Agency

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  1. Review of Agnes Callard, Aspiration. [REVIEW]Paul Katsafanas - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (2):464-469.
    Review of Agnes Callard's Aspiration. Forthcoming in a symposium on the book in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
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  2. Unconscious Perception and Central Coordinating Agency.Joshua Shepherd & Myrto Mylopoulos - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-25.
    One necessary condition on any adequate account of perception is clarity regarding whether unconscious perception exists. The issue is complicated, and the debate is growing in both philosophy and science. In this paper we consider the case for unconscious perception, offering three primary achievements. First, we offer a discussion of the underspecified notion of central coordinating agency, a notion that is critical for arguments that purportedly perceptual states are not attributable to the individual, and thus not genuinely perceptual. We develop (...)
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  3. The Skill of Self-Control.Juan Pablo Bermúdez - forthcoming - Synthese:1-23.
    Researchers often claim that self-control is a skill. It is also often stated that self-control exertions are intentional actions. However, no account has yet been proposed of the skillful agency that makes self-control exertion possible, so our understanding of self-control remains incomplete. Here I propose the skill model of self-control, which accounts for skillful agency by tackling the guidance problem: how can agents transform their abstract and coarse-grained intentions into the highly context-sensitive, fine-grained control processes required to select, revise and (...)
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  4. Pathologies of Agency.Lubomira V. Radoilska - forthcoming - In The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Agency.
    This chapter aims to distinguish between pathologies of agency in the strict sense and mere sources of impediments or distortion. Expanding on a recent notion of necessarily less-than-successful agency, it complements a mainstream approach to mental disorders and anomalous psychological conditions in the philosophy of mind and action. According this approach, the interest of such clinical case studies is heuristic, to differentiate between facets of agency that are functionally and conceptually separate even though they typically come together. Yet, in the (...)
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  5. Behaving, Mattering, and Habits Called Aesthetics.Adrian Mróz - 2020 - Polish Journal of Aesthetics 57 (2):57-102.
    In this two-part article, I propose a new materialist understanding of behavior. The term “mattering” in the title refers to sense-making behavior that matters, that is, to significant habits and materialized behaviors. By significant habits I mean protocols, practices and routines that generate ways of reading material signs and fixed accounts of movement. I advance a notion of behaving that stresses its materiality and sensory shaping, and I provide select examples from music. I note that current definitions of behavior do (...)
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  6. Willpower Needs Tactical Skill.Juan Pablo Bermúdez - forthcoming - Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
    In “Willpower with and without effort”, G. Ainslie advances our understanding of selfcontrol by theoretically unifying multiple forms of willpower. But one crucial question remains unanswered: How do agents pick the right forms of willpower in each situation? I argue that willpower requires tactical skill, which detects willpower-demanding contexts, selects context-appropriate tactics, and monitors their implementation. Research on tactical skill will significantly advance our understanding of willpower.
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  7. Reflection on the Reflective Ethics of Charity.Sagy Watemberg Izraeli - 2020 - Approaching Religion 10 (2):187-192.
    This article is a reflection on the NSU Winter Symposium of March 2020, entitled ‘Feminism and Hospitality: Religious and Critical Perspectives in dialogue with a Secular Age’. It contends with moral judgments which regard charity as an act of alienation from the other and as a reiteration of hierarchies of power. Instead of this conceptualisation, I propose an ethics of charity in terms of an ethics of the reflective agency of otherness. This ethics of charity entails acts of aid for (...)
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  8. Review of Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility, Volume 6. [REVIEW]Daniel Story - forthcoming - Journal of Moral Philosophy.
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  9. Active Powers of the Human Mind.Ruth Boeker - forthcoming - In Scottish Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century, vol. 2. Oxford:
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  10. Précis Zu: Agents' Abilities.Romy Jaster - 2020 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 74 (3):443-447.
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  11. 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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  12. Out of Habit.Santiago Amaya - forthcoming - Synthese:1-25.
    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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  13. Moral Agents or Mindless Machines? A Critical Appraisal of Agency in Artificial Systems.Fabio Tollon - 2019 - Hungarian Philosophical Review 4 (63):9-23.
    In this paper I provide an exposition and critique of Johnson and Noorman’s (2014) three conceptualizations of the agential roles artificial systems can play. I argue that two of these conceptions are unproblematic: that of causally efficacious agency and “acting for” or surrogate agency. Their third conception, that of “autonomous agency,” however, is one I have reservations about. The authors point out that there are two ways in which the term “autonomy” can be used: there is, firstly, the engineering sense (...)
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  14. Temporal Binding, Causation and Agency: Developing a New Theoretical Framework.Christoph Hoerl, Sara Lorimer, Teresa McCormack, David A. Lagnado, Emma Blakey, Emma C. Tecwyn & Marc J. Buehner - 2020 - Cognitive Science 44 (e12843):1-27.
    In temporal binding, the temporal interval between one event and another, occurring some time later, is subjectively compressed. We discuss two ways in which temporal binding has been conceptualized. In studies showing temporal binding between a voluntary action and its causal consequences, such binding is typically interpreted as providing a measure of an implicit or pre-reflective “sense of agency”. However, temporal binding has also been observed in contexts not involving voluntary action, but only the passive observation of a cause-effect sequence. (...)
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  15. Trust as an Unquestioning Attitude.C. Thi Nguyen - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Epistemology.
    Most theories of trust presume that trust is a conscious attitude that can be directed only at other agents. I sketch a different form of trust: the unquestioning attitude. What it is to trust, in this sense, is not simply to rely on something, but to rely on it unquestioningly. It is to rely on a resource while suspending deliberation over its reliability. To trust, then, is to set up open pipelines between yourself and parts of the external world — (...)
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  16. Agency and Virtues.Zahra Khazaei - 2019 - Journal of Philosophical Theological Research 21 (3):119-140.
    In the philosophy of action, agency manifests the capacity of the agent to act. An agent is one who acts voluntarily, consciously and intentionally. This article studies the relationship between virtues and agency to learn to what extent agency is conceptually and metaphysically dependent on moral or epistemic virtues; whether virtue is a necessary condition for action and agency, besides the belief, desire and intention? Or are virtues necessary merely for the moral or epistemic character of the agent and not (...)
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  17. Wholehearted Love: An Augustinian Reconstruction of Frankfurt.Alexander Jech - 2009 - Dissertation, University of Notre Dame
    Harry G. Frankfurt’s work on agency and reflexivity represents one of the most important attempts in the current philosophical literature to elaborate the structure of agency. Frankfurt wishes to provide an account of what I call the “deep structures” of agency—those features of agency, such as care and love, in virtue of which the surface features, such as desire, are to be explained and understood. These deep structures are important because of their power to explain unified diachronic patterns in our (...)
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  18. Agency and Responsibility.Pamela Hieronymi - forthcoming - In Luca Ferrero (ed.), Routledge Handbook for the Philosophy of Agency. New York, NY, USA:
    I first sketch the different things we might have in mind, when thinking about responsibility. I then relate each of those to possible investigations of human agency. The most interesting such relation, in my opinion, is that between agency and what I call “responsibility as mattering.” I offer some hypotheses about that relation.
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  19. Reasoning First.Pamela Hieronymi - forthcoming - In Ruth Chang & Kurt Sylvan (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Practical Reasoning. New York, NY, USA:
    Many think of reasons as facts, propositions, or considerations that stand in some relation (or relations) to attitudes, actions, states of affairs. The relation may be an explanatory one or a “normative” one—though some are uncomfortable with irreducibly “normative” relations. I will suggest that we should, instead, see reasons as items in pieces of reasoning. They relate, in the first instance, not to psychological states or events or states of affairs, but to questions. That relation is neither explanatory nor “normative.” (...)
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  20. Norm-Establishing and Norm-Following in Autonomous Agency.Xabier Barandiaran & Matthew Egbert - 2013 - Artificial Life 91 (2):1-24.
    Living agency is subject to a normative dimension (good-bad, adaptive-maladaptive) that is absent from other types of interaction. We review current and historical attempts to naturalize normativity from an organism-centered perspective, identifying two central problems and their solution: (1) How to define the topology of the viability space so as to include a sense of gradation that permits reversible failure, and (2) how to relate both the processes that establish norms and those that result in norm-following behavior. We present a (...)
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  21. The Aristotelian Conception of Habit and its Contribution to Human Neuroscience.José Ignacio Murillo & Javier Bernacer - 2014 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8:1-10.
    The notion of habit used in neuroscience is an inheritance from a particular theoretical origin, whose main source is William James. Thus, habits have been characterized as rigid, automatic, unconscious, and opposed to goal-directed actions. This analysis leaves unexplained several aspects of human behavior and cognition where habits are of great importance. We intend to demonstrate the utility that another philosophical conception of habit, the Aristotelian, may have for neuroscientific research. We first summarize the current notion of habit in neuroscience, (...)
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  22. Monuments as Commitments: How Art Speaks to Groups and How Groups Think in Art.C. Thi Nguyen - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (4):971-994.
    Art can be addressed, not just to individuals, but to groups. Art can even be part of how groups think to themselves – how they keep a grip on their values over time. I focus on monuments as a case study. Monuments, I claim, can function as a commitment to a group value, for the sake of long-term action guidance. Art can function here where charters and mission statements cannot, precisely because of art’s powers to capture subtlety and emotion. In (...)
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  23. Discusiones filosóficas en los paradigmas de formación administrativa. Estudio comparativo en programas de administración del eje cafetero colombiano.Roger De Jesús Sepúlveda Fernández - 2015 - Pereira: Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira.
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  24. Aspiration: The Agency of Becoming. [REVIEW]Robert J. Hartman - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (275):427-429.
    Aspiration: The Agency of Becoming. By Callard Agnes.
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  25. Action Explanation and its Presuppositions.Lilian O’Brien - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (1):123-146.
    In debates about rationalizing action explanation causalists assume that the psychological states that explain an intentional action have both causal and rational features. I scrutinize the presuppositions of those who seek and offer rationalizing action explanations. This scrutiny shows, I argue, that where rational features play an explanatory role in these contexts, causal features play only a presuppositional role. But causal features would have to play an explanatory role if rationalizing action explanation were a species of causal explanation. Consequently, we (...)
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  26. Agent-Causal Libertarianism, Statistical Neural Laws and Wild Coincidences.Jason Runyan - 2018 - Synthese 195 (10):4563-4580.
    Agent-causal libertarians maintain we are irreducible agents who, by acting, settle matters that aren’t already settled. This implies that the neural matters underlying the exercise of our agency don’t conform to deterministic laws, but it does not appear to exclude the possibility that they conform to statistical laws. However, Pereboom (Noûs 29:21–45, 1995; Living without free will, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2001; in: Nadelhoffer (ed) The future of punishment, Oxford University Press, New York, 2013) has argued that, if these neural (...)
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  27. Was There a Scientific ’68? Its Repercussion on Action Research and Mixing Methods.José Andrés-Gallego - 2018 - Arbor 194 (787):436: 1-10.
    The author asks whether there was a “scientific ‘68”, and focuses on aspects of two specific methodological proposals defined in the 1940s and 50s by the terms “action research” and “mixing methods”, applied particularly to social sciences. In the first, the climate surrounding the events of 1968 contributed to heightening the participative element to be found –by definition– in “action research”; that is: the importance of making the research subjects themselves participants in the design, execution and application of the study (...)
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  28. 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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  29. Ramsey and Joyce on Deliberation and Prediction.Yang Liu & Huw Price - 2020 - Synthese 197:4365-4386.
    Can an agent deliberating about an action A hold a meaningful credence that she will do A? 'No', say some authors, for 'Deliberation Crowds Out Prediction' (DCOP). Others disagree, but we argue here that such disagreements are often terminological. We explain why DCOP holds in a Ramseyian operationalist model of credence, but show that it is trivial to extend this model so that DCOP fails. We then discuss a model due to Joyce, and show that Joyce's rejection of DCOP rests (...)
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  30. Agency and Embodiment: Groups, Human–Machine Interactions, and Virtual Realities.Johannes Himmelreich - 2018 - Ratio 31 (2):197-213.
    This paper develops a taxonomy of kinds of actions that can be seen in group agency, human–machine interactions, and virtual realities. These kinds of actions are special in that they are not embodied in the ordinary sense. I begin by analysing the notion of embodiment into three separate assumptions that together comprise what I call the Embodiment View. Although this view may find support in paradigmatic cases of agency, I suggest that each of its assumptions can be relaxed. With each (...)
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  31. Evaluative Beliefs First.Ben Bramble - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 8.
    Many philosophers think that it is only because we happen to want or care about things that we think some things of value. We start off caring about things, and then project these desires onto the external world. In this chapter, I make a preliminary case for the opposite view, that it is our evaluative thinking that is prior or comes first. On this view, it is only because we think some things of value that we care about or want (...)
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  32. What is It Like to Be a Group Agent?Christian List - 2016 - Noûs:295-319.
    The existence of group agents is relatively widely accepted. Examples are corporations, courts, NGOs, and even entire states. But should we also accept that there is such a thing as group consciousness? I give an overview of some of the key issues in this debate and sketch a tentative argument for the view that group agents lack phenomenal consciousness. In developing my argument, I draw on integrated information theory, a much-discussed theory of consciousness. I conclude by pointing out an implication (...)
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  33. Clinical Guidelines as Plans: An Ontological Theory.Anand Kumar, Barry Smith, Domenica Pisanelli, Aldo Gangemi & Mario Stefanelli - 2006 - Methods of Information in Medicine 45 (2):204-210.
    Clinical guidelines are special types of plans realized by collective agents. We provide an ontological theory of such plans that is designed to support the construction of a framework in which guideline-based information systems can be employed in the management of workflow in health care organizations. The framework we propose allows us to represent in formal terms how clinical guidelines are realized through the actions of are realized through the actions of individuals organized into teams. We provide various levels of (...)
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  34. Agency and Two‐Way Powers.Maria Alvarez - 2013 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 113 (1pt1):101-121.
    In this paper I propose a way of characterizing human agency in terms of the concept of a two‐way power. I outline this conception of agency, defend it against some objections, and briefly indicate how it relates to free agency and to moral praise‐ and blameworthiness.
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  35. Implied Consent and Sexual Assault: Intimate Relationships, Autonomy, and Voice by Michael Plaxton. [REVIEW]Lucinda Vandervort - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 28:697-702.
    This is a review and critical commentary on Michael Plaxton's 2015 book, Implied Consent and Sexual Assault, in which he proposes that the legal definition of sexual consent be amended to permit sexual partners to define the terms and conditions of sexual consent in accordance with private "normative commitments" between themselves. The proposed "reform" is intended to permit an individual to agree to be a party to sexual activity that would otherwise constitute sexual assault under Canadian law. For reasons explained (...)
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  36. Naturalism, Minimalism, and the Scope of Nietzsche's Philosophical Psychology.Paul Katsafanas - 2016 - In Kristin Gjesdal (ed.), Debates in Nineteenth Century Philosophy: Essential Readings and Contemporary Responses. Routledge. pp. 326-338.
    Bernard Williams’ “Nietzsche’s Minimalist Moral Psychology”, replete with provocative and insightful claims, has been extremely influential in Nietzsche scholarship. In the two decades since its publication, much of the most interesting and philosophically sophisticated work on Nietzsche has focused on exactly the topics that Williams addresses: Nietzsche’s moral psychology, his account of action, his naturalistic commitments, and the way in which these topics interact with his critique of traditional morality. While Williams’ pronouncements on these topics are brief and at times (...)
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  37. Explaining Actions and Explaining Bodily Movements.Maria Alvares - 2013 - In G. D’Oro, A. Laitinen & C. Sandis (eds.), Reasons and Causes. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 141-159.
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  38. Character, Will, and Agency.Roman Altshuler - 2016 - In Jonathan Webber & Alberto Masala (eds.), From Personality to Virtue: Essays on the Philosophy of Character. Oxford University Press. pp. 62-80.
    Character and the will are rarely discussed together. At most, philosophers working on the one mention the other in an eliminativist vein—if character is represented as something chosen, for example, it can be chalked up to the work of the will; if the will consists merely of a certain arrangement of mental states, it can be seen as little more than a manifestation of character. This mutual neglect appears perfectly justified. If both character and will are determinants of action, to (...)
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  39. Making Something Happen. Where Causation and Agency Meet.Geert Keil - 2007 - In Francesca Castellani & Josef Quitterer (eds.), Agency and Causation in the Human Sciences. Mentis. pp. 19-35.
    1. Introduction: a look back at the reasons vs. causes debate. 2. The interventionist account of causation. 3. Four objections to interventionism. 4. The counterfactual analysis of event causation. 5. The role of free agency. 6. Causality in the human sciences. -- The reasons vs. causes debate reached its peak about 40 years ago. Hempel and Dray had debated the nature of historical explanation and the broader issue of whether explanations that cite an agent’s reasons are causal or not. Melden, (...)
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  40. Carl Ginet, On Action. [REVIEW]Karl Pfeifer - 1992 - Philosophy in Review 12:196-199.
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  41. The Free Actions of Glorified Saints.Richard Tamburro - 2014 - Dissertation, University of York
    This project examines whether we can consistently make two claims: i) God cannot prevent sin without destroying free will; and ii) in heaven, God prevents sin without destroying free will. It explores the conditions under which agents may be said to be acting freely, guided by consideration of the free will defence to the problem of evil. This involves considering prominent themes in the philosophy of action, and in the metaphysics of free will. It develops, and defends, a non-causal incompatibilist (...)
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  42. How Do We Ever Get Up? On the Proximate Causation of Actions and Events.Grazer Philosophise he Studien - 2001 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 61 (1):43.
    Many candidates have been tried out as proximate causes of actions: belief-desire pairs, volitions, motives, intentions, and other kinds of pro-attitudes. None of these mental states or events, however, seems to be able to do the trick, that is, to get things going. Each of them may occur without an appropriate action ensuing. After reviewing several attempts at closing the alleged “causal gap”, it is argued that on a correct analysis, there is no missing link waiting to be discovered. On (...)
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  43. Carl Ginet, On Action Reviewed By.Karl Pfeifer - 1992 - Philosophy in Review 12 (3):196-199.
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  44. Augmentation, Agency, and the Spreading of the Mental State.Zoe Drayson & Andy Clark - unknown
    This unpublished article was written around 2009 for a journal special issue of a journal which never materialized. In 2018, the article was rewritten and published in the Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Disability. It can be found on PhilPapers as Drayson and Clark (2018), 'Cognitive Disability and the Embodied, Extended Mind'.
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  45. Consent and the Criminal Law.Lucinda Vandervort - 1990 - Osgoode Hall Law Journal 28 (2):485-500.
    The author examines two proposals to expand legal recognition of individual control over physical integrity. Protections for individual autonomy are discussed in relation to the right to die, euthanasia, medical treatment, and consensual and assaultive sexual behaviours. The author argues that at present, the legal doctrine of consent protects only those individual preferences which are seen to be congruent with dominant societal values; social preferences and convenience override all other individual choices. Under these conditions, more freedom to waive rights of (...)
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  46. Mistake of Law and Sexual Assault: Consent and Mens Rea.Lucinda Vandervort - 1987-1988 - Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 2 (2):233-309.
    In this ground-breaking article submitted for publication in mid-1986, Lucinda Vandervort creates a radically new and comprehensive theory of sexual consent as the unequivocal affirmative communication of voluntary agreement. She argues that consent is a social act of communication with normative effects. To consent is to waive a personal legal right to bodily integrity and relieve another person of a correlative legal duty. If the criminal law is to protect the individual’s right of sexual self-determination and physical autonomy, rather than (...)
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  47. Affirmative Sexual Consent in Canadian Law, Jurisprudence, and Legal Theory.Lucinda Vandervort - 2012 - Columbia Journal of Gender and Law 23 (2):395-442.
    This article examines the development of affirmative sexual consent in Canadian jurisprudence and legal theory and its adoption in Canadian law. Affirmative sexual consent requirements were explicitly proposed in Canadian legal literature in 1986, codified in the 1992 Criminal Code amendments, and recognized as an essential element of the common law and statutory definitions of sexual consent by the Supreme Court of Canada in a series of cases decided since 1994. Although sexual violence and non-enforcement of sexual assault laws are (...)
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  48. What Do Deviant Causal Chains Deviate From?Geert Keil - 2007 - In Christoph Lumer & Sandro Nannini (eds.), Intention, Deliberation and Autonomy. Ashgate. pp. 69-90.
    The problem of deviant causal chains is endemic to any theory of action that makes definitional or explanatory use of a causal connection between an agent’s beliefs and pro-attitudes and his bodily movements. Other causal theories of intentional phenomena are similarly plagued. The aim of this chapter is twofold. First, to defend Davidson’s defeatism. In his treatment of deviant causal chains, Davidson makes use of the clause “in the right way” to rule out causal waywardness, but he regards any attempt (...)
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  49. The Case for Zombie Agency.Wayne Wu - 2013 - Mind 122 (485):217-230.
    In response to Mole 2009, I present an argument for zombie action. The crucial question is not whether but rather to what extent we are zombie agents. I argue that current evidence supports only minimal zombie agency.
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  50. On Epistemic Agency.Kristoffer Ahlstrom - 2010 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    Every time we act in an effort to attain our epistemic goals, we express our epistemic agency. The present study argues that a proper understanding of the actions and goals relevant to expressions of such agency can be used to make ameliorative recommendations about how the ways in which we actually express our agency can be brought in line with how we should express our agency. More specifically, it is argued that the actions relevant to such expressions should be identified (...)
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