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By Bas C. Van Fraassen

An introductory, historic survey of philosophical positions on area and time, in the course of the targeted conception of relativity and the causal idea of time.

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Additional resources for An Introduction to the Philosophy of Time and Space

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According to the first of the two accounts that endorse this conception of practical reasons, this means that the criteria for what counts as a reason for action are the necessary conditions of self-determined behavior. According to the second account, the criteria are the necessary conditions of nonobservational knowledge of one’s behavior. If, as I will argue, we must reject these accounts, then we must reconsider the premises that appear to support them. We must reconsider the assumption that action is possible if agents endorse the conception of practical reasons these premises express.

The point is that agents who are capable of being alienated from their own desires must satisfy additional conditions if they are to qualify as acting; and this is because they must satisfy whatever conditions ensure that they are not alienated from the psychic conditions that move them. 9 This is a point that Gary Watson stresses in his more recent work. (See Watson 2004) There he rejects the model of unfree action I am criticizing here. For an alternative account of the distinction between self- and other-determined action that is key to assessments of moral responsibility, see Buss 2012.

And he also has the disposition to be guided by B’s theoretical reasoning about what it would take in order to satisfy these goals. When B is aware of a goal A has, she engages her reason in the task of understanding what it would take to achieve this goal. —adjusts his goal-pursuing accordingly. By stipulation, this story contains two distinct individuals: one (A) disposed to pursue goals in an instrumentally rational way, despite having no opinion whatsoever about the desirability of doing so; the other (B) disposed to employ reason to determine which events are likely to give rise to which other events.

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