paper, I want to defend the proposal that one has to be a realist about the existence and causal efficacy of reasons if one wants to have rationally justified actions. On this basis, I will propose to understand intentional action in terms of justification alone, not in terms of justification plus causation. I shall argue that an action is intentional, under a certain description, if, and only if, it is justified, under that description, by the agent’s reasons. The (...)
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  15. Timothy O'Connor & Constantine Sandis (eds.) (2010). A Companion to the Philosophy of Action. Wiley-Blackwell.
    The first volume to survey the entire field of philosophy of action (the central issues and processes relating to human actions) Brings together specially ...
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  16. Timothy O'Connor & Constantine Sandis (eds.) (2010). The Blackwell Companion to the Philosophy of Action. Blackwell.
    A Companion to the Philosophy of Action offers a comprehensive overview of the issues and problems central to the philosophy of action. -/- * The first volume to survey the entire field of philosophy of action (the central issues and processes relating to human actions) * Brings together specially commissioned chapters from international experts * Discusses a range of ideas and doctrines, including rationality, free will and determinism, virtuous action, criminal responsibility, Attribution Theory, and rational agency in evolutionary perspective * (...)
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  17. Lubomira Radoilska (2014). Belief and Agency. [REVIEW] Philosophical Quarterly 64 (255):377-380.
  18. Joseph Raz (2010). Being in the World. Ratio 23 (4):433-452.
    Actions for which we are responsible constitute our engagement with the world as rational agents. What is the relationship between such actions and our capacities for rational agency? I take this to be a question about responsibility in a particular use of that term, which I shall call ‘responsibility2’. We are not responsible2 for all our intentional actions (actions under hypnosis, for example), but we can nevertheless be responsible2 for actions we do not adequately control, for negligent actions, and for (...)
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  19. David Rose, Jonathan Livengood, Justin Sytsma & Edouard Machery (2011). Deep Trouble for the Deep Self. Philosophical Psychology 25 (5):629 - 646.
    Chandra Sripada's (2010) Deep Self Concordance Account aims to explain various asymmetries in people's judgments of intentional action. On this account, people distinguish between an agent's active and deep self; attitude attributions to the agent's deep self are then presumed to play a causal role in people's intentionality ascriptions. Two judgments are supposed to play a role in these attributions?a judgment that specifies the attitude at issue and one that indicates that the attitude is robust (Sripada & Konrath, 2011). In (...)
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  20. David-Hillel Ruben (1997). The Active and the Passive: David -Hillel Ruben. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 71 (1):229–246.
    How to draw the distinction between activity and passivity? Whatever that might be, the causal theory of action cannot give the right answer, as it offers an essentially passive account of human action.
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  21. David-Hillel Ruben (1997). Three Theories of Action. In J. Hintikka & R. Tuomela (eds.), Contemporary Action Theory. Kluwer.
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  22. Constantine Sandis (2012). The Objects of Action Explanation. Ratio 25 (3):326-344.
    This paper distinguishes between various different conceptions of behaviour and action before exploring an accompanying variety of distinct things that ‘action explanation’ may plausibly amount to viz. different objectives of action explanation. I argue that a large majority of philosophers are guilty of conflating many of these, consequently offering inadequate accounts of the relation between actions and our reasons for performing them. The paper ends with the suggestion that we would do well to opt for a pluralistic understanding of action (...)
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  23. Jan van Eijck, Collective Rational Action: Is It Possible?
    Individual rational action consists of (i) knowing what you want, (ii) taking proper steps to approach what you want as closely as possible, within the confines of the law. This one can learn, although some people are more skilled in it than others. Modern democracies are set up in such a way that they leave as much room as possible for individual rational action. Education for citizenship is sometimes taken to be: getting young citizens acquainted with the legal possibilities for (...)
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  24. J. David Velleman (1993). The Story of Rational Action. Philosophical Topics 21 (1):229-254.
    Decision theory comprises, first, a mathematical formalization of the relations among value, belief, and preference; and second, a set of prescriptions for rational preference. Both aspects of the theory are embodied in a single mathematical proof. The problem in the foundations of decision theory is to explain how elements of one and the same proof can serve both functions. I hope to solve this problem in a way that anchors the decision-theoretic norms of rational preference in fundamental intuitions about rationality (...)
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  25. David Wall (2009). Are There Passive Desires? Dialectica 63 (2):133-155.
    What is the relation between desire and action? According to a traditional, widespread and influential view I call 'The Motivational Necessity of Desire' (MN), having a desire that p entails being disposed to act in ways that you believe will bring about p . But what about desires like a desire that the committee chooses you without your needing to do anything, or a desire that your child passes her exams on her own? Such 'self-passive' desires are often given as (...)
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  26. Amos Yong (2008). Divining "Divine Action" in Theology-and-Science: A Review Essay. Zygon 43 (1):191-200.
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  27. Jing Zhu (2004). Passive Action and Causalism. Philosophical Studies 119 (3):295-314.
    The first half of this paper is an attemptto conceptualize and understand the paradoxicalnotion of ``passive action''''. The strategy is toconstrue passive action in the context ofemotional behavior, with the purpose toestablish it as a conceivable and conceptuallycoherent category. In the second half of thispaper, the implications of passive action forcausal theories of action are examined. I arguethat Alfred Mele''s defense of causalism isunsuccessful and that causalism may lack theresource to account for passive action.Following Harry Frankfurt, I suggest analternative way (...)
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Collective Action
  1. Thomas Ågotnes (2006). Action and Knowledge in Alternating-Time Temporal Logic. Synthese 149 (2):375 - 407.
    Alternating-time temporal logic (ATL) is a branching time temporal logic in which statements about what coalitions of agents can achieve by strategic cooperation can be expressed. Alternating-time temporal epistemic logic (ATEL) extends ATL by adding knowledge modalities, with the usual possible worlds interpretation. This paper investigates how properties of agents’ actions can be expressed in ATL in general, and how properties of the interaction between action and knowledge can be expressed in ATEL in particular. One commonly discussed property is that (...)
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  2. James E. Alt & Michael Gilligan (1994). The Political Economy of Trading States: Factor Specificity, Collective Action Problems and Domestic Political Institutions. Journal of Political Philosophy 2 (2):165–192.
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  3. Chrisoula Andreou (2006). Environmental Damage and the Puzzle of the Self-Torturer. Philosophy and Public Affairs 34 (1):95–108.
  4. Vuko Andrić (2014). Can Groups Be Autonomous Rational Agents? A Challenge to the List-Pettit Theory. In Anita Konzelmann Ziv & Hans Bernhard Schmid (eds.), Institutions, Emotions, and Group Agents - Contributions to Social Ontology. Springer. 343-353.
    Christian List and Philip Pettit argue that some groups qualify as rational agents over and above their members. Examples include churches, commercial corporations, and political parties. According to the theory developed by List and Pettit, these groups qualify as agents because they have beliefs and desires and the capacity to process them and to act on their basis. Moreover, the alleged group agents are said to be rational to a high degree and even to be fit to be held morally (...)
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  5. Susan J. Armstrong (1991). Individuality and Cooperative Action. Process Studies 20 (4):248-252.
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  6. Richard J. Arneson (1984). Book Review:Collective Action. Russell Hardin. [REVIEW] Ethics 94 (2):336-.
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  7. 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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  8. Nicholas Bardsley (2007). On Collective Intentions: Collective Action in Economics and Philosophy. [REVIEW] Synthese 157 (2):141 - 159.
    Philosophers and economists write about collective action from distinct but related points of view. This paper aims to bridge these perspectives. Economists have been concerned with rationality in a strategic context. There, problems posed by “coordination games” seem to point to a form of rational action, “team thinking,” which is not individualistic. Philosophers’ analyses of collective intention, however, sometimes reduce collective action to a set of individually instrumental actions. They do not, therefore, capture the first person plural perspective characteristic of (...)
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  9. Christopher Bennett (2003). Is Amnesty a Collective Act of Forgiveness? Contemporary Political Theory 2 (1):67.
  10. Terry L. Besser & Nancy J. Miller (2011). The Company They Keep. Business Ethics Quarterly 21 (3):503-525.
    Business networks, which include joint ventures, supply chains, industry and trade associations, industrial districts, and community business associations, are considered the signature organizational form of the global economy. However, little is known about how they affect the social performance of their members. We utilize institutional theory to develop the position that business social performance has collectivist roots that deserve at least as much scholarly attention as owner/manager characteristics and business attributes. Hypotheses are tested using multilevel analysis on data gathered from (...)
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  11. 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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  12. 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 role 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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  13. Olle Blomberg (2011). Socially Extended Intentions-in-Action. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (2):335-353.
    According to a widely accepted constraint on the content of intentions, here called the exclusivity constraint, one cannot intend to perform another agent’s action, even if one might be able to intend that she performs it. For example, while one can intend that one’s guest leaves before midnight, one cannot intend to perform her act of leaving. However, Deborah Tollefsen’s (2005) account of joint activity requires participants to have intentions-in-action (in John Searle’s (1983) sense) that violate this constraint. I argue (...)
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  14. Norman E. Bowie & R. Edward Freeman (eds.) (1992). Ethics and Agency Theory: An Introduction. Oxford University Press.
    Agency theory involves what is known as the principal-agent problem, a topic widely discussed in economics, management, and business ethics today. It is a characteristic of nearly all modern business firms that the principals (the owners and shareholders) are not the same people as the agents (the managers who run the firms for the principals). This creates situations in which the goals of the principals may not be the same as the agents--the principals will want growth in profits and stock (...)
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  15. Bernard Boxill (1993). Book Review:Collective Action and the Civil Rights Movement. Dennis Chong. [REVIEW] Ethics 103 (3):602-.
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  16. Michael Bratman (2009). Shared Agency. In Chrysostomos Mantzavinos (ed.), Philosophy of the Social Sciences: Philosophical Theory and Scientific Practice. Cambridge University Press. 41--59.
    Human beings act together in characteristic ways. Forms of shared activity matter to us a great deal, both intrinsically – think of friendship and love, singing duets, and the joys of conversation -- and instrumentally – think of how we frequently manage to work together to achieve complex goals. My focus will be on activities of small, adult groups in the absence of asymmetric authority relations within those groups. My approach begins with an underlying model of individual planning agency, and (...)
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  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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  18. Michael E. Bratman (1992). Shared Cooperative Activity. Philosophical Review 101 (2):327-341.
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  19. Stephen Andrew Butterfill (2012). Joint Action and Development. Philosophical Quarterly 61 (246):23-47.
    Given the premise that joint action plays some role in explaining how humans come to understand minds, what could joint action be? Not what a leading account, Michael Bratman's, says it is. For on that account engaging in joint action involves sharing intentions and sharing intentions requires much of the understanding of minds whose development is supposed to be explained by appeal to joint action. This paper therefore offers an account of a different kind of joint action, an account compatible (...)
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  20. John Campbell (forthcoming). An Object-Dependent Perspective on Joint Attention. In Axel Seemann (ed.), Joint Attention: New Developments in Philosophy, Psychology and Neuroscience. The MIT Press.
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  21. Thomas L. Carson (1994). Corporate Moral Agency: A Case From Literature. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 13 (2):155 - 156.
    I analyze a well-known and moving passage from John Steinbeck''s novelThe Grapes of Wrath. This passage provides an excellent illustration of one of the central questions about corporate moral agency: Is corporate moral agency anything over and above the agency of individual human beings? The passage in question is a debate about whether or not the actions of a particular company are anything over and above the actions of individual human beings.
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  22. John H. Chandler (1973). Act-Utilitarianism and Collective Action. Ethics 84 (1):78-85.
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  23. Sara Rachel Chant (2007). Unintentional Collective Action. Philosophical Explorations 10 (3):245 – 256.
    In this paper, I examine the manner in which analyses of the action of single agents have been pressed into service for constructing accounts of collective action. Specifically, I argue that the best analogy to collective action is a class of individual action that Carl Ginet has called 'aggregate action.' Furthermore, once we use aggregate action as a model of collective action, then we see that existing accounts of collective action have failed to accommodate an important class of (what I (...)
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