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  1. Can the Mind Wander Intentionally?Samuel Murray & Kristina Krasich - unknown - Mind and Language:1-22.
    Mind wandering is typically operationalized as task-unrelated thought. Some argue for the need to distinguish between unintentional and intentional mind wandering, where an agent voluntarily shifts attention from task-related to task-unrelated thoughts. We reveal an inconsistency between the standard, task-unrelated thought definition of mind wandering and the occurrence of intentional mind wandering (together with plausible assumptions about tasks and intentions). This suggests that either the standard definition of mind wandering should be rejected or that intentional mind wandering is an incoherent (...)
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  2. Pluralistic Attitude-Explanation and the Mechanisms of Intentional Action.Daniel Burnston - 2021 - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility, Vol 7. Oxford, UK: pp. 130-153.
    According to the Causal Theory of Action (CTA), genuine actions are individuated by their causal history. Actions are bodily movements that are causally explained by citing the agent’s reasons. Reasons are then explained as some combination of propositional attitudes – beliefs, desires, and/or intentions. The CTA is thus committed to realism about the attitudes. This paper explores current models of decision-making from the mind sciences, and argues that it is far from obvious how to locate the propositional attitudes in the (...)
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  3. Let Me Go and Try.Kirk Ludwig - 2021 - Philosophical Explorations 24 (3):340-358.
    This paper argues for a deflationary account of trying on which ‘x tried to ϕ’ abbreviates ‘x did something with the intention of ϕ-ing’, where ‘did something’ is treated as a schematic verb. On this account, tryings are not a distinctive sort of episode present in some or all cases of acting. ‘x tried to ϕ’ simply relates some doing of x’s to a further aim x had, which may or may not have been achieved. Consequently, the analysis of ‘x (...)
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  4. The Shape of Agency: Control, Action, Skill, Knowledge.Joshua Shepherd - 2021 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    The Shape of Agency offers interlinked explanations of the basic building blocks of agency, as well as its exemplary instances. The first part offers accounts of a collection of related phenomena that have long troubled philosophers of action: control over behaviour, non-deviant causation, and intentional action. These accounts build on earlier work in the causalist tradition, and undermine the claims made by many that causalism cannot offer a satisfying account of non-deviant causation, and therefore fails as an account of intentional (...)
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  5. Skill and Sensitivity to Reasons.Joshua Shepherd - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3):669-681.
    In this paper I explore the relationship between skill and sensitivity to reasons for action. I want to know to what degree we can explain the fact that the skilled agent is very good at performing a cluster of actions within some domain in terms of the fact that the skilled agent has a refined sensitivity to the reasons for action common to the cluster. The picture is a little bit complex. While skill can be partially explained by sensitivity to (...)
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  6. The Backside of Habit: Notes on Embodied Agency and the Functional Opacity of the Medium.Maria Brincker - 2020 - In Fausto Caruana & Italo Testa (eds.), Habits: Pragmatist Approaches from Cognitive Neuroscience to Social Science by Caruana F. & Testa I. (Eds.). Cambridge University Press. Cambridge University Press. pp. 165-183.
    In this chapter what I call the “backside” of habit is explored. I am interested in the philosophical implications of the physical and physiological processes that mediate, and which allow for what comes to appear as almost magic; namely the various sensorimotor associations and integrations that allows us to replay our past experiences, and to in a certain sense perceive potential futures, and to act and bring about anticipated outcomes – without quite knowing how. Thus, the term “backside” is meant (...)
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  7. Events, Processes, and the Time of a Killing.Yair Levy - 2020 - Ratio 33 (3):138-144.
    The paper proposes a novel solution to the problem of the time of a killing (ToK), which persistently besets theories of act-individuation. The solution proposed claims to expose a crucial wrong-headed assumption in the debate, according to which ToK is essentially a problem of locating some event that corresponds to the killing. The alternative proposal put forward here turns on recognizing a separate category of dynamic occurents, viz. processes. The paper does not aim to mount a comprehensive defense of process (...)
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  8. The Place of the Trace: Negligence and Responsibility.Samuel Murray - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (1):39-52.
    One popular theory of moral responsibility locates responsible agency in exercises of control. These control-based theories often appeal to tracing to explain responsibility in cases where some agent is intuitively responsible for bringing about some outcome despite lacking direct control over that outcome’s obtaining. Some question whether control-based theories are committed to utilizing tracing to explain responsibility in certain cases. I argue that reflecting on certain kinds of negligence shows that tracing plays an ineliminable role in any adequate control-based theory (...)
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  9. Review of Christian Kietzmann: Handeln aus Gründen als praktisches Schließen, 2019. [REVIEW]Sascha Settegast - 2020 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 74 (2):310-313.
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  10. Agency as a Two-Way Power: A Defence.Helen Steward - 2020 - The Monist 103 (3):342-355.
    This paper presents a dilemma which it has been alleged by Kim Frost must be faced by any defender of the notion of a two-way power and offers a solution to the dilemma which is distinct from Frost’s own. The dilemma is as follows: assuming that powers are to be individuated by what they are powers to do or undergo, then either there is a unified description of the manifestation-type which individuates the power, or there is not. If there is, (...)
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  11. From Simple to Composite Agency: On Kirk Ludwig’s From Individual to Plural Agency.Olle Blomberg - 2019 - Journal of Social Ontology 5 (1):101-124.
    According to Kirk Ludwig, only primitive actions are actions in a primary and non-derivative sense of the term ‘action’. Ludwig takes this to imply that the notion of collective action is a façon de parler – useful perhaps, but secondary and derivative. I argue that, on the contrary, collective actions are actions in the primary and non-derivative sense. First, this is because some primitive actions are collective actions. Secondly, individual and collective composites of primitive actions are also actions in the (...)
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  12. Knowing How, Basic Actions, and Ways of Doing Things.Kevin Lynch - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (8):956-977.
    This paper investigates whether we can know how to do basic actions, from the perspective according to which knowing how to do something requires knowledge of a way to do it. A key argument from this perspective against basic know-how is examined and is found to be unsound, involving the false premise that there are no ways of doing basic actions. However, a new argument along similar lines is then developed, which contends that there are no ways of doing basic (...)
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  13. Basic Action and Practical Knowledge.Will Small - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
    It is a commonplace in philosophy of action that there is and must be teleologically basic action: something done on an occasion without doing it by means of doing anything else. It is widely believed that basic actions are exercises of skill. As the source of the need for basic action is the structure of practical reasoning, this yields a conception of skill and practical reasoning as complementary but mutually exclusive. On this view, practical reasoning and complex intentional action depend (...)
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  14. Agents in Movement.István Zoltán Zárdai - 2019 - Kagaku Tetsugaku 143:61-83.
    The paper discusses the category of one of the most fundamental expressions of agency, those movements of agents that are actions. There have been three dominant views of action since the 1960s: 1. the Causal Theory of Action, 2. the Tryings/Willings view, and 3. Agent Causation. These views claim that actions are: 1. events of bodily movements which have the right causes; 2. specific types of mental events causing events of bodily movements; 3. instances of the causal relationship between agents (...)
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  15. Intelligibility and the Guise of the Good.Paul Boswell - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 13 (1):1-31.
    According to the Guise of the Good, an agent only does for a reason what she sees as good. One of the main motivations for the view is its apparent ability to explain why action for a reason must be intelligible to its agent, for on this view, an action is intelligible just in case it seems good. This motivation has come under criticism in recent years. Most notably, Kieran Setiya has argued that merely seeing one’s action as good does (...)
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  16. The Metaphysics of Action: Trying, Doing, Causing.David-Hillel Ruben - 2018 - London: Palgrave Macmillan.
    A discussion of three central ideas in action theory; trying to act, doing or acting, one's action causing further consequences.
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  17. Halfhearted Action and Control.Shepherd Joshua - 2017 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4.
    Some of the things we do intentionally we do halfheartedly. I develop and defend an account of halfheartedness with respect to action on which one is halfhearted with respect to an action A if one’s overall motivation to A is weak. This requires getting clear on what it is to have some level of overall motivation with respect to an action, and on what it means to say one’s overall motivation is weak or strong. After developing this account, I defend (...)
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  18. One Self Per Customer? From Disunified Agency to Disunified Self.David Lumsden & Joseph Ulatowski - 2017 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 55 (3):314-335.
    The notion of an agent and the notion of a self are connected, for agency is one role played by the self. Millgram argues for a disunity thesis of agency on the basis of extreme incommensurability across some major life events. We propose a similar negative thesis about the self, that it is composed of relatively independent threads reflecting the different roles and different mind-sets of the person's life. Our understanding of those threads is based on theories of the narrative (...)
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  19. The Divisibility of Basic Actions.Kevin Lynch - 2017 - Analysis 77 (2):312-318.
    The notion of basic action has recently come under attack based on the idea that any putative basic action can always be divided into more basic sub-actions. In this paper it is argued that this criticism ignores a key aspect of the idea of basic action, namely, the ‘anything else’ part of the idea that basic actions are not done by doing anything else. This aspect is clarified, and it is argued that doing the sub-actions of which a putative basic (...)
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  20. The Experience of Acting and the Structure of Consciousness.Joshua Shepherd - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy 114 (8):422-448.
    I offer an account of the experience of acting that demonstrates how agentive aspects of experience associated with the execution of intentions are richly integrated with perceptual aspects associated with parts of action taking place in the publicly observable world. On the view I elucidate, the experience of acting is often both an engagement with the world and a type of intimate acquaintance with it. In conscious action the agent consciously intervenes in the world and consciously experiences the world she (...)
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  21. Action Without Attention.Carolyn Dicey Jennings & Bence Nanay - 2016 - Analysis 76 (1):29-36.
    Wayne Wu argues that attention is necessary for action: since action requires a solution to the ‘Many–Many Problem’, and since only attention can solve the Many–Many Problem, attention is necessary for action. We question the first of these two steps and argue that it is based on an oversimplified distinction between actions and reflexes. We argue for a more complex typology of behaviours where one important category is action that does not require a solution to the Many–Many Problem, and so (...)
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  22. Beyond Fakers and Fanatics: A Reply to Maarten Boudry and Jerry Coyne.Neil Van Leeuwen - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (4):1-6.
    Maarten Boudry and Jerry Coyne have written a piece, forthcoming in Philosophical Psychology, called “Disbelief in Belief,” in which they criticize my recent paper “Religious credence is not factual belief” (2014, Cognition 133). Here I respond to their criticisms, the thrust of which is that we shouldn’t distinguish religious credence from factual belief, contrary to what I say. I respond that their picture of religious psychology undermines our ability to distinguish common religious people from fanatics. My response will appear in (...)
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  23. Imagination and Action.Neil Van Leeuwen - 2016 - In Amy Kind (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Imagination. Routledge. pp. 286-299.
    Abstract: This entry elucidates causal and constitutive roles that various forms of imagining play in human action. Imagination influences more kinds of action than just pretend play. I distinguish different senses of the terms “imagining” and “imagination”: imagistic imagining, propositional imagining, and constructive imagining. Each variety of imagining makes its own characteristic contributions to action. Imagistic imagining can structure bodily movement. Propositional imagining interacts with desires to motivate pretend play and mimetic expressive action. And constructive imagination generates representations of possibilities (...)
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  24. Experts and Deviants: The Story of Agentive Control.Wayne Wu - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2):101-26.
    This essay argues that current theories of action fail to explain agentive control because they have left out a psychological capacity central to control: attention. This makes it impossible to give a complete account of the mental antecedents that generate action. By investigating attention, and in particular the intention-attention nexus, we can characterize the functional role of intention in an illuminating way, explicate agentive control so that we have a uniform explanation of basic cases of causal deviance in action as (...)
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  25. Intentions and Intentionality.Matteo Bianchin - 2015 - Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche:43-54.
    Michael Thompson recently advanced a “naïve action theory” as an alternative to the “sophisticated” accounts of action displayed by ordinary folk psychology. In what follows I defend the plausibility of intentional psychology and folk psychological explanations. I do this in two ways. First I question that naïve explanations are more naïve than the ones provided by folk psychology and suggest that the latter are phenomenologically prior to the former. Second, I focus on the role of intentionality in deliberation and action (...)
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  26. The Sense of Agency and its Role in Strategic Control for Expert Mountain Bikers.Wayne Christensen, Kath Bicknell, Doris McIlwain & John Sutton - 2015 - Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice 2 (3):340-353.
    Much work on the sense of agency has focused either on abnormal cases, such as delusions of control, or on simple action tasks in the laboratory. Few studies address the nature of the sense of agency in complex natural settings, or the effect of skill on the sense of agency. Working from 2 case studies of mountain bike riding, we argue that the sense of agency in high-skill individuals incorporates awareness of multiple causal influences on action outcomes. This allows fine-grained (...)
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  27. Understanding 'Practical Knowledge'.John Schwenkler - 2015 - Philosophers' Imprint 15.
    The concept of practical knowledge is central to G.E.M. Anscombe's argument in Intention, yet its meaning is little understood. There are several reasons for this, including a lack of attention to Anscombe's ancient and medieval sources for the concept, and an emphasis on the more straightforward concept of knowledge "without observation" in the interpretation of Anscombe's position. This paper remedies the situation, first by appealing to the writings of Thomas Aquinas to develop an account of practical knowledge as a distinctive (...)
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  28. Conscious Control Over Action.Joshua Shepherd - 2015 - Mind and Language 30 (3):320-344.
    The extensive involvement of nonconscious processes in human behaviour has led some to suggest that consciousness is much less important for the control of action than we might think. In this article I push against this trend, developing an understanding of conscious control that is sensitive to our best models of overt action control. Further, I assess the cogency of various zombie challenges—challenges that seek to demote the importance of conscious control for human agency. I argue that though nonconscious contributions (...)
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  29. Some Consequences of Thompson’s Life and Action for Social Philosophy.Italo Testa - 2015 - Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche:69-84.
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  30. Sculpting the Space of Actions. Explaining Human Action by Integrating Intentions and Mechanisms.Machiel Keestra - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Amsterdam
    How can we explain the intentional nature of an expert’s actions, performed without immediate and conscious control, relying instead on automatic cognitive processes? How can we account for the differences and similarities with a novice’s performance of the same actions? Can a naturalist explanation of intentional expert action be in line with a philosophical concept of intentional action? Answering these and related questions in a positive sense, this dissertation develops a three-step argument. Part I considers different methods of explanations in (...)
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  31. Proxy Agency in Collective Action.Kirk Ludwig - 2014 - Noûs 48 (1):75-105.
    This paper gives an account of proxy agency in the context of collective action. It takes the case of a group announcing something by way of a spokesperson as an illustration. In proxy agency, it seems that one person or subgroup's doing something counts as or constitutes or is recognized as (tantamount to) another person or group's doing something. Proxy agency is pervasive in institutional action. It has been taken to be a straightforward counterexample to an appealing deflationary view of (...)
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  32. The Contours of Control.Joshua Shepherd - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (3):395-411.
    Necessarily, if S lacks the ability to exercise control, S is not an agent. If S is not an agent, S cannot act intentionally, responsibly, or rationally, nor can S possess or exercise free will. In spite of the obvious importance of control, however, no general account of control exists. In this paper I reflect on the nature of control itself. I develop accounts of control ’s exercise and control ’s possession that illuminate what it is for degrees of control (...)
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  33. The Meanings of “Imagine” Part II: Attitude and Action.Neil Van Leeuwen - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (11):791-802.
    In this Part II, I investigate different approaches to the question of what makes imagining different from belief. I find that the sentiment-based approach of David Hume falls short, as does the teleological approach, once advocated by David Velleman. I then consider whether the inferential properties of beliefs and imaginings may differ. Beliefs, I claim, exhibit an anti-symmetric inferential governance over imaginings: they are the background that makes inference from one imagining to the other possible; the reverse is not true, (...)
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  34. How Consciousness Creates Reality.Claus Janew - 2011 - Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research 2 (6):838-867.
    We will begin with seemingly simple interactions in our daily lives, examine how they originate on a deeper level, come to understand the essentials of consciousness, and finally recognize that we create our reality in its entirety. In the course of this quest, we will uncover little-heeded paths to accessing our subconscious, other individuals, and that which can be understood by the term "God". And the solution to the classical problem of free will constitutes the gist of the concepts is (...)
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  35. El tiempo, buen colaborador. En torno a Aristóteles y el poder de obrar.Felipe Ledesma - 2010 - In Juan-Manuel Navarro & Nuria Sánchez-Madrid (eds.), Ética y metafísica. Sobre el ser del deber ser. Biblioteca Nueva. pp. 19-48.
    The temporality of human action is very peculiar: different from the cosmic time and even paradoxical, inasmuch as it is really a circular time. The aim of this essay is to study this circularity in the sphere of human activity through the relations between the notions of potency and habit in the Aristotelian Ethics, among others structural conditions of the action. These structural conditions are explored by Aristotle as those which make possible to judge the actions.
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  36. Adverbs of Action and Logical Form.Kirk Ludwig - 2010 - In Timothy O'Connor & Constantine Sandis (eds.), Blackwell Companion to the Philosophy of Action. Blackwell.
    This article discusses the logical form of action sentences with particular attention to the role of adverbial modification, reviewing and extending the event analysis of action sentences.
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  37. Agency and the A-Series.Roman Altshuler - 2009 - Southwest Philosophy Review 25 (1):153-161.
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  38. On the Role of Social Interaction in Individual Agency.Hanne De Jaegher & Tom Froese - 2009 - Adaptive Behavior 17 (5):444-460.
    Is an individual agent constitutive of or constituted by its social interactions? This question is typically not asked in the cognitive sciences, so strong is the consensus that only individual agents have constitutive efficacy. In this article we challenge this methodological solipsism and argue that interindividual relations and social context do not simply arise from the behavior of individual agents, but themselves enable and shape the individual agents on which they depend. For this, we define the notion of autonomy as (...)
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  39. Interpreting Anscombe’s Intention §32FF.Anne Newstead - 2009 - Journal of Philosophical Research 34:157-176.
    G. E. M. Anscombe’s view that agents know what they are doing “without observation” has been met with skepticism and the charge of confusion and falsehood. Simultaneously, some commentators think that Anscombe has captured an important truth about the first-personal character of an agent’s awareness of her actions. This paper attempts an explanation and vindication of Anscombe’s view. The key to the vindication lies in focusing on the role of practical knowledge in an agent’s knowledge of her actions. Few commentators, (...)
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  40. Con-Reasons as Causes.David-Hillel Ruben - 2009 - In Constantine Sandis (ed.), New Essays on the Explanation of Action. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 62--74.
    Book synopsis: This collection of previously unpublished essays presents the newest developments in the thought of international scholars working on the explanation of action. The contributions focus on a wide range of interlocking issues relating to agency, deliberation, motivation, mental causation, teleology, interprative explanation and the ontology of actions and their reasons. Challenging numerous current orthodoxies, and offering positive suggestions from a variety of different perspectives, this book provides essential reading for anyone interested in the explanation of action.
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  41. Knowledge and Action.John Hawthorne & Jason Stanley - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (10):571-590.
    Judging by our folk appraisals, then, knowledge and action are intimately related. The theories of rational action with which we are familiar leave this unexplained. Moreover, discussions of knowledge are frequently silent about this connection. This is a shame, since if there is such a connection it would seem to constitute one of the most fundamental roles for knowledge. Our purpose in this paper is to rectify this lacuna, by exploring ways in which knowing something is related to rationally acting (...)
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  42. Causing Actions. [REVIEW]Kirk Ludwig - 2003 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (2):295 – 297.
    Critical Notice of Causing Actions by Paul Pietroski,.
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  43. The Life of a Process.Rowland Stout - 2003 - In Guy Debrock (ed.), Process Pragmatism. Rodopi.
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  44. Two Conceptions of Reasons for Action.Ruth Chang - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (2):447-453.
    On a ‘comparative’ conception of practical reasons, reasons are like ‘weights’ that can make an action more or less rational. Bernard Gert adopts instead a ‘toggle’ conception of practical reasons: something counts as a reason just in case it alone can make some or other otherwise irrational action rational. I suggest that Gert’s conception suffers from various defects, and that his motivation for adopting this conception – his central claim that actions can be rational without there being reasons for them (...)
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  45. 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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  46. How Do We Ever Get Up? On the Proximate Causation of Actions and Events.Geert Keil - 2001 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 61 (1):43-62.
    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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  47. Freedom and Experience: Self-Determination Without Illusions.Magill Kevin - 1997 - London: author open access, originally MacMillan.
    Most of us take it for granted that we are free agents: that we can sometimes act so as to shape our own lives and those of others, that we have choices about how to do so and that we are responsible for what we do. But are we really justified in believing this? For centuries philosophers have argued about whether free will and moral responsibility are compatible with determinism or natural causation, and they seem no closer to agreeing about (...)
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  48. Impossible Doings.Kirk Ludwig - 1992 - Philosophical Studies 65 (3):257 - 281.
    This paper attacks an old dogma in the philosophy of action: the idea that in order to intend to do something one must believe that there is at least some chance that one will succeed at what one intends. I think that this is a mistake, and that recognizing this will force us to rethink standard accounts of what it is to intend to do something and to do it intentionally.
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  49. Carl Ginet, On Action Reviewed By.Karl Pfeifer - 1992 - Philosophy in Review 12 (3):196-199.
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  50. Carl Ginet, On Action. [REVIEW]Karl Pfeifer - 1992 - Philosophy in Review 12:196-199.
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