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  1. Believing Where the Action Is: Reply to van Leeuwen. Dohrn - manuscript
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  2. Life, Local Constraints and Meaning Generation. An Evolutionary Approach to Cognition (2015).Christophe Menant - manuscript
    The relations between life and cogntion have been addressed through different perspectives [Stewart 1996, Boden 2001, Bourgine and Stewart 2004, van Duijn & all 2006, Di Paolo 2009]. We would like here to address that subject by relating life to cognition through a process of meaning generation. Life emerged on earth as a far from thermodynamic equilibrium performance that had to maintain herself. Life is charactertized by a ‘stay alive’ constraint that has to be satisfied (such constraint can be included (...)
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  3. Causation, perspective and agency.Jenann Ismael - manuscript
    Philosophers of mind tend to take it for granted that causal relations are part of the mind-independent, objective fabric of the physical world. In fact, their status has been hotly contested since Russell famously observed that the closest thing to causal relations in physics are timesymmetric dynamical laws relating global time slices of world-history. 1 These bear a distant relationship to the local, asymmetric relations that form the core of the folk notion of cause. Nancy Cartwright, in an influential response, (...)
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  4. Pragmatism, Truth, and Cognitive Agency.Cameron Boult - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    The main objection to pragmatism about knowledge is that it entails that truth-irrelevant factors can make a difference to knowledge. Blake Roeber (2018) has recently argued that this objection fails. I agree with Roeber. But in this paper, I present another way of thinking about the dispute between purists and pragmatists about knowledge. I do so by formulating a new objection to pragmatism about knowledge. This is that pragmatism about knowledge entails that factors irrelevant to both truth and “cognitive agency” (...)
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  5. Deontic Logic and Natural Language.Fabrizio Cariani - forthcoming - In Dov Gabbay, Ron van der Meyden, John Horty, Xavier Parent & Leandert van der Torre (eds.), The Handbook of Deontic Logic (Vol. II). College Publications.
    There has been a recent surge of work on deontic modality within philosophy of language. This work has put the deontic logic tradition in contact with natural language semantics, resulting in significant increase in sophistication on both ends. This chapter surveys the main motivations, achievements, and prospects of this work.
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  6. Aesthetic Agency.Keren Gorodeisky - forthcoming - In Luca Ferrero (ed.), Routledge Handbook for the Philosophy of Agency. pp. 456-466.
    Until very recently, there has been no discussion of aesthetic agency. This is likely because aesthetics has traditionally focused not on action, but on appreciation, while the standard approach identifies ‘agency’ with the will, and, more specifically, with the capacity for intentional action. In this paper, I argue, first, that this identification is unfortunate since it fails to do justice to the fact that we standardly attribute beliefs, emotions, desires, and other conative and affective attitudes that aren’t formed ‘at will,’ (...)
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  7. The unaccountable subject: Judith Butler and the social conditions of intersubjective agency.Hans-Joachim Heinz - forthcoming - Hypatia.
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  8. A Plea for Exemptions.Timothy Kearl - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-18.
    Currently popular theories of epistemic responsibility rest on the assumption that justification and excuse exhaust the relevant normative categories. One gets the sense that, once we've laid down the conditions for justified belief, and once we've laid down the conditions of excusably unjustified belief, the work is done; all that's left is to clock out. Against this backdrop, one is naturally led to think that if an agent's doxastic state fails to be justified, it is thereby unjustified, perhaps excusably so. (...)
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  9. The Authority and Content of Morality: A Dilemma for Constitutivism and a Coherentist Approach to Normativity.Byeong D. Lee - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-18.
  10. Rational Agency.Eric Marcus - forthcoming - In Luca Ferrero (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Agency. Routledge.
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  11. Agentive phenomenology.Myrto Mylopoulos & Joshua Shepherd - forthcoming - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
    In this chapter we reflect on questions about the nature and sources of agentive phenomenology – that is, the set of those experience-types associated with exercises of agency, and paradigmatically with intentional actions. Our discussion begins with pioneering work in psychology and neuroscience that dates to the early 80s (section 1). As we will see, much of the current work on agentive phenomenology in both psychology and philosophy draws motivation from this work, and the questions it raises. After discussing empirical (...)
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  12. Embodied Agency and Habitual Selves.Nancy Nyquist Potter - forthcoming - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 20 (1):75-80.
  13. Philosophy of Action from Suarez to Davidson.Constantine Sandis (ed.) - forthcoming
  14. Urges.Ashley Shaw - forthcoming - Philosophical Review.
    Experiences of urges, impulses, or inclinations are among the most basic elements in the practical life of conscious agents. This article develops a theory of urges and their epistemology. The article motivates a tripartite framework that distinguishes urges, conscious experiences of urges, and exercises of capacities that agents have to control their urges. The article elaborates the elements of the tripartite framework, in particular, the phenomenological contribution of motor imagery. It argues that experiences of urges and exercises of control over (...)
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  15. Self-control and Akrasia.Christine Tappolet - forthcoming - In Meghan Griffith, Kevin Timpe & Neil Levy (eds.), Routledge Companion to Free Will. Routledge.
    Akratic actions are often being thought to instantiate a paradigmatic self-control failure. . If we suppose that akrasia is opposed to self-control, the question is how akratic actions could be free and intentional. After all, it would seem that it is only if an action manifests self-control that it can count as free. My plan is to explore the relation between akrasia and self-control. The first section presents what I shall call the standard conception, according to which akrasia and self-control (...)
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  16. An Agency-Based Epistemology of Modality.Barbara Vetter - forthcoming - In Duško Prelević & Anand Vaidya (eds.), The Epistemology of Modality and Philosophical Methodology. New York: Routledge.
    My aim in this paper is to sketch, with a broad brush and in bare outlines, an approach to modal epistemology that is characterized by three distinctive features. First, the approach is agency-based: it locates the roots of our modal thought and knowledge in our experience of our own agency. Second, the approach is ambitious in that it takes the experience of certain modal properties in agency to be the sole distinctive feature of specifically modal thought and knowledge; everything that (...)
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  17. Coping: A Philosophical Exploration.Federica Berdini - 2023 - Argumenta 8 (2):285-298.
    Coping is customarily understood as those thoughts and actions humans adopt while undergoing situations appraised as threatening and stressful, or when peo- ple’s sense of who they are and what they should do is significantly challenged. In these cases, coping thoughts and actions help one endure and hopefully overcome these stresses, threats, and/or challenges. Discussions of coping are common among psychologists, but nearly absent from the philosophical literature despite their importance in theories of agency and for closely related concepts like (...)
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  18. How to be morally responsible for another's free intentional action.Olle Blomberg - 2023 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 25 (3):545-579.
    I argue that an agent can be morally responsible and fully (but not necessarily solely) blameworthy for another agent’s free intentional action, simply by intentionally creating the conditions for the action in a way that causes it. This means, I argue, that she can be morally responsible for the other’s action in the relevantly same way that she is responsible for her own non-basic actions. Furthermore, it means that socially mediated moral responsibility for intentional action does not require an agent (...)
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  19. Unavoidable actions.Justin A. Capes - 2023 - Philosophical Explorations 27 (1):57-73.
    ABSTRACT It’s often assumed, especially in discussions of free will and moral responsibility, that unavoidable actions are possible. In recent years, however, several philosophers have questioned that assumption. Their views are considered here, and the possibility of unavoidable actions is defended and then applied to issues in action theory and in the literature on moral responsibility.
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  20. Anorexia Nervosa: Illusion in the Sense of Agency (2023).Amanda Evans - 2023 - Mind and Language 38 (2):480-494.
    This is a preprint draft. Please cite published version (DOI: 10.1111/mila.12385). The aim of this paper is to provide a novel analysis of anorexia nervosa (AN) in the context of the sense of agency literature. I first show that two accounts of anorexia nervosa that we ought to take seriously— i.e., the first personal reports of those who have experienced it firsthand as well as the research that seeks to explain anorexic behavior from an empirical perspective— appear to be thoroughly (...)
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  21. Can Determinists Act Under the Idea of Freedom?Martin F. Fricke - 2023 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 42 (2):49-64.
    Determinism which denies freedom of action is a common philosophical view. Is the action of such determinists incompatible with Kant’s claim that a rationally willed being “cannot act otherwise than under the idea of freedom” [G 4, 448]? In my paper, I examine Kant’s argument for this claim at the beginning of the Third Section of the Groundwork and argue that it amounts to the assertion that one cannot act while being aware of being guided by invalid principles. Belief in (...)
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  22. Agency and the Successive Structure of Time-Consciousness.Camden Alexander McKenna - 2023 - Erkenntnis 88 (5):2013-2034.
    I argue for constraining the nomological possibility space of temporal experiences and endorsing the Succession Requirement for agents. The Succession Requirement holds that the basic structure of temporal experience must be successive for agentive subjects, at least in worlds that are law-like in the same way as ours. I aim to establish the Succession Requirement by showing non-successively experiencing agents are not possible for three main reasons, namely that they (1) fail to stand in the right sort of causal relationship (...)
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  23. Against the New Logical Argument from Evil.Daniel Rubio - 2023 - Religions 14 (2):159.
    Jim Sterba’s Is a Good God Logically Possible? looks to resurrect J. L. Mackie’s logical argument from evil. Sterba accepts the general framework that theists seeking to give a theodicy have favored since Leibniz invented the term: the search for some greater good provided or greater evil averted that would justify God in permitting the type and variety of evil we actually observe. However, Sterba introduces a deontic twist, drawing on the Pauline Principle (let us not do evil that good (...)
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  24. Agency and causation.Jesús Aguilar & Andrei A. Buckareff - 2022 - In The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Agency. New York: Routledge. pp. 27-36.
    In this chapter, we examine some foundational issues at the intersection of the metaphysics of agency and the metaphysics of causation. We explore three broad issues concerning the metaphysics of causation and intentional agency. We first consider the best way to think about the relationship between exercising agency and causation. Specifically, is intentional agency best identified with a causal process or should we take intentional agency to be either the causal initiation of some outcome or the effect of a cause? (...)
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  25. Agency, Narrative, and Mortality.Roman Altshuler - 2022 - In Luca Ferrero (ed.), Routledge Handbook for the Philosophy of Agency. New York: Routledge. pp. 385-393.
    Narrative views of agency and identity arise in opposition to reductionism in both domains. While reductionists understand both identity and agency in terms of their components, narrativists respond that life and action are both constituted by narratives, and since the components of a narrative gain their meaning from the whole, life and action not only incorporate their constituent parts but also shape them. I first lay out the difficulties with treating narrative as constitutive of metaphysical identity and turn to its (...)
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  26. Collective Inferiority Complex as Disability: Samuel Ramos' Analysis of the Mexican Psyche.Sergio Armando Gallegos-Ordorica - 2022 - In Daniel Brunson & Nate Whelan-Jackson (eds.), Disability and American Philosophies. New York: Routledge. pp. 9-24.
  27. Agency and Evidence.Berislav Marusic & John Schwenkler - 2022 - In Luca Ferrero (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Agency. Routledge. pp. 244-252.
    How does evidence figure into the reasoning of an agent? This is an intricate philosophical problem but also one we all encounter in our daily lives. In this chapter, we identify the problem and outline a possible solution to it. The problem arises, because the fact that it is up to us whether we do something makes a difference to how we should think of the evidence concerning whether we will actually do it. Otherwise we regard something that is up (...)
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  28. Group Action Without Group Minds.Kenneth Silver - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (2):321-342.
    Groups behave in a variety of ways. To show that this behavior amounts to action, it would be best to fit it into a general account of action. However, nearly every account from the philosophy of action requires the agent to have mental states such as beliefs, desires, and intentions. Unfortunately, theorists are divided over whether groups can instantiate these states—typically depending on whether or not they are willing to accept functionalism about the mind. But we can avoid this debate. (...)
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  29. The Division of Normativity and a Defence of Demanding Moral Theories.Elizabeth Ventham - 2022 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 26 (1):3-17.
    Morality, according to some theories, demands a lot of us. One way to defend such demanding moral theories is through an appeal to the division of normativity; on this picture, morality is only one of the normative domains that guides us, so it should be expected that we often fail to follow that guidance. This paper defends the division of normativity as a response to demandingness objections against an alternative: moral rationalism. It does this by addressing and refuting three arguments: (...)
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  30. Self-control, Attention, and How to live without Special Motivational Powers.Sebastian Watzl - 2022 - In M. Brent & Lisa Miracchi (eds.), Mental Action and the Conscious Mind. Routledge. pp. 272-300.
    It has been argued that the explanation of self-control requires positing special motivational powers. Some think that we need will-power as an irreducible mental faculty; others that we need to think of the active self as a dedicated and depletable pool of psychic energy or – in today more respectable terminology – mental resources; finally, there is the idea that self-control requires postulating a deep division between reason and passion – a deliberative and an emotional motivational system. This essay argues (...)
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  31. Being Bad at Being Good: Zuko's Transformation and Residual Practical Identities.Justin F. White - 2022 - In Helen De Cruz & Johan De Smedt (eds.), Avatar: The Last Airbender and Philosophy. Wisdom from Aang to Zuko. Hoboken, NJ, USA: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 188-196.
    Zuko’s plight illuminates the process of aspiration, including common challenges to the aspirant. As Agnes Callard understands it, aspiration typically involves a “deep change in how one sees and feels and thinks.” And this deep change is often intertwined with a change in what contemporary philosopher Christine Korsgaard calls practical identity, a “description under which you value yourself, . . . under which you find your life to be worth living and your actions to be worth undertaking.” But as Zuko (...)
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  32. Personal Acts, Habit, and Embodied Agency in Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception.Justin F. White - 2022 - In Jeremy Dunham & Komarine Romdenh-Romluc (eds.), Habit and the History of Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 152–165.
    In Aspiration, Agnes Callard examines the phenomenon of aspiration, the process by which one acquires values and becomes a certain kind of person. Aspiring to become a certain type of person involves more than wanting to act in certain ways. We want to come to see the world in a certain way and to develop the dispositions, attributes, and skills that allow us to seamlessly and effectively respond to situations. The skilled athlete or musician, for example, has developed the muscle (...)
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  33. Deliberative Agency, Self‐Control, and the Divided Mind.Hannah Altehenger - 2021 - Theoria 87 (3):542-558.
    According to a widely endorsed claim, intentional action is brought about by an agent’s desires in accordance with these desires’ respective motivational strength. As Jay Wallace has argued, though, this “hydraulic model” of the aetiology of intentional action has a serious flaw: it fails to leave room for genuine deliberative agency. Drawing on recent developments in the debate on self-control, the article argues that Wallace’s criticism can be addressed once we combine the hydraulic model with a so-called “divided mind” account (...)
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  34. The Mismatch Problem: Why Mele's Approach to the Puzzle of Synchronic Self‐control Does Not Succeed.Hannah Altehenger - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 102 (2):243-266.
    Most of us have had the experience of resisting our currently strongest desire, for example, resisting the desire to eat another cookie when eating another cookie is what we most want to do. The puzzle of synchronic self‐control, however, says that this is impossible: an agent cannot ever resist her currently strongest desire. The paper argues that one prominent solution to this puzzle – the solution offered by Al Mele – faces a serious ‘mismatch problem’, which ultimately undermines its plausibility. (...)
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  35. Agency and Mistakes.Santiago Amaya - 2021 - In Luca Ferrero (ed.), Routledge Handbook ofPhilosophy of Agency. Nueva York, EE. UU.: pp. 149-150.
    This is a draft of my chapter on Agency and Mistakes for the Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Agency. In it, I focus on performance mistakes and distinguish them from other "derivative" mistakes that we make as agents. I argue that a proper understanding of these mistakes recommends a generalized fallibilism about human agency.
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  36. Does Success Entail Ability?David Boylan - 2021 - Noûs 56 (3):570-601.
    This paper is about the principle that success entails ability, which I call Success. I argue the status of Success is highly puzzling: when we focus on past instances of actually successful action, Success is very compelling; but it is in tension with the idea that true ability claims require an action be in the agent's control. I make the above tension precise by considering the logic of ability. I argue Success is appealing because it is classically equivalent to two (...)
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  37. Ambivalence, Incoherence, and Self-Governance.John Brunero - 2021 - In Dimitria Gatzia & Berit Brogaard (eds.), The Philosophy and Psychology of Ambivalence: Being of Two Minds. London, UK: Routledge.
    The paper develops two objections to Michael Bratman’s self-governance approach to the normativity of rational requirements. Bratman, drawing upon work by Harry Frankfurt, argues that having a place where one stands is a necessary, constitutive element of self-governance, and that violations of the consistency and coherence requirements on intentions make one lack a place where one stands. This allows for reasons of self-governance to ground reasons to comply with these rational requirements, thereby vindicating the normativity of rationality. The first objection (...)
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  38. The Shared Know-how in Linguistic Bodies.Eros Moreira de Carvalho - 2021 - Filosofia Unisinos 22 (1):94-101.
    The authors of *Linguistic Bodies* appeal to shared know-how to explain the social and participatory interactions upon which linguistic skills and agency rest. However, some issues lurk around the notion of shared know-how and require attention and clarification. In particular, one issue concerns the agent behind the shared know-how, a second one concerns whether shared know-how can be reducible to individual know-how or not. In this paper, I sustain that there is no single answer to the first issue; depending on (...)
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  39. Wild Animal Ethics: Well-Being, Agency, and Freedom.Nicolas Delon - 2021 - Philosophia 50 (3):875-885.
    Commentary on Kyle Johannsen, Wild Animal Ethics (Routledge, 2020). I want to unpack what we should understand by wild animal well-being, and how different interpretations of what matters about it shape the sorts of interventions we endorse. I will not offer a theory of wild animal well-being or even take a stance on the best approach to theories of well-being as they pertain to wild animals. My aim is to bring into view a concern that WAE has largely overlooked: agency (...)
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  40. Threats to epistemic agency in young people with unusual experiences and beliefs.Joseph W. Houlders, Lisa Bortolotti & Matthew R. Broome - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7689-7704.
    A good therapeutic relationship in mental health services is a predictor of positive clinical outcomes for people who seek help for distressing experiences, such as voice hearing and paranoia. One factor that may affect the quality of the therapeutic relationship and raises further ethical issues is the impact of the clinical encounter on users’ sense of self, and in particular on their sense of agency. In the paper, we discuss some of the reasons why the sense of epistemic agency may (...)
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  41. Freedom and agency in the Zhuangzi: navigating life’s constraints.Karyn Lai - 2021 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 30 (1):3-23.
    The Zhuangzi, a 4th century BCE Chinese text, is optimistic about life unrestrained by entrenched values. This paper contributes to existing debates on Zhuangzian freedom in three ways. First, it reflects on how it is possible to enjoy the freedom envisaged in the Zhuangzi. Many discussions welcome the Zhuangzi’s picture of release from life shaped by canonical visions, without also giving thought to life without these driving visions. Consider this scenario: in a world with limitless possibilities, would it not be (...)
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  42. Practical Animal Reasoning.Martin Walter Niederl - 2021 - Undergraduate Philosophy Journal of Australasia 3:71-89.
    In his latest paper on animal agency, Glock (2019) presents a series of arguments to the extent that non-linguistic animals are capable of acting rationally and for reasons. This notwithstanding, he still denies them the ability to conceptualise reasons as reasons. I will argue that, in using Glock’s account, one can in fact claim that non- linguistic animals are capable of conceptualising reasons as reasons. For this, I will apply Glock’s own criteria for concept-possession to the concepts of a reason (...)
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  43. The shape of agency: Control, action, skill, knowledge.Joshua Shepherd - 2021 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    The Shape of Agency offers interlinked explanations of the basic building blocks of agency, as well as its exemplary instances. The first part offers accounts of a collection of related phenomena that have long troubled philosophers of action: control over behaviour, non-deviant causation, and intentional action. These accounts build on earlier work in the causalist tradition, and undermine the claims made by many that causalism cannot offer a satisfying account of non-deviant causation, and therefore fails as an account of intentional (...)
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  44. Adapting: A Chinese Philosophy of Action.Mercedes Valmisa - 2021 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Philosophy of action in the context of Classical China is radically different from its counterpart in the contemporary Western philosophical narrative. Classical Chinese philosophers began from the assumption that relations are primary to the constitution of the person, hence acting in the early Chinese context necessarily is interacting and co-acting along with others –human and nonhuman actors. This book is the first monograph dedicated to the exploration and rigorous reconstruction of an extraordinary strategy for efficacious relational action devised by Classical (...)
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  45. Socially Embedded Agency: Lesssons from Marginalized Identities.Aness Webster - 2021 - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility Volume 7. Oxford University Press. pp. 104-129.
    This paper proposes a distinctive kind of agency that can vindicate the agency of members of marginalised groups while accommodating the autonomy-undermining influences of oppression. Socially-embedded agency—the locus of which is in the exercise of our ability to negotiate between different social features—is compatible with, and can explain, various phenomena, including double-consciousness and white fragility. Moreover, although socially-embedded agency is neither necessary nor sufficient for autonomy, exercising it is practically necessary for autonomy, at least for members of marginalised groups in (...)
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  46. Psychopathy, Agency, and Practical Reason.Monique Wonderly - 2021 - In Ruth Chang & Kurt Sylvan (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Practical Reason. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 262-275.
    Philosophers have urged that considerations about the psychopath’s capacity for practical rationality can help to advance metaethical debates. These debates include the role of rational faculties in moral judgment and action, the relationship between moral judgment and moral motivation, and the capacities required for morally responsible agency. I discuss how the psychopath’s capacity for practical reason features in these debates, and I identify several takeaway lessons from the relevant literature. Specifically, I show how the insights contained therein can illuminate the (...)
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  47. Freedom in a Physical World.Andrew M. Bailey - 2020 - Philosophical Papers 49 (1):31-39.
    Making room for agency in a physical world is no easy task. Can it be done at all? In this article, I consider and reject an argument in the negative.
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  48. From Life-Like to Mind-Like Explanation: Natural Agency and the Cognitive Sciences.Alex Djedovic - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Toronto, St. George Campus
    This dissertation argues that cognition is a kind of natural agency. Natural agency is the capacity that certain systems have to act in accordance with their own norms. Natural agents are systems that bias their repertoires in response to affordances in the pursuit of their goals. Cognition is a special mode of this general phenomenon. Cognitive systems are agents that have the additional capacity to actively take their worlds to be certain ways, regardless of whether the world is really that (...)
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  49. The Creeps as a Moral Emotion.Jeremy Fischer & Rachel Fredericks - 2020 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 7:191-217.
    Creepiness and the emotion of the creeps have been overlooked in the moral philosophy and moral psychology literatures. We argue that the creeps is a morally significant emotion in its own right, and not simply a type of fear, disgust, or anger (though it shares features with those emotions). Reflecting on cases, we defend a novel account of the creeps as felt in response to creepy people. According to our moral insensitivity account, the creeps is fitting just when its object (...)
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  50. The Error Condition.Jeremy David Fix - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (1):34-48.
    The possibility of error conditions the possibility of normative principles. I argue that extant interpretations of this condition undermine the possibility of normative principles for our action because they implicitly treat error as a perfection of an action. I then explain how a constitutivist metaphysics of capacities explains why error is an imperfection of an action. Finally, I describe and defend the interpretation of the error condition which follows.
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