Disappearing agents, mental action, rational glue

In Michael Brent & Lisa Miracchi Titus (eds.), Mental action and the conscious mind. New York: Routledge. pp. 14-30 (forthcoming)
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Abstract

This chapter revolves around the problem of the disappearing agent. Shepherd suggests that as typically formulated, the problem relies on an improper focus upon the causation of action, and an inadequate characterization of agency. One result is that a key function of mental action for human agents tends to be misconstrued. Furthermore, Shepherd argues that an adequate characterization of agency illuminates why agents may seem (misleadingly) to disappear in some cases of action, and illuminates as well a key function of mental action for human (and similar) agents. According to the sketch offered in this chapter, mental action enables human agents to rationally glue themselves together.

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Joshua Shepherd
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

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