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Autonomous Agents: From Self Control to Autonomy

Oxford University Press (1995)

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  1. The Future of Moral Responsibility and Desert.Jay Spitzley - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (4):977-997.
    Most contemporary accounts of moral responsibility take desert to play a central role in the nature of moral responsibility. It is also assumed that desert is a backward-looking concept that is not directly derivable from any forward-looking or consequentialist considerations, such as whether blaming an agent would deter the agent from performing similar bad actions in the future. When determining which account of moral responsibility is correct, proponents of desert-based accounts often take intuitions about cases to provide evidence either in (...)
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  • Immigration and Self-Determination.Bas van der Vossen - 2015 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 14 (3):270-290.
    This article asks whether states have a right to close their borders because of their right to self-determination, as proposed recently by Christopher Wellman, Michael Walzer, and others. It asks the fundamental question whether self-determination can, in even its most unrestricted form, support the exclusion of immigrants. I argue that the answer is no. To show this, I construct three different ways in which one might use the idea of self-determination to justify immigration restrictions and show that each of these (...)
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  • Autonomy and Manipulated Freedom.Tomis Kapitan - 2000 - Philosopical Perspectives 14 (s14):81-104.
    In recent years, compatibilism has been the target of two powerful challenges. According to the consequence argument, if everything we do and think is a consequence of factors beyond our control (past events and the laws of nature), and the consequences of what is beyond our control are themselves beyond our control, then no one has control over what they do or think and no one is responsible for anything. Hence, determinism rules out responsibility. A different challenge--here called the manipulation (...)
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  • A Coherent, Naturalistic, and Plausible Formulation of Libertarian Free Will.Mark Balaguer - 2002 - Noûs 36 (3):379-406.
    Let libertarianism be the view that humans are capable of making decisions that are simultaneously undetermined and appropriately non-random. It’s often argued that this view is incoherent because indeterminacy entails randomness (of some appropriate kind). I argue here that the truth is just the opposite: the right kind of indeterminacy in our decisions actually entails appropriate non-randomness, so that libertarianism is coherent, and the question of whether it’s true reduces to the wide-open empirical question of whether certain of our decisions (...)
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  • Second-Order Desire Accounts of Autonomy.Dennis Loughrey - 1998 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 6 (2):211 – 229.
    The autonomous person is one who has, in some sense, mastery over their desires. The prevailing way to understand such personal autonomy is in terms of a hierarchy of desires. For Harry Frankfurt, persons not only have first-order desires, but possess the additional capacity to form second-order desires. Second-order desires are formed through reflection on first-order desires and are thus expressive of the rational capacity which is characteristic of persons. Frankfurt's account of freedom of the will is founded on his (...)
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  • Autonomy in HIV Testing: A Call for a Rethink of Personal Autonomy in the HIV Response in Sub-Saharan Africa.Kasoka Kasoka - 2020 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 23 (3):519-536.
    The author reviews various conceptions of autonomy to show that humans are actually not autonomous, strictly speaking. He argues for a need to rethink the personal autonomy approaches to HIV testing in sub-Saharan Africa countries. HIV/aids has remained a leading cause of disease burden in SSA. It is important to bring this disease burden under control, especially given the availability of current effective antiretroviral regimens in low- and middle-income countries. In most SSA countries the ethic or value of personal autonomy (...)
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  • The Right Perspective on Responsibility for Ill Health.Karl Persson - 2013 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 16 (3):429-441.
    There is a growing trend in policy making of holding people responsible for their lifestyle-based diseases. This has sparked a heated debate on whether people are responsible for these illnesses, which has now come to an impasse. In this paper, I present a psychological model that explains why different views on people’s responsibility for their health exist and how we can reach a resolution of the disagreement. My conclusion is that policymakers should not perceive people as responsible while health care (...)
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  • Arguments for Incompatibilism.Kadri Vihvelin - 2003/2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Determinism is a claim about the laws of nature: very roughly, it is the claim that everything that happens is determined by antecedent conditions together with the natural laws. Incompatibilism is a philosophical thesis about the relevance of determinism to free will: that the truth of determinism rules out the existence of free will. The incompatibilist believes that if determinism turned out to be true, it would also be true that we don't have, and have never had, free will. The (...)
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  • Pattern Theory of Self and Situating Moral Aspects: The Need to Include Authenticity, Autonomy and Responsibility in Understanding the Effects of Deep Brain Stimulation.Przemysław Zawadzki - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-24.
    The aims of this paper are to: identify the best framework for comprehending multidimensional impact of deep brain stimulation on the self; identify weaknesses of this framework; propose refinements to it; in pursuing, show why and how this framework should be extended with additional moral aspects and demonstrate their interrelations; define how moral aspects relate to the framework; show the potential consequences of including moral aspects on evaluating DBS’s impact on patients’ selves. Regarding, I argue that the pattern theory of (...)
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  • Taking Hobart Seriously.Taylor W. Cyr - 2020 - Philosophia 49 (4):1407-1426.
    Hobart’s classic 1934 paper “Free Will as Involving Determination and Inconceivable Without It” has been widely cited as an example of an argument for the view that free will requires the truth of determinism. In this paper, I argue that this reading of Hobart’s paper is mistaken and that we should instead read Hobart as arguing that an agent exercises their free will only if the proximate causes of the agent’s action deterministically cause their action. After arguing that Hobart’s view, (...)
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  • From Neuroscience to Law: Bridging the Gap.Tuomas K. Pernu & Nadine Elzein - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    Since our moral and legal judgments are focused on our decisions and actions, one would expect information about the neural underpinnings of human decision-making and action-production to have a significant bearing on those judgments. However, despite the wealth of empirical data, and the public attention it has attracted in the past few decades, the results of neuroscientific research have had relatively little influence on legal practice. It is here argued that this is due, at least partly, to the discussion on (...)
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  • What’s Wrong with Designing People to Serve?Bartek Chomanski - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (4):993-1015.
    In this paper I argue, contrary to recent literature, that it is unethical to create artificial agents possessing human-level intelligence that are programmed to be human beings’ obedient servants. In developing the argument, I concede that there are possible scenarios in which building such artificial servants is, on net, beneficial. I also concede that, on some conceptions of autonomy, it is possible to build human-level AI servants that will enjoy full-blown autonomy. Nonetheless, the main thrust of my argument is that, (...)
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  • Manipulation Arguments and Libertarian Accounts of Free Will.Taylor W. Cyr - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (1):57-73.
    In response to the increasingly popular manipulation argument against compatibilism, some have argued that libertarian accounts of free will are vulnerable to parallel manipulation arguments, and thus manipulation is not uniquely problematic for compatibilists. The main aim of this article is to give this point a more detailed development than it has previously received. Prior attempts to make this point have targeted particular libertarian accounts but cannot be generalized. By contrast, I provide an appropriately modified manipulation that targets all libertarian (...)
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  • Moral Responsibility, Luck, and Compatibilism.Taylor Cyr - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (1):193-214.
    In this paper, I defend a version of compatibilism against luck-related objections. After introducing the types of luck that some take to be problematic for moral responsibility, I consider and respond to two recent attempts to show that compatibilism faces the same problem of luck that libertarianism faces—present luck. I then consider a different type of luck—constitutive luck—and provide a new solution to this problem. One upshot of the present discussion is a reason to prefer a history-sensitive compatibilist account over (...)
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  • Does a Robot Have an Umwelt? Reflections on the Qualitative Biosemiotics of Jakob von Uexküll.Claus Emmeche - 2001 - Semiotica 2001 (134):653-693.
  • The Narrative of Moral Responsibility.Rodrigo Laera - 2014 - Philosophical Analysis 31:123-149.
    The goal of this paper is to suggest that theoretical thinking with respect to metaphysical determinations or indeterminations is not the appropriate realm for attributing moral responsibility. On the contrary, judgments that attribute moral responsibility (S is responsible for...) depend on the possibility that a rational narrative be built. Agents are capable of forging their future actions, as well as of reflecting upon past actions. With this it will also be shown how we assume control of our behavior because we (...)
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  • Traditional and Experimental Approaches to Free Will and Moral Responsibility.Gunnar Björnsson & Derk Pereboom - 2016 - In Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Blackwell. pp. 142-57.
    Examines the relevance of empirical studies of responsibility judgments for traditional philosophical concerns about free will and moral responsibility. We argue that experimental philosophy is relevant to the traditional debates, but that setting up experiments and interpreting data in just the right way is no less difficult than negotiating traditional philosophical arguments. Both routes are valuable, but so far neither promises a way to secure significant agreement among the competing parties. To illustrate, we focus on three sorts of issues. For (...)
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  • The Explanatory Component of Moral Responsibility.Gunnar Björnsson & Karl Persson - 2012 - Noûs 46 (2):326-354.
    In this paper, we do three things. First, we put forth a novel hypothesis about judgments of moral responsibility according to which such judgments are a species of explanatory judgments. Second, we argue that this hypothesis explains both some general features of everyday thinking about responsibility and the appeal of skeptical arguments against moral responsibility. Finally, we argue that, if correct, the hypothesis provides a defense against these skeptical arguments.
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  • Semicompatibilismo, Responsabilidade e Manipulação.Leonardo Mello Ribeiro - 2011 - [email protected] - An International Journal for Moral Philosophy 10 (2):255-279.
    Uma forte objeção a uma estratégia compatibilista da responsabilidade moral — isto é, à tese de que responsabilidade é compatível com uma explicação causal determinista do mundo — diz que, ao defender a possibilidade de agentes responsáveis determinados causalmente por fatos prévios às suas ações, uma estratégia compatibilista não dispõe dos recursos conceituais necessários para refutar a tese intuitiva de que agentes manipulados tacitamente não são responsáveis por suas ações. Neste artigo, fornecemos uma resposta a esta objeção, sugerindo como uma (...)
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  • Enhancing Responsibility: Directions for an Interdisciplinary Investigation.Marcelo Fischborn - 2018 - Dissertation, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria
    [Note: articles 1-5 are in English; Intro, Discussion, and Conclusion are in Portuguese.] Responsibility practices that are part of our daily lives involve, among other things, standards about how one should praise, blame, or punish people for their actions, as well as particular acts that follow those standards to a greater or lesser extent. A classical question in philosophy asks whether human beings can actually be morally responsible for what they do. This dissertation argues that addressing this classical question is (...)
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  • The Manipulation Argument, At the Very Least, Undermines Classical Compatibilism.Yishai Cohen - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (2):291-307.
    The compatibility of determinism and the ability to do otherwise has been implicitly assumed by many to be irrelevant to the viability of compatibilist responses to the manipulation argument for incompatibilism. I argue that this assumption is mistaken. The manipulation argument may be unsound. But even so, the manipulation argument, at the very least, undermines classical compatibilism, the view that free will requires the ability to do otherwise, and having that ability is compatible with determinism. This is because classical compatibilism, (...)
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  • Do Predictive Brain Implants Threaten Patient's Autonomy or Authenticity?Eldar Sarajlic - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 6 (4):30-32.
    The development of predictive brain implant (PBI) technology that is able to forecast specific neuronal events and advise and/or automatically administer appropriate therapy for diseases of the brain raises a number of ethical issues. Provided that this technology satisfies basic safety and functionality conditions, one of the most pressing questions to address is its relation to the autonomy of patients. As Frederic Gilbert in his article asks, if autonomy implies a certain idea of freedom, or self-government, how can an individual (...)
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  • From Freedom From to Freedom To: New Perspectives on Intentional Action.Sofia Bonicalzi & Patrick Haggard - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
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  • Conscious Will, Reason-Responsiveness, and Moral Responsibility.Markus E. Schlosser - 2013 - The Journal of Ethics 17 (3):205-232.
    Empirical evidence challenges many of the assumptions that underlie traditional philosophical and commonsense conceptions of human agency. It has been suggested that this evidence threatens also to undermine free will and moral responsibility. In this paper, I will focus on the purported threat to moral responsibility. The evidence challenges assumptions concerning the ability to exercise conscious control and to act for reasons. This raises an apparent challenge to moral responsibility as these abilities appear to be necessary for morally responsible agency. (...)
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  • Autonomy, Agency, and the Value of Enduring Beliefs.Jason Kawall - 2010 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (1):pp. 107-129.
    My central thesis is that philosophers considering questions of epistemic value ought to devote greater attention to the enduring nature of beliefs. I begin by arguing that a commonly drawn analogy between beliefs and actions is flawed in important respects, and that a better, more fruitful analogue for belief would be desire, or a similarly enduring state of an agent. With this in hand, I argue that treating beliefs as enduring, constitutive states of agents allows us to capture the importance (...)
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  • Socratic Akratic Action.Alfred R. Mele - 1996 - Philosophical Papers 25 (3):149-159.
    I will argue that some changes of mind about what it is best to do are akratic occurrences and that the associated overt actions are derivatively akratic, and I will explain how akratic episodes of this kind are possible. Even if Socrates is mistaken in denying the reality of strict akratic action, he has identified an important phenomenon that deserves more attention than it has received.
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  • Agnosticism About Moral Responsibility.Jeremy Byrd - 2010 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (3):411-432.
    Traditionally, incompatibilism has rested on two theses. First, the familiar Principle of Alternative Possibilities says that we cannot be morally responsible for what we do unless we could have done otherwise. Accepting this principle, incompatibilists have then argued that there is no room for such alternative possibilities in a deterministic world. Recently, however, a number of philosophers have argued that incompatibilism about moral responsibility can be defended independently of these traditional theses (Ginet 2005: 604-8; McKenna 2001; Stump 1999: 322-4, 2000 (...)
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  • Flickers of Freedom. [REVIEW]Alfred R. Mele - 1998 - Journal of Social Philosophy 29 (2):144-156.
  • Contours of Agency: Essays on Themes From Harry Frankfurt.A. R. Mele - 2003 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (2):292-295.
    Book Information Contours of Agency: Essays on Themes from Harry Frankfurt. Edited by Sarah Buss and Lee Overton. MIT Press. Cambridge MA. 2002. Pp. 381.
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  • Problems with Autonomy.Beate Rössler - 2002 - Hypatia 17 (4):143-162.
    The article first develops an account of autonomy, explaining individual autonomy by means of three normative components and then discussing two objections. The first objection claims that autonomy has to be thought of as essentially relational; this objection is refuted. The second objection, labeled the skeptical objection, claims that we simply do not live autonomously, nor could we ever. Reference is made to novels by Iris Murdoch to present a skeptical solution to this objection.
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  • Problems with Autonomy.Beate Rössler - 2002 - Hypatia 17 (4):143-162.
    : The article first develops an account of autonomy, explaining individual autonomy by means of three normative components and then discussing two objections. The first objection claims that autonomy has to be thought of as essentially relational; this objection is refuted. The second objection, labeled the skeptical objection, claims that we simply do not live autonomously, nor could we ever. Reference is made to novels by Iris Murdoch to present a skeptical solution to this objection.
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  • Agency and Inner Freedom.Michael Garnett - 2017 - Noûs 51 (1):3-23.
    This paper concerns the relationship between two questions. The first is a question about inner freedom: What is it to be rendered unfree, not by external obstacles, but by aspects of oneself? The second is a question about agency: What is it to fail at being a thing that genuinely acts, and instead to be a thing that is merely acted upon, passive in relation to its own behaviour? It is widely believed that answers to the first question must rest (...)
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  • Blocking Blockage.Ken Levy - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (2):565-583.
    The Blockage Argument is designed to improve upon Harry Frankfurt’s famous argument against the Principle of Alternative Possibilities by removing the counterfactual intervener altogether. If the argument worked, then it would prove in a way that Frankfurt’s argument does not that moral responsibility does not require any alternative possibilities whatsoever, not even the weakest “flicker of freedom”. -/- Some philosophers have rejected the Blockage Argument solely on the basis of their intuition that the inability to do otherwise is incompatible with (...)
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  • Learning to Act.Jan Bransen - 2016 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 3 (1):11-35.
    In this paper I argue that to understand minded agency – the capacity we typically find instantiated in instances of human behaviour that could sensibly be questioned by asking “What did you do?” – one needs to understand childhood, i.e. the trajectory of learning to act. I discuss two different types of trajectory, both of which seem to take place during childhood and both of which might be considered crucial to learning to act: a growth of bodily control (GBC) and (...)
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  • Saying Good-Bye to the Direct Argument the Right Way.Michael McKenna - 2008 - Philosophical Review 117 (3):349-383.
    Peter van Inwagen contends that nonresponsibility transfers across deterministic relations. Suppose it does. If the facts of the past and the laws of nature entail every truth about what one does, and no one is even in part morally responsible for the past and the laws, then no one is even in part morally responsible for what one does. This argument, the Direct Argument, has drawn various critics, who have attempted to produce counterexamples to its core inference principle. This article (...)
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  • Buddhist Meditation and the Possibility of Freedom.Rick Repetti - 2016 - Science, Religion and Culture 2 (2):81-98.
    I argue that if the claims Buddhist philosophy makes about meditation virtuosos are plausible, then Buddhism may rebut most of the strongest arguments for free will skepticism found in Western analytic philosophy, including the hard incompatiblist's argument (which combines the arguments for hard determinism, such as the consequence argument, with those for hard indeterminism, such as the randomness argument), Pereboom's manipulation argument, and Galen Strawson's impossibility argument. The main idea is that the meditation virtuoso can cultivate a level of mind (...)
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  • Die kausale Struktur der Welt: Eine philosophische Untersuchung über Verursachung, Naturgesetze, freie Handlungen, Möglichkeit und Gottes kausale Rolle in der Welt.Daniel von Wachter - 2009 - Alber.
  • Agents' Abilities.Alfred R. Mele - 2003 - Noûs 37 (3):447–470.
    Claims about agents’ abilities—practical abilities—are common in theliterature on free will, moral responsibility, moral obligation, personalautonomy, weakness of will, and related topics. These claims typicallyignore differences among various kinds or levels of practical ability. Inthis article, using ‘A’ as an action variable, I distinguish among threekinds or levels: simple ability toA; ability toAintentionally; and a morereliable kind of ability toAassociated with promising toA. I believe thatattention to them will foster progress on the topics I mentioned. Substan-tiating that belief—by making progress (...)
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  • Natural Freedom.Daniel Dennett - unknown
    Three critics of Freedom Evolves (Dennett 2003) bring out important differences in philosophical outlook and method. Mele's thought experiments are supposed to expose the importance, for autonomy, of personal history, but they depend on the dubious invocation of mere logical or conceptual possibility. Fischer defends the Basic Argument for incompatibilism, while Taylor and I choose to sidestep it instead of disposing of it. Where does the burden of proof lie? O'Connor's candid expression of allegiance to traditional ideas that I reject (...)
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  • Chisholm on Freedom.Alfred R. Mele - 2003 - Metaphilosophy 34 (5):630-648.
    This critical examination of Roderick Chisholm's agent causal brand of libertarianism develops a problem about luck that undermines his earlier and later libertarian views on free will and moral responsibility and defends the thesis that a modest libertarian alternative considerably softens the problem. The alternative calls for an indeterministic connection in the action-producing process that is further removed from action than Chisholm demands. The article also explores the implications of a relatively new variant of a Frankfurt-style case for Chisholm's views (...)
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  • On the Rationalist Solution to Gregory Kavka's Toxin Puzzle.Ken Levy - 2009 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (2):267-289.
    Gregory Kavka's 'Toxin Puzzle' suggests that I cannot intend to perform a counter-preferential action A even if I have a strong self-interested reason to form this intention. The 'Rationalist Solution,' however, suggests that I can form this intention. For even though it is counter-preferential, A-ing is actually rational given that the intention behind it is rational. Two arguments are offered for this proposition that the rationality of the intention to A transfers to A-ing itself: the 'Self-Promise Argument' and David Gauthier's (...)
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  • The Metaphysical Irrelevance of the Compatibilism Debate.Mark Balaguer - 2009 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 47 (1):1-24.
    It is argued here that the question of whether compatibilism is true is irrelevant to metaphysical questions about the nature of humandecision-making processes—for example, the question of whether or not humans have free will—except in a very trivial and metaphysicallyuninteresting way. In addition, it is argued that two other questions—namely, the conceptual-analysis question of what free will is and thequestion that asks which kinds of freedom are required for moral responsibility—are also essentially irrelevant to metaphysical questionsabout the nature of human (...)
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  • Authenticity-Sensitive Preferentism and Educating for Well-Being and Autonomy.Ishtiyaque Haji & Stefaan E. Cuypers - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 42 (1):85-106.
    An overarching aim of education is the promotion of children's personal well-being. Liberal educationalists also support the promotion of children's personal autonomy as a central educational aim. On some views, such as John White's, these two goals—furthering well-being and cultivating autonomy—can come apart. Our primary aim in this paper is to argue for a species of a stronger view: assuming preferentism as our axiology, we suggest that there is an essential association between the autonomy of our springs of action, such (...)
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  • Free Agents as Cause.Daniel von Wachter - 2003 - In K. Petrus (ed.), On Human Persons. Ontos Verlag. pp. 183-194.
    The dilemma of free will is that if actions are caused deterministically, then they are not free, and if they are not caused deterministically then they are not free either because then they happen by chance and are not up to the agent. I propose a conception of free will that solves this dilemma. It can be called agent causation but it differs from what Chisholm and others have called so.
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  • Freedom With a Human Face.Timothy O'Connor - 2005 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):207-227.
    As good a definition as any of a _philosophical_ conundrum is a problem all of whose possible solutions are unsatisfactory. The problem of understanding the springs of action for morally responsible agents is commonly recognized to be such a problem. The origin, nature, and explanation of freely-willed actions puzzle us today as they did the ancients Greeks, and for much the same reasons. However, one can carry this ‘perennial-puzzle’ sentiment too far. The unsatisfactory nature of philosophical theories is a more (...)
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  • The Woody Allen Puzzle: How 'Authentic Alienation' Complicates Autonomy.Suzy Killmister - 2014 - Noûs 48 (2):729-747.
    Theories of autonomy commonly make reference to some form of endorsement: an action is autonomous insofar as the agent has a second-order desire towards the motivating desire, or takes it to be a reason for action, or is not alienated from it. In this paper I argue that all such theories have difficulty accounting for certain kinds of agents, what I call ‘Woody Allen cases’. In order to make sense of such cases, I suggest, it is necessary to disambiguate two (...)
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  • Manipulating Morality: Third‐Party Intentions Alter Moral Judgments by Changing Causal Reasoning.Jonathan Phillips & Alex Shaw - 2014 - Cognitive Science 38 (8):1320-1347.
    The present studies investigate how the intentions of third parties influence judgments of moral responsibility for other agents who commit immoral acts. Using cases in which an agent acts under some situational constraint brought about by a third party, we ask whether the agent is blamed less for the immoral act when the third party intended for that act to occur. Study 1 demonstrates that third-party intentions do influence judgments of blame. Study 2 finds that third-party intentions only influence moral (...)
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  • Agency and Control.Jesus H. Aguilar - unknown
    The main objective of this thesis is to defend an account of the control that agents possess over their actions from the perspective of the causal theory of action, that is, a theory that sees actions as events caused by internal states of their agents. The explanatory strategy that is employed for this purpose consists in addressing three interdependent and fundamental problems concerning the possibility of this type of control. The first problem arises from the possibility of controlling an action (...)
     
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  • On the Adaptive Advantage of Always Being Right (Even When One is Not).Nathalia L. Gjersoe & Bruce M. Hood - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (6):521-522.
    We propose another positive illusion that fits with McKay & Dennett's (M&D's) criteria for adaptive misbeliefs. This illusion is pervasive in adult reasoning but we focus on its prevalence in children's developing theories. It is a strongly held conviction arising from normal functioning of the doxastic system that confers adaptive advantage on the individual.
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  • Libertarian Free Will and CNC Manipulation.Ishtiyaque Haji & Stefaan E. Cuypers - 2001 - Dialectica 55 (3):221-238.