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Action, Knowledge, and Will - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Action, Knowledge, and Will

John Hyman


Human agency has four irreducibly different dimensions—psychological, ethical, intellectual, and physical—which the traditional idea of a will tended to conflate. Examining them separately yields several significant results. First, the mark of human agency in general, like that of every kind of agent with functionally differentiated parts, is functional integration, not intention. Second, voluntariness is an ethical concept, unlike either intention or agency as such, and it is defined in negative not positive causal terms: an act is voluntary if it is not due to ignorance or compulsion, the co ... More

Keywords: action, will, intention, voluntariness, desire, reason, knowledge, belief

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780198735779
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198735779.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John Hyman, author
The Queen's College, Oxford