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Are intelligible agents square?

Rees, Clea F. 2014. Are intelligible agents square? Philosophical Explorations 17 (1) , pp. 17-34. 10.1080/13869795.2013.808692

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In How We Get Along, J. David Velleman argues for two related theses: first, that ‘making sense’ of oneself to oneself and others is a constitutive aim of action; second, that this fact about action grounds normativity. Examining each thesis in turn, I argue against the first that an agent may deliberately act in ways which make sense in terms of neither her self-conception nor others' conceptions of her. Against the second thesis, I argue that some vices are such that the agents concerned would make more sense to neither themselves nor others if they were to reform, and, furthermore, that an agent may make more sense to herself and others by becoming more, rather than less, vicious. I conclude that both theses should be rejected.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Lifelong Learning
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: agency, intelligibility, normativity, self-conception, Velleman
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1386-9795
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2019 14:59

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