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A Theory of Feelings Anger and Forgiveness"My Madness Saved Me"10 Good Questions about Life and Death12 Modern Philosophers50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a GodA Cabinet of Philosophical CuriositiesA Case for IronyA Companion to BioethicsA Companion to Buddhist PhilosophyA Companion to FoucaultA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to HumeA Companion to KantA Companion to Phenomenology and ExistentialismA Companion to PragmatismA Companion to the Philosophy of ActionA Companion to the Philosophy of BiologyA Companion to the Philosophy of LiteratureA Conceptual History of PsychologyA Critical Overview of Biological FunctionsA Critique of Naturalistic Philosophies of MindA Cursing Brain?A Delicate BalanceA Farewell to AlmsA Frightening LoveA Future for PresentismA Guide to the Good LifeA History of PsychiatryA History of the MindA Life Worth LivingA Manual of Experimental PhilosophyA Map of the MindA Metaphysics of PsychopathologyA Mind So RareA Natural History of Human MoralityA Natural History of Human ThinkingA Natural History of VisionA Parliament of MindsA Philosopher Looks at The Sense of HumorA Philosophical DiseaseA Philosophy of BoredomA Philosophy of Cinematic ArtA Philosophy of CultureA Philosophy of EmptinessA Philosophy of FearA Philosophy of PainA Physicalist ManifestoA Place for ConsciousnessA Question of TrustA Research Agenda for DSM-VA Revolution of the MindA Sentimentalist Theory of the MindA Stroll With William JamesA Tear is an Intellectual ThingA Theory of FreedomA Thousand MachinesA Universe of ConsciousnessA Very Bad WizardA Virtue EpistemologyA World Full of GodsA World Without ValuesAbout FaceAbout the Beginning of the Hermeneutics of the SelfAction and ResponsibilityAction in ContextAction Theory, Rationality and CompulsionAction, Contemplation, and HappinessAction, Emotion and WillAdam SmithAdaptive DynamicsAddictionAddictionAddiction and ResponsibilityAddiction Is a ChoiceAdvances in Identity Theory and ResearchAftermathAfterwarAgainst AdaptationAgainst AutonomyAgainst BioethicsAgainst HappinessAgainst HealthAgency and ActionAgency and AnswerabilityAgency and EmbodimentAgency and ResponsibilityAgency, Freedom, and Moral ResponsibilityAl-JununAlain BadiouAlain BadiouAlasdair MacIntyreAlien Landscapes?Altered EgosAn Anthology of Psychiatric EthicsAn Ethics for TodayAn Intellectual History of CannibalismAn Interpretation of DesireAn Introduction to EthicsAn Introduction to Kant's Moral Philosophy An Introduction to Philosophy of EducationAn Introduction to the Philosophy of MindAn Introduction to the Philosophy of MindAn Introduction to the Philosophy of PsychologyAn Introductory Philosophy of MedicineAn Odd Kind of FameAnalytic FreudAnalytic Philosophy in AmericaAncient AngerAncient Models of MindAncient Philosophy of the SelfAngerAnimal LessonsAnimal MindsAnimals Like UsAnnihilationAnother PlanetAnswers for AristotleAnti-ExternalismAnti-Individualism and KnowledgeAntigone’s ClaimAntipsychiatryAre We Hardwired?Are Women Human?Arguing about DisabilityArguing About Human NatureAristotle and the Philosophy of FriendshipAristotle on Practical WisdomAristotle's ChildrenAristotle's Ethics and Moral ResponsibilityAristotle, Emotions, and EducationArt & MoralityArt After Conceptual ArtArt in Three DimensionsArt, Self and KnowledgeArtificial ConsciousnessArtificial HappinessAspects of PsychologismAsylum to ActionAtonement and ForgivenessAttention is Cognitive UnisonAutobiography as PhilosophyAutonomyAutonomy and Mental DisorderAutonomy and the Challenges to LiberalismBabies by DesignBackslidingBadiouBadiou's DeleuzeBadiou, Balibar, Ranciere: Rethinking EmancipationBare Facts And Naked TruthsBasic Desert, Reactive Attitudes and Free WillBattlestar Galactica and PhilosophyBeautyBecoming a SubjectBecoming HumanBehavingBehavioral Genetics in the Postgenomic EraBeing AmoralBeing HumanBeing Mentally Ill: A Sociological Theory Being No OneBeing Realistic about ReasonsBeing ReducedBeing YourselfBelief's Own EthicsBending Over BackwardsBerlin Childhood around 1900Bernard WilliamsBertrand RussellBetter than BothBetter Than WellBetween Two WorldsBeyond HealthBeyond Hegel and NietzscheBeyond KuhnBeyond LossBeyond Moral JudgmentBeyond PostmodernismBeyond ReductionBeyond the DSM StoryBioethicsBioethics and the BrainBioethics in the ClinicBiological Complexity and Integrative PluralismBiology Is TechnologyBiosBipolar ExpeditionsBlackwell Companion to the Philosophy of EducationBlindsight & The Nature of ConsciousnessBlues - Philosophy for EveryoneBlushBob Dylan and PhilosophyBody ConsciousnessBody Image And Body SchemaBody ImagesBody LanguageBody MattersBody WorkBody-Subjects and Disordered MindsBoundBoundaries of the MindBoyleBrain Evolution and CognitionBrain FictionBrain, Mind, and Human Behavior in Contemporary Cognitive ScienceBrain-WiseBrainchildrenBrains, Buddhas, and BelievingBrainstormingBrave New WorldsBreakdown of WillBrief Child Therapy Homework PlannerBrief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and FaithBrief Therapy Homework PlannerBritain on the CouchBrute RationalityBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyBut Is It Art?Camus and SartreCartesian LinguisticsCartographies of the MindCarving Nature at Its JointsCase Studies in Biomedical Research EthicsCassandra's DaughterCato's TearsCausation and CounterfactualsCauses, Laws, and Free WillChanging Conceptions of the Child from the Renaissance to Post-ModernityChanging the SubjectChaosophyCharacter and Moral Psychology Character as Moral FictionCharles DarwinCherishmentChildhood and the Philosophy of EducationChildrenChildren, Families, and Health Care Decision MakingChoices and ConflictChoosing Not to ChooseChristmas - Philosophy for EveryoneCinema, Philosophy, BergmanCinematic MythmakingCity and Soul in Plato's RepublicClassifying MadnessClear and Queer ThinkingClinical EthicsClinical Psychiatry in Imperial GermanyCodependent ForevermoreCoffee - Philosophy for EveryoneCognition and the BrainCognition of Value in Aristotle's EthicsCognition Through Understanding: Self-Knowledge, Interlocution, Reasoning, ReflectionCognitive BiologyCognitive FictionsCognitive Neuroscience of EmotionCognitive Systems and the Extended MindCognitive Systems and the Extended Mind Cognitive Theories of Mental IllnessCoherence in Thought and ActionCollected Papers, Volume 1Collected Papers, Volume 2College SexComedy IncarnateCommitmentCommunicative Action and Rational ChoiceCompetence, Condemnation, and CommitmentConcealment And ExposureConceptual Analysis and Philosophical NaturalismConceptual Art and PaintingConceptual Issues in Evolutionary BiologyConfessionsConfucianismConnected, or What It Means to Live in the Network SocietyConquest of AbundanceConscience and ConvenienceConsciousnessConsciousnessConsciousnessConsciousness ConsciousnessConsciousness and Its Place in NatureConsciousness and LanguageConsciousness and Mental LifeConsciousness and MindConsciousness and the NovelConsciousness and the SelfConsciousness EmergingConsciousness EvolvingConsciousness ExplainedConsciousness in ActionConsciousness RecoveredConsciousness RevisitedConsciousness, Color, and ContentConsole and ClassifyConstructing the WorldConstructive AnalysisContemporary Debates In Applied EthicsContemporary Debates in Moral TheoryContemporary Debates in Philosophy of BiologyContemporary Debates in Philosophy of MindContemporary Debates in Political PhilosophyContemporary Debates in Social PhilosophyContemporary Perspectives on Natural LawContested Knowledge: Social Theory TodayContesting PsychiatryContext and the AttitudesContinental Philosophy of ScienceControlControlling Our DestiniesConversations About Psychology and Sexual OrientationCopernicus, Darwin and FreudCrazy for YouCreating a Life of Meaning and CompassionCreating ConsilienceCreating HysteriaCreating Mental IllnessCreating Scientific ConceptsCreating the American JunkieCreation, Rationality and AutonomyCreatures Like Us?Crime and CulpabilityCrime, Punishment, and Mental IllnessCrimes of ReasonCritical New Perspectives on Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity DisorderCritical PsychiatryCritical PsychologyCritical ResistanceCritical Thinking About PsychologyCritical VisionsCross and KhoraCruel CompassionCTRL [SPACE]Cultural Psychology of the SelfCultural Theory: An IntroductionCulture and Psychiatric DiagnosisCulture and Subjective Well-BeingCulture of DeathCultures of NeurastheniaCurious EmotionsCurrent Controversies in Experimental PhilosophyCustom and Reason in HumeCustomers and Patrons of the Mad-TradeCutting God in Half - And Putting the Pieces Together AgainCylons in AmericaDamaged IdentitiesDamasio's Error and Descartes' TruthDangerous EmotionsDaniel DennettDaniel DennettDark AgesDarwin and DesignDarwin's Dangerous IdeaDarwin's LegacyDarwin, God and the Meaning of LifeDarwinian PsychiatryDarwinian ReductionismDarwinizing CultureDating: Philosophy for EveryoneDeathDeathDeath and CharacterDeath and CompassionDeath and the AfterlifeDebating DesignDebating HumanismDecision Making, Personhood and DementiaDecomposing the WillDeconstructing PsychotherapyDeconstruction and DemocracyDeeper Than DarwinDeeper than ReasonDefending Science - within ReasonDefining Psychopathology in the 21st CenturyDegrees of BeliefDelusion and Self-DeceptionDelusions and Other Irrational BeliefsDelusions and the Madness of the MassesDementiaDemons, Dreamers, and MadmenDennett and Ricoeur on the Narrative SelfDennett’s PhilosophyDepression Is a ChoiceDepression, Emotion and the SelfDepthDerrida, Deleuze, PsychoanalysisDescartesDescartes and the Passionate MindDescartes' CogitoDescartes's Changing MindDescartes's Concept of MindDescribing Inner Experience?Descriptions and PrescriptionsDesembodied Spirits and Deanimated Bodies Desert Islands and Other Texts (1953-1974)Desire and AffectDesire, Practical Reason, and the GoodDiagnosing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental DisordersDialectics of the SelfDid My Neurons Make Me Do It?Difference and IdentityDigital SoulDimensional Models of Personality DisordersDisability, Difference, DiscriminationDisjunctivismDisorders of VolitionDisorientation and Moral LifeDispatches from the Freud WarsDisrupted LivesDistractionDisturbed ConsciousnessDivided Minds and Successive SelvesDo Apes Read Minds?Do Fish Feel Pain?Do We Still Need Doctors?Does Consciousness Cause Behavior?Does the Woman Exist?Doing without ConceptsDon't Believe Everything You ThinkDonald DavidsonDonald Davidson on Truth, Meaning, and the MentalDoubting Darwin?Dreaming and Other Involuntary MentationDSM-IV SourcebookDSM-IV SourcebookDSM-IV-TR CasebookDworkin and His CriticsDying to KnowDynamics in ActionDysthymia and the Spectrum of Chronic DepressionsEccentricsEducational MetamorphosesEffective IntentionsElbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth WantingEmbodied Minds in ActionEmbodied RhetoricsEmbodied Selves and Divided MindsEmbryos under the MicroscopeEmergencies in Mental Health PracticeEmerging Conceptual, Ethical and Policy Issues in BionanotechnologyEmotionEmotion and ConsciousnessEmotion and PsycheEmotion ExperienceEmotion RegulationEmotion, Evolution, And RationalityEmotional IntelligenceEmotional ReasonEmotional ReasonEmotional TruthEmotions in Humans and ArtifactsEmotions in the Moral LifeEmotions in the Moral LifeEmotions, Value, and AgencyEmpathyEmpathy and AgencyEmpathy and Moral DevelopmentEmpathy and MoralityEmpathy in the Context of PhilosophyEmpirical Ethics in PsychiatryEnchanted LoomsEngaging BuddhismEngineering the Human GermlineEnjoymentEnvyEpicureanismEpistemic LuckEpistemologyEpistemology and EmotionsEpistemology and the Psychology of Human JudgmentEros and the GoodErotic MoralityEssays in Social NeuroscienceEssays in the Metaphysics of Mind Essays on Derek Parfit's On What MattersEssays on Free Will and Moral ResponsibilityEssays on Nonconceptual ContentEssays on Philosophical CounselingEssays on Reference, Language, and MindEssays on the Concept of Mind in Early-Modern PhilosophyEssential Sources in the Scientific Study of ConsciousnessEsssential Philosophy of PsychiatryEternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindEthical Conflicts in PsychologyEthical Issues in Forensic Mental Health ResearchEthical Issues in Human CloningEthical TheoryEthicsEthicsEthics and the A PrioriEthics and the Metaphysics of MedicineEthics and Values in PsychotherapyEthics Done RightEthics ExpertiseEthics in Plain EnglishEthics in PracticeEthics in Psychiatric ResearchEthics of PsychiatryEthics without OntologyEuropean Review of Philosophy. Vol. 5Everyday IrrationalityEvil in Modern ThoughtEvolutionEvolution and the Human MindEvolution's RainbowEvolutionary Origins of MoralityEvolutionary PsychologyExamined LifeExamined LivesExistential AmericaExistentialismExistentialism and Romantic LoveExperimental PhilosophyExperimental PhilosophyExperimental PhilosophyExperimental Philosophy, Rationalism, and NaturalismExperiments in EthicsExplaining ConsciousnessExplaining the BrainExplaining the Computational MindExplanatory PluralismExploding the Gene MythExploring HappinessExploring the SelfExpression and the InnerExpressions of JudgmentFaces of IntentionFact and ValueFact and Value in EmotionFacts, Values, and NormsFads and Fallacies in the Social SciencesFaith and Wisdom in ScienceFatherhoodFear of KnowledgeFearless SpeechFeeling Pain and Being in PainFeelings and EmotionsFeelings of BeingFellow-Feeling and the Moral LifeFeminism and Its DiscontentsFeminism and Philosophy of ScienceFeminist Ethics and Social and Political PhilosophyFeminist Interpretations of Rene DescartesFeminist TheoryField Notes from ElsewhereFinding Consciousness in the BrainFingerprints of GodFlesh in the Age of ReasonFolk Psychological NarrativesFolk Psychology Re-AssessedForces of HabitForgivenessForgiveness and LoveForgiveness and RetributionFoucault 2.0Foucault and PhilosophyFoucault NowFoucault, Psychology and the Analytics of PowerFoundational Issues in Human Brain MappingFoundations of Ethical Practice, Research, and Teaching in PsychologyFour Views on Free WillFree WillFree WillFree WillFree WillFree Will and Action ExplanationFree Will and LuckFree Will And Moral ResponsibilityFree Will as an Open Scientific ProblemFree Will, Agency, and Meaning in LifeFree: Why Science Hasn't Disproved Free WillFreedomFreedom and DeterminismFreedom And NeurobiologyFreedom and ResponsibiltyFreedom and ValueFreedom EvolvesFreedom RegainedFreedom vs. InterventionFreedom, Fame, Lying, and BetrayalFreudFreud and the Question of PseudoscienceFreud As PhilosopherFreud's AnswerFreud, the Reluctant PhilosopherFriedrich NietzscheFrom Chance to ChoiceFrom Clinic to ClassroomFrom Complexity to LifeFrom Enlightenment to ReceptivityFrom Knowledge to Wisdom: A Revolution for Science and the HumanitiesFrom Morality to Mental HealthFrom Passions to EmotionsFrom Philosophy to PsychotherapyFrontiers of ConsciousnessFrontiers of JusticeFurnishing the MindGalileo in PittsburghGenderGender and Mental HealthGender in the MirrorGender TroubleGenesGenes, Women, EqualityGenetic Nature/CultureGenetic ProspectsGenetic ProspectsGenetic SecretsGenocide's AftermathGenomes and What to Make of ThemGerman Idealism and the JewGerman PhilosophyGetting HookedGilles DeleuzeGlobal PhilosophyGluttonyGod and Phenomenal ConsciousnessGoffman's LegacyGoing Amiss in Experimental ResearchGoodness & AdviceGrassroots SpiritualityGrave MattersGrave MattersGreedGreek Models of Mind and SelfGut ReactionsHabilitation, Health, and AgencyHabits of MindHallucinationHandbook of BioethicsHandbook of EmotionsHappinessHappinessHappinessHappinessHappiness and EducationHappiness and the Good LifeHappiness Is OverratedHappiness, Death, and the Remainder of LifeHard LuckHarmful ThoughtsHaving the World in ViewHealing PsychiatryHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHealth, Illness and DiseaseHealth, Science, and Ordinary LanguageHegelHeidegger and a Metaphysics of FeelingHeidegger, Metaphysics and the Univocity of BeingHermann von Helmholtz's MechanismHermeneutics As PoliticsHeterophobiaHeterosyncraciesHeuristics and BiasesHeuristics and the LawHidden ResourcesHidden SelvesHiding from HumanityHigh Art LiteHistorical OntologyHistory of Psychiatry and Medical PsychologyHistory, Historicity And ScienceHobbesHomosexualitiesHope and Dread in PsychoanalysisHot ThoughtHow Can I Be Trusted?How Can the Human Mind Occur in the Physical Universe?How Children Learn the Meanings of WordsHow Could Conscious Experiences Affect Brains?How Do We Know Who We Are?How Emotions WorkHow Emotions WorkHow History Made the MindHow Images ThinkHow is Nature Possible?How Propaganda WorksHow Science WorksHow Scientific Practices MatterHow Scientists Explain DiseaseHow The Body Shapes The MindHow the Body Shapes the Way We ThinkHow the Mind Explains BehaviorHow the Mind Uses the BrainHow to Make Opportunity EqualHow to Solve the Mind-Body Problemhow to stop timeHow to Think More About SexHow We HopeHow We ReasonHuman CloningHuman Development, Language and the Future of MankindHuman EnhancementHuman Evolution, Reproduction, and MoralityHuman GoodnessHuman Identity and BioethicsHuman NatureHuman NatureHuman Nature and the Limits of ScienceHuman-Built WorldHumanismHumanism, What's That?HumanityHumans, Animals, MachinesHumeHumeHume on Motivation and VirtueHusserlHystoriesI of the VortexI Was WrongIdeas that MatterIdentifying the MindIdentity and Agency in Cultural WorldsIgnorance and ImaginationIllnessImagination and Its PathologiesImagination and the Meaningful BrainImagining NumbersImmortal RemainsImproving Nature?In Defense of an Evolutionary Concept of HealthIn Defense of SentimentalityIn Love With LifeIn Praise of Athletic BeautyIn Praise of the WhipIn Pursuit of HappinessIn Search of HappinessIn the Name of GodIn the Name of IdentityIn the Space of ReasonsIn Two MindsIncompatibilism's AllureIndividual Differences in Conscious ExperienceInfinity and PerspectiveInformation ArtsInformed Consent in Medical ResearchIngmar Bergman, Cinematic PhilosopherInhuman ThoughtsInner PresenceInsanityIntegrating Psychotherapy and PharmacotherapyIntegrity and the Fragile SelfIntelligent VirtueIntentionIntentionality, Deliberation and AutonomyIntentions and IntentionalityIntentions and IntentionalityInterpreting MindsInterpreting NietzscheIntroducing Greek PhilosophyIntrospection and ConsciousnessIntrospection VindicatedIntuition, Imagination, and Philosophical MethodologyIntuitionismInvestigating the Psychological WorldIrrationalityIrrationalityIs Academic Feminism Dead?Is It Me or My Meds?Is Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Is Oedipus Online?Is Science Neurotic?Is Science Value Free?Is the Visual World a Grand Illusion?Is There a Duty to Die?Issues in Philosophical CounselingJacques LacanJacques RancièreJacques RanciereJean-Paul SartreJohn McDowellJohn SearleJohn Searle's Ideas About Social RealityJohn Stuart MillJohn Stuart Mill and the Writing of CharacterJoint AttentionJokesJonathan EdwardsJudging and UnderstandingJustice for ChildrenJustice in RobesJustice, Luck, and KnowledgeKantKant and MiltonKant and the Fate of AutonomyKant and the Limits of AutonomyKant and the Role of Pleasure in Moral ActionKant on Freedom, Law, and HappinessKant on Moral AutonomyKant's Anatomy of EvilKant's Anatomy of the Intelligent MindKant's Theory of VirtueKarl JaspersKarl PopperKey Concepts in PhilosophyKierkegaardKierkegaard as PhenomenologistKierkegaard's Concept of DespairKinds of MindsKinds, Things, and StuffKnowing, Knowledge and BeliefsKnowledge MonopoliesKnowledge, Belief, and CharacterKnowledge, Possibility, and ConsciousnessLacanLack of CharacterLack of CharacterLanguageLanguage in ContextLanguage, Consciousness, CultureLanguage, Culture, and MindLanguage, Vision, and MusicLaw and the BrainLaw, Liberty, and PsychiatryLaws, Mind, and Free WillLeaving YouLectures on the History of Political PhilosophyLevelling the Playing FieldLiberal Education in a Knowledge SocietyLiberatory PsychiatryLife and ActionLife at the Texas State Lunatic Asylum, 1857-1997Life Is Not a Game of PerfectLife of the MindLife's FormLife, Death, & MeaningLife, Death, and Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of UtilityLife, Sex, and IdeasLight in the Dark RoomLike a Splinter in Your MindLiving and Dying WellLiving NarrativeLiving Outside Mental IllnessLiving with DarwinLiving With One’s PastLockeLocke LockeLogic and the Art of Memory Loneliness in Philosophy, Psychology, and LiteratureLooking for SpinozaLooking for The StrangerLost SoulsLOT 2LoveLoveLove's ConfusionsLove's VisionLove, Friendship, and the SelfLove, Sex & TragedyLuckyLudwig WittgensteinLustLyingMachine ConsciousnessMad for FoucaultMad TravelersMade with WordsMadness And Death In PhilosophyMadness and DemocracyMadness at HomeMadness Is CivilizationMaking Natural KnowledgeMaking Sense of EvolutionMaking Sense of Freedom and ResponsibilityMaking the DSM-5Making the Social WorldMaking TruthMale Female EmailMan, Beast, and ZombieMandated Reporting of Suspected Child AbuseManiaManic Depression and CreativityMapping the Edges and the In-betweenMapping the Future of BiologyMarcus AureliusMaster PassionsMatters of the MindMe++Meaning and Moral OrderMeaning and Value in a Secular AgeMeaning in LifeMeaning in Life and Why It MattersMeaning, Basic Self-Knowledge, and MindMeasuring HappinessMeasuring PsychopathologyMedia MadnessMedical Enhancement and PosthumanityMedicine and Philosophy in Classical AntiquityMedicine of the PersonMedicine, Mental Health, Religion, Science and Well-BeingMelancholy And the Care of the SoulMelancholy and the Otherness of GodMementoMemory and NarrativeMental ActionsMental CausationMental Causation and OntologyMental HealthMental Health At The CrossroadsMental Health Policy in BritainMerit, Meaning, and Human BondageMerleau-PontyMerleau-Ponty and the Possibilities of PhilosophyMetacognition and Theory of MindMetacreationMetaethical SubjectivismMetaethicsMetal and FleshMetaphors of MemoryMetapoliticsMethods in MindMichel FoucaultMill's UtilitarianismMindMindMind and ConsciousnessMind and CosmosMind and MechanismMind GamesMind in a Physical WorldMind in Everyday Life and Cognitive ScienceMind in LifeMind TimeMind's LandscapeMind, Brain and the Elusive SoulMind, Brain, and Free WillMind, Reason and ImaginationMinding MindsMindreadersMindreading AnimalsMinds and PersonsMinds, Brains, and LawMinds, Ethics, and ConditionalsMindshapingMindsightMindworldsMirror, MirrorMixed FeelingsMockingbird YearsModels of the SelfModern Social ImaginariesModern Theories of JusticeModernity and SubjectivityModernity and TechnologyMoody Minds DistemperedMoral DimensionsMoral FailureMoral ImaginationMoral LiteracyMoral MachinesMoral ParticularismMoral PsychologyMoral Psychology and Human AgencyMoral Psychology, Volume 1Moral Psychology, Volume 2Moral Psychology, Volume 3Moral Psychology: Volume IVMoral RepairMoral Responsibility and Alternative PossibilitiesMoral TribesMoral Value and Human DiversityMorality and Self-InterestMorality in a Natural WorldMorality, Moral Luck and ResponsibilityMotherhoodMotive and RightnessMoving Beyond Prozac, DSM, and the New PsychiatryMultiple Analogies in Science and PhilosophyMultiple Identities & False MemoriesMusic, Madness, and the Unworking of LanguageMy Brain Made Me Do ItMy Double UnveiledMy WayNarrativeNarrative and IdentityNarrative MedicineNarrative PsychiatryNarrative Theory and the Cognitive SciencesNatural Ethical FactsNatural Kinds and Conceptual ChangeNatural MindsNatural-Born CybogsNaturalism and the First-Person PerspectiveNaturalism and the Human ConditionNaturalism in the Philosophy of HealthNaturalism in the Philosophy of HealthNaturalized BioethicsNaturalizing the MindNatureNature and NarrativeNear Death ExperienceNeither Bad nor MadNeither Victim nor SurvivorNeuro-Philosophy and the Healthy MindNeuroethicsNeuroethicsNeurological Foundations of Cognitive Neuroscience Neurophilosophy at WorkNeurophilosophy of Free WillNeuropoliticsNeuropsychoanalysis in PracticeNeuroscience and PhilosophyNew Essays on the Explanation of ActionNew Philosophy for a New MediaNew Versions of VictimsNew Waves in Philosophy of ActionNietzscheNietzsche and Buddhist PhilosophyNietzsche on Ethics and PoliticsNietzsche's TherapyNietzsche, Culture and EducationNietzsche: The Man and His PhilosophyNihil UnboundNoir AnxietyNormative EthicsNormativityNorms of NatureNotebooks 1951-1959Notes Toward a Performative Theory of AssemblyNothing So AbsurdOblivionOn AnxietyOn ApologyOn Being AuthenticOn Being AuthenticOn BeliefOn BetrayalOn BullshitOn DelusionOn DesireOn EmotionsOn HashishOn Human RightsOn Loving Our EnemiesOn Nature and LanguageOn PersonalityOn ReflectionOn Romantic LoveOn the EmotionsOn the Freud WatchOn the Government of the LivingOn the Human ConditionOn the InternetOn the Meaning of LifeOn the Philosophy of LawOn the Pragmatics of CommunicationOn the Punitive SocietyOn TruthOn Virtue EthicsOn What MattersOn What We Owe to Each OtherOne Hundred DaysOnflowOnly a Promise of HappinessOntology of ConsciousnessOpen MindedOpen Your EyesOrgans without BodiesOther MindsOur Last Great IllusionOur Own MindsOur Posthuman FutureOur StoriesOut of Its MindOut of Our HeadsOxford Guide to the MindOxford Handbook of Psychiatric EthicsOxford Textbook of Philosophy of PsychiatryPanic DisorderPanpsychism in the WestPartialityPassionate EnginesPassionate EnginesPathologies of BeliefPathologies of ReasonPatient Autonomy and the Ethics of ResponsibilityPC, M.D.Perceiving the WorldPerception & CognitionPerception and Basic BeliefsPerception, Hallucination, and IllusionPerceptual ExperiencePerfecting VirtuePerplexities of ConsciousnessPersistencePersonal AutonomyPersonal Autonomy in SocietyPersonal IdentityPersonal Identity and EthicsPersonal Identity and Fractured SelvesPersonhood and Health CarePersonsPersons and BodiesPersons, Humanity, and the Definition of DeathPersons, Souls and DeathPerspectives on ImitationPerspectives on PragmatismPessimismPhenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal KnowledgePhenomenal ConsciousnessPhenomenal IntentionalityPhenomenology and ExistentialismPhenomenology and Philosophy of MindPhilosophersPhilosophers on MusicPhilosophers without GodsPhilosophical CounselingPhilosophical Counselling and the UnconsciousPhilosophical DevicesPhilosophical Foundations of NeurosciencePhilosophical History and the Problem of ConsciousnessPhilosophical Issues in PsychiatryPhilosophical Issues in PsychiatryPhilosophical Issues in Psychiatry IIPhilosophical MethodologyPhilosophical MidwiferyPhilosophical Myths of the FallPhilosophical Perspectives on DepictionPhilosophical Perspectives on Technology and PsychiatryPhilosophical PracticePhilosophical Reflections on DisabilityPhilosophizing About Sex Philosophizing the EverydayPhilosophy and HappinessPhilosophy and LivingPhilosophy and PsychiatryPhilosophy and PsychotherapyPhilosophy and Science FictionPhilosophy and the EmotionsPhilosophy and the EmotionsPhilosophy and the Interpretation of Pop CulturePhilosophy and the Moving ImagePhilosophy and the NeurosciencesPhilosophy and This Actual WorldPhilosophy As FictionPhilosophy BitesPhilosophy Bites BackPhilosophy for Counselling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy for LifePhilosophy in a New CenturyPhilosophy in an Age of SciencePhilosophy in Children's LiteraturePhilosophy of ActionPhilosophy of ActionPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BodyPhilosophy of Film and Motion PicturesPhilosophy of LovePhilosophy of Love, Sex, and MarriagePhilosophy of MindPhilosophy of Mind and CognitionPhilosophy of Personal Identity and Multiple PersonalityPhilosophy of PsychologyPhilosophy of Public HealthPhilosophy of SciencePhilosophy of SciencePhilosophy of Technology: The Technological ConditionPhilosophy of the Social SciencesPhilosophy on TapPhilosophy PracticePhilosophy the Day after TomorrowPhilosophy's Role in Counseling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy, Neuroscience and ConsciousnessPhilosophy, Politics, DemocracyPhotography and PhilosophyPhysical RealizationPhysicalism and Its DiscontentsPhysicalism and Mental CausationPhysicalism, or Something Near EnoughPhysician-Assisted DyingPillar of SaltPin-up GrrrlsPlatoPlatoPlato, Not Prozac!Platonic Ethics, Old and NewPluralistic CasuistryPolarities of ExperiencesPolitical EmotionsPopper, Objectivity and the Growth of KnowledgePornPorn StudiesPornography, Sex, and FeminismPortrait of the Psychiatrist as a Young ManPostcolonial DisordersPostpsychiatryPosttraumatic Stress DisorderPower and the SelfPower SplitPractical Autonomy and BioethicsPractical ConflictsPractical Identity and Narrative AgencyPractical PhilosophyPractical RulesPractical Tortoise RaisingPractically ProfoundPracticing Feminist Ethics in PsychologyPragmatic BioethicsPragmatismPragmatism, Old And NewPraise and BlamePredicative MindsPreferences and Well-BeingPrescriptions for the MindPresocraticsPrimary and Secondary QualitiesPrimates and PhilosophersPrivacyPrivileged AccessProblems in MindProblems of RationalityProzac As a Way of LifeProzac BacklashProzac on the CouchPsyche and SomaPsychiatric Aspects of Justification, Excuse and Mitigation in Anglo-American Criminal Law Psychiatric Cultures ComparedPsychiatric Diagnosis and ClassificationPsychiatric EthicsPsychiatric PowerPsychiatric SlaveryPsychiatry and Philosophy of SciencePsychiatry and ReligionPsychiatry as a Human SciencePsychiatry as Cognitive NeurosciencePsychiatry in SocietyPsychiatry in the New MilleniumPsychiatry in the Scientific ImagePsychiatry, Psychoanalysis, And The New Biology Of MindPsycho-Physical Dualism TodayPsychoanalysis and Narrative MedicinePsychoanalysis and the Philosophy of SciencePsychological Concepts and Biological PsychiatryPsychology and PhilosophyPsychology and the Question of AgencyPsychology's Interpretive TurnPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychotherapy and ConfidentialityPsychotherapy As PraxisPublic PhilosophyPunishmentPure ImmanencePurple HazePursuing MeaningQuality of Life and Human DifferenceQueer PhilosophyQuestions for FreudQuestions for FreudQuine and Davidson on Language, Thought and RealityRaceRace in Contemporary MedicineRadiant CoolRadical AlterityRadical ExternalismRadical HopeRational and Social AgencyRational CausationRational Choice in an Uncertain WorldRationality + Consciousness = Free WillRationality and FreedomRationality and the Reflective MindRationality in ActionRawls, Dewey, and ConstructivismRe-creating MedicineRe-EmergenceRe-Engineering Philosophy for Limited BeingsReading AutobiographyReading Bernard WilliamsReading SartreReadings in the Philosophy of TechnologyReal MaterialismReal Natures and Familiar ObjectsReal ScienceRealism in ActionReason & EmancipationReason in ActionReason in PhilosophyReason's GriefReasonably ViciousReasoning About Rational AgentsReasoning in Biological DiscoveriesReasons from WithinReasons without RationalismReclaiming CognitionReclaiming the SoulReconceiving SchizophreniaReconstructing Reason and RepresentationReconstructing the Cognitive WorldRecreative MindsRediscovering EmotionRediscovering EmpathyReference and ExistenceReference and the Rational MindReflections On How We LiveReframing Disease ContextuallyRefusing CareRegulating SexReinventing the SoulRelativism and Human RightsRelativism and the Foundations of PhilosophyRelativism and the Foundations of PhilosophyReliable ReasoningReligion without GodRelying on OthersRemembering HomeResponsibility and PunishmentResponsibility and PunishmentResponsibility from the MarginsRestraining RageRethinking ExpertiseRethinking IntrospectionRethinking Mental Health and DisorderRethinking RapeRethinking the DSMRethinking the Sociology of Mental HealthRethinking the Western Understanding of the SelfReturn to ReasonRevolt, She SaidRichard RortyRichard RortyRichard RortyRichard RortyRichard RortyRichard Rorty's New PragmatismRightsRights, Democracy, and Fulfillment in the Era of Identity PoliticsRise And Fall of Soul And SelfRitalin NationRobert NozickRousseauRousseau and the Dilemmas of Modernity Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Derrida on DeconstructionRules, Reason, and Self-KnowledgeSaints, Scholars, and Schizophrenics: Mental 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Rules, Reason, and Self-KnowledgeReview - Rules, Reason, and Self-Knowledge
by Julia Tanney
Harvard University Press, 2013
Review by Tim Thornton
Sep 17th 2013 (Volume 17, Issue 38)

Rules, Reason and Self Knowledge gathers papers written since 1995 on a number of overlapping subjects with a helpful introduction which attempts to draw out the main themes. A retrospective collection allows for different possibilities of lumping and splitting. In this case, Tanney presents the collection in four non-chronological sections on 'Rules and normativity', 'Reason-explanation and mental causation', 'Philosophical elucidation and cognitive science' and 'Self-knowledge'. I will not say anything about the final section, but the first three sections can all be seen as an attempt to criticize a dominant picture of the philosophy of mind which arose, in part, through the criticism in the 1960s and 70s of the 'strong current of neo-Wittgensteinian small red books' (i.e. 'most of the books in the series edited by R.F. Holland, Studies in Philosophical Psychology, including Anthony Kenny, Action, Emotion and Will, London, 1963, and A. I. Melden, Free Action, London, 1961.') against which Davidson thought of himself (and Hempel) as swimming [Davidson 2001: 261, 4]. This collection can be thought of as a defense of, and perhaps a late addition to, that Routledge & Kegan Paul series. It pitches Wittgenstein and Ryle against Davidson, Putnam and Fodor. One aim is to 'reintroduc[e] Wittgensteinian territory into the contemporary landscape' [Tanney 2013: 162].

The picture of mind Tanney opposes turns on a view of 'folk psychology' as a referential and causal theory of action, commensurable with a neuropsychology of, perhaps, the very same inner states. She contests the nature and scope of such an explanatory stance. Two broad areas of criticisms concern the connection between this view action explanation and rules and normativity, a key focus of interest of both the Wittgensteinian authors of the 'small red books' as well as contemporary philosophers such as McDowell and Brandom.

In the first section of the book, 'Rules and normativity', Tanney argues that human action ('doings, sayings, thinkings and perceivings' [ibid: 2]) can be assessed along a normative dimension but this is not the result of normative properties of mental states construed individualistically. The norms are somehow there in advance. Rule following activity cannot itself be explained folk psychologically because folk psychology presupposes rule following ability.

The third section of the collection, 'Philosophical elucidation and cognitive science', addresses a second broad criticism connected to rules and normativity: the cognitive psychological explanation of rational abilities -- such as Fodor's Representational Theory of Mind -- cannot work because it is defeated by regress arguments found in Wittgenstein and Ryle. If the mind performs computational operations on representations, then the rules governing those operations will also need to be represented and that initiates a regress of rules.

A distinct line of criticism concerns the best way to understand explanation of human action by appeal to reasons. On the opposed picture of mind, such explanation works by referring to internal states of an agent which both rationalize and cause actions. Tanney rejects the first element (that it refers to internal states) and the way, at least, in which the second (the rationalizing element) and third (the causal element) are understood. (It may be more accurate to say that she simply rejects the third element but there is nuance in this.) Rather than understanding psychological explanation as referring to first- or second-order physical properties of an individual, Tanney suggests that they serve as 'tools that help us keep track of [the subject] by carving out aspects of what she says and does that we can, to a greater or lesser extent, understand' [ibid: 147].

In what seems to me to be the strongest essay in this second section, 'Why reasons may not be causes', Tanney attacks Davidson's argument that reason explanation must also be causal to distinguish a reason for an action from the reason and only causation promises to give an account of the 'mysterious connection' between reasons and actions. Tanney argues that causation does not provide a satisfactory addition and that no addition is in fact needed.

Firstly, taking the example of Oedipus unknowingly killing his father, there is no need to add causation into the account because it is not needed to distinguish between his reasons for killing the threatening old man and any more 'Oedipal' desires to kill his father. The latter are irrelevant to explaining his actions because he does not believe the old man is his father. Thus it does not serve as part of a reason he has for killing the old man. In the case of overridden reasons, Tanney assumes that Oedipus does know that the old man is his father and that in addition to his Oedipal desires (to kill him) he also has moral qualms about killing his father. Nevertheless, these qualms are overridden by his own desire to survive when threatened and so he kills his father. Given this scenario, Oedipus's Oedipal desires do not form part of his reason for killing his father even though they are reasons he has. They are not his reason because they are overridden by his moral qualms. Davidson would explain this by saying that the Oedipal reason is not causally active in this case: that causation makes the difference between a reason and the reason. But as Tanney points out, this assumption is unwarranted once an account of competing reasons is given which trades only on rational and motivational concepts. A difference in the space of reasons can make the difference (between a reason one has and the reason one acts) instead.

Tanney concludes that, once a more complex story of weighted reasons for actions is in place, there is no need to add a causal element to reason explanation. She then goes on to suggest a deeper underlying motive for thinking that there must be some such causal addition. This is that there should be a determinate relation between reasons for action and action: that the former should be a sufficient condition for the latter. But she suggests that this is too strong a requirement to place on rational explanation. Sometimes reasons just are insufficient for action.

The paper also addresses broader worries about anomalous monism which are related to now more familiar qualms. But this initial challenge to the efficacy of Davidson's 'Actions, reasons and causes' to justify a causal theory of action against the qualms of the neo-Wittgensteinians is a key element in this collection.

This negative argument against a philosophical theory of action explanation is combined with a further, and I think less successful, positive claim about the nature of action explanation itself. In 'Reason-explanation and the contents of the mind' Tanney considers the case of someone running out of a building. She suggests that being told that the building is on fire can serve as a proper and complete explanation for that action: 'all we need to relieve our puzzlement is a wider view of the context or the circumstances in which the action takes place' [ibid: 136]. In saying this, she contrasts her view with one that requires that the explanation has to include, or presuppose, the conception of the circumstances that the agent herself has.

Some explanations will have to mention the agent's conception of the circumstances. This will be so when the agent has a misconception that explains her action. Suppose the building was not on fire. The woman might have fled because she thought it was. But it does not follow from the fact that some explanations will have to mention the agent's conception of the circumstances that all explanations do -- even, say, when there is no misconception involved. [ibid: 136]

The danger with this line of thought is that it risks moving too quickly from the pragmatics of action explanation to a substantial ontological claim. The motivation for the assumption that pragmatics is a reliable guide to what is / is not presupposed by action explanation seems to be an independent assumption about the nature of the subject's conception of her circumstances should Tanney's conclusion be rejected: that such conceptions are hidden or inner. In fact, she expresses the opposite worry by denying that 'in appealing to how she conceives her situation, we must be homing in on something hidden or inner'. Such a comment implies that the idea of a subject's conception of her circumstances is itself innocent and might, indeed, be implicitly presupposed by all action explanation even when not explicitly mentioned. But this does not seem to be her actual conclusion. I suspect that fear of invoking something hidden or inner motivates downplaying this element entirely, even in an innocent version, in favor of what is explicitly in full view and outer: the circumstances in which actions take place.

I worry that this combination of a successful therapeutic rejection of philosophical theorizing coupled with a less convincing revisionary move is also present (along with much of value) in one of the other clear highlights of the collection: 'De-individualizing norms of rationality', which connects Davidson's account of action explanation with the role of rules and normativity. In the first section, Tanney offers the following thumbnail sketch of one version of Davidson's position which is worth quoting in full.

In 'How is weakness of the will possible?' Davidson suggests that the judgment that manifests the relative ranking of reasons — i.e., the result of deliberation — is an "all things considered judgment". An all things considered judgment is "doubly relativized". First it is relativized according to the way in which the desire would be satisfied in the commission of the action (say, as in the prima facie judgment: "Spending the weekend in Barcelona is desirable insofar as it is likely to yield adventure"). It is relativized also according to its place with respect to other desires and in light of the agent's beliefs, principles, and values. This judgment might be something like: "In light of my ranking the opportunity for adventure over prudential concerns, and in light of my beliefs about what spending the weekend in Barcelona will involve, and so on, spending the weekend in Barcelona is desirable". According to Davidson, this all things considered judgment is conditional in form and thus, like the singly relativized judgments that logically precede it, does not entail the kind of judgment which is a necessary concomitant to intentional action. Again, this latter judgment — which Davidson identifies as an intention — must be unconditional, or derelativized. So the logical gap that exists between the contents of prima facie evaluations, or sentences describing them, and the contents of intentions, or sentences describing them, is still preserved on the extended model between all things considered judgments and actions. The move from a doubly relativized judgment like "Assuming that I have considered all relevant things, I ought to spend the weekend in Barcelona" to an unconditional (derelativized) judgment like "I ought to spend the weekend in Barcelona" is not a move that is prescribed by first-order logic since, presumably, some piece of relevant information not considered might always defeat the claim that I ought to spend the weekend in Barcelona. Thus, the failure to make such a move in one's thinking cannot (yet) be taken to exhibit a kind of logical inconsistency. [ibid: 27-8]

We get to this point via the fact that the elements in a standard Davidsonian account of action contain pro-attitudues and beliefs such as:

·         Any act of mine which is likely to yield adventure is desirable

·         Spending the weekend in Barcelona is likely to yield adventure

But these will generate conclusions to a practical syllogism of this form:

·         Any act of mine which is my spending the weekend in Barcelona is one I may judge to be desirable

which seems too strong because other factors might make some such acts undesirable. So Davidson changes the form in 'How is weakness of the will possible?' to make the premises and conclusion all expressions of merely prima facie desirability: Any action of mine is desirable insofar as it is likely to yield adventure thus permitting trumping by other factors.

But now the problem with the account is that there is a gap between the outcome of the practical syllogism if, as Davidson thinks, the 'action itself must correspond to something stronger than a 'prima facie' evaluation that the act is desirable in a certain respect; it must correspond to an unconditional or all-out, singular judgment expressing the desirability of a particular action' [ibid: 25-6] So by what rational step does one get from a relativized prima facie judgment to an un-relativized all out judgment? One thing that is needed is a ranking of competing prima facie reasons. And this is the all things considered judgment (NB not an unconditional all out judgment) of the passage above. This judgment -- which Tanney suggests might be 'In light of my ranking the opportunity for adventure over prudential concerns, and in light of my beliefs about what spending the weekend in Barcelona will involve, and so on, spending the weekend in Barcelona is desirable' -- still does not imply an all out judgment and no such logical transition is available in standard logic.

So the patch (in Tanney's phrase) Davidson adds is an extra principle, the principle of continence, that I ought to act in accordance with my all things considered judgment. This has the additional virtue that its violation promises an account of akrasia. The akratic subject is guilty of irrationality, according to Davidson, because he violates this second order principle. So the akratic helps illustrate -- through a kind of deficit study -- the structure of the normal case. But that prompts the question of whether the patch really helps. The key objection is that the principle is not sufficient without begging a question of its own application. The problem is: 'if my implementation of the principle of continence, say, is needed to move me from an all things considered judgment to action, then why is not a higher-order principle of continence needed to tell me how I am to implement the principle of continence non-akratically, and so on?' [ibid: 35]

At this point Tanney deploys the regress argument to this initial target, thus connecting Davidson's account of action explanation with Wittgenstein's rule following considerations.

Is my holding the principle of continence, for example, tantamount to my having a pro-attitude toward my acting in accordance with my all things considered judgment?...
Perhaps the principle of continence is the content of an all things considered judgment. Then I judge, all things considered, that I ought to act in accordance with my all things considered judgments. Now the internal regress is explicit. If holding the principle (judging that I ought to act in accordance with my all things considered judgment) were explanatory of my rational abilities at all, it would only be if the connection between my all things considered judgments and my actions were presupposed. But this was precisely the connection that the principle was invoked to explain.[Ibid: 36]

The problem doesn't just lie with the norm expressed by the principle of continence. That is only one aspect of practical reasoning. Others include the links between perception and judgment, conceptual links within judgment as well as judgment to action. But no patch -- no higher principle grasped by the subject -- will be able explain the subject's ability to play what Tanney elsewhere calls the 'rule following game'. So the patch is not sufficient to explain the ability. But nor is it necessary.

Grasp of the principle of continence is supposed to dictate how the agent acts once he has weighed up his 'all things considered' judgment. It glues that judgment to a corresponding action. But in this case, that would be either a judgment that it is better to return to the park or a judgment that it is better to stay on the tram. The outcome depends on the relative strength of those desires. On Davidson's account, the akratic is only irrational because, despite the fact that his all things considered desire is (in the example) to stay on the tram, his desire to return to the park trumps the principle of continence which would make him act on the desire is to stay on the tram and thus he returns to the park. But, as Tanney argues, if his all things considered judgment is to stay on the tram, then merely by his status as 'an agent, a deliberator, a practical reasoner' he should correct his impulse to return to the park. 'After all, what is the point of his deliberating if he is not going to act in accordance with his deliberations? Indeed, why would he get as far along in the deliberation process as to reach the all things considered judgment if he will not act in accordance with it?' [ibid: 34]

So the higher order principle cannot play the explanatory role Davidson wants for it. That is not to say that it cannot play a diagnostic role in explaining what has gone wrong with someone's thinking. But it cannot be an 'object of cognition' which explains normal success.

In filling out this latter point, Tanney goes on to reject the idea that tacit knowledge of the principle would be explanatory. The key objection is that this also begs the question of tacitly deploying the principle correctly. Going tacit doesn't change things. A related alternative is to think of grasp of the principle as a kind of causal instantiation of it in such a way that causally yields correct moves. But this blurs normative rules and causal laws. Causal determinants of action cannot also prescriptively guide action. From this, she concludes that conformity with the norms of rationality is not a cognitive achievement.

There is a strong intuition that we need to make out an internal connection between norms and the individual who acts in accordance with them in order to make sense of the intuition that she acts because of the norms. A disposition to act in accordance with the norms does not seem to give us the right kind of non-contingent relation required for explanation. But, I argue, this relation cannot be made out as a cognitive one such that the norms themselves are objects of knowledge or desired ends and a person engages in reasoning to implement or satisfy them. This is because the "reasoning" here will presuppose the dispositions that attributing these very norms was meant to explain. [ibid: 42]

Now this denial turns on an explanatory connection and seems right to me. It's a rejection of the 'intellectualist legend' Ryle also targets. But I still want to hang onto the idea that following a rule correctly can be a case of my having grasped it. In fact, I think that this is a key distinction between rule following and rule accord (a distinction Tanney deploys herself in the third section of the book 'Philosophical elucidation and cognitive science' to attack Fodor). Section 6 of the paper is aimed against just this idea.

Perhaps attributing to me knowledge of a norm of rationality does not explain my rational abilities either directly, or via second-order explicational abilities, by the arguments above; but perhaps my having knowledge of the norms consists in my ability to justify my actions. And perhaps my having this second-order ability is necessary for me to be considered truly rational. If so, maybe we can make out the sought after "internal" connection after all. My following a rule or obeying a norm, as opposed to my merely acting in accordance with it, might consist in my ability to justify my actions in light of the principle prescribing it. [ibid: 42]

Tanney points out a distinction between justifying a move in chess by citing a rule and justifying a rational action by citing a rational norm. In the former case, the justificatory move is not itself a move within a chess game but a comment on it. But in the latter, the justificatory move is of just the same sort as the ground level move it was supposed to justify.

I am not sure that I follow this objection. It seems to be a justificatory analogue of the explanatory argument before. In the latter case, the charge is that one cannot deploy higher level principles to explain rule following behavior because that explanation would beg the question. If rule following behavior needed explaining, this would not explain it. So in this case, the analogue would be that rule following behavior cannot be justified by appeal to rules because the justification would beg the question. If it needed justifying, this would not justify it. Such an argument has echoes of Carroll's 'Tortoise and Achilles'. But it seems to assume that the only successful justification of rule following behavior would have to work from a perspective outside rule following altogether. To justify the grasp of a particular rule, one would need to justify the very idea of rule following at all. But that seems an unreasonable demand. An intermediate position would connect an individual's grasp of a rule with their ability to explain and to justify their behavior in accord with their conception of the rule but only to those with 'eyes to see'. Such a justification might consist in offering example moves.

Tanney concludes:

But in what sense, then, do the norms of rationality govern thought and action if they are not properly construed as objects of cognition? The answer is that they set up the practice of ascribing thoughts and action. This is a point often made by Davidson in discussions about the principle of charity. The principles of rationality seem to play the same kind of role. They are not rules or norms that figure in our attributive practices. They are presupposed by it. But if they ground the practice of interpretation, it would be a category mistake to explain features of the practice by individualizing them. [ibid: 44-5]

There seem to me to be two senses of 'individualize' available. On one, rational demands result from a kind of personal bootstrapping of normative force from non-normative elements. But, like Wittgenstein's regress of interpretations, such justification or explanation faces a vicious regress. On the other, it means something like: play a role in a subject's mental life. Tanney appears to reject both. But rejecting the latter makes the difference of rule following and rule accord lie merely in the eye of the interpreter.

A short review can only flag a potential worry. In other papers such as 'Playing the rule-following game' and 'How to resist mental representations' the distinction between following a rule and merely according with a rule plays an important critical role and so it cannot be quickly assumed that the contrast is then downplayed or undermined with more careful analysis. But there seem to be a number of places (e.g. 'To insist that someone cannot solve the puzzle unless she somehow conceives the rules (even if she cannot articulate them, even to herself) and acts in the light of her conception of the rules is simply dogmatic... Acting in accordance with the rules is solving the puzzle in certain cases.' [ibid: 85-6]) in which a criticism of a substantive philosophical theory of a subject's conception apparently leads to a denial of any role for such a conception and there is an emphasis, instead, on the circumstances in which rule following abilities are reasonably ascribed by others on the basis of behavior.

If that impression is correct then there is an historical parallel. One of the criticisms raised against the small red books of the neo-Wittgensteinians -- whether fairly or not -- was an undue sympathy to some form of philosophical behaviorism. Whether anything of that worry applies to this latest addition to that tradition is merely one of the many reasons it merits careful study.

References

Davidson, D. (2001) Essays on Actions and Events, Oxford: Clarendon Press

Tanney, J. (2013) Rules, Reason and Self Knowledge, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press

 

© 2013 Tim Thornton

 

Tim Thornton, Professor of Philosophy and Mental Health, School of Health, University of Central Lancashire


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