Free agency: A non-reductionist causal account

Grazer Philosophische Studien 14 (1):113-132 (1981)
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Abstract

Free agency can be explained causally if the causal approach does not imply reductionism. A non-reductionist account of action is possible along the lines of Davidsonian 'anomalous monism'. Mental events, i.e. prepositional attitudes activated by indexical beliefs, are the causes of actions. Free agency presupposes a special type of causes to be analysed as rational causes allowing human agents to be self-determinant, autonomous agents in Kantian terms. An action is free if it has rational causes not to be ruled out by natural causes. With causes of actions being activated prepositional attitudes their rationality is analysed in terms of the coherence of prepositional attitudes. Principles of rational choice are not the basic ingredients of free i.e. rational action but have to conform to the prepositional attitudes of the human agent

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