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The will as reason

Philosophical Perspectives 23 (1):201-220 (2009)

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  1. What Can We Learn From Buridan's Ass?Ruth Weintraub - 2012 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 42 (3-4):281-301.
    The mythical1 hungry ass, facing two identical bundles of hay equidistant from him, has engendered two related questions. Can he choose one of the bundles, there seemingly being nothing to incline him one way or the other? If he can, the second puzzle — pertaining to rational choice — arises. It seems the ass cannot rationally choose one of the bundles, because there is no sufficient reason for any choice.2In what follows, I will argue that choice is possible even when (...)
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  • Reflection and Responsibility.Pamela Hieronymi - 2014 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 42 (1):3-41.
    A common line of thought claims that we are responsible for ourselves and our actions, while less sophisticated creatures are not, because we are, and they are not, self-aware. Our self-awareness is thought to provide us with a kind of control over ourselves that they lack: we can reflect upon ourselves, upon our thoughts and actions, and so ensure that they are as we would have them to be. Thus, our capacity for reflection provides us with the control over ourselves (...)
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  • Against Voluntarism About Doxastic Responsibility.Stephen J. White - 2019 - Journal of Philosophical Research 44:33-51.
    According to the view Rik Peels defends in Responsible Belief, one is responsible for believing something only if that belief was the result of choices one made voluntarily, and for which one may be held responsible. Here, I argue against this voluntarist account of doxastic responsibility and in favor of the rationalist position that a person is responsible for her beliefs insofar as they are under the influence of her reason. In particular, I argue that the latter yields a more (...)
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  • Agency, Akrasia, and the Normative Environment.Gregory Antill - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (3):321-338.
    Just as the existence of practical akrasia has been treated as important evidence for the existence of our practical agency, the alleged absence of epistemic akrasia—cases in which a believer believes some proposition contrary to her considered judgments about what she has most reason to believe—has recently been marshaled as grounds for skepticism about the existence of similar forms of epistemic agency. In this paper, I defend the existence of epistemic agency against such objections. Rather than argue against the impossibility (...)
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  • The Irrational Project: Toward a Different Understanding of Self-Deception.Amber Leigh Griffioen - 2010 - Iowa Research Online.
    This dissertation focuses on questions regarding the metaphysical and psychological possibility of self-deception and attempts to show that self-deception is a phenomenon best characterized as both motivated and intentional, such that self-deceivers can be held responsible for their deceptions in a stronger sense than that of being merely epistemically negligent. -/- In Chapter One, I introduce the paradoxes of self-deception, which arise when one attempts to draw a close analogy between self- and other-deception, and I discuss the various ways in (...)
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  • The Subjective Authority of Intention.Lilian O’Brien - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (275):354-373.
    While much has been written about the functional profile of intentions, and about their normative or rational status, comparatively little has been said about the subjective authority of intention. What is it about intending that explains the ‘hold’ that an intention has on an agent—a hold that is palpable from her first-person perspective? I argue that several prima facie appealing explanations are not promising. Instead, I maintain that the subjective authority of intention can be explained in terms of the inner (...)
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  • The Wrong Kind of Reasons.Nye Howard - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. New York: Routledge. pp. 340-354.
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  • Side Effects and the Structure of Deliberation.Grant Rozeboom - 2015 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 9 (2):1-19.
    There is a puzzle about the very possibility of foreseen but unintended side effects, and solving this puzzle requires us to revise our basic picture of the structure of practical deliberation. The puzzle is that, while it seems that we can rationally foresee, but not intend, bringing about foreseen side effects, it also seems that we rationally must decide to bring about foreseen side effects and that we intend to do whatever we decide to do. I propose solving this puzzle (...)
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  • Intending is Believing: A Defense of Strong Cognitivism.Berislav Marušić & John Schwenkler - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (3):309-340.
    We argue that intentions are beliefs—beliefs that are held in light of, and made rational by, practical reasoning. To intend to do something is neither more nor less than to believe, on the basis of one’s practical reasoning, that one will do it. The identification of the mental state of intention with the mental state of belief is what we call strong cognitivism about intentions. It is a strong form of cognitivism because we identify intentions with beliefs, rather than maintaining (...)
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  • Character, Will, and Agency.Roman Altshuler - 2016 - In Jonathan Webber & Alberto Masala (eds.), From Personality to Virtue: Essays on the Philosophy of Character. Oxford University Press. pp. 62-80.
    Character and the will are rarely discussed together. At most, philosophers working on the one mention the other in an eliminativist vein—if character is represented as something chosen, for example, it can be chalked up to the work of the will; if the will consists merely of a certain arrangement of mental states, it can be seen as little more than a manifestation of character. This mutual neglect appears perfectly justified. If both character and will are determinants of action, to (...)
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  • Belief and Difficult Action.Berislav Marušić - 2012 - Philosophers' Imprint 12:1-30.
    Suppose you decide or promise to do something that you have evidence is difficult to do. Should you believe that you will do it? On the one hand, if you believe that you will do it, your belief goes against the evidence—since having evidence that it’s difficult to do it constitutes evidence that it is likely that you won’t do it. On the other hand, if you don’t believe that you will do it but instead believe, as your evidence suggests, (...)
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  • Akrasia, Practical Reason, and the Diversity of Motivation: A New Defense of Tripartition.Jeremiah Carey - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (4):971-981.
    European Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • Contractualism for Us As We Are.Nicholas Southwood - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):529-547.
    A difficult problem for contractualists is how to provide an interpretation of the contractual situation that is both subject to appropriately stringent constraints and yet also appropriately sensitive to certain features of us as we actually are. My suggestion is that we should embrace a model of contractualism that is structurally analogous to the “advice model” of the ideal observer theory famously proposed by Michael Smith (1994; 1995). An advice model of contractualism is appealing since it promises to deliver a (...)
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  • The Beliefs and Intentions of Buridan's Ass.Nathaniel Sharadin & Finnur Dellsén - 2017 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 3 (2):209-226.
    The moral of Buridan's Ass is that it can sometimes be rational to perform one action rather than another even though one lacks stronger reason to do so. Yet it is also commonly believed that it cannot ever be rational to believe one proposition rather than another if one lacks stronger reason to do so. This asymmetry has been taken to indicate a deep difference between epistemic and practical rationality. According to the view articulated here, the asymmetry should instead be (...)
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  • What Can We Not Do at Will and Why.Hagit Benbaji - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (7):1941-1961.
    Recently it has been argued that we cannot intend at will. Since intentions cannot be true or false, our involuntariness cannot be traced to “the characteristic of beliefs that they aim at truth”, as Bernard Williams convincingly argues. The alternative explanation is that the source of involuntariness is the shared normative nature of beliefs and intentions. Three analogies may assimilate intentions to beliefs vis-à-vis our involuntariness: first, beliefs and intentions aim at something; second, beliefs and intentions are transparent to the (...)
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  • Does Intention Involve Belief?Christian Kietzmann - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (2):426-440.
    European Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • The Enkratic Requirement.Allen Coates - 2013 - European Journal of Philosophy 21 (2):320-333.
    : Agents are enkratic when they intend to do what they believe they should. That rationality requires you to be enkratic is uncontroversial, yet you may be enkratic in a way that does not exhibit any rationality on your part. Thus, what I call the enkratic requirement demands that you be enkratic in the right way. In particular, I will argue that it demands that you base your belief about what you should do and your intention to do it on (...)
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  • “The Thing To Do” Implies “Can”.Nicholas Southwood - 2016 - Noûs 50 (1):61-72.
    A familiar complaint against the principle that “ought” implies “can” is that it seems that agents can intentionally make it the case that they cannot perform acts that they nonetheless ought to perform. I propose a related principle that I call the principle that “the thing to do” implies “can.” I argue that the principle that “the thing to do” implies “can” is implied by important but underappreciated truths about practical reason, and that it is not vulnerable to the familiar (...)
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  • A New Defense of the Motive of Duty Thesis.Benjamin Wald - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (5):1163-1179.
    According to the Motive of Duty Thesis, a necessary condition for an action to have moral worth is that it be motivated at least in part by a normative assessment of the action. However, this thesis has been subject to two powerful objections. It has been accused of over-intellectualizing moral agency, and of giving the wrong verdict when it comes to people who hold false moral theories that convince them that their actions are in fact morally wrong. I argue that (...)
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