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Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason

Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press (1987)

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  1. AI Systems Under Criminal Law: a Legal Analysis and a Regulatory Perspective.Francesca Lagioia & Giovanni Sartor - 2020 - Philosophy and Technology 33 (3):433-465.
    Criminal liability for acts committed by AI systems has recently become a hot legal topic. This paper includes three different contributions. The first contribution is an analysis of the extent to which an AI system can satisfy the requirements for criminal liability: accomplishing an actus reus, having the corresponding mens rea, possessing the cognitive capacities needed for responsibility. The second contribution is a discussion of criminal activity accomplished by an AI entity, with reference to a recent case involving an online (...)
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  • Discourse and Method.Ethan Nowak & Eliot Michaelson - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 43 (2):119-138.
    Stojnić et al. (2013, 2017) argue that the reference of demonstratives is fixed without any contribution from the extra-linguistic context. On their `prominence/coherence' theory, the reference of a demonstrative expression depends only on its context-independent linguistic meaning. Here, we argue that Stojnić et al.’s striking claims can be maintained in only the thinnest technical sense. Instead of eliminating appeals to the extra-linguistic context, we show how the prominence/coherence theory merely suppresses them. Then we ask why one might be tempted to (...)
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  • Because They Can: The Basis for the Moral Obligations of (Certain) Collectives.Kendy M. Hess - 2014 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 38 (1):203-221.
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  • Shared Intentions and Shared Responsibility.Brook Jenkins Sadler - 2006 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 30 (1):115–144.
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  • Holding Them Responsible.Paul Sheehy - 2006 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 30 (1):74–93.
    [Opening paragraph:] Ontological realism or holism about social groups is the thesis that groups are composite material particulars. Social groups are entities over which we quantify in the set of our best descriptions and explanations of the social world. The realist explains that a group considered in its own right can be causally responsible for the production of events or states of affairs. We do more than just describe and furnish explanations of the phenomena of the social world. In our (...)
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  • The Trouble with Tracing.Manuel Vargas - 2005 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):269-290.
    Many prominent theories of moral responsibility rely on the notion of “tracing,” the idea that responsibility for an outcome can be located in (i.e., “traced back to”) some prior moment of control, perhaps significantly antecedent to the proximate sources of a considered action. In this article, I show how there is a problem for theories that rely on tracing. The problem is connected to the knowledge condition on moral responsibility. Many prima facie good candidate cases for tracing analyses appear to (...)
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  • Decisions, Intentions, and Free Will.Alfred R. Mele - 2005 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):146-162.
    I will argue that close attention to deciding casts doubt on the simple view and the single phenomena view of intentional action. That is my thesis. My aim is much broader—to improve our understanding of deciding and of the bearing of the phenomenon of deciding on free will and moral responsibility.
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  • ETHICA EX MACHINA. Exploring Artificial Moral Agency or the Possibility of Computable Ethics.Rodrigo Sanz - 2020 - Zeitschrift Für Ethik Und Moralphilosophie 3 (2).
    Since the automation revolution of our technological era, diverse machines or robots have gradually begun to reconfigure our lives. With this expansion, it seems that those machines are now faced with a new challenge: more autonomous decision-making involving life or death consequences. This paper explores the philosophical possibility of artificial moral agency through the following question: could a machine obtain the cognitive capacities needed to be a moral agent? In this regard, I propose to expose, under a normative-cognitive perspective, the (...)
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  • Gender and the Senses of Agency.Nick Brancazio - 2018 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences (2).
    This paper details the ways that gender structures our senses of agency on an enactive framework. While it is common to discuss how gender influences higher, narrative levels of cognition, as with the formulation of goals and in considerations about our identities, it is less clear how gender structures our more immediate, embodied processes, such as the minimal sense of agency. While enactivists often acknowledge that gender and other aspects of our socio-cultural situatedness shape our cognitive processes, there is little (...)
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  • Shared Agency and Contralateral Commitments.Abraham Sesshu Roth - 2004 - Philosophical Review 113 (3):359-410.
    My concern here is to motivate some theses in the philosophy of mind concerning the interpersonal character of intentions. I will do so by investigating aspects of shared agency. The main point will be that when acting together with others one must be able to act directly on the intention of another or others in a way that is relevantly similar to the manner in which an agent acts on his or her own intentions. What exactly this means will become (...)
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  • Rational Resolve.Richard Holton - 2004 - Philosophical Review 113 (4):507-535.
    Empirical findings suggest that temptation causes agents not only to change their desires, but also to revise their beliefs, in ways that are not necessarily irrational. But if this is so, how can it be rational to maintain a resolution to resist? For in maintaining a resolution it appears that one will be acting against what one now believes to be best. This paper proposes a two-tier account according to which it can be rational neither to reconsider the question of (...)
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  • Explaining Action.Kieran Setiya - 2003 - Philosophical Review 112 (3):339-393.
    Argues that, in acting for a reason, one takes that reason to explain one's action, not to justify it: reasons for acting need not be seen "under the guise of the good". The argument turns on the need to explain the place of "practical knowledge" - knowing what one is doing - in intentional action. A revised and expanded version of this material appears in Part One of "Reasons without Rationalism" (Princeton, 2007).
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  • Deliberation and Decision.Phillip Pettit - 2010 - In Constantine Sandis & Timothy O'Connor (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Action. Blackwell.
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  • The Sunk Cost "Fallacy" Is Not a Fallacy.Ryan Doody - 2020 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6:1153-1190.
    Business and Economic textbooks warn against committing the Sunk Cost Fallacy: you, rationally, shouldn't let unrecoverable costs influence your current decisions. In this paper, I argue that this isn't, in general, correct. Sometimes it's perfectly reasonable to wish to carry on with a project because of the resources you've already sunk into it. The reason? Given that we're social creatures, it's not unreasonable to care about wanting to act in such a way so that a plausible story can be told (...)
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  • A Solution to the Many Attitudes Problem.Bob Beddor - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2789-2813.
    According to noncognitivism, normative beliefs are just desire-like attitudes. While noncognitivists have devoted great effort to explaining the nature of normative belief, they have said little about all of the other attitudes we take towards normative matters. Many of us desire to do the right thing. We sometimes wonder whether our conduct is morally permissible; we hope that it is, and occasionally fear that it is not. This gives rise to what Schroeder calls the 'Many Attitudes Problem': the problem of (...)
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  • „Wenn Vernunft volle Gewalt über das Begehrungsvermögen hätte“ – Über die gemeinsame Wurzel der Kantischen Imperative.Konstantin Pollok - 2007 - Kant-Studien 98 (1):57-80.
    I. Kant hat mit seiner universalistischen, formalistischen und kognitivistischen Konzeption moralisch-praktischer Gründe in Gegenüberstellung zu seiner instrumentalistischen Konzeption nicht-moralisch-praktischer Gründe eine Begrifflichkeit geschaffen, die es erlaubt, handlungsleitende Überzeugungen hinsichtlich ihres Geltungsanspruchs und ihrer Verbindlichkeit zu differenzieren. Von einem ‚Sollen‘ spricht Kant in beiden Fällen. Nicht nur der kategorische Imperativ, der unbedingt gebietet, „ich soll niemals anders verfahren als so, daß ich auch wollen könne, meine Maxime solle ein allgemeines Gesetz werden“ , sondern auch hypothetische Imperative, die bedingt gebieten, „ich soll (...)
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  • A Conditional Theory of Trying.David-Hillel Ruben - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):271-287.
    What I shall do in this paper is to propose an analysis of ‘Agent P tries to A’ in terms of a subjunctive conditional, that avoids some of the problems that beset most alternative accounts of trying, which I call ‘referential views’. They are so-named because on these alternative accounts, ‘P tries to A’ entails that there is a trying to A by P, and therefore the expression ‘P’s trying to A’ can occur in the subject of a sentence and (...)
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  • Common Knowledge and Reductionism About Shared Agency.Olle Blomberg - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (2):315-326.
    Most reductionist accounts of intentional joint action include a condition that it must be common knowledge between participants that they have certain intentions and beliefs that cause and coordinate the joint action. However, this condition has typically simply been taken for granted rather than argued for. The condition is not necessary for ensuring that participants are jointly responsible for the action in which each participates, nor for ensuring that each treats the others as partners rather than as social tools. It (...)
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  • Shared Intention and the Doxastic Single End Condition.Olle Blomberg - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (2):351-372.
    What is required for several agents to intentionally φ together? I argue that each of them must believe or assume that their φ-ing is a single end that each intends to contribute to. Various analogies between intentional singular action and intentional joint action show that this doxastic single end condition captures a feature at the very heart of the phenomenon of intentional joint action. For instance, just as several simple actions are only unified into a complex intentional singular activity if (...)
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  • Instrumental Normativity: In Defense of the Transmission Principle.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2015 - Ethics 125 (4):921-946.
    If you ought to perform a certain act, and some other action is a necessary means for you to perform that act, then you ought to perform that other action as well – or so it seems plausible to say. This transmission principle is of both practical and theoretical significance. The aim of this paper is to defend this principle against a number of recent objections, which (as I show) are all based on core assumptions of the view called actualism. (...)
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  • The Normativity of Rationality.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Kiesewetter defends the normativity of rationality by presenting a new solution to the problems that arise from the common assumption that we ought to be rational. He provides a defence of a reason-response conception of rationality, an evidence-relative account of reason, and an explanation of structural irrationality in relation to these accounts.
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  • Interpersonal Coordination and Epistemic Support for Intentions with We-Content.Olivier Roy - 2010 - Economics and Philosophy 26 (3):345-367.
    In this paper I study intentions of the form, that is, intentions with a we-content, and their role in interpersonal coordination. I focus on the notion of epistemic support for such intentions. Using tools from epistemic game theory and epistemic logic, I cast doubt on whether such support guarantees the other agents' conditional mediation in the achievement of such intentions, something that appears important if intentions with a we-content are to count as genuine intentions. I then formulate a stronger version (...)
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  • Practical Reasoning.Bart Streumer - 2010 - In Timothy O'Connor & Constantine Sandis (eds.), Blackwell Companion to the Philosophy of Action. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 244-251.
    To be able to say what practical reasoning is, we first need to say what reasoning is and what the conclusion of a process of reasoning is. I shall do this in sections 1 and 2. We can then make a distinction between practical and theoretical reasoning. There are three main ways to do this, which I shall survey in sections 3 to 5. I shall end by suggesting that there are different kinds of practical reasoning.
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  • Requirements of intention in light of belief.Carlos Núñez - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2471-2492.
    Much work in the philosophy of action in the last few decades has focused on the elucidation and justification of a series of purported norms of practical rationality that concern the presence or absence of intention in light of belief, and that demand a kind of structural coherence in the psychology of an agent. Examples of such norms include: Intention Detachment, which proscribes intending to do something in case some condition obtains, believing that such condition obtains, and not intending to (...)
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  • Thinking, Acting, Considering.Daniel Muñoz - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (2):255-270.
    According to a familiar (alleged) requirement on practical reason, one must believe a proposition if one is to take it for granted in reasoning about what to do. This paper explores a related requirement, not on thinking but on acting—that one must accept a goal if one is to count as acting for its sake. This is the acceptance requirement. Although it is endorsed by writers as diverse as Christine Korsgaard, Donald Davidson, and Talbot Brewer, I argue that it is (...)
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  • The Eclipse of Instrumental Rationality.Kurt Sylvan - forthcoming - In The Routledge Handbook of Practical Reason.
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  • How Does Coherence Matter?Niko Kolodny - 2007 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt3):229 - 263.
    Recently, much attention has been paid to ‘rational requirements’ and, especially, to what I call ‘rational requirements of formal coherence as such’. These requirements are satisfied just when our attitudes are formally coherent: for example, when our beliefs do not contradict each other. Nevertheless, these requirements are puzzling. In particular, it is unclear why we should satisfy them. In light of this, I explore the conjecture that there are no requirements of formal coherence. I do so by trying to construct (...)
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  • Thinking by Doing: Rylean Regress and the Metaphysics of Action.Markos Valaris - 2020 - Synthese 197 (8):3395-3412.
    Discussions of Ryle’s regress argument against the “intellectualist legend” have largely focused on whether it is effective against a certain view about knowledge how, namely, the view that knowledge how is a species of propositional knowledge. This is understandable, as this is how Ryle himself framed the issue. Nevertheless, this focus has tended to obscure some different concerns which are no less pressing—either for Ryle or for us today. More specifically, I argue that a version of Ryle’s regress confronts any (...)
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  • On Central Cognition.Peter Carruthers - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (1):143-162.
    This article examines what is known about the cognitive science of working memory, and brings the findings to bear in evaluating philosophical accounts of central cognitive processes of thinking and reasoning. It is argued that central cognition is sensory based, depending on the activation and deployment of sensory images of various sorts. Contrary to a broad spectrum of philosophical opinion, the central mind does not contain any workspace within which goals, decisions, intentions, or non-sensory judgments can be active.Introduction: philosophers’ commitmentsMost (...)
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  • On the role of habit for self-understanding.Line Ryberg Ingerslev - 2020 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 19 (3):481-497.
    An action is typically carried out over time, unified by an intention that is known to the agent under some description. In some of our habitual doings, however, we are often not aware of what or why we do as we do. Not knowing this, we must ask what kind of agency is at stake in these habitual doings, if any. This paper aims to show how habitual doings can still be considered actions of a subject even while they involve (...)
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  • The Folk Concepts of Intention and Intentional Action: A Cross-Cultural Study.Joshua Knobe & Arudra Burra - 2006 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 6 (1-2):113-132.
    Recent studies point to a surprising divergence between people's use of the concept of _intention_ and their use of the concept of _acting intentionally_. It seems that people's application of the concept of intention is determined by their beliefs about the agent's psychological states whereas their use of the concept of acting intentionally is determined at least in part by their beliefs about the moral status of the behavior itself (i.e., by their beliefs about whether the behavior is morally good (...)
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  • “Yes, the Theory is Abstemious, But...”: A Critique of Yehezkel.Regan Lance Reitsma - 2017 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 13 (1):59-79.
    This article is a critique of Gal Yehezkel’s attempt to refute subjectivism about normative practical reasons, a school of thought inspired by Hume. Yehezkel believes reason, far from being, as Hume puts it, “the slave of the passions,” has the normative authority to be a critic of basic desires and argues that subjectivism lacks the theoretical resources both to acknowledge this alleged truth and to analyze the distinction between wanting an outcome and intending to pursue it. I contend his refutation (...)
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  • On Distinguishing Epistemic From Pragmatic Action.David Kirsh & Paul Maglio - 1994 - Cognitive Science 18 (4):513-49.
    We present data and argument to show that in Tetris - a real-time interactive video game - certain cognitive and perceptual problems are more quickly, easily, and reliably solved by performing actions in the world rather than by performing computational actions in the head alone. We have found that some translations and rotations are best understood as using the world to improve cognition. These actions are not used to implement a plan, or to implement a reaction; they are used to (...)
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  • Belief Without Credence.J. Adam Carter, Benjamin W. Jarvis & Katherine Rubin - 2016 - Synthese 193 (8):2323-2351.
    One of the deepest ideological divides in contemporary epistemology concerns the relative importance of belief versus credence. A prominent consideration in favor of credence-based epistemology is the ease with which it appears to account for rational action. In contrast, cases with risky payoff structures threaten to break the link between rational belief and rational action. This threat poses a challenge to traditional epistemology, which maintains the theoretical prominence of belief. The core problem, we suggest, is that belief may not be (...)
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  • The Volitive and the Executive Function of Intentions.Christoph Lumer - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (3):511-527.
    Many philosophers of action, including Bratman and Mele, conceive intentions functionally, as executive states: intentions are mental states that represent an action and tend to cause this action. In the philosophical tradition (e.g. for Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Leibniz, Kant) another function of intentions, which may be called “volitive”, played a much more prominent role: intentions are mental states that represent what kind of actions we want and prefer to be realised and thus, in a possibly rational way, synthesise our motivational, (...)
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  • The Transparency of Mind.Sarah K. Paul - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (5):295-303.
    In philosophical inquiry into the mind, the metaphor of ‘transparency’ has been attractive to many who are otherwise in deep disagreement. It has thereby come to have a variety of different and mutually incompatible connotations. The mind is said to be transparent to itself, our perceptual experiences are said to be transparent to the world, and our beliefs are said to be transparent to – a great many different things. The first goal of this essay is to sort out the (...)
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  • The Possibility of Love Independent Reasons.Jussi Suikkanen - 2011 - Essays in Philosophy 12 (1):32-54.
    This article is a critical examination of Harry Frankfurt's view of reasons. Frankfurt has argued in a number of recent books for the view which holds that all practical reasons are a function of what we love. This article examines Frankfurt's key argument for this claim. It uses the analogy of a similar argument in the domain of epistemic reasons to show where Frankfurt's argument fails. It also argues that there are a number of plausible views about practical reasons that (...)
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  • The Cognitive Legacy of Norm Simulation.Martin Neumann - 2012 - Artificial Intelligence and Law 20 (4):339-357.
    The comprehension of norms in complex social systems is one of the most active fields of research in agent-based modelling. This is faced with the challenge to comprehend the recursive interaction between inter- and intra-agent processes. In this article, a comparative analysis of selected cases of normative agent architectures will be given based on a review of theories of norms in the social sciences. This allows to identify the prerequisites for a representation of the cognitive processes of norm recognition. As (...)
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  • Generalized Update Semantics.Simon Goldstein - 2019 - Mind 128 (511):795-835.
    This paper explores the relationship between dynamic and truth conditional semantics for epistemic modals. It provides a generalization of a standard dynamic update semantics for modals. This new semantics derives a Kripke semantics for modals and a standard dynamic semantics for modals as special cases. The semantics allows for new characterizations of a variety of principles in modal logic, including the inconsistency of ‘p and might not p’. Finally, the semantics provides a construction procedure for transforming any truth conditional semantics (...)
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  • Social Ontology.Brian Epstein - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Social ontology is the study of the nature and properties of the social world. It is concerned with analyzing the various entities in the world that arise from social interaction. -/- A prominent topic in social ontology is the analysis of social groups. Do social groups exist at all? If so, what sorts of entities are they, and how are they created? Is a social group distinct from the collection of people who are its members, and if so, how is (...)
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  • An Emotional Agent for Moral Impairment Rehabilitation in TBI Patients.Eleonora Ceccaldi, Rossana Damiano, Cristina Battaglino, Valentina Galetto & Marina Zettin - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
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  • Looking for the Nature of Law: On Shapiro’s Challenge. [REVIEW]Damiano Canale - 2012 - Law and Philosophy 31 (4):409-441.
    This article critically focuses on the methodological aspects of Scott Shapiro’s book Legality . Indeed Shapiro’s book sets out several original theses about not only the nature of law and the main problems of jurisprudence, but also about how the nature of law can be discovered by jurisprudence. In this sense, the method of inquiry adopted by Shapiro can be considered as one of the most challenging outcomes of his research. The article is divided into two parts. In the first (...)
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  • Responses to O'Brien and Shoemaker.Richard Moran - 2003 - European Journal of Philosophy 11 (3):402-19.
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  • Interface Problems in the Explanation of Action.Daniel C. Burnston - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (2):242-258.
    When doing mental ontology, we must ask how to individuate distinct categories of mental states, and then, given that individuation, ask how states from distinct categories interact. One promising proposal for how to individuate cognitive from sensorimotor states is in terms of their representational form. On these views, cognitive representations are propositional in structure, while sensorimotor representations have an internal structure that maps to the perceptual and kinematic dimensions involved in an action context. This way of thinking has resulted in (...)
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  • Intention and Motor Representation in Purposive Action.Stephen Andrew Butterfill & Corrado Sinigaglia - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1):119-145.
    Are there distinct roles for intention and motor representation in explaining the purposiveness of action? Standard accounts of action assign a role to intention but are silent on motor representation. The temptation is to suppose that nothing need be said here because motor representation is either only an enabling condition for purposive action or else merely a variety of intention. This paper provides reasons for resisting that temptation. Some motor representations, like intentions, coordinate actions in virtue of representing outcomes; but, (...)
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  • Intentions and Motor Representations: The Interface Challenge.Myrto Mylopoulos & Elisabeth Pacherie - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (2):317-336.
    A full account of purposive action must appeal not only to propositional attitude states like beliefs, desires, and intentions, but also to motor representations, i.e., non-propositional states that are thought to represent, among other things, action outcomes as well as detailed kinematic features of bodily movements. This raises the puzzle of how it is that these two distinct types of state successfully coordinate. We examine this so-called “Interface Problem”. First, we clarify and expand on the nature and role of motor (...)
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  • Know-How, Action, and Luck.Carlotta Pavese - forthcoming - Synthese.
    A good surgeon knows how to perform a surgery; a good architect knows how to design a house. We value their know-how. We ordinarily look for it. What makes it so valuable? A natural response is that know-how is valuable because it explains success. A surgeon’s know-how explains their success at performing a surgery. And an architect’s know-how explains their success at designing houses that stand up. We value know-how because of its special explanatory link to success. But in virtue (...)
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  • Judgment of Intentionality and Moral Evaluation in Individuals with High Functioning Autism.Tiziana Zalla & Marion Leboyer - 2011 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (4):681-698.
    In this study, we investigated the relationships between judgments of intentionality and moral evaluation in individuals with High Functioning Autism (HFA) or Asperger Syndrome (AS). HFA or AS are neurodevelopmental disorders characterised by severe deficits in communication and social functioning. Impairments in Theory of Mind (ToM), i.e., the ability to attribute mental states to oneself and to others, are thought to be the core features of autism. Of all mental states, the concept of ‘intentional action’ is particularly important. People normally (...)
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  • Is Remembering to Do a Special Kind of Memory?Thor Grünbaum & Søren Kyllingsbæk - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (2):385-404.
    When a person decides to do something in the future, she forms an intention and her intention persists. Philosophers have thought about the rational requirement that an agent’s intention persists until its execution. But philosophers have neglected to think about the causal memory mechanisms that could enable this kind of persistence and its role in rational long-term agency. Our aim of this paper is to fill this gap by arguing that memory for intention is a specific kind of memory. We (...)
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  • Valuing, Desiring and Normative Priority.Michael S. Brady - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (211):231 - 242.
    Judgement internalism claims that our evaluative judgements will motivate us to act appropriately, at least in so far as we are rational. I examine how this claim should be understood, with particular focus on whether valuing enjoys a kind of 'normative priority' over desiring. I consider and reject views according to which valuing something provides one with a reason to be moved; this claim of normative priority and the readings of internalism it suggests are too strong. I also reject an (...)
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