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  1. Roman Altshuler (2013). Practical Necessity and the Constitution of Character. In Alexandra Perry & Chris Herrera (eds.), The Moral Philosophy of Bernard Williams. Cambridge Scholars Publishing 40-53.
    Deliberation issues in decision, and so might be taken as a paradigmatic volitional activity. Character, on the other hand, may appear pre-volitional: the dispositions that constitute it provide the background against which decisions are made. Bernard Williams offers an intriguing picture of how the two may be connected via the concept of practical necessities, which are at once constitutive of character and deliverances of deliberation. Necessities are thus the glue binding character and the will, allowing us to take responsibility for (...)
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  2. Richard Bradley & Christian List (2009). Desire-as-Belief Revisited. Analysis 69 (1):31-37.
    On Hume’s account of motivation, beliefs and desires are very different kinds of propositional attitudes. Beliefs are cognitive attitudes, desires emotive ones. An agent’s belief in a proposition captures the weight he or she assigns to this proposition in his or her cognitive representation of the world. An agent’s desire for a proposition captures the degree to which he or she prefers its truth, motivating him or her to act accordingly. Although beliefs and desires are sometimes entangled, they play very (...)
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  3. Chappell (1998). Locke on the Suspension of Desire. Locke Studies 29:23-38.
    In the first edition of the Essay concerning Human Understanding, Locke claims that human beings have freedom of action - that is, that some of their actions are free - but that they do not have freedom of will - that is, that none of their volitions are free. Volitions themselves are actions for Locke; they are operations of the will and hence acts of willing. And volitions give rise to other actions: an action that follows and is caused by (...)
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  4. Stéphane Chauvier (2008). Volitions Et Auto-Affection. Philosophiques 35 (1):131-137.
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  5. Ion Copoeru (2005). Will, Action, and Normativity (Husserl and Kant). / Volonte, Action Et Normativite (Husserl Et Kant). Studia Philosophica 1.
    The unitary description both of the thing and of the other allowed to the Husserlian phenomenology to overcome the classical distinction between representation and will and to treat the volition and action as specific objects. In the following paper we shall investigate the basic concepts of a phenomenology of will and action comparing it with Kant's position in this respect. Our research will focus on the phenomenological description of the passage from the inchoative moment of the action to the action (...)
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  6. Lawrence H. Davis (1979). Theory of Action. Prentice Hall.
  7. Ulrich Diehl (2012). Jaspers on Drives, Wants and Volitions. Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Karl-Jaspers-Gesellschaft 25:101-125.
    In § 6 of his General Psychopathology (1st edition 1913) Jaspers distinguished between drives, wants and volitions as three different and irreducible kinds of motivational phenomena which are involved in human decision making and which may lead to successful actions. He has characterized the qualitative differences between volitions in comparison with basic vital drives and emotional wants such as being (a.) intentional, (b.) content-specific and (b.) directed towards concrete objects and actions as goals. Furthermore, Jaspers has presented and discussed three (...)
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  8. Luca Ferrero (2005). The Will: Interpersonal Bargaining Versus Intrapersonal Prediction. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (5):654-655.
    Ainslie is correct in arguing that the force of commitments partly depends on the predictive role of present action, but this claim can be supported independently of the analogy with interpersonal bargaining. No matter whether we conceive of the parties involved in the bargaining as interests or transient selves, the picture of the will as a competitive interaction among these parties is unconvincing.
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  9. Alexander Hill (1800). From Reflex Action to Volition.
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  10. Jennifer Hornsby (1980). Actions. Routledge and Kegan Paul.
    This book presents an events-based view of human action somewhat different from that of what is known as "standard story". A thesis about trying-to-do-something is distinguished from various volitionist theses. It is argued then that given a correct conception of action's antecedents, actions will be identified not with bodily movements but with causes of such movements.
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  11. E. J. Lowe (1996). Subjects of Experience. Cambridge University Press.
    In this innovative study of the relationship between persons and their bodies, E. J. Lowe demonstrates the inadequacy of physicalism, even in its mildest, non-reductionist guises, as a basis for a scientifically and philosophically acceptable account of human beings as subjects of experience, thought and action. He defends a substantival theory of the self as an enduring and irreducible entity - a theory which is unashamedly committed to a distinctly non-Cartesian dualism of self and body. Taking up the physicalist challenge (...)
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  12. Michael Martin (1978). Volitions and Actions. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 8 (1):187 - 190.
  13. Olivier Massin (2014). Quand Vouloir, c'est Faire [How to Do Things with Wants]. In R. Clot-Goudard (Dir.), L'Explication de L'Action. Analyses Contemporaines, Recherches Sur la Philosophie Et le Langage N°30, Paris, Vrin 30.
    This paper defends the action-theory of the Will, according to which willing G is doing F (F≠G) in order to make G happen. In a nutshell, willing something is doing something else in order to bring about what we want. -/- I argue that only the action-theory can reconcile two essential features of the Will. (i) its EFFECTIVITY: willing is closer to acting than desiring. (ii) its FALLIBILITY: one might want something in vain. The action-theory of the will explains EFFECTIVITY (...)
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  14. Hugh J. McCann (1974). Volition and Basic Action. Philosophical Review 83 (4):451-473.
    The purpose of this paper is to defend the view that the bodily actions of men typicaly involve a mental action of voliton or willing, and that such mental acts are, in at least one important sense, the basic actions we perform when we do things like raise an arm, move a finger, or flex a muscle.
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  15. Suzanne McCormick & Irving Thalberg (1967). Trying. Dialogue 6 (1):29-46.
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  16. A. I. Melden (1960). Willing. Philosophical Review 69 (4):475-484.
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  17. Christian Miller (2014). Furlong and Santos on Desire and Choice. In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (ed.), Moral Psychology: Freedom and Responsibility. MIT Press 367-374.
    Ellen Furlong and Laurie Santos helpfully summarize a number of fascinating studies of certain influences on both human and monkey behavior. As someone who works primarily in philosophy, I am not in a position to dispute the details of the studies themselves. But in this brief commentary I do want to raise some questions about the inferences Furlong and Santos make on the basis of those studies. In general, I worry that they may be overreaching beyond what their own data (...)
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  18. Ulrich Mohrhoff (2007). Particles, Consciousness, Volition: A Vedantic Vision. AntiMatters 1 (1):23-53.
    This essay puts forward a theory of existence that takes its cue from both contemporary physics and Indian Vedanta. The quantum statistics of indistinguishable particles strongly suggests that the “ultimate” constituents of matter, considered out of relation to each other, are identical in the strong sense of numerical identity. This makes it possible to identify each fundamental particle with the vedantic brahman, which relates to the world in a threefold manner: as a substance constituting it (sat), as a consciousness containing (...)
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  19. Brian O'Shaughnessy (1973). Trying. Journal of Philosophy 70 (13):365-386.
  20. Douglas Odegard (1988). Volition and Action. American Philosophical Quarterly 25 (2):141 - 151.
  21. Karl Pfeifer (1992). Carl Ginet, On Action Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 12 (3):196-199.
  22. Karl Pfeifer (1992). Carl Ginet, On Action. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 12:196-199.
  23. David-Hillel Ruben (2013). Trying in Some Way. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):719-733.
    Does 'Person P tried to A' entail that there is some particular, whether a mental act or a brain state or whatever, that is a trying? Most discussions of trying assume that this entailment holds. There is no good reason for holding that this is a valid inference. In particular, I examine one 'Davidsonian' argument that might be used to justify the validity of such an inference and argue that the argument is not sound. See: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/IxsuPqt7rvdzqMxpFiTv/full.
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  24. Gideon Yaffe (2014). Hart's Choices. In C. G. Pulman (ed.), Hart on Responsibility.
  25. Jing Zhu (2004). Locating Volition. Consciousness and Cognition 13 (2):302-322.
    In this paper, it is examined how neuroscience can help to understand the nature of volition by addressing the question whether volitions can be localized in the brain. Volitions, as acts of the will, are special mental events or activities by which an agent consciously and actively exercises her agency to voluntarily direct her thoughts and actions. If we can pinpoint when and where volitional events or activities occur in the brain and find out their neural underpinnings, this can substantively (...)
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  26. Jing Zhu (2004). Understanding Volition. Philosophical Psychology 17 (2):247-274.
    The concept of volition has a long history in Western thought, but is looked upon unfavorably in contemporary philosophy and psychology. This paper proposes and elaborates a unifying conception of volition, which views volition as a mediating executive mental process that bridges the gaps between an agent's deliberation, decision and voluntary bodily action. Then the paper critically examines three major skeptical arguments against volition: volition is a mystery, volition is an illusion, and volition is a fundamentally flawed conception that leads (...)
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