David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Biology and Philosophy 24 (3):283 - 300 (2009)
The Aristotle-Kant tradition requires that autonomous activity must originate within the self and points toward a new type of causation (different from natural efficient causation) associated with teleology. Notoriously, it has so far proven impossible to uncover a workable model of causation satisfying these requirements without an increasingly unsatisfying appeal to extra-physical elements tailor-made for the purpose. In this paper we first provide the essential reason why the standard linear model of efficient causation cannot support the required model of agency: its causal thread model of efficient causation cannot support the core requirement that an action is determined by, and thus an expression of, the agent’s nature. We then provide a model that corrects these deficiencies, constructed naturalistically from within contemporary biology, and argue that it provides an appropriate foundation for all the features of genuine agency. Further, we provide general characterisations of freedom and reason suitable to this bio-context (but that also capture the core classical conceptions) and show how this model reconciles them.
|Keywords||Philosophy Evolutionary Biology Philosophy of Biology|
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References found in this work BETA
Evan Thompson (2007). Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind. Harvard University Press.
Francisco J. Varela (1979). Principles of Biological Autonomy. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
Citations of this work BETA
C. A. Hooker (2009). Interaction and Bio-Cognitive Order. Synthese 166 (3):513 - 546.
Cliff Hooker (2011). Rationality as Effective Organisation of Interaction and Its Naturalist Framework. Axiomathes 21 (1):99-172.
Argyris Arnellos & Alvaro Moreno (2015). Multicellular Agency: An Organizational View. Biology and Philosophy 30 (3):333-357.
Mark Bickhard (2011). Some Consequences (and Enablings) of Process Metaphysics. Axiomathes 21 (1):3-32.
Cliff Hooker (2013). On the Import of Constraints in Complex Dynamical Systems. Foundations of Science 18 (4):757-780.
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