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  1. Is the wandering mind a planning mind?Frederik T. Junker & Thor Grünbaum - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    Recent studies on mind‐wandering reveal its potential role in goal exploration and planning future actions. How to understand these explorative functions and their impact on planning remains unclear. Given certain conceptions of intentions and beliefs, the explorative functions of mind‐wandering could lead to regular reconsideration of one's intentions. However, this would be in tension with the stability of intentions central to rational planning agency. We analyze the potential issue of excessive reconsideration caused by mind‐wandering. Our response resolves this tension, presenting (...)
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  2. Hope: A Solution to the Puzzle of Difficult Action.Catherine Rioux - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Pursuing difficult long-term goals typically involves encountering substantial evidence of possible future failure. If decisions to pursue such goals are serious only if one believes that one will act as one has decided, then some of our lives’ most important decisions seem to require belief against the evidence. This is the puzzle of difficult action, to which I offer a solution. I argue that serious decisions to φ do not have to give rise to a belief that one will φ, (...)
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  3. Meaning and responsibility.Ray Buchanan & Henry Ian Schiller - 2023 - Mind and Language 38 (3):809-827.
    In performing an act of assertion we are sometimes responsible for more than the content of the literal meaning of the words we have used, sometimes less. A recently popular research program seeks to explain certain of the commitments we make in speech in terms of responsiveness to the conversational subject matter. We raise some issues for this view with the aim of providing a more general account of linguistic commitment: one that is grounded in a more general action‐theoretic notion (...)
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  4. Review of Shared and Institutional Agency, by Michael E. Bratman.Abraham Roth - 2023 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
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  5. Instrumental Rationality in the Social Sciences.Katharina Nieswandt - 2023 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences (1):46-68.
    This paper draws some bold conclusions from modest premises. My topic is an old one, the Neohumean view of practical rationality. First, I show that this view consists of two independent claims, instrumentalism and subjectivism. Most critics run these together. Instrumentalism is entailed by many theories beyond Neohumeanism, viz. by any theory that says rational actions maximize something. Second, I give a new argument against instrumentalism, using simple counterexamples. This argument systematically undermines consequentialism and rational choice theory, I show, using (...)
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  6. Communicating Testimonial Commitment.Alejandro Vesga - forthcoming - Ergo an Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    I argue for the Cooperative Warrant Thesis (CWT), according to which the determinants of testimonial contents in communication are given by the practical requirements of cooperative action. This thesis distances itself from conventionalist views, according to which testimony must be strictly bounded by conventions of speech. CWT proves explanatorily better than conventionalism on several accounts. It offers a principled and accurate criterion to distinguish between testimonial and non-testimonial communication. In being goal-sensitive, this criterion captures the role of weak and robust (...)
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  7. On the immediate mental antecedent of action.Michael Omoge - 2022 - Philosophical Explorations 26 (2):276-292.
    What representational state mediates between perception and action? Bence Nanay says pragmatic representations, which are outputs of perceptual systems. This commits him to the view that optic ataxics face difficulty in performing visually guided arm movements because the relevant perceptual systems output their pragmatic representations incorrectly. Here, I argue that it is not enough to say that pragmatic representations are output incorrectly; we also need to know why they are output that way. Given recent evidence that optic ataxia impairs peripersonal (...)
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  8. Acts and Embodiment.Kit Fine - 2022 - Metaphysics 5 (1):14–28.
    The theory of embodiment is used in providing an account of the identity of acts and in providing solutions to various puzzles concerning acts.
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  9. Pragmatic Particularism.Ray Buchanan & Henry Ian Schiller - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 105 (1):62-78.
    For the Intentionalist, utterance content is wholly determined by a speaker’s meaning-intentions; the sentence uttered serves merely to facilitate the audience’s recovering these intentions. We argue that Intentionalists ought to be Particularists, holding that the only “principles” of meaning recovery needed are those governing inferences to the best explanation; “principles” that are both defeasible and, in a sense to be elaborated, variable. We discuss some ways in which some theorists have erred in trying to tame the “wild west” of pragmatics (...)
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  10. A Higher-Order Approach to Diachronic Continence.Catherine Rioux - 2022 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 11 (1):51-58.
    We often form intentions to resist anticipated future temptations. But when confronted with the temptations our resolutions were designed to withstand, we tend to revise our previous evaluative judgments and conclude that we should now succumb—only to then revert to our initial evaluations, once temptation has subsided. Some evaluative judgments made under the sway of temptation are mistaken. But not all of them are. When the belief that one should now succumb is a proper response to relevant considerations that have (...)
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  11. Question-Sensitive Theory of Intention.Bob Beddor & Simon Goldstein - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 73 (2):346-378.
    This paper develops a question-sensitive theory of intention. We show that this theory explains some puzzling closure properties of intention. In particular, it can be used to explain why one is rationally required to intend the means to one’s ends, even though one is not rationally required to intend all the foreseen consequences of one’s intended actions. It also explains why rational intention is not always closed under logical implication, and why one can only intend outcomes that one believes to (...)
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  12. Intention as Belief.John Schwenkler - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 103 (2):318-334.
    What’s the relationship between (i) intending to do something, (ii) believing that you are going to do this, and (iii) its being the case that you are going to do the thing in question? I propose a position on which all three categories, correctly understood, amount in the fundamental case to the very same thing. The belief that constitutes future-directed intention, when strong, likewise constitutes one as having a real tendency to act in the intended way.
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  13. Making Sense of the Knobe-effect : Praise demands both Intention and Voluntariness.Istvan Zoltan Zardai - 2022 - Journal of Applied Ethics and Philosophy 13:11-20.
    The paper defends the idea that when we evaluate whether agents deserve praise or blame for their actions, we evaluate both whether their action was intentional, and whether it was voluntary. This idea can explain an asymmetry in blameworthiness and praiseworthiness: Agents can be blamed if they have acted either intentionally or voluntarily. However, to merit praise we expect agents to have acted both intentionally and voluntarily. This asymmetry between demands of praise and blame offers an interpretation of the Knobeeffect: (...)
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  14. Intentional agency.Lilian O'Brien - 2022 - In Luca Ferrero (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Agency. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 109-117.
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  15. Agency in the Space of Reasons. A Comment on The Castle.Josep E. Corbi - 2021 - In Tomas Koblízek and Petr Kotátko (ed.), Lessons From Kafka. Prague, Czechia: pp. 113-140.
    The received view about rationalizing explanations divides our psychological status into two kinds: beliefs and desires. In *The Retrieval of Ethics*, Talbot Brewer makes a case against this view. In this paper, I examine our experience as readers of *The Castle* by Franz Kafka to support Brewer's critical program, that is, his challenge to the received view. I will argue, however, that a proper analysis of this experience poses a serious problem to Brewer's alternative approach, that is, to his attempt (...)
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  16. Bayes, predictive processing, and the cognitive architecture of motor control.Daniel C. Burnston - 2021 - Consciousness and Cognition 96 (C):103218.
    Despite their popularity, relatively scant attention has been paid to the upshot of Bayesian and predictive processing models of cognition for views of overall cognitive architecture. Many of these models are hierarchical ; they posit generative models at multiple distinct "levels," whose job is to predict the consequences of sensory input at lower levels. I articulate one possible position that could be implied by these models, namely, that there is a continuous hierarchy of perception, cognition, and action control comprising levels (...)
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  17. Communication before communicative intentions.Josh Armstrong - 2021 - Noûs 57 (1):26-50.
    This paper explores the significance of intelligent social behavior among non-human animals for philosophical theories of communication. Using the alarm call system of vervet monkeys as a case study, I argue that interpersonal communication (or what I call “minded communication”) can and does take place in the absence of the production and recognition of communicative intentions. More generally, I argue that evolutionary theory provides good reasons for maintaining that minded communication is both temporally and explanatorily prior to the use of (...)
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  18. MAKING Metaphysics.Thomas Byrne - 2021 - Philosophers' Imprint 21 (20).
    We can cause windows to break and we can break windows; we can cause villages to flood and we can flood villages; and we can cause chocolate to melt and we can melt chocolate. Each time these can come apart: if, for example, A merely instructs B to break the window, then A causes the window to break without breaking it herself. Each instance of A breaking/flooding/melting/burning/killing/etc. something, is an instance of what I call making. I argue that making is (...)
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  19. A Role for Conscious Accessibility in Skilled Action.Chiara Brozzo - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3):683-697.
    Skilled sportsmen or musicians—more generally, skilled agents—often fill us with awe with the way they perform their actions. One question we may ask ourselves is whether they intended to perform some awe-inspiring aspects of their actions. This question becomes all the more pressing as it often turns out that these agents were not conscious of some of those aspects at the time of performance. As I shall argue, there are reasons for suspecting lack of conscious access to an aspect of (...)
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  20. Intention: Hyperintensional Semantics and Decision Theory.Timothy Bowen - manuscript
    This paper argues that the types of intention can be modeled both as modal operators and via a multi-hyperintensional semantics. I delineate the semantic profiles of the types of intention, and provide a precise account of how the types of intention are unified in virtue of both their operations in a single, encompassing, epistemic space, and their role in practical reasoning. I endeavor to provide reasons adducing against the proposal that the types of intention are reducible to the mental states (...)
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  21. In Search of Doxastic Involuntarism.Matthew Vermaire - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (2):615-631.
    Doxastic involuntarists, as I categorize them, say that it’s impossible to form a belief as an intentional action. But what exactly is it to form a belief, as opposed to simply getting yourself to have one? This question has been insufficiently addressed, and the lacuna threatens the involuntarists’ position: if the question isn’t answered, their view will lack any clear content; but, after considering some straightforward ways of answering it, I argue that they would make involuntarism either false or insignificant. (...)
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  22. Quasi-Psychologism about Collective Intention.Matthew Rachar - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (2):475-488.
    This paper argues that a class of popular views of collective intention, which I call “quasi-psychologism”, faces a problem explaining common intuitions about collective action. Views in this class hold that collective intentions are realized in or constituted by individual, mental, participatory intentions. I argue that this metaphysical commitment entails persistence conditions that are in tension with a purported obligation to notify co-actors before leaving a collective action attested to by participants in experimental research about the interpersonal normativity of collective (...)
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  23. Noncognitivism in Metaethics and the Philosophy of Action.Samuel Asarnow - 2020 - Erkenntnis 88 (1):95-115.
    Noncognitivism about normative judgment is the view that normative judgment is a distinctive kind of mental state, identical neither to belief or desire, but desire-like in its functional role and direction of fit. Noncognitivism about intention (also called the “distinctive practical attitude” theory) is the view that intention is a distinctive kind of mental state, identical neither to belief or desire, but desire-like in its functional role and direction of fit. While these theories are alike in several ways, they have (...)
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  24. Mark C. Murphy, God’s Own Ethics: Norms of Divine Agency and the Argument from Evil. [REVIEW]Nevin Climenhaga - 2020 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 17 (5):587-590.
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  25. Revaluing the behaviorist ghost in enactivism and embodied cognition.Nikolai Alksnis & Jack Alan Reynolds - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):5785-5807.
    Despite its short historical moment in the sun, behaviorism has become something akin to a theoria non grata, a position that dare not be explicitly endorsed. The reasons for this are complex, of course, and they include sociological factors which we cannot consider here, but to put it briefly: many have doubted the ambition to establish law-like relationships between mental states and behavior that dispense with any sort of mentalistic or intentional idiom, judging that explanations of intelligent behavior require reference (...)
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  26. 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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  27. Effort and the Standard Story of Action.Michael Brent - 2012 - Philosophical Writings 40:19 - 27.
    In this paper, I present an alternative account of action that improves upon what has come to be known as the standard story. The standard story depicts actions as events that are caused by and made intelligible through the appropriate combinations of the agent’s beliefs, desires, decisions, intentions and other motivational factors. I argue that the standard story is problematic because it depicts the relation between the agent and their bodily actions as causally mediated by their motivational factors. On the (...)
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  28. Deploying Racist Soldiers: A critical take on the `right intention' requirement of Just War Theory.Nathan G. Wood - 2018 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 32 (1):53-74.
    In a recent article Duncan Purves, Ryan Jenkins, and B. J. Strawser argue that in order for a decision in war to be just, or indeed the decision to resort to war to be just, it must be the case that the decision is made for the right reasons. Furthermore, they argue that this requirement holds regardless of how much good is produced by said action. In this essay I argue that their argument is flawed, in that it mistakes what (...)
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  29. You don't say! Lying, asserting and insincerity.Neri Marsili - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Sheffield
    This thesis addresses philosophical problems concerning improper assertions. The first part considers the issue of defining lying: here, against a standard view, I argue that a lie need not intend to deceive the hearer. I define lying as an insincere assertion, and then resort to speech act theory to develop a detailed account of what an assertion is, and what can make it insincere. Even a sincere assertion, however, can be improper (e.g., it can be false, or unwarranted): in the (...)
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  30. Can reason establish the goals of action? Assessing interpretations of Aristotle’s theory of agency.Juan Pablo Bermúdez - 2017 - Discusiones Filosóficas 18 (30):35-62.
    Scholarship on Aristotle’s theory of action has recently veered toward an intellectualist position, according to which reason is in charge of setting the goals of action. This position has recently been criticized by an anti-intellectualism revival, according to which character, and not reason, sets the goals of action. I argue that neither view can sufficiently account for the complexities of Aristotle’s theory, and suggest a middle way that combines the strengths of both while avoiding their pitfalls. The key problem for (...)
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  31. Lying by Promising. A study on insincere illocutionary acts.Neri Marsili - 2016 - International Review of Pragmatics 8 (2):271-313.
    This paper is divided into two parts. In the first part, I extend the traditional definition of lying to illocutionary acts executed by means of explicit performatives, focusing on promising. This is achieved in two steps. First, I discuss how the utterance of a sentence containing an explicit performative such as “I promise that Φ ” can count as an assertion of its content Φ . Second, I develop a general account of insincerity meant to explain under which conditions a (...)
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  32. What good is a diachronic will?Luca Ferrero - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 144 (3):403-430.
    There are two standard conceptions of the functioning of and rationale for the diachronic will, i.e., for an agent's capacity to settle on her future conduct in advance. According to the pragmatic-instrumentalist view, the diachronic will benefits us by increasing the long-term satisfaction of our rational preferences. According to the cognitive view, it benefits us by satisfying our standing desire for self-knowledge and self-understanding. Contrary to these views, I argue for a constitutive view of the diachronic will: the rationale for (...)
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  33. Ludwig on Conditional Intentions.Luca Ferrero - 2015 - Methode 4 (6):61-74.
    In this paper, I discuss Ludwig's systematic and illuminating account of conditional intentions, with particular reference to my own view (presented in "Conditional Intentions", Noûs, 2009). In contrast to Ludwig, I argue that we should prefer a formal characterization of conditional intentions rather than a more substantial one in terms of reasons for action (although the conditions that qualify an intention bear on the reasonableness and justifiability of the intention). I then defend a partially different taxonomy of the conditions that (...)
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  34. Pro-Tempore Disjunctive Intentions.Luca Ferrero - 2016 - In Roman Altshuler & MIchael J. Sigrist (eds.), Time and The Philosophy of Action. Routledge. pp. 108-123.
    I investigate the structure of pro-tempore disjunctive intentions: intentions directed at two or more eventually incompatible goals that are nonetheless kept open for the time being, while the agent is waiting to acquire more information to determine which option is better. These intentions are the basic tool for balancing, in our planning agency, rigidity and flexibility, stability and responsiveness to changing circumstances. They are a pervasive feature of intentional diachronic agency and contribute to secure dynamic consistency in our plans. I (...)
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  35. Three Ways of Spilling Ink Tomorrow.Luca Ferrero - 2006 - In E. Baccarini & S. Prijic-Samarzija (eds.), Rationality in Belief and Action. Rijeka. pp. 95-127.
    There are three ways to control our future conduct: by causing it, by manipulating our future selves, or by taking future-directed decisions. I show that the standard accounts of future-directed decisions fail to do justice to their distinctive contribution in intentional diachronic agency. The standard accounts can be divided in two categories: First, those that conflate the operation of decisions with that of devices for either physical constraint or manipulative self-management. Second, accounts that, although they acknowledge the non-manipulative nature of (...)
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  36. Can I Only Intend My Own Actions?Luca Ferrero - 2013 - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford studies in agency and responsibility. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. (1) 70-94.
    In this paper, I argue against the popular philosophical thesis---aka the ‘own action condition’---that an agent can only intend one’s own actions. I argue that the own action condition does not hold for any executive attitude, intentions included. The proper object of intentions is propositional rather than agential (‘I intend that so-and-so be the case’ rather than ‘I intend to do such-and-such’). I show that, although there are some essential de se components in intending, they do not restrict the content (...)
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  37. Action, Emotion and Motive.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1975 - Dissertation, Oxford University
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  38. Diachronic Structural Rationality.Luca Ferrero - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (3):311-336.
    In this paper I investigate whether there are genuine and irreducible pressures of diachronic rationality grounded on the structure of the subject rather than on substantive considerations, such as pragmatic ones. I argue that structural pressures of diachronic rationality have a limited scope. The most important pressure only tells against arbitrary interference with the mechanisms for the retention of attitudes over time. I then argue that in the practical case, a substantial account in terms of the agent's temporal identity appears (...)
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  39. The Desire‐Belief Account of Intention Explains Everything.Neil Sinhababu - 2012 - Noûs 47 (4):680-696.
    I argue that one intends that ϕ if one has a desire that ϕ and an appropriately related means-end belief. Opponents, including Setiya and Bratman, charge that this view can't explain three things. First, intentional action is accompanied by knowledge of what we are doing. Second, we can choose our reasons for action. Third, forming an intention settles a deliberative question about what to do, disposing us to cease deliberating about it. I show how the desire- belief view can explain (...)
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  40. Reasons in Action.Michael Pendlebury - 2013 - Philosophical Papers 42 (3):341 - 368.
    When an agent performs an action because she takes something as a reason to do so, does she take it as a normative reason for the action or as an explanatory reason? In Reasons Without Rationalism, Setiya criticizes the normative view and advances a version of the explanatory view. This paper advances a version of the normative view and shows that it is not subject to Setiya's criticisms. It also shows that Setiya's explanatory account is subject to two fatal flaws, (...)
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  41. Jaspers on Drives, Wants and Volitions.Ulrich Diehl - 2012 - Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Karl-Jaspers-Gesellschaft 25:101-125.
    In § 6 of his General Psychopathology (1st edition 1913) Jaspers distinguished between drives, wants and volitions as three different and irreducible kinds of motivational phenomena which are involved in human decision making and which may lead to successful actions. He has characterized the qualitative differences between volitions in comparison with basic vital drives and emotional wants such as being (a.) intentional, (b.) content-specific and (b.) directed towards concrete objects and actions as goals. Furthermore, Jaspers has presented and discussed three (...)
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  42. Diachronic constraints of practical rationality.Luca Ferrero - 2012 - Philosophical Issues 22 (1):144-164.
    In this paper, I discuss whether there are genuinely *diachronic* constraints of practical rationality, that is, pressures on combinations of practical attitudes over time, which are not reducible to mere synchronic rational pressures. Michael Bratman has recently argued that there is at least one such diachronic rational constraint that governs the stability of intentions over time. *Pace* Bratman, I argue that there are no genuinely diachronic constraints on intentions that meet the stringent desiderata set by him. But I show that (...)
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  43. 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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  44. Action.Luca Ferrero - 2009 - In John Shand (ed.), Central Issues of Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 137-151.
    An introductory survey of the contemporary philosophy of action.
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Collective Intentions
  1. The Self-Reinforcing Nature of Joint Action.Facundo M. Alonso - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Shared intention normally leads to joint action. It does this, it is commonly said, only because it is a characteristically stable phenomenon, a phenomenon that tends to persist from the time it is formed until the time it is fulfilled. However, the issue of what the stability of shared intention comes down to remains largely undertheorized. My aim in this paper is to remedy this shortcoming. I argue that shared intention is a source of moral and epistemic reasons, that responsiveness (...)
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  2. Shared action: An existential phenomenological account.Nicolai Knudsen - 2024 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 23 (1):63-83.
    Drawing on recent phenomenological discussions of collective intentionality and existential phenomenological accounts of agency, this article proposes a novel interpretation of shared action. First, I argue that we should understand action on the basis of how an environment pre-reflectively solicits agents to behave based on (a) the affordances or goals inflected by their abilities and dispositions and (b) their self-referential commitment to a project that is furthered by these affordances. Second, I show that this definition of action is sufficiently flexible (...)
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  3. On group lies and lying to oneself: comment on Jennifer Lackey’s The Epistemology of Groups.Megan Hyska - 2023 - Asian Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):1-8.
    In The Epistemology of Groups, Jennifer Lackey investigates the conditions for the possibility of groups telling lies. Central to this project is the goal of holding groups, and individuals within groups, accountable for their actions. I show that Lackey’s total account of group phenomena, however, may open up a means by which groups can evade accusations of having lied, thus allowing them to evade responsibility in precisely the way Lackey set out to avoid. Along the way, I also take note (...)
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  4. Collective Communicative Intentions in Context.Andrew Peet - 2023 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 10:211-236.
    What are the objects of speaker meaning? The traditional answer is: propositions. The traditional answer faces an important challenge: if propositions are the objects of speaker meaning then there must be specific propositions that speakers intend their audiences to recover. Yet, speakers typically exhibit a degree of indifference regarding how they are interpreted, and cannot rationally intend for their audiences to recover specific propositions. Therefore, propositions are not the objects of speaker meaning (Buchanan 2010; MacFarlane 2020a; 2020b; and Abreu Zavaleta (...)
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  5. How to be minimalist about shared agency.Jules Salomone-Sehr - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    What is involved in acting together with others? Most shared agency theorists endorse the Shared Intention Thesis, i.e., the claim that shared agency necessarily involves shared intentions. This article dissents from this orthodoxy and offers a minimalist account of shared agency—one where parties to shared activities need not form rich webs of interrelated psychological states. My account has two main components: a conceptual analysis of shared agency in terms of the notion of plan, and an explanation of undertheorized agency‐sharing mechanisms. (...)
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  6. Shared Agency and Mutual Obligations: A Pluralist Account.Jules Salomone - 2023 - Philosophical Quarterly 73 (4):1120-1140.
    Do participants in shared activity have mutual obligations to do their bit? This article shows this question has no one-size-fits-all answer and offers a pluralist account of the normativity of shared agency. The first part argues obligations to do one's bit have three degrees of involvement in shared activity. Such obligations might, obviously, bolster co-participants’ resolve to act as planned (degree 1). Less obviously, there also are higher and lower degrees of involvement. Obligations to do one's bit might provide our (...)
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1 — 50 / 372