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  1. To Believe is to Know That You Believe.Eric Marcus - 2016 - Dialectica 70 (3):375-405.
    Most agree that believing a proposition normally or ideally results in believing that one believes it, at least if one considers the question of whether one believes it. I defend a much stronger thesis. It is impossible to believe without knowledge of one's belief. I argue, roughly, as follows. Believing that p entails that one is able to honestly assert that p. But anyone who is able to honestly assert that p is also able to just say – i.e., authoritatively, (...)
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  • The Varieties of Agential Powers.Christos Douskos - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    The domain of agential powers is marked by a contrast that does not arise in the case of dispositions of inanimate objects: the contrast between propensities or tendencies on the one hand, and capacities or abilities on the other. According to Ryle (1949), this contrast plays an important role in the ‘logical geography’ of the dispositional concepts used in the explanation and assessment of action. However, most subsequent philosophers use the terms of art ‘power’ or ‘disposition’ indiscriminately in formulating central (...)
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  • Agency and Practical Abilities.Will Small - 2017 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 80:235-264.
    Though everyday life accords a great deal of significance to practical abilities—such as the ability to walk, to speak French, to play the piano—philosophers of action pay surprisingly little attention to them. By contrast, abilities are discussed in various other philosophical projects. From these discussions, a partial theory of abilities emerges. If the partial theory—which is at best adequate only to a few examples of practical abilities—were correct, then philosophers of action would be right to ignore practical abilities, because they (...)
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  • Agency as Difference-Making: Causal Foundations of Moral Responsibility.Johannes Himmelreich - 2015 - Dissertation, London School of Economics and Political Science
    We are responsible for some things but not for others. In this thesis, I investigate what it takes for an entity to be responsible for something. This question has two components: agents and actions. I argue for a permissive view about agents. Entities such as groups or artificially intelligent systems may be agents in the sense required for responsibility. With respect to actions, I argue for a causal view. The relation in virtue of which agents are responsible for actions is (...)
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  • A Dispositional Theory of Health.Sander Werkhoven - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axy003.
    A satisfactory account of the nature of health is important for a wide range of theoretical and practical reasons. No theory offered in the literature thus far has been able to meet all the desiderata for an adequate theory of health. This paper introduces a new theory of health, according to which health is best defined in terms of dispositions at the level of the organism as a whole. After outlining the main features of the account and providing formal definitions (...)
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  • Action as the Exercise of a Two-Way Power.Kim Frost - 2013 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 56 (6):611-624.
    Helen Steward argues that action is the exercise of a two-way power, and that if there are actions, then determinism is false. The concept of a two-way power has its roots in Aristotle, but Aristotle’s conception of a two-way power is compatible with determinism. I explain the differences between Steward and Aristotle’s conceptions of two-way powers and point out how a compatibilist opponent to Steward’s argument could exploit an Aristotelian conception of two-way powers. This leads to a dialectical stalemate between (...)
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  • Free Will and Mental Powers.Niels van Miltenburg & Dawa Ometto - forthcoming - Topoi:1-11.
    In this paper, we investigate how contemporary metaphysics of powers can further an understanding of agent-causal theories of free will. The recent upsurge of such ontologies of powers and the understanding of causation it affords promises to demystify the notion of an agent-causal power. However, as we argue pace, the very ubiquity of powers also poses a challenge to understanding in what sense exercises of an agent’s power to act could still be free—neither determined by external circumstances, nor random, but (...)
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  • Robustness Revised: Frankfurt Cases and the Right Kind of Power to Do Otherwise.Seth Shabo - 2016 - Acta Analytica 31 (1):89-106.
    Frankfurt’s famous counterexample strategy challenges the traditional association between moral responsibility and alternative possibilities. While this strategy remains controversial, it is now widely agreed that an adequate response to it must preserve an agent’s ability to do otherwise, and not the mere possibility, for only then is her alternative possibility sufficiently robust to ground her responsibility. Here, I defend a more stringent requirement for robustness. To have a robust alternative, I argue, the agent must have the right kind of ability, (...)
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  • Knowledge as a Non‐Normative Relation.Kurt Sylvan - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (1):190-222.
    According to a view I’ll call Epistemic Normativism, knowledge is normative in the same sense in which paradigmatically normative properties like justification are normative. This paper argues against EN in two stages and defends a positive non-normativist alternative. After clarifying the target in §1, I consider in §2 some arguments for EN from the premise that knowledge entails justification. I first raise some worries about inferring constitution from entailment. I then rehearse the reasons why some epistemologists reject the Entailment Thesis (...)
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  • What Could a Two-Way Power Be?Kim Frost - forthcoming - Topoi:1-13.
    Alvarez and Steward think the power of agency is a two-way power; Lowe thinks the will is. There is a problem for two-way powers. Either there is a unified description of the manifestation-type of the power, or not. If so, two-way powers are really one-way powers. If not, two-way powers are really combinations of one-way powers. Either way, two-way powers cannot help distinguish free agents from everything else. I argue the problem is best avoided by an Aristotelian view, which posits (...)
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  • Abilities to Act.Randolph Clarke - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (12):893-904.
    This essay examines recent work on abilities to act. Different kinds of ability are distinguished, and a recently proposed conditional analysis of ability ascriptions is evaluated. It is considered whether abilities are causal powers. Finally, several compatibility questions concerning abilities, as well as the relation between free will and abilities of various kinds, are examined.
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