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  1. Wanting and Willing.Eric Marcus - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    How homogenous are the sources of human motivation? Textbook Humeans hold that every human action is motivated by desire, thus any heterogeneity derives from differing objects of desire. Textbook Kantians hold that although some human actions are motivated by desire, others are motivated by reason. One question in this vicinity concerns whether there are states such that to be in one is at once take the world to be a certain way and to be motivated to act: the state-question. My (...)
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  2. Devoting Ourselves to the Manifestly Unattainable.Nicholas Southwood & David Wiens - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    It is tempting to think (1) that we may sometimes have hopelessly utopian duties and yet (2) that “ought” implies “can.” How might we square these apparently conflicting claims? A simple solution is to interpret hopelessly utopian duties as duties to "pursue" the achievement of manifestly unattainable outcomes (as opposed to duties to "achieve" the outcomes), thereby promising to vindicate the possibility of such duties in a way that is compatible with “ought” implies “can.” The main challenge for this simple (...)
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  3. Volitional causality vs natural causality: reflections on their compatibility in Husserl’s phenomenology of action.Nicola Spano - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-19.
    In the present article, I introduce Husserl’s analyses of ‘natural causality’ and ‘volitional causality’, which are collected in the volume ‘Wille und Handlung’ of the Husserliana edition Studien zur Struktur des Bewußtseins. My aim is to show that Husserl’s insight into these phenomena enables us to understand more clearly both the specificity of, and the relation between, the motivational nexus belonging to the sphere of the will in contrast with the causal laws of nature. In light of this understanding, in (...)
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  4. Shared Agency Without Shared Intention.Samuel Asarnow - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (281):665-688.
    The leading reductive approaches to shared agency model that phenomenon in terms of complexes of individual intentions, understood as plan-laden commitments. Yet not all agents have such intentions, and non-planning agents such as small children and some non-human animals are clearly capable of sophisticated social interactions. But just how robust are their social capacities? Are non-planning agents capable of shared agency? Existing theories of shared agency have little to say about these important questions. I address this lacuna by developing a (...)
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  5. On Not Getting Out of Bed.Samuel Asarnow - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (6):1639-1666.
    This morning I intended to get out of bed when my alarm went off. Hearing my alarm, I formed the intention to get up now. Yet, for a time, I remained in bed, irrationally lazy. It seems I irrationally failed to execute my intention. Such cases of execution failure pose a challenge for Mentalists about rationality, who believe that facts about rationality supervene on facts about the mind. For, this morning, my mind was in order; it was my action that (...)
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  6. Amicitia and Eros: Seneca’s Adaptation of a Stoic Concept of Friendship for Roman Men in Progress.Jula Wildberger - 2018 - In Gernot Michael Müller & Fosca Mariani Zini (eds.), Philosophie in Rom – Römische Philosophie?: Kultur-, literar-, und philosophiegeschichtliche Perspektiven. Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter. pp. 387-425.
    Analyzes Seneca's conception of friendship as an innovative adaptation of Stoic eros to accommodate Roman social norms of equality and reciprocity and to define a form of non-defective friendship for fools who are making progess. -/- Also provides a new answer to the conundrum of "will" in Seneca by connecting it to the impulse types epibole ("effort," also the impulse type of eros) and prothesis attested in Greek Stoic sources, and shows the connection between progessor friendship as an effort to (...)
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  7. "Ich wird dich also an griffen / Das du mir nit mugist entwichen": Göttliche Aktivität, seelisches Leiden und die Rolle der Autonomie in Christus und die minnende Seele.Amber Griffioen - 2017 - In Benedikt Paul Göcke & Ruben Schneider (eds.), Handelt Gott in der Welt? Neue Ansätze aus Theologie und Religionsphilosophie. Regensburg, Germany: pp. 41-72.
    This article (in German) explores divine activity, human passivity, and the role played by grace in the medieval image-and-verse program "Christ and the Loving Soul". After discussing the historical context and target readers and laying out the story of CMS, I show how this popular piece of late medieval devotional literature expresses complex theological and philosophical ideas that central to understanding the narrative. I argue for a new way of reading CMS that places emphasis on movement and the notion of (...)
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  8. Action Reconceptualized: Human Agency and its Sources.David K. Chan - 2016 - Lexington Books.
    In re-examining the concepts of desire, intention, and trying, David K. Chan brings a fresh approach toward resolving many of the problems that have occupied philosophers of action for almost a century. This book not only presents a complete theory of human agency but also, by developing the conceptual tools needed to do moral philosophy, lays the groundwork for formulating an ethics that is rooted in a clear, intuitive, and coherent moral psychology.
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  9. On Truth, the Truth of Existence, and the Existence of Truth: A Dialogue with the Thought of Duns Scotus.Liran Shia Gordon - 2015 - Philosophy and Theology 27 (2):389-425.
    In order to make sense of Scotus’s claim that rationality is perfected only by the will, a Scotistic doctrine of truth is developed in a speculative way. It is claimed that synthetic a priori truths are truths of the will, which are existential truths. This insight holds profound theological implications and is used on the one hand to criticize Kant's conception of existence, and on the other hand, to offer another explanation of the sense according to which the existence of (...)
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  10. Dispersing the Clouds of Temptation: Turning Away From Weakness of Will and Turning Towards the Sun.Brian Lightbody - 2015 - Wipf & Stock.
    In Romans 7:14-25, Paul declares, "For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want, is what I do" (KJV). St. Paul's statement is a universal truth for all human beings; humans--whether Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, or atheists--are prone to committing free actions that are not "good." Furthermore, and irrespective of how we might construe the notion of "good" (whether as acting in accordance with some religious or spiritual precept or simply doing what (...)
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  11. Quand Vouloir, c'est Faire [How to Do Things with Wants].Olivier Massin - 2014 - In R. Clot-Goudard (Dir.), L'Explication de L'Action. Analyses Contemporaines, Recherches Sur la Philosophie Et le Langage N°30, Paris, Vrin 30.
    This paper defends the action-theory of the Will, according to which willing G is doing F (F≠G) in order to make G happen. In a nutshell, willing something is doing something else in order to bring about what we want. -/- I argue that only the action-theory can reconcile two essential features of the Will. (i) its EFFECTIVITY: willing is closer to acting than desiring. (ii) its FALLIBILITY: one might want something in vain. The action-theory of the will explains EFFECTIVITY (...)
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  12. Furlong and Santos on Desire and Choice.Christian Miller - 2014 - In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (ed.), Moral Psychology: Freedom and Responsibility. MIT Press. pp. 367-374.
    Ellen Furlong and Laurie Santos helpfully summarize a number of fascinating studies of certain influences on both human and monkey behavior. As someone who works primarily in philosophy, I am not in a position to dispute the details of the studies themselves. But in this brief commentary I do want to raise some questions about the inferences Furlong and Santos make on the basis of those studies. In general, I worry that they may be overreaching beyond what their own data (...)
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  13. Hart's Choices.Gideon Yaffe - 2014 - In C. G. Pulman (ed.), Hart on Responsibility.
  14. Practical Necessity and the Constitution of Character.Roman Altshuler - 2013 - In Alexandra Perry & Chris Herrera (eds.), The Moral Philosophy of Bernard Williams. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 40-53.
    Deliberation issues in decision, and so might be taken as a paradigmatic volitional activity. Character, on the other hand, may appear pre-volitional: the dispositions that constitute it provide the background against which decisions are made. Bernard Williams offers an intriguing picture of how the two may be connected via the concept of practical necessities, which are at once constitutive of character and deliverances of deliberation. Necessities are thus the glue binding character and the will, allowing us to take responsibility for (...)
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  15. Trying in Some Way.David-Hillel Ruben - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):719-733.
    Does 'Person P tried to A' entail that there is some particular, whether a mental act or a brain state or whatever, that is a trying? Most discussions of trying assume that this entailment holds. There is no good reason for holding that this is a valid inference. In particular, I examine one 'Davidsonian' argument that might be used to justify the validity of such an inference and argue that the argument is not sound. See: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/IxsuPqt7rvdzqMxpFiTv/full.
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  16. Jaspers on Drives, Wants and Volitions.Ulrich Diehl - 2012 - Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Karl-Jaspers-Gesellschaft 25:101-125.
    In § 6 of his General Psychopathology (1st edition 1913) Jaspers distinguished between drives, wants and volitions as three different and irreducible kinds of motivational phenomena which are involved in human decision making and which may lead to successful actions. He has characterized the qualitative differences between volitions in comparison with basic vital drives and emotional wants such as being (a.) intentional, (b.) content-specific and (b.) directed towards concrete objects and actions as goals. Furthermore, Jaspers has presented and discussed three (...)
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  17. The Mind Is Not What The Brain Does!Henry Stapp - 2010 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 17 (1-2):1-2.
    This paper summarizes my contributions to a talk with the above title given together with Jeffrey Schwartz at UCSF Cole Hall, May 5, 2009, to an audience of research post-doctoral fellows. The full presentation is available at URL saa49.ucsf.edu/psa/themind.wmv.
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  18. Desire-as-Belief Revisited.Richard Bradley & Christian List - 2009 - Analysis 69 (1):31-37.
    On Hume’s account of motivation, beliefs and desires are very different kinds of propositional attitudes. Beliefs are cognitive attitudes, desires emotive ones. An agent’s belief in a proposition captures the weight he or she assigns to this proposition in his or her cognitive representation of the world. An agent’s desire for a proposition captures the degree to which he or she prefers its truth, motivating him or her to act accordingly. Although beliefs and desires are sometimes entangled, they play very (...)
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  19. Volitions Et Auto-Affection.Stéphane Chauvier - 2008 - Philosophiques 35 (1):131-137.
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  20. Particles, Consciousness, Volition: A Vedantic Vision.Ulrich Mohrhoff - 2007 - AntiMatters 1 (1):23-53.
    This essay puts forward a theory of existence that takes its cue from both contemporary physics and Indian Vedanta. The quantum statistics of indistinguishable particles strongly suggests that the “ultimate” constituents of matter, considered out of relation to each other, are identical in the strong sense of numerical identity. This makes it possible to identify each fundamental particle with the vedantic brahman, which relates to the world in a threefold manner: as a substance constituting it (sat), as a consciousness containing (...)
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  21. Will, Action, and Normativity (Husserl and Kant). / Volonte, Action Et Normativite (Husserl Et Kant).Ion Copoeru - 2005 - Studia Philosophica 1.
    The unitary description both of the thing and of the other allowed to the Husserlian phenomenology to overcome the classical distinction between representation and will and to treat the volition and action as specific objects. In the following paper we shall investigate the basic concepts of a phenomenology of will and action comparing it with Kant's position in this respect. Our research will focus on the phenomenological description of the passage from the inchoative moment of the action to the action (...)
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  22. The Will: Interpersonal Bargaining Versus Intrapersonal Prediction.Luca Ferrero - 2005 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (5):654-655.
    Ainslie is correct in arguing that the force of commitments partly depends on the predictive role of present action, but this claim can be supported independently of the analogy with interpersonal bargaining. No matter whether we conceive of the parties involved in the bargaining as interests or transient selves, the picture of the will as a competitive interaction among these parties is unconvincing.
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  23. Volitional Necessity and Volitional Shift: A Key to Sobriety?John Talmadge - 2004 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 11 (4):327-330.
  24. Locating Volition.Jing Zhu - 2004 - Consciousness and Cognition 13 (2):302-322.
    In this paper, it is examined how neuroscience can help to understand the nature of volition by addressing the question whether volitions can be localized in the brain. Volitions, as acts of the will, are special mental events or activities by which an agent consciously and actively exercises her agency to voluntarily direct her thoughts and actions. If we can pinpoint when and where volitional events or activities occur in the brain and find out their neural underpinnings, this can substantively (...)
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  25. Understanding Volition.Jing Zhu - 2004 - Philosophical Psychology 17 (2):247-274.
    The concept of volition has a long history in Western thought, but is looked upon unfavorably in contemporary philosophy and psychology. This paper proposes and elaborates a unifying conception of volition, which views volition as a mediating executive mental process that bridges the gaps between an agent's deliberation, decision and voluntary bodily action. Then the paper critically examines three major skeptical arguments against volition: volition is a mystery, volition is an illusion, and volition is a fundamentally flawed conception that leads (...)
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  26. The Will and Human Action: From Antiquity to the Present Day.Thomas Pink & M. W. F. Stone (eds.) - 2003 - Routledge.
    What is the will? And what is its relation to human action? Throughout history, philosophers have been fascinated by the idea of 'the will': the source of the drive that motivates human beings to act. However, there has never been a clear consensus as to what the will is and how it relates to human action. Some philosophers have taken the will to be based firmly in reason and rational choice, and some have seen it as purely self-determined. Others have (...)
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  27. The Conative Mind: Volition and Action.Jing Zhu - 2003 - Dissertation, University of Waterloo (Canada)
    This work is an attempt to restore volition as a respectable topic for scientific studies. Volition, traditionally conceived as the act of will, has been largely neglected in contemporary science and philosophy. I first develop a volitional theory of action by elaborating a unifying conception of volition, where volitions are construed as special kinds of mental action by which an agent consciously and actively bridge the gaps between deliberation, decision and intentional action. Then I argue that the major skeptical arguments (...)
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  28. Locke on the Suspension of Desire. Chappell - 1998 - Locke Studies 29:23-38.
    In the first edition of the Essay concerning Human Understanding, Locke claims that human beings have freedom of action - that is, that some of their actions are free - but that they do not have freedom of will - that is, that none of their volitions are free. Volitions themselves are actions for Locke; they are operations of the will and hence acts of willing. And volitions give rise to other actions: an action that follows and is caused by (...)
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  29. Subjects of Experience.E. J. Lowe - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
    In this innovative study of the relationship between persons and their bodies, E. J. Lowe demonstrates the inadequacy of physicalism, even in its mildest, non-reductionist guises, as a basis for a scientifically and philosophically acceptable account of human beings as subjects of experience, thought and action. He defends a substantival theory of the self as an enduring and irreducible entity - a theory which is unashamedly committed to a distinctly non-Cartesian dualism of self and body. Taking up the physicalist challenge (...)
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  30. Review of On Action, by Carl Ginet.Richard Malpas - 1993 - Philosophical Review 102 (1):134.
  31. Carl Ginet, On Action Reviewed By.Karl Pfeifer - 1992 - Philosophy in Review 12 (3):196-199.
  32. Carl Ginet, On Action. [REVIEW]Karl Pfeifer - 1992 - Philosophy in Review 12:196-199.
  33. Choice: The Essential Element in Human Action.Myles Brand - 1991 - Philosophical Review 100 (1):115.
  34. An Essay on Human Action.Carl Ginet & Michael J. Zimmerman - 1988 - Philosophical Review 97 (1):114.
  35. Volition and Action.Douglas Odegard - 1988 - American Philosophical Quarterly 25 (2):141 - 151.
  36. Choice: The Essential Element in Human Action.Alan Donagan - 1987 - 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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  37. Actions.Jennifer Hornsby - 1980 - Routledge and Kegan Paul.
    This book presents an events-based view of human action somewhat different from that of what is known as "standard story". A thesis about trying-to-do-something is distinguished from various volitionist theses. It is argued then that given a correct conception of action's antecedents, actions will be identified not with bodily movements but with causes of such movements.
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  38. Theory of Action.Lawrence H. Davis - 1979 - Prentice-Hall.
  39. Volitions and Actions.Michael Martin - 1978 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 8 (1):187 - 190.
    In a recent paper Lawrence Davis has argued that the difference between an arm raising and someone raising his arm is that in the latter case a volition causes the arm to rise. In this paper I will show that Davis's theory is faulty and that certain obvious ways of repairing his theory do not work.Davis proposes the following as an account of Sam's raising his arm: Sam raises his arm if he willed to raise his arm and this caused (...)
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  40. Volition and Basic Action.Hugh McCann - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (4):451-473.
    The purpose of this paper is to defend the view that the bodily actions of men typicaly involve a mental action of voliton or willing, and that such mental acts are, in at least one important sense, the basic actions we perform when we do things like raise an arm, move a finger, or flex a muscle.
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  41. Trying.Brian O'Shaughnessy - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (13):365-386.
  42. Actions and Events.Wilfrid Sellars - 1973 - Noûs 7 (2):179-202.
  43. Trying.Suzanne McCormick & Irving Thalberg - 1967 - Dialogue 6 (1):29-46.
  44. XI—Human Action and the Language of Volitions.John R. Silber - 1964 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 64 (1):199-220.
  45. Willing.A. I. Melden - 1960 - Philosophical Review 69 (4):475-484.
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  46. From Reflex Action to Volition.Alexander Hill - 1800
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  47. Blame as a Volitional Activity.Neal Tognazzini - manuscript
    Blame is fascinating yet elusive, and it is both of these things because it is so complex. It seems to have a cognitive aspect (the belief that someone has done wrong, perhaps), but it also seems to have an emotional aspect (resentment at being disrespected, perhaps). And then of course there is the outside-of-the-head aspect of blame, which manifests itself in rebukes and reprimands, accusations and distrust, cold shoulders and estrangement. Still, accounts of blame that identify it with beliefs or (...)
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