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Profile: Markus E. Schlosser (University College, Dublin)
  1. Markus E. Schlosser (forthcoming). Manipulation and the Zygote Argument: Another Reply. Journal of Ethics.
    Alfred Mele's zygote argument is widely considered to be the strongest version of the manipulation argument against compatibilism (about free will and determinism). Opponents have focused largely on the first of its two premises and on the overall dialectic. My focus here will be on the underlying thought experiment—the Diana scenario—and on the second premise of the argument. I will argue that reflection on the Diana scenario shows that the second premise does not hold, and we will see that my (...)
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  2. Markus E. Schlosser (2014). The Luck Argument Against Event-Causal Libertarianism: It is Here to Stay. Philosophical Studies 167 (2):375-385.
    The luck argument raises a serious challenge for libertarianism about free will. In broad outline, if an action is undetermined, then it appears to be a matter of luck whether or not one performs it. And if it is a matter of luck whether or not one performs an action, then it seems that the action is not performed with free will. This argument is most effective against event-causal accounts of libertarianism. Recently, Franklin (Philosophical Studies 156:199–230, 2011) has defended event-causal (...)
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  3. Markus E. Schlosser (2014). The Neuroscientific Study of Free Will: A Diagnosis of the Controversy. Synthese 191 (2):245-262.
    Benjamin Libet’s work paved the way for the neuroscientific study of free will. Other scientists have praised this research as groundbreaking. In philosophy, the reception has been more negative, often even dismissive. First, I will propose a diagnosis of this striking discrepancy. I will suggest that the experiments seem irrelevant, from the perspective of philosophy, due to the way in which they operationalize free will. In particular, I will argue that this operational definition does not capture free will properly and (...)
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  4. Markus E. Schlosser (2013). Conscious Will, Reason-Responsiveness, and Moral Responsibility. Journal of Ethics 17 (3):205-232.
    Empirical evidence challenges many of the assumptions that underlie traditional philosophical and commonsense conceptions of human agency. It has been suggested that this evidence threatens also to undermine free will and moral responsibility. In this paper, I will focus on the purported threat to moral responsibility. The evidence challenges assumptions concerning the ability to exercise conscious control and to act for reasons. This raises an apparent challenge to moral responsibility as these abilities appear to be necessary for morally responsible agency. (...)
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  5. Markus E. Schlosser (2013). Review of "The Things We Do and Why We Do Them", by Constantine Sandis, 2012. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 33 (1):74-76.
  6. Markus E. Schlosser (2012). Causally Efficacious Intentions and the Sense of Agency: In Defense of Real Mental Causation. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 32 (3):135-160.
    Empirical evidence, it has often been argued, undermines our commonsense assumptions concerning the efficacy of conscious intentions. One of the most influential advocates of this challenge has been Daniel Wegner, who has presented an impressive amount of evidence in support of a model of "apparent mental causation". According to Wegner, this model provides the best explanation of numerous curious and pathological cases of behavior. Further, it seems that Benjamin Libet's classic experiment on the initiation of action and the empirical evidence (...)
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  7. Markus E. Schlosser (2012). Free Will and the Unconscious Precursors of Choice. Philosophical Psychology 25 (3):365-384.
    Benjamin Libet's empirical challenge to free will has received a great deal of attention and criticism. A standard line of response has emerged that many take to be decisive against Libet's challenge. In the first part of this paper, I will argue that this standard response fails to put the challenge to rest. It fails, in particular, to address a recent follow-up experiment that raises a similar worry about free will (Soon, Brass, Heinze, & Haynes, 2008). In the second part, (...)
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  8. Markus E. Schlosser (2012). Review of "Free Will and Modern Science", R. Swinburne (Ed.), 2011. [REVIEW] International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (4):463-466.
  9. Markus E. Schlosser (2012). Taking Something as a Reason for Action. Philosophical Papers 41 (2):267-304.
    This paper proposes and defends an account of what it is to act for reasons. In the first part, I will discuss the desire-belief and the deliberative model of acting for reasons. I will argue that we can avoid the weaknesses and retain the strengths of both views, if we pursue an alternative according to which acting for reasons involves taking something as a reason. In the main part, I will develop an account of what it is to take something (...)
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  10. Markus E. Schlosser (2011). Review of "Self-Constitution: Agency, Identity, and Integrity", by Christine M. Korsgaard, 2009. [REVIEW] Philosophical Quarterly 61 (242):212-214.
  11. Markus E. Schlosser (2011). The Metaphysics of Rule-Following. Philosophical Studies 155 (3):345-369.
    This paper proposes a causal-dispositional account of rule-following as it occurs in reasoning and intentional agency. It defends this view against Kripke’s (1982) objection to dispositional accounts of rule-following, and it proposes a solution to the problem of deviant causal chains. In the first part, I will outline the causal-dispositional approach. In the second part, I will follow Martin and Heil’s (1998) realist response to Kripke’s challenge. I will propose an account that distinguishes between two kinds of rule-conformity and two (...)
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  12. Markus E. Schlosser (2010). Bending It Like Beckham: Movement, Control and Deviant Causal Chains. Analysis 70 (2):299-303.
    Like all causal theories in philosophy, the causal theory of action is plagued by the problem of deviant causal chains. I have proposed a solution on the basis of the assumption that mental states and events are causally efficacious in virtue of their contents. This solution has been questioned by Torbjörn Tännsjö (2009). First, I will reply to the objection, and then I will discuss Tännsjö’s alternative.
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  13. Markus E. Schlosser (2010). Agency, Ownership, and the Standard Theory. In A. Buckareff, J. Aguilar & K. Frankish (eds.), New Waves in the Philosophy of Action. Palgrave Macmillan. 13-31.
    The causal theory of action has been the standard view in the philosophy of action and mind. In this chapter, I will present responses to two challenges to the theory. The first says, basically, that there is no positive argument in favour of the causal theory, as the only reason that supports it consists in the apparent lack of tenable alternatives. The second challenge says that the theory fails to capture the phenomenon of agency, as it reduces activity to mere (...)
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  14. Markus E. Schlosser (2010). Review of "Free Will as an Open Scientific Problem", by Mark Balaguer, 2010. [REVIEW] Metapsychology Online 14 (16).
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  15. Markus E. Schlosser (2010). Review of "Naturalizing Intention in Action", F. Grammont, D. Legrand, and P. Livet (Eds.), 2010. [REVIEW] Metapsychology Online 14 (34).
  16. Markus E. Schlosser (2009). Non-Reductive Physicalism, Mental Causation and the Nature of Actions. In H. Leitgeb & A. Hieke (eds.), Reduction: Between the Mind and the Brain. Ontos.
    Given some reasonable assumptions concerning the nature of mental causation, non-reductive physicalism faces the following dilemma. If mental events cause physical events, they merely overdetermine their effects (given the causal closure of the physical). If mental events cause only other mental events, they do not make the kind of difference we want them to. This dilemma can be avoided if we drop the dichotomy between physical and mental events. Mental events make a real difference if they cause actions. But actions (...)
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  17. Markus E. Schlosser (2008). Agent-Causation and Agential Control. Philosophical Explorations 11 (1):3-21.
    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 (...)
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  18. Markus E. Schlosser (2008). Review: John R. Searle: Freedom and Neurobiology: Reflections on Free Will, Language, and Political Power. [REVIEW] Mind 117 (468):1127-1130.
  19. Markus E. Schlosser (2008). Review of "Self-Knowledge and Resentment", by Akeel Bilgrami, 2006. [REVIEW] Philosophical Quarterly 58 (230):185–187.
  20. Markus E. Schlosser (2007). Basic Deviance Reconsidered. Analysis 67 (295):186–194.
    Most contemporary philosophers of action agree on the following claims. Firstly, the possibility of deviant or wayward causal chains poses a serious problem for the standard-causal theory of action. Secondly, we can distinguish between different kinds of deviant causal chains in the theory of action. In particular, we can distinguish between cases of basic and cases of consequential deviance. Thirdly, the problem of consequential deviance admits of a fairly straightforward solution, whereas the possibility of basic deviance constitutes a separate and (...)
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  21. Markus E. Schlosser (2007). The Metaphysics of Agency. Dissertation, St. Andrews
    Mainstream philosophy of action and mind construes intentional behaviour in terms of causal processes that lead from agent-involving mental states to action. Actions are construed as events, which are actions in virtue of being caused by the right mental antecedents in the right way. Opponents of this standard event-causal approach have criticised the view on various grounds; they argue that it does not account for free will and moral responsibility, that it does not account for action done in the light (...)
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  22. Markus E. Schlosser (2006). Causal Exclusion and Overdetermination. In E. Di Nucci & J. McHugh (eds.), Content, Consciousness and Perception. Cambridge Scholars Press.
    This paper is about the causal exclusion argument against non-reductive physicalism. Many philosophers think that this argument poses a serious problem for non-reductive theories of the mind — some think that it is decisive against them. In the first part I will outline non-reductive physicalism and the exclusion argument. Then I will distinguish between three versions of the argument that address three different versions of non-reductive physicalism. According to the first, the relation between mental and physical events is token-identity. According (...)
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