Mental causation and the agent-exclusion problem

Erkenntnis 67 (2):183-200 (2007)
The hypothesis of the mental state-causation of behavior asserts that the behaviors we classify as actions are caused by certain mental states. A principal reason often given for trying to secure the truth of the MSC hypothesis is that doing so is allegedly required to vindicate our belief in our own agency. I argue that the project of vindicating agency needs to be seriously reconceived, as does the relation between this project and the MSC hypothesis. Vindication requires addressing what I call the agent-exclusion problem: the prima facie incompatibility between the intentional content of agentive experience and certain metaphysical hypotheses often espoused in philosophy
Keywords Philosophy   Logic   Ethics   Ontology   Epistemology   Philosophy
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