First-personal aspects of agency

Metaphilosophy 42 (1-2):1-16 (2011)

Lynne Rudder Baker
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Abstract: On standard accounts, actions are caused by reasons (Davidson), and reasons are taken to be neural phenomena. Since neural phenomena are wholly understandable from a third-person perspective, standard views have no room for any ineliminable first-personal elements in an account of the causation of action. This article aims to show that first-person perspectives play essential roles in both human and nonhuman agency. Nonhuman agents have rudimentary first-person perspectives, whereas human agents—at least rational agents and moral agents—have robust first-person perspectives. The author concludes with a view of intentional causation, according to which reasons are constituted by (but not identical to) neural phenomena. The idea of constitution without identity allows for a causal account of action that automatically includes first-personal aspects of agency
Keywords first‐person concept  rational agency  neural phenomena  practical reasoning  human action  causation  agency  first‐personal aspects of agency  moral agency  persons  first‐person perspective  constitution view  Davidson  action  nonhuman action  intentional explanation
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9973.2010.01677.x
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References found in this work BETA

Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 2003 - In Tim Crane & Katalin Farkas (eds.), Metaphysics: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.
Mental Events.Donald Davidson - 1970 - In L. Foster & J. W. Swanson (eds.). Clarendon Press. pp. 207-224.

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Citations of this work BETA

Human Persons as Social Entities.Lynne Rudder Baker - 2015 - Journal of Social Ontology 1 (1):77-87.
Synchronous Online Philosophy Courses: An Experiment in Progress.Fritz McDonald - 2018 - APA Newsletter on Philosophy and Computers 18 (1):37-40.
Agency and Reductionism About the Self.Marko Jurjako - 2017 - In Boran Berčić (ed.), Perspectives on the Self. Rijeka: University of Rijeka. pp. 255-284.

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