David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 49 (2):303-316 (1988)
My dissertation consists of two main parts. In the first part, I begin by assuming the plausibility of the libertarian thesis that agents sometimes could have done otherwise than they did given the very same history of the world. In light of this assumption, I undertake to develop a model of agency which does not employ the concept of agent-causation. My agency theory is developed in three main stages: I suggest that any agency theory must satisfy four desiderata: It must adequately account for the freedom and responsibility of human agents. It must provide an adequate answer to the question of what distinguishes human actions from mere happenings. It must adequately account for the epistemological fact that human agents have an immediate and nonobservational awareness of their actions. It should have the support of a respectable philosophical tradition. I argue that agent-causation provides a theory of agency which fails adequately to satisfy these four desiderata. I claim both that human actions are uncaused exercisings by agents of their powers and that human agents typically act for reasons. I maintain that the central issue dividing agency theorists and nonagency theorists is whether reasons for performing actions cause the latter. I maintain that the sense of 'because' in 'I did x because...' is not causal in nature, but teleological. ;Having developed my model of agency, in the second part of my dissertation I investigate what are some of the paradigmatic actions human agents perform. I claim that bodily actions, such as moving an arm, are psychological in nature. Essential to my argument is the concept of a body-image. A normal agent 'feels' as if she is present in her physical arm. The way a normal agent feels is revealed in the case of a phantom limb. The subject of a phantom arm feels as if her amputated physical arm is still there and she can move while feeling armishly. I maintain that the bodily action of moving an arm is the agent's movement as a psychological arm-image of her physical arm, whether the physical arm is present or not
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Ishtiyaque Haji (2004). Active Control, Agent-Causation and Free Action. Philosophical Explorations 7 (2):131-148.
John Lemos (2011). Wanting, Willing, Trying and Kane's Theory of Free Will. Dialectica 65 (1):31-48.
Ishtiyaque Haji (2006). The Principle of Alternate Possibilities and a Defeated Dilemma. Philosophical Explorations 9 (2):179 – 201.
W. L. Craig (1994). Prof. Grünbaum on Creation. Erkenntnis 40 (3):325 - 341.
Similar books and articles
Stephan Fuchs (2001). Beyond Agency. Sociological Theory 19 (1):24-40.
Markus E. Schlosser (2010). Agency, Ownership, and the Standard Theory. In A. Buckareff, J. Aguilar & K. Frankish (eds.), New Waves in the Philosophy of Action. Palgrave Macmillan 13-31.
David Lewis (1981). Causal Decision Theory. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 59 (1):5 – 30.
Neil A. Shankman (1999). Reframing the Debate Between Agency and Stakeholder Theories of the Firm. Journal of Business Ethics 19 (4):319 - 334.
Edgar Kiser (1999). Comparing Varieties of Agency Theory in Economics, Political Science, and Sociology: An Illustration From State Policy Implementation. Sociological Theory 17 (2):146-170.
Hugh J. McCann (1998). The Works of Agency: On Human Action, Will, and Freedom. Cornell University Press.
Joseph Heath (2009). The Uses and Abuses of Agency Theory. Business Ethics Quarterly 19 (4):497-528.
Randolph Clarke (2002). Libertarian Views: Noncausal and Event-Causal Sccounts of Free Agency. In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook on Free Will. Oxford University Press
Stewart Goetz (1997). Libertarian Choice. Faith and Philosophy 14 (2):195-211.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads59 ( #68,722 of 1,789,999 )
Recent downloads (6 months)12 ( #68,756 of 1,789,999 )
How can I increase my downloads?