Self-in-a-vat: On John Searle's ontology of reasons for acting

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 35 (4):447-479 (2005)
John Searle has recently developed a theory of reasons for acting that intends to rescue the freedom of the will, endangered by causal determinism, whether physical or psychological. To achieve this purpose, Searle postulates a series of "gaps" that are supposed toendowthe self with free will. Reviewing key steps in Searle's argument, this article shows that such an undertaking cannot be successfully completed because of its solipsist premises. The author argues that reasons for acting do not have a subjective, I-ontology but a first-person plural, Weontology that better accounts for agency and responsibility. Key Words: free will • agency • reasons for acting • ontology.
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DOI 10.1177/0048393105282918
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