Agency

Edited by Michael Brent (University of Denver)
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  1. Temporal Binding, Causation and Agency: Developing a New Theoretical Framework.Christoph Hoerl, Sara Lorimer, Teresa McCormack, David A. Lagnado, Emma Blakey, Emma C. Tecwyn & Marc J. Buehner - 2020 - Cognitive Science 44 (e12843):1-27.
    In temporal binding, the temporal interval between one event and another, occurring some time later, is subjectively compressed. We discuss two ways in which temporal binding has been conceptualized. In studies showing temporal binding between a voluntary action and its causal consequences, such binding is typically interpreted as providing a measure of an implicit or pre-reflective “sense of agency”. However, temporal binding has also been observed in contexts not involving voluntary action, but only the passive observation of a cause-effect sequence. (...)
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  2. Précis zu "Agents' Abilities".Romy Jaster - forthcoming - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung.
  3. Trust as an Unquestioning Attitude.C. Thi Nguyen - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Epistemology.
    Most theories of trust presume that trust is a conscious attitude that can be directed only at other agents. I sketch a different form of trust: the unquestioning attitude. What it is to trust, in this sense, is not simply to rely on something, but to rely on it unquestioningly. It is to rely on a resource while suspending deliberation over its reliability. To trust, then, is to set up open pipelines between yourself and parts of the external world — (...)
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  4. Agency and Virtues.Zahra Khazaei - 2019 - Journal of Philosophical Theological Research 21 (3):119-140.
    In the philosophy of action, agency manifests the capacity of the agent to act. An agent is one who acts voluntarily, consciously and intentionally. This article studies the relationship between virtues and agency to learn to what extent agency is conceptually and metaphysically dependent on moral or epistemic virtues; whether virtue is a necessary condition for action and agency, besides the belief, desire and intention? Or are virtues necessary merely for the moral or epistemic character of the agent and not (...)
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  5. Wholehearted Love: An Augustinian Reconstruction of Frankfurt.Alexander Jech - 2009 - Dissertation, University of Notre Dame
    Harry G. Frankfurt’s work on agency and reflexivity represents one of the most important attempts in the current philosophical literature to elaborate the structure of agency. Frankfurt wishes to provide an account of what I call the “deep structures” of agency—those features of agency, such as care and love, in virtue of which the surface features, such as desire, are to be explained and understood. These deep structures are important because of their power to explain unified diachronic patterns in our (...)
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  6. The Sense of Agency in Human-Human Vs Human-Robot Joint Action.Ouriel Grynszpan, Aïsha Sahaï, Nasmeh Hamidi, Elisabeth Pacherie, Bruno Berberian, Lucas Roche & Ludovic Saint-Bauzel - 2019 - Consciousness and Cognition 75:102820.
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  7. Testing for Intrinsic Value, for Us as We Are.Daniel Coren - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-26.
    Philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Brentano, Moore, and Chisholm suggest marks of intrinsic value. Contemporary philosophers such as Christine Korsgaard have insightful discussions of intrinsic value. But how do we verify that some specific thing really is intrinsically valuable? I propose a natural way to test for intrinsic value: first, strip the candidate bare of all considerations of good consequences; and, second, see if what remains is still a good thing. I argue that we, as ordinary human beings, have (...)
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  8. When Robots Tell You What to Do: Sense of Agency in Human- and Robot-Guided Actions.Zeynep Barlas - 2019 - Consciousness and Cognition 75:102819.
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  9. Agency and Responsibility.Pamela Hieronymi - forthcoming - In Luca Ferrero (ed.), Routledge Handbook for the Philosophy of Agency. New York, NY, USA:
    I first sketch the different things we might have in mind, when thinking about responsibility. I then relate each of those to possible investigations of human agency. The most interesting such relation, in my opinion, is that between agency and what I call “responsibility as mattering.” I offer some hypotheses about that relation.
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  10. Reasoning First.Pamela Hieronymi - forthcoming - In Ruth Chang & Kurt Sylvan (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Practical Reasoning. New York, NY, USA:
    Many think of reasons as facts, propositions, or considerations that stand in some relation (or relations) to attitudes, actions, states of affairs. The relation may be an explanatory one or a “normative” one—though some are uncomfortable with irreducibly “normative” relations. I will suggest that we should, instead, see reasons as items in pieces of reasoning. They relate, in the first instance, not to psychological states or events or states of affairs, but to questions. That relation is neither explanatory nor “normative.” (...)
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  11. Norm-Establishing and Norm-Following in Autonomous Agency.Xabier Barandiaran & Matthew Egbert - 2013 - Artificial Life 91 (2):1-24.
    Living agency is subject to a normative dimension (good-bad, adaptive-maladaptive) that is absent from other types of interaction. We review current and historical attempts to naturalize normativity from an organism-centered perspective, identifying two central problems and their solution: (1) How to define the topology of the viability space so as to include a sense of gradation that permits reversible failure, and (2) how to relate both the processes that establish norms and those that result in norm-following behavior. We present a (...)
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  12. The Effects of Action Choice on Temporal Binding, Agency Ratings, and Their Correlation.K. A. Schwarz, L. Weller, A. L. Klaffehn & R. Pfister - 2019 - Consciousness and Cognition 75:102807.
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  13. The Aristotelian Conception of Habit and its Contribution to Human Neuroscience.José Ignacio Murillo & Javier Bernacer - 2014 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8:1-10.
    The notion of habit used in neuroscience is an inheritance from a particular theoretical origin, whose main source is William James. Thus, habits have been characterized as rigid, automatic, unconscious, and opposed to goal-directed actions. This analysis leaves unexplained several aspects of human behavior and cognition where habits are of great importance. We intend to demonstrate the utility that another philosophical conception of habit, the Aristotelian, may have for neuroscientific research. We first summarize the current notion of habit in neuroscience, (...)
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  14. Review of Agnes Callard Aspiration. [REVIEW]Paul Katsafanas - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Review of Agnes Callard's Aspiration. Forthcoming in a symposium on the book in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
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  15. Agency, Identity, and Alienation in The Sickness Unto Death.Justin F. White - 2019 - In Adam Buben, Eleanor Helms & Patrick Stokes (eds.), The Kierkegaardian Mind. Routledge. pp. 305-316.
    In The Sickness unto Death, Kierkegaard describes selfhood as an achievement, specifically claiming that the self’s task ‘is to become itself’ (SUD, 29/SKS 11, 143). But how can one can become who or what one already is, and what sort of achievement is it? This chapter draws on the work of Christine Korsgaard, another philosopher who sees selfhood as an achievement, using her notion of practical identity to explore Kierkegaard’s accounts of the structure of the self and of selfhood as (...)
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  16. Monuments as Commitments: How Art Speaks to Groups and How Groups Think in Art.C. Thi Nguyen - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (4):971-994.
    Art can be addressed, not just to individuals, but to groups. Art can even be part of how groups think to themselves – how they keep a grip on their values over time. I focus on monuments as a case study. Monuments, I claim, can function as a commitment to a group value, for the sake of long-term action guidance. Art can function here where charters and mission statements cannot, precisely because of art’s powers to capture subtlety and emotion. In (...)
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  17. Discusiones filosóficas en los paradigmas de formación administrativa. Estudio comparativo en programas de administración del eje cafetero colombiano.Roger De Jesús Sepúlveda Fernández - 2015 - Pereira: Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira.
  18. Aspiration: The Agency of Becoming. [REVIEW]Robert J. Hartman - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (275):427-429.
    Aspiration: The Agency of Becoming. By Callard Agnes.
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  19. Normativity in Joint Action.Javier Gomez-Lavin & Matthew Rachar - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (1):97-120.
    The debate regarding the nature of joint action has come to a stalemate due to a dependence on intuitional methods. Normativists, such as Margaret Gilbert, argue that action-relative normative relations are inherent in joint action, while non-normativists, such as Michael Bratman, claim that there are minimal cases of joint action without normative relations. In this work, we describe the first experimental examinations of these intuitions, and report the results of six studies that weigh in favor of the normativist paradigm. Philosophical (...)
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  20. Bio-agency: Können Organismen handeln?Anne Sophie Meincke - 2014 - In Meincke & Daniel Wehinger (eds.), Vermögen und Handlung. Der dispositionale Realismus und unser Selbstverständnis als Handelnde. Münster, Germany: pp. 191-224.
  21. Action Co-Representation and the Sense of Agency During a Joint Simon Task: Comparing Human and Machine Co-Agents.Aïsha Sahaï, Andrea Desantis, Ouriel Grynszpan, Elisabeth Pacherie & Bruno Berberian - 2019 - Consciousness and Cognition 67:44-55.
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  22. Action Explanation and its Presuppositions.Lilian O’Brien - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (1):123-146.
    In debates about rationalizing action explanation causalists assume that the psychological states that explain an intentional action have both causal and rational features. I scrutinize the presuppositions of those who seek and offer rationalizing action explanations. This scrutiny shows, I argue, that where rational features play an explanatory role in these contexts, causal features play only a presuppositional role. But causal features would have to play an explanatory role if rationalizing action explanation were a species of causal explanation. Consequently, we (...)
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  23. Realizing Onself by Realizing What One Really Wants to Do.Yudai Suzuki - 2018 - In Andrea Altobrando, Takuya Niikawa & Richard Stone (eds.), The Realizations of the Self. Springer. pp. 185-197.
    I will explore the concept of self-realization by means of realizing what one really wants to do, i.e., by realizing the desires one is committed to. I briefly review views of three philosophers, Frankfurt, Watson, and Bratman, and contrast my view with theirs. Unlike Frankfurt and Bratman, I argue that higher order attitudes toward desires are not necessary for the commitment. I agree with Watson that value judgments on desires are necessary, but they are not sufficient for the commitment. My (...)
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  24. Agent-Causal Libertarianism, Statistical Neural Laws and Wild Coincidences.Jason Runyan - 2017 - Synthese 195 (10):4563-4580.
    Agent-causal libertarians maintain we are irreducible agents who, by acting, settle matters that aren’t already settled. This implies that the neural matters underlying the exercise of our agency don’t conform to deterministic laws, but it does not appear to exclude the possibility that they conform to statistical laws. However, Pereboom (Noûs 29:21–45, 1995; Living without free will, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2001; in: Nadelhoffer (ed) The future of punishment, Oxford University Press, New York, 2013) has argued that, if these neural (...)
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  25. Action, Animacy, and Substance Causation.Janice Chik Breidenbach - 2017 - In William M. R. Simpson, Robert Charles Koons & Nicholas Teh (eds.), Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Contemporary Science. Routledge. pp. 235-260.
  26. Was There a Scientific ’68? Its Repercussion on Action Research and Mixing Methods.José Andrés-Gallego - 2018 - Arbor 194 (787):436: 1-10.
    The author asks whether there was a “scientific ‘68”, and focuses on aspects of two specific methodological proposals defined in the 1940s and 50s by the terms “action research” and “mixing methods”, applied particularly to social sciences. In the first, the climate surrounding the events of 1968 contributed to heightening the participative element to be found –by definition– in “action research”; that is: the importance of making the research subjects themselves participants in the design, execution and application of the study (...)
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  27. Evolutionity – A New Age of Humanity: On the Concept of Human Evolution by Hoene-Wroński.W. Julian Korab-Karpowicz - 2018 - Ruch Filozoficzny 74 (3):141.
    In this article I present the concept of human evolution by Hoene- Wroński. I believe that his ideas are still an unexplored resource which can lead us to the better understanding of the evolution of humanity and of our destiny. I follow closely his discussion of human evolution and describe its seven stages. Further, I argue that the case of human evolution is strongly supported by new scientific theories, especially by quantum theory and the novel perspectives that it opens for (...)
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  28. Agency, Qualia and Life: Connecting Mind and Body Biologically.David Longinotti - 2017 - In Vincent C. Müller (ed.), Philosophy and Theory of Artificial Intelligence 2017. Cham: Springer. pp. 43-56.
    Many believe that a suitably programmed computer could act for its own goals and experience feelings. I challenge this view and argue that agency, mental causation and qualia are all founded in the unique, homeostatic nature of living matter. The theory was formulated for coherence with the concept of an agent, neuroscientific data and laws of physics. By this method, I infer that a successful action is homeostatic for its agent and can be caused by a feeling - which does (...)
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  29. Abortion & Phenomenology.Michael Kowalik - 2018 - Philosophy Now 128:32-33.
    Phenomenology offers a unique perspective on abortion which avoids the pitfalls associated with arguments from human rights, religious belief, or morality. Instead, and without negating the possibility that abortion may be justified for other reasons, it obtains reasons not to abort from the nature of agency and the commitments intrinsic to intentional action. Less formally, it says that abortion hurts because it involves killing something humans automatically identify with, and as humans we constitute ourselves just in terms of what we (...)
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  30. Ramsey and Joyce on Deliberation and Prediction.Yang Liu & Huw Price - forthcoming - Synthese:1-22.
    Can an agent deliberating about an action A hold a meaningful credence that she will do A? 'No', say some authors, for 'Deliberation Crowds Out Prediction' (DCOP). Others disagree, but we argue here that such disagreements are often terminological. We explain why DCOP holds in a Ramseyian operationalist model of credence, but show that it is trivial to extend this model so that DCOP fails. We then discuss a model due to Joyce, and show that Joyce's rejection of DCOP rests (...)
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  31. Blame, Forgiveness, and Honor in Aristotle and Beyond.Carissa Phillips-Garrett - 2017 - Dissertation, Rice University
    Many contemporary discussions of forgiveness assume forgiveness is fundamentally admirable. Examining Aristotle’s account, however, demonstrates that there is a tension between desert and forgiveness that is often overlooked in contemporary discussions. Through examining the neglected concept of sungnōmē, which forestalls blame, I conclude that Aristotelian blame is justified only on grounds of fairness. This conclusion is evidence that Aristotelian blame is not merely an instrumental or descriptive tool, but rather a way of holding agents morally accountable. Through examining the emphasis (...)
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  32. Matters of Interpersonal Trust.Andrew Kirton - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Manchester
    This thesis defends an account of what it is to trust other people, and what gives matters of trust (i.e. situations where we trust/distrust others) a characteristic interpersonal, normative, or moral/ethical importance to us. In other words, it answers what the nature of betrayal (and being susceptible to betrayal) is. -/- Along the way I put forward/defend accounts of the following: the relationship between trust and reliance (chapter 4); an account of reliance itself (chapter 5); trust and distrust as one/two/three-place (...)
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  33. "The Subversive Edge": Paris Is Burning, Social Critique, and the Limits of Subjective Agency.Phillip Brian Harper - 1994 - Diacritics 24 (2/3):90.
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  34. Alfred R. Mele, Motivation and Agency: Mele, Alfred R. Motivation and Agency. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. Pp. 264. $49.95 (Cloth).G. F. Schueler - 2004 - Ethics 115 (1):145-148.
  35. Michael E. Bratman, Faces of Intention: Selected Essays on Intention and Agency. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Pp. 288. $59.95 ; $18.95. [REVIEW]Alfred R. Mele - 2001 - Ethics 111 (2):400-403.
  36. Agency and Embodiment: Groups, Human–Machine Interactions, and Virtual Realities.Johannes Himmelreich - 2018 - Ratio 31 (2):197-213.
    This paper develops a taxonomy of kinds of actions that can be seen in group agency, human–machine interactions, and virtual realities. These kinds of actions are special in that they are not embodied in the ordinary sense. I begin by analysing the notion of embodiment into three separate assumptions that together comprise what I call the Embodiment View. Although this view may find support in paradigmatic cases of agency, I suggest that each of its assumptions can be relaxed. With each (...)
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  37. Nietzsche’s Account of Self-Conscious Agency.Paul Katsafanas - 2018 - Philosophical Explorations 21 (1):122-137.
    This essay is an overview of Nietzsche’s philosophy of action. I discuss the central features of Nietzsche’s account and the ways in which it departs from standard accounts. Section 1 discusses Nietzsche’s view of the opacity of human action. I focus on the way in which the agent’s experience of the world is shaped by unnoticed and unconscious factors. Section 2 asks what role self-consciousness has in the production of action. Section 3 turns to the way in which Nietzsche understands (...)
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  38. Moral Rationalism and the Normativity of Constitutive Principles.Zachary Bachman - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (1):1-19.
    Recently, Christine Bratu and Mortiz Dittmeyer have argued that Christine Korsgaard’s constitutive project fails to establish the normativity of practical principles because it fails to show why a principle’s being constitutive of a practice shows that one ought to conform to that principle. They argue that in many cases a principle’s being constitutive of a practice has no bearing on whether one ought to conform to it. In this paper I argue that Bratu and Dittmeyer’s argument fails in three important (...)
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  39. Evaluative Beliefs First.Ben Bramble - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 8.
    Many philosophers think that it is only because we happen to want or care about things that we think some things of value. We start off caring about things, and then project these desires onto the external world. In this chapter, I make a preliminary case for the opposite view, that it is our evaluative thinking that is prior or comes first. On this view, it is only because we think some things of value that we care about or want (...)
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  40. Mutual Coordination Strengthens the Sense of Joint Agency in Cooperative Joint Action.Nicole K. Bolt, Evan M. Poncelet, Benjamin G. Schultz & Janeen D. Loehr - 2016 - Consciousness and Cognition 46:173-187.
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  41. G.E.M. Anscombe on the Analogical Unity of Intention in Perception and Action.Christopher Frey & Jennifer A. Frey - 2017 - Analytic Philosophy 58 (3):202-247.
    Philosophers of action and perception have reached a consensus: the term ‘intentionality’ has significantly different senses in their respective fields. But Anscombe argues that these distinct senses are analogically united in such a way that one cannot understand the concept if one focuses exclusively on its use in one’s preferred philosophical sub-discipline. She highlights three salient points of analogy: (i) intentional objects are given by expressions that employ a “description under which;” (ii) intentional descriptions are typically vague and indeterminate; and (...)
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  42. Can Affordances Explain Behavior?Alexandros Tillas, Gottfried Vosgerau, Tim Seuchter & Silvano Zipoli Caiani - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (2):295-315.
    In this paper we secure the explanatory value of affordances by treating them as relational properties and as inherently linked to unintentional movements and possible intentional actions. We distinguish between Basic affordances, which are related to unintentional movements, and Complex affordances, which are subjective and executively controlled by individuals. The linkage between affordances and motor intentions allows for accounting for the infinite number of affordances that any given object potentially has. Appealing to objective systematic contingencies that provide the actor with (...)
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  43. Agency and Practical Abilities.Will Small - 2017 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 80:235-264.
    Though everyday life accords a great deal of significance to practical abilities—such as the ability to walk, to speak French, to play the piano—philosophers of action pay surprisingly little attention to them. By contrast, abilities are discussed in various other philosophical projects. From these discussions, a partial theory of abilities emerges. If the partial theory—which is at best adequate only to a few examples of practical abilities—were correct, then philosophers of action would be right to ignore practical abilities, because they (...)
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  44. What is It Like to Be a Group Agent?Christian List - 2016 - Noûs:295-319.
    The existence of group agents is relatively widely accepted. Examples are corporations, courts, NGOs, and even entire states. But should we also accept that there is such a thing as group consciousness? I give an overview of some of the key issues in this debate and sketch a tentative argument for the view that group agents lack phenomenal consciousness. In developing my argument, I draw on integrated information theory, a much-discussed theory of consciousness. I conclude by pointing out an implication (...)
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  45. Clinical Guidelines as Plans: An Ontological Theory.Anand Kumar, Barry Smith, Domenica Pisanelli, Aldo Gangemi & Mario Stefanelli - 2006 - Methods of Information in Medicine 45 (2):204-210.
    Clinical guidelines are special types of plans realized by collective agents. We provide an ontological theory of such plans that is designed to support the construction of a framework in which guideline-based information systems can be employed in the management of workflow in health care organizations. The framework we propose allows us to represent in formal terms how clinical guidelines are realized through the actions of are realized through the actions of individuals organized into teams. We provide various levels of (...)
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  46. Social Conceptions of Moral Agency in Hegel and Sellars.David Baumeister - 2017 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 25 (2):249-265.
    This essay contributes to our understanding of the relation between the philosophies of Hegel and Sellars. While most treatments of this relation have focused on metaphysics or epistemology, I focus on ethics, and in particular on the formulation of moral agency. I argue that Hegel and Sellars arrive at a similar metaphilosophical rejection of individual moral agency in favor of conceptions of moral agency as the outcome of social mediation. To demonstrate this, I trace how Hegel and Sellars offer parallel (...)
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  47. Natural Agency: An Essay on the Causal Theory of Action.Hugh J. McCann - 1992 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (4):1008-1010.
  48. XV—Agents and Patients, Or: What We Learn About Reasons for Action by Reflecting on Our Choices in Process‐of‐Thought Cases.Michael Smith - 2012 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 112 (3pt3):309-331.
    Can we draw substantive conclusions about the reasons for action agents have from premisses about the desires of their idealized counterparts? The answer is that we can. The argument for this conclusion is Rawlsian in spirit, focusing on the choices that our idealized counterparts must make simply in virtue of being ideal, and inferring from these choices the contents of the desires that they must have. It turns out that our idealized counterparts must have desires in which we ourselves figure (...)
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  49. Agency and Two‐Way Powers.Maria Alvarez - 2013 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 113 (1pt1):101-121.
    In this paper I propose a way of characterizing human agency in terms of the concept of a two‐way power. I outline this conception of agency, defend it against some objections, and briefly indicate how it relates to free agency and to moral praise‐ and blameworthiness.
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  50. The Problem of Action.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1978 - American Philosophical Quarterly 15 (2):157-162.
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