Understanding human agency

Erasmus Mayr

in Understanding Human Agency

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199606214
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731631 | DOI:
Understanding human agency

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A different non-causal account of acting for a reason is developed which explains this notion in terms of following a standard of success. Following a standard of success includes a teleological structure of the agent's behaviour, as well as connection to ‘success or failure feelings’ and use of correlated premisses in practical deliberation. The notion of ‘following a standard of success’ is compared to Wittgenstein's notion of rule-following and is shown not to implicity rely on an event-causal link between the agent's motivating desire and the action. To conclude the overall investigation, the offered account of acting for a reason is related to the agent-causal account developed in the preceding chapters, and it is shown how the resulting theory provides a satisfactory answer to the problem of human agency.

Keywords: reasons; following a standard of success; teleological structure; practical deliberation; Wittgenstein; rule-following

Chapter.  15813 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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