About this topic
Summary Mental actions can be understood in terms of agents and their cognitive capacities.  When an agent performs a mental action, she employs one or more of her cognitive capacities and thereby produces an effect of some kind.  Key questions about mental action include: Within the domain of the mental, what should be considered mental action? (Attending, imagining, judging, coming to believe, wishing, desiring, daydreaming, conscious awareness?)  In what ways is mental action different from or similar to bodily action?  How does one perform a mental action?  How does one come to know that one is performing a mental action?  Does mental action shed light on issues such as the mind-body problem, the plausibility of functionalism, or the nature of representational content?      
Key works

Classic discussions of mental action include James 1890, Ryle 1949, Geach 1957, Taylor 1963, and Williams 1973.  More recently, Strawson 2003 claims that the notion of mental action is severely limited in its applicability, and Buckareff 2005 argues that Strawson’s account is problematically restrictive.  Proust 2001 presents a definition of mental acts and defends their explanatory role, Hieronymi 2006 claims that the formation of beliefs and intentions is less than voluntary and thus differs from bodily action, McCall 1987 argues that deciding is an action, and Wu 2013 contends that, borrowing from the work of William James, conscious mental action is cognitive attention.  

Introductions O'Brien & Soteriou 2009.
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320 found
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  1. Second Nature in Nishida and McDowell.Montserrat Crespin Perales - forthcoming - In Noe Keiichi & Wing-Keung Lam (eds.), Feeling, Rationality and Morality: A Transcultural Perspective. New York: Bloomsbury.
    What I propose here is to dialogue and check the confluences and divergences between McDowell’s relaxed naturalism and Nishida’s historical naturalism, and their strategies to surmount modern philosophy everlasting questions that pivot on a series of dualisms, among which that of reason and nature stands out. In what follows, in the first section, I will clarify some of the reasons why the division between nature and culture, or reason and nature, or minds and world, represents one of the facets of (...)
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  2. Is the wandering mind a planning mind?Frederik T. Junker & Thor Grünbaum - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    Recent studies on mind‐wandering reveal its potential role in goal exploration and planning future actions. How to understand these explorative functions and their impact on planning remains unclear. Given certain conceptions of intentions and beliefs, the explorative functions of mind‐wandering could lead to regular reconsideration of one's intentions. However, this would be in tension with the stability of intentions central to rational planning agency. We analyze the potential issue of excessive reconsideration caused by mind‐wandering. Our response resolves this tension, presenting (...)
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  3. The Strategic Allocation Theory of Vigilance.Samuel Murray & Santiago Amaya - forthcoming - WIREs Cognitive Science.
    Despite its importance in different occupational and everyday contexts, vigilance, typically defined as the capacity to sustain attention over time, is remarkably limited. What explains these limits? Two theories have been proposed. The Overload Theory states that being vigilant consumes limited information-processing resources; when depleted, task performance degrades. The Underload Theory states that motivation to perform vigilance tasks declines over time, thereby prompting attentional shifts and hindering performance. We highlight some conceptual and empirical problems for both theories and propose an (...)
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  4. Book review for "Psychopathology and Philosophy of Mind", edited by Valentina Cardella and Amelia Gangemi. [REVIEW]Juliette Vazard - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.
    By manifesting dysfunctions of fundamental psychological mechanisms such as emotions, reasoning, and language, symptoms of mental disorders can inform us on their nature and functions. In this volume, Valentina Cardella and Amelia Gangemi bring together a collection of articles which draw from psychopathology in order to further our study of the human mind. Contributors include philosophers of mind and language, clinical psychologists, and a historian, all applying their respective methodological tools with the aim of learning from mental disorders about the (...)
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  5. Mental agency and rational subjectivity.Lucy Campbell & Alexander Greenberg - 2024 - European Journal of Philosophy 32 (1):224-245.
    Philosophy is witnessing an “Agential Turn,” characterised by the thought that explaining certain distinctive features of human mentality requires conceiving of many mental phenomena as acts, and of subjects as their agents. We raise a challenge for three central explanatory appeals to mental agency––agentialism about doxastic responsibility, agentialism about doxastic self‐knowledge, and an agentialist explanation of the delusion of thought insertion: agentialists either commit themselves to implausibly strong claims about the kind of agency involved in the relevant phenomena, or make (...)
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  6. Imagining as a Skillful Mental Action.Seth Goldwasser - 2024 - Synthese 204 (38):1-33.
    I provide a novel, non-reductive, action-first skill-based account of active imagining. I call it the Skillful Action Account of Imagining (the skillful action account for short). According to this account, to actively imagine something is to form a representation of that thing, where the agent’s forming that representation and selecting its content together constitute a means to the completion of some imaginative project. Completing imaginative projects stands to the active formation of the relevant representations as an end. The account thus (...)
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  7. How to perform a nonbasic action.Mikayla Kelley - 2024 - Noûs 58 (1).
    Some actions we perform “just like that” without taking a means, e.g., raising your arm or wiggling your finger. Other actions—the nonbasic actions—we perform by taking a means, e.g., voting by raising your arm or illuminating a room by flipping a switch. A nearly ubiquitous view about nonbasic action is that one's means to a nonbasic action constitutes the nonbasic action, as raising your arm constitutes voting or flipping a switch constitutes illuminating a room. In this paper, I challenge this (...)
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  8. A planning theory of belief.Sara Aronowitz - 2023 - Philosophical Perspectives 37 (1):5-17.
    What does it mean to hold a belief? Some of our ways of speaking in English suggest that to hold a belief is to have something in your mind: beliefs are things we acquire, defend, recover, and so on (Abelson, 1986). That is, believing is a matter of being in a state of having a thing. In this paper, I will argue for an alternative: believing is something we do. This is not a new suggestion. For instance, Matthew Boyle (2011) (...)
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  9. Mental Action and the Conscious Mind.Michael Brent & Lisa Miracchi (eds.) - 2023 - New York, NY: Routledge.
    Mental action deserves a place among foundational topics in action theory and philosophy of mind. Recent accounts of human agency tend to overlook the role of conscious mental action in our daily lives, while contemporary accounts of the conscious mind often ignore the role of mental action and agency in shaping consciousness. This collection aims to establish the centrality of mental action for discussions of agency and mind. The thirteen original essays provide a wide-ranging vision of the various and nuanced (...)
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  10. Explicating Agency: The Case of Visual Attention.Denis Buehler - 2023 - Philosophical Quarterly 73 (2):379-413.
    How do individuals guide their activities towards some goal? Harry Frankfurt once identified the task of explaining guidance as the central problem in action theory. An explanation has proved to be elusive, however. In this paper, I show how we can marshal empirical research to make explanatory progress. I contend that human agents have a primitive capacity to guide visual attention, and that this capacity is actually constituted by a sub-individual psychological control-system: the executive system. I thus illustrate how we (...)
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  11. Consciousness, Attention, and the Motivation-Affect System.Tom Cochrane - 2023 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 30 (7):139-163.
    It is an important feature of creatures like us that our various motivations compete for control over our behaviour, including mental behaviour such as imagining and attending. In large part, this competition is adjudicated by the stimulation of affect — the intrinsically pleasant or unpleasant aspects of experience. In this paper I argue that the motivation-affect system controls a sub-type of attention called 'alerting attention' to bring various goals and stimuli to consciousness and thereby prioritize those contents for action. This (...)
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  12. Imagination, Endogenous Attention, and Mental Agency.Tom Cochrane - 2023 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 1:1-21.
    This paper develops a mechanistic account of basic mental agency by identifying similarities between two of its major exemplars: endogenous attention and imagination. Five key similarities are identified: i) that both capacities are driven by currently prioritised goals that are either person-level or apt to become person-level. ii) that both deliver their outputs to the working memory iii) that both range across all and only conceptual contents; iv) that both proceed under the guidance of norms and/or habits; and v) that (...)
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  13. Mindfulness and Agential Control.Simon Kittle - 2023 - Journal of Humanistic Psychology.
    Mindfulness meditation seems to generate the following puzzle: On one hand, mindfulness reveals to the meditator that many of their thoughts are outside of their control and leads to a diminished sense of self; on the other, regular mindfulness practice is supposed to lead to greater self-awareness and self-control. In this article, the author develops an agent-causal account of agential control that explains both claims. It is suggested that the work of phenomenologist Hans Reiner shows us why the feeling of (...)
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  14. “一念发动处,便即是行了”——王阳明心理行为论简议 (“If a Single Concern Arises, It Is Already Action” : A Note on Wang Yangming on Mental Action).Harvey Lederman - 2023 - 哲学分析 14 (80.04):191-195.
    I present a problem for an influential argument of Chen Lai's, and argue that Wang Yangming may have believed that all "motivating concerns" are actions. (The archived version is a Chinese preprint; the published Chinese version is available by the external link in the entry. An English version is available on my website.).
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  15. On the Distinctiveness of Listening to Music.Giulia Lorenzi - 2023 - Dissertation, University of Warwick
    Traditionally, philosophers of perception have focused their attention nearly exclusively on vision. Recently, however, the scientific and philosophical interest in studying other sensory modalities and their interaction has grown. Auditory perception has become an important field of research (O’Callaghan 2007, Nudds & O’Callaghan 2009). In this context, listening to music is usually presented as one variety of auditory perception (O’Callaghan 2021). Nevertheless, at the moment, there is no satisfactory explanation for this classification. The aim of my thesis is to explain (...)
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  16. Mental Action and Self-Awareness.Christopher Peacocke - 2023 - In Jonathan Cohen & Brian McLaughlin (eds.), Contemporary Debates in the Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell.
    This paper is built around a single, simple idea. It is widely agreed that there is a distinctive kind of awareness each of us has of his own bodily actions. This action-awareness is different from any perceptual awareness a subject may have of his own actions; it can exist in the absence of such perceptual awareness. The single, simple idea around which this paper is built is that the distinctive awareness that subjects have of their own mental actions is a (...)
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  17. Man as Trinity of Body, Spirit, and Soul.Marcoen J. T. F. Cabbolet - 2022 - In And now for something completely different: the Elementary Process Theory. Revised, updated and extended 2nd edition of the dissertation with almost the same title. Utrecht: Eburon Academic Publishers. pp. 319-370.
    Although there are several monistic and dualistic approaches to the mind-body problem on the basis of classical or quantum mechanics, thus far no consensus exists about a solution. Recently, the Elementary Process Theory (EPT) has been developed: this corresponds with a fundamentally new disciplinary matrix for the study of physical reality. The purpose of the present research was to investigate the mind-body problem within this newly developed disciplinary matrix. The main finding is that the idea of a duality of body (...)
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  18. Memory as Skill.Seth Goldwasser - 2022 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 14 (3):833-856.
    The temporal structure for motivating, monitoring, and making sense of agency depends on encoding, maintaining, and accessing the right contents at the right times. These functions are facilitated by memory. Moreover, in informing action, memory is itself often active. That remembering is essential to and an expression of agency and is often active suggests that it is a type of action. Despite this, Galen Strawson (Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 103, 227–257, 2003) and Alfred Mele (2009) deny that remembering is (...)
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  19. On Believing: Being Right in a World of Possibilities.David A. Hunter - 2022 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Developing original accounts of the many aspects of belief, On Believing puts the believer at the heart of the story. Developing a novel account of the normativity of belief, Hunter argues that the ethics of belief concern how a believer ought to be positioned in a world of possibilities.
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  20. The Tinkering Mind.Tillmann Vierkant - 2022 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    Epistemic agency is a crucial concept in many different areas of philosophy and the cognitive sciences. It is crucial in dual process theories of cognition as well as theories of metacognition and mindreading, self-control, and moral agency. But what is epistemic agency? The Tinkering Mind argues that epistemic agency has two distinct and incompatible definitions. It can be simply understood as intentional mental action, or as a distinct non-voluntary form of evaluative agency. The core argument of the book demonstrates that (...)
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  21. Intentional mind-wandering as intentional omission: the surrealist method.Santiago Arango-Muñoz & Juan Pablo Bermúdez - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7727-7748.
    Mind-wandering seems to be paradigmatically unintentional. However, experimental findings have yielded the paradoxical result that mind-wandering can also be intentional. In this paper, we first present the paradox of intentional mind-wandering and then explain intentional mind-wandering as the intentional omission to control one’s own thoughts. Finally, we present the surrealist method for artistic production to illustrate how intentional omission of control over thoughts can be deployed towards creative endeavors.
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  22. Rational Agency and the Struggle to Believe What Your Reasons Dictate.Brie Gertler - 2021 - In Cristina Borgoni, Dirk Kindermann & Andrea Onofri (eds.), The Fragmented Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    According to an influential view that I call agentialism, our capacity to believe and intend directly on the basis of reasons—our rational agency—has a normative significance that distinguishes it from other kinds of agency (Bilgrami 2006, Boyle 2011, Burge 1996, Korsgaard 1996, Moran 2001). Agentialists maintain that insofar as we exercise rational agency, we bear a special kind of responsibility for our beliefs and intentions; and it is only those attitudes that represent the exercise of rational agency that are truly (...)
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  23. How Reasoning Aims at Truth.David Horst - 2021 - Noûs 55 (1):221-241.
    Many hold that theoretical reasoning aims at truth. In this paper, I ask what it is for reasoning to be thus aim-directed. Standard answers to this question explain reasoning’s aim-directedness in terms of intentions, dispositions, or rule-following. I argue that, while these views contain important insights, they are not satisfactory. As an alternative, I introduce and defend a novel account: reasoning aims at truth in virtue of being the exercise of a distinctive kind of cognitive power, one that, unlike ordinary (...)
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  24. Drifting and Directed Minds: The Significance of Mind-Wandering for Mental Agency.Zachary C. Irving - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy 118 (11):614-644.
    Perhaps the central question in action theory is this: what ingredient of bodily action is missing in mere behavior? But what is an analogous question for mental action? I ask this: what ingredient of active, goal-directed thought is missing in mind-wandering? My answer: attentional guidance. Attention is guided when you would feel pulled back from distractions. In contrast, mind-wandering drifts between topics unchecked. My unique starting point motivates new accounts of four central topics about mental action. First, its causal basis. (...)
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  25. Reasoning and its limits.David Jenkins - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):9479-9495.
    Reasoning is naturally understood as something which we actively do—as a kind of action. However, reflection on the supposed limits to the extent to which it is up to us how our reasoning unfolds is often taken to cast doubt on this idea. I argue that, once articulated with care, challenges to the idea that reasoning is a kind of action can be seen to trade on problematic assumptions. In particular, they trade on assumptions which could be used to rule (...)
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  26. The Activity of Reasoning: How Reasoning Can Constitute Epistemic Agency.David Jenkins - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 102 (3):413-428.
    We naturally see ourselves as capable of being active with respect to the matter of what we believe – as capable of epistemic agency. A natural view is that we can exercise such agency by engaging in reasoning. Sceptics contend that such a view cannot be maintained in light of the fact that reasoning involves judgements, which are not decided upon or the products of prior intentions. In response, I argue that reasoning in fact can amount to epistemic agency in (...)
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  27. Deciding: how special is it?Alfred R. Mele - 2021 - Philosophical Explorations 24 (3):359-375.
    To decide to A, as I conceive of it, is to perform a momentary mental action of forming an intention to A. I argue that ordinary instances of practical deciding, so conceived, falsify the following...
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  28. Mental action.Antonia Peacocke - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (6):e12741.
    Just as bodily actions are things you do with your body, mental actions are things you do with your mind. Both are different from things that merely happen to you. Where does the idea of mental action come from? What are mental actions? And why do they matter in philosophy? These are the three main questions answered in this paper. Section 1 introduces mental action through a brief history of the topic in philosophy. Section 2 explains what it is to (...)
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  29. Skill and Sensitivity to Reasons.Joshua Shepherd - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3):669-681.
    In this paper I explore the relationship between skill and sensitivity to reasons for action. I want to know to what degree we can explain the fact that the skilled agent is very good at performing a cluster of actions within some domain in terms of the fact that the skilled agent has a refined sensitivity to the reasons for action common to the cluster. The picture is a little bit complex. While skill can be partially explained by sensitivity to (...)
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  30. The Philosophy and Psychology of Ambivalence: Being of Two Minds.Berit Brogaard & Dimitria Electra Gatzia (eds.) - 2020 - New York, NY: Routledge.
    This book collects original essays by top scholars that address questions about the nature, origins, and effects of ambivalence. While the nature of agency has received an enormous amount of attention, relatively little has been written about ambivalence or how it relates to topics such as agency, rationality, justification, knowledge, autonomy, self-governance, well-being, social cognition, and various other topics. Ambivalence presents unique questions related to many major philosophical debates. For example, it relates to debates about virtues, rationality, and decision-making, agency (...)
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  31. A Role for Conscious Accessibility in Skilled Action.Chiara Brozzo - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3):683-697.
    Skilled sportsmen or musicians—more generally, skilled agents—often fill us with awe with the way they perform their actions. One question we may ask ourselves is whether they intended to perform some awe-inspiring aspects of their actions. This question becomes all the more pressing as it often turns out that these agents were not conscious of some of those aspects at the time of performance. As I shall argue, there are reasons for suspecting lack of conscious access to an aspect of (...)
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  32. Anti-Intellectualism for the Learning and Employment of Skill.Daniel C. Burnston - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3):507-526.
    I draw on empirical results from perceptual and motor learning to argue for an anti-intellectualist position on skill. Anti-intellectualists claim that skill or know-how is non-propositional. Recent proponents of the view have stressed the flexible but fine-grained nature of skilled control as supporting their position. However, they have left the nature of the mental representations underlying such control undertheorized. This leaves open several possible strategies for the intellectualist, particularly with regard to skill learning. Propositional knowledge may structure the inputs to (...)
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  33. Aristotle on Motion in Incomplete Animals.Daniel Coren - 2020 - Apeiron 53 (3):285-314.
    I explain what Aristotle means when, after puzzling about the matter of motion in incomplete animals (those without sight, smell, hearing), he suggests in De Anima III 11.433b31–434a5 that just as incomplete animals are moved indeterminately, desire and phantasia are present in those animals, but present indeterminately. I argue that self-motion and its directing faculties in incomplete animals differ in degree but not in kind from those of complete animals. I examine how an object of desire differs for an incomplete (...)
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  34. Nudging and Autonomy: Analyzing and Alleviating the Worries.Bart Engelen & Thomas Nys - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (1):137-156.
    One of the most pervasive criticisms of nudges has been the claim that they violate, undermine or decrease people’s autonomy. This claim, however, is seldom backed up by an explicit and detailed conception of autonomy. In this paper, we aim to do three things. First, we want to clear up some conceptual confusion by distinguishing the different conceptions used by Cass Sunstein and his critics in order to get clear on how they conceive of autonomy. Second, we want to add (...)
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  35. Intention and empathy.Kevin Harrelson - 2020 - Philosophical Psychology 33 (8):1162-1184.
    This essay challenges some assumptions of prevalent theories of empathy. The empathizer, according to these theories, must have an emotion or a representation that matches the recipient’s emotion or representation. I argue that these conditions fail to account for important cases, namely surrogate and out-group empathy. In the course of this argument, I isolate some conceptual difficulties in extant models of cognitive empathy. In place of the matching theories,I propose an indexical model that (1) distinguishes virtual from real self-reference and (...)
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  36. Cognising With Others in the We-Mode: a Defence of ‘First-Person Plural’ Social Cognition.Joe Higgins - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (4):803-824.
    The theory of we-mode cognition seeks to expand our understanding of the cognition involved in joint action, and therein claims to explain how we can have non-theoretical and non-simulative access to the minds of others (Gallotti and Frith Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 17: 160-165, 2013a, Gallotti and Frith Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 17: 304-305, 2013b). A basic tenet of this theory is that each individual jointly intends to accomplish some outcome together, requiring the adoption of a “first-person plural perspective” (Gallotti (...)
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  37. theory of mind.Foerstl J. (ed.) - 2020 - Munich: Flick Flack.
    Die Theory of Mind (ToM) ist eine au fwendige, zu sammengesetzte Leistung, die auf mehreren kognitiven Voraussetzungen aufbaut. Sie wird in Laborsituationen mit anspruchsvollen Paradigmen untersucht. Diesen Ansprüchen sind ältere Menschen aus u nterschiedlichen Gründen oft nicht mehr gewachsen. Schreiten altersassoziierte Probleme wie Herz-Kreislauf-Krankheiten, Seh- und Hörstörungen fort oder entwickeln sich besondere Hirnerkrankungen wie vaskuläre und neurodegenerative Demenzen (zum Beispiel eine frontotemporale Lobärdegeneration), so fällt es zu nehmend schwer, passende Antworten auf schwierige soziale Fragen finden. Überdies muss ToM regelmässig trainiert (...)
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  38. Effort, Uncertainty, and the Sense of Agency.Oliver Lukitsch - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (4):955-975.
    Orthodox neurocognitive accounts of the bodily sense of agency suggest that the experience of agency arises when action-effects are anticipated accurately. In this paper, I argue that while successful anticipation is crucial for the sense of agency, the role of unsuccessful prediction has been neglected, and that inefficacy and uncertainty are no less central to the sense of agency. I will argue that this is reflected in the phenomenology of agency, which can be characterized both as the experience of efficacy (...)
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  39. Inference as Consciousness of Necessity.Eric Marcus - 2020 - Analytic Philosophy 61 (4):304-322.
    Consider the following three claims. (i) There are no truths of the form ‘p and ~p’. (ii) No one holds a belief of the form ‘p and ~p’. (iii) No one holds any pairs of beliefs of the form {p, ~p}. Irad Kimhi has recently argued, in effect, that each of these claims holds and holds with metaphysical necessity. Furthermore, he maintains that they are ultimately not distinct claims at all, but the same claim formulated in different ways. I find (...)
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  40. False procedural memory.Urim Retkoceri - 2020 - Philosophical Psychology (3):1-27.
    Lately, it seems a number of philosophical memory theories are incorporating false memory phenomena into their conceptual frameworks. At the same time, scientific research is extending its analysis of false memories to nondeclarative forms of memory. However, both sides have paid little attention to the notion of false procedural memory. Yet, from everyday experience as well as from psychological investigation, we are aware of different ways procedural memory goes wrong. Here, I characterize the conceptual foundation of false procedural memory. First, (...)
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  41. Causation, Responsibility, and Typicality.Justin Sytsma - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (4):699-719.
    There is ample evidence that violations of injunctive norms impact ordinary causal attributions. This has struck some as deeply surprising, taking the ordinary concept of causation to be purely descriptive. Our explanation of the findings—the responsibility view—rejects this: we contend that the concept is in fact partly normative, being akin to concepts like responsibility and accountability. Based on this account, we predicted a very different pattern of results for causal attributions when an agent violates a statistical norm. And this pattern (...)
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  42. The Sense of Effort: a Cost-Benefit Theory of the Phenomenology of Mental Effort.Marcell Székely & John Michael - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (4):889-904.
    In the current paper, we articulate a theory to explain the phenomenology of mental effort. The theory provides a working definition of mental effort, explains in what sense mental effort is a limited resource, and specifies the factors that determine whether or not mental effort is experienced as aversive. The core of our theory is the conjecture that the sense of effort is the output of a cost-benefit analysis. This cost-benefit analysis employs heuristics to weigh the current and anticipated costs (...)
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  43. Exploring the Orthogonal Relationship between Controlled and Automated Processes in Skilled Action.John Toner & Aidan Moran - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3):577-593.
    Traditional models of skill learning posit that skilled action unfolds in an automatic manner and that control will prove deleterious to movement and performance proficiency. These perspectives assume that automated processes are characterised by low levels of control and vice versa. By contrast, a number of authors have recently put forward hybrid theories of skilled action which have sought to capture the close integration between fine-grained automatic motor routines and intentional states. Drawing heavily on the work of Bebko et al. (...)
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  44. All of Your Choices Matter. Charakterbildungsrelevante Entscheidungen in Videospielen am Beispiel von Telltales The Walking Dead.Rebecca Bachmann - 2019 - In Vom Binge Watching zum Binge Thinking. Untersuchungen im Wechselspiel zwischen Wissenschaften und Popkultur. Bielefeld, Deutschland: pp. 81-100.
    This paper is devoted to the concept of decisions in video games. In doing so, I start from the frequently applied criticism that they are irrelevant, since the course of the game is almost identical regardless of the individual decision. I follow this criticism with examples from "Telltale's The Walking Dead - Season Two" and work out a certain understanding of decisions in video games that characterizes them as relevant to the outcome. In contrast, using Robert Kane's theory of free (...)
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  45. Meditation and the Scope of Mental Action.Michael Brent & Candace Upton - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (1):52-71.
    While philosophers of mind have devoted abundant time and attention to questions of content and consciousness, philosophical questions about the nature and scope of mental action have been relatively neglected. Galen Strawson’s account of mental action, arguably the most well-known extant account, holds that cognitive mental action consists in triggering the delivery of content to one’s field of consciousness. However, Strawson fails to recognize several distinct types of mental action that might not reduce to triggering content delivery. In this paper, (...)
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  46. Two-Way Powers as Derivative Powers.Andrei A. Buckareff - 2019 - In Michael Brent & Lisa Miracchi Titus (eds.), Mental Action and the Conscious Mind. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 228-254.
    Some philosophers working on the metaphysics of agency argue that if agency is understood in terms of settling the truth of some matters, then the power required for the exercise of intentional agency is an irreducible two-way power to either make it true that p or not-p. In this paper, the focus is on two-way powers in decision-making. Two problems are raised for theories of decision-making that are ontologically committed to irreducible two-way powers. First, recent accounts lack an adequate framework (...)
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  47. Rational Inference: The Lowest Bounds.Cameron Buckner - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (3):697-724.
    A surge of empirical research demonstrating flexible cognition in animals and young infants has raised interest in the possibility of rational decision‐making in the absence of language. A venerable position, which I here call “Classical Inferentialism”, holds that nonlinguistic agents are incapable of rational inferences. Against this position, I defend a model of nonlinguistic inferences that shows how they could be practically rational. This model vindicates the Lockean idea that we can intuitively grasp rational connections between thoughts by developing the (...)
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  48. Two Kinds of Cognitive Expertise.Elijah Chudnoff - 2019 - Noûs 55 (2):270-292.
    Expertise is traditionally classified into perceptual, cognitive, and motor forms. I argue that the empirical research literature on expertise gives us compelling reasons to reject this traditional classification and accept an alternative. According to the alternative I support there is expertise in forming impressions, which further divides into expertise in forming sensory and intellectual impressions, and there is expertise in performing actions, which further divides into expertise in performing mental and bodily actions. The traditional category of cognitive expertise splits into (...)
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  49. A Broomean Model of Rationality and Reasoning.Franz Dietrich, Antonios Staras & Robert Sugden - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy 116 (11):585-614.
    John Broome has developed an account of rationality and reasoning which gives philosophical foundations for choice theory and the psychology of rational agents. We formalize his account into a model that differs from ordinary choice-theoretic models through focusing on psychology and the reasoning process. Within that model, we ask Broome’s central question of whether reasoning can make us more rational: whether it allows us to acquire transitive preferences, consistent beliefs, non-akratic intentions, and so on. We identify three structural types of (...)
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  50. Intention at the Interface.Ellen Fridland - 2019 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3):481-505.
    I identify and characterize the kind of personal-level control-structure that is most relevant for skilled action control, namely, what I call, “practical intention”. I differentiate between practical intentions and general intentions not in terms of their function or timing but in terms of their content. I also highlight a distinction between practical intentions and other control mechanisms that are required to explain skilled action. I’ll maintain that all intentions, general and practical, have the function specifying, sustaining, and structuring action but (...)
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