Natural Agency: An Essay on the Causal Theory of Action

Cambridge University Press (1990)
From a moral point of view we think of ourselves as capable of responsible actions. From a scientific point of view we think of ourselves as animals whose behavior, however highly evolved, conforms to natural scientific laws. Natural Agency argues that these different perspectives can be reconciled, despite the skepticism of many philosophers who have argued that "free will" is impossible under "scientific determinism." This skepticism is best overcome according to the author, by defending a causal theory of action, that is by establishing that actions are constituted by behavioral events with the appropriate kind of mental causal history. He sets out a rich and subtle argument for such a theory and defends it against its critics. Thus the book demonstrates the importance of philosophical work in action theory for the central metaphysical task of understanding our place in nature.
Keywords Act (Philosophy  Causation  Agent (Philosophy
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Call number B105.A35.B54 1989
ISBN(s) 9780521374309   0521063973   0521374308  
DOI 10.2307/2186081
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Wayne Wu (2015). Experts and Deviants: The Story of Agentive Control. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (3).
Joshua Shepherd (2014). The Contours of Control. Philosophical Studies 170 (3):395-411.

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