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All Topic Reviews
A Theory of Feelings Anger and Forgiveness Philosophizing Madness from Nietzsche to Derrida"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 Decent LifeA Delicate BalanceA Farewell to AlmsA Fragile LifeA 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 Minimal LibertarianismA 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 for the Science of Well-BeingA 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 Tapestry of ValuesA Tear is an Intellectual ThingA Theory of FreedomA Theory of Jerks and Other Philosophical MisadventuresA Thousand MachinesA Universe of ConsciousnessA Very Bad WizardA Very Bad Wizard: Morality Behind the CurtainA 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 and Self-ControlAddiction Is a ChoiceAdvances in Identity Theory and ResearchAftermathAfterwarAgainst AdaptationAgainst AutonomyAgainst BioethicsAgainst HappinessAgainst HealthAgainst MarriageAgency and ActionAgency and AnswerabilityAgency and EmbodimentAgency and ResponsibilityAgency, Freedom, and Moral ResponsibilityAl-JununAlain BadiouAlain BadiouAlasdair MacIntyreAlien Landscapes?Altered EgosAmbivalenceAmbivalenceAn 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's WayAristotle, Emotions, and EducationArt & MoralityArt After Conceptual ArtArt in Three DimensionsArt, Self and KnowledgeArtificial ConsciousnessArtificial HappinessAspects of PsychologismAsylum to ActionAt the Existentialist CaféAtonement 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 PhilosophyBe Like the FoxBeautyBecoming a SubjectBecoming HumanBefore ConsciousnessBehavingBehavioral 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 RussellBest ExplanationsBetter than BothBetter Than WellBetween Two WorldsBeyond HealthBeyond Hegel and NietzscheBeyond KuhnBeyond LossBeyond MelancholyBeyond Moral JudgmentBeyond PostmodernismBeyond ReductionBeyond SchizophreniaBeyond 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 CouchBritish Idealism and the Concept of the SelfBrute RationalityBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyBut Is It Art?Camus and SartreCan Animals Be Persons?Cartesian LinguisticsCartographies of the MindCarving Nature at Its JointsCase Studies in Biomedical Research EthicsCassandra's DaughterCategories We Live ByCato'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 DarwinCharles S. Peirce's PhenomenologyCherishmentChildhood 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 ChoiceCompassionate Moral RealismCompetence, Condemnation, and CommitmentConcealment And ExposureConcepts and Causes in the Philosophy of DiseaseConceptual 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 Fundamental RealityConsciousness 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 PhilosophyCurrent Controversies in Values and ScienceCustom 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 BeliefDeleuze and the Concepts of CinemaDelusion and Self-DeceptionDelusions and BeliefsDelusions 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, Love, and IdentityDesire, Practical Reason, and the GoodDeveloping the VirtuesDiagnosing 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 PhilosophyDoing without ConceptsDon't be FooledDon't Believe Everything You ThinkDonald DavidsonDonald Davidson on Truth, Meaning, and the MentalDoubting Darwin?Down GirlDreaming 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 PsychiatryEnactivist InterventionsEnchanted 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 Beyond the LimitsEthics 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 JudgmentExtraordinary Science and PsychiatryFaces of IntentionFact and ValueFact and Value in EmotionFacts and ValuesFacts, 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 CreaturesFellow-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 WillFrank Ramsey (1903-1930)Free 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 PsychotherapyFrom Valuing to ValueFrontiers 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 BeingHellenistic PhilosophyHermann 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 Be a StoicHow 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, MachinesHumeHumeHumeHume on Motivation and VirtueHume's True ScepticismHume’s Moral Philosophy and Contemporary PsychologyHusserlHystoriesI Am Dynamite!I of the VortexI Was WrongIdeas that MatterIdentifying the MindIdentity and Agency in Cultural WorldsIgnorance and ImaginationIllnessIllnessImagination 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 DesireIn Praise of Natural PhilosophyIn Praise of the WhipIn Pursuit of HappinessIn Search of HappinessIn the Name of GodIn the Name of IdentityIn the Space of ReasonsIn the SwarmIn Two MindsInclusive EthicsIncompatibilism'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 PopperKarl Popper, Science and EnlightenmentKey Concepts in PhilosophyKierkegaardKierkegaard as PhenomenologistKierkegaard's Concept of DespairKierkegaard's MuseKinds of MindsKinds, Things, and StuffKnowing EmotionsKnowing, 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's ValuesLife, 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 in DialogueLost 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 MindMeanings of ArtMeasuring HappinessMeasuring PsychopathologyMedia MadnessMedical Enhancement and PosthumanityMedical NihilismMedical ReasoningMedicine and Philosophy in Classical AntiquityMedicine of the PersonMedicine, Mental Health, Religion, Science and Well-BeingMeditations on Self-Discipline and FailureMelancholy 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 FoucaultMidlifeMill's UtilitarianismMindMindMindMind and ConsciousnessMind and CosmosMind and MechanismMind GamesMind in a Physical WorldMind in Everyday Life and Cognitive ScienceMind in LifeMind the BodyMind 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 BrainsMoral 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 MindNeuroethicsNeuroethicsNeuroexistentialismNeurological 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 and PsychotherapyNietzsche and Suffered Social HistoriesNietzsche on Ethics and PoliticsNietzsche's TherapyNietzsche, Culture and EducationNietzsche: The Man and His PhilosophyNihil UnboundNihilismNoir 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 NatureOn 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 Studies in Experimental PhilosophyOxford Studies in Normative EthicsOxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume 7Oxford Textbook of Philosophy of PsychiatryPanic DisorderPanpsychismPanpsychism 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 IntentionalityPhenomenologyPhenomenology and ExistentialismPhenomenology and Philosophy of MindPhenomenology of IllnessPhilosophersPhilosophers on MusicPhilosophers without GodsPhilosophical CounselingPhilosophical Counselling and the UnconsciousPhilosophical DevicesPhilosophical Foundations of NeurosciencePhilosophical History and the Problem of ConsciousnessPhilosophical Issues in PharmaceuticsPhilosophical 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 in the Roman EmpirePhilosophy of ActionPhilosophy of ActionPhilosophy of Action from Suarez to AnscombePhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BodyPhilosophy of Film and Motion PicturesPhilosophy of LovePhilosophy of Love, Sex, and MarriagePhilosophy of Love, Sex, and Marriage: An IntroductionPhilosophy of MedicinePhilosophy of MindPhilosophy of Mind and CognitionPhilosophy of Personal Identity and Multiple PersonalityPhilosophy of PsychologyPhilosophy of Public HealthPhilosophy of SciencePhilosophy of SciencePhilosophy of Sex and LovePhilosophy of Technology: The Technological ConditionPhilosophy of the Social SciencesPhilosophy on TapPhilosophy PracticePhilosophy the Day after TomorrowPhilosophy Within Its Proper BoundsPhilosophy'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 GrrrlsPlanning, Time, and Self-GovernancePlant MindsPlatoPlatoPlato, Not Prozac!Platonic Ethics, Old and NewPleasurePluralistic CasuistryPolarities of ExperiencesPolitical EmotionsPopper, Objectivity and the Growth of KnowledgePornPorn StudiesPornographyPornography, Sex, and FeminismPortrait of the Psychiatrist as a Young ManPositive NihilismPost-TruthPostcolonial 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 PhilosophersPrimitive ColorsPrivacyPrivileged AccessProblems in MindProblems of RationalityProzac As a Way of LifeProzac BacklashProzac on the CouchPsyche and EthosPsyche and SomaPsychiatric Aspects of Justification, Excuse and Mitigation in Anglo-American Criminal Law Psychiatric Cultures ComparedPsychiatric Diagnosis and ClassificationPsychiatric EthicsPsychiatric HegemonyPsychiatric 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 Ethics and ResponsibilityReflections On How We LiveReframing Disease ContextuallyRefusing CareRegard for Reason in the Moral MindRegulating 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 MarginsResponsible BrainsRestraining 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 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Philosophy of Action from Suarez to AnscombeReview - Philosophy of Action from Suarez to Anscombe
by Constantine Sandis (Editor)
Routledge, 2018
Review by Lucy Campbell and Alexander Greenberg
Aug 27th 2019 (Volume 23, Issue 35)

Philosophy of Action from Suarez to Anscombe, edited by Constantine Sandis, features an introduction and 11 chapters, each of which focuses on the philosophy of action of one or more figures from the period, or on arguments drawn from those figures. The collection stems from the Philosophical Accounts of Action conference at Senate House, London in May 2013, and all of the chapters, along with the collection's preface, were previously published as a special issue of Philosophical Explorations (21(1), 2018). The collection does not aim at total coverage of the period, but rather as Sandis writes, "showcases a selection of the diverse interests in action that philosophers have had in modern times, from around 1500 to the mid-twentieth century" (3).

The aims of this collection are laudable. As philosophy of action has only recently grown in prominence as a theoretical subdivision, we suspect that much historical thought on the topic is relatively underexplored. As non-historians, the prospect of learning about the kinds of issues exercising philosophers with a broad range of approaches during the titular period was very welcome. From this perspective, we hoped to find a collection of essays accessible to readers not already well-versed in the literatures on the thinkers covered. A number of the contributions provided just that (e.g. the chapters by Pink, Radcliffe and McCarty, D'Oro), although other contributions represent a difficult read for the uninitiated (e.g. the chapters by Stoneham, Zielinska, Tanney). Although the collection may not, for this reason, become essential reading (like e.g. the historical elements of the excellent A Companion to the Philosophy of Action (2010), which Sandis co-edited with Timothy O'Connor), it provides a fascinating insight into some of the action-theoretical disputes during an important period of intellectual history, and the reader is left with the firm feeling that serious philosophical interest in action-theoretical issues was widespread during the period covered by the collection.

One parenthetical gripe before turning to the chapters: the reader is requested to cite the original page numbers from the Philosophical Explorations special issue rather than those from the book itself. Doing so would be extraordinarily cumbersome and would seem to disincline one to get one's hands on the book itself, when the PE special issue is readily accessible. For this reason we have chosen not to abide by the request (as we suspect others will too), and all page numbers refer to the volume reviewed, unless otherwise indicated. (It is not clear whether the request comes from the editor, from Routledge, or from Taylor and Francis as PE's publisher.)

After the introduction, the book comprises eleven chapters, split broadly into three sections (Introduction, pp. 4-6), Action in Early Modern Philosophy (Chs. 1-5), Action in Late Modern Philosophy (Chs. 6-8), and Action in Twentieth-Century Philosophy (Chs. 9-11). For reasons of space, we inevitably cannot consider each chapter in detail, but we do try to say something about each, and in some cases engage in more detail. In addition, we also highlight links between various of the issues raised by the chapters and the contemporary philosophy of action literature (with which we, as non-historians, are primarily familiar).

In Chapter 1 – "Agents, objects and their powers in Suarez and Hobbes" – Thomas Pink considers two rather different conceptions of agential powers, from Suarez and Hobbes. To simplify, Suarez thought of humans as capable of "determining outcomes for [themselves]" (25), that is, without having been determined (by their circumstances and capacities) to determine those outcomes. Whilst not determined to act (to determine outcomes for ourselves), we are in acting often moved (motivated) by the normative power of an argument or the goodness of the goal or outcome of the action (19), with reasons and goals thus acting as a final cause. Hobbes rejects such a view as "incoherent" (25), complaining that "Moved not by an efficient, is nonsense." (18, quoting Hobbes in Hobbes and Bramhall 1656, 59). For Hobbes, all power is efficient causal power, and motivated action is action caused by aspects of the agent's psychology – specifically, by episodes of imagining the enjoyment of an object along with a way to get it. Pink suggests that Hobbes cannot consistently hold that in rational action, one is motivated – moved – by the normative force of reasons, something Suarez builds into the heart of his account. Interestingly, as Pink notes towards the end of the paper, Hume also avoids Hobbes' problem. But whereas Suarez avoids it by allowing a distinctively normative form of power, Hume avoids it – much more radically, thinks Pink – by denying the apparent datum that that the objects of motivation can act as "conduits of a force of justification of reason" (27), and ultimately by denying the reality of "practical reason itself" (ibid.).

Pink closes by noting that contemporary causalists about action tend to side with Hobbes over Hume, in "describe[ing] motivation and action as governed by standards of reason by which we are supposed somehow to be moved" (ibid), and in so doing, inherit the inconsistency identified for Hobbes. Contemporary causal conceptions of action done for reasons are very widely termed 'Humean'. If Pink is correct, then perhaps they should be thought of as 'Hobbesian' instead. Whatever one thinks about the labelling issue, Pink's paper raises a challenge which faces contemporary causal theorists about action just as much as it faced Hobbes: can we understand responding to the normative force of reasons in terms of having one's behavior caused by a combination of conative and cognitive mental states? Many of the most central debates in contemporary philosophy of action in their own way stem from different views on this question: whether reasons are facts or mental states; the problem of causal deviance; whether action-explanation is efficient-causal explanation; whether teleological explanation can be naturalized; and so on.

In Chapter 2,"Human action and virtue in Descartes and Spinoza", Noa Naaman-Zauderer argues that despite obvious and widely acknowledged differences (e.g. in their "pictures of reality and its laws [and of] human beings and their place in the world" (41)), there are nevertheless "striking similarities" between Descartes' and Spinoza's accounts of human action. In particular, both held a) an account of virtue in terms of activity or freedom, understood as the actual power of acting, b) a non-consequentialist approach to virtue, and c) an account of virtue qua free action as the summum bonum. We would have liked to hear more about (b), and wondered whether calling Descartes' and Spinoza's accounts of virtue 'non-consequentialist' might in fact understate how much they contrast with consequentialist theories. Descartes, for example, is shown to hold that one acts virtuously as long as one is motivated by what one judges to be best, then one has done one's duty, "even though [the] judgment may perhaps be a very bad one" (38). Spinoza holds that virtue is "identical with activity or freedom" (40). These views allow that virtue might be completely independent of how good or bad the outcomes of one's actions are, but 'non-consequentialism' per se includes views on which whether one acts virtuously might very well depend in part on what one actually does or brings about (it is not clear that Kant, for example, is committed to the claim that being motivated in a certain way suffices for doing one's duty). So we wondered whether the similarities between Descartes and Spinoza could be drawn even more tightly.

In Chapter 3, Tom Stoneham discusses "Action, knowledge and embodiment in Berkeley and Locke". Stoneham considers the prospects for a 'realist', 'causal-volitionist' reading of Berkeley's philosophy of action, on which (intentionally) φ-ing is a matter of willing, and thereby causing, bodily movements of the type φ-ing (53-4). As stated, the account is inadequate because not all causings-by-volitions are genuine cases of intentional action (the argument here (53-54) is hard to follow, but the problem for such views is familiar from contemporary action-theoretical discussions of causal deviance). For help on Berkeley's behalf, Stoneham turns to Locke, who argued for an epistemic condition on volition and intentional agency. Stoneham describes a view on which someone φ's intentionally when their mind exerts its power in moving parts of their body, on the condition that they know that they are exerting this power in doing so (55). Could Berkeley have accepted this view? Stoneham argues that Berkeley's famous 'denial of blind agency' can be read as accepting just such an epistemic condition. But the suggestion is not without interpretative hurdles, and Stoneham concedes (for reasons we will come to) that it is not straightforward to square it with Berkeley's empiricism – although ultimately he declines to commit himself on the interpretative question.

The issues discussed in this paper tie in to contemporary debates about inter alia how to understand 'practical knowledge' (knowledge of what one is intentionally doing), and in particular to a debate about whether an agent's having practical knowledge is essential to her action's being intentional. Simplifying hugely, the contemporary literature on the nature of intentional action is split between those (following Davidson) who define intentional action as bodily behavior with certain mental causes, and those (following Anscombe), who view it as action which is the object of the agent's practical knowledge. Stoneham can be understood as suggesting on Berkeley's behalf a hybrid account, on which intentional action is behavior with certain mental causes, and which is known as such by the agent. In contemporary philosophy this hybrid view is rarely held, although there are particularly prominent exceptions in the work of David Velleman (esp. 1989, 2000), and Kieran Setiya (2017). Given this clear interest to non-Berkeley experts (and given that questions about action in Berkeley's philosophy are rather generally fascinating), it is a shame that the paper does not make itself very accessible to those new to Berkeley's philosophy in general, or his philosophy of action in particular. Important positions, including Berkeley's general framework, are assumed without explicit introduction or explanation, meaning that an uninitiated reader may be left without a clear sense of the particular problem which action poses for Berkeley (the interested reader should start with A. D. Woozley's seminal 'Berkeley on Action' (1985)).

We would also like to raise a more substantive philosophical issue. As Stoneham emphasises, Berkeley denies the possibility of 'blind agency', indeed (as noted) using this denial to argue that Berkeley accepted an epistemic condition on intentional action. But Berkeley's empiricism constrains the kind of knowledge he can view as involved in intentional action. According to Stoneham's Berkeleyan hybrid account, (e.g.) raising one's arm intentionally requires knowing that one's arm is going up as a result of an effective volition to raise one's arm. From an empiricist perspective, this causal link must be known through experience – of previous instances of willing to raise one's arm, followed by one's arm going up. But this means that some willed arm-raisings must be unknown, viz., those which pre-date one's knowledge of the causal link between such willings and such arm-movements. Stoneham accepts all of this, conceding that accepting his hybrid account as a reading of Berkeley would require thinking of Berkeley's denial of blind agency as restricted to intentional agency rather than agency per se. The baby's mind, on this view, causes its arm to go up by forming volitions, but while it is still blind to this power, the baby itself is not an agent. Causality-by-the-mind can be blind, and we can call this 'blind agency' if we like, but agency proper is never blind: the baby's mind becomes an intentional agent rather than merely a cause only when it comes to know about its status as a cause. But even if this were a credible option for interpreting Berkeley, we are not sure it sufficiently relieves the tension between a knowledge condition on intentional action and empiricism. For Stoneham is clear that the knowledge condition is supposed to constrain not onlyacting on a volition, but also forming one (54; 55; 56). If this is right, then there is simply no room for babies' minds to have volitions prior to meeting a Lockean epistemic condition, so there is no causal link between volitions and bodily movements for a Berkeleyan baby to come to know about, on its journey from (blind) cause to (knowing) agent. Whether it is open (interpretatively or philosophically) to Stoneham to reject the epistemic condition on the formation of volitions, and to hold it only for their execution, we leave, for reasons of space, as a question for further reflection.

Chapter 4 is Chris Meyns' "Sympathetic action in the seventeenth century: human and natural". Meyns shows how sympathy, these days a purely psychological notion, was understood much more broadly by certain thinkers in the Early Modern period. On this understanding, sympathy is a rather general kind of explanatory principle, of which explanations of human behavior is simply a species, but which also explains relationships between other (non-psychological) natural phenomena. Meyns describes different versions of this broader understanding of sympathy, due to Margaret Cavendish, Anne Conway, and Gottfried Leibniz, as well as detailing Early Modern criticisms of this use of the notion, as 'occult', 'magical', and ultimately unexplanatory (from Bacon, Descartes, Gassendi, and Malbranche; 73-74). Meyns argues that this skepticism about anything other than a restricted purely psychological conception of sympathy rests on an underlying commitment to an atomistic conception of explanation, and a rejection of a more holistic conception, on which non-psychological conceptions of sympathy do, they argue, "make sense" (77). Thus, they conclude that "[a] core disagreement about sympathetic action has to do with different approaches to explanation" in the Early Modern period (78).

As non-Early Modernists, we found the more expansive conceptions of sympathy which Meyns discusses intriguing, but wanted to know more about why we should think that there really is a single concept or phenomenon here, which is given different glosses by the different writers Meyns considers. Indeed there seems to be so much disagreement between the various (putative) phenomena called 'sympathy' by the various thinkers discussed (including differences in what a notion of sympathy is supposed to explain as well as how it is supposed to explain it) that we found it hard to get a grip on whether or not there is any genuine disagreement between these thinkers about sympathy. Most obviously, the psychologistic conception held in contemporary discourse, but also attributed to Smith, seems a world away from a notion of sympathy as some kind of explanatory relationship between changes in one bit of (animate) matter and changes in another. The latter put us in mind of the contemporary notion of quantum entanglement, which nobody in contemporary thought would suggest might be a different way of understanding the same phenomenon as a friend's fellow-feeling for a friend. What makes 'sympathy' à la Leibniz (for example) any more of a genuine rival to the Smithian or contemporary psychological notion of sympathy than the notion of quantum entanglement might be? Even amongst the friends of a non-psychologistic conception of sympathy, the differences between the various 'sympathies' are stark. Cavendish thinks sympathy links bits of (animate) matter; Conway that it links substantially similar creatures; Leibniz that it links everything. Cavendish and Conway think of it as explaining the occurrence of specific happenings/actions, whereas Leibniz seems to view it transcendentally, as an underlying metaphysical precondition for action or causation. Are there reasons for thinking that the various notions of sympathy which Menys considers are related any more than etymologically? Of course answering this question might require a rather general investigation of when conceptual development gives way to conceptual speciation (so to speak), which in fairness to Meyns, goes far beyond their concerns in this interesting chapter.

The final chapter in the section on Action in Early Modern Philosophy is Elizabeth S. Radcliffe and Richard McCarty's "Hume's Better Argument for Motivational Skepticism" (Ch. 5). Motivational Skepticism is the view that reason cannot itself motivate action; that motivation requires desire or passion. Hume is standardly taken to argue for motivational skepticism by first claiming that reason has only two modes of operation – 'relations of ideas' and 'probabilistic' – and then arguing that neither of these could generate motives. A number of philosophers in the recent literature have claimed that this argument begs the question, ruling out motivation by reason by fiat, by adopting an overly restrictive definition of 'reason'. Radcliffe and McCarty (R&M) argue that such objections fail to undermine Hume's motivational skepticism, because this can also be reached from a different and less problematic starting-point, from the principle that nothing can oppose a passion or desire except an opposing impulse, and the claim that reason cannot provide opposing impulses. R&M defend the latter by arguing that impulses must be capable of being stronger or weaker in order to be capable of opposing one another, and that reason – and beliefs, as the products of reason – cannot be the source of such scalar impulses.

This chapter is one of the collection's strongest. The appeal to scalarity is an innovative addition to debates about desire and the motivating force of reason, and has the prospect of expanding those debates beyond mere disagreement about imagined cases. However, we suspect that opponents of motivational skepticism may resist R&M's claim that the products of reason lack the requisite scalarity. R&M consider the objection that the relevant scalarity might come from evaluative beliefs with scalar contents, ones which represent their objects as more or less good, or good to a certain degree, etc. R&M argue that such beliefs would only provide scalar impulses if we assume an implausibly strong connection between evaluative judgement and motivation, i.e. that necessarily, evaluative judgements never fail to motivate. A weaker and more plausible view about evaluative judgements, such as that evaluative judgements necessarily motivate those who are rational, would leave the way in which reason motivates arbitrary, by allowing that one's evaluative judgements might prescribe motivation to a certain degree whilst one may in fact be motivated to some other degree. Thinking of reason as 'arbitrary' in this way, argue R&M, is not coherent. It is this last step where we suspect the opponent of motivational skepticism might resist. It's not clear that it would be reason which is arbitrary when it fails to motivate to the degree it prescribes. In such a case we needn't think of reason as telling one to be motivated less than it prescribes, which would indeed sound strange and contradictory. Rather we could hold that in such cases, extra-rational factors (e.g. weakness of the will), are interfering with or undermining the motivating force of one's reason.

The section on Action in Late Modern Philosophy begins with a paper by Arto Laitinen, Erasmus Mayr and Constantine Sandis (LMS) on "Kant and Hegel on purposive action" (Ch. 6). LMS investigate how the contrasts between Kant's and Hegel's action theory result in differences between their practical philosophies more generally, concluding that "the category of action is far more central to both Kant's and Hegel's moral theories than standard interpretations suggest" (109). Broadly, Kant's and Hegel's ethical thought is claimed by LMS to diverge on key questions in philosophy of action. Firstly, Kant claims that the distinction between the internal and the external aspects of action is of key importance, with the moral law only governing the former. Hegel on the hand gives importance to "the capacity to identify with the results of one's actions in the external reality" (105). LMS claim this difference in Kant and Hegel's action theories is importantly related to other differences in their ethics. Firstly, it underwrites a difference in their understandings of freedom, and in particular on whether external influence must be considered heteronymous and therefore to undermine autonomy. On the one hand, Kant thinks that any kind of external influence on the will undermines freedom or autonomy. On the other hand, Hegel thinks that part of freedom is working with ones' external influences; one aspect of freedom Hegel discusses is social freedom, i.e. freedom that we have through our relationship to social and ethical institutions. Secondly, it relates to a disagreement between Kant and Hegel on the scope of moral responsibility. Hegel, according to LMS, holds that "we are not only responsible for known characterizations of our actions and their effects but also for those which follow from their "universal" character and which we ought to be aware of, even if we are not" (ibid.). Kant holds that "what we must take responsibility for is more limited" (ibid.). The key claim made in this chapter – that differences in Kant's and Hegel's accounts of freedom and responsibility stem from differences in their action theory – is intriguing. In this vein, it would be interesting to compare Kant and Hegel's disagreements to contemporary debates prefigured by the questions in this chapter – debates about the value of freedom, about cognitive conditions on responsibility, and about moral luck – and to examine whether they rest on similar or different underlying disagreements about the metaphysics of agency.

In Chapter 7, "Action, interaction and inaction: post-Kantian accounts of thinking, willing, and doing in Fichte and Schopenhauer", Günter Zöller gives an account of how these two post-Kantian figures build on and respond to Kant in their philosophical accounts of action; in particular in relation to Kant's understanding of the 'activity' involved in theoretical cognition. Zöller represents Fichte as unifying the practical and the theoretical in cognition by emphasizing 'the primacy of the practical', which stems from the idea of the objects of cognition themselves metaphysically depending on cognitive activity. Schopenhauer, too, finds a fundamental place in his philosophy for activity in the central role he gives to 'the will'. However, Schopenhauer does not, like Kant, understand the will as self-legislating, autonomous, and making freedom possible, but rather as an a-rational and all-powerful force. Where we gain any genuine freedom, on Schopenhauer's picture, is not from choosing what we will but from our knowledge of how the will works and is influenced, enabling us to negate it and remain inactive in response to its powers.

The chapter raises questions which also occur at the forefront of certain strands of contemporary work on cognition and agency. Particularly fundamental is an issue which comes up in relation to Fichte's response to Kant, as presented by Zöller. It is not entirely clear whether Fichte's defense of the 'primacy of the practical' is supposed to be a radical, substantive, and surprising claim, or merely an articulation of something uncontroversial, and agreed on by all sides, namely that thinking and cognition are non-stative. If the latter, the 'practical' which is primary is 'practicality' only in a very watered-down way, and would not give us any interesting or substantive sense in which we are (essentially) agents in relation to our theoretical cognition. Like Fichte, certain contemporary philosophers of mind in a broadly Kantian tradition often claim that theoretical cognition essentially involves some kind of agency (Burge 1996; Moran 2001; Boyle 2009, 2011), holding that recognizing this will help us understand various psychological and epistemic phenomena, including the 'special' nature of self-knowledge; self-ownership and self-constitution; our responsibility for our cognitive attitudes, and so on. Yet it remains a question in these debates as to how substantive the claim to mental (especially doxastic) agency is supposed to be, and so how much work is really done by the idea of cognitive agency. The jury remains out on whether (rational) cognition is essentially 'active' in any robust or explanatorily promising sense, but Zöller's chapter shows Fichte to be of relevance to those interested in these and related issues.

Chapter 8 is Paul Katsafanas' "Nietzsche's account of self-conscious agency". Katsafanas starts by outlining a traditional debate about the role of self-consciousness in action, between those (e.g. Locke and Kant) who hold that self-consciousness enables a distinctive kind of action, and those (e.g. Hobbes, Hume, and Schopenhauer) who claim that it is our passions which primarily determine our actions, with self-consciousness playing a merely subsidiary role. Nietzsche is often thought of as holding the latter view because he, like Hobbes et al, often highlights our ignorance of our actions and their motivations. But Katsafanas rejects this interpretation, arguing that Nietzsche is better understood as "rethinking the terms in which [this traditional] debate is cast" (130). This is because, firstly, Nietzsche's skepticism about motivations is much more thoroughgoing than that of Hobbes et al, because he does not merely claim we are ignorant about our motivations in particular cases, but that our ordinary thinking fundamentally misunderstands the structure of human motivation. This is particularly because we don't recognize the influence of various unconscious 'drives' on our motivations. This moves beyond the traditional debate because unconscious drives are not merely desires we are unaware of, but motivational forces which operate fundamentally differently from ordinary desires. Drives, for example, aim at continuous expression, shaping our conscious experience and influencing what we value, while, crucially, hiding the fact that they do this, leading us to confabulate and come up with post hoc rationalizations. But secondly, despite this skepticism, Katsafanas explains that Nietzsche still views self-consciousness as "enabl[ing] new forms of agency" (141), in that it determines whether we perform 'genuine actions', rather than 'mere behavior', and determines the extent to which we count as free (140-141). This again moves beyond the traditional debate because the self-consciousness in question is not simply consciousness of – in a particular case – what one is doing and why. The kind of self-consciousness Nietzsche is interested in is a more thoroughgoing form of self-understanding of one's thoughts and motives, and how these are influenced by one's values and external factors, and is something most of us aspire to rather than possess.

The skepticism outlined by Katsafanas' Nietzsche has obvious contemporary interest, as a clear precursor to more recent forms of skepticism about self-knowledge of our motivations, encouraged in particular by social-psychological work on confabulation ((Nisbett and Wilson 1977) is the canonical early influence on this literature, which continues to flourish, for example with a special issue of Topoi imminent (Philosophical Perspectives on Confabulation; Stammers and Bortolotti (eds.) forthcoming)). But one might be skeptical about Katsafanas' claim that Nietzsche genuinely moves beyond the traditional debate. Even if drives do have the influence that Katsafanas's Nietzsche claims they do, this could be taken as merely providing especially good evidence for the more moderate skepticism of Hobbes et al, the view that we are often (or perhaps even most of the time) ignorant about our particular motivations. Katsafanas does at one point highlight Nietzsche's claim that the pervasive influence of drives makes it inevitably artificial to think of a person's motivations for an action as a minimal or discrete set of mental states (such as a belief-desire pair), and that we should instead think of actions as motivated by one's 'total state' (135). This would amount to a more thoroughgoing skepticism, but it's difficult to see how Nietzsche's claims about the influence of drives on our behavior could support such a strong claim. In fact, it seems that Nietzsche's claims about how drives influence our behavior presuppose that we can isolate particular motivations and establish a causal connection between them and drives. On the other hand, however, the positive role Katsafanas' Nietzsche gives to self-consciousness looks more genuinely innovative, as it allows a sceptic about the role of self-consciousness in the production of action to give a more modest role to self-consciousness and explain why it might seem important to us. This plausibly does go beyond moves made by those in traditional debate (with the possible exception of Spinoza, who Katsafanas doesn't mention, but who, like Katsafanas' Nietzsche, treats self-knowledge of our motivations as something we aspire to rather than possess).

The section on Action in the Twentieth Century starts with Anna Zielinska's "Before ethics: scientific accounts of action at the turn of the century" (Ch. 9). In it, Zielinska traces (what she identifies as) the 150-year-old history of the pursuit of constructing a theory of action, understood as the attempt to provide an understanding of action specifically and in a self-standing way, i.e., independently of more general metaphysical or moral considerations. She suggests that 19th and early 20th Century economists were the first to attempt to provide a truly self-standing theory of action. This began, Zielinska argues, in the transition from accounts of action developed by the 19th Century Utilitarians to those developed by 'marginalist' economists who wanted to move away from accounts of action (and of economic value) which were so closely tied to moral theory. Zielinska expresses skepticism, however, about whether marginalists – or the economists and sociologists who followed them – ever really succeeded in providing a value-free theory of action.

Part of the interest of this chapter is its focus on figures who are not often discussed, whether in action theory or contemporary philosophy more broadly. The central idea – that these philosophers and economists were the first to offer a self-standing theory of action – is hard to pin down. The reason given why previous philosophers – Aristotle or Hobbes, for example – did not count as doing this largely seems to be that they were interested in action in order to answer broader moral or metaphysical questions. But it's not entirely clear why this means they weren't also interested in action as such, nor why the marginalist economists were not also interested in action for a further purposes, e.g. in order to understand the nature of economic value. It would have been nice for the central claim about what was innovative about the study of action in this period to have been spelled out in more detail. A further question is whether any contemporary work in philosophy of action would count as providing a 'self-standing' theory of action by Zielinska's lights, given that contemporary accounts are often provided with at least one eye on questions in metaphysics and moral psychology, such as avoiding Substance Dualism, or accommodating the possibility of moral responsibility within a scientific world-view.

In the penultimate chapter, "The touch of Midas: Collingwood on why actions are not events" (Ch. 10), Giuseppina D'Oro provides a sympathetic interpretation of R. G. Collingwood's ideas about events, actions, natural science, and history. Events are subject to natural-scientific explanation, which works by subsuming them under empirical generalizations. Actions, by contrast, are explained using the methods of historical explanation, which is not nomological but normative. The subservience of medieval peasants to their masters, for example, is explained in terms of the norms to which they were responding, and so in a way that is categorially different from the explanation of (e.g.) "why the sunflower turns towards the sun or why the tide rises" (167). In recognizing different forms of explanation, one proper to human action and one proper to events, Collingwood was opposing the Millian picture on which all explanation is nomological, with the explanation of human actions differing from the scientific explanation of events only in the degree of precision possible. D'Oro shows how Collingwood's picture is not only distinctive, against this Millian background, but radical. For Collingwood holds not only that actions and events can be subject to different forms of explanation (historical and natural-scientific), but they must: explaining a bit of behavior as an action just is explaining it historically. Were some piece of human behavior to be explained nomologically, it would no longer be being treated as an action, but rather as an event. The categories action and event, for D'Oro's Collingwood, owe their very identity to the form of explanation employed to understand them, and this leaves no room for actions to be studied by natural science, or events by history. Nor does it leave room for identifying actions as a certain sub-category of event, hence the paper's title. In interpreting Collingwood as understanding historical explanation as distinctively normative, D'Oro describes herself as departing from the standard interpretation of Collingwood on which historical explanation is psychological, and on which providing such explanations involves empathetically identifying with the historical agent. D'Oro argues that her reading frees Collingwood from an implausible implication of the standard interpretation, viz., that in order to explain an action, a contemporary historian would have to in some sense "feel [the historical agent's] pain, [or] to believe what they believed" (171).

This fascinating chapter will be of especial interest to those interested in (esp. Neo-Aristotelian) conceptions of action which tie it to non-empirical forms of explanation (Ryle 1949; Wittgenstein 1953; Anscombe 1957). D'Oro's description of history as being, for Collingwood, "a way of making things intelligible or a form of understanding with its own distinctive and irreducible form of inference" (170; italics added) particularly resonates with Michael Thompson's conception of the difference between the domains of life, action, and practice (or ethics) in terms of the difference between "the forms of judgment (or thought or predication) that prevail in each of them – and not, in the first instance, in the things that are thought of under each heading" (Thompson 2008, 13). A particular question of interest to contemporary philosophers of action will be how Collingwood's rejection of the identification of actions with events relates to more recent rejections of that idea, for example from Bach (1980), Alvarez and Hyman (1998), Hornsby (2004), or Steward (2012). (The thesis that actions are events was influentially developed in detail by Davidson (see the essays in his 2001), and is currently assumed very widely.) Answering this question will be complicated by an issue which we now turn to.

It was unclear to us precisely which phenomenon is to be indicated by 'action', and so which phenomenon is defined as the subject-matter of history. Relatedly, it was unclear how to understand the distinctive form of explanation identified as 'historical': D'Oro is clear, as we have seen, that historical explanation is normative. But what kinds of norms are in view here? The paper typically seems to use 'action' to pick out something like a social kind; a type of behavior, performed by a type of person in a specific historical context – for example "the behavior of a [feudal] serf towards his or her lord" (168), or the "elaborate burial rituals" of "the ancient Egyptians" (171). The norms required to explain 'actions' understood at the level of social kinds are then given as general society-wide belief-systems; in relation to the latter example, for instance, the relevant normative explanation will mention "how central the idea of an afterlife was to [the ancient Egyptians'] culture" (ibid.). That 'action' in this sense is the proper domain of history is perhaps plausible, but leaves the result that 'actions are not events' looking rather uninteresting:  presumably nobody would think of (e.g.) the ancient Egyptians' burial rituals, understood as a social kind as an event. At other times, we get the impression that the explananda of history are not social kinds, but particular actions of individuals (or groups), (which may come under those kinds) – the particular burial of Tutankhamun, for instance. This would make the claim that actions are not events, because they are subject to different kinds of explanation, an interesting and substantive one. But it seems prima facie implausible to think that 'actions' in this latter sense are to be understood as definitionally subject to historical explanation. It is true that certain actions – understood as distinct doings of individuals – will be studied by history, and that general cultural norms will enter into their explanations: the burial of Tutankhamun is just such a case. But 'actions' in the sense of individual doings by agents also includes things like a person's scratching her head  because she had an itch, putting the washing on, or driving to Leeds to visit her brother-in-law. The form of explanation plausibly proprietary to 'actions' in this sense seems to advert to a combination of the individual agent's reasons and (where this is understood to be distinct) her psychology. An agent's reasons can include general cultural norms, but they will rarely be exhausted by these, and in certain cases (e.g. head-scratching) will not plausibly include them at all. The challenge for D'Oro's Collingwood thus seems to be to pinpoint the notion of 'action' in play in such a way as to avoid these difficulties.

The volume closes with a paper by Julia Tanney, "Remarks on the 'thickness' of action descriptions: with Wittgenstein, Ryle, and Anscombe" (Ch. 11). The dominant approach in contemporary work on intentional action tries to capture the 'ostensibly missing ingredient' which would turn 'mere behaviour' (e.g. an arm's going up) into 'full-bodied action' (e.g. raising one's arm). Inspired by Wittgenstein, Ryle, and Anscombe, Tanney complains that this approach "neglect[s] the multiplicity of things we count as descriptions and explanations" [181]. the standard approach restricts itself to an impoverished explanatory starting-point which helps itself only to thin, topic-neutral categories such as "event", "state", "property" and "cause" (178), and then asks how these categories can be 'thickened' so as to adequately capture the kinds of 'event', 'state' (etc.) peculiar to agency and psychology more generally. After arguing that this approach fails to avoid Cartesian Dualism, Tanney describes and pursues an alternative methodology, one which makes "a close study of our [every-day] descriptive-explanatory practices" (179) relating to agency. Doing so reveals, she suggests, that these practices typically begin with 'thick' action-descriptions, that is, with conceptions of actions as phenomena in relation to which "judgement, criticism, and correction, blame and punishment or praise have their point and rationale" (180). These thicker descriptions thus form an explanatory starting-point, rather than (as on the standard methodology) phenomena that we must build up to from the ingredients of notions of "event", "state", etc. in a topic-neutral or (as Ryle put it) "logician's" sense (178).

We (esp. Campbell, perhaps a little less so Greenberg) are on the whole very sympathetic to Tanney's line of thought, but the argument is very dense, and the precise reasoning often hard to discern without engaging in some reconstructive work. In particular, and with readers not already familiar with Ryle, Wittgenstein, or Anscombe in mind, it would have been helpful to be told more explicitly how to understand the important notion of topic-neutrality (and the "logician's sense" of "event", "state", etc.) with which the proponent of the standard approach problematically (in Tanney's view) approaches questions in the philosophy of mind and action. Readers less familiar with these issues would benefit from having the reasoning more slowly spelled out in various parts of the paper, but in particular in relation to the (extremely important) issues of why the standard approach (re-)opens the door to Cartesian Dualism.

Perhaps because the dialectic is rather quick in places, we were left with the sense that a reader committed to the standard approach to action, and more generally to the standard methodology which Tanney (along with Wittgenstein, Ryle, and Anscombe) rejects, would be unlikely to find pause on reading this paper. They are likely to resist in two places in particular. First, it will be natural for Causalists to hold firm in the belief that contra Tanney, only if beliefs, desires, and so on, are "causally efficacious mental events" (182) can the mind-body problem be solved. Indeed this is viewed by many as the strongest motivation for Causalism (see (Davidson 2001, p. xv) for a canonical statement of the thought). Second, an opponent may well agree with Tanney that a "close study of our descriptive-explanatory practises" (179) reveals that "the description of [an action like] my raising my arm […] comes packaged – in a way the description of my arm's rising normally does not – with the conceptual baggage of accountability and responsibility [and other normative notions]" (ibid.). Nevertheless, she will doubtless go on to demand an explanation of theunderlying difference between descriptions which come with this packaging ('I raised my arm') and descriptions which do not ('my arm went up'), and to insist that only causation by mental acts or events could underwrite this difference and justify our practice of holding arm-raisings to account when we refuse to do so with arm-risings. We – or one of us at least – agree with Tanney that this response, and the broader methodology which it embodies, is wrong-headed. We comment only that reading this paper is unlikely to convince a committed proponent of the standard approach of this. Having said that, changing minds may well not be Tanney's aim in this paper.

The impression is sometimes given that modern action theory began with Anscombe's Intention (1957) – or worse, with Davidson's 'Actions, Reasons, and Causes' (1963)Philosophy of Action from Suarez to Anscombe clearly underscores the error in this picture. In terms of accessibility and clarity, and especially with the non-historian reader in mind, the collection is bit of a mixed bag, but a number of the papers raise fascinating issues which contemporary philosophers of action may well benefit from engaging with.

Alvarez, Maria, and John Hyman. 1998. "Agents and Their Actions." Philosophy 73 (284): 219–45.

Anscombe, G. E. M. 1957. Intention. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Bach, Kent. 1980. "Actions Are Not Events." Mind LXXXIX (353): 114–20.

Boyle, Matthew. 2009. "Active Belief." Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (S1): 119–47.

———. 2011. "'Making Up Your Mind' and the Activity of Reason." Philosophers' Imprint 11 (17).

Burge, Tyler. 1996. "Our Entitlement to Self-Knowledge." Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 96: 91–116.

Davidson, Donald. 1963. "Actions, Reasons, and Causes." In Essays on Actions and Events, 3–20. 1980. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

———. 2001. Essays on Actions and Events. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Hobbes, Thomas, and John Bramhall. 1656. The Questions Concerning Liberty, Necessity and Chance, Clearly Stated Between Dr Bramhall Bishop of Derry, and Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. London.

Hornsby, Jennifer. 2004. "Agency and Actions." Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement, 1–23.

Moran, Richard A. 2001. Authority and Estrangement: An Essay on Self-Knowledge. Princeton University Press.

Nisbett, R., and T. Wilson. 1977. "Telling More than We Can Know: Verbal Reports on Mental Processes." Psychological Review 84: 231–59.

Ryle, G. 1949. The Concept of Mind. London: Hutchinson.

Setiya, Kieran. 2017. Practical Knowledge. New York: Oxford University Press.

Stammers, Sophie, and Lisa Bortolotti, eds. forthcoming. Philosophical Perspectives on ConfabulationTopoi Special Issue.

Steward, Helen. 2012. "Actions as Processes." Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1): 373–88.

Thompson, Michael. 2008. Life and Action: Elementary Structures of Practice and Practical Thought. Harvard University Press.

Velleman, David. 1989. Practical Reflection. Princeton University Press.

———. 2000. The Possibility of Practical Reason. Vol. 106. 4. Oxford University Press.

Wittgenstein, L. 1953. Philosophical Investigations. Translated by G. E. M. Anscombe. 1991. Oxford: Blackwell.

Woozley, A. D. 1985. "Berkeley on Action." Philosophy 60: 293–307.


© 2019 Lucy Campbell and Alexander Greenberg


Lucy Cambell, Dept Philosophy, University of Warwick and Alexander Greenberg, Dept Philosophy, University of Southampton.


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