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36 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What is agency?
Free Agency is not doing what you want, its doing what you should.
The question of Agency
is what we fundamentally ARE
Ontology
The branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of being.
2 Poblems of Lack of Ontology
1. Teach people of what they are, and thus capable of
2. What they can do
Who can make a covenant?
Only a Moral Agent
False Framing of the Argument
Determinism--------Free Agency
DETERMINISM, INDETERMINISM, AND HUMAN AGENCY
Determinism is not harmful to agency, but in fact agency requires some determinism.
Minimalist Defenition of Determinism
determinism is the proposition that all events have meaningful antecendents, absent which the events (or things) would not occur.
Indeterminism
The proposition that events (and other things including human actions), have no meaningful antecendents.
If indeterminism is True
then all events are random
If Minimalist Determinite
all events have meaning
What is required for the minimalist defenition of agency to be true?
A strong link between events and thier antecedents.
What is destructive to agency?
mechanical and biological links as well as stimulus response links governed by environmental forces
Human agency cannot arise from...
non agentic substances, structures, processes
Agency is not the opposite of determinism...
agency is enfolded into the detrministic, and therefore meaningful, contextual, and worthwile universe
HUMAN AGENCY AND FREE CHOICE
nearly all analyses of agency in phil and psych define agency as freedom of choice...the freedom to choose what we will or will not do.
There is no such thing as a geniunely free choice...
however, this does not compromise our agency..we simply need to understand it differently
What is inherent in the concept of choice?
that there be grounds for the choice...that is to say, choices must be made for reasons
Where do the grounds for our choices come from?
experiences, desires, values, cultures, languages
Thus, the grounds for our choices...
compel us to act in one way over another, thus making our choices no longer "free choices".
The Geniune Dilemma
if we have no grounds for our choices, and thus no choices that are more right then others, then our actions have no rational, and thus no meaning
What does the Geniune Dilemma require us to do?
To either abondon the thesis that we are human agents, or to rethink our commitment to free chioce as teh defining essence of agency.
Attempts to Resolve: ATTEMPT 1
we determine grounds...but how do we choose how we choose our grounds? INFINITE REGRESS
ATTEMPT 2
grounds only influence, not determine our choices. INFLUENCE-------DETERMINISM. we distinguish between influence and determinism by invoking the conecept of agency. CIRCULAR
ATTEMPT 3
HOMUNCULUS--a choosing agent within the larger agent (i.e. soul). What are the grounds of the inner chooser? INFINITE REGRESS IF an inner chooser is making the choices, what is the value of of such agency?
FREEDOM AS LIVING TRUTHFULLY
there are ways of understanding agency and freedom that does not lead to these problems just discussed
PUZZLE EXAMPLE
very difficult puzzle presented, you choose as many solutions as possible, but it is outside of your realm of experience. Therefore, despite of your freedom to choose, you would not be free t solve the puzzle.
What is neede in order to be free to solve the puzzle?
you would need the "truth of the matter" of the puzzle.
In context of the puzzle, how should we define agency?
Not in terms of choosing, but in terms of having truth, or living truthfully.
NECESSARY CONDITIONS FOR UNDERSTANDING AND FLOURISHING AGENCY
FIVE CONDITIONS
CONDITION 1
We are preexistent eternal inelligent beings
CONDITION 2
We act and are not acted upon
CONDITION 3
Agency and Freedom Require truth
CONDITION 4
Agency requires a moral sphere in which to operate
CONDITION 5
Agency requires freedom of choice of a particular kind.
CONDITION 6
Requires some kind of embodiment