The extensive involvement of nonconscious processes in human behaviour has led some to suggest that consciousness is much less important for the control of action than we might think. In this article I push against this trend, developing an understanding of conscious control that is sensitive to our best models of overt action control. Further, I assess the cogency of various zombie challenges—challenges that seek to demote the importance of conscious control for human agency. I argue (...) that though nonconscious contributions to action control are evidently robust, these challenges are overblown. (shrink)
Recently, a number of philosophers have begun to question the commonly held view that choice or voluntary control is a precondition of moral responsibility. According to these philosophers, what really matters in determining a person’s responsibility for some thing is whether that thing can be seen as indicative or expressive of her judgments, values, or normative commitments. Such accounts might therefore be understood as updated versions of what Susan Wolf has called “real self views,” insofar as they attempt to (...) ground an agent’s responsibility for her actions and attitudes in the fact (when it is a fact) that they express who she is as a moral agent. As such, they seem to be open to some of the same objections Wolf originally raised to such accounts, and in particular to the objection that they cannot license the sorts of robust moral assessments involved in our current practices of moral responsibility. My aim in this paper is to try to respond to this challenge, by clarifying the kind of robust moral assessments I take to be licensed by (at least some) non-volitional accounts of responsibility and by explaining why these assessments do not in general require the agent to have voluntary control over everything for which she is held responsible. I also argue that the limited applicability of the distinction between “bad agents” and “blameworthy agents” on these accounts is in fact a mark in their favor. (shrink)
This book provides a comprehensive, systematic theory of moral responsibility. The authors explore the conditions under which individuals are morally responsible for actions, omissions, consequences, and emotions. The leading idea in the book is that moral responsibility is based on 'guidance control'. This control has two components: the mechanism that issues in the relevant behavior must be the agent's own mechanism, and it must be appropriately responsive to reasons. The book develops an account of both components. The authors (...) go on to offer a sustained defense of the thesis that moral responsibility is compatible with causal determinism. (shrink)
Tested the 2-process theory of detection, search, and attention presented by the current authors in a series of experiments. The studies demonstrate the qualitative difference between 2 modes of information processing: automatic detection and controlled search; trace the course of the learning of automatic detection, of categories, and of automatic-attention responses; and show the dependence of automatic detection on attending responses and demonstrate how such responses interrupt controlled processing and interfere with the focusing of attention. The learning of categories is (...) shown to improve controlled search performance. A general framework for human information processing is proposed. The framework emphasizes the roles of automatic and controlled processing. The theory is compared to and contrasted with extant models of search and attention. (shrink)
Beliefs are held to norms in a way that seems to require control over what we believe. Yet we don’t control our beliefs at will, in the way we control our actions. I argue that this problem can be solved by recognising a different form of control, which we exercise when we revise our beliefs directly for reasons. We enjoy this form of attitudinal control not only over our beliefs, but also over other attitudes, including (...) intentions—that is, over the will itself. Closely tied to our capacity for reasoning, attitudinal control is in important respects more fundamental than the voluntary control that we exercise over our actions. In the course of developing this account I respond to two objections recently raised against an earlier version of it by Booth. (shrink)
Self-control, so important in the theory and practice of psychology, has usually been understood introspectively. This target article adopts a behavioral view of the self (as an abstract class of behavioral actions) and of self-control (as an abstract behavioral pattern dominating a particular act) according to which the development of self-control is a molar/molecular conflict in the development of behavioral patterns. This subsumes the more typical view of self-control as a now/later conflict in which an act (...) of self-control is a choice of a larger but later reinforcer over a smaller but sooner reinforcer. If at some future time the smaller-sooner reinforcer will be more valuable than the larger-later reinforcer, self-control may be achieved through a commitment to the largerlater reinforcer prior to that point. According to some, there is a progressive internalization of commitment in the development of self-control. This presents theoretical and empirical problems. In two experiments temporal patterning of choices increased self-control. (shrink)
Autonomous Agents addresses the related topics of self-control and individual autonomy. "Self-control" is defined as the opposite of akrasia-weakness of will. The study of self-control seeks to understand the concept of its own terms, followed by an examination of its bearing on one's actions, beliefs, emotions, and personal values. It goes on to consider how a proper understanding of self-control and its manifestations can shed light on personal autonomy and autonomous behaviour. Perspicuous, objective, and incisive throughout, (...) Alfred Mele makes a convincing case for the value of individual autonomy. (shrink)
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are widely taken as the gold standard for establishing causal conclusions. Ideally conducted they ensure that the treatment ‘causes’ the outcome—in the experiment. But where else? This is the venerable question of external validity. I point out that the question comes in two importantly different forms: Is the specific causal conclusion warranted by the experiment true in a target situation? What will be the result of implementing the treatment there? This paper explains how the probabilistic theory (...) of causality implies that RCTs can establish causal conclusions and thereby provides an account of what exactly that causal conclusion is. Clarifying the exact form of the conclusion shows just what is necessary for it to hold in a new setting and also how much more is needed to see what the actual outcome would be there were the treatment implemented. (shrink)
In this paper, I submit that it is the controlled part of skilled action, that is, that part of an action that accounts for the exact, nuanced ways in which a skilled performer modifies, adjusts and guides her performance for which an adequate, philosophical theory of skill must account. I will argue that neither Jason Stanley nor Hubert Dreyfus have an adequate account of control. Further, and perhaps surprisingly, I will argue that both Stanley and Dreyfus relinquish an account (...) of control for precisely the same reason: each reduce control to a passive, mechanistic, automatic process, which then prevents them from producing a substantive account of how controlled processes can be characterized by seemingly intelligent features and integrated with personal-level states. I will end by introducing three different kinds of control, which are constitutive of skilled action: strategic control, selective, top–down, automatic attention, and motor control. It will become clear that Dreyfus cannot account for any of these three kinds of control while Stanley has difficulty tackling the two latter kinds. (shrink)
Prima facie, it seems highly plausible to suppose that there is some kind of constitutive relationship between self-control and the self, i.e., that self-control is “control at the service of the self” or even “control by the self.” This belief is not only attractive from a pre-theoretical standpoint, but it also seems to be supported by theoretical reasons. In particular, there is a natural fit between a certain attractive approach to self-control—the so-called “divided mind approach”—and (...) a certain well-established approach to the self—the so-called “deep self” approach. I argue, however, that this initial impression is misleading: on closer inspection, the combination of the divided mind approach to self-control with the deep self approach fails to provide us with a theoretical foundation for the claim that self-control is constitutively linked to the self. I show that, in an interesting twist, combining these two approaches actually supports the opposite claim, leading us to the view that self-control and the self can come apart, and, more specifically, that we sometimes exercise self-control without our self or even against our self. (shrink)
Fischer here defends the contention that moral responsibility is associated with "deep control", which is "in-between" two untenable extreme positions: "superficial control" and "total control". He defends this "middle way" against the proponents of more--and less--robust notions of the freedom required for moral responsibility. Fischer offers a new solution to the Luck Problem, as well as providing a defense of the compatibility of causal determinism and moral responsibility.
Tom Dougherty argues that culpably deceiving another person into sex is seriously wrong no matter what the content about which she is deceived. We argue that his explanation of why deception invalidates consent has extremely implausible implications. Though we reject Dougherty’s explanation, we defend his verdict about deception and consent to sex. We argue that he goes awry by conflating the disclosure requirement for consent and the understanding requirement. When these are distinguished, we can identify how deceptive disclosure invalidates consent. (...) This alternative explanation also allows for a response to Neil Manson’s recent criticisms of Dougherty’s argument. (shrink)
Do people sometimes exercise self-control in such a way as to bring it about that they do not act on present-directed motivation that continues to be motivationally strongest for a significant stretch of time (even though they are able to act on that motivation at the time) and intentionally act otherwise during that stretch of time? This paper explores the relative merits of two different theories about synchronic self-control that provide different answers to this question. One is due (...) to Sripada (Noûs 1–38, 2012) and the other to Mele (Irrationality, 1987; Autonomous agents, 1995; Motivation and agency, 2003). Special attention is paid to evidence Sripada offers for an affirmative answer to the question, and some guidance is offered on the project of finding evidence for an affirmative answer. (shrink)
The Theory of Planned Behavior predicts that a combination of attitudes, perceived norms, and perceived behavioral control predict intentions, and that intentions ultimately predict behavior. Previous studies have found that the TPB can predict students’ engagement in plagiarism. Furthermore, the General Theory of Crime suggests that self-control is particularly important in predicting engagement in unethical behavior such as plagiarism. In Study 1, we incorporated self-control in a TPB model and tested whether norms, attitudes, and self-control predicted (...) intention to plagiarize and plagiarism behavior. The best statistical fit for the path-analytic model was achieved when a direct path from self-control to plagiarism engagement was specified. In Study 2, we added a measure of perceived behavioral control and split the measurement of norms into descriptive and injunctive components. This study found that both self-control and perceived-behavioral control additively contributed to the prediction of plagiarism and the path-analytic model achieved its best fit when direct paths from perceived norms to plagiarism behavior were specified. These studies suggest that setting strong anti-plagiarism norms, such as by the use of honor codes, and seeking to enhance students’ self-control may reduce engagement in plagiarism. (shrink)
I hope to show that, although belief is subject to two quite robust forms of agency, "believing at will" is impossible; one cannot believe in the way one ordinarily acts. Further, the same is true of intention: although intention is subject to two quite robust forms of agency, the features of belief that render believing less than voluntary are present for intention, as well. It turns out, perhaps surprisingly, that you can no more intend at will than believe at will.
Several prominent incompatibilists, e.g., Robert Kane and Derk Pereboom, have advanced an analogical argument in which it is claimed that a deterministic world is essentially the same as a world governed by a global controller. Since the latter world is obviously one lacking in an important kind of freedom, so must any deterministic world. The argument is challenged whether it is designed to show that determinism precludes freedom as power or freedom as self-origination. Contrary to the claims of its adherents, (...) the global controller nullifies freedom because she is an agent, whereas natural forces are at work in conventional deterministic worlds. Other key differences that undermine the analogy are identified. It is also shown that the argument begs the question against the classical compatibilist, who believes that determinism does not preclude alternative possibilities. (shrink)
Sensations of acting and control have been neglected in theory of action. I argue that they form the core of action and are integral and indispensible parts of our actions, participating as they do in feedback loops consisting of our intentions in acting, the bodily movements required for acting and the sensations of acting. These feedback loops underlie all activities in which we engage when we act and generate our control over our movements.The events required for action according (...) to the causal theory, or Searle. (shrink)
Arming uninhabited vehicles (UVs) is an increasing trend. Widespread deployment can bring dangers for arms-control agreements and international humanitarian law (IHL). Armed UVs can destabilise the situation between potential opponents. Smaller systems can be used for terrorism. Using a systematic definition existing international regulation of armed UVs in the fields of arms control, export control and transparency measures is reviewed; these partly include armed UVs, but leave large gaps. For preventive arms control a general prohibition of (...) armed UVs would be best. If that is unattainable, several measures should be taken. An explicit prohibition of autonomous attack, that is without a human decision, should be added to IHL. Concerning armed UVs remotely controlled by a human soldier, recommendations differ according to type or mission. New kinds of uninhabited nuclear-weapon carriers should be banned. Space weapons should be prohibited in general. UVs smaller than 0.2–0.5 m should be banned. Bigger remotely controlled armed UVs not equipped with weapons of mass destruction should be subject to numerical limitations in various categories. For these the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe is an important precedent. (shrink)
Higginbotham argued that certain linguistic items of English, when used in indirect discourse, necessarily trigger first-personal interpretations. They are: the emphatic reflexive pronoun and the controlled understood subject, represented as PRO. PRO is special, in this respect, due to its imposing obligatory control effects between the main clause and its subordinates ). Folescu & Higginbotham, in addition, argued that in Romanian, a language whose grammar doesn’t assign a prominent role to PRO, de se triggers are correlated with the subjunctive (...) mood of certain verbs. That paper, however, didn’t account for the grammatical diversity of the reports that display immunity to error through misidentification in Romanian: some of these reports are expressed by using de se triggers; others are not. Their IEM, moreover, is not systematically lexically controlled by the verbs, via their theta-roles; it is, rather, determined by the meaning of the verbs in question. Given the data from Romanian, I will argue, the phenomenon of IEM cannot be fully explained starting either from the syntactical or the lexical structure of a language. (shrink)
When reflecting on the nature of skilled action, it is easy to fall into familiar dichotomies such that one construes the flexibility and intelligence of skill at the level of intentional states while characterizing the automatic motor processes that constitute motor skill execution as learned but fixed, invariant, bottom-up, brute-causal responses. In this essay, I will argue that this picture of skilled, automatic, motor processes is overly simplistic. Specifically, I will argue that an adequate account of the learned motor routines (...) that constitute embodied skills cannot be given in a purely bottom-up, brute-causal fashion. Rather, motor control is intelligent all the way down. To establish this, I will first review two recent accounts of skill, Stanley and Krakauer and Papineau, which characterize the automatic motor control responsible for the fine-grained movements constitutive of motor skill as brute, low-level phenomena. I will then isolate five key features that should apply to skilled motor control, if these accounts are correct. Together, the accounts posit that motor control is: ballistic, invariant, independent of general action trajectories, Insensitive to semantic content, and independent of personal-level intentions. In the final section of this paper, I will appeal to optimal control theory for empirical evidence to challenge the commitment to skilled action as qualified by the above features. (shrink)
Control consciousness is the awareness or experience of seeming to be in control of one’s actions. One view, which I will be arguing against in the present paper, is that control consciousness is a form of sensory consciousness. In such a view, control consciousness is exhausted by sensory elements such as tactile and proprioceptive information. An opposing view, which I will be arguing for, is that sensory elements cannot be the whole story and must be supplemented (...) by direct contributions of nonsensory, motor elements. More specifically, I will be arguing for the view that the neural basis of control consciousness is constituted by states of recurrent activation in relatively intermediate levels of the motor hierarchy. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that the rejection of doxastic voluntarism is not as straightforward as its opponents take it to be. I begin with a critical examination of William Alston's defense of involuntarism and then focus on the question of whether belief is intentional.
This paper empirically raises and examines the question of ‘conceptual control’: To what extent are competent thinkers able to reason properly with new senses of words? This question is crucial for conceptual engineering. This prominently discussed philosophical project seeks to improve our representational devices to help us reason better. It frequently involves giving new senses to familiar words, through normative explanations. Such efforts enhance, rather than reduce, our ability to reason properly, only if competent language users are able to (...) abide by the relevant explanations, in language comprehension and verbal reasoning. This paper examines to what extent we have such ‘conceptual control’ in reasoning with new senses. The paper draws on psycholinguistic findings about polysemy processing to render this question empirically tractable and builds on recent findings from experimental philosophy to address it. The paper identifies a philosophically important gap in thinkers’ control over the key process of stereotypical enrichment and discusses how conceptual engineers can use empirical methods to work around this gap in conceptual control. The paper thus empirically demonstrates the urgency of the question of conceptual control and explains how experimental philosophy can empirically address the question, to render conceptual engineering feasible as an ameliorative enterprise. (shrink)
It seems that we can be directly accountable for our reasons-responsive attitudes—e.g., our beliefs, desires, and intentions. Yet, we rarely, if ever, have volitional control over such attitudes, volitional control being the sort of control that we exert over our intentional actions. This presents a trilemma: (Horn 1) deny that we can be directly accountable for our reasons-responsive attitudes, (Horn 2) deny that φ’s being under our control is necessary for our being directly accountable for φ-ing, (...) or (Horn 3) deny that the relevant sort of control is volitional control. This paper argues that we should take Horn 3. (shrink)
At the turn of the 21st century, topology, the mathematical study of spatial properties that remain the same under the continuous deformation of objects, has come to invest all fields of aesthetics and culture. In particular, the algebraic topology of continuity has added to the digital realm of binary information, the on and off states of 0s and 1s, an invariant property, which now governs the relation between different forms of data. As this invariant function of continual transformation has entered (...) the field of automated computation, the culture of binary digits has shifted towards a new level of calculation derived from the introduction of temporal quantities into finite sets of algorithmic instructions and parameters. This new level of topological computation, it will be argued, defines new operative procedures of control, constantly adding axioms at the limit of calculation through an invariant function that establishes a smooth or uninterrupted connectivity between distinct data. The establishment of a continual function between distinct forms of data is based on homeomorphism or topological isomorphism between data objects, of which parametricism, as the new global style for architecture and design, is a perfect example. (shrink)
The past 25 years have witnessed an increasing awareness of the importance of cognitive control in the regulation of complex behavior. It now sits alongside attention, memory, language, and thinking as a distinct domain within cognitive psychology. At the same time it permeates each of these sibling domains. This introduction reviews recent work on cognitive control in an attempt to provide a context for the fundamental question addressed within this topic: Is cognitive control to be understood as (...) resulting from the interaction of multiple distinct control processes, or are the phenomena of cognitive control emergent? (shrink)
We sometimes fail unwittingly to do things that we ought to do. And we are, from time to time, culpable for these unwitting omissions. We provide an outline of a theory of responsibility for unwitting omissions. We emphasize two distinctive ideas: (i) many unwitting omissions can be understood as failures of appropriate vigilance, and; (ii) the sort of self-control implicated in these failures of appropriate vigilance is valuable. We argue that the norms that govern vigilance and the value of (...) self-control explain culpability for unwitting omissions. (shrink)
Researchers often claim that self-control is a skill. It is also often stated that self-control exertions are intentional actions. However, no account has yet been proposed of the skillful agency that makes self-control exertion possible, so our understanding of self-control remains incomplete. Here I propose the skill model of self-control, which accounts for skillful agency by tackling the guidance problem: how can agents transform their abstract and coarse-grained intentions into the highly context-sensitive, fine-grained control (...) processes required to select, revise and correct strategies during self-control exertion? The skill model borrows conceptual tools from ‘hierarchical models’ recently developed in the context of motor skills, and asserts that self-control crucially involves the ability to manage the implementation and monitoring of regulatory strategies as the self-control exercise unfolds. Skilled agents are able do this by means of flexible practical reasoning: a fast, context-sensitive type of deliberation that incorporates non-propositional representations (including feedback signals about strategy implementation, such as the feeling of mental effort) into the formation and revision of the mixed-format intentions that structure self-control exertion. The literatures on implementation intentions and motivation framing offer corroborating evidence for the theory. As a surprising result, the skill of self-control that allows agents to overcome the contrary motivations they experience is self-effacing: instead of continuously honing this skill, expert agents replace it with a different one, which minimizes or prevents contrary motivations from arising in the first place. Thus, the more expert someone is at self-control, the less likely they are to use it. (shrink)
People experiencing alien control report that their thoughts, movements, actions, and emotions have been replaced by those of an "other." The latter is commonly a perceived persecutor of the patient. Here I describe the clinical phenomenology of alien control, mechanistic models that have been used to explain it, problems inherent in these models, the brain deficits and functional abnormalities associated with this symptom, and the means by which disordered agency may be examined in this perplexing condition. Our current (...) state of knowledge implicates potentially reversible dysfunction in certain key brain regions (especially the right parietal cortex), which is temporally related to the presence of symptoms. Alien control is quintessentially a disorder of agency. (shrink)
In what they call their “manual of the sanities”—a positive psychology handbook describing contemporary research on strengths of character—Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman argue that “there is no true disadvantage of having too much self-control.” This claim is widely endorsed in the research literature. I argue that it is false. My argument proceeds in three parts. First, I identify conceptual confusion in the definition of self-control, specifically as it pertains to the claim that you cannot be too self-controlled. (...) Second, I consider disadvantages to having too much self-control, several of which point to the value of acting spontaneously from time to time, in a pointedly uncontrolled way. Third, I raise worries about the social and political values embedded in the science of self-control. Self-control as it is understood in the positive psychology literature benefits some people more than others, depending, for example, on their race and their socio-economic status. I conclude by briefly outlining an empirical framework for understanding self-control in traditional virtue theoretic terms as something that admits of deficiencies and excesses. (shrink)
Causal selection has to do with the distinction we make between background conditions and “the” true cause or causes of some outcome of interest. A longstanding consensus in philosophy views causal selection as lacking any objective rationale and as guided, instead, by arbitrary, pragmatic, and non-scientific considerations. I argue against this position in the context of causal selection for disease traits. In this domain, causes are selected on the basis of the type of causal control they exhibit over a (...) disease of interest. My analysis clarifies the principled rationale that guides this selection and how it involves both pragmatic and objective considerations, which have been overlooked in the extant literature. (shrink)
I investigate what we mean when we hold people responsible for beliefs. I begin by outlining a puzzle concerning our ordinary judgments about beliefs and briefly survey and critique some common responses to the puzzle. I then present my response where I argue a sense needs to be articulated in which we do have a kind of control over our beliefs if our practice of attributing responsibility for beliefs is appropriate. In developing this notion of doxastic control, I (...) draw from John Fischer's discussions of?guidance control?. A central feature of this kind of control is the idea of?ownership?. I argue that we can own our beliefs and that we expect each other to do so. We take responsibility for our beliefs and taking responsibility includes taking control of them. I end by considering objections to my view as well as some implications of it. (shrink)
I introduce the notion of a ‘control variable’ which gives us a way of seeing how mental causation could be an unproblematic case of causation in general, rather than being some sui generis form of causation. Psychological variables may be the control variables for a system for which there are no physical control variables, even in a deterministic physical world. That explains how there can be psychological causation without physical causation, even in a deterministic physical world.
Knobe argues in his target article that asymmetries in intentionality judgments can be explained by the view that concepts such as intentionality are suffused with moral considerations. We believe that the “culpable control” model of blame can account both for Knobe's side effect findings and for findings that do not involve side effects.
Evidence from a growing number of studies suggests leader character as a means to advance leadership knowledge and practice. Based on this evidence, we propose a process model depicting how leader character manifests in ethical leadership that has positive psychological and performance outcomes for leaders, along with the moderating effect of leaders’ self-control on the character strength–ethical leadership–outcomes relationships. We tested this model using multisource data from 218 U.S. Air Force officers and their subordinates and superiors. Findings provide initial (...) support for leader character as a mechanism triggering positive outcomes such that only when officers reported a high level of self-control did their honesty/humility, empathy, and moral courage manifest in ethical leadership, associated with higher levels of psychological flourishing and in-role performance. We discuss the implications of these results for future theory development, research, and practice. (shrink)
Complex energy systems can effectively integrate renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power into the information network and coordinate the operation of renewable energy sources to ensure its reliability. In the voltage source converter-based high voltage direct current system, the traditional vector control strategy faces some challenges, such as difficulty in PI parameters tuning and multiobjective optimizations. To overcome these issues, a finite control set model predictive control-based advanced control strategy is proposed. Based on (...) the discrete mathematical model of the grid-side voltage source converter, the proposed strategy optimizes a value function with errors of current magnitudes to predict switching status of the grid-side converter. Moreover, the abilities of the system in resisting disturbances and fault recovery are enhanced by compensating delay and introducing weight coefficients. The complex energy system in which the wind power is delivered by the voltage source converter-based high voltage direct current system is modeled by Simulink and simulation results show that the proposed strategy is superior to the tradition PI control strategy under various situations, such as wind power fluctuation and fault occurrences. (shrink)
The conscious feeling of exercising ‘free-will’ is fundamental to our sense of self. However, in some psychopathological conditions actions may be experienced as involuntary or unwilled. We have used suggestion in hypnosis to create the experience of involuntariness in normal participants. We compared a voluntary finger movement, a passive movement and a voluntary movement suggested by hypnosis to be ‘involuntary.’ Hypnosis itself had no effect on the subjective experience of voluntariness associated with willed movements and passive movements or on time (...) estimations of their occurrence. However, subjective time estimates of a hypnotically-suggested, ‘involuntary’ finger movement were more similar to those for passive movements than for voluntary movements. The experience of anomalous control is qualitatively and quantitatively different from the normal conscious experience of a similar act produced intentionally. The experience of anomalous control may be produced either by pathology, or, in our case, by suggestion. (shrink)
This article’s aim is to shed light on direct control, especially as it pertains to free will. I sketch two ways of conceiving of such control. Both sketches extend to decision making. Issues addressed include the problem of present luck and the relationship between direct control and complete control.
This article considers what can be learned regarding the ethical acceptability of intrusive interventions intended to halt the spread of infectious disease from existing ethical discussion of intrusive interventions used to prevent criminal conduct. The main body of the article identifies and briefly describes six objections that have been advanced against Crime Control, and considers how these might apply to Infection Control. The final section then draws out some more general lessons from the foregoing analysis for the ethical (...) acceptability of different kinds of Infection Control. (shrink)
Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder) is a condition in which a person appears to possess more than one personality, and sometimes very many. Some recent criminal cases involving defendants with DID have resulted in "not guilty" verdicts, though the defense is not always successful in this regard. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Stephen Behnke have argued that we should excuse DID sufferers from responsibility, only if at the time of the act the person was insane (typically delusional); (...) otherwise the presumption should be that persons with DID are indeed responsible for their actions. We find their interpretation of DID and of the way in which the requirements for criminal insanity relate to this condition worrying and likely to result in injustice to DID sufferers. Our thesis is that persons with DID cannot be responsible for their actions if the usual features of the condition are present. A person with DID is a single person in the grip of a very serious mental disorder. By focusing on the features of DID which have, as we argue, the effect of deluding the patient, we try to show that such a person is unable to fulfill the ordinary conditions of responsible agency (namely, autonomy and self-control). (shrink)
In a recent article, George Sher argues that a realistic conception of human agency, which recognizes the limited extent to which we are conscious of what we do, makes the task of specifying a conception of the kind of control that underwrites ascriptions of moral responsibility much more difficult than is commonly appreciated. Sher suggests that an adequate account of control will not require that agents be conscious of their actions; we are responsible for what we do, in (...) the absence of consciousness, so long as our obliviousness is explained by some subset of the mental states constitutive of the agent. In this response, I argue that Sher is wrong on every count. First, the account of moral responsibility in the absence of consciousness he advocates does not preserve control at all; rather, it ought to be seen as a variety of attributionism (a kind of account of moral responsibility which holds that control is unnecessary for responsibility, so long as the action is reflective of the agent’s real self). Second, I argue that a realistic conception of agency, that recognizes the limited role that consciousness plays in human life, narrows the scope of moral responsibility. We exercise control over our actions only when consciousness has played a direct or indirect role in their production. Moreover, we cannot escape this conclusion by swapping a volitionist account of moral responsibility for an attributionist account: our actions are deeply reflective of our real selves only when consciousness has played a causal role in their production. (shrink)
Our main objectives are to learn if pore-evolution models developed from marine mudrocks can be directly applied to lacustrine mudrocks, investigate what controls the different pore types and sizes of Chang 7 organic matter -rich argillaceous mudstones of the Upper Triassic Yanchang Formation, and describe the texture, fabric, mineralogy, and thermal maturity variation in the Chang 7 mudstones. Lacustrine mudstones from nine cored wells along a depositional dip in the southeastern Ordos Basin, China, were investigated. Helium porosimetry, nitrogen adsorption, and (...) field-emission scanning electron microscopy of Ar-ion milled samples were applied. Measured average total porosity of samples from a proximal to distal transect is higher than those from the two adjacent cored wells. This difference in porosity partly caused by differences in the clay mineral content implies that in the fluvial-deltaic-lacustrine depositional environment, reservoir quality can vary significantly in a short distance. Owing to the uneven distribution of the sample set from proximal to distal area, we mainly evaluate variations in the proximal setting. Results from nitrogen-gas adsorption experiments show that there are four distinct patterns of pore-size distribution within the Chang 7 member of the Yanchang Formation with no particular correlation with mineralogical composition and thermal maturity. The pore network within Chang 7 mudstones is dominated by OM-hosted pores, with a lesser abundance of interparticle and intraparticle pores. The size distribution of mineral-hosted pores within these mudstones is found to be closely related to the rock texture and fabric. Mudstones with well-sorted grains and a higher percentage of coarser grains have more abundant mineral pores. The sizes of OM-hosted pores in these compaction-dominated lacustrine mudstones were one to two orders of magnitude smaller than those in the marine mudstones that display abundant early cementation. (shrink)
Cognitive control is easy to identify in its effects, but difficult to grasp conceptually. This creates somewhat of a puzzle: Is cognitive control a bona fide process or an epiphenomenon that merely exists in the mind of the observer? The topiCS special edition on cognitive control presents a broad set of perspectives on this issue and helps to clarify central conceptual and empirical challenges confronting the field. Our commentary provides a summary of and critical response to each (...) of the papers. (shrink)
An agent exercises instrumental rationality to the degree that she adopts appropriate means to achieving her ends. Adopting appropriate means to achieving one’s ends can, in turn, involve overcoming one’s strongest desires, that is, it can involve exercising synchronic self-control. However, contra prominent approaches, I deny that synchronic self-control is possible. Specifically, I draw on computational models and empirical evidence from cognitive neuroscience to describe a naturalistic, multi-system model of the mind. On this model, synchronic self-control is (...) impossible. Must we, then, give up on a meaningful conception of instrumental rationality? No. A multi-system view still permits something like synchronic self-control: an agent can control her very strong desires. Adopting a multi-system model of the mind thus places limitations on our conceptions of instrumental rationality, without requiring that we abandon the notion altogether. (shrink)
Many of us assume we must either oppose or support gun control. Not so. We have a range of alternatives. Even this way of speaking oversimplifies our choices since there are two distinct scales on which to place alternatives. One scale concerns the degree (if at all) to which guns should be abolished. This scale moves from those who want no abolition (NA) of any guns, through those who want moderate abolition (MA) - to forbid access to some subclasses (...) of guns - to those who want absolute abolition (AA). The second scale concerns the restrictions (if any) on those guns that are available to private citizens. This scale moves from those who want absolute restrictions (AR) through those who want moderate restrictions (MR) to those who want no restrictions (NR) at all. Restrictions vary not only in strength but also in content. We could restrict who owns guns, how they obtain them, where and how they store them, and where and how they can carry them. (shrink)
It is commonly held that implicit learning is based largely on familiarity. It is also commonly held that familiarity is not affected by intentions. It follows that people should not be able to use familiarity to distinguish strings from two different implicitly learned grammars. In two experiments, subjects were trained on two grammars and then asked to endorse strings from only one of the grammars. Subjects also rated how familiar each string felt and reported whether or not they used familiarity (...) to make their grammaticality judgment. We found subjects could endorse the strings of just one grammar and ignore the strings from the other. Importantly, when subjects said they were using familiarity, the rated familiarity for test strings consistent with their chosen grammar was greater than that for strings from the other grammar. Familiarity, subjectively defined, is sensitive to intentions and can play a key role in strategic control. (shrink)
Page generated Thu Aug 5 01:42:00 2021 on philpapers-web-65948fd446-qrpbq
cache stats: hit=14848, miss=13321, save= autohandler : 1806 ms called component : 1784 ms search.pl : 1608 ms render loop : 1251 ms addfields : 670 ms publicCats : 616 ms next : 503 ms initIterator : 313 ms menu : 121 ms retrieve cache object : 92 ms save cache object : 88 ms intermediate : 43 ms autosense : 40 ms match_cats : 36 ms prepCit : 30 ms quotes : 28 ms search_quotes : 14 ms applytpl : 9 ms match_other : 2 ms match_authors : 1 ms init renderer : 0 ms setup : 0 ms auth : 0 ms writelog : 0 ms