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ARTICLE

Mental Causation and the Agent-Exclusion Problem

  • Pages : 183 à 200
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  • DOI : 10.1007/s10670-007-9067-9
  • URL : Lien externe
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  • Date de création : 04-01-2011
  • Dernière mise à jour : 04-01-2011

Résumé :

Français

The hypothesis of the mental state-causation of behavior (the MSC hypothesis) asserts that the behaviors we classify as actions are caused by certain mental states. A principal reason often given for trying to secure the truth of the MSC hypothesis is that doing so is allegedly required to vindicate our belief in our own agency. Horgan argues that the project of vindicating agency needs to be seriously reconceived, as does the relation between this project and the MSC hypothesis. Vindication requires addressing what I call the agent-exclusion problem: the prima facie incompatibility between the intentional content of agentive experience and certain metaphysical hypotheses often espoused in philosophy–metaphysical hypotheses like physical causal closure, determinism, and the MSC hypothesis itself. He describes several radically different approaches to the vindication project, one of which would repudiate the MSC hypothesis and embrace metaphysical libertarianism about freedom and determinism. He sketches the position he himself favor–a specific version of the generic approach asserting that the intentional content of agentive experience is compatible with the MSC hypothesis (and with physical causal closure, and with determinism). He describes how his favored approach can plausibly explain the temptation to embrace incompatibilism concerning the agent-exclusion problem.

 

Résumé :

Français

The hypothesis of the mental state-causation of behavior (the MSC hypothesis) asserts that the behaviors we classify as actions are caused by certain mental states. A principal reason often given for trying to secure the truth of the MSC hypothesis is that doing so is allegedly required to vindicate our belief in our own agency. Horgan argues that the project of vindicating agency needs to be seriously reconceived, as does the relation between this project and the MSC hypothesis. Vindication requires addressing what I call the agent-exclusion problem: the prima facie incompatibility between the intentional content of agentive experience and certain metaphysical hypotheses often espoused in philosophy–metaphysical hypotheses like physical causal closure, determinism, and the MSC hypothesis itself. He describes several radically different approaches to the vindication project, one of which would repudiate the MSC hypothesis and embrace metaphysical libertarianism about freedom and determinism. He sketches the position he himself favor–a specific version of the generic approach asserting that the intentional content of agentive experience is compatible with the MSC hypothesis (and with physical causal closure, and with determinism). He describes how his favored approach can plausibly explain the temptation to embrace incompatibilism concerning the agent-exclusion problem.

 
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