Judging and the scope of mental agency

In Lucy O'Brien & Matthew Soteriou (eds.), Mental actions. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 38-71 (2009)
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Abstract

What is the scope of our conscious mental agency, and how do we acquire self-knowledge of it? Both questions are addressed through an investigation of what best explains our inability to form judgemental thoughts in direct response to practical reasons. Contrary to what Williams and others have argued, it cannot be their subjection to a truth norm, given that our failure to adhere to such a norm need not undermine their status as judgemental. Instead, it is argued that we cannot form judgements at will because we subjectively experience them as responses to epistemic reasons, and because this is incompatible with our experiential awareness of direct mental actions, such as instances of imagining. However, this latter awareness does not extend to indirect agency, which relies on epistemic or causal processes as means. Judging may therefore still count as an indirect action - just like, say, breaking a window by throwing a stone.

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Author's Profile

Fabian Dorsch
PhD: University College London; Last affiliation: Université de Fribourg

Citations of this work

Mental action.Antonia Peacocke - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (6):e12741.
Judging as a non-voluntary action.Conor McHugh - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (2):245 - 269.
The Unity of Hallucinations.Fabian Dorsch - 2010 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (2):171-191.
Experience and Introspection.Fabian Dorsch - 2013 - In Fiona Macpherson & Dimitris Platchias (eds.), Hallucination: Philosophy and Psychology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. pp. 175-220.
The Limits of Aesthetic Empiricism.Fabian Dorsch - 2014 - In Greg Currie, Matthew Kieran, Aaron Meskin & Jon Robson (eds.), Aesthetics and the Sciences of Mind. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 75-100.

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Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (210):105-116.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):452-458.
The Significance of Consciousness.Charles Siewert - 1998 - Princeton University Press.

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