Agency

Edited by Michael Brent (University of Denver)
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  1. New Waves in Philosophy of Action.Jesús H. Aguilar, Andrei A. Buckareff & Keith Frankish (eds.) - 2010 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
  2. Philosophy of Action: 5 Questions.Jesus Aguilar & Andrei A. Buckareff (eds.) - 2009 - Automatic Press/VIP.
  3. On Epistemic Agency.Kristoffer Ahlstrom - 2010 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    Every time we act in an effort to attain our epistemic goals, we express our epistemic agency. The present study argues that a proper understanding of the actions and goals relevant to expressions of such agency can be used to make ameliorative recommendations about how the ways in which we actually express our agency can be brought in line with how we should express our agency. More specifically, it is argued that the actions relevant to such expressions should be identified (...)
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  4. Causation and Decision.Arif Ahmed - 2010 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 110 (2pt2):111-131.
    Sophisticated ‘tickle’-style defences of Evidential Decision Theory take your motivational state to screen off your act from any state that is causally independent of it, thus ensuring that EDT and CDT converge. That leads to unacceptable instability in cases in which the correct action is obvious. We need a more liberal conception of what the agent controls. It follows that an ordinary deliberator should sometimes consider the past and not only the future to be subject to her present choice.
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  5. The Concept of “Free Agency” in Monotheistic Religions: Implications for Global Business.Abbas J. Ali, Robert C. Camp & Manton Gibbs - 2005 - Journal of Business Ethics 60 (1):103-112.
    The current debate on “free agency” seems to highlight the romantic aspects of free agent and considers it a genuine response to changing economic conditions (e.g., high-unemployment rate, importance of knowledge in the labor market, the eclipse of organizational loyalty, and self pride). Little attention, if any, has been given to the religious root of the free agency concept and its persistent existence across history. In this paper, the current discourse on free agency and the conditions that have led to (...)
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  6. Subjective Quantitative Indicators of Human Agency.Sabina Alkire - 2008 - In Luigino Bruni, Flavio Comim & Maurizio Pugno (eds.), Capabilities and Happiness. Oxford University Press.
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  7. Character, Will, and Agency.Roman Altshuler - 2016 - In Jonathan Webber & Alberto Masala (eds.), From Personality to Virtue: Essays on the Philosophy of Character. Oxford University Press. pp. 62-80.
    Character and the will are rarely discussed together. At most, philosophers working on the one mention the other in an eliminativist vein—if character is represented as something chosen, for example, it can be chalked up to the work of the will; if the will consists merely of a certain arrangement of mental states, it can be seen as little more than a manifestation of character. This mutual neglect appears perfectly justified. If both character and will are determinants of action, to (...)
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  8. Introduction.Roman Altshuler & Michael J. Sigrist - 2016 - In Roman Altshuler & Michael J. Sigrist (eds.), Time and the Philosophy of Action. Routledge. pp. 1-18.
    We do things in time. Philosophy of action can capture this phenomenon in at least two ways. On one hand, it might focus on the way that temporal preferences and long-term temporal horizons affect the rationality of decisions in the present (see, e.g., Parfit 1984; Rawls 1971). Such work may focus on the way we discount the distant future, for example, or prioritize the future over the past. Approaches of this kind treat time as, in a sense, something external to (...)
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  9. Explaining Actions and Explaining Bodily Movements.Maria Alvares - 2013 - In G. D’Oro, A. Laitinen & C. Sandis (eds.), Reasons and Causes. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 141-159.
  10. 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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  11. Agents and Their Actions.Maria Alvarez & John Hyman - 1998 - Philosophy 73 (2):219-245.
    In the past thirty years or so, the doctrine that actions are events has become an essential, and sometimes unargued, part of the received view in the philosophy of action, despite the efforts of a few philosophers to undermine the consensus. For example, the entry for Agency in a recently published reference guide to the philosophy of mind begins with the following sentence: A central task in the philosophy of action is that of spelling out the differences between events in (...)
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  12. Disputing Autonomy: Second-Order Desires and the Dynamics of Ascribing Autonomy.Joel Anderson - 2008 - SATS: Northern European Journal of Philosophy 9 (1):7-26.
    In this paper, I examine two versions of the so-called “hierarchical” approach to personal autonomy, based on the notion of “second-order desires”. My primary concern will be with the question of whether these approaches provide an adequate basis for understanding the dynamics of autonomy-ascription. I begin by distinguishing two versions of the hierarchical approach, each representing a different response to the oft-discussed “regress” objection. I then argue that both “structural hierarchicalism” (e.g., Frankfurt, Bratman) and “procedural hierarchicalism” (e.g., Dworkin, Christman, Mele) (...)
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  13. 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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  14. Review: Contours of Agency: Essays on Themes From Harry Frankfurt. [REVIEW]Nomy Arpaly - 2004 - Mind 113 (452):744-747.
  15. Intention and Foresight.Bruce Aune - 1966 - Journal of Philosophy 63 (20):652-654.
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  16. Human Action.R. J. B. - 1969 - Review of Metaphysics 23 (1):143-143.
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  17. 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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  18. Moral Agency, Commitment, and Impartiality.Neera K. Badhwar - 1996 - Social Philosophy and Policy 13 (1):1.
    ♦1 Introduction Liberal political philosophy presupposes a moral theory according to which the ability to assess and choose conceptions of the good from a universal and impartial moral standpoint is central to the individual's moral identity. This viewpoint as standardly understood by liberals is that of a rational human agent. Such an agent is able to reflect on her ends and pursuits, including those she strongly identifies with, and to understand and take into account the basic interests of others. From (...)
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  19. The Authority of Reflection.Carla Bagnoli - 2007 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 22 (1):43-52.
    This paper examines Moran’s argument for the special authority of the first-person, which revolves around the Self/Other asymmetry and grounds dichotomies such as the practical vs. theoretical, activity vs. passivity, and justificatory vs. explanatory reasons. These dichotomies qualify the self-reflective person as an agent, interested in justifying her actions from a deliberative stance. The Other is pictured as a spectator interested in explaining action from a theoretical stance. The self-reflective knower has authority over her own mental states, while the Spectator (...)
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  20. Action Theory.Annette Baier - 1979 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 9:185-198.
  21. Acting and Producing.Kurt Baier - 1965 - Journal of Philosophy 62 (21):645-648.
  22. Deliberators Must Be Imperfect.Derek Clayton Baker - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (2):321-347.
    This paper argues that, with certain provisos, predicting one's future actions is incompatible with rationally deliberating about whether to perform those actions. It follows that fully rational omniscient agents are impossible, since an omniscient being could never rationally deliberate about what to do. Consequently, theories that explain practical reasons in terms of the choices of a perfectly rational omniscient agent must fail. The paper considers several ways of defending the possibility of an omniscient agent, and concludes that while some of (...)
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  23. On Being One's Own Person.Lynne Rudder Baker - 2004 - In M. Sie, Marc Slors & B. van den Brink (eds.), Reasons of One's Own. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing.
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  24. Why Computers Can't Act.Lynne Rudder Baker - 1981 - American Philosophical Quarterly 18 (April):157-163.
    To be an agent, one must be able to formulate intentions. To be able to formulate intentions, one must have a first-person perspective. Computers lack a first-person perspective. So, computers are not agents.
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  25. Toward a Philosophy of the Act.M. M. Bakhtin - 1993 - University of Texas Press.
    Rescued in 1972 from a storeroom in which rats and seeping water had severely damaged the fifty-year-old manuscript, this text is the earliest major work (1919-1921) of the great Russian philosopher M. M. Bakhtin. Toward a Philosophy of the Act contains the first occurrences of themes that occupied Bakhtin throughout his long career. The topics of authoring, responsibility, self and other, the moral significance of "outsideness," participatory thinking, the implications for the individual subject of having "no-alibi in existence," the difference (...)
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  26. 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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  27. Can Explanatory Reasons Be Good Reasons for Action?Gerald Beaulieu - 2013 - Metaphilosophy 44 (4):440-450.
    What kind of thing is a reason for action? Are reasons for action subjective states of the agent, such as desires and/or beliefs? Or are they, rather, objective features of situations that favor certain actions? The suggestion offered in this article is that neither strategy satisfies. What is needed is a third category for classifying reasons which makes them out to be neither purely subjective nor purely objective. In brief: a reason for action is a feature of the situation that (...)
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  28. Facing the Future: Agents and Choices in Our Indeterminist World.Nuel D. Belnap - 2001 - Oxford University Press on Demand.
    Here is an important new theory of human action, a theory that assumes actions are founded on choices made by agents who face an open future.
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  29. In the Realm of Agents.Nuel Belnap & Michael Perloff - unknown
    Stit theory (a logic of seeing-to-it-that) is applied to cases involving many agents. First treated are complex nestings of stits involving distinct agents. The discussion is driven by the logical impossibility of "a sees to it that b sees to it that Q" in the technical sense, even though that seems to make sense in everyday language, Of special utility are the concepts of "forced choice", of the creation of deontic states, and of probabilities, Second, joint agency, both plain and (...)
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  30. The Way of the Agent.Nuel Belnap & Michael Perloff - 1992 - Studia Logica 51 (3-4):463 - 484.
    The conditional,if an agent did something, then the agent could have done otherwise, is analyzed usingstit theory, which is a logic of seeing to it that based on agents making choices in the context of branching time. The truth of the conditional is found to be a subtle matter that depends on how it is interpreted (e.g., on what otherwise refers to, and on the difference between could and might) and also on whether or not there are busy choosers that (...)
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  31. The Tension Between Deliberation and Action.James O. Bennett - 1979 - Tulane Studies in Philosophy 28:81-92.
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  32. A Stratified Ontology of Selfhood: Review of Being Human: The Problem of Agency by Margaret S. Archer. [REVIEW]Ted Benton - 2001 - Aletheia 4 (2).
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  33. Attributions and Avowals of Motive in the Study of Deviance: Resource or Topic?Timothy Berard - 1998 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 28 (2):193–213.
    In explaining human actions, scholars and laypeople alike employ explanatory devices such as ‘motives’. This paper critically reevaluates the relationship between ‘professional’ and ‘lay’ invocations of motive, proposing a general reorientation of theory and research. This reorientation emphasizes the mundane ‘practical grammar’ of motives, and argues that motive deployment is inextricably tied to deviance, and therefore irremediably moral. It is argued, therefore, that motives should serve as a topic for scholarship, not a resourcefor scholarly use. Several landmark theories of motives, (...)
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  34. Action and Awareness of Agency: Comments on Chris Frith.José Bermúdez - 2010 - Pragmatics and Cognitionpragmatics and Cognition 18 (3):576-588.
    Chris Frith's target chapters contain a wealth of interesting experiments and striking theoretical claims. In these comments I begin by drawing out some of the key themes in his discussion of action and the sense of agency. Frith's central claim about conscious action is that what we are primarily conscious of in acting is our own agency. I will review some of the experimental evidence that he interprets in support of this claim and then explore the following three questions about (...)
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  35. Constitutivism and Normativity: A Qualified Defence.Stefano Bertea - 2013 - Philosophical Explorations 16 (1):81-95.
    In this article, I defend a meta-normative account of constitutivism by specifically addressing what I take to be a fundamental criticism of the constitutivist stance, namely, the objection that constitutive standards have conceptual, not normative, force, and so that no practical normativity can be extracted from them as constitutive of agency. In reply to this objection, I argue that the conceptual role of the standards constitutive of agency? their applying to us by virtue of our being the kinds of creatures (...)
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  36. Agent, Action, and Reason.Robert Williams Binkley, Richard N. Bronaugh & Ausonio Marras (eds.) - 1971 - University of Toronto Press.
  37. Natural Agency: An Essay on the Causal Theory of Action.John Bishop - 1990 - Cambridge University Press.
    From a moral point of view we think of ourselves as capable of responsible actions. From a scientific point of view we think of ourselves as animals whose behaviour, however highly evolved, conforms to natural scientific laws. Natural Agency argues that these different perspectives can be reconciled, despite the scepticism of many philosophers who have argued that 'free will' is impossible under 'scientific determinism'. This scepticism is best overcome, according to the author, by defending a causal theory of action, that (...)
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  38. Searle on Natural Agency.John Bishop - 1990 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 68 (3):282 – 300.
  39. Sensitive and Insensitive Responses to Deviant Action.John Bishop - 1987 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 65 (4):452 – 469.
  40. Discourse and Human Agency.Roland Bleiker - 2003 - Contemporary Political Theory 2 (1):25-47.
    The conceptualization of human agency is one of the oldest and most debated challenges in political theory. This essay defends the continuous relevance of this endeavour against a proliferating theoretical pessimism. Instead of engaging the much rehearsed structure-agency debate, the author conceptualizes agency in relation to discourses. However, such an approach inevitably elicits suspicion. Is discourse not merely a faddish term, destined to wax and wane with fleeting intellectual trends of the postmodern and poststructural kind? Does the concept of discourse, (...)
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  41. Is Acting Willing?Jean Beer Blumenfeld - 1983 - Noûs 17 (2):183-195.
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  42. Agency, Life Extension, and the Meaning of Life.Lisa Bortolotti - 2010 - The Monist 93 (1):38-56.
    Contemporary philosophers and bioethicists argue that life extension is bad for the individual. According to the agency objection to life extension, being constrained as an agent adds to the meaningfulness of human life. Life extension removes constraints, and thus it deprives life of meaning. In the paper, I concede that constrained agency contributes to the meaningfulness of human life, but reject the agency objection to life extension in its current form. Even in an extended life, decision-making remains constrained, and many (...)
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  43. The Epsilonpiepsilonlambdaepsilonupsilonsigmatauiotakappaeta Deltaupsilonnualphamuiotasigma in Aristos Psychology of Action.George Boys-Stones - 1996 - Phronesis: A Journal for Ancient Philosophy 41 (1):75-94.
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  44. Love and Power, and the Development of the Brain, Mind, and Agency.Raymond Bradley - 2002 - World Futures 58 (2 & 3):175 – 211.
    In drawing on my own research and collaborative work with Karl Pribram, I show that love and power play a central role in psychosocial evolution. When these relations are coupled in a self-regulating system of cooperative interactions, brain growth is stimulated, mind and agency develop, and stable forms of collective social organization are generated. Focusing on the endogenous dynamics of social collectives, the article is organized in four parts. Part I summarizes evidence from developmental neuropsychology and social science to show (...)
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  45. Agency and the Theory of Quantum Vacuum Interaction.Raymond Trevor Bradley - 2000 - World Futures 55 (3):227-275.
  46. 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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  47. Interpersonal Practical Reasoning.Myles Brand - 1987 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 30:77-95.
    According to one version of the Causal Theory, an action is a mental or bodily event caused by an intention to act. Deliberate action requires prior planning. The practical syllogism is interpreted as a summary description of the planning process, where the conclusion reports the agent's intention. Social action differs from individual action in that only the former requires coordination of one's action with members of a group. This difference is reflected in the intention with which we act, labeled 'we-intention' (...)
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  48. Intentional Actions and Plans.Myles Brand - 1987 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 10 (1):213-230.
  49. Intending and Acting: Toward a Naturalized Action Theory.Myles Brand - 1984 - Journal of Philosophy 84 (1):49-54.
  50. Reflections on the Philosophy of Action.Michael Bratman - forthcoming - In Jesus Aguilar & Andrei A. Buckareff (eds.), Philosophy of Action: 5 Questions. Automatic Press/VIP.
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