Trying

Edited by Juan Pablo Bermúdez (Universidad Externado De Colombia, Imperial College London)
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  1. Efforts and Their Feelings.Juan Pablo Bermúdez & Olivier Massin - forthcoming - Philosophy Compass.
    Effort and the feeling of effort play important roles in many theoretical discussions, from perception to self-control and free will, from the nature of ownership to the nature of desert and achievement. A crucial, overlooked distinction within the philosophical and scientific literatures is the distinction between theories that seek to explain effort and theories that seek to explain the feeling of effort. Lacking a clear distinction between these two phenomena makes the literature hard to navigate. To advance in the unification (...)
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  2. Reply to ‘Attempts’: A Non-Davidsonian Account of Trying Sentences.David-Hillel Ruben - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (12):3817-3830.
    In various of my writings, both in Philosophical Studies and elsewhere, I have argued that an account of trying sentences is available that does not require quantification over alleged attempts or tryings. In particular, adverbial modification in such sentences can be dealt with, without quantification over any such particulars. In ‘Attempts’, Jonathan D. Payton (Payton, 2021) has sought to dispute my claim. In this paper, I consider his claims and reply to them. I believe that my account withstands such scrutiny.
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  3. Devoting Ourselves to the Manifestly Unattainable.Nicholas Southwood & David Wiens - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (3):696-716.
    It is tempting to think (1) that we may sometimes have hopelessly utopian duties and yet (2) that “ought” implies “can.” How might we square these apparently conflicting claims? A simple solution is to interpret hopelessly utopian duties as duties to "pursue" the achievement of manifestly unattainable outcomes (as opposed to duties to "achieve" the outcomes), thereby promising to vindicate the possibility of such duties in a way that is compatible with “ought” implies “can.” The main challenge for this simple (...)
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  4. 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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  5. Free Will and Abilities to Act.Randolph Clarke - 2019 - In Streit um die Freiheit: Philosophische und theologische Perspekitven. Paderborn: Schoeningh. pp. 41-62.
    This paper examines the view of abilities to act advanced by Kadri Vihvelin in Causes, Laws, and Free Will. Vihvelin argues that (i) abilities of an important kind are “structurally” like dispositions such as fragility; (ii) ascriptions of dispositions can be analyzed in terms of counterfactual conditionals; (iii) ascriptions of abilities of the kind in question can be analyzed similarly; and (iv) we have the free will we think we have by having abilities of this kind and being in circumstances (...)
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  6. 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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  7. Do We Reflect While Performing Skillful Actions? Automaticity, Control, and the Perils of Distraction.Juan Pablo Bermúdez - 2017 - Philosophical Psychology 30 (7):896-924.
    From our everyday commuting to the gold medalist’s world-class performance, skillful actions are characterized by fine-grained, online agentive control. What is the proper explanation of such control? There are two traditional candidates: intellectualism explains skillful agentive control by reference to the agent’s propositional mental states; anti-intellectualism holds that propositional mental states or reflective processes are unnecessary since skillful action is fully accounted for by automatic coping processes. I examine the evidence for three psychological phenomena recently held to support anti-intellectualism and (...)
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  8. Towards a Definition of Efforts.Olivier Massin - 2017 - Motivation Science 3 (3):230-259.
    Although widely used across psychology, economics, and philosophy, the concept ofeffort is rarely ever defined. This article argues that the time is ripe to look for anexplicit general definition of effort, makes some proposals about how to arrive at thisdefinition, and suggests that a force-based approach is the most promising. Section 1presents an interdisciplinary overview of some chief research axes on effort, and arguesthat few, if any, general definitions have been proposed so far. Section 2 argues thatsuch a definition is (...)
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  9. Trying to Make Sense of Criminal Attempts. [REVIEW]Ken Levy - 2016 - Jurisprudence 7 (3):656-664.
    Issues include attempts generally; the problem of outcome luck; the impossibility defense; physical movement and intent; and reckless attempts, attempted rape, and attempted theft. In the final section, I offer a hypothetical that challenges Prof. Donnelly-Lazarov's theory.
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  10. Kriegel on the Phenomenology of Action.Joshua Shepherd - 2016 - Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia 7 (2):264-272.
    : I focus on Uriah Kriegel’s account of conative phenomenology. I agree with Kriegel’s argument that some conative phenomenology is primitive in that some conative phenomenal properties cannot be reduced to another kind of property. I disagree, however, with Kriegel’s specific characterization of the properties in question. Kriegel argues that the experience of deciding-and-then-trying is the core of conative phenomenology. I argue, however, that the experiences of trying and acting better occupy this place. Further, I suggest that the attitudinal component (...)
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  11. Conscious Action/Zombie Action.Joshua Shepherd - 2016 - Noûs 50 (2):419-444.
    I argue that the neural realizers of experiences of trying are not distinct from the neural realizers of actual trying . I then ask how experiences of trying might relate to the perceptual experiences one has while acting. First, I assess recent zombie action arguments regarding conscious visual experience, and I argue that contrary to what some have claimed, conscious visual experience plays a causal role for action control in some circumstances. Second, I propose a multimodal account of the experience (...)
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  12. The Physical Action Theory of Trying.David-Hillel Ruben - 2015 - Methode 4 (6).
    Metaphysically speaking, just what is trying? There appear to be two options: to place it on the side of the mind or on the side of the world. Volitionists, who think that to try is to engage in a mental act, perhaps identical to willing and perhaps not, take the mind-side option. The second, or world-side option identifies trying to do something with one of the more basic actions by which one tries to do that thing. The trying is then (...)
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  13. Really Trying or Merely Trying.Paul Faulkner - 2014 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 41 (3):363-380.
    We enjoy first-person authority with respect to a certain class of actions: for these actions, we know what we are doing just because we are doing it. This paper first formulates an epistemological principle that captures this authority in terms of trying to act in a way that one has the capacity to act. It then considers a case of effortful action – running a middle distance race – that threatens this principle. And proposes the solution of changing the metaphysics (...)
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  14. It's Not Too Difficult: A Plea to Resurrect the Impossibility Defense.Ken Levy - 2014 - New Mexico Law Revview 45:225-274.
    Suppose you are at the gym trying to see some naked beauties by peeping through a hole in the wall. A policeman happens by, he asks you what you are doing, and you honestly tell him. He then arrests you for voyeurism. Are you guilty? We don’t know yet because there is one more fact to be considered: while you honestly thought that a locker room was on the other side of the wall, it was actually a squash court. Are (...)
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  15. Quand Vouloir, c'est Faire [How to Do Things with Wants].Olivier Massin - 2014 - In R. Clot-Goudard (Dir.), L'Explication de L'Action. Analyses Contemporaines, Recherches Sur la Philosophie Et le Langage N°30, Paris, Vrin 30.
    This paper defends the action-theory of the Will, according to which willing G is doing F (F≠G) in order to make G happen. In a nutshell, willing something is doing something else in order to bring about what we want. -/- I argue that only the action-theory can reconcile two essential features of the Will. (i) its EFFECTIVITY: willing is closer to acting than desiring. (ii) its FALLIBILITY: one might want something in vain. The action-theory of the will explains EFFECTIVITY (...)
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  16. Embarking on a Crime.Sarah K. Paul - 2014 - In Enrique Villanueva V. (ed.), Law and the Philosophy of Action. Rodopi. pp. 101-24.
    When we define something as a crime, we generally thereby criminalize the attempt to commit that crime. However, it is a vexing puzzle to specify what must be the case in order for a criminal attempt to have occurred, given that the results element of the crime fails to come about. I argue that the philosophy of action can assist the criminal law in clarifying what kinds of events are properly categorized as criminal attempts. A natural thought is that this (...)
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  17. First Acts, Last Acts, and Abandonment.David O. Brink - 2013 - Legal Theory 19 (2):114-123.
    This contribution reconstructs and assesses Gideon Yaffe’s claims in his book Attempts about what constitutes an attempt, what can count as evidence that an attempt has been made, whether abandonment is a genuine defense, and whether attempts should be punished less severely than completed crimes. I contrast Yaffe’s account of being motivated by an intention and the completion of an attempt in terms of the truth of the completion counterfactual with an alternative picture of attempts as temporally extended decision trees (...)
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  18. 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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  19. Subjective Normativity and Action Guidance.Andrew Sepielli - 2012 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Vol. II. Oxford University Press.
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  20. Failed-Art and Failed Art-Theory.Christy Mag Uidhir - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):381-400.
    An object being non-art appears only trivially informative. Some non-art objects, however, could be saliently 'almost' art, and therefore objects for which being non-art is non-trivially informative. I call these kinds of non-art objects 'failed-art' objects—non-art objects aetiologically similar to art-objects, diverging only in virtue of some relevant failure. I take failed-art to be the right sort of thing, to result from the right sort of action, and to have the right sort of history required to be art, but to (...)
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  21. The Solution to the Problem of Outcome Luck: Why Harm Is Just as Punishable as the Wrongful Action That Causes It.Ken Levy - 2005 - Law and Philosophy 24 (3):263-303.
    A surprisingly large number of scholars believe that (a) we are blameworthy, and therefore punishable, only for what we have control over; (b) we have control only over our actions and intentions, not the consequences of our actions; and therefore (c) if two agents perform the very same action (e.g., attempting to kill) with the very same intentions, then they are equally blameworthy and deserving of equal punishment – even if only one of them succeeds in killing. This paper argues (...)
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  22. 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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  23. Trying the Impossible: Reply to Adams.Kirk A. Ludwig - 1995 - Journal of Philosophical Research 20:563-570.
    This paper defends the autonomy thesis, which holds that one can intend to do something even though one believes it to be impossible, against attacks by Fred Adams. Adams denies the autonomy thesis on the grounds that it cannot, but must, explain what makes a particular trying, a trying for the aim it has in view. If the autonomy thesis were true, it seems that I could try to fly across the Atlantic ocean merely by typing out this abstract, a (...)
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  24. 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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  25. Carl Ginet, On Action. [REVIEW]Karl Pfeifer - 1992 - Philosophy in Review 12:196-199.
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  26. Trying to Believe and the Ethics of Belief.S. Smith - 1988 - Religious Studies 24 (4):439 - 449.
    The problem I want to discuss has to do with believing as distinct from perceiving, imagining, positing, resolving, and hoping, as well as from knowing. Since these distinctions are not always observed, we must remind ourselves what ‘belief’ means when it is deliberately preferred to other intentional descriptions, and we ought to characterize it in such a way that we can see why it matters immediately , not just consequentially, whether one believes in something or not. I propose putting it (...)
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