Better Judgment: Nature and Function

Alfred R. Mele

in Autonomous Agents

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780195150438
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199869091 | DOI:
 Better Judgment: Nature and Function

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Defends a position on the nature and function of agents’ judgments that it would be best to do something and on the connection between such judgments and intentions. Competing theories advanced by Aristotle, Donald Davidson, and R. M. Hare are criticized. One conclusion is that no nonartificial species of evaluative judgment renders agents immune to weakness of will. Agents’ judgments about what is best to do are not only subject to defeat by opposing motivation but are also supportable by exercises of self‐control. An account of practical reasoning or deliberation and of what motivates it is offered.

Keywords: Aristotle; Donald Davidson; deliberation; evaluative judgment; R. M. Hare; intention; motivation; practical reason; self‐control; weakness of will

Chapter.  9670 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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