Introduction to Agency Symposium

Ethics 118 (3):385-387 (2008)
Abstract
The three essays which make up this symposium engage with some of the most important issues in the theory of action and agency today. Among the topics which are considered at length are the possibility of practical knowledge, the relationship between knowledge how versus knowledge that, the constitution of intentions, the importance of knowledge without observation, the difference between genuine actions versus mere bodily movements, the role of making sense in action and valuing, the nature of valuing and of values, the relationship between being an actor and acting, the objectivity of values, the alleged existence of formal coherence requirements like non-contradiction, closure, and means-end coherence, the aim of belief and intention, the instrumental value of formal requirements, and the availability of an error theory for such requirements. My hope is that this symposium will help foster continued interest in these and other related issues about agency and action. In what follows I offer a brief overview of each paper.
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