Bratman on identity over time and identification at a time

Philosophical Explorations 20 (1):1-14 (2017)
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Abstract

According to reductionists about agency, an agent’s bringing something about is reducible to states and events involving the agent bringing something about. Many have worried that reductionism cannot accommodate robust forms of agency, such as self-determination. One common reductionist answer to this worry contends that self-determining agents are identified with certain states and events, and so these states and events causing a decision counts as the agent’s self-determining the decision. In this paper, I discuss Michael Bratman’s well-known identification reductionist theory and his general strategy of grounding an agent’s identification at a time in the agent’s identity over time. I develop two constraints that an adequate identification reductionist theory must satisfy, argue that Bratman’s theory cannot satisfy both, and show that his general strategy for grounding an agent’s identification at a time in the agent’s identity over time is without merit.

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Citations of this work

Agency.Markus Schlosser - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Cares, Identification, and Agency Reductionism.Christopher Evan Franklin - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):577-598.
A planning theory of self-governance: reply to Franklin.Michael E. Bratman - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (1):15-20.

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Freedom of the will and the concept of a person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
A Metaphysics for Freedom.Helen Steward - 2012 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.

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