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Profile: Luca Ferrero (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)
  1. Luca Ferrero, Making Up One's Self: Agency, Commitments and Identity.
    Among our distinctive abilities, one is particularly remarkable: The capacity to control our future conduct by taking future-directed decisions. In virtue of their binding force on future conduct, future-directed decisions are indispensable for the success of most of our projects. These decisions and the commitments that they generate are pervasive and familiar phenomena of diachronic agency. Nonetheless, their alleged binding force appears puzzling when it is subjected to philosophical scrutiny.
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  2. Luca Ferrero, Recensione: Telmo Pievani, Introduzione Alla Filosofia Della Biologia, 2005.
    Il volume di Pievani costituisce la più estesa ed aggiornata presentazione in lingua italiana del dibattito filosofico sulla biologia evoluzionistica. Il libro non presuppone alcuna conoscenza specialistica né in filosofia né in biologia, e perciò può essere letto con profitto anche dai non specialisti (un occasionale ricorso ad un dizionario di biologia può essere utile per la definizione di alcuni termini tecnici). Per il suo carattere introduttivo, si presta ad essere utilizzato come testo nei corsi universitari di filosofia della biologia (...)
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  3. Luca Ferrero, The Difference Principle: Incentives or Equality?
    1.1.1 In a recent series of papers, G.A. Cohen has presented an egalitarian interpretation of the Difference Principle (hereafter, DP).1 According to this principle—first introduced by Rawls in A Theory of Justice2—inequalities in the distribution of primary goods3 are legitimate only to the extent that they maximize the prospects of the least advantaged members of society. Cohen argues that, once it is properly applied, DP does not legitimate any departure from equality. According to him, the distribution that maximizes the prospects (...)
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  4. Luca Ferrero (forthcoming). Decisions, Diachronic Autonomy, and the Division of Deliberative Labor. Philosophers' Imprint.
    1.1 A distinctive feature of our agency is the ability to bind our future conduct by making future-directed decisions. The bond of decisions is not one of mere physical constraint. A decision is not the trigger of some mechanism that takes control of the agent at the future time f and physically forces her to φ. When the agent φ’s out of her past decision to do so, she is in rational control of her conduct at the time of action.1 (...)
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  5. Luca Ferrero (2014). Diachronic Structural Rationality. Inquiry 57 (3):311-336.
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  6. Luca Ferrero (2012). Diachronic Constraints of Practical Rationality. Philosophical Issues 22 (1):144-164.
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  7. Luca Ferrero (2012). Willing, Wanting, Waiting by Richard Holton. [REVIEW] Journal of Moral Philosophy 9 (3):443-457.
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  8. Luca Ferrero (2012). Willing, Wanting, Waiting. Journal of Moral Philosophy 9 (3):443-457.
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  9. Luca Ferrero (2010). Decisions, Diachronic Autonomy, and the Division of Deliberative Labor. Philosophers' Imprint 10 (2).
    It is often argued that future-directed decisions are effective at shaping our future conduct because they give rise, at the time of action, to a decisive reason to act as originally decided. In this paper, I argue that standard accounts of decision-based reasons are unsatisfactory. For they focus either on tie-breaking scenarios or cases of self-directed distal manipulation. I argue that future-directed decisions are better understood as tools for the non-manipulative, intrapersonal division of deliberative labor over time. A future-directed decision (...)
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  10. Luca Ferrero (2010). Decisions, Division of Deliberative Labor, and Diachronic Autonomy. Philosophers Imprint 10 (2):1-23.
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  11. Luca Ferrero (2009). Action. In John Shand (ed.), Central Issues of Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell.
    We are agents. Not only are we capable of acting, but considerable portions of our lives are taken up by our doings, by exercises of our agency. Our actions and doings are essential to much of what we cherish most in our lives, and—arguably—our death can be equated with the permanent loss of our agency. Under these respects, we differ from inanimate objects, artifacts, chemical substances, and natural phenomena such as—for instance—planets, tables, acids, and lightning-storms. When we speak of the (...)
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  12. Luca Ferrero (2009). Constitutivism and the Inescapability of Agency. Oxford Studies in Metaethics 4:303-333.
  13. Luca Ferrero (2009). Constitutivism and the Schmagency Challenge. In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics: Volume Four. Oup Oxford.
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  14. Luca Ferrero (2009). Conditional Intentions. Noûs 43 (4):700 - 741.
    In this paper, I will discuss the various ways in which intentions can be said to be conditional, with particular attention to the internal conditions on the intentions’ content. I will first consider what it takes to carry out a conditional intention. I will then discuss how the distinctive norms of intention apply to conditional intentions and whether conditional intentions are a weaker sort of commitments than the unconditional ones. This discussion will lead to the idea of what I call (...)
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  15. Luca Ferrero (2009). What Good Is a Diachronic Will? Philosophical Studies 144 (3):403 - 430.
    There are two standard conceptions of the functioning of and rationale for the diachronic will, i.e., for an agent's capacity to settle on her future conduct in advance. According to the pragmatic-instrumentalist view, the diachronic will benefits us by increasing the long-term satisfaction of our rational preferences. According to the cognitive view, it benefits us by satisfying our standing desire for self-knowledge and self-understanding. Contrary to these views, I argue for a constitutive view of the diachronic will: the rationale for (...)
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  16. Luca Ferrero (2005). The Will: Interpersonal Bargaining Versus Intrapersonal Prediction. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (5):654-655.
    Ainslie is correct in arguing that the force of commitments partly depends on the predictive role of present action, but this claim can be supported independently of the analogy with interpersonal bargaining. No matter whether we conceive of the parties involved in the bargaining as interests or transient selves, the picture of the will as a competitive interaction among these parties is unconvincing.
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  17. Luca Ferrero (2003). An Elusive Challenge to the Authorship Account: Commentary on Lawlor's "Elusive Reasons". Philosophical Psychology 16 (4):565 – 577.
    Lawlor argues that social psychological studies present a challenge to the authorship account of first-person authority. Taking the deliberative stance does not guarantee that self- ascriptions are authoritative, for self-ascriptions might be based on elusive reasons and thus lack agential authority (i.e. they are no guide to the subject's future conduct). I argue that Lawlor's challenge is not successful. I claim that we can make sense of the nature and importance of agential authority only within the framework of the authorship (...)
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