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Sarah Paul
University of Wisconsin, Madison
  1. Believing in Others.Sarah K. Paul & Jennifer M. Morton - 2018 - Philosophical Topics 46 (1):75-95.
    Suppose some person 'A' sets out to accomplish a difficult, long-term goal such as writing a passable Ph.D. thesis. What should you believe about whether A will succeed? The default answer is that you should believe whatever the total accessible evidence concerning A's abilities, circumstances, capacity for self-discipline, and so forth supports. But could it be that what you should believe depends in part on the relationship you have with A? We argue that it does, in the case where A (...)
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  2. How We Know What We're Doing.Sarah K. Paul - 2009 - Philosophers' Imprint 9:1-24.
    G.E.M. Anscombe famously claimed that acting intentionally entails knowing "without observation" what one is doing. Among those that have taken her claim seriously, an influential response has been to suppose that in order to explain this fact, we should conclude that intentions are a species of belief. This paper argues that there are good reasons to reject this "cognitivist" view of intention in favor of the view that intentions are distinctively practical attitudes that are not beliefs and do not constitutively (...)
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  3. Doxastic Self-Control.Sarah K. Paul - 2015 - American Philosophical Quarterly 52 (2):145-58.
    This paper discusses the possibility of autonomy in our epistemic lives, and the importance of the concept of the first person in weathering fluctuations in our epistemic perspective over time.
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  4. Embarking on a Crime.Sarah K. Paul - 2014 - In Enrique Villanueva V. (ed.), Law and the Philosophy of Action. Rodopi. pp. 101-24.
    When we define something as a crime, we generally thereby criminalize the attempt to commit that crime. However, it is a vexing puzzle to specify what must be the case in order for a criminal attempt to have occurred, given that the results element of the crime fails to come about. I argue that the philosophy of action can assist the criminal law in clarifying what kinds of events are properly categorized as criminal attempts. A natural thought is that this (...)
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  5.  72
    Diachronic Incontinence is a Problem in Moral Philosophy.Sarah K. Paul - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (3):337-355.
    Is there a rational requirement enjoining continence over time in the intentions one has formed, such that anyone going in for a certain form of agency has standing reason to conform to such a requirement? This paper suggests that there is not. I argue that Michael Bratman’s defense of such a requirement succeeds in showing that many agents have a reason favoring default intention continence much of the time, but does not establish that all planning agents have such a reason (...)
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  6. Deviant Formal Causation.Sarah K. Paul - 2011 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 5 (3):1-24.
    What is the role of practical thought in determining the intentional action that is performed? Donald Davidson’s influential answer to this question is that thought plays an efficient-causal role: intentional actions are those events that have the correct causal pedigree in the agent's beliefs and desires. But the Causal Theory of Action has always been plagued with the problem of “deviant causal chains,” in which the right action is caused by the right mental state but in the wrong way. This (...)
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  7. Intention, Belief, and Wishful Thinking: Setiya on “Practical Knowledge”.Sarah K. Paul - 2009 - Ethics 119 (3):546-557.
  8. How We Know What We Intend.Sarah K. Paul - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 161 (2):327-346.
    How do we know what our intentions are? It is argued that work on self-knowledge has tended to neglect the attitude of intention, and that an epistemological account is needed that is attuned to the specific features of that state. Richard Moran’s Authorship view, on which we can acquire self-knowledge by making up our minds, offers a promising insight for such an account: we do not normally discover what we intend through introspection. However, his formulation of the Authorship view, developed (...)
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  9.  69
    The Conclusion of Practical Reasoning: The Shadow Between Idea and Act.Sarah K. Paul - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (3):287-302.
    There is a puzzle about how to understand the conclusion of a successful instance of practical reasoning. Do the considerations adduced in reasoning rationalize the particular doing of an action, as Aristotle is sometimes interpreted as claiming? Or does reasoning conclude in the formation of an attitude – an intention, say – that has an action-type as its content? This paper attempts to clarify what is at stake in that debate and defends the latter view against some of its critics.
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  10. The Courage of Conviction.Sarah K. Paul - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (5-6):1-23.
    Is there a sense in which we exercise direct volitional control over our beliefs? Most agree that there is not, but discussions tend to focus on control in forming a belief. The focus here is on sustaining a belief over time in the face of ‘epistemic temptation’ to abandon it. It is argued that we do have a capacity for ‘doxastic self-control’ over time that is partly volitional in nature, and that its exercise is rationally permissible.
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  11. Good Intentions and the Road to Hell.Sarah K. Paul - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (2):40-54.
    G.E.M. Anscombe famously remarked that an adequate philosophy of psychology was needed before we could do ethics. Fifty years have passed, and we should now ask what significance our best theories of the psychology of agency have for moral philosophy. My focus is on non-moral conceptions of autonomy and self-governance that emphasize the limits of deliberation -- the way in which one's cares render certain options unthinkable, one's intentions and policies filter out what is inconsistent with them, and one's resolutions (...)
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  12.  66
    Willing, Wanting, Waiting, by Richard Holton.Sarah K. Paul - 2011 - Mind 120 (479):889-892.
  13.  90
    The Transparency of Mind.Sarah K. Paul - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (5):295-303.
    In philosophical inquiry into the mind, the metaphor of ‘transparency’ has been attractive to many who are otherwise in deep disagreement. It has thereby come to have a variety of different and mutually incompatible connotations. The mind is said to be transparent to itself, our perceptual experiences are said to be transparent to the world, and our beliefs are said to be transparent to – a great many different things. The first goal of this essay is to sort out the (...)
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  14.  5
    II—What Should ‘Impostor Syndrome’ Be?Sarah K. Paul - 2019 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 93 (1):227-245.
    In her thought-provoking symposium contribution, ‘What Is Impostor Syndrome?’, Katherine Hawley fleshes out our everyday understanding of that concept. This response builds on Hawley’s account to ask the ameliorative question of whether the everyday concept best serves the normative goals of promoting social justice and enhancing well-being. I raise some sceptical worries about the usefulness of the notion, in so far as it is centred on doxastic attitudes that include doubt about one’s own talent or skill. I propose instead that (...)
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  15. The Transparency of Intention.Sarah K. Paul - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (6):1529-1548.
    The attitude of intention is not usually the primary focus in philosophical work on self-knowledge. A recent exception is the so-called “Transparency” theory of self-knowledge, which attempts to explain how we know our own minds by appeal to reflection on non-mental facts. Transparency theories are attractive in light of their relative psychological economy compared to views that must posit a dedicated mechanism of ‘inner sense’. However, it is argued here, focusing on proposals by Richard Moran and Alex Byrne, that the (...)
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  16. Intention.Sarah K. Paul - 2013 - International Encyclopedia of Ethics.
    A survey of the notion of intention as it relates to debates in the philosophy of action, moral psychology, and ethics.
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  17.  80
    Of Reasons and Recognition.Sarah K. Paul & Jennifer M. Morton - 2014 - Analysis 74 (2):339-348.
  18.  50
    Rational and Social Agency: The Philosophy of Michael Bratman. [REVIEW]Sarah K. Paul - 2014 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 3 (43).
  19.  34
    Reasons From Within: Desires and Values, by Alan Goldman. [REVIEW]Sarah K. Paul - 2011 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
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