Internalism and Self-Determination

Philosophy Research Archives 8:415-427 (1982)
Abstract
As part of an attempt to give a “libertarian” account of some aspects of human agency, the author articulates and defends a modified interpretation of “internalism” which makes coherent the notion of a genuinely, self-determined choice amongst fundamental conceptions of practical reason. That such choices are “nomologically irreducible” is evidenced by the fact that although (contextually) unavoidable, they are nonetheless under-determined with respect to any combination of the agent’s (specific) desires and circumstances. Alternatively, to the extent that orthodox “externalism” subordinates reason to the field of externally determined “passions,” it is rejected, in conclusion, as yielding a naive and excessively reductive analysis of human agency
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