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Action, Deviance, and Guidance

Abstracta (2):41-59 (2013)

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  1. Explanation and Understanding.Jaegwon Kim - 1973 - Philosophical Review 82 (3):380-388.
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  • Kinds of Reasons: An Essay in the Philosophy of Action.Maria Alvarez - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
    Understanding human beings and their distinctive rational and volitional capacities requires a clear account of such things as reasons, desires, emotions, and motives, and how they combine to produce and explain human behaviour. Maria Alvarez presents a fresh and incisive study of these concepts, centred on reasons and their role in human agency.
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  • Automatic Actions: Challenging Causalism.Ezio Di Nucci - 2011 - Rationality Markets and Morals 2 (1):179-200.
    I argue that so-called automatic actions – routine performances that we successfully and effortlessly complete without thinking such as turning a door handle, downshifting to 4th gear, or lighting up a cigarette – pose a challenge to causalism, because they do not appear to be preceded by the psychological states which, according to the causal theory of action, are necessary for intentional action. I argue that causalism cannot prove that agents are simply unaware of the relevant psychological states when they (...)
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  • Can Virtuous Actions Be Both Habitual and Rational?Bill Pollard - 2003 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 6 (4):411-425.
    Virtuous actions seem to be both habitual and rational. But if we combine an intuitive understanding of habituality with the currently predominant paradigm of rational action, these two features of virtuous actions are hard to reconcile. Intuitively, acting habitually is acting as one has before in similar contexts, and automatically, that is, without thinking about it. Meanwhile, contemporary philosophers tend to assume the truth of what I call the reasons theory of rational action, which states that all rational actions are (...)
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  • Explaining Actions with Habits.Bill Pollard - 2006 - American Philosophical Quarterly 43 (1):57 - 69.
    From time to time we explain what people do by referring to their habits. We explain somebody’s putting the kettle on in the morning as done through “force of habit”. We explain somebody’s missing a turning by saying that she carried straight on “out of habit”. And we explain somebody’s biting her nails as a manifestation of “a bad habit”. These are all examples of what will be referred to here as habit explanations. Roughly speaking, they explain by referring to (...)
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  • Freedom to Act.Donald Davidson - 1973 - In Ted Honderich (ed.), Essays on Freedom of Action. Routledge.
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  • Intending and Acting: Toward a Naturalized Action Theory.Peter Slezak - 1987 - Journal of Philosophy 84 (1):49-54.
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  • Arational Actions.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (2):57-68.
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  • Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
    What is the relation between a reason and an action when the reason explains the action by giving the agent's reason for doing what he did? We may call such explanations rationalizations, and say that the reason rationalizes the action. In this paper I want to defend the ancient - and common-sense - position that rationalization is a species of ordinary causal explanation. The defense no doubt requires some redeployment, but not more or less complete abandonment of the position, as (...)
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  • Free Will Demystified: A Dispositional Account.Kadri Vihvelin - 2004 - Philosophical Topics 32 (1/2):427-450.
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  • Free Action.Raziel Abelson - 1962 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 23 (4):616-617.
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  • Practical Reality.Jonathan Dancy - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (2):436-443.
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  • Intentional Omissions.Randolph Clarke - 2010 - Noûs 44 (1):158-177.
    It is argued that intentionally omitting requires having an intention with relevant content. And the intention must play a causal role with respect to one’s subsequent thought and conduct. Even if omissions cannot be caused, an account of intentional omission must be causal. There is a causal role for one’s reasons as well when one intentionally omits to do something.
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  • Rational Capacities, Or: How to Distinguish Recklessness, Weakness, and Compulsion.Michael Smith - 2003 - In Sarah Stroud & Christine Tappolet (eds.), Weakness of Will and Practical Irrationality. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 17-38.
    We ordinarily suppose that there is a difference between having and failing to exercise a rational capacity on the one hand, and lacking a rational capacity altogether on the other. This is crucial for our allocations of responsibility. Someone who has but fails to exercise a capacity is responsible for their failure to exercise their capacity, whereas someone who lacks a capacity altogether is not. However, as Gary Watson pointed out in his seminal essay ’Skepticism about Weakness of Will’, the (...)
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  • Masked Abilities and Compatibilism.M. Fara - 2008 - Mind 117 (468):843-865.
    An object's disposition to A in circumstances C is masked if circumstances C obtain without the object Aing. This paper explores an analogous sense in which abilities can be masked, and it uses the results of this exploration to motivate an analysis of agents' abilities in terms of dispositions. This analysis is then shown to provide the resources to defend a version of the Principle of Alternate Possibilities against Frankfurt-style counterexamples. Although this principle is often taken to be congenial to (...)
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  • Frankfurt Versus Frankfurt: A New Anti-Causalist Dawn.Ezio Di Nucci - 2011 - Philosophical Explorations 14 (1):117-131.
    In this paper I argue that there is an important anomaly to the causalist/compatibilist paradigm in the philosophy of action and free will. This anomaly, which to my knowledge has gone unnoticed so far, can be found in the philosophy of Harry Frankfurt. Two of his most important contributions to the field – his influential counterexample to the Principle of Alternate Possibilities and his ‘guidance’ view of action – are incompatible. The importance of this inconsistency goes far beyond the issue (...)
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  • Rational Constraints and the Simple View.E. di Nucci - 2010 - Analysis 70 (3):481-486.
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  • Simply, False.E. Di Nucci - 2009 - Analysis 69 (1):69-78.
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  • The Simple View Again: A Brief Rejoinder.H. J. McCann - 2011 - Analysis 71 (2):293-295.
    In a recent issue of Analysis I gave a critique of some arguments made by Di Nucci concerning the so-called Simple View – the view that an agent performs an action intentionally only if he intends so to act. In turn Di Nucci offers a reply that concentrates on two points. The first has to do with a group of examples, one having to do with waking a flatmate, and the others with routine actions such as shifting gears while driving. (...)
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  • Di Nucci on the Simple View.Hugh J. McCann - 2010 - Analysis 70 (1):53-59.
    (No abstract is available for this citation).
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  • On Deviant Causal Chains - No Need for a General Criterion.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 2009 - Analysis 69 (3):469-473.
    Donald Davidson brought to our attention deviant causal chains as a problem for causal theories of action. Consider Davidson's own example: " A climber might want to rid himself of the weight and danger of holding another man on a rope, and he might know that by loosening his hold on the rope he could rid himself of the weight and danger. This belief and want might so unnerve him as to cause him to loosen his hold, and yet it (...)
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  • Basic Deviance Reconsidered.Markus E. Schlosser - 2007 - Analysis 67 (3):186–194.
    Most contemporary philosophers of action agree on the following claims. Firstly, the possibility of deviant or wayward causal chains poses a serious problem for the standard-causal theory of action. Secondly, we can distinguish between different kinds of deviant causal chains in the theory of action. In particular, we can distinguish between cases of basic and cases of consequential deviance. Thirdly, the problem of consequential deviance admits of a fairly straightforward solution, whereas the possibility of basic deviance constitutes a separate and (...)
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  • Mindlessness.Ezio Di Nucci - 2013 - Cambridge Scholars Press.
    Thinking is overrated: golfers perform best when distracted and under pressure; firefighters make the right calls without a clue as to why; and you are yourself ill advised to look at your steps as you go down the stairs, or to try and remember your pin number before typing it in. Just do it, mindlessly. Both empirical psychologists and the common man have long worked out that thinking is often a bad idea, but philosophers still hang on to an intellectualist (...)
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  • Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Harvard University Press.
    This is a welcome reprint of a book that continues to grow in importance.
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  • Explaining Expressions of Emotion.Peter Goldie - 2000 - Mind 109 (433):25-38.
    The question is how to explain expressions of emotion. It is argued that not all expressions of emotion are open to the same sort of explanation. Those expressions which are actions can be explained, like other sorts of action, by reference to a belief and a desire; however, no genuine expression of emotion is done as a means to some further end. Certain expressions of emotion which are actions can also be given a deeper explanation as being expressive of a (...)
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  • Intention.P. L. Heath - 1960 - Philosophical Quarterly 10 (40):281.
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  • Dispositions, Abilities to Act, and Free Will: The New Dispositionalism.Randolph Clarke - 2009 - Mind 118 (470):323-351.
    This paper examines recent attempts to revive a classic compatibilist position on free will, according to which having an ability to perform a certain action is having a certain disposition. Since having unmanifested dispositions is compatible with determinism, having unexercised abilities to act, it is held, is likewise compatible. Here it is argued that although there is a kind of capacity to act possession of which is a matter of having a disposition, the new dispositionalism leaves unresolved the main points (...)
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  • Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason.Michael Bratman - 1987 - Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
    What happens to our conception of mind and rational agency when we take seriously future-directed intentions and plans and their roles as inputs into further practical reasoning? The author's initial efforts in responding to this question resulted in a series of papers that he wrote during the early 1980s. In this book, Bratman develops further some of the main themes of these essays and also explores a variety of related ideas and issues. He develops a planning theory of intention. Intentions (...)
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  • The Problem of Action.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1978 - American Philosophical Quarterly 15 (2):157-162.
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  • Springs of Action: Understanding Intentional Behavior.Alfred R. Mele - 1992 - Oxford University Press.
    Tackling some central problems in the philosophy of action, Mele constructs an explanatory model for intentional behavior, locating the place and significance of such mental phenomena as beliefs, desires, reason, and intentions in the etiology of intentional action. Part One comprises a comprehensive examination of the standard treatments of the relations between desires, beliefs, and actions. In Part Two, Mele goes on to develop a subtle and well-defended view that the motivational role of intentions is of a different sort from (...)
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  • Intentionality.Nancy J. Holland - 1986 - Noûs 20 (1):103-108.
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  • Thought and Action.S. F. Barker - 1962 - Philosophical Review 71 (3):392.
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  • The Role of Intention in Intentional Action.Frederick Adams & Alfred Mele - 1989 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 19 (4):511 - 531.
    A great deal of attention has been paid in recent years to the function- al roles of intentions in intentional action. In this paper we sketch and defend a position on this issue while attacking a provocative alternative. Our position has its roots in a cybernetic theory of purposive behavior and is only part of the larger task of understanding all goal-directed behavior. Indeed, a unified model of goal-directed behavior, with appropriate modifications for different types of systems, is a long-range (...)
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  • Intending.Donald Davidson - 1978 - Philosophy of History and Action 11:41-60.
    Someone may intend to build a squirrel house without having decided to do it, deliberated about it, formed an intention to do it, or reasoned about it. And despite his intention, he may never build a squirrel house, try to build one, or do anything whatever with the intention of getting a squirrel house built. Pure intending of this kind, intending that may occur without practical reasoning, action, or consequence, poses a problem if we want to give an account of (...)
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  • Passive Action and Causalism.Jing Zhu - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 119 (3):295-314.
    The first half of this paper is an attemptto conceptualize and understand the paradoxicalnotion of ``passive action''''. The strategy is toconstrue passive action in the context ofemotional behavior, with the purpose toestablish it as a conceivable and conceptuallycoherent category. In the second half of thispaper, the implications of passive action forcausal theories of action are examined. I arguethat Alfred Mele''s defense of causalism isunsuccessful and that causalism may lack theresource to account for passive action.Following Harry Frankfurt, I suggest analternative way (...)
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  • Overcoming the Myth of the Mental: How Philosophers Can Profit From the Phenomenology of Everyday Expertise.Hubert L. Dreyfus - 2005 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 79 (2):47 - 65.
    Back in 1950, while a physics major at Harvard, I wandered into C.I. Lewis’s epistemology course. There, Lewis was confidently expounding the need for an indubitable Given to ground knowledge, and he was explaining where that ground was to be found. I was so impressed that I immediately switched majors from ungrounded physics to grounded philosophy.
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  • Refuting a Frankfurtian Objection to Frankfurt-Type Counterexamples.Ezio Di Nucci - 2010 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (2):207 - 213.
    In this paper I refute an apparently obvious objection to Frankfurt-type counterexamples to the Principle of Alternate Possibilities according to which if in the counterfactual scenario the agent does not act, then the agent could have avoided acting in the actual scenario. And because what happens in the counterfactual scenario cannot count as the relevant agent's actions given the sort of external control that agent is under, then we can ground responsibility on that agent having been able to avoid acting. (...)
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  • Intentionality.J. R. Searle - 1983 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 49 (3):530-531.
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  • Frankfurt Counterexample Defended.E. Di Nucci - 2011 - Analysis 71 (1):102-104.
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  • Self-Sacrifice and the Trolley Problem.Ezio Di Nucci - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (5):662-672.
    Judith Jarvis Thomson has recently proposed a new argument for the thesis that killing the one in the Trolley Problem is not permissible. Her argument relies on the introduction of a new scenario, in which the bystander may also sacrifice herself to save the five. Thomson argues that those not willing to sacrifice themselves if they could may not kill the one to save the five. Bryce Huebner and Marc Hauser have recently put Thomson's argument to empirical test by asking (...)
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  • Bending It Like Beckham: Movement, Control and Deviant Causal Chains.Markus E. Schlosser - 2010 - Analysis 70 (2):299-303.
    Like all causal theories in philosophy, the causal theory of action is plagued by the problem of deviant causal chains. I have proposed a solution on the basis of the assumption that mental states and events are causally efficacious in virtue of their contents. This solution has been questioned by Torbjörn Tännsjö (2009). First, I will reply to the objection, and then I will discuss Tännsjö’s alternative.
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  • Thought and Action.Stuart Hampshire - 1959 - University of Notre Dame Press.
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  • Practical Reality.Jonathan Dancy - 2000 - Philosophy 78 (305):414-425.
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  • Springs of Action: Understanding Intentional Behavior.Albert R. MELE - 1992
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  • Free Action.A. I. MELDEN - 1961 - Philosophy 37 (141):280-281.
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  • The Socratic and Platonic Basis of Cognitivism.Hubert L. Dreyfus - 1988 - AI and Society 2 (2):99-112.
    Artificial Intelligence, and the cognitivist view of mind on which it is based, represent the last stage of the rationalist tradition in philosophy. This tradition begins when Socrates assumes that intelligence is based on principles and when Plato adds the requirement that these principles must be strict rules, not based on taken-for-granted background understanding. This philosophical position, refined by Hobbes, Descartes and Leibniz, is finally converted into a research program by Herbert Simon and Allen Newell. That research program is now (...)
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  • Embryo Loss and Double Effect.Ezio Di Nucci - 2013 - Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (8):537-540.
    I defend the argument that if embryo loss in stem cell research is morally problematic, then embryo loss in in vivo conception is similarly morally problematic. According to a recent challenge to this argument, we can distinguish between in vivo embryo loss and the in vitro embryo loss of stem cell research by appealing to the doctrine of double effect. I argue that this challenge fails to show that in vivo embryo loss is a mere unintended side effect while in (...)
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  • The Psychological Reality of Reasons.Arthur W. Collins - 1997 - Ratio 10 (2):108–123.
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  • A New Asymmetry Between Actions and Omissions.Carolina Sartorio - 2005 - Noûs 39 (3):460–482.
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  • Intention and Intentional Action: The Simple View.Frederick Adams - 1986 - Mind and Language 1 (4):281-301.
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