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Pamela Hieronymi
University of California, Los Angeles
  1. Responsibility for Believing.Pamela Hieronymi - 2008 - Synthese 161 (3):357-373.
    Many assume that we can be responsible only what is voluntary. This leads to puzzlement about our responsibility for our beliefs, since beliefs seem not to be voluntary. I argue against the initial assumption, presenting an account of responsibility and of voluntariness according to which, not only is voluntariness not required for responsibility, but the feature which renders an attitude a fundamental object of responsibility (that the attitude embodies one’s take on the world and one’s place in it) also guarantees (...)
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  2. The Wrong Kind of Reason.Pamela Hieronymi - 2005 - Journal of Philosophy 102 (9):437 - 457.
    A good number of people currently thinking and writing about reasons identify a reason as a consideration that counts in favor of an action or attitude.1 I will argue that using this as our fundamental account of what a reason is generates a fairly deep and recalcitrant ambiguity; this account fails to distinguish between two quite different sets of considerations that count in favor of certain attitudes, only one of which are the “proper” or “appropriate” kind of reason for them. (...)
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  3. Controlling Attitudes.Pamela Hieronymi - 2006 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (1):45-74.
    I hope to show that, although belief is subject to two quite robust forms of agency, "believing at will" is impossible; one cannot believe in the way one ordinarily acts. Further, the same is true of intention: although intention is subject to two quite robust forms of agency, the features of belief that render believing less than voluntary are present for intention, as well. It turns out, perhaps surprisingly, that you can no more intend at will than believe at will.
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  4. The Use of Reasons in Thought (and the Use of Earmarks in Arguments).Pamela Hieronymi - 2013 - Ethics 124 (1):114-127.
    Here I defend my solution to the wrong-kind-of-reason problem against Mark Schroeder’s criticisms. In doing so, I highlight an important difference between other accounts of reasons and my own. While others understand reasons as considerations that count in favor of attitudes, I understand reasons as considerations that bear (or are taken to bear) on questions. Thus, to relate reasons to attitudes, on my account, we must consider the relation between attitudes and questions. By considering that relation, we not only solve (...)
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  5. 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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  6. The Force and Fairness of Blame.Pamela Hieronymi - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):115–148.
    In this paper I consider fairness of blaming a wrongdoer. In particular, I consider the claim that blaming a wrongdoer can be unfair because blame has a certain characteristic force, a force which is not fairly imposed upon the wrongdoer unless certain conditions are met--unless, e.g., the wrongdoer could have done otherwise, or unless she is someone capable of having done right, or unless she is able to control her behavior by the light of moral reasons. While agreeing that blame (...)
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  7. The Reasons of Trust.Pamela Hieronymi - 2008 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (2):213 – 236.
    I argue to a conclusion I find at once surprising and intuitive: although many considerations show trust useful, valuable, important, or required, these are not the reasons for which one trusts a particular person to do a particular thing. The reasons for which one trusts a particular person on a particular occasion concern, not the value, importance, or necessity of trust itself, but rather the trustworthiness of the person in question in the matter at hand. In fact, I will suggest (...)
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  8. Reasons for Action.Pamela Hieronymi - 2011 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (3pt3):407-427.
    Donald Davidson opens ‘Actions, Reasons, and Causes’ by asking, ‘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?’ His answer has generated some confusion about reasons for action and made for some difficulty in understanding the place for the agent's own reasons for acting, in the explanation of an action. I offer here a different account of the explanation of action, one that, though (...)
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  9. The Will as Reason.Pamela Hieronymi - 2009 - Philosophical Perspectives 23 (1):201-220.
    I here defend an account of the will as practical reason —or, using Kant's phrase, as " reason in its practical employment"—as against a view of the will as a capacity for choice, in addition to reason, by which we execute practical judgments in action. Certain commonplaces show distance between judgment and action and thus seem to reveal the need for a capacity, in addition to reason, by which we execute judgment in action. However, another ordinary fact pushes in the (...)
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  10. Rational Capacity as a Condition on Blame.Pamela Hieronymi - 2007 - Philosophical Books 48 (2):109–123.
    In "Rational Capacities" Michael Smith outlines the sense of capacity he believes to be required before blame is appropriate. I question whether this sense of capacity is required. In so doing, I consider different ways in which blame might be conditioned.
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  11. Of Metaethics and Motivation: The Appeal of Contractualism.Pamela Hieronymi - 2011 - In R. Jay Wallace, Rahul Kumar & Samuel Richard Freeman (eds.), Reasons and Recognition: Essays on the Philosophy of T. M. Scanlon. Oxford University Press.
    In 1982, when T. M. Scanlon published “Contractualism and Utilitarianism,” he noted that, despite the widespread attention to Rawls’ A Theory of Justice, the appeal of contractualism as a moral theory had been under appreciated. In particular, the appeal of contractualism’s account of what he then called “moral motivation” had been under appreciated.1 It seems to me that, in the intervening quarter century, despite the widespread discussion of Scanlon’s work, the appeal of contractualism, in precisely this regard, has still been (...)
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  12. Making a Difference.Pamela Hieronymi - 2011 - Social Theory and Practice 37 (1):81-94.
    I suggest that Fischer concedes too much to the consequence argument when he grants that we may not make a difference. I provide a broad sketch of (my take on) the dispute between compatibilists and incompatibilists, while suggesting that some of the discussion may have confused the freedom required for moral responsibility with a very different notion of autonomy. I introduce that less usual notion of autonomy and suggest that those who are autonomous, in this sense, do make a difference.
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  13. Research Overview.Pamela Hieronymi - manuscript
    In this document I survey my work to date (i.e., to September 2010) and connect it to the larger themes that have been animating it.
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