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  1. Conscience: The Mechanism of Morality.Jeffrey White - manuscript
    Conscience is oft-referred to yet not understood. This text develops a theory of cognition around a model of conscience, the ACTWith model. It represents a synthesis of results from contemporary neuroscience with traditional philosophy, building from Jamesian insights into the emergence of the self to narrative identity, all the while motivated by a single mechanism as represented in the ACTWith model. Emphasis is placed on clarifying historical expressions and demonstrations of conscience - Socrates, Heidegger, Kant, M.L. King - in light (...)
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  2. Being Free by Losing Control: What Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Can Tell Us About Free Will.Sanneke de Haan, Erik Rietveld & Damiaan Denys - forthcoming - In Walter Glannon (ed.), Free Will and the Brain: Neuroscientific, Philosophical, and Legal Perspectives on Free Will.
    According to the traditional Western concept of freedom, the ability to exercise free will depends on the availability of options and the possibility to consciously decide which one to choose. Since neuroscientific research increasingly shows the limits of what we in fact consciously control, it seems that our belief in free will and hence in personal autonomy is in trouble. -/- A closer look at the phenomenology of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) gives us reason to doubt the traditional concept of freedom (...)
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  3. ‘Half Victim, Half Accomplice’: Cat Person and Narcissism.Filipa Melo Lopes - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    At the end of 2017, Kristen Roupenian’s short story, Cat Person, went viral. Published at the height of the #MeToo movement, it depicted a ‘toxic date’ and a disturbing sexual encounter between Margot, a college student, and Robert, an older man she meets at work. The story was widely viewed as a relatable denunciation of women’s powerlessness and routine victimization. In this paper, I push against this common reading. I propose an alternative feminist interpretation through the lens of Simone de (...)
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  4. Capability to Health, Health Agency and Vulnerability.Christine Straehle - forthcoming - Bioethics.
    In this paper, I challenge the argument that if we take health to be a meta-capability, we will be able to address the vulnerabilities that characterize human life. Instead, I argue that some vulnerabilities, like that attached to being a patient, can not be successfully addressed.
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  5. Autonomy and the Limits of Cognitive Enhancement.Jonathan Lewis - 2021 - Bioethics 35 (1):15-22.
    In the debates regarding the ethics of human enhancement, proponents have found it difficult to refute the concern, voiced by certain bioconservatives, that cognitive enhancement violates the autonomy of the enhanced. However, G. Owen Schaefer, Guy Kahane and Julian Savulescu have attempted not only to avoid autonomy-based bioconservative objections, but to argue that cognition-enhancing biomedical interventions can actually enhance autonomy. In response, this paper has two aims: firstly, to explore the limits of their argument; secondly, and more importantly, to develop (...)
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  6. Depression’s Threat to Self-Governance.August Gorman - 2020 - Social Theory and Practice 46 (2):277-297.
    Much of the literature on impairment to self-governance focuses on cases in which a person either lacks the ability to protect herself from errant urges or cases in which a person lacks the capacity to initiate self-reflective agential processes. This has led to frameworks for thinking about self-governance designed with only the possibility of these sorts of impairments in mind. I challenge this orthodoxy using the case of melancholic depression to show that there is a third way that self-governance can (...)
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  7. What Justifies Judgments of Inauthenticity?Jesper Ahlin - 2018 - HEC Forum 30 (4):361-377.
    The notion of authenticity, i.e., being “genuine,” “real,” or “true to oneself,” is sometimes held as critical to a person’s autonomy, so that inauthenticity prevents the person from making autonomous decisions or leading an autonomous life. It has been pointed out that authenticity is difficult to observe in others. Therefore, judgments of inauthenticity have been found inadequate to underpin paternalistic interventions, among other things. This article delineates what justifies judgments of inauthenticity. It is argued that for persons who wish to (...)
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  8. 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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  9. Sich in die eigene Tasche lügen? Selbsttäuschung als irrationales Projekt.Amber Griffioen - 2017 - PHILOKLES: Zeitschrift Für Populäre Philosophie 21:4-23.
    This article for the PHILOKLES Journal for Popular Philosophy surveys a few common theoretical approaches to the phenomenon of self-deception before putting forward a thus far relatively unexplored intentionalist option, namely what the author calls the "project model of self-deception". On this model, self-deception is understood as a dynamic, diachronic activity, aimed at the preservation of a certain self-image, to which an agent is implicitly committed. The author shows how this model can make subjects responsible for their self-deceptions without running (...)
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  10. خودآیینی کانت و نسبت آن با خودآیینی شخصی، اخلاقی و سیاسیReassessing Kant's Autonomy in Relation to Individual, Moral, and Political Autonomy.زهرا خزاعی - 2017 - Journal of Philosophical Theological Research 19 (72):47-67.
    Kant realizes the principle of autonomy of the will as the sublime principle of morality. To him, if the principles we will are constituted by a being which poses universal laws, our "will or want" also acts autonomously and independently. Accordingly, moral laws are not only posed by humankind herself but she obliges herself to act according to the laws she herself has posed. Therefore, Kant takes autonomy into meticulous consideration in the realm of action and agency. With this in (...)
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  11. The Cognitive Neuroscience Revolution.Worth Boone & Gualtiero Piccinini - 2016 - Synthese 193 (5):1509-1534.
    We outline a framework of multilevel neurocognitive mechanisms that incorporates representation and computation. We argue that paradigmatic explanations in cognitive neuroscience fit this framework and thus that cognitive neuroscience constitutes a revolutionary break from traditional cognitive science. Whereas traditional cognitive scientific explanations were supposed to be distinct and autonomous from mechanistic explanations, neurocognitive explanations aim to be mechanistic through and through. Neurocognitive explanations aim to integrate computational and representational functions and structures across multiple levels of organization in order to explain (...)
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  12. Organ Donor Registration Policies and the Wrongness of Forcing People to Think of Their Own Death.Tomasz Żuradzki & Katarzyna Marchewka - 2016 - American Journal of Bioethics 16 (11):35-37.
    MacKay and Robinson (2016) claim that some legal procedures that regulate organ donations (VAC, opt-in, opt-out) bypass people's rational capacities and thus are “potentially morally worse than MAC”, which only employs a very mild form of coercion. We provide a critique of their argumentation and defend the opposite thesis: MAC is potentially morally worse than the three other options.
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  13. How We Affect Each Other. Michel Henry's 'Pathos-With' and the Enactive Approach to Intersubjectivity.Hanne De Jaegher - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (1-2):112-132.
    What makes it possible to affect one another, to move and be moved by another person? Why do some of our encounters transform us? The experience of moving one another points to the inter-affective in intersubjectivity. Inter-affection is hard to account for under a cognitivist banner, and has not received much attention in embodied work on intersubjectivity. I propose that understanding inter-affection needs a combination of insights into self-affection, embodiment, and interaction processes. I start from Michel Henry's radically immanent idea (...)
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  14. Giving Up on Convergence and Autonomy: Why the Theories of Psychology and Neuroscience Are Codependent as Well as Irreconcilable.Eric Hochstein - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A:1-19.
    There is a long-standing debate in the philosophy of mind and philosophy of science regarding how best to interpret the relationship between neuroscience and psychology. It has traditionally been argued that either the two domains will evolve and change over time until they converge on a single unified account of human behaviour, or else that they will continue to work in isolation given that they identify properties and states that exist autonomously from one another (due to the multiple-realizability of psychological (...)
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  15. M-Autonomy.Thomas Metzinger - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (11-12):270-302.
    What we traditionally call ‘conscious thought’ actually is a subpersonal process, and only rarely a form of mental action. The paradigmatic, standard form of conscious thought is non-agentive, because it lacks veto-control and involves an unnoticed loss of epistemic agency and goal-directed causal self-determination at the level of mental content. Conceptually, it must be described as an unintentional form of inner behaviour. Empirical research shows that we are not mentally autonomous subjects for about two thirds of our conscious lifetime, because (...)
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  16. Brain Stimulation for Treatment and Enhancement in Children: An Ethical Analysis.Hannah Maslen, Brian Earp, Roi Cohen Kadosh & Julian Savulescu - 2014 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8.
    Davis called for “extreme caution” in the use of non-invasive brain stimulation to treat neurological disorders in children, due to gaps in scientific knowledge. We are sympathetic to his position. However, we must also address the ethical implications of applying this technology to minors. Compensatory trade-offs associated with NIBS present a challenge to its use in children, insofar as these trade-offs have the effect of limiting the child’s future options. The distinction between treatment and enhancement has some normative force here. (...)
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  17. Noise From the Periphery in Autism.Maria Brincker & Elizabeth B. Torres - 2013 - Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience 7:34.
    No two individuals with the autism diagnosis are ever the same—yet many practitioners and parents can recognize signs of ASD very rapidly with the naked eye. What, then, is this phenotype of autism that shows itself across such distinct clinical presentations and heterogeneous developments? The “signs” seem notoriously slippery and resistant to the behavioral threshold categories that make up current assessment tools. Part of the problem is that cognitive and behavioral “abilities” typically are theorized as high-level disembodied and modular functions—that (...)
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  18. Autonomy and the Problem of Socialization.Suzy Killmister - 2013 - Social Theory and Practice 39 (1):95-119.
    One of the more intractable problems in the debate over autonomy is how we should distinguish autonomy-enhancing from autonomy-compromising forms of socialization. In this paper I first survey a range of theories of autonomy, from the procedural through to the substantive, and argue that none offers sufficient resources to resolve the problem of socialization. In the second half of the paper I develop an alternative theory that can both differentiate benign from pernicious socialization and, more importantly, provide an explanation for (...)
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  19. Autonomy and Depression.Lubomira Radoilska - 2013 - In K. W. M. Fulford, Martin Davis, George Graham, John Sadler, Giovanni Stanghellini & Tim Thornton (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry. Oxford University Press. pp. 1155-1170.
    In this paper, I address two related challenges the phenomenon of depression raises for conceptions according to which autonomy is an agency concept and an independent source of justification. The first challenge is directed at the claim that autonomous agency involves intending under the guise of the good: the robust though not always direct link between evaluation and motivation implied here seems to be severed in some instances of depression; yet, this does not seem to affect the possibility of autonomous (...)
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  20. The Apparent Illusion of Conscious Deciding.Joshua Shepherd - 2013 - Philosophical Explorations 16 (1):18 - 30.
    Recent work in cognitive science suggests that conscious thought plays a much less central role in the production of human behavior than most think. Partially on the basis of this work, Peter Carruthers has advanced the claim that humans never consciously decide to act. This claim is of independent interest for action theory, and its potential truth poses a problem for theories of free will and autonomy, which often take our capacity to consciously decide to be of central importance. In (...)
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  21. Autonomy, Well-Being and the Order of Things: Gilabert on the Conditions of Social and Global Justice.Christine Straehle - 2013 - Les ateliers de l'éthique/The Ethics Forum 8 (2):110-120.
    Gilabert argues that the humanist conception of duties of global justice and the principle of cosmopolitan justifiability will lead us to accept an egalitarian definition of individual autonomy. Gilabert further argues that realizing conditions of individual autonomy can serve as the cut-off point to duties of global justice. I investigate his idea of autonomy, arguing that in order to make sense of this claim, we need a concept of autonomy. I propose 4 possible definitions of autonomy, none of which seem (...)
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  22. Response to Rabin.Alex Voorhoeve - 2013 - In Adam Oliver (ed.), Behavioural Public Policy. Cambridge University Press.
    This chapter analyses the behavioural economist Matthew Rabin's work on biases in decision-making. Rabin argues that these biases cause self-harm and that we should tax individuals to ensure that they do not give in to these biases. The chapter's core question is whether there is a soft-paternalistic justification for these taxes. The answer is nuanced. It argues that Rabin’s description of these biases as “irrational” is not always appropriate—sometimes, for example, they are merely a form of preference change. When they (...)
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  23. Three Challenges From Delusion for Theories of Autonomy.K. W. M. Fulford & Lubomira Radoilska - 2012 - In Lubomira Radoilska (ed.), Autonomy and Mental Disorder. Oxford University Press. pp. 44-74.
    This chapter identifies and explores a series of challenges raised by the clinical concept of delusion for theories which conceive autonomy as an agency rather than a status concept. The first challenge is to address the autonomy-impairing nature of delusions consistently with their role as grounds for full legal and ethical excuse, on the one hand, and psychopathological significance as key symptoms of psychoses, on the other. The second challenge is to take into account the full logical range of delusions, (...)
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  24. The Problem of Trans-Humanism in the Light of Philosophy and Theology.Philippe Gagnon - 2012 - In James B. Stump & Alan G. Padgett (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Science and Christianity, pp. 393-405. Blackwell. pp. 393-405.
    Transhumanism is a means of advocating a re-engineering of conditions that surround human existence at both ends. The problem set before us in this chapter is to inquire into what determined its appearance, in particular in the humanism it seeks to overcome. We look at the spirit of overcoming itself, and the impatience with the Self, in order to try to understand why it seeks a saving power in technology. We then consider how the evolutionary account of the production of (...)
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  25. Liberty, Mill and the Framework of Public Health Ethics.Madison Powers, Ruth Faden & Yashar Saghai - 2012 - Public Health Ethics 5 (1):6-15.
    In this article, we address the relevance of J.S. Mill’s political philosophy for a framework of public health ethics. In contrast to some readings of Mill, we reject the view that in the formulation of public policies liberties of all kinds enjoy an equal presumption in their favor. We argue that Mill also rejects this view and discuss the distinction that Mill makes between three kinds of liberty interests: interests that are immune from state interference; interests that enjoy a presumption (...)
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  26. Personal Autonomy, Decisional Capacity, and Mental Disorder.Lubomira V. Radoilska - 2012 - In Lubomira Radoilska (ed.), Autonomy and Mental Disorder. Oxford University Press.
    In this Introduction, I situate the underlying project “Autonomy and Mental Disorder” with reference to current debates on autonomy in moral and political philosophy, and the philosophy of action. I then offer an overview of the individual contributions. More specifically, I begin by identifying three points of convergence in the debates at issue, stating that autonomy is: 1) a fundamentally liberal concept; 2) an agency concept and; 3) incompatible with (severe) mental disorder. Next, I explore, in the context of decisional (...)
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  27. Autonomy and Ulysses Arrangements.Lubomira V. Radoilska - 2012 - In Lubomira Radoilska (ed.), Autonomy and Mental Disorder. Oxford University Press. pp. 252-280.
    In this chapter, I articulate the structure of a general concept of autonomy and then reply to possible objections with reference to Ulysses arrangements in psychiatry. The line of argument is as follows. Firstly, I examine three alternative conceptions of autonomy: value-neutral, value-laden, and relational. Secondly, I identify two paradigm cases of autonomy and offer a sketch of its concept as opposed to the closely related freedom of action and intentional agency. Finally, I explain away the autonomy paradox, to which (...)
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  28. Taking the Self Out of Self-Rule.Michael Garnett - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (1):21-33.
    Many philosophers believe that agents are self-ruled only when ruled by their (authentic) selves. Though this view is rarely argued for explicitly, one tempting line of thought suggests that self-rule is just obviously equivalent to rule by the self . However, the plausibility of this thought evaporates upon close examination of the logic of ‘self-rule’ and similar reflexives. Moreover, attempts to rescue the account by recasting it in negative terms are unpromising. In light of these problems, this paper instead proposes (...)
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  29. Making a Difference.Pamela Hieronymi - 2011 - Social Theory and Practice 37 (1):81-94.
    I suggest that Fischer concedes too much to the consequence argument when he grants that we may not make a difference. I provide a broad sketch of (my take on) the dispute between compatibilists and incompatibilists, while suggesting that some of the discussion may have confused the freedom required for moral responsibility with a very different notion of autonomy. I introduce that less usual notion of autonomy and suggest that those who are autonomous, in this sense, do make a difference.
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  30. The Social Dimension of Autonomy.Antti Kauppinen - 2011 - In Danielle Petherbridge (ed.), Axel Honneth: Critical Essays. Leiden: Brill. pp. 255-302.
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  31. Involuntary Antipsychotic Medication and Freedom of Thought.Mari Stenlund - 2011 - Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences 4 (2):31-33.
    In this article I clarify the relationship between the use of involuntary antipsychotic medication and a delusional person’s freedom of thought in the light of three different views of freedom, namely, freedom as negative freedom, freedom as having an autonomous mind and freedom as capability. It is not clear how freedom of thought as a psychotic person’s human right should be understood and protected in practice. Therefore, further discussion is needed. These different ways of understanding a patient’s freedom of thought (...)
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  32. The Cognitive Agent: Overcoming Informational Limits.Orlin Vakarelov - 2011 - Adaptive Behavior 19 (2):83-100.
    This article provides an answer to the question: What is the function of cognition? By answering this question it becomes possible to investigate what are the simplest cognitive systems. It addresses the question by treating cognition as a solution to a design problem. It defines a nested sequence of design problems: (1) How can a system persist? (2) How can a system affect its environment to improve its persistence? (3) How can a system utilize better information from the environment to (...)
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  33. Adaptive Preferences and the Hellenistic Insight.Hugh Breakey - 2010 - Australian Journal of Professional and Applied Ethics 12 (1):29-39.
    Adaptive preferences are preferences formed in response to circumstances and opportunities – paradigmatically, they occur when we scale back our desires so they accord with what is probable or at least possible. While few commentators are willing to wholly reject the normative significance of such preferences, adaptive preferences have nevertheless attracted substantial criticism in recent political theory. The groundbreaking analysis of Jon Elster charged that such preferences are not autonomous, and several other commentators have since followed Elster’s lead. On a (...)
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  34. Decisions, Diachronic Autonomy, and the Division of Deliberative Labor.Luca Ferrero - 2010 - Philosophers' Imprint 10:1-23.
    It is often argued that future-directed decisions are effective at shaping our future conduct because they give rise, at the time of action, to a decisive reason to act as originally decided. In this paper, I argue that standard accounts of decision-based reasons are unsatisfactory. For they focus either on tie-breaking scenarios or cases of self-directed distal manipulation. I argue that future-directed decisions are better understood as tools for the non-manipulative, intrapersonal division of deliberative labor over time. A future-directed decision (...)
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  35. An Aristotelian Approach to Cognitive Enhancement.Lubomira V. Radoilska - 2010 - Journal of Value Inquiry 44 (3):365–375.
    In this paper, I argue that cognitive enhancement cannot be epistemically beneficial since getting things right in particular and epistemic agency in general both presuppose a kind of achievement. Drawing on Aristotle’s ethics, I distinguish four categories of actions: caused, attributable, responsible, and creditable. I conclude that to the extent that cognitive enhancement is incompatible with the latter category it undermines rather than strengthens autonomous agency in the realm of cognition.
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  36. Ambivalence.J. S. Swindell Blumenthal-Barby - 2010 - Philosophical Explorations 13 (1):23 – 34.
    The phenomenon of ambivalence is an important one for any philosophy of action. Despite this importance, there is a lack of a fully satisfactory analysis of the phenomenon. Although many contemporary philosophers recognize the phenomenon, and address topics related to it, only Harry Frankfurt has given the phenomenon full treatment in the context of action theory - providing an analysis of how it relates to the structure and freedom of the will. In this paper, I develop objections to Frankfurt's account, (...)
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  37. Defining Agency: Individuality, Normativity, Asymmetry, and Spatio-Temporality in Action.Xabier Barandiaran, E. Di Paolo & M. Rohde - 2009 - Adaptive Behavior 17 (5):367-386.
    The concept of agency is of crucial importance in cognitive science and artificial intelligence, and it is often used as an intuitive and rather uncontroversial term, in contrast to more abstract and theoretically heavy-weighted terms like “intentionality”, “rationality” or “mind”. However, most of the available definitions of agency are either too loose or unspecific to allow for a progressive scientific program. They implicitly and unproblematically assume the features that characterize agents, thus obscuring the full potential and challenge of modeling agency. (...)
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  38. Existentialist Voluntarism as a Source of Normativity.Andrew Jason Cohen - 2008 - Philosophical Papers 37 (1):89-129.
    I defend a neo-Kantian view wherein we are capable of being completely autonomous and impartial and argue that this ability can ground normativity. As this view includes an existentialist conception of the self, I defend radical choice, a primary component of that conception, against arguments many take to be definitive. I call the ability to use radical choice “existentialist voluntarism” and bring it into a current debate in normative philosophy, arguing that it allows that we can be distanced from all (...)
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  39. Brute Luck and Responsibility.Peter Vallentyne - 2008 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 7 (1):57-80.
    The concept of agent-responsibility for an outcome (that is, of the outcome reflecting the autonomous choice of the agent) is central to both ethics and political philosophy. The concept, however, remains radically under-explored. In particular, the issue of partial responsibility for an outcome needs further development. I propose an account of partial responsibility based on partial causal contribution. Agents who choose autonomously in full knowledge of the consequences are agent-responsible, I claim, for the shift in the objective probability of the (...)
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  40. Autonomous Agency and the Threat of Social Psychology.Eddy Nahmias - 2007 - In M. Marraffa, M. Caro & F. Ferretti (eds.), Cartographies of the Mind: Philosophy and Psychology in Intersection. Springer.
    This chapter discusses how research in situationist social psychology may pose largely undiscussed threats to autonomous agency, free will, and moral responsibility.
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  41. Milgram, Method and Morality.Charles R. Pigden & Grant R. Gillet - 1996 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 13 (3):233-250.
    Milgram’s experiments, subjects were induced to inflict what they believed to be electric shocks in obedience to a man in a white coat. This suggests that many of us can be persuaded to torture, and perhaps kill, another person simply on the say-so of an authority figure. But the experiments have been attacked on methodological, moral and methodologico-moral grounds. Patten argues that the subjects probably were not taken in by the charade; Bok argues that lies should not be used in (...)
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  42. Autonomy, Value, and Conditioned Desire.Robert Noggle - 1995 - American Philosophical Quarterly 32 (1):57 - 69.
    Conditioning can produce desires that seem to be outside of--or “alien” to--the agent. Desire-based theories of welfare claim that the satisfaction of desires creates prudential value. But the satisfaction of alien desires does not seem to create prudential value. To explain this fact, we need an account of alien desires that explains their moral status. In this paper I suggest that alien desires are desires that would be rational if the person believed something that in fact she believes is false. (...)
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  43. Autonomy for Changing Selves.Richard Pettigrew - manuscript
    For the Routledge Handbook of Autonomy (edited by Ben Colburn) -/- Our values change. What we value, want, desire, prefer, and how much; for nearly everyone, these will be different at different times in their life. These changes can be gradual or abrupt; they can be long-lasting or short-lived; and they can be induced by forces outside yourself or they can come from within or they can have no specific catalyst at all. Such preference change raises a number of questions (...)
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