Two kinds of agency

In Lucy O'Brien & Matthew Soteriou (eds.), Mental actions. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 138–162 (2009)
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Abstract

I will argue that making a certain assumption allows us to conceptualize more clearly our agency over our minds. The assumption is this: certain attitudes (most uncontroversially, belief and intention) embody their subject’s answer to some question or set of questions. I will first explain the assumption and then show that, given the assumption, we should expect to exercise agency over this class of attitudes in (at least) two distinct ways: by answering for ourselves the question they embody and by acting upon them in ways designed to affect them according to our purposes—in roughly the way we exercise agency over most ordinary objects.

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Pamela Hieronymi
University of California, Los Angeles

Citations of this work

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