Natural Agency

Natural Agency

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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 behavior, however highly evolved, conforms to natural scientific laws. Natural Agency argues that these different perspectives can be reconciled, despite the skepticism of many philosophers who have argued that qfree willq is impossible under qscientific determinism.q This skepticism is best overcome according to the author, by defending a causal theory of action, that is by establishing that actions are constituted by behavioral events with the appropriate kind of mental causal history. He sets out a rich and subtle argument for such a theory and defends it against its critics. Thus the book demonstrates the importance of philosophical work in action theory for the central metaphysical task of understanding our place in nature.My conclusion will be that it is: There is a correct version of the Causal Theory of Action, and the problem of natural agency is thereby solved. The main body of this essay is therefore devoted to developing a causal analysis of action that will anbsp;...

Title:Natural Agency
Author:John Christopher Bishop
Publisher:Cambridge University Press - 1989


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