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  1. Explaining Actions with Habits.Bill Pollard - 2006 - American Philosophical Quarterly 43 (1):57 - 69.
    From time to time we explain what people do by referring to their habits. We explain somebody’s putting the kettle on in the morning as done through “force of habit”. We explain somebody’s missing a turning by saying that she carried straight on “out of habit”. And we explain somebody’s biting her nails as a manifestation of “a bad habit”. These are all examples of what will be referred to here as habit explanations. Roughly speaking, they explain by referring to (...)
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  2.  62
    Can Virtuous Actions Be Both Habitual and Rational?Bill Pollard - 2003 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 6 (4):411-425.
    Virtuous actions seem to be both habitual and rational. But if we combine an intuitive understanding of habituality with the currently predominant paradigm of rational action, these two features of virtuous actions are hard to reconcile. Intuitively, acting habitually is acting as one has before in similar contexts, and automatically, that is, without thinking about it. Meanwhile, contemporary philosophers tend to assume the truth of what I call the reasons theory of rational action, which states that all rational actions are (...)
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  3.  79
    Naturalizing the Space of Reasons.Bill Pollard - 2005 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 13 (1):69 – 82.
    Given the Sellarsian distinction between the space of causes and the space of reasons, the naturalist seeks to articulate how these two spaces are unproblematically related. In Mind and World (1996) John McDowell suggests that such a naturalism can be achieved by pointing out that we work our way into the space of reasons by the process of upbringing he calls Bildung. 'The resulting habits of thought and action', writes McDowell, 'are second nature' (p. 84). In this paper I expose (...)
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    Actions, Habits and Constitution.Bill Pollard - 2006 - Ratio 19 (2):229–248.
    In this paper I offer a critique of the view made popular by Davidson that rationalization is a species of causal explanation, and propose instead that in many cases the explanatory relation is constitutive. Given Davidson’s conception of rationalization, which allows that a huge range of states gathered under the heading ‘pro attitude’ could rationalize an action, I argue that whilst the causal thesis may have some merit for some such ‘attitudes’, it has none for others. The problematic ‘attitudes’ are (...)
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  5.  72
    Blackburn's Ruling Passions: A Partial Reply.Bill Pollard - manuscript
    Ruling Passions is Simon Blackburn’s latest attempt to defend a theory of practical reason which he calls “expressivism”.2 In the first three chapters Blackburn outlines an account of how we should understand statements of right, good and virtue, as well as their negative counterparts (“the Ethical [or Moral] Proposition”, as he terms this amalgam). This he calls “quasi-realism”. I shall describe what this position entails in the first section. Secondly I shall consider the opposition to this view advanced by McDowell (...)
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  6.  50
    The Rationality of Habitual Actions.Bill Pollard - unknown
    We are creatures of habit. Familiar ways of doing things in familiar contexts become automatic for us. That is to say, when we acquire a habit we can act without thinking about it at all. Habits free our minds to think about other things. Without this capacity for habitual action our daily lives would be impossible. Our minds would be crowded with innumerable mundane considerations and decisions. Habitual actions are not always mundane. Aristotle famously said that acting morally is a (...)
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  7.  26
    Philosophy as Therapy.Bill Pollard - 1997 - Cogito 11 (3):193-198.
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  8. Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics.Bill Pollard - manuscript
    • Life sciences: Father was Macedonian court doctor; ¼ of surviving work on biology • Alienation: spent most of life as an exile in Athens; can’t be assumed to be naïve defender of status quo. • Plato: Worked with Plato at the Academy in Athens for 20 years; later formed the..
     
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  9. Responsibility Lecture 1: Responsibility and its Structure.Bill Pollard - unknown
    “Bads” e.g. poverty, deprivation, constraint, ill-treatment, misery The traditional concern of theories of punishment (“retributive justice”).
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  10. Hume's Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals.Bill Pollard - manuscript
    • Historical: Adam Smith, Thomas Reid; Kant; Bentham and Mill • Contemporary: Normative ethics: indirect influence through Utilitarian theory; Meta-ethics: “Humean” theories of moral motivation (Smith, Blackburn), (also influences accounts of rational action in general). Non-cognitivism (Mackie, Blackburn, Gibbard).
     
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  11.  2
    Philosophy as Therapy: A Cure for Cartesian Pain.Bill Pollard - 1997 - Cogito 11 (3):193-198.
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