Agent Causation and the Phenomenology of Agency

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (3):747-764 (2019)

Abstract

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 agency. Several routes to a claim that there is nevertheless a prima facie incompatibility are examined, and all are found wanting. The phenomenology of agency, it is argued, is no threat to a standard causal theory of action.

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Author's Profile

Randolph Clarke
Florida State University

References found in this work

Mental Causation.Stephen Yablo - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (2):245-280.
Explaining Behaviour: Reasons in a World of Causes.Andy Clark - 1990 - Philosophical Quarterly 40 (158):95-102.
The Possibility of Practical Reason.J. David Velleman - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 121 (3):263-275.
Free Will Remains a Mystery.Peter Van Inwagen - 2000 - Philosophical Perspectives 14:1-20.

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