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  1. Action.Juan S. Piñeros Glasscock & Sergio Tenenbaum - 2023 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  2. Agency and Time.Abraham Sesshu Roth - 2022 - In Time in Action - The Temporal Structure of Rational Agency and Practical Thought. New York: Routledge. pp. 133-148.
    Is there something special about one’s attitude toward a prospective action when deciding or intending to do it? Philosophers often appeal to the idea of settling to distinguish intention from other attitudes toward some prospective action, such as expecting it, or desiring it. But settle has become a term of art invoked in divergent ways. The first use of the term concerns the more immediate upshot of a decision on the psychology of the agent. Once a decision has been made (...)
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  3. Gul A. Agha, Actors: A Model of Concurrent Computation in Distributed Systems[REVIEW]Varol Akman - 1990 - AI Magazine 11 (4):92-93.
    This is a review of Gul A. Agha’s Actors: A Model of Concurrent Computation in Distributed Systems (The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1987), a part of the MIT Press Series in Artificial Intelligence, edited by Patrick Winston, Michael Brady, and Daniel Bobrow.
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  4. How to Perform a Nonbasic Action.Mikayla Kelley - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Some actions we perform "just like that" without taking a means, e.g., raising your arm or wiggling your finger. Other actions—the nonbasic actions—we perform by taking a means, e.g., voting by raising your arm or illuminating a room by flipping a switch. A nearly ubiquitous view about nonbasic action is that one's means to a nonbasic action constitutes the nonbasic action, as raising your arm constitutes voting or flipping a switch constitutes illuminating a room. In this paper, I challenge this (...)
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  5. Indecision and Buridan’s Principle.Daniel Coren - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-18.
    The problem known as Buridan’s Ass says that a hungry donkey equipoised between two identical bales of hay will starve to death. Indecision kills the ass. Some philosophers worry about human analogs. Computer scientists since the 1960s have known about the computer versions of such cases. From what Leslie Lamport calls ‘Buridan’s Principle’—a discrete decision based on a continuous range of input-values cannot be made in a bounded time—it follows that the possibilities for human analogs of Buridan’s Ass are far (...)
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  6. Diachronic Agency.Luca Ferrero - 2022 - In The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Agency. pp. 336-347.
    This chapter discusses the structure of our temporally extended agency. We do not have the power to act directly at a distance, so any of our temporally extended projects must be sustained over its temporal unfolding by momentary actions. We need both the capacity to organize these momentary steps in light of a synoptic overview of the extended activity as a whole and to sustain our motivation to continue to pursue the extended activity. Hence, the distinctive mode in which we (...)
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  7. Individuant accions.Adrián Solís - 2021 - Filosofia, Ara! Revista Per a Pensar 2 (7):26-28.
    Com podem fer per individuar accions? Com determinem quines accions són diferents d'unes altres? El present treball discutirà dues teories sobre la individuaci´ó d'accions: la de Davidson i la de Goldman. Atenent a un clàssic escenari filosòfic sobre la individuació d'accions veurem les virtuds i defectes d'aquestes dues propostes.
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  8. Kantian Eudaimonism.E. Sonny Elizondo - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
    My aim in this paper is to reorient our understanding of the Kantian ethical project, especially in relation to its assumed rivals. I do this by considering Kant’s relation to eudaimonism, especially in its Aristotelian form. I argue for two points. First, once we understand what Kant and Aristotle mean by “happiness,” we can see that not only is it the case that, by Kant’s lights, Aristotle is not a eudaimonist. We can also see that, by Aristotle’s lights, Kant is (...)
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  9. Mental Action and the Conscious Mind.Michael Brent & Lisa Miracchi (eds.) - 2023 - New York, NY: Routledge.
    Mental action deserves a place among foundational topics in action theory and philosophy of mind. Recent accounts of human agency tend to overlook the role of conscious mental action in our daily lives, while contemporary accounts of the conscious mind often ignore the role of mental action and agency in shaping consciousness. This collection aims to establish the centrality of mental action for discussions of agency and mind. The thirteen original essays provide a wide-ranging vision of the various and nuanced (...)
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  10. Oops! I Did it Again: The Psychology of Everyday Action Slips.Myrto Mylopoulos - 2022 - Topics in Cognitive Science 14 (2):282-294.
  11. Emotions as modulators of desire.Brandon Yip - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (3):855-878.
    We commonly appeal to emotions to explain human behaviour: we seek comfort out of grief, we threaten someone in anger and we hide in fear. According to the standard Humean analysis, intentional action is always explained with reference to a belief-desire pair. According to recent consensus, however, emotions have independent motivating force apart from beliefs and desires, and supplant them when explaining emotional action. In this paper I provide a systematic framework for thinking about the motivational structure of emotion and (...)
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  12. Answerability without reasons.Lilian O'Brien - 2021 - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility. New York, NY, USA: pp. 32-53.
    It is widely accepted that we are answerable in a special way for our intentional actions. And it is also widely accepted that we are thus answerable because we perform intentional actions for reasons. The aim of this chapter is to argue against this ‘reasons’ view of such answerability. First, reasons are distinguished from practical standards. Then, it is argued that the best interpretation of the practices in which we treat agents as answerable is that they fundamentally concern practical standards (...)
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  13. Neo-Aristotelian Metaphysics and the Theology of Nature.William Simpson, Koons Robert & James Orr (eds.) - 2021 - New York, NY, USA: Routledge.
    Despite the growing interest in Aristotelian approaches to contemporary philosophy of science, few metaphysicians have engaged directly with the question of how a neo-Aristotelian metaphysics of nature might change the landscape for theological discussion concerning theology and naturalism, the place of human beings within nature, or the problem of divine causality. The chapters in this volume are collected into three thematic sections: Naturalism and Nature, Mind and Nature, and God and Nature. By pushing the current boundaries of neo-Aristotelian metaphysics to (...)
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  14. Wanting and willing.Eric Marcus - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (4):887-899.
    How homogenous are the sources of human motivation? Textbook Humeans hold that every human action is motivated by desire, thus any heterogeneity derives from differing objects of desire. Textbook Kantians hold that although some human actions are motivated by desire, others are motivated by reason. One question in this vicinity concerns whether there are states such that to be in one is at once take the world to be a certain way and to be motivated to act: the state-question. My (...)
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  15. Agency in the Space of Reasons. A Comment on The Castle.Josep E. Corbi - 2021 - In Tomas Koblízek and Petr Kotátko (ed.), Lessons From Kafka. Prague, Czechia: pp. 113-140.
    The received view about rationalizing explanations divides our psychological status into two kinds: beliefs and desires. In *The Retrieval of Ethics*, Talbot Brewer makes a case against this view. In this paper, I examine our experience as readers of *The Castle* by Franz Kafka to support Brewer's critical program, that is, his challenge to the received view. I will argue, however, that a proper analysis of this experience poses a serious problem to Brewer's alternative approach, that is, to his attempt (...)
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  16. Drifting and Directed Minds: The Significance of Mind-Wandering for Mental Agency.Zachary C. Irving - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy 118 (11):614-644.
    Perhaps the central question in action theory is this: what ingredient of bodily action is missing in mere behavior? But what is an analogous question for mental action? I ask this: what ingredient of active, goal-directed thought is missing in mind-wandering? My answer: attentional guidance. Attention is guided when you would feel pulled back from distractions. In contrast, mind-wandering drifts between topics unchecked. My unique starting point motivates new accounts of four central topics about mental action. First, its causal basis. (...)
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  17. The Most General Mental Act.Yair Levy - forthcoming - In Michael Brent & Lisa Miracchi (eds.), Mental Action and The Conscious Mind. Routledge.
    This chapter contributes to the ongoing debate over how to understand attention. It spells out and defends a novel account according to which attending is the most general type of mental act, that which one performs on some object if one performs any mental act on it at all. On this view, all mental acts are (to a first, rough approximation) species of attending. The view is novel in going against the grain of virtually all extant accounts, which work by (...)
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  18. APA Author Meets Critics for Shepherd, The Shape of Agency.Kim Frost, Sarah K. Paul & Joshua Shepherd - manuscript
    These comments, which take the form of criticism and response, were the basis of a zoom conversation at the Eastern APA, January 2021. Josh is putting them up on philpapers (with permission from all involved) in case they are helpful to people interested in the themes of this book.
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  19. Review of The Shape of Agency. [REVIEW]Carlotta Pavese - forthcoming - Mind.
    What makes an event an action rather than a mere happening? What makes us agents rather than non-agents? What does being in control amount to? And in virtue of what are our actions skilled? These are among the deepest and hardest questions in the philosophy of action. They are also particularly timely, as the field is revisiting them both in connection with a study of intentional action and with a renewed interest in skilled action. In The Shape of Agency, Joshua (...)
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  20. The Virtue of Receptivity and Practical Rationality.Seisuke Hayakawa - 2015 - In Chienkuo Mi, Michael Slote & Ernest Sosa (eds.), Moral and Intellectual Virtues in Western and Chinese Philosophy: The Turn toward Virtue. New York: Routledge. pp. 235-251.
    In this chapter, I attempt to provide a richer account of reflective agency than standard theorists do, by focusing on the deep connection between the role of empathic receptivity and that of reflection. In From Enlightenment to Receptivity, Michael Slote innovatively introduces the idea of receptivity as a virtue into the domains of epistemology and ethics, and argues that the virtue of receptivity plays a crucial role in the realization of a good life (2013). In contrast, I incorporate receptivity as (...)
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  21. The modularity of the motor system.Myrto Mylopoulos - 2021 - Philosophical Explorations 24 (3):376-393.
    In this paper, I make a case for the modularity of the motor system. I start where many do in discussions of modularity, by considering the extent to which the motor system is cognitively penetrable, i.e., the extent to which its processing and outputs are causally influenced, in a semantically coherent way, by states of central cognition. I present some empirical findings from a range of sensorimotor adaptation studies that strongly suggest that there are limits to such influence under certain (...)
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  22. Situated Acting and Embodied Coping.Ondřej Švec - 2020 - Pragmatism Today 11 (1):23-41.
    The pragmatist account of action in Brandom’s Making it Explicit offers a compelling defense of social embeddedness of acting. Its virtue consists of redefining the agent’s reasons for action in terms of her public commitments and entitlements. However, this account remains too intellectualist insofar as it neglects the embodied sense allowing the agent to respond to various situational demands and social constraints. In my article, I provide a less disembodied account of action that draws on Dreyfus’s emphasis on bodily skills (...)
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  23. Skilled Guidance.Denis Buehler - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3):641-667.
    Skilled action typically requires that individuals guide their activities toward some goal. In skilled action, individuals do so excellently. We do not understand well what this capacity to guide consists in. In this paper I provide a case study of how individuals shift visual attention. Their capacity to guide visual attention toward some goal (partly) consists in an empirically discovered sub-system – the executive system. I argue that we can explain how individuals guide by appealing to the operation of this (...)
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  24. Können nichtmenschliche Tiere handeln?Geert Keil - 2021 - In Roland Kipke, Nele Röttger, Johanna Wagner & Almut Kristine von Wedelstaedt (eds.), ZusammenDenken. Berlin/Heidelberg/Wiesbaden: Springer VS. pp. 159-177.
    Ralf Stoecker hat argumentiert, dass allein Menschen im strengen Sinne handeln könnten, weil sie allein fähig seien, etwas aus Gründen zu tun und über diese Gründe Rechenschaft abzulegen. In einem weniger strengen Sinn könnten auch Tiere handeln. Ich werde in diesem Beitrag zunächst Stoeckers Begründung seiner zweigeteilten These rekapitulieren (1) und dann zwei Rückfragen dazu stellen: (a) Warum soll es gerade die Praxis des logon didonai sein, die Verhalten zu Handlungen im engen Sinne macht? (b) Warum soll es genau zwei (...)
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  25. The (Meta)politics of Thinking: On Arendt and the Greeks.Jussi Backman - 2021 - In Kristian Larsen & Pål Rykkja Gilbert (eds.), Phenomenological Interpretations of Ancient Philosophy. Brill. pp. 260-282.
    In this chapter, Jussi Backman approaches Hannah Arendt’s readings of ancient philosophy by setting out from her perspective on the intellectual, political, and moral crisis characterizing Western societies in the twentieth century, a crisis to which the rise of totalitarianism bears witness. To Arendt, the political catastrophes haunting the twentieth century have roots in a tradition of political philosophy reaching back to the Greek beginnings of philosophy. Two principal features of Arendt’s exchange with the ancients are highlighted. The first is (...)
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  26. The guise of good reason.Ulf Hlobil - 2021 - Philosophical Explorations 24 (2):204-224.
    The paper argues for a version of the Guise of the Good thesis, namely the claim that if someone acts as the result of practical reasoning, then she takes her premises to jointly provide a sufficient and undefeated reason for her action. I argue for this by showing, first, that it is an application of Boghossian's Taking Condition on inference to practical reasoning and, second, that the motivations for the Taking Condition for theoretical reasoning carry over to practical reasoning. I (...)
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  27. The Senses of Touch and Movement and the Argument for Active Powers.Roger Smith - forthcoming - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science.
  28. Philosophy of Action: A Contemporary Introduction.Sarah Paul - 2020 - Routledge.
    This book offers an accessible and inclusive overview of the major debates in the philosophy of action. It covers the distinct approaches taken by Donald Davidson, G.E.M. Anscombe, and numerous others to answering questions like "what are intentional actions?" and "how do reasons explain actions?" Further topics include intention, practical knowledge, weakness and strength of will, self-governance, and collective agency. With introductions, conclusions, and annotated suggested reading lists for each of the ten chapters, it is an ideal introduction for advanced (...)
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  29. Doing without action types.Hein Duijf, Jan Broersen, Alexandra Kuncová & Aldo Iván Ramírez Abarca - forthcoming - Review of Symbolic Logic:1-31.
    This paper explores the analysis of ability, where ability is to be understood in the epistemic sense—in contrast to what might be called a causal sense. There are plenty of cases where an agent is able to perform an action that guarantees a given result even though she does not know which of her actions guarantees that result. Such an agent possesses the causal ability but lacks the epistemic ability. The standard analysis of such epistemic abilities relies on the notion (...)
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  30. How inference isn’t blind: Self-conscious inference and its role in doxastic agency.David Jenkins - 2019 - Dissertation, King’s College London
    This thesis brings together two concerns. The first is the nature of inference—what it is to infer—where inference is understood as a distinctive kind of conscious and self-conscious occurrence. The second concern is the possibility of doxastic agency. To be capable of doxastic agency is to be such that one is capable of directly exercising agency over one’s beliefs. It is to be capable of exercising agency over one’s beliefs in a way which does not amount to mere self-manipulation. Subjects (...)
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  31. Volition, Action, and Skill in Indian Buddhist Philosophy.Matthew MacKenzie - 2020 - In The Routledge Handbook of Skill and Expertise. Routledge.
    On initial analysis, Indian Buddhist philosophers seem to have an inconsistent set of commitments with regard to the nature of action. First, they are committed to the reality of karman (Skt: action), which concerns the moral quality of actions and the short- and long-term effects of those actions on the agent. Second, they are committed to an understanding of karma as deeply connected with intention or volition (cetanā). Third, they are committed to the idea that, through Buddhist practice, one may (...)
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  32. Out of habit.Santiago Amaya - 2020 - Synthese 198 (12):11161-11185.
    This paper argues that habits, just like beliefs, can guide intentional action. To do this, a variety of real-life cases where a person acts habitually but contrary to her beliefs are discussed. The cases serve as dissociations showing that intentional agency is possible without doxastic guidance. The upshot is a model for thinking about the rationality of habitual action and the rationalizing role that habits can play in it. The model highlights the role that our history and institutions play in (...)
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  33. Intention and Mental Causation.Rémi Clot-Goudard - forthcoming - Foundations of Science.
    Many philosophers nowadays take for granted a causalist view of action explanation, according to which intentional action is a movement caused by mental antecedents. For them, “the possibility of human agency evidently requires that our mental states – our beliefs, desires, and intentions – have causal effects in the physical world: in voluntary actions our beliefs and desires, or intentions and decisions, must somehow cause our limbs to move in appropriate ways” (Jaegwon Kim, Mind in a Physical World, Cambridge (MA), (...)
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  34. Perception, Cognition, Action.Bence Nanay - 2016 - Oxford Bibliographies Online.
    Summary of recent research on perception, action and what's in between, with the help of a recurring culinary metaphor.
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  35. Interview with Jurgen Habermas.Julie Ford, Stephen Lester Thompson & Elliot Weininger - 1994 - Found Object 3:3-10.
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  36. Husserlian Horizons, Cognitive Affordances and Motivating Reasons for Action.Marta Jorba - 2020 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences (5):1-22.
    According to Husserl’s phenomenology, the intentional horizon is a general structure of experience. However, its characterisation beyond perceptual experience has not been explored yet. This paper aims, first, to fill this gap by arguing that there is a viable notion of cognitive horizon that presents features that are analogous to features of the perceptual horizon. Secondly, it proposes to characterise a specific structure of the cognitive horizon—that which presents possibilities for action—as a cognitive affordance. Cognitive affordances present cognitive elements as (...)
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  37. Kant on Moral Agency: Beyond the Incorporation Thesis.Valtteri Viljanen - 2020 - Kant Studien 111 (3):423–444.
    This paper aims to discern the limits of the highly influential Incorporation Thesis to give proper weight to our sensuous side in Kant’s theory of moral action. I first examine the view of the faculties underpinning the theory, which allows me to outline the passage from natural to rational action. This enables me to designate the factors involved in actual human agency and thereby to show that, contrary to what the Incorporation Thesis may tempt one to believe, we do not (...)
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  38. Revaluing the behaviorist ghost in enactivism and embodied cognition.Nikolai Alksnis & Jack Alan Reynolds - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):5785-5807.
    Despite its short historical moment in the sun, behaviorism has become something akin to a theoria non grata, a position that dare not be explicitly endorsed. The reasons for this are complex, of course, and they include sociological factors which we cannot consider here, but to put it briefly: many have doubted the ambition to establish law-like relationships between mental states and behavior that dispense with any sort of mentalistic or intentional idiom, judging that explanations of intelligent behavior require reference (...)
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  39. Gilbert Ryle’s adverbialism.Gabrielle Benette Jackson - 2020 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 28 (2):318-335.
    Gilbert Ryle famously wrote that practical knowledge (knowing how) is distinct from propositional knowledge (knowing that). This claim continues to have broad philosophical appeal, and yet there are many unsettled questions surrounding Ryle’s basic proposal. In this article, I return to his original work in order to perform some intellectual archeology. I offer an interpretation of Ryle’s concept of action that I call ‘adverbialism’. Actions are constituted by bodily behaviours performed in a certain mode, style or manner. I present various (...)
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  40. What is ‘mental action’?Yair Levy - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (6):971-993.
    There has been a resurgence of interest lately within philosophy of mind and action in the category of mental action. Against this background, the present paper aims to question the very possibility, or at least the theoretical significance, of teasing apart mental and bodily acts. After raising some doubts over the viability of various possible ways of drawing the mental act/bodily act distinction, the paper draws some lessons from debates over embodied cognition, which arguably further undermine the credibility of the (...)
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  41. Thought in Action: Expertise and the Conscious Mind. [REVIEW]Anton Killin - 2019 - British Journal of Aesthetics 59 (1):95-98.
    Thought in Action: Expertise and the Conscious MindMonteroBarbara Gailoup. 2016. pp. 304. £35.00.
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  42. Which Emotional Behaviors are Actions?Jean Moritz Müller & Hong Yu Wong - forthcoming - In Andrea Scarantino (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Emotion Theory. New York City, New York, USA:
    There is a wide range of things we do out of emotion. For example, we smile with pleasure, our voices drop when we are sad, we recoil in shock or jump for joy, we apologize to others out of remorse. It is uncontroversial that some of these behaviors are actions. Clearly, apologizing is an action if anything is. Things seem less clear in the case of other emotional behaviors. Intuitively, the drop in a sad person’s voice is something that happens (...)
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  43. Normativity in joint action.Javier Gomez-Lavin & Matthew Rachar - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (1):97-120.
    The debate regarding the nature of joint action has come to a stalemate due to a dependence on intuitional methods. Normativists, such as Margaret Gilbert, argue that action-relative normative relations are inherent in joint action, while non-normativists, such as Michael Bratman, claim that there are minimal cases of joint action without normative relations. In this work, we describe the first experimental examinations of these intuitions, and report the results of six studies that weigh in favor of the normativist paradigm. Philosophical (...)
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  44. Philosophy of Action.Mahdi Zakeri - 2015 - Tehran: Samt.
  45. Bio-agency: Können Organismen handeln?Anne Sophie Meincke - 2014 - In Meincke & Daniel Wehinger (eds.), Vermögen und Handlung. Der dispositionale Realismus und unser Selbstverständnis als Handelnde. Münster, Germany: pp. 191-224.
  46. Handlungen.David Hommen - 2017 - In Markus Schrenk (ed.), Handbuch Metaphysik. Stuttgart/Weimar: pp. 164–169.
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  47. Agency, qualia and life: connecting mind and body biologically.David Longinotti - 2017 - In Vincent C. Müller (ed.), Philosophy and Theory of Artificial Intelligence 2017. Cham: Springer. pp. 43-56.
    Many believe that a suitably programmed computer could act for its own goals and experience feelings. I challenge this view and argue that agency, mental causation and qualia are all founded in the unique, homeostatic nature of living matter. The theory was formulated for coherence with the concept of an agent, neuroscientific data and laws of physics. By this method, I infer that a successful action is homeostatic for its agent and can be caused by a feeling - which does (...)
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  48. Unable to Do the Impossible.Anthony Nguyen - 2020 - Mind 129 (514):585-602.
    Jack Spencer has recently argued for the striking thesis that, possibly, an agent is able to do the impossible—that is, perform an action that is metaphysically impossible for that person to perform. Spencer bases his argument on (Simple G), a case in which it is impossible for an agent G to perform some action but, according to Spencer, G is still intuitively able to perform that action. I reply that we would have to give up at least four action-theoretical principles (...)
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  49. Alignment and commitment in joint action.Matthew Rachar - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 31 (6):831-849.
    Important work on alignment systems has been applied to philosophical work on joint action by Tollefsen and Dale. This paper builds from and expands on their work. The first aim of the paper is to spell out how the empirical research on alignment may be integrated into philosophical theories of joint action. The second aim is then to develop a successful characterization of joint action, which spells out the difference between genuine joint action and simpler forms of coordination based on (...)
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  50. Effort and the Standard Story of Action.Michael Brent - 2012 - Philosophical Writings 40:19 - 27.
    In this paper, I present an alternative account of action that improves upon what has come to be known as the standard story. The standard story depicts actions as events that are caused by and made intelligible through the appropriate combinations of the agent’s beliefs, desires, decisions, intentions and other motivational factors. I argue that the standard story is problematic because it depicts the relation between the agent and their bodily actions as causally mediated by their motivational factors. On the (...)
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