By Fred Vollmer (auth.)
We act for purposes. yet, it truly is occasionally claimed, the psychological states and occasions that make up purposes, will not be adequate stipulations of activities. purposes by no means make activities ensue. We- as brokers (persons, selves, matters) - make our activities ensue. activities are performed by means of us, no longer elicited through purposes. the current essay is an try and comprehend this idea of agent causality. Who -~ or what - is an agent ? and the way - in advantage of what - does an agent do issues, or chorus from doing them? the 1st bankruptcy offers with difficulties within the thought of motion that appear to require the belief that activities are managed via brokers. Chapters and 3 then assessment and talk about theories of agent cau sality. Chapters 4 and 5 make up the critical elements of the essay during which my very own answer is placed forth, and bankruptcy six offers a few facts that appear to help this view. bankruptcy seven discusses how the idea should be reconciled with neuro-physiological proof. And within the final chapters the speculation is faced with conflicting viewpoints and phe nomena. Daniel Robinson and Richard Swinburne took time to learn elements of the manuscript in draft shape. although they disagree with my major viewpoints at the nature of the self, their conunents have been very priceless. I hereby thank them both.
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Additional info for Agent Causality
Who is not merely a collection of things or events, but a substance and a self-moving being. 51 )". 51)". This latter idea, in tum, involves the notion of a cause that is not a sufficient condition; "for if I affirm that I am the cause of some act of mine, then I am plainly not saying that my very existence is sufficient for its occurrence, which would be absurd. If I say that my hand causes my pencil to move, then I am saying that the motion of my hand is, under the other con~itions then prevailing, sufficient for the motion of the pencil.
And that phenomenon is consciousness. 1. The idea that personal identity is somehow bound up with consciousness stems from Locke. 39)". Now we are conscious of many things besides our own thoughts. , express your ideas to me in conversation, I can be conscious of these thoughts. Why, then, don't I perceive them as parts 42 PERSONS 43 of me- my self? What Locke evidently means (cf. Mackie, 1976) is that the consciousness I have of my own mental states and activities is somehow special and different from the awareness I may have of anything else.
What, then, is necessarily involved in personal identity? 202)", is searching for the criteria of personal identity over time. And, according to Parfit, defining the criteria of personal identity is, in part, giving an account of the nature of persons. In order to establish the criteria of personal identity, Parfit presents us with a series of thought experiments in which one of the normal conditions of physical or psychological continuity no longer holds, or holds to some reduced degree. Since Parfit' s aim is to convince us that psychological continuity alone is what matters, in most of these experiments the normal condition of bodily continuity is varied, while psychological continuity is held constant.