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  1. Believing Where the Action Is: Reply to van Leeuwen. Dohrn - manuscript
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  2. Life, Local Constraints and Meaning Generation. An Evolutionary Approach to Cognition (2015).Christophe Menant - manuscript
    The relations between life and cogntion have been addressed through different perspectives [Stewart 1996, Boden 2001, Bourgine and Stewart 2004, van Duijn & all 2006, Di Paolo 2009]. We would like here to address that subject by relating life to cognition through a process of meaning generation. Life emerged on earth as a far from thermodynamic equilibrium performance that had to maintain herself. Life is charactertized by a ‘stay alive’ constraint that has to be satisfied (such constraint can be included (...)
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  3. Causation, Perspective and Agency.Jenann Ismael - manuscript
    Philosophers of mind tend to take it for granted that causal relations are part of the mind-independent, objective fabric of the physical world. In fact, their status has been hotly contested since Russell famously observed that the closest thing to causal relations in physics are timesymmetric dynamical laws relating global time slices of world-history. 1 These bear a distant relationship to the local, asymmetric relations that form the core of the folk notion of cause. Nancy Cartwright, in an influential response, (...)
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  4. Agency, Narrative, and Mortality.Roman Altshuler - forthcoming - In Luca Ferrero (ed.), Routledge Handbook for the Philosophy of Agency. New York: Routledge.
    Narrative views of agency and identity arise in opposition to reductionism in both domains. While reductionists understand both identity and agency in terms of their components, narrativists respond that life and action are both constituted by narratives, and since the components of a narrative gain their meaning from the whole, life and action not only incorporate their constituent parts but also shape them. I first lay out the difficulties with treating narrative as constitutive of metaphysical identity and turn to its (...)
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  5. Pragmatism, Truth, and Cognitive Agency.Cameron Boult - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    The main objection to pragmatism about knowledge is that it entails that truth-irrelevant factors can make a difference to knowledge. Blake Roeber (2018) has recently argued that this objection fails. I agree with Roeber. But in this paper, I present another way of thinking about the dispute between purists and pragmatists about knowledge. I do so by formulating a new objection to pragmatism about knowledge. This is that pragmatism about knowledge entails that factors irrelevant to both truth and “cognitive agency” (...)
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  6. Does Success Entail Ability?David Boylan - forthcoming - Noûs.
    This paper is about the principle that success entails ability, which I call Success. I argue the status of Success is highly puzzling: when we focus on past instances of actually successful action, Success is very compelling; but it is in tension with the idea that true ability claims require an action be in the agent's control. I make the above tension precise by considering the logic of ability. I argue Success is appealing because it is classically equivalent to two (...)
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  7. Ambivalence, Incoherence, and Self-Governance.John Brunero - forthcoming - In Dimitria Gatzia & Berit Brogaard (eds.), The Philosophy and Psychology of Ambivalence: Being of Two Minds. London, UK: Routledge.
    The paper develops two objections to Michael Bratman’s self-governance approach to the normativity of rational requirements. Bratman, drawing upon work by Harry Frankfurt, argues that having a place where one stands is a necessary, constitutive element of self-governance, and that violations of the consistency and coherence requirements on intentions make one lack a place where one stands. This allows for reasons of self-governance to ground reasons to comply with these rational requirements, thereby vindicating the normativity of rationality. The first objection (...)
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  8. Deontic Logic and Natural Language.Fabrizio Cariani - forthcoming - In Dov Gabbay, Ron van der Meyden, John Horty, Xavier Parent & Leandert van der Torre (eds.), The Handbook of Deontic Logic (Vol. II). College Publications.
    There has been a recent surge of work on deontic modality within philosophy of language. This work has put the deontic logic tradition in contact with natural language semantics, resulting in significant increase in sophistication on both ends. This chapter surveys the main motivations, achievements, and prospects of this work.
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  9. Aristotle Against (Unqualified) Self-Motion: Physics VII 1 Α241b35-242a49 / Β241b25-242a15.Daniel Coren - forthcoming - Ancient Philosophy.
    It is well known that Aristotle tries to make room for self-motion – an idea he inherits to some extent from Plato – within his other commitments to causal determinism while at the same time modifying the idea. However, one argument in Physics VII 1 seems to pose a problem for the bare possibility of self-motion; in it he seems to argue that everything that moves must be moved by something else. The text in which this argument appears is itself (...)
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  10. Epistemic Conservatism and Bare Beliefs.Daniel Coren - forthcoming - Synthese:1-14.
    My subject is the kind of Epistemic Conservatism (EC) that says that an agent is in some measure justified in maintaining a belief simply in virtue of the fact that the agent has that belief. Quine’s alternative to positivist foundationalism, Chisholmian particularism, Rawls’s reflective equilibrium, and Bayesianism all seem to rely on EC. I argue that, in order to evaluate EC, we must consider an agent holding a bare belief, that is, a belief stripped of all personal memory and epistemic (...)
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  11. The Unaccountable Subject: Judith Butler and the Social Conditions of Intersubjective Agency.Hans-Joachim Heinz - forthcoming - Hypatia.
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  12. Rational Agency.Eric Marcus - forthcoming - In Luca Ferrero (ed.), Routledge Handbook for the Philosophy of Agency. Routledge.
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  13. These Confabulations Are Guaranteed to Improve Your Marriage! Toward a Teleological Theory of Confabulation.Samuel Murray & Peter Finocchiaro - forthcoming - Synthese:1-27.
    Confabulation is typically understood to be dysfunctional. But this understanding neglects the phenomenon's potential benefits. In fact, we think that the benefits of non-clinical confabulation provide a better foundation for a general account of confabulation. In this paper, we start from these benefits to develop a social teleological account of confabulation. Central to our account is the idea that confabulation manifests a kind of willful ignorance. By understanding confabulation in this way, we can provide principled explanations for the difference between (...)
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  14. Agentive Phenomenology.Myrto Mylopoulos & Joshua Shepherd - forthcoming - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
    In this chapter we reflect on questions about the nature and sources of agentive phenomenology – that is, the set of those experience-types associated with exercises of agency, and paradigmatically with intentional actions. Our discussion begins with pioneering work in psychology and neuroscience that dates to the early 80s (section 1). As we will see, much of the current work on agentive phenomenology in both psychology and philosophy draws motivation from this work, and the questions it raises. After discussing empirical (...)
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  15. Embodied Agency and Habitual Selves.Nancy Nyquist Potter - forthcoming - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 20 (1):75-80.
  16. Philosophy of Action From Suarez to Davidson.Constantine Sandis (ed.) - forthcoming
  17. Group Action Without Group Minds.Kenneth Silver - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Groups behave in a variety of ways. To show that this behavior amounts to action, it would be best to fit it into a general account of action. However, nearly every account from the philosophy of action requires the agent to have mental states such as beliefs, desires, and intentions. Unfortunately, theorists are divided over whether groups can instantiate these states—typically depending on whether or not they are willing to accept functionalism about the mind. But we can avoid this debate. (...)
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  18. Self-Control and Akrasia.Christine Tappolet - forthcoming - In Meghan Griffith, Kevin Timpe & Neil Levy (eds.), Routledge Companion to Free Will. Routledge.
    Akratic actions are often being thought to instantiate a paradigmatic self-control failure. . If we suppose that akrasia is opposed to self-control, the question is how akratic actions could be free and intentional. After all, it would seem that it is only if an action manifests self-control that it can count as free. My plan is to explore the relation between akrasia and self-control. The first section presents what I shall call the standard conception, according to which akrasia and self-control (...)
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  19. Self-Control: A Mental Action in No Need of Special Motivational Powers.Sebastian Watzl - forthcoming - In M. Brent (ed.), Mental Action and the Conscious Mind.
    It has been argued that the explanation of self-control requires positing special motivational powers. Some think that we need will-power as an irreducible mental faculty; others that we need to think of the active self as a dedicated and depletable pool of psychic energy or – in today more respectable terminology – mental resources; finally, there is the idea that self-control requires postulating a deep division between reason and passion – a deliberative and an emotional motivational system. This essay argues (...)
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  20. Socially-Embedded Agency: Lesssons From Marginalised Identities.Aness Webster - forthcoming - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility 7.
    This paper proposes a distinctive kind of agency that can vindicate the agency of members of marginalised groups while accommodating the autonomy-undermining influences of oppression. Socially-embedded agency—the locus of which is in the exercise of our ability to negotiate between different social features—is compatible with, and can explain, various phenomena, including double-consciousness and white fragility. Moreover, although socially-embedded agency is neither necessary nor sufficient for autonomy, exercising it is practically necessary for autonomy, at least for members of marginalised groups in (...)
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  21. The Shared Know-How in Linguistic Bodies.Eros Moreira de Carvalho - 2021 - Filosofia Unisinos 22 (1):94-101.
    The authors of *Linguistic Bodies* appeal to shared know-how to explain the social and participatory interactions upon which linguistic skills and agency rest. However, some issues lurk around the notion of shared know-how and require attention and clarification. In particular, one issue concerns the agent behind the shared know-how, a second one concerns whether shared know-how can be reducible to individual know-how or not. In this paper, I sustain that there is no single answer to the first issue; depending on (...)
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  22. The Shape of Agency: Control, Action, Skill, Knowledge.Joshua Shepherd - 2021 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    The Shape of Agency offers interlinked explanations of the basic building blocks of agency, as well as its exemplary instances. The first part offers accounts of a collection of related phenomena that have long troubled philosophers of action: control over behaviour, non-deviant causation, and intentional action. These accounts build on earlier work in the causalist tradition, and undermine the claims made by many that causalism cannot offer a satisfying account of non-deviant causation, and therefore fails as an account of intentional (...)
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  23. Psychopathy, Agency, and Practical Reason.Monique Wonderly - 2021 - In Ruth Chang & Kurt Sylvan (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Practical Reason. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 262-275.
    Philosophers have urged that considerations about the psychopath’s capacity for practical rationality can help to advance metaethical debates. These debates include the role of rational faculties in moral judgment and action, the relationship between moral judgment and moral motivation, and the capacities required for morally responsible agency. I discuss how the psychopath’s capacity for practical reason features in these debates, and I identify several takeaway lessons from the relevant literature. Specifically, I show how the insights contained therein can illuminate the (...)
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  24. Freedom in a Physical World.Andrew M. Bailey - 2020 - Philosophical Papers 49 (1):31-39.
    Making room for agency in a physical world is no easy task. Can it be done at all? In this article, I consider and reject an argument in the negative.
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  25. The Creeps as a Moral Emotion.Jeremy Fischer & Rachel Fredericks - 2020 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 7 (6):191-217.
    Creepiness and the emotion of the creeps have been overlooked in the moral philosophy and moral psychology literatures. We argue that the creeps is a morally significant emotion in its own right, and not simply a type of fear, disgust, or anger (though it shares features with those emotions). Reflecting on cases, we defend a novel account of the creeps as felt in response to creepy people. According to our moral insensitivity account, the creeps is fitting just when its object (...)
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  26. The Error Condition.Jeremy David Fix - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (1):34-48.
    The possibility of error conditions the possibility of normative principles. I argue that extant interpretations of this condition undermine the possibility of normative principles for our action because they implicitly treat error as a perfection of an action. I then explain how a constitutivist metaphysics of capacities explains why error is an imperfection of an action. Finally, I describe and defend the interpretation of the error condition which follows.
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  27. Hubert Dreyfus on Practical and Embodied Intelligence.Kristina Gehrman & John Schwenkler - 2020 - In Carlotta Pavese & Ellen Fridland (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Skill and Expertise. Routledge. pp. 123-132.
    This chapter treats Hubert Dreyfus’ account of skilled coping as part of his wider project of demonstrating the sovereignty of practical intelligence over all other forms of intelligence. In contrast to the standard picture of human beings as essentially rational, individual agents, Dreyfus argued powerfully on phenomenological and empirical grounds that humans are fundamentally embedded, absorbed, and embodied. These commitments are present throughout Dreyfus’ philosophical writings, from his critique of Artificial Intelligence research in the 1970s and 1980s to his rejection (...)
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  28. Love and Caring.Agnieszka Jaworska & Monique Wonderly - 2020 - In Christopher Grau & Aaron Smuts (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Love. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    It is largely uncontroversial that to love some person or object is (among other things) to care about that person or object. Love and caring, however, are importantly different attitudes. We do not love every person or object about which we care. In this work, we critically analyze extant accounts of how love differs from mere caring, and we propose an alternate view in order to better capture this distinction.
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  29. Towards a Middle-Ground Theory of Agency for Artificial Intelligence.Louis Longin - 2020 - In M. Nørskov, J. Seibt & O. Quick (eds.), Culturally Sustainable Social Robotics: Proceedings of Robophilosophy 2020. Amsterdam, Netherlands: pp. 17-26.
    The recent rise of artificial intelligence (AI) systems has led to intense discussions on their ability to achieve higher-level mental states or the ethics of their implementation. One question, which so far has been neglected in the literature, is the question of whether AI systems are capable of action. While the philosophical tradition appeals to intentional mental states, others have argued for a widely inclusive theory of agency. In this paper, I will argue for a gradual concept of agency because (...)
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  30. Defeated Ambivalence.Hili Razinsky - 2020 - International Philosophical Quarterly 60 (2):173-188.
    Ambivalence is often presented through cases of defeated ambivalence and multivalence, in which opposed attitudes suggest mutual isolation and defeat each other. Properly understood, however, ambivalence implies the existence of poles that are conflictually yet rationally interlinked and are open to non-defeated joint conduct. This paper considers cases that range from indecisiveness and easy adoption of conflicting attitudes, to tragically conflicted deliberation and to cases of shifting between self-deceptively serious attitudes. Analyzing such cases as variants of defeated ambivalence, I argue (...)
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  31. Does the "Morning Morality Effect" Apply to Prehospital Anaesthesiologists? An Investigation Into Diurnal Changes in Ethical Behaviour.Caroline Schaffalitzky, Anne Craveiro Brøchner, Lars Grassmè Binderup & Søren Mikkelsen - 2020 - Healthcare 2 (8).
    The "morning morality effect"-the alleged phenomenon that people are more likely to act in unethical ways in the afternoon when they are tired and have less self-control than in the morning-may well be expected to influence prehospital anaesthesiologist manning mobile emergency care units (MECUs). The working conditions of these units routinely entail fatigue, hunger, sleep deprivation and other physical or emotional conditions that might make prehospital units predisposed to exhibit the "morning morality effect". We investigated whether this is in fact (...)
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  32. The Value of a Free and Wandering Mind.Miriam Schleifer McCormick - 2020 - In Sebastian Schmidt & Gerhard Ernst (eds.), The Ethics of Belief and Beyond. Understanding Mental Normativity. Abgindon: Routledge. pp. 270-288.
    Miriam Schleifer McCormick delineates the limits, or at least one limit, of the ethics of mind. Many theorists, including McCormick herself, have argued that some states of mind are appropriate targets of certain reactive attitudes even if they cannot be directly controlled. McCormick now worries that the scope of agency can be widened too far so that no area of mind is beyond the reach of appropriate assessment and judgement. She begins with the intuition that there is, or ought to (...)
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  33. Determining the Future.Matthew Soteriou - 2020 - In Gerhard Ernst & Sebastian Schmidt (eds.), The Ethics of Belief and Beyond. Understanding Mental Normativity. Abingdon: Routledge. pp. 234-255.
    Matthew Soteriou considers the kind of agency, and thus responsibility, that is involved in deciding to act, rather than in acting itself. One of his aims is to trace out connections between the notion that we occupy a tensed temporal perspective from which we regard the future as open, and the notion that we occupy a deliberative standpoint from which we act under the idea of freedom. A further aim is to suggest that identifying connections between the psychology of self-determination (...)
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  34. Agency’s Constitutive Normativity: An Elucidation.Federica Berdini - 2019 - Journal of Value Inquiry 53 (4):487-512.
    My aim in this paper is to provide a conceptual elucidation of the notion of constitutive normativity, which is central to Constitutivism as a first-order theory of agency, as well as to its metanormative ambitions. After introducing and clarifying the origins and scope of Constitutivism (Section 2), I focus on Christine M. Korsgaard’s version thereof (Section 3), which provides an explicit articulation of the notion of constitutive norms. Despite Korsgaard’s explicit acknowledgement that the concepts of action and agency come in (...)
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  35. Skilled Action.Wayne Christensen - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (11).
  36. Agent Causation and the Phenomenology of Agency.Randolph Clarke - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (3):747-764.
    Several philosophers claim that the phenomenology of one’s own agency conflicts with standard causal theories of action, couched in terms of causation by mental events or states. Others say that the phenomenology is prima facie incompatible with such a theory, even if in the end a reconciliation can be worked out. Here it is argued that the type of action theory in question is consistent with what can plausibly be said to be presented to us in our experience of our (...)
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  37. Evaluating Epistemic Virtues.Daniel Coren - 2019 - Synthese 198 (2):1569-1578.
    Epistemic conservatism says that an agent is in some measure justified in maintaining a belief simply in virtue of the fact that the agent has that belief. In his new book On Evidence in Philosophy, William Lycan argues that there is no special objection to EC that does not also impugn the other epistemic virtues. In a forthcoming Synthese piece, Daniel Coren argues that, for us as we are, EC cannot be evaluated. Coren does not discuss Lycan, and vice versa. (...)
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  38. Freedom, Gratitude, and Resentment: Olivi and Strawson.Daniel Coren - 2019 - Res Philosophica 96 (3):1-21.
    I argue that by attending to a distinction among perspectives on the root causes of our reactive attitudes, we can better understand the bases and limitations of long-standing debates about free will and moral responsibility. I characterize this distinction as “objectivism vs. subjectivism.” I bring out this distinction by, first, scrutinizing an especially sharp divergence between Peter Strawson and Peter John Olivi: for Olivi, our ordinary human attitudes make it obvious that we have free will, and our attitudes would be (...)
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  39. The Spontaneousness of Skill and the Impulsivity of Habit.Christos Douskos - 2019 - Synthese 196 (10):4305-4328.
    The objective of this paper is to articulate a distinction between habit and bodily skill as different ways of acting without deliberation. I start by elaborating on a distinction between habit and skill as different kinds of dispositions. Then I argue that this distinction has direct implications for the varieties of automaticity exhibited in habitual and skilful bodily acts. The argument suggests that paying close attention to the metaphysics of agency can help to articulate more precisely questions regarding the varieties (...)
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  40. Dual-System Theory and the Role of Consciousness in Intentional Action.Markus E. Schlosser - 2019 - In Bernard Feltz, Marcus Missal & Andrew Sims (eds.), Free Will, Causality, and Neuroscience. Leiden: Brill Editions. pp. 35–56.
    According to the standard view in philosophy, intentionality is the mark of genuine action. In psychology, human cognition and agency are now widely explained in terms of the workings of two distinct systems (or types of processes), and intentionality is not a central notion in this dual-system theory. Further, it is often claimed, in psychology, that most human actions are automatic, rather than consciously controlled. This raises pressing questions. Does the dual-system theory preserve the philosophical account of intentional action? How (...)
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  41. Agency Without Rationality.Lisa Bortolotti - 2018 - In Annalisa Coliva, Paolo Leonardi & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.), Eva Picardi on Language, Analysis and History. Palgrave. pp. 265-280.
    In the chapter I suggest that epistemic rationality should not be seen as a condition for intentional agency, but rather as an aspiration. Common failures of epistemic rationality in agents, such as conservatism, superstition, and prejudice, do not prevent us from interpreting and predicting those agents’ behaviour on the basis of their intentional states. In some circumstances, including confabulatory explanations and optimistically biased beliefs, instances of epistemic irrationality are instrumental to agents developing an illusion of competence and coherence, and thereby (...)
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  42. Rational and Social Agency: The Philosophy of Michael Bratman, Edited by Manuel Vargas and Gideon Yaffe.Michael Brent - 2018 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (3):371-374.
  43. More or Less Within My Power: Nature, Virtue, and the Modern Stoic.Christian Coseru - 2018 - Reason Papers 40 (2):8-18.
    Can the Stoic conception of what is within our power be adapted to fit our scientifically informed view of nature in general and of human nature in particular? This paper argues that it can, but not without a revision of the Stoic’s classical dichotomy of power principle, namely that some things are up to us, while others are beyond our control. Given the extent to which the Stoic way of life flows from a certain conception of what is real, a (...)
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  44. Animal Agency, Captivity, and Meaning.Nicolas Delon - 2018 - The Harvard Review of Philosophy 25:127-146.
    Can animals be agents? Do they want to be free? Can they have meaningful lives? If so, should we change the way we treat them? This paper offers an account of animal agency and of two continuums: between human and nonhuman agency, and between wildness and captivity. It describes how a wide range of human activities impede on animals’ freedom and argues that, in doing so, we deprive a wide range of animals of opportunities to exercise their agency in ways (...)
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  45. Intellectual Isolation.Jeremy David Fix - 2018 - Mind 127 (506):491-520.
    Intellectualism is the widespread view that practical reason is a species of theoretical reason, distinguished from others by its objects: reasons to act. I argue that if practical reason is a species of theoretical reason, practical judgments by nature have nothing to do with action. If they have nothing to do with action, I cannot act from my representation of reasons for me to act. If I cannot act from those representations, those reasons cannot exist. If they cannot exist, neither (...)
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  46. Shared Intention is Not Joint Commitment.Matthew Kopec & Seumas Miller - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 13 (2):179-189.
    Margaret Gilbert has long defended the view that, roughly speaking, agents share the intention to perform an action if and only if they jointly commit to performing that action. This view has proven both influential and controversial. While some authors have raised concerns over the joint commitment view of shared intention, including at times offering purported counterexamples to certain aspects of the view, straightforward counterexamples to the view as a whole have yet to appear in the literature. Here we provide (...)
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  47. The Anxious Mind: An Investigation Into the Varieties and Virtues of Anxiety.Charlie Kurth - 2018 - Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    This book is about the various forms of anxiety—some familiar, some not—that color and shape our lives. The objective is two-fold. The first aim is to deepen our understanding of what anxiety is. The second aim is to re-orient thinking about the role of emotions in moral psychology and ethical theory. Here I argue that the current focus on backward looking moral emotions like guilt and shame leaves us with a picture that is badly incomplete. To get a better understanding (...)
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  48. The Nietzschean Precedent for Anti-Reflective, Dialogical Agency.Alfano Mark - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41.
    John Doris and Friedrich Nietzsche have a lot in common. In addition to being provocative and humorous writers in their native idioms, they share a conception of human agency. It can be tiresome to point out the priority claims of an earlier philosopher, so I should say at the outset that I do so not to smugly insist that my guy got there first but to showcase a closely-allied perspective that may shed additional light and offer glimpses around blind corners. (...)
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  49. Action as the Conclusion of Practical Reasoning; The Critique of a Rödlian Account.Evgenia Mylonaki - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy (1):30-45.
    In this paper I take up the question of whether and in what sense action might be the conclusion of practical reasoning and argue against the answer provided by Sebastian Rödl's account of practical reasoning. Rödl's account aspires to steer a middle ground between the attitudinal and the neo-Aristotelian accounts of practical reasoning, by proposing that its conclusion is at once a thought and a movement. This account is worth considering for it promises to explain both practical reasoning's practicality and (...)
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  50. Meaning in the Lives of Humans and Other Animals.Duncan Purves & Nicolas Delon - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (2):317-338.
    This paper argues that contemporary philosophical literature on meaning in life has important implications for the debate about our obligations to non-human animals. If animal lives can be meaningful, then practices including factory farming and animal research might be morally worse than ethicists have thought. We argue for two theses about meaning in life: that the best account of meaningful lives must take intentional action to be necessary for meaning—an individual’s life has meaning if and only if the individual acts (...)
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