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Philosophy of Action

Edited by Constantine Sandis (University of Hertfordshire)
Assistant editor: István Zárdai (University of Pécs, Oxford Brookes University, University of Hertfordshire)
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  1. added 2017-01-17
    Arif Ahmed (forthcoming). Exploiting Cyclic Preference. Mind:fzv218.
    Probably many people have cyclic preferences: they prefer A to B, B to C and C to A for some objects of choice A, B and C. Recent work has resurrected the objection to cyclic preference that agents possessing them are open to exploitation by means of ‘money pumps’. The paper briefly reviews this work and proposes a general approach to problems of sequential choice that makes cyclic preference immune to exploitation by means of these new mechanisms.
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  2. added 2017-01-17
    Edmund Henden (forthcoming). Addiction as a Disorder of Self-Control. In Hanna Pickard & Serge Ahmed (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Science of Addiction. Routledge.
    Impairment of self-control is often said to be a defining feature of addiction. Yet many addicts display what appears to be a considerable amount of control over their drug-oriented actions. Not only are their actions clearly intentional and frequently carried out in a conscious and deliberate manner, there is evidence that many addicts are responsive to a wide range of ordinary incentives and counter-incentives. Moreover, addicts have a wide variety of reasons for using drugs, reasons which often seem to go (...)
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  3. added 2017-01-17
    Piotr Tomasz Makowski (forthcoming). Neil Roughley, Wanting and Intending. Elements of a Philosophy of Practical Mind. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-3.
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  4. added 2017-01-17
    Ishtiyaque Haji (forthcoming). The Obligation Dilemma. Journal of Ethics:1-25.
    I motivate a dilemma to show that nothing can be obligatory for anyone regardless of whether determinism or indeterminism is true. The deterministic horn, to which prime attention is directed, exploits the thesis that obligation requires freedom to do otherwise. Since determinism precludes such freedom, it precludes obligation too. The indeterministic horn allows for freedom to do otherwise but assumes the burden of addressing whether indeterministically caused choices or actions are too much of a matter of luck to be obligatory (...)
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  5. added 2017-01-17
    David Shoemaker (ed.) (forthcoming). Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility. Volume 4. Oxford University Press.
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  6. added 2017-01-17
    Bernard Berofsky (2017). Freedom From Necessity: The Metaphysical Basis of Responsibility. Routledge.
    This book, first published in 1987, is about the classic free will problem, construed in terms of the implications of moral responsibility. The principal thesis is that the core issue is metaphysical: can scientific laws postulate objectively necessary connections between an action and its causal antecedents? The author concludes they cannot, and that, therefore, free will and determinism can be reconciled.
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  7. added 2017-01-17
    Roy Weatherford (2017). The Implications of Determinism. Routledge.
    The problem of determinism arises in all the major areas of philosophy. The first part of this book, first published in 1991, is a critical and historical exposition of the problem and the most important ideas and arguments which have arisen over the many years of debate. The second part considers the various forms of determinism and the implications that they engender.
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  8. added 2017-01-17
    Alan Donagan (2017). Choice: The Essential Element in Human Action. Routledge.
    This book, first published in 1987, investigates what distinguishes the part of human behaviour that is action from the part that is not. The distinction was clearly drawn by Socrates, and developed by Aristotle and the medievals, but key elements of their work became obscured in modern philosophy, and were not fully recovered when, under Wittgenstein’s influence, the theory of action was revived in analytical philosophy. This study aims to recover those elements, and to analyse them in terms of a (...)
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  9. added 2017-01-17
    Mortimer Taube (2017). Causation, Freedom and Determinism: An Attempt to Solve the Causal Problem Through a Study of its Origins in Seventeenth-Century Philosophy. Routledge.
    This book, first published in 1936, divides into roughly two parts: a re-examination of historical material; and a positive theory of causation suggested by the results of this re-examination. The historical study discloses an ambiguity in the meanings of causation and determinism; it discloses also that this ambiguity is transferred to the meaning of freedom.
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  10. added 2017-01-17
    A. I. Melden (2017). Free Action. Routledge.
    That a science of human conduct is possible, that what any man may do even in moments of the most sober and careful reflection can be understood and explained, has seemed to many a philosopher to cast doubt upon our common view that any human action can ever be said to be truly free. This book, first published in 1961, into crucially important issues that are often ignored in the familiar arguments for and against the possibility of free action. These (...)
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  11. added 2017-01-17
    Robyn R. Gaier (2016). Comments on “Moral Excuses and Blame-Based Theories of Moral Wrongness” by Benjamin Rossi. Southwest Philosophy Review 32 (2):53-55.
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  12. added 2017-01-17
    L. Radoilska & K. D. Fletcher, Lessons From Akrasia in Substance Misuse: A Clinicophilosophical Discussion.
    This article explores the philosophical concept of akrasia, also known as weakness of will, and demonstrates its relevance to clinical practice. In particular, it challenges an implicit notion of control over one’s actions that might impede recovery from substance misuse. Reflecting on three fictional case vignettes, we show how philosophical work on akrasia helps avoid this potentially harmful notion of control by supporting a holistic engagement with people for whom substance misuse is a problem. We argue that such engagement enhances (...)
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  13. added 2017-01-17
    Joshua Rollins (2016). Comments on “The Modal-Knowno Problem,” by Robert William Fischer and Felipe Leon. Southwest Philosophy Review 32 (2):81-86.
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  14. added 2017-01-17
    Trujillo Jr (2016). Reasons to Care About Reasons for Action. Southwest Philosophy Review 32 (2):43-48.
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  15. added 2017-01-17
    John Bengson (2016). Practical Perception and Intelligent Action. Philosophical Issues 26 (1):25-58.
    Perceiving things to be a certain way may in some cases lead directly to action that is intelligent. This phenomenon has not often been discussed, though it is of broad philosophical interest. It also raises a difficult question: how can perception produce intelligent action? After clarifying the question—which I call the question of “practical perception”—and explaining what is required for an adequate answer, I critically examine two candidate answers drawn from work on related topics: the first, inspired by Hubert Dreyfus's (...)
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  16. added 2017-01-17
    Sean Bowden (2016). Joint Action and the Expression of Shared Intentions: An Expanded Taylorian Account. European Journal of Philosophy 24 (3).
    After having identified several shortcomings of the so-called ‘standard accounts’ of shared intentions, this paper will develop a novel framework for understanding such intentions. The framework to be advanced hinges on a notion of ‘expression’, as well as on the claim that shared intentions are expressed—that is, manifested, grasped, shaped and clarified—throughout the unfolding of the joint actions they animate, as well as in the various expressive activities and behaviours that accompany joint action. This claim will be defended with particular (...)
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  17. added 2017-01-17
    Jesse M. Mulder (2016). Why Intentions? Ratio 29 (4).
    There is an influential conception of intentional agency in terms of just beliefs and desires. And there is an equally influential conception that adds intentions as separate ingredients. It remains disputed whether adding intentions is really necessary, and what difference that addition exactly makes. I argue that adding intentions is required, but only because and insofar as it makes room for a distinctively practical kind of reasoning. I critically consider Bratman's main considerations in support of adding intentions, viz., conduct-control, inertia, (...)
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  18. added 2017-01-17
    Jessica Anne Brown, Blame and Wrongdoing.
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  19. added 2017-01-17
    Ewan Rodgers, Decision Theory with a Human Face: An Interview with Richard Bradley.
    Richard Bradley’s written a new book about decision theory. We decided to ask him some questions about it.
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  20. added 2017-01-17
    Daniel Whiting, Against Second-Order Reasons.
    A normative reason for a person to? is a consideration which favours?ing. A motivating reason is a reason for which or on the basis of which a person?s. This paper explores a connection between normative and motivating reasons. More specifically, it explores the idea that there are second-order normative reasons to? for or on the basis of certain first-order normative reasons. In this paper, I challenge the view that there are second-order reasons so understood. I then show that prominent views (...)
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  21. added 2017-01-17
    Thomas M. Lennon (2016). The Will’s Free Choice. International Philosophical Quarterly 56 (4):411-427.
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  22. added 2017-01-17
    Fabio Bacchini at al (ed.) (2014). New Advances in Causation, Agency and Moral Responsibility.
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  23. added 2017-01-17
    John Broome (2013). Enkrasia. Organon F 20 (4):425-436.
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  24. added 2017-01-17
    Biderman & Scharfstein (1989). Rationality in Question: On Eastern and Western Views of Rationality. Brill.
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  25. added 2017-01-17
    R. L. Franklin (1968). Freewill and Determinism: A Study of Rival Conceptions of Man. Routledge.
    This book, first published in 1968, examines the complicated issues which surround the problem of freewill. Although it reaches a libertarian conclusion, its focus is largely on other questions. What ultimately is at stake in this debate? What difference would it make whether we had freewill or not? Why must disagreement persist, and why do philosophes each opposed conclusions with such confidence? The answers to these questions open new perspectives.
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  26. added 2017-01-16
    Ori J. Herstein (forthcoming). Understanding Standing: Permission to Deflect Reasons. Philosophical Studies:1-24.
    Standing is a peculiar norm, allowing for deflecting that is rejecting offhand and without deliberation interventions such as directives. Directives are speech acts that aim to give directive-reasons, which are reason to do as the directive directs because of the directive. Standing norms, therefore, provide for deflecting directives regardless of validity or the normative weight of the rejected directive. The logic of the normativity of standing is, therefore, not the logic of invalidating directives or of competing with directive-reasons but of (...)
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  27. added 2017-01-16
    Voin Milevski (forthcoming). Weakness of Will and Motivational Internalism. Philosophical Psychology:1-10.
    The unconditional version of motivational internalism says that if an agent sincerely judges that to φ in circumstances C is the best option available to her, then, as a matter of conceptual necessity, she will be motivated to φ in C. This position faces a powerful counterargument according to which it is possible for various cases of practical irrationality to completely defeat an agent’s moral motivation while, at the same time, leaving her appreciation of her moral reasons intact. In this (...)
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  28. added 2017-01-16
    Matthew Silverstein (forthcoming). Agency and Normative Self-Governance. Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-12.
    ABSTRACTWe are agents: we can deliberate about what to do, and then act on the basis of that deliberation. We are also capable of normative self-governance: we can identify and respond to reasons as reasons. Many theorists believe that these two capacities are intimately connected. On the basis of this connection they conclude that practical reasoning must be carried out under the guise of a justification. This paper explores two strategies for avoiding that conclusion. The first, which just denies the (...)
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  29. added 2017-01-16
    Stefano Bacin (forthcoming). Under the Guise of the Good: Kant and a Tenet of Moral Rationalism. In Violetta Waibel & Margit Ruffing (eds.), Natur und Freiheit: Akten des XII. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses. de Gruyter.
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  30. added 2017-01-16
    Michael Bukoski (forthcoming). Self-Validation and Internalism in Velleman’s Constitutivism. Philosophical Studies:1-20.
    Metaethical constitutivists explain reasons or normativity in terms of what is constitutive of agency. In Velleman’s paradigmatic constitutivist theory, that is the aim of self-understanding. The best-known objection to constitutivism is Enoch’s shmagency objection: constitutivism cannot explain normativity because a constitutive aim of agency lacks normative significance unless one has reason to be an agent rather than a “shmagent”. In response, Velleman argues that the constitutive aim is self-validating. I argue that this claim is false. If the constitutive aim of (...)
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  31. added 2017-01-16
    David Botting (2017). The Virtuous Tortoise. Philosophical Investigations 40 (1):31-39.
    There is no philosophically interesting distinction to be made between inference-rules and premises. That there is such a distinction is often held to follow from the possibility of infinite regress illustrated by Carroll's story of Achilles and the tortoise. I will argue that this is wrong on three separate grounds. Consequently, Carroll's fable provides no motivation to abandon the traditional logical separation of arguments into their premises and conclusions. There is no proposition that must be taken to be a rule (...)
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  32. added 2017-01-16
    Isabela Fairclough, A Dialectical Profile for the Evaluation of Practical Arguments.
    This paper proposes a dialectical profile of critical questions attached to the deliberation scheme. It suggests how deliberation about means and about goals can be integrated into a single recursive procedure, and how the practical argument from goals can be integrated with the pragmatic argument from negative consequences. In a critical rationalist spirit, it argues that criticism of a proposal is criticism of its consequences, aimed at enhancing the rationality of decision-making in conditions of uncertainty and risk.
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  33. added 2017-01-16
    Rufus Duits (2016). What Would a Deontic Logic of Internal Reasons Look Like? Symposion. Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 3 (4):351-373.
    The so-called ‘central problem’ of internalism has been formulated like this: one cannot concurrently maintain the following three philosophical positions without inconsistency: internalism about practical reason, moral rationalism, and moral absolutism. Since internalism about practical reason is the most controversial of these, the suggestion is that it is the one that is best abandoned. In this paper, I point towards a response to this problem by sketching a deontic logic of internal reasons that deflates moral normativity to the normativity of (...)
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  34. added 2017-01-16
    Walton Douglas & Toniolo Alice, Deliberation, Practical Reasoning and Problem-Solving.
    We present a series of realistic examples of deliberation and discuss how they can form the basis for building a typology of deliberation dialogues. The observations from our examples are used to suggest that argumentation researchers and philosophers have been thinking about deliberation in overly simplistic ways. We argue that to include all the kinds of argumentation that make up realistic deliberations, it is necessary to distinguish between different kinds of deliberations. We propose a model including a problem-solving type of (...)
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  35. added 2017-01-16
    George Duke (2016). Aquinas, Kant, and the Eclipse of Practical Reason. Review of Metaphysics 69 (4):709-738.
    Contemporary debates on the nature and scope of practical reason are often framed in terms of the viewpoints of a few major figures in the history of philosophy. Whereas advocates of skeptical or procedural approaches to practical reason generally seek historical support from Hume, defenders of more substantive conceptions of practical rationality tend to draw inspiration from Aristotle or Kant. This paper argues that it is in fact the work of Aquinas which offers the best material for a defense of (...)
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  36. added 2017-01-16
    Marraud Hubert, Commentary on Douglas N. Walton and Alice Toniolo’s “Deliberation, Practical Reasoning and Problem-Solving”.
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  37. added 2017-01-16
    Anson Tullis (2015). Duality Unresolved and Darwinian Dilemmas. Stance 8:55-64.
    By using Sharon Street’s Darwinian Dilemma, Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek and Peter Singer attempt to show that Sidgwick’s duality of practical reason, whereby an agent has equal reason to act in their own interests or act impartially for the benefit of all, is not actually a duality; rather, reasons for action are solely impartial due to the unreliability of intuitions favoring self-interested behavior. I argue that Lazari-Radek and Singer fail to accomplish their goal. I argue that Singer has previously provided an (...)
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  38. added 2017-01-16
    David S. Oderberg, All for the Good.
    The Guise of the Good thesis has received much attention since Anscombe's brief defence in her book Intention. I approach it here from a less common perspective - indirectly, via a theory explaining how it is that moral behaviour is even possible. After setting out how morality requires the employment of a fundamental test, I argue that moral behaviour involves orientation toward the good. Immoral behaviour cannot, however, involve orientation to evil as such, given the theory of evil as privation. (...)
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  39. added 2017-01-16
    Noa Schori-Eyal, Marina Chernikova & Arie W. Kruglanski (2014). From Readiness to Action: How Motivation Works. Polish Psychological Bulletin 45 (3):259-267.
    We present a new theoretical construct labeled motivational readiness. It is defined as the inclination, whether or not ultimately implemented, to satisfy a desire. A general model of readiness is described which builds on the work of prior theories, including animal learning models and personality approaches, and which aims to integrate a variety of research findings across different domains of motivational research. Components of this model include the Want state, and the Expectancy of being able to satisfy that Want. We (...)
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  40. added 2017-01-16
    Forman (2012). Principled and Unprincipled Maxims. Kant-Studien 103 (3):318-336.
    : Kant frequently speaks as if all voluntary actions arise from our maxims as the subjective principles of our practical reason. But, as Michael Albrecht has pointed out, Kant also occasionally speaks as if it is only the rare person of “character” who acts according to principles or maxims. I argue that Kant’s seemingly contradictory claims on this front result from the fact that there are two fundamentally different ways that maxims of action can figure in the deliberation of the (...)
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  41. added 2017-01-16
    Julian Fink (2009). Do We Have Reasons to Do as We Believe We Ought to Do? In M. Silar & F. S. Augier (eds.), Practical Rationality: Intentionality, Normativity and Reflexivity. Ziur Navarra. pp. 65-79.
    Suppose you believe you ought to A. Would a failure of yours to A imply that you are not entirely as you ought to be? Ought you to A if you believe you to ought to A? This paper argues for a qualified version of this claim. It is qualified in two ways. First, I assume that this can be so only if ‘if you believe you ought to A’ appears within the scope of ‘you ought’. That is, you ought (...)
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  42. added 2017-01-16
    M. Silar & F. S. Augier (eds.) (2009). Practical Rationality: Intentionality, Normativity and Reflexivity. Ziur Navarra.
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  43. added 2017-01-16
    Margit Ruffing, Guido A. De Almeida, Ricardo R. Terra & Valerio Rohden (2008). The Moral Law as Expression of the Autonomy of Reason in the Critique of the Practical Reason. In Margit Ruffing, Guido A. De Almeida, Ricardo R. Terra & Valerio Rohden (eds.), Recht Und Frieden in der Philosophie Kantslaw and Peace in Kant’s Philosophy: Akten des X. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses. Walter de Gruyter.
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  44. added 2017-01-16
    Barber (2007). Ethical Experience and the Motives for Practical Rationality. International Philosophical Quarterly 47 (4):425-441.
    John McDowell’s ethical writings interpret ethical experience as intentional, socially-conditioned, virtuous responsiveness to situations and develop a modest account of practical rationality. His work converges with investigations of ethical experience by recent Kant scholars and Emmanuel Levinas. The Kantian interpreters and Levinas locate the categorical demands of ethical experience in rational agents’ demands for respect, while McDowell finds it in noble adherence to the demands of virtuous living. For McDowell, moral-practical rational efforts to justify ethics cannot transcend one’s form of (...)
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  45. added 2017-01-16
    Kelly Coble (2007). How Compatibilists Can Account for the Moral Motive: Autonomy and Metaphysical Internalism. Kant-Studien 98 (3):329-350.
    I. Introduction In Groundwork III and in the Critique of Practical Reason Kant famously asserted that “Freiheit und unbedingtes praktisches Gesetz weisen […] wechselsweise auf einander zurück.” Kant's thesis of the analyticity of freedom and practical reason was rejected by his prominent early readers. In the eighth of his influential Letters on Kant's Philosophy of 1786–1787, Karl Leonhard Reinhold argued that the identification of the will with practical reason excluded the possibility of ascribing freedom to immoral and amoral actions. Reinhold (...)
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  46. added 2017-01-16
    Schönecker Dieter & Horn Christoph (2006). Practical Reason. In Dieter Schönecker & Christoph Horn (eds.), Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. Walter de Gruyter.
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  47. added 2017-01-16
    L. A. Kalinnikov (1989). What Sense is Concealed in the Postulates of Practical Reason? Proceedings of the Sixth International Kant Congress 2 (2):327-331.
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  48. added 2017-01-16
    Héctor-Neri Castañeda (1986). Practical Reason, Reasons for Doing and Intentional Action. Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 2 (1):69-96.
    To come to know what to do is to have a thought which itself consists of an awareness of its bringing about an action, or a rearrangement of one’s causal powers...The causal dimension of practical thinking is the coalescence of contemplation and the causation of that contemplation, and the contemplation of that causation.
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  49. added 2017-01-16
    Clarke (1979). Varieties of Practical Inference. Southern Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):273-286.
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  50. added 2017-01-16
    Thomas Donaldson (1978). Psychoanalysis and the Practical Inference Mode. Philosophy Research Archives 4:1-16.
    The paper considers the general question of whether unconscious practical inference is possible. It undertakes an investigation of Freud's theory of psychoanalysis, in order to determine whether his theory can meet the requirements of the practical inference model, and thus make room for unconscious practical inference. The paper argues that it cannot: although Freud's theory appears to meet certain conditions necessary for practical inference, i.e., minimal agent rationality and the postulation of desires, it leaves out one element which is essential (...)
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