David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophers' Imprint 10 (3):1-20 (2010)
It is common to talk about options, where an option is a course of action an agent can take. A course of action, in turn, is that which can be the object of intention. It has not often been noticed in the literature, though, that there are two ways to understand what makes something an option: first, an option just is some course of action physically open (or, to be maximally liberal, logically open) to an agent; second, an option just is some course of action that the agent either in fact deliberates about taking or is psychologically capable of deliberating about taking. At any given time, there are far more courses of action open to an agent than the agent can or does deliberate about taking. What determines which courses of action an agent deliberates about as an option, and why do so many other courses of action remain out of deliberative view? I argue that while values, ends, the demands of both means-end coherence and consistency of beliefs contribute to the determination of which courses of action an agent sees as options, they cannot be the whole story. I argue that another mechanism, which I call the practical imagination, is primarily responsible for which courses of action an agent sees as options. Drawing upon both recent work in developmental and social psychology and a strain of philosophical argument that has attempted to show how human beings have a practical understanding of themselves that is mediated by what we can call a narrative identity, I argue that the norms governing the construction of a narrative identity are among the most important, albeit not the only, norms governing the practical imagination and that, just as we should look to the norms of practical reason to explain and critically reflect on practical deliberation, we should look to the norms of practical imagination to explain and critically reflect on the process by which an agent comes to see some course of action as an option
|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
Brian Hedden (2012). Options and the Subjective Ought. Philosophical Studies 158 (2):343-360.
John Maier (2013). The Agentive Modalities. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (3):113-134.
Bart Kamphorst & Annemarie Kalis (2015). Why Option Generation Matters for the Design of Autonomous E-Coaching Systems. AI and Society 30 (1):77-88.
Similar books and articles
Jennifer M. Morton (2011). Toward an Ecological Theory of the Norms of Practical Deliberation. European Journal of Philosophy 19 (4):561-584.
Tomis Kapitan (1986). Deliberation and the Presumption of Open Alternatives. Southern Journal of Philosophy 40 (April):230-51.
Rowland Stout (2004). Internalising Practical Reasons. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 104 (3):229–243.
J. David Velleman (1992). What Happens When Someone Acts? Mind 101 (403):461 - 481.
Jacob Ross (forthcoming). Actualism, Possibilism, and Beyond. Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics.
Patrick Fleming (forthcoming). The Indeterminacy of Desire and Practical Reason. In David K. Chan (ed.), Moral Psychology Today: Essays on Values, Rational Choice, and the Will. Springer: Philosophical Studies Series
R. Jay Wallace, Practical Reason. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Marcia L. Homiak (2000). Does Hume Have an Ethics of Virtue? The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 7:191-200.
Thomas Sherman (2008). Wisdom and Action Guidance in the Agent-Based Virtue Ethics of Aristotle. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 80 (4):481 - 506.
S. J. Thomas Sherman (2006). Wisdom and Action Guidance in the Agent-Based Virtue Ethics of Aristotle. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 80 (4):481-506.
Thor Grünbaum (2011). Perception and Non-Inferential Knowledge of Action. Philosophical Explorations 14 (2):153 - 167.
Daniel Cohen (2006). Openness, Accidentality and Responsibility. Philosophical Studies 127 (3):581 - 597.
Alfred Mele (2007). Reasonology and False Beliefs. Philosophical Papers 36 (1):91-118.
Added to index2010-12-29
Total downloads17 ( #160,237 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #289,836 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?