- Associate Professor
- University of California, Los Angeles
The moral significance of two kinds of agency
Activity and the Responsible Mind
Some things are done, or at least are in our control, while others merely happen to, in, or around us. It is difficult to find a more momentous distinction. Yet there is no consensus about what marks it—indeed, there is little steady illumination in the area, at all. Current proposals model responsible mental activity on ordinary action. This project shows both why that model fails and develops a novel account of responsible mental activity, one modeled, instead, on the activity of answering a question. Though the project starts in moral philosophy, it aims to relate itself, usefully, to the methods and findings in philosophy of mind, empirical psychology, and the social sciences more generally. It thus aims to show how responsible human activity animates our psychology without being threatened by—indeed, while compatible with—the advance of science.