David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Explorations 11 (1):3-21 (2008)
According to what I call the reductive standard-causal theory of agency, the exercise of an agent's power to act can be reduced to the causal efficacy of agent-involving mental states and events. According to a non-reductive agent-causal theory, an agent's power to act is irreducible and primitive. Agent-causal theories have been dismissed on the ground that they presuppose a very contentious notion of causation, namely substance-causation. In this paper I will assume, with the proponents of the agent-causal approach, that substance-causation is possible, as I will argue against that theory on the ground that it fails as a theory of agency. I will argue that the non-reductive agent-causal theory fails to account for agency, because it fails to account for agential control: it cannot explain why the stipulated irreducible relation between the agent and an action constitutes the agent's exercise of control over the action. This objection, I will argue, applies to the agent-causal theory in particular, and to the non-reductive approach in general.
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References found in this work BETA
John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza (1998). Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility. Cambridge University Press.
Robert H. Kane (1996). The Significance of Free Will. Oxford University Press.
John Searle (1983). Intentionality. Oxford University Press.
Michael Bratman (1987). Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason. Center for the Study of Language and Information.
Citations of this work BETA
Markus E. Schlosser (2014). The Luck Argument Against Event-Causal Libertarianism: It is Here to Stay. Philosophical Studies 167 (2):375-385.
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