Results for 'mental action'

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  1. Mental Action and the Threat of Automaticity.Wayne Wu - 2013 - In Andy Clark, Julian Kiverstein & Tillman Vierkant (eds.), Decomposing the Will. Oxford University Press. pp. 244-61.
    This paper considers the connection between automaticity, control and agency. Indeed, recent philosophical and psychological works play up the incompatibility of automaticity and agency. Specifically, there is a threat of automaticity, for automaticity eliminates agency. Such conclusions stem from a tension between two thoughts: that automaticity pervades agency and yet automaticity rules out control. I provide an analysis of the notions of automaticity and control that maintains a simple connection: automaticity entails the absence of control. An appropriate analysis, however, shows (...)
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  2. Mental Action.Antonia Peacocke - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (6):e12741.
    Just as bodily actions are things you do with your body, mental actions are things you do with your mind. Both are different from things that merely happen to you. Where does the idea of mental action come from? What are mental actions? And why do they matter in philosophy? These are the three main questions answered in this paper. Section 1 introduces mental action through a brief history of the topic in philosophy. Section (...)
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  3. Embedded Mental Action in Self-Attribution of Belief.Antonia Peacocke - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (2):353-377.
    You can come to know that you believe that p partly by reflecting on whether p and then judging that p. Call this procedure “the transparency method for belief.” How exactly does the transparency method generate known self-attributions of belief? To answer that question, we cannot interpret the transparency method as involving a transition between the contents p and I believe that p. It is hard to see how some such transition could be warranted. Instead, in this context, one (...) action is both a judgment that p and a self-attribution of a belief that p. The notion of embedded mental action is introduced here to explain how this can be so and to provide a full epistemic explanation of the transparency method. That explanation makes sense of first-person authority and immediacy in transparent self-knowledge. In generalized form, it gives sufficient conditions on an attitude’s being known transparently. (shrink)
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  4. The Problem of Mental Action.Thomas Metzinger - 2017 - Philosophy and Predicitive Processing.
    In mental action there is no motor output to be controlled and no sensory input vector that could be manipulated by bodily movement. It is therefore unclear whether this specific target phenomenon can be accommodated under the predictive processing framework at all, or if the concept of “active inference” can be adapted to this highly relevant explanatory domain. This contribution puts the phenomenon of mental action into explicit focus by introducing a set of novel conceptual instruments (...)
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  5. What is ‘Mental Action’?Yair Levy - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (6):971-993.
    There has been a resurgence of interest lately within philosophy of mind and action in the category of mental action. Against this background, the present paper aims to question the very possibility, or at least the theoretical significance, of teasing apart mental and bodily acts. After raising some doubts over the viability of various possible ways of drawing the mental act/bodily act distinction, the paper draws some lessons from debates over embodied cognition, which arguably further (...)
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  6. Remembering as a Mental Action.Santiago Arango-Munoz & Juan Pablo Bermúdez - 2018 - In Kourken Michaelian, Dorothea Debus & Denis Perrin (eds.), New Directions in the Philosophy of Memory. Routledge. pp. 75-96.
    Many philosophers consider that memory is just a passive information retention and retrieval capacity. Some information and experiences are encoded, stored, and subsequently retrieved in a passive way, without any control or intervention on the subject’s part. In this paper, we will defend an active account of memory according to which remembering is a mental action and not merely a passive mental event. According to the reconstructive account, memory is an imaginative reconstruction of past experience. A key (...)
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  7. Disappearing Agents, Mental Action, Rational Glue.Joshua Shepherd - forthcoming - In Michael Brent & Lisa Miracchi Titus (eds.), Mental action and the conscious mind. New York: Routledge. pp. 14-30.
    This chapter revolves around the problem of the disappearing agent. Shepherd suggests that as typically formulated, the problem relies on an improper focus upon the causation of action, and an inadequate characterization of agency. One result is that a key function of mental action for human agents tends to be misconstrued. Furthermore, Shepherd argues that an adequate characterization of agency illuminates why agents may seem (misleadingly) to disappear in some cases of action, and illuminates as well (...)
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  8. Meditation and the Scope of Mental Action.Michael Brent & Candace Upton - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (1):52-71.
    While philosophers of mind have devoted abundant time and attention to questions of content and consciousness, philosophical questions about the nature and scope of mental action have been relatively neglected. Galen Strawson’s account of mental action, arguably the most well-known extant account, holds that cognitive mental action consists in triggering the delivery of content to one’s field of consciousness. However, Strawson fails to recognize several distinct types of mental action that might not (...)
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  9. Mental Causation, Autonomy and Action Theory.Dwayne Moore - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (1):53-73.
    Nonreductive physicalism states that actions have sufficient physical causes and distinct mental causes. Nonreductive physicalism has recently faced the exclusion problem, according to which the single sufficient physical cause excludes the mental causes from causal efficacy. Autonomists respond by stating that while mental-to-physical causation fails, mental-to-mental causation persists. Several recent philosophers establish this autonomy result via similar models of causation :1031–1049, 2016; Zhong, J Philos 111:341–360, 2014). In this paper I argue that both of these (...)
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  10. Drifting and Directed Minds: The Significance of Mind-Wandering for Mental Action.Zachary C. Irving - manuscript
    Perhaps the central question in action theory is this: what ingredient of bodily action is missing in mere behaviour? But what is an analogous question for mental action? I ask the following: what ingredient of active, goal-directed, thought is missing in mind-wandering? I answer that guidance is the missing ingredient that separates mind-wandering and directed thinking. I define mind-wandering as unguided attention. Roughly speaking, attention is guided when you would feel pulled back, were you distracted. In (...)
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  11. Teleology and Mentalizing in the Explanation of Action.Uwe Peters - 2019 - Synthese 198 (4):2941-2957.
    In empirically informed research on action explanation, philosophers and developmental psychologists have recently proposed a teleological account of the way in which we make sense of people’s intentional behavior. It holds that we typically don’t explain an agent’s action by appealing to her mental states but by referring to the objective, publically accessible facts of the world that count in favor of performing the action so as to achieve a certain goal. Advocates of the teleological account (...)
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  12. Sub-Intentional Actions and the Over-Mentalization of Agency.Helen Steward - 2009 - In Constantine Sandis (ed.), New Essays on the Explanation of Action. Palgrave-Macmillan.
    This paper argues, by attention to the category of sub-intentional agency, that many conceptions of the nature of agency are 'over-mentalised', in that they insist that an action proper must be produced by something like an intention or a reason or a desire. Sub-intentional actions provide counterexamples to such conceptions. Instead, it is argued, we should turn to the concept of a two-way power in order to home in on the essential characteristics of actions.
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  13. Non-Reductive Physicalism, Mental Causation and the Nature of Actions.Markus E. Schlosser - 2009 - In H. Leitgeb & A. Hieke (eds.), Reduction: Between the Mind and the Brain. Ontos.
    Given some reasonable assumptions concerning the nature of mental causation, non-reductive physicalism faces the following dilemma. If mental events cause physical events, they merely overdetermine their effects (given the causal closure of the physical). If mental events cause only other mental events, they do not make the kind of difference we want them to. This dilemma can be avoided if we drop the dichotomy between physical and mental events. Mental events make a real difference (...)
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  14. Mental Imagery and the Varieties of Amodal Perception.Robert Briscoe - 2011 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (2):153-173.
    The problem of amodal perception is the problem of how we represent features of perceived objects that are occluded or otherwise hidden from us. Bence Nanay (2010) has recently proposed that we amodally perceive an object's occluded features by imaginatively projecting them into the relevant regions of visual egocentric space. In this paper, I argue that amodal perception is not a single, unitary capacity. Drawing appropriate distinctions reveals amodal perception to be characterized not only by mental imagery, as Nanay (...)
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  15. Judging and the Scope of Mental Agency.Fabian Dorsch - 2009 - In Lucy O'Brien & Matthew Soteriou (eds.), Mental Actions. Oxford University Press. pp. 38-71.
    What is the scope of our conscious mental agency, and how do we acquire self-knowledge of it? Both questions are addressed through an investigation of what best explains our inability to form judgemental thoughts in direct response to practical reasons. Contrary to what Williams and others have argued, it cannot be their subjection to a truth norm, given that our failure to adhere to such a norm need not undermine their status as judgemental. Instead, it is argued that we (...)
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  16. Superimposed Mental Imagery: On the Uses of Make-Perceive.Robert Briscoe - 2018 - In Fiona Macpherson & Fabian Dorsch (eds.), Perceptual Imagination and Perceptual Memory. pp. 161-185.
    Human beings have the ability to ‘augment’ reality by superimposing mental imagery on the visually perceived scene. For example, when deciding how to arrange furniture in a new home, one might project the image of an armchair into an empty corner or the image of a painting onto a wall. The experience of noticing a constellation in the sky at night is also perceptual-imaginative amalgam: it involves both seeing the stars in the constellation and imagining the lines that connect (...)
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  17. Group Action Without Group Minds.Kenneth Silver - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (2):321-342.
    Groups behave in a variety of ways. To show that this behavior amounts to action, it would be best to fit it into a general account of action. However, nearly every account from the philosophy of action requires the agent to have mental states such as beliefs, desires, and intentions. Unfortunately, theorists are divided over whether groups can instantiate these states—typically depending on whether or not they are willing to accept functionalism about the mind. But we (...)
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  18. When Actions Feel Alien: An Explanatory Model.Timothy Lane - 2014 - In Tzu-Wei Hung (ed.), Communicative Action. Springer Science+Business. pp. 53-74.
    It is not necessarily the case that we ever have experiences of self, but human beings do regularly report instances for which self is experienced as absent. That is there are times when body parts, mental states, or actions are felt to be alien. Here I sketch an explanatory framework for explaining these alienation experiences, a framework that also attempts to explain the “mental glue” whereby self is bound to body, mind, or action. The framework is a (...)
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  19. Mental Causation.George Bealer - 2007 - Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):23–54.
    Suppose that, for every event, whether mental or physical, there is some physical event causally sufficient for it. Suppose, moreover, that physical reductionism in its various forms fails—that mental properties cannot be reduced to physical properties and mental events cannot be reduced to physical events. In this case, how could there be mental causation? More specifically, how could mental events cause other mental events, physical events, and intentional actions? The primary goal of this paper (...)
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  20. Mental Causation and Mental Reality.Tim Crane - 1992 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 92:185-202.
    The Problems of Mental Causation. Functionalism in the philosophy of mind identifies mental states with their dispositional connections with other mental states, perceptions and actions. Many theories of the mind have sailed under the Functionalist flag. But what I take to be essential to Functionalism is that mental states are individuated causally: the reality of mental states depends essentially on their causal efficacy.
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  21. Unconscious Imagination and the Mental Imagery Debate.Berit Brogaard & Dimitria Electra Gatzia - 2017 - Frontiers in Psychology 8.
    Traditionally, philosophers have appealed to the phenomenological similarity between visual experience and visual imagery to support the hypothesis that there is significant overlap between the perceptual and imaginative domains. The current evidence, however, is inconclusive: while evidence from transcranial brain stimulation seems to support this conclusion, neurophysiological evidence from brain lesion studies (e.g., from patients with brain lesions resulting in a loss of mental imagery but not a corresponding loss of perception and vice versa) indicates that there are functional (...)
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  22. Naturalizing Action Theory.Bence Nanay - 2014 - In Mark Sprevak & Jesper Kallestrup (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Mind. Palgrave.
    The aim of this paper is to give a new argument for naturalized action theory. The sketch of the argument is the following: the immediate mental antecedents of actions, that is, the mental states that makes actions actions, are not normally accessible to introspection. But then we have no other option but to turn to the empirical sciences if we want to characterize and analyze them.
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  23. Moral Responsibility and Mental Illness: A Call for Nuance.Matt King & Joshua May - 2018 - Neuroethics 11 (1):11-22.
    Does having a mental disorder, in general, affect whether someone is morally responsible for an action? Many people seem to think so, holding that mental disorders nearly always mitigate responsibility. Against this Naïve view, we argue for a Nuanced account. The problem is not just that different theories of responsibility yield different verdicts about particular cases. Even when all reasonable theories agree about what's relevant to responsibility, the ways mental illness can affect behavior are so varied (...)
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  24. Action and Rationalization.Samuel Asarnow - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy (TBA).
    According to the ‘standard story’ in the philosophy of action, actions are those movements of a creature’s body that are caused and rationalized by the creature’s mental states. The attractions of the causal condition have been widely discussed. The rationalization condition is nearly ubiquitous, but it is notoriously obscure, and its motivation has rarely been made explicit. This paper presents a new argument for including the rationalization condition in the causal theory of action, and sketches a broadly (...)
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  25. MENTAL HEALTH IN INDIA: POLICIES AND ISSUES.Desh Raj Sirswal - 2013 - Milestone Education Review 4 (02):35-54.
    Mental health generally refers to an individual’s thoughts, feelings and actions, particularly when he faced with life challenges and stresses. A good mental health isn’t just the absence of mental health problems. It is the achievement and the maintenance of psychological well-being. Mental Health is the state of one’s peace of mind, happiness and harmony brought out by one’s level of adjustment with himself and his environment. In describing mental health, Anwar said, “…mental health (...)
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  26. Metacognitive Feelings, Self-Ascriptions and Metal Actions.Santiago Arango-Muñoz - 2014 - Philosophical Inquiries 2 (1):145-162.
    The main aim of this paper is to clarify the relation between epistemic feel- ings, mental action, and self-ascription. Acting mentally and/or thinking about one’s mental states are two possible outcomes of epistemic or metacognitive feelings. Our men- tal actions are often guided by our E-feelings, such as when we check what we just saw based on a feeling of visual uncertainty; but thought about our own perceptual states and capacities can also be triggered by the same (...)
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  27. Enactivism, Other Minds, and Mental Disorders.Joel Krueger - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 1):365-389.
    Although enactive approaches to cognition vary in terms of their character and scope, all endorse several core claims. The first is that cognition is tied to action. The second is that cognition is composed of more than just in-the-head processes; cognitive activities are externalized via features of our embodiment and in our ecological dealings with the people and things around us. I appeal to these two enactive claims to consider a view called “direct social perception” : the idea that (...)
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  28. Mental Disorders Involve Limits on Control, Not Extreme Preferences.Chandra Sripada - forthcoming - In Matt King & Joshua May (eds.), Agency in Mental Disorder: Philosophical Dimensions. Oxford University Press.
    According to a standard picture of agency, a person’s actions always reflect what they most desire, and many theorists extend this model to mental illness. In this chapter, I pin down exactly where this “volitional” view goes wrong. The key is to recognize that human motivational architecture involves a regulatory control structure: we have both spontaneous states (e.g., automatically-elicited thoughts and action tendencies, etc.) as well as regulatory mechanisms that allow us to suppress or modulate these spontaneous states. (...)
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  29. Mental Substances.Tim Crane - 2003 - In Anthony O'Hear (ed.), Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement. Cambridge University Press. pp. 229-250.
    Philosophers of mind typically conduct their discussions in terms of mental events, mental processes, mental properties, mental states – but rarely in terms of minds themselves. Sometimes this neglect is explicitly acknowledged. Donald Davidson, for example, writes that ‘there are no such things as minds, but people have mental properties, which is to say that certain psychological predicates are true of them. These properties are constantly changing, and such changes are mental events’.2 Hilary Putnam (...)
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  30. Imagination and Action.Neil Van Leeuwen - 2016 - In Amy Kind (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Imagination. Routledge. pp. 286-299.
    Abstract: This entry elucidates causal and constitutive roles that various forms of imagining play in human action. Imagination influences more kinds of action than just pretend play. I distinguish different senses of the terms “imagining” and “imagination”: imagistic imagining, propositional imagining, and constructive imagining. Each variety of imagining makes its own characteristic contributions to action. Imagistic imagining can structure bodily movement. Propositional imagining interacts with desires to motivate pretend play and mimetic expressive action. And constructive imagination (...)
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  31. Action Guidance is Not Enough, Representations Need Correspondence Too: A Plea for a Two-Factor Theory of Representation.Paweł Gładziejewski - 2015 - New Ideas in Psychology:doi:10.1016/j.newideapsych.2015..
    The aim of this article is to critically examine what I call Action-Centric Theories of Representation (ACToRs). I include in this category theories of representation that (1) reject construing representation in terms of a relation that holds between representation itself (the representational vehicle) and what is represented, and instead (2) try to bring the function that representations play for cognitive systems to the center stage. Roughly speaking, according to proponents of ACToRs, what makes a representation (that is, what is (...)
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  32. Imagination is Where the Action Is.Neil Van Leeuwen - 2011 - Journal of Philosophy 108 (2):55-77.
    Imaginative representations are crucial to the generation of action--both pretense and plain action. But well-known theories of imagination on offer in the literature [1] fail to describe how perceptually-formatted imaginings (mental images) and motor imaginings function in the generation of action and [2] fail to recognize the important fact that spatially rich imagining can be integrated into one's perceptual manifold. In this paper, I present a theory of imagining that shows how spatially rich imagining functions in (...)
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  33. Voluntary Action and Neural Causation.Hanoch Ben-Yami - 2014 - Cognitive Neuroscience 5 (3-4):217-218.
    I agree with Nachev and Hacker’s general approach. However, their criticism of claims of covert automaticity can be strengthened. I first say a few words on what voluntary action involves and on the consequent limited relevance of brain research for the determination of voluntariness. I then turn to Nachev and Hacker’s discussion of possible covert automaticity and show why the case for it is weaker than they allow.
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  34. Mental Self-Management as Attempted Negligence: Trying and Succeeding.Benjamin Rossi - 2015 - Law and Philosophy 34 (5):551-579.
    ‘Attempted negligence’ is a category of criminal offense that many jurists and philosophers have law have deemed conceptually incoherent. In his Attempts: In the Philosophy of Action and the Criminal Law, Gideon Yaffe challenges this dismissal, anchoring his argument in cases of what he calls ‘mental self-management’ in which agents plan to bring about that they perform unintentional actions at a later time. He plausibly argues that mental self-management-type attempted negligence is possible. However, his account raises the (...)
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  35. Seeing Mind in Action.Joel Krueger - 2012 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 11 (2):149-173.
    Much recent work on empathy in philosophy of mind and cognitive science has been guided by the assumption that minds are composed of intracranial phenomena, perceptually inaccessible and thus unobservable to everyone but their owners. I challenge this claim. I defend the view that at least some mental states and processes—or at least some parts of some mental states and processes—are at times visible, capable of being directly perceived by others. I further argue that, despite its initial implausibility, (...)
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  36. Aristotle on Actions From Lack of Control.Jozef Müller - 2015 - Philosophers' Imprint 15.
    The paper defends three claims about Aristotle’s theory of uncontrolled actions (akrasia) in NE 7.3. First, I argue that the first part of NE 7.3 contains the description of the overall state of mind of the agent while she acts without control. Aristotle’s solution to the problem of uncontrolled action lies in the analogy between the uncontrolled agent and people who are drunk, mad, or asleep. This analogy is interpreted as meaning that the uncontrolled agent, while acting without control, (...)
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  37. Motor Imagery and Action Execution.Bence Nanay - 2020 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    What triggers the execution of actions? What happens in that moment when an action is triggered? What mental state is there at the moment of action-execution that was not there a second before? My aim is to highlight the importance of a thus far largely ignored kind of mental state in the discussion of these old and much-debated questions: motor imagery. While there have been a fair amount of research in psychology and neuroscience on motor imagery (...)
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  38. The Physical Action Theory of Trying.David-Hillel Ruben - 2015 - Methode 4 (6).
    Metaphysically speaking, just what is trying? There appear to be two options: to place it on the side of the mind or on the side of the world. Volitionists, who think that to try is to engage in a mental act, perhaps identical to willing and perhaps not, take the mind-side option. The second, or world-side option identifies trying to do something with one of the more basic actions by which one tries to do that thing. The trying is (...)
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  39. Coupling to Variant Information: An Ecological Account of Comparative Mental Imagery Generation.Matthew Sims - 2019 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (4):899-916.
    Action-based theories of cognition place primary emphasis upon the role that agent-environment coupling plays in the emergence of psychological states. Prima facie, mental imagery seems to present a problem for some of these theories because it is understood to be stimulus-absent and thus thought to be decoupled from the environment. However, mental imagery is much more multifaceted than this “naïve” view suggests. Focusing on a particular kind of imagery, comparative mental imagery generation, this paper demonstrates that (...)
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  40. A Defense of Nonreductive Mental Causation.Andrew Russo - 2013 - Dissertation, The University of Oklahoma
    Mental causation is a problem and not just a problem for the nonphysicalist. One of the many lessons learned from Jaegwon Kim’s writings in the philosophy of mind is that mental causation is a problem for the nonreductive physicalist as well. A central component of the common sense picture we have of ourselves as persons is that our beliefs and desires causally explain our actions. But the completeness of the “brain sciences” threatens this picture. If all of our (...)
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  41. The Action of Consciousness and the Uncertainty Principle.Jean E. Burns - 2012 - Journal of Nonlocality 1 (1).
    The term action of consciousness is used to refer to an influence, such as psychokinesis or free will, that produces an effect on matter that is correlated to mental intention, but not completely determined by physical conditions. Such an action could not conserve energy. But in that case, one wonders why, when highly accurate measurements are done, occasions of non-conserved energy (generated perhaps by unconscious PK) are not detected. A possible explanation is that actions of consciousness take (...)
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  42.  51
    The Catch-22 of Forgetfulness: Responsibility for Mental Mistakes.Zachary C. Irving, Samuel Murray, Aaron Glasser & Kristina Krasich - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    Attribution theorists assume that character information informs judgments of blame. But there is disagreement over why. One camp holds that character information is a fundamental determinant of blame. Another camp holds that character information merely provides evidence about the mental states and processes that determine responsibility. We argue for a two-channel view, where character simultaneously has fundamental and evidential effects on blame. In two large factorial studies (n = 495), participants rate whether someone is blameworthy when he makes a (...)
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  43. Mental Causation and Free Will After Libet and Soon: Reclaiming Conscious Agency.Alexander Batthyany - 2009 - In Alexander Batthyany & Avshalom Elitzur (eds.), Irreducibly Conscious. Selected Papers on Consciousness. Winter.
    There are numerous theoretical reasons which are usually said to undermine the case for mental causation. But in recent years, Libet‘s experiment on readiness potentials (Libet, Wright, and Gleason 1982; Libet, Gleason, Wright, and Pearl 1983), and a more recent replication by a research team led by John Dylan Haynes (Soon, C.S., Brass, M., Heinze, H.J., and Haynes, J.-D. [2008]) are often singled out because they appear to demonstrate empirically that consciousness is not causally involved in our choices and (...)
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  44. Causally Efficacious Intentions and the Sense of Agency: In Defense of Real Mental Causation.Markus E. Schlosser - 2012 - Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 32 (3):135-160.
    Empirical evidence, it has often been argued, undermines our commonsense assumptions concerning the efficacy of conscious intentions. One of the most influential advocates of this challenge has been Daniel Wegner, who has presented an impressive amount of evidence in support of a model of "apparent mental causation". According to Wegner, this model provides the best explanation of numerous curious and pathological cases of behavior. Further, it seems that Benjamin Libet's classic experiment on the initiation of action and the (...)
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  45. 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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  46. Stereotypes, Theory of Mind, and the Action–Prediction Hierarchy.Evan Westra - 2019 - Synthese 196 (7):2821-2846.
    Both mindreading and stereotyping are forms of social cognition that play a pervasive role in our everyday lives, yet too little attention has been paid to the question of how these two processes are related. This paper offers a theory of the influence of stereotyping on mental-state attribution that draws on hierarchical predictive coding accounts of action prediction. It is argued that the key to understanding the relation between stereotyping and mindreading lies in the fact that stereotypes centrally (...)
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  47. Natural Agency: An Essay on the Causal Theory of Action.John Bishop - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
    From a moral point of view we think of ourselves as capable of responsible actions. From a scientific point of view we think of ourselves as animals whose behaviour, however highly evolved, conforms to natural scientific laws. Natural Agency argues that these different perspectives can be reconciled, despite the scepticism of many philosophers who have argued that 'free will' is impossible under 'scientific determinism'. This scepticism is best overcome, according to the author, by defending a causal theory of action, (...)
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  48. Karma, Rebirth, and Mental Causation.Christian Coseru - 2007 - In Charles Prebish, Damien Kewon & Dale Wright (eds.), Revisioning Karma. Journal of Buddhist Ethics Online Books. pp. 133-154.
    Attempts to provide a thoroughly naturalized reading of the doctrine of karma have raised important issues regarding its role in the overall economy of the Buddhist soteriological project. This paper identifies some of the most problematic aspects of a naturalized interpretation of karma: (1) the strained relationship between retributive action and personal identity, and (2) the debate concerning mental causation in modern reductionist accounts of persons. The paper explores the benefits of a phenomenological approach in which reductionist accounts (...)
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  49. Do We Reflect While Performing Skillful Actions? Automaticity, Control, and the Perils of Distraction.Juan Pablo Bermúdez - 2017 - Philosophical Psychology 30 (7):896-924.
    From our everyday commuting to the gold medalist’s world-class performance, skillful actions are characterized by fine-grained, online agentive control. What is the proper explanation of such control? There are two traditional candidates: intellectualism explains skillful agentive control by reference to the agent’s propositional mental states; anti-intellectualism holds that propositional mental states or reflective processes are unnecessary since skillful action is fully accounted for by automatic coping processes. I examine the evidence for three psychological phenomena recently held to (...)
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  50. Inference as a Mental Act.David Hunter - forthcoming - In Michael Brent (ed.), Mental Action.
    I will argue that a person is causally responsible for believing what she does. Through inference, she can sustain and change her perspective on the world. When she draws an inference, she causes herself to keep or to change her take on things. In a literal sense, she makes up her own mind as to how things are. And, I will suggest, she can do this voluntarily. It is in part because she is causally responsible for believing what she does (...)
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