Three Ways of Spilling Ink Tomorrow

In E. Baccarini & S. Prijic-Samarzija (eds.), Rationality in Belief and Action. Rijeka. pp. 95-127 (2006)
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Abstract
There are three ways to control our future conduct: by causing it, by manipulating our future selves, or by taking future-directed decisions. I show that the standard accounts of future-directed decisions fail to do justice to their distinctive contribution in intentional diachronic agency. The standard accounts can be divided in two categories: First, those that conflate the operation of decisions with that of devices for either physical constraint or manipulative self-management. Second, accounts that, although they acknowledge the non-manipulative nature of decisions, offer too restrictive a view of source of their effectiveness over time. I argue that a comprehensive view of decisions must acknowledge that there is a variety of ways in which they can be effective, which range from the exercise of rational authority to the reliance on sub-agential psychological propensities. What keeps all of these mechanisms together as possible explanations of the role of decisions in supporting diachronic intentional agency is that these mechanisms operate under a common regulative ideal of diachronic agency: the agent’s reliance on the continuous sense of the stability of the choiceworthiness of the action, regardless of her prior decision to perform it. In light of this regulative ideal, the contribution of effective decisions to diachronic agency is thus in principle dispensable although usually necessary for limited beings like us.
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Archival date: 2015-11-27
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Diachronic Constraints of Practical Rationality.Luca Ferrero - 2012 - Philosophical Issues 22 (1):144-164.
What Good is a Diachronic Will?Luca Ferrero - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 144 (3):403-430.
Intention.Setiya, Kieran

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